Saturday, March 10, 2012
stalling in the golden age
you hear a lot about "golden age" these days. a lot of it is just bs self-importance, but every now and then it rings true. sure yo-yoing has been around for generations, and we've already had any number of golden ages, really... but when i think about how i'll look back on this time, the past 5-10 years... i don't know. it's special.
i love the peralta documentary riding giants, and this section about the early days exploring the north shore of oahu is just golden (you should watch it - i'll wait). we don't have breaks in yo-yoing, we have trick elements. tricks are neither created nor destroyed; they're just discovered. once you find something unique and interesting, if you advertise it, others can go there. it can blow up like the banzai pipeline and become a place people go to test themselves.
in that context, i feel as though so many guys (and girls) are uncovering so much deeply personal territory right now. i don't think that we'll ever run out of material. with adaptations in technique and materials, creative people will always have somewhere new to explore.
this is an especially exciting time for fixed axle yo-yoing. there aren't many people really pushing themselves through it, but the people that are are fantastic. you have drew tetz with his butterfly and crazy acrylic punch out yo-yo's. you have colin leland, whose putting out the most exciting wooden throws in decades (and throwing killer tricks). as a result, you've got all these guys who have always been incredible with whatever yo-yo (nate sutter, miggy, gabe lozano, gary longoria...) battling each other in fixed axle horse.
stall tricks are a great example of undiscovered territory. the first time i can remember intentionally stalling a tug-responsive yo-yo was at the :50 mark of my first no jive video. since then, SO MANY stall tricks have become apparent it's ridiculous. it's particularly suited to fixed axle because of the response and the necessity of regenerating due to the ephemeral spin. bucket stalls, triangle stalls, new stop-n-go's, reverse-spin stalls... it's like finding an island of tricks that's been there forever but which everyone ignores. players are so concerned with how long their yo-yo spins that the idea of focusing on stopping it seems absurd.
i'm focusing on stalls, because it's a big part of what i like to do, but really, EVERY facet of yo-yoing is like this. sideways tricks have become a bit overblown in recent years (just like off-plane did before them), but that well isn't dry. for people who really want to find a new and different way to approach yo-yoing, the only restrictions are internal.
i think when we're all old yo-yo geezers, we'll look back on these days and perceive the unimaginable vastness of what lay before us, as yet undiscovered. we'll appreciate in a way that's impossible within the frenetic microcosm of today the purity with which we sifted through the possible. we'll look at the up-and-coming players and not dismiss their "post-new-school" tricks as ugly or derivative, but understand that we're all exploring the same unconquerable frontier, that every throw hides a piece of the mystery, and that every age is golden.