Sunday, August 12, 2007

Video: The 1st Annual New York State Yo-Yo Contest and International Yo-Yo Open

Yesterday, Geekanerd was on the scene at the First Annual New York State Yo-Yo Contest and International Yo-Yo Open, sponsored by It was the best thing I've seen, done or eaten in like, two months.

To kick off our video coverage, here's the International Open's bronze medalist, Sebastian Brock, who I hereby proclaim an honorary Geekanerd for having competed in a Kyle Rainier-era Green Lantern T-Shirt.

There are parts of this clip where it looks like the footage is sped up. It isn't. Perhaps Mr. Brock draws his ability to manipulate the yo-yo with such breathtaking speed and control from a power ring of his own. Someone should look into that.

Video of the International Division competitors and a highly dangerous yo-yo stunt, after the jump...

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Since this was in part a International Yo-Yo Open, check out our highlight reel of 1A Division Yo-Yo professionals from many lands. These are champs from around the world, battling for dominance in NYC. Do their individual yo-yo techniques reveal anything about their respective cultures? Discuss.

Music was a major part of what made the top performances so exciting. Here are a couple more routines with particularly gorgeous choreography; the first is by Augie Fash, a USA Yo-Yo champ fresh from an engagement at the OzFest Sideshow. After that it's Long Island's Jovanni Crespo, who came in second in the New York State Contest, 1A Division.

Learning Corner:
The uninitiated may be wondering what 1A Division means. It's one of several performance styles, and the one that adheres to what most people wold think of traditional yo-yoing. Other styles include:
  • 2A & 3A, which use two yo-yos at the same time
  • 4A, which uses a "off-the-string" yo-yo, and features a lot of launching the yo-yo into the air and then catching it with the string (or not, as was often the case on stage).
  • 5A, which uses a counter weight on the other end of the string, instead of attaching the string to your finger.

All of these non-1A styles were classified as "X-Division" (sounds like a new Marvel title), and to demonstrate a little 4A action, below is young Andrew Bergen performing the routine that won him first place in the X-Division of the New York State Contest.

Host Pat Cuartero of kept the energy level up throughout the day, despite having spent most the night previous organizing the event. In between rounds of competition, he thrilled and terrified the crowds with this potentially tooth-shattering stunt; using a yo-yo to knock a quarter off a guy's ear. This is exactly the kind of thing my mom used to tell me not to do all the time. I'm glad someone is doing it.

Related Tags: Geek Sports- Geekanerd's Coverage and Domination of NYC's Wii Tennis Championship, and News on the Upcoming Wii Bowling League


Shawn Fumo said...

Thanks for the vids. Nice to see something up so quick..

Josh said...

Awesome blog dude, I'm going to link you on my blog. It's a good cross-section of yo-yoing and all out geekery.

YoYoPunk said...

A comment on the cultural differences:
Japanese yoyoers tend to have more of a flashy style with easier tricks. American players tend to have more complex tricks. However, Japanese players are more practiced and consistent than American players. American players are known to play their freestyles probably 30 minutes before they get up on stage while the Japanese players are known to practice all year for contests.
--Jeff Coons
Duncan Crew USA

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