2017 44FESTIVAL Recap

 

Scales members Colin Beckford, Patrick Canny, and Mark Mangarin recap the recently held 44festival contest in Japan.

Check out full freestyles here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCdXyfI2SQPE_Huxxkksz8wA

Check out audio only version here:

https://soundcloud.com/scales-collective/44festival-2017-recap

https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/44festival-2017-recap/id1177664821?i=1000393525694&mt=2

Thank you to our sponsors YoYoExpert, CLYW, and Recess Intl.

China YoYo Corporation Championship - Shenzhen Recap

Hey everyone, Colin here. This recap is of something you may or may not have been paying much attention to, but it'll be quite relevant come next summer - CHINA! CYCC Shenzhen, located in southeastern China, is one of the regionals that will be seeding to 2018 China Nationals. This isn’t the first regional that has occurred that will seed to next year’s nationals, however it is the first regional from which I've seen video.

China YoYo Corporation regional map. Shenzhen city regional is that tiny red speckle on the bottom right. As far as the regions are concerned, striped means that the region currently does not have a contest, solid means it does, and red are for city-specific regionals (some cities like Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Chongqing) are so populated that they also have their own regional).

China YoYo Corporation regional map. Shenzhen city regional is that tiny red speckle on the bottom right. As far as the regions are concerned, striped means that the region currently does not have a contest, solid means it does, and red are for city-specific regionals (some cities like Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Chongqing) are so populated that they also have their own regional).

 

Here's a few facts you may not know regarding the China yo-yo community and their contests -

  • China Nationals next year will not seed to Shanghai Worlds. China’s Nationals always seed to Worlds the year after, even though the contest is usually held in July, preceding the current year’s Worlds.
  • China is also one of the newest seeding contests, as it just started seeding to Worlds starting in 2014. Prior to this, there were actually multiple contests that acted as the national event, resulting in no legitimacy to earn a seed.
  • China is currently the largest national contest in terms of competitor count, as 1A preliminaries had approximately 175 competitors in 2017, and over 300 in 2016. That's right, 300. 

Now that I've explained some relevant information regarding China's scene, it's time to talk about the contest. 

1A finals results picture, credit to @pofalyoyos on Instagram (company ran by 1A champion Chow Chakron)

1A finals results picture, credit to @pofalyoyos on Instagram (company ran by 1A champion Chow Chakron)

CYCC Shenzhen was actually very competitive this year, with some seasoned veterans competing.....

  • The winner of 1A was Chow Chakron, who placed 2nd in 1A at China Nationals this year. 
  • The winner of 2A was Yi Chenghao, who is a 3 time national 2A champion.
  • The winner of 3A was Wong Yip Yip, who is a 3 time national 3A champion.
  • The winner of 4A was Yuan Jia Jun, who placed 3rd in 4A at China Nationals this year.
  • The winner of 5A was Pang Zifeng, who won 5A at China Nationals this year.

Needless to say, this region of China is strong.

Chow Chakron’s winning 1A freestyle was a polished re-do of his China Nationals routine. I would consider him one of my favorite players out of China, as his style is very balanced to me - he’s a speed player with good variation in terms of technical abilities, horizontal, and more. I think he'll be one of the frontrunners for Chinese players doing well in Shanghai next year. Check it out below.

Another 1A freestyle I really liked was Fang Xu’s. He’s new to me after this year’s China Nationals in which he made finals, and his style is very rare compared to the rest of China. I see a ton of potential in him, especially with his style being so contrasting from the rest of the country. You can watch Fang Xu's routine below.

 

All in all, from watching freestyles in 1A, China’s scene is very interesting - although a large majority of the competitive players have similar styles, they all put forth their own twist/strong suits to the “generic speed player” type. What I’m curious about is how this will pan out next year in Shanghai, and who from China will stand out the most. Especially when players only have such little time in the first rounds, I’m looking forward to see who will be at the top.

Check out a video (also made by the 1A champion Chow Chakron - this guy does everything!!) from the event. I highly encourage any yo-yo player to look into China's scene if you want to go into next year's world championships knowing a few familiar faces.

 

US National YoYo Contest Player Interview - Keiran Cooper

The next and last interview for this year's US Nationals features Scales' sole representative for the contest, Keiran Cooper. Keiran's no stranger to the competitive circuit as he's ranked 2nd in California and also has been on the Worlds finals stage twice. I personally am really looking forward to what Keiran has in store for this weekend!

Colin - "Hey Keiran!! Thanks for taking the time to answer a few questions regarding your prep for nats. What is your goal for the contest?"

Keiran - "I try to refrain from thinking about placement as it further distracts me from the quality of my tricks and performance. If i were to set a goal for myself, I’d like to make finals, and present a clean freestyle in finals. For as long as I can remember, I’ve never been able to perform to the best of my ability, and as a byproduct, I’m always striving to go cleaner."

Colin - "That's deep. I see what you mean regarding going cleaner, though, and that's a goal that many have. Hopefully you'll be able to hit a satisfying routine on Saturday! What yo-yo do you plan on using?"

Keiran - "I'll be using my signature yo-yo, the Charm by Recess."

Colin - "Sounds good. What round are you seeded to this year?"

Keiran - "I'm seeded to the preliminary round."

Colin - "What's your opinion on the 4-round structure in place for Nationals this year?"

Keiran - "Me being in prelims sets me up for three rounds in one day (provided I make it through prelims and semi-finals). I appreciate the 4-round structure, but I disagree with the implementation starting this year. With a smaller competitor pool, I would argue it’s more feasible to implement this new structure next year, when incentives are higher and attendance will be greater. I’m primarily worried about fatigue this year; I fell asleep in the bleachers at this year’s World competition after doing two rounds in one day."

Colin - "Yikes, 3 rounds in one day does sound rough. Hope that you'll be able to make it through while staying conscious ;) What is your approach to this year’s competition? Does the slightly extra time between Worlds and Nationals compared to previous years mean that you will spend time creating a new freestyle, or refining your Worlds routine?"

Keiran - "Knowing I had ample time to prepare, I considered making a new freestyle, but couldn’t create a product to my satisfaction. Instead, I compromised and decided to refine my freestyle from Worlds. Although this freestyle’s structure renders it extremely difficult, I’ve never felt more confident about my ability to hit it."

Colin - "It's seemed like most of the people I've asked this question to have stated that they've chosen to refine their Worlds freestyle. To everyone reading, this is a strategy that I will always recommend - do something that you're comfortable with. Next question is what inspired your routine?"

Keiran - "For my routine, I’ll be using music inspired by you (Colin) and Ethan Cheung. Both of these players consistently motivate me to perform at my best. 

With respect to my World’s routine, I spent a lot of time watching dance routines. My goal was to present a freestyle congruent to the crisp choreography displayed by teams like Ganmi, Just Jerk, and Ian Eastwood. Learning how to present my Yo-Yoing in such a refined manner is a difficult task, and is something I plan on incorporating into all of my routines going forward."

Colin - ":) It seems like dancing is the new big thing in yo-yoing! Looking forward to see how you plan to implement it into your freestyles. I should really take some dance lessons... anyways, last question - who are you most excited to watch this year?"

Keiran - "I’d be lying if I said I attend Yo-Yo competitions with the sole intent of competing. Arguably one of the most rewarding aspects of Yo-Yo is cheering on your friends as they hit the trick they’ve been chasing for months on stage. I can’t think of any other aspect of my life that revolves around so much genuine support. Conceptually, presenting something in front of an audience has always been an act of vulnerability. That being said, I’m looking forward to every single freestyle that I’m able to watch. With this year’s smaller competitor pool, I hope more underdogs are able to qualify through to finals for their first time. I’ll be there to cheer them on, as my friends did for me in 2015."

Colin - "It's always a good feeling to see people in similar stages to where you've been. I also find supporting those freestyles very necessary, as any cheering, screaming (in most cases), etc. will make you feel more confident on stage and going forward. Thanks for answering these questions, K-Dallaz! Best of luck!"

Keiran - "Thank you, Becko!!"

US National YoYo Contest Player Interview - Evan Nagao

Our next interview for US Nationals features a seasoned veteran, Evan Nagao. Evan's one-of-a-kind stage presence is awesome to watch for yo-yo and non-yoyo audiences alike, and I'm personally looking forward to see it again on the Nationals stage. Check out our interview with Evan below!

Colin - "Hey, Evan! Thanks for taking the time to answer some questions. What is your goal for this year's contest?"

Evan - "My goals for this contest as usual are to score as high as possible, and make sure the audience enjoys my routine."

Colin - "Best of both worlds! What yo-yo do you plan on using?"

Evan - "Yup! I will either be using The Edge, or a new delrin throw YYF is releasing."

Colin - "Awesome. What round are you seeded to this year?"

Evan - "I'm seeded to semi-finals, I believe."

Colin - "Sweet.. what's your opinion on the new round structure?"

Evan - "I don't have strong opinions towards the 4 round structure. I'm glad though that unseeded players have a chance to compete."

Colin - "I also think it's nice that the contest is more open to everyone this year. My next question for you is based off of your Worlds routine - What is your approach to this year’s competition? Does the slightly extra time between Worlds and Nationals compared to previous years mean that you will spend time creating a new freestyle, or refining your Worlds routine?"

Evan - "My freestyle this contest will include part of my worlds routine, but the first 2 minutes are different this contest."

Colin - "Cool. Smart idea to keep the same base but make some small modifications to make it better. What's your inspiration for this freestyle?"

Evan - "The inspiration for this freestyle is fast-style rapping like "rap god" and "look at me now". I think it's a great style to do rail combos. It's a little risky though because if I mess up during the fast part, it completely throws off the music use and puts me off  rhythm in terms of where I am with my tricks. The main difference is that I put much more thought into the music use and music cues this year compared to past years/performances. I've also been practicing a lot more."

Colin - "That's great to hear! I agree that yo-yoing at a faster pace can make things more stressful in freestyles; I hope that you're able to go clean so you can avoid that stress. Who are you most looking forward to see this year?"

Evan - "I'm really looking forward to seeing Zach if he decides to compete since we didn't see him at worlds. Also excited for Kurti, who had an insane worlds prelim this year."

Colin - "I also hope Zach is able to compete. Haven't heard from him about it so I'm unsure if he will. Kurti's worlds performances have me stoked to see his nationals routine. Thanks for taking the time for this interview, Evan! Best of luck at the contest!"

Evan - "No problem! Thanks!"

US National YoYo Contest Player Interview - Michael Ferdico

Michael Ferdico has had a breakthrough year. From placing 2nd at PNWR and BAC to making finals in Iceland and most recently winning NER, Michael dominates at any contest he attends. We were very happy that Michael was interested in answering a few questions regarding his prep for his next competition, US Nationals. Check it out!

Colin - "Hey Bird, thank you for taking the time for this interview! My first question is what is your goal for Nationals this year?"

Michael - "No problem! Every time I take the stage, my goal is to be the best that I’ve ever been. I don’t think of myself as a particularly competitive person and comparing myself too closely to others causes me a lot of stress, so that’s something I try not to focus on."

Colin - "Smart logic. I feel as though people get too distracted by focusing on who they're competing against to the point where it messes with their mental game. What yo-yo do you plan on using to compete?"

Michael - "I have a really good thing going with the CLYW Manatee and I don’t want to mess with that just yet."

Colin - "I can tell for sure. What round are you seeded to this year?"

Michael - "I’m seeded to semi-finals."

Colin - "Sweet, what is your opinion on the new round structure?"

Michael - "I think my opinion would probably be pretty different if I wasn’t seeded, hahaha. In the past, I’ve always felt like making it through to finals was unnecessarily difficult because of the number of seeds. For an event with as much talent as US Nationals, only taking ~5-7 people through from prelims just isn’t enough, so I think this is a nice compromise to try and fix that. The schedule of the contest might be packing too much into too short a time for competitors, though. I’m interested to see how it plays out and if there will be any changes for next year."

Colin - "I agree that the prior seeding rules made prelims seem a little too competitive. It's an interesting change and I'm looking forward to see how it pans out. What is your approach to this year’s competition? Does the slightly extra time between Worlds and Nationals compared to previous years mean that you will spend time creating a new freestyle, or refining your Worlds routine?"

Michael - "I actually used the extra time between contests to take a break and not really yoyo for a few weeks. 😅 I’ll be doing a version of my Worlds routine, but I’ve made plenty of changes to it."

Colin - "Breaks are always very beneficial, especially after practicing for months for the busy contest season in the summer. What inspired you for your freestyle? Any specific players or perhaps a different approach this time around?"

Michael - "I’ve talked publicly a bit about how my Worlds routine’s theme was “Final Boss.” I want to keep pushing myself further for Nationals, so I think the logical next step is “New Game Plus.” It’s the rematch against the big baddie, but now I have so much more knowledge, skill, and practice. And that got me really thinking — what if my performance at Worlds only represented 80% of what I’m capable of? 50%? I don’t know how far I can push, but this mindset has really helped me stay motivated. In terms of players, I almost exclusively watched Yusuke in preparation for Worlds, this time I can’t stop watching Hajime, but I honestly think I take more direct inspiration from pro Smash Bros. players. Shoutouts to PPMD, Plup, Axe, Hungrybox, N0ne, and CaptainZack."

Colin - "Wow. Wasn't expecting that thought out of an answer from anyone. Your attention to freestyle theming is truly admirable and it's a nice change compared to the mentality of others. Always pushing yourself to be capable of more is what makes people grow the most, imo. My last question for you is what freestyles are you looking forward to the most?"

Michael - "This is a bit of a copout answer, and I’m not 100% sure who’s going, so bear with me. A lot of people have predicted that this year’s Nationals will be a bit smaller in scale than usual since it doesn’t seed into Shanghai, so I’m expecting to see a bit of a different turnout, and probably some different finalists to go along with that. So what I’m personally really interested in watching are the routines by players that maybe people aren’t really expecting to get through to the final round, or maybe who haven’t had the chance to do a 3 minute routine before. I’d love to see some big breakout performances."

Colin - "I agree that it'll be awesome to see new faces. Thank you so much for answering these questions, Michael! Best of luck!"

Michael - "No problem, Colin! Thank you!"

US National YoYo Contest Player Interview - Nate Dailey

The next installment of the US National YoYo Contest Player Interviews is Nate Dailey, hailing from the Bay Area region. Nate is no stranger to the nationals podium as he has been a 1A finalist every year he has competed, and he has also placed 3rd in 2015. Check out Colin's talk with Nate on his preparation and opinions on US Nationals below!

Colin - "Hey Nate, thank you so much for taking the time for this interview! My first question to ask is what is your goal for this year's contest?"

Nate - "My goal for US Nationals 2017 is the same as the last two years: 1st place 1a. I won’t be disappointed if I don’t reach this, but I want to put in the best effort I can."

Colin - "Love to see it. I've seen a lot of people set goals for themselves that leave them feeling disappointed after they don't reach them, so I'm glad you're having the mentality of doing the best that you personally can. What yo-yo do you plan on using?"

Nate - "I’ll be competing with my new signature yoyo, the YoYoFactory ND Ultra, which will be released at Nationals. I’m really excited to use it on stage for the first time."

Colin - "Awesome! Congratulations on the release! I'm excited to try it out. What round are you seeded to this year?"

Nate - "Thank you! I’m seeded into 1a preliminaries."

Colin - "Cool. What is your opinion on the new four-round structure for US Nationals?"

Nate - "I think it’s a great change. Although in 2014, 15, and 16 I received finals seeds for simply placing 1st in the region at BAC, I still think this change was much needed and adds a lot of fairness."

Colin - "I agree that it makes things seem more fair for not only giving everyone the chance to participate but also making things more structured. My next question for you is based off of Iceland - What is your approach to this year’s competition? Does the slightly extra time between Worlds and Nationals compared to previous years mean that you will spend time creating a new freestyle, or refining your Worlds routine?"

Nate - "I’ll be using a refined version of my worlds freestyle at Nationals this year. I didn’t land my Worlds freestyle anywhere near its full potential, so I’m going to give it another try. I also wouldn’t have been able to create another freestyle on its same level with the given amount of time, so I decided it was best to not start from scratch."

Colin - "Very smart, it's best to work with what you have and make sure you are comfortable with it. What inspired you for your freestyle? Any specific players or perhaps a different approach this time around?"

Nate - "I agree. My primary inspirations were Andrew Maider, Gentry Stein, Evan Nagao, and Michael Ferdico. My main focus was on music use, so music also played a large role in my inspiration."

Colin - "Your music use focus was very apparent, and I remember talking to Keiran and Patrick about this in our last episode. Really awesome to see such a well-choreographed routine. My final question for you is this - who are you most excited to see on stage?"

Nate - "I’m especially looking forward to seeing newer players in 1a finals this year, but I’m also excited to see Keiran Cooper, Gentry Stein, Michael Ferdico, Remy Baskin, and Evan Nagao."

Colin - "I'm also looking forward to see the new faces in 1A finals, as well as the others you mentioned! Thank you for taking the time for this interview, and best of luck!"

Nate - "No problem! Thank you!"

 

US National YoYo Contest Player Interview - Anthony Rojas

Our next interview for this year's US Nationals is with one of the most unique yo-yo players of the past decade, Anthony Rojas. Check it out!

Colin - "Hey, Anthony! Thank you for taking the time to answer some questions! My first questions is what is your goal for this year's contest!"

Anthony - "I'd just like to be in finals so I can do the freestyle I planned for worlds. Hitting all my tricks would be nice too. At least enough to where it doesn't take away from the performance." 

Colin - "Great goal, I'm really hoping to see your routine you had planned. What yo-yo do you plan on using?"

Anthony - "I plan to use the CLYW Dune."

Colin - "Sweet. What round are you seeded to this year?"

Anthony - "I'm seeded to semi-finals."

Colin - "Awesome. What is your opinion on the new system in place for round structure?"

Anthony - "The system seems fair. Curious to see how it plays out though. I like how it gives people a chance to compete if they hadn't qualified elsewhere. Though, I'll miss being able to seed into finals via my regional."

Colin - "I agree, it'll be interesting to see something more structured than the previously used petitioning system. Starting from wildcard gives things a little more professionalism in my opinion than placing everyone in the same round to start, no matter what qualification. What inspired you for your freestyle? Any specific players or perhaps a different approach this time around?"

Anthony - "Nothing really new, but the song I'm using is probably the most inspirational factor this time around. I was having trouble making up a 3 minute freestyle this year, but the feeling of finding the right music usually helps and gets me hyped."

Colin - "I agree that using music you enjoy can make things more fun. My last question for you is who are you most excited to see?"

Anthony - "Interested to see how Bergy does after he did so well at worlds. Also, other players that didn't make worlds finals. And will Michael Nakamura get his first nats win?"

Colin - "Thanks for taking the time to answer a few questions, Anthony! Best of luck!"

 

US National YoYo Contest Player Interview - Chandler Steele

The next interview from Scales is with Chandler Steele, the current Ohio and MidEast regional champion. Chandler's been killing it this year, and his most recent showing was him appearing in his first finals at the World YoYo Competition, making it out all the way from wildcard. Check out Colin's small chat with Chandler below regarding his thoughts of US Nationals.

Colin - "Hey, Chandler! Thanks for taking the time to do this interview! My first question for you is what is your goal for this year's contest?"

Chandler - "My goal for 2017 Nationals would be top five, but I would be satisfied with top ten."

Colin - "Seems reasonable. You've been in or near the top 10 in your finals appearances so I'm sure you'll be up there this year. What yo-yo do you plan on using?"

Chandler - "Most likely the YYF Edge."

Colin - "Awesome. What round are you seeded to?"

Chandler - "I am seeded to the 1a semi-final round of the NYYC."

Colin - "#MERBOYS What is your opinion on the new round structure in place for Nationals?"

Chandler - "My opinion on the 4 rounds of Nationals would be a bittersweet change to the competition. I feel as though competitors who have not received a seed to any rounds have a chance to prove their worth, while on the other hand it puts more pressure/stress on the competitors, as there are more rounds they have to pass through to make it to finals."

Colin - "I agree, it'll be interesting to see how it compares to how the structure works for Worlds. What is your approach to this year’s competition? Does the slightly extra time between Worlds and Nationals compared to previous years mean that you will spend time creating a new freestyle, or refining your Worlds routine?"

Chandler - "I'll bring a whole new freestyle to the table and hopefully showcase it to the best of my ability."

Colin - "Awesome, i'm looking forward to see it. What inspired you for your freestyle? Any specific players or perhaps a different approach this time around?"

Chandler - "Ethan Cheung, Michael Stecz, and Andrew Bergen all have given me inspiration for my routine."

Colin - "Solid list. Last question - what freestyles are you looking forward to the most?"

Chandler - "I'm excited for every freestyle!"

Colin - "Smart answer. Thanks for taking the time for this interview, Chandler! Best of luck!"

US National YoYo Contest Player Interview - Remy Baskin

Our next installment in this series is an interview with the up-and-coming Remy Baskin, a top 3 finisher at both MAR and NER this year. Remy's really had an amazing year and it's been awesome to watch him grow, so I was especially stoked that he was down to take the time to answer a few questions regarding US Nationals next weekend.

Colin - "What's up, Remy? Thanks for taking the time for this interview. My first question is what is your goal for this year’s contest?"

Remy - "My goal for this year’s Nationals is to make finals and have a good time."

Colin - "Sounds like you've got a good mindset. What yo-yo are you planning on using to compete?"

Remy - "I'll most likely be using the Duncan Windrunner or Origami, but it really depends on what I'm feeling on the days coming up to the contest."

Colin - "Sweet. What round are you seeded to this year?"

Remy - "I'm seeded to preliminaries."

Colin - "I see. What is your opinion on the new 4 round structure for US Nationals?"

Remy - "I think the four round structure is very ambitious and could potentially be good, but I'm doubtful this year’s Nationals will have enough players for the rounds to be utilized/they may turn into wasted time and effort."

Colin - "Interesting opinion, it'll be interesting to see how things fold out. What inspired you for your freestyle? Any specific players or perhaps a different approach this time around?"

Remy - "My freestyle is definitely drawing inspiration player wise from Ethan Cheung, Keiran Cooper, Yuuki Nishisako, and Andrew Bergen. I'm also taking inspiration from music and basing my tricks around it. Approach is basically throwing what I can at semi final and trying to get to finals to put down a fun routine."

Colin - "Solid list of players and good focus on semi-finals. I'm interested to see how the people who haven't experienced this new round structure will strategize their focus.. I think semi-final is probably the most important as well. Last question - which freestyles are you looking forward to the most?"

Remy - "Depends who attends this year, but Keiran Cooper, Zach Gormley, Daniel Flaherty, Andrew Bergen, Evan Nagao, Andrew Maider, probably more I'm forgetting for 1A, and for X divisions I'm excited to see Owen Ekblad, Alex Hattori, Phillip White, and Chase Baxter."

Colin - "Awesome! Thank you for taking the time to answer these questions, Remy! Good luck next weekend!"

Remy - "Thanks!" 

US National YoYo Contest Player Interview - Michael Kurti

The US National YoYo Contest will be held next weekend in Chico, California. 

Scales has interviewed a handful of contenders and promising competitors for the 1A division at this year's event, and we'll be releasing one interview per day leading up to next weekend.

Our first player is a three time US Nationals top 5 finisher, MIchael Kurti.

Colin: "Hey Michael, thank you for taking the time to be interviewed for Scales. What is your goal for this year’s contest?"

Michael: "This year my approach to Nationals is a bit different than usual, I’m really trying to score as well as possible both technically and in terms of performance. I usually just do what i feel like more or less to a song i really enjoy (which is important imo) but I’d really like to place in the top 5 again."

Colin: "I'm excited to see what you have planned for your routine! Regarding the changes for this year's event, to which round are you seeded?"

Michael: "I'm seeded to the preliminary round this year." 

Colin: "Sweet. What's your opinion on the new structure?"

Michael: "I think it’s a good change for the National YoYo Contest. It’s always been super competitive and i think this is a fair system to try to make sure the best players will be in finals, and everybody gets a fair shot."

Colin: "Yeah, I think so too. What inspired you for your freestyle? Any specific players or perhaps a different approach this time around?"

Michael: "Honestly Chandler Steele has inspired me a lot recently.... I really like his tricks, they all seem so 2017 to me lol. They score well and flow not to mention he's been killing it lately. Also I gotta say Bergy has had a big influence on my nationals routine as well. I think a lot of throwers may be in that boat after worlds.... haha. He killed it. I'm really looking forward to seeing their routines, if they go."

Colin: "Chandler and Bergy both are among my favorites from this year, and they both represented USA extremely well at Worlds this year. Thanks for taking the time to answer a few questions, Kurti! Good luck!"

Episode 8 - Interview with Tressley Cahill on Trick Development and Design

 

https://soundcloud.com/scales-collective/tressleycahill

Tressley Cahill is one of the staples of trick development in the mid 2000s. As described in the introduction, his yo-yoing is so different than today's scene; and it is also beautiful. Outside of his yo-yoing, Tressley is also a designer. He has worked with companies such as our sponsors Recess International and Caribou Lodge, as well as more around the world for creating good looking yo-yo merchandise. In this episode, Scales has a casual discussion with Tressley about the development of yo-yo tricks over the years, as well as talking about what it's like to design in yo-yoing.

Interview by Andrew Bergen and Mark Mangarin
Introduction by Colin Beckford

Scales Collective
scalescollective.com
https://www.facebook.com/scalescollective
https://www.instagram.com/scalescollective

Link to Tressley's new venture in yo-yoing - https://www.instagram.com/noyoofficial/

Thank you to our sponsors: YoYoExpert, Recess International, CLYW!

Interview with 2017 European Yo-Yo 1A Champion Tal Mordoch!

A few weeks ago, I contacted a good friend of mine, Tal Mordoch, for an interview for the Scales Podcast. Unfortunately, due to sound issues, we were not able to release the final product through podcast format; instead, we've decided to release it as a blog post. 

If you haven't heard of Tal before, he's quite the yo-yo player. Coming from Israel, Tal is a 3x 1A Champion in his home country, and the FIRST person to win EYYC 1A two times. Sponsored by Duncan, Tal is legendary.

Check out our interview with him below and let us know what you think!

-Colin Beckford

Colin: Today I’m here with the 2016 and 2017 European Yo-Yo 1A Champion, Tal Mordoch! Tal, how are you doing today?


Tal: Pretty good!

Colin: Awesome. I wanted to start out your interview with your win at EYYC, if that’s cool with you. First off, how much did you prepare for this year’s event compared to last year?

Tal: I probably prepared about as much as I did last year, so I basically tried to rep my routine around 10 times a day. Sometimes more or less depending how busy I was. I don’t know if it’s a lot, but I feel like if you’re comfortable with your tricks, it’s more of a mental thing anyways.

Colin: 10 times a day seems like more than enough to me, and it definitely paid off! What was your goal for results this year, and what did you want your freestyle to show to the crowd?


Tal: For results, I obviously wanted to win. But, for a different reason than you think; nobody has been able to win the 1A division at EYYC two times, so I really wanted to be the first one to do it. I set my expectations lower because of this. For my freestyle, I wanted to focus more on performance since I usually don’t score as high as I want to in performance evals. This freestyle was also a “goodbye” routine for some of my tricks, as I feel like some score low and I want to add more tricks for worlds.

Colin: Sweet. I actually saw online that you described your freestyle to be like a story, could you elaborate on that for me?

Tal: Previously when I made my freestyles I didn’t really put much thought into it, so for this year, I wanted to do more. Each story has a beginning, middle and ending. The freestyle started off with a sort of slow song, and then transitioned to faster music as my amplitude increased. It was sort of like the theme of a video game.

Colin: It was super entertaining to watch, and judging by being there I know that the audience felt the same way. Compared to 2016, do you think you improved anywhere else besides performance?

Tal: I’m sure this freestyle scored higher than last year, and I also improved in cleanliness, execution and my tech score.

Colin: What were some of your other favorite freestyles?

Tal: Janos freestyle is like my all time favorite routine, as he sorta came back to the game if that makes sense. I also really liked Konstantin’s freestyle because of his performance with technical tricks. But, overall, I feel like the level was way higher than ever. I’ve watched freestyles like a million times already lol

Colin: Top 3 and all of finals were all so amazing to watch. I agree that the level is continuing to grow.

Colin: Compared to contests around the world, Europe contests are known for being the most fun. Usually videos show that there’s almost like a different atmosphere. Could you explain what you think of contests in Europe?

Tal: I’ve only been to one contest outside of Europe which was Cleveland Worlds, but I think EYYC is definitely a more energetic atmosphere. Everyone is super chill and has fun with each other even though they’re competing. I really like being on the stage because the crowd is super loud, it’s almost electrifying if that makes sense.

Colin: Haha, I felt the same exact way on stage. I loved EYYC and can’t wait to go back. Speaking of EYYC, EYYC being in Bratislava is a new thing; what’d you think about it?

Tal: I really liked the venue and thought the contest was super professional. Sadly, I couldn't really explore Bratislava, but I could tell it was a cool place for sure.

Colin: I also wish I was able to spend more time there! Contest was really cool and made me really hyped for Worlds in August!

Colin: Now that you're European Champion (for the 2nd time!), you are definitely one of the favorites for killing it in Iceland. What do you think iceland will be like as a competition for you?

Tal: I’ve never made Worlds finals so I don’t know how I score against others, but usually every time I aim for the win I eventually get it. I’m not sure if this will happen for Worlds and since it’s the biggest contest I’m trying to set my expectations lower, but I will definitely have new tricks. Overall, I want to make finals and have fun.

Colin: I’m excited to see what you plan for the event!

Colin: Recently, the IYYF has released a new short makeup of how the rules will be different for Iceland. What do you think of them?

Tal: I like the changes but getting rid of rareness kinda ruined it for me. I feel like unique or innovative players should be rewarded in some way in the judging system. Even though I don’t feel like it was judged super accurately, I feel like you could say that all evals aren't judged super accurately at times. I do think that the name changes and other fixes are a lot better, though.

Colin: I see. Moving on from IYYF rules I wanted to ask you about your home country. It seem as though Israel is one of the newer and smaller yo-yo countries, so what do you think of the community? Is it growing fast?

Tal: Currently, it’s not growing too fast, but I have a lot of free time coming soon since I’ll be on summer break. I plan to promote yo-yo in Israel with a lot of my friends and do demos. Also, since EYYC I’ve been interviewed a lot on the radio and TV, so every time one of my friends yo-yo, people say “Oh, did you know the EYYC Champion is from Israel?” haha. So, it’s kinda more well known here right now, but we can use it to grow a lot more too.

Colin: That’s really dope that you’re getting recognition for your win! Also, I believe that around EYYC, your signature yo-yo the Duncan Orbital just released. Could you explain your thought process for the design was to me?

Tal: So, I originally asked for a yo-yo that has a long spin time and is good for almost every type of tricks. I consider my style versatile so I wanted an all-around yo-yo. My main inspiration was the original Duncan Barracuda, as it used to be my favorite for almost 2 years.

Colin: I loved the Orbital when i tried it at EYYC and I would definitely recommend it to anyone who was interested in triyng it. Thank you for your time for this interview, Tal! See you in Iceland!!

Tal: See you there! 


 

Episode 7 - 2017 Japan Regionals - 2/3 & 3/3

https://soundcloud.com/scales-collective/part2_2017jl

In this new episode of the Scales Podcast, members Colin Beckford and Mark Mangarin go over the last 4 regionals from the Japan Regional circuit - East Japan B Block, West Japan, South Japan, and North Japan.

Listen to this new podcast so you can find out Colin & Mark's thoughts on the best freestyles from Japan in 2017, insight on the top players, and how they think the players will do at JN 2017!

Episode by Colin Beckford and Mark Mangarin

Scales Collective
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Thank you to our sponsors: YoYoExpert, Recess International, CLYW!

Episode 6 - Seth Peterson on Save Deth

https://soundcloud.com/scales-collective/sethpeterson

Seth Peterson is one of the most influential yo-yo players of all time, but unlike most, it's for more than just his tricks.

Seth led a very inspiring yo-yo movement called Save Deth, in which he had travelled with Dave Poyzer all over the United States and filmed amazing yo-yo content, whether it be at contests or just in a casual scene. On top of this, Seth's attention to design and detail in all aspects such as clothing and content is something that lots of people worldwide learned and stemmed off of. To call him an innovator is an understatement; he is a pioneer.

Interview by Keiran Cooper and Patrick Canny

Scales Collective
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Thank you to our sponsors: YoYoExpert, Recess International, CLYW!

 

 

Episode 5 - Steve Brown on WYYC 2016

https://soundcloud.com/scales-collective/stevebrown

Interview with National Master and all-around yo-yo legend Steve Brown! Listen here to hear about his experiences with running the 2016 World Championships, insights for running contests, and other interesting information from one of the smartest in the industry!

Interview by Andrew Bergen

Scales Collective
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Thank you to our sponsors: YoYoExpert, Recess International, CLYW!

Episode 4 - 2017 Japan Regionals 1/3 Recap

https://soundcloud.com/scales-collective/part1_2017jl

As a group of players focused on competition, it has been a crazy month seeing all of the amazing content coming from yo-yo freestyles. With this being said, team members Colin Beckford, Keiran Cooper, and Patrick Canny did an analysis of the first two contests in the Japan regional league. Listen to our episode in our bio to find out why Shion dominated East Japan, why we think Arata Imai is potentially going to be one of the most impactful yo-yo players, and more in this new episode! #yoyonews #jyyf #yoyoexpert #clyw #recessintl

Episode by Keiran Coper, Colin Beckford, and Patrick Canny

Scales Collective
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Thank you to our sponsors: YoYoExpert, Recess International, CLYW!

Episode 3 - Sponsorships

https://soundcloud.com/scales-collective/sponsorships

In this new episode featuring Mark Mangarin and Andrew Bergen, the topic of discussion is Sponsorships! Listen to find out their thoughts on what sponsorship entails, thoughts on junior teams, as well as great examples of sponsored players in the community.. Link below!

Episode by Andrew Bergen and Mark Mangarin

Scales Collective
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Thank you to our sponsors: YoYoExpert, Recess International, CLYW!

Episode 2 - Interview with Chris Mikulin of CLYW

https://soundcloud.com/scales-collective/chrismikulin

In September, we were given the opportunity to interview one of the industry's most intelligent minds; Chris Mikulin, a person with a strong background in design, social media work, and team management skills. In this episode, we discuss new CLYW plans, such as sub-brands, new releases, and more! Give it a listen! Also available on iTunes.

Interview by Andrew Bergen and Mark Mangarin

Scales Collective
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Thank you to our sponsors: YoYoExpert, Recess International, CLYW!

 

Minisode - Japan Open Recap

https://soundcloud.com/scales-collective/japanopen

In this short episode, team members Patrick Canny and Colin Beckford do a quick recap of this year's Japan Open Competition and its results, as well as discuss their own takeaways from the event. Listen to the podcast to find out more!

Episode by Colin Beckford and Patrick Canny

Scales Collective
scalescollective.com
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Thank you to our sponsors: YoYoExpert, Recess International, CLYW!