Blogs

20 Aug 2012

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Fresh off his stellar performance at Worlds, Paolo Bueno took the stage in the final round against Ernest. Check out the trick battle bellow:

 

 

17 Aug 2012

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Over the past week YoYoFactory was given the opportunity to stop in Portland for a week to hold a YoYo Summer Camp during our West Coast Tour. Thanks to YoYoUniversity, Portland has a thriving young yo-yo scene full of amazing talent.

 

 

As part of YoYoUniversity’s program, they teach many building blocks, and test the campers on their proficiency. As they work their way around the “U” they achieve higher, more exclusive, levels in the program.

 

 

The ages and skill range was great. We had kids who had just picked up a yo-yo, to players who had been in the YoYoU program for over 2 years and were placing well at regional contest.

 

 

Along with all the yo-yo activities, there were outdoor breaks. Who could turn down the chance to go up again a Yo-Yo Champ in a game of ball?

 

 

Another feature of each day at YoYo Camp was time meeting and learning from the Pros on hand. Each of the Pros has very interesting insights into yo-yoing and the campers were eager to hear and full of questions.

 

 

Speaking of our Pros for the week, here’s a nice group shot. From Left to Right: Ibrahim Rahman, Luke and Jack Finnel, Augie Fash and always camera aware Ann Connolly.

 

 

The campers were so stoked to have some of the best Pros in the country on hand to teach them tips and tricks.

 

 

 

For the last day, the Camp had a big head to head team battle. Augie’s team huddled up to plan their epic team routine. With the veteran performing experience of Augie, they were sure to have a good routine.

 

 

Teams assemble and get ready to face off.

 

 

 

Both teams had great ideas and really entertaining routines. Augie’s team came out victorious with their amazing team jump trick and solid performance.

 

 

Thank you to everyone who came out to YoYo Summer Camp. Special thanks to the parents and campers for making this such a fun, successful event. Special thanks to Colin and Greg of YoYoU and Ibs, Jack, Luke, Seth, Ann, Augie and Gentry for coming out. We can’t wait for next year!

 

 

13 Aug 2012

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As part of the YoYoFactory West Coast Tour, we find ourselves in Portland, OR again. After a quick break, and a trip to the World YoYo Contest, we’re back on the road. This leg of the tour we have Ann Connolly, Augie Fash, Gentry Stein and Seth Peterson.

 

 

We started our first day in Portland on Alberta Street. The neighborhood is full of great food, coffee and shops. We had a chance to stop into the Antler Gallery and hang out with a new friend, artist Neil M. Perry.

 

 

After Alberta St. we met up with some friends for dinner. Here is the YoYoFactory team, bookended by YoYoUniversiy.

 

 

 

 

At dinner we were also joined by our buddy, and Protegé, Ibrahim. He’s always full of stories and good times.

 

 

Then, off for desert. If you’re in Portland, it’s a must to stop at VooDoo Doughnut. Racks on racks on racks of delicious, sugary goodness waiting to be devoured.

 

 

 

 

No matter what time of day, you’ll find a line at VooDoo. Luckily we brought our yo-yos.

 

 

VooDoo is known for their crazy toppings and themes. Among the group there was oreos, cereal, frosting and bacon! It was a great end to a fun first day in Portland. Tomorrow we start YoYo Summer Camp.

 

12 Aug 2012

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While we were all enjoying Shu’s amazing 2A freestyle smashing any previous freestyle ever presented by any human being in the history of yoyo play at this year’s  world based yoyo contest little did we know that a greater battle was unfolding in outer space.  Yesterday a video hit YouTube showing astronaut Don Pettit demonstrating a modern performance yoyo aboard the international space station. “Nothing special to report here” I’m sure you are saying, “this was done years ago on a shuttle mission.” “We all learned about it in elementary science classes ever since. Old news”.

 

But wait. There’s always something that, as a yoyo player, has always bothered me about that original outer space yoyo experiment. I’m not saying it kept me awake at night STEWING in the thoughts, just whenever the subject was presented I felt the data was flawed.

 

Here’s the problem: in 1985 astronaut David Griggs was put to the task of using a yoyo in space and researching the effect of zero gravity on the toy. I assume he had some training on the basics or maybe had some residual childhood technique which elevated him to the position of In-House YoYo Expert.  Here, you can watch the result of his off-world yoyo experience:

 

 

(YoYo magic happens at  2minutes 40seconds if you don’t have the patience to watch the other fascinating toy experiments.)

 

The reported results were that Dave Griggs couldn’t get the yoyo to “sleep” due to the lack of gravity.  Then all the data was compiled into a science program called Toys In Space and made available to educators around the country. The data claimed “The yo-yo will not sleep in space because there is no force to keep the yo-yo from moving back up the string.”

 

I always imagined teachers explaining this across the nation and the students accepting this fact based on the authority of the experiment and the credentials of the educator. Then in my mind’s eye I imagined that one precocious 6th grader in the back of the classroom who considered himself a bit of an expert on the playground with the yoyo thinking to himself “I could get it to sleep, send me up and I’ll prove it. That guy just had bad equipment and his skill was questionable”.

 

So I did a little googling and found I wasn’t alone. Here a English major ponders the same quandary.

 

So yesterday when my email started blowing up at the end of the day with friends reporting the new yoyo video posted on YouTube showing Don Pettit taking a break from rescuing a satellite and goofing around with his yoyo my emotional state hit an all-time high as I watched him demonstrating not only a YoYoFactory® DNA™, but also putting the yoyo through numerous “sleeping” based maneuvers in zero gravity.

 

 

 

 

Did Don Pettit know that he was taking the first step in space at calling out his predecessor, an outer-space challenge, the first Galactic Smackdown? Does he know the damage he has done to the teachers guides and all of the re-writing that will need to be done? Is this a quantum shift in science? The last one, probably not. But for the 6th grader inside me who just knew that with a little practice and the right equipment the challenge could be beaten… I feel vindicated, smug even. I want to thank Don Pettit for taking the challenge and showing that science is more than just one experiment, more than just one anecdotal experience. Also want to thank him for taking his break from his extraordinary day that allowed me to take a break from my very ordinary day and write this comment.

 

Hans VanDanElzen
President
YoYoFactory®
Guinness Record Holder
YoYo Enthusiast

 

10 Aug 2012

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If you’re a regular to the YoYoFactory Blog, you’ve heard our praises and hopes for Shu Takada’s 2A. This remarkable player has grown and developed his skills to unmatched heights. And his performance is second to none. Congratulations Shu, 2012 2A World YoYo Champion!

 

10 Aug 2012

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Hiroyuki Suziki’s win this year brought him even more firmly into his position of Most Winning 1A Player at Worlds. For years Hiroyuki and YoYoFactory players have gone head to head for the World title. This year was different. Working together, we put together a very special model for our upcoming Champion’s Collection: the Equilateral. More on that later, enjoy the freestyle for now.

 

10 Aug 2012

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With a seed from US Nationals, Harold Owens III got to sit back and watch the others battle through prelims and semi-finals. Harold had his freestyle on lock and his confidence showed on stage. Coming in at 4th, Harold was the top placing US competitor. And that’s a good spot to be in for Nationals in October.

 

10 Aug 2012

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The term “sleeper” has been thrown around a lot with Gentry Stein this year. Bowing out of competing at BAC, Gentry gave all his focus and attention to preparing for Worlds. Through prelims and semi-finals he didn’t lead the pack. But that was intentional. Gentry didn’t want to give to much away until Finals. With a jaw dropping Final routine at Worlds, Gentry has cemented himself as one of the top Modern yo-yo players in the world.

 

10 Aug 2012

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With Mexican flags waving in the crowd, Luis Enrique took the stage at Worlds. Luis has been working up the contenders ranks for years. 2012 found him on everyone’s list of top players who had a shot. And this freestyle did not disappoint.

 

10 Aug 2012

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Paolo Bueno has been a standout player this year. Dominating his local contest scene, Paolo also placed very well at Cal States and BAC. As players dropped left and right in prelims and semi-finals at Worlds, Paolo stuck in there and earned a prestigious spot in Finals. YoYoFactory Contest Team potential? We think so.