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Astrojax Trick ‘Mantis Thriller’

Astrojax Trick ‘Mantis Thriller’

David Ridley showing off his Astrojax trick ‘Mantis Thriller’.

“I flip it under my left index, catch it with my right index, and rebound one ball to go into a power play thriller. When both ends of the balls are going up, I release with my right finger and catch the string with my left one. Then from left to right and so on.” – David Ridley

02
Aug 2013
POSTED BY USAstrojax
POSTED IN

Tricks

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Yo-Yo Shapes: Imperial and Butterfly

yoyo shapes

In the yo-yo world, there are many different shapes (a.k.a. profile) and sizes of yo-yos.  There are yo-yos as big as 5 inches in diameter and as small as a quarter.  With this large range of sizes there’s a proportional range of shapes from the traditional to the flat-out strange.  But to keep things simple, I’m going to explain the two most basic shapes:  Imperial and Butterfly.

IMPERIAL YO-YO

So let’s start with the most basic shape of the yo-yo, the Imperial.  US Astrojax offers a lot of Imperial shaped yo-yos such as: Triple MoonLoop 360Dark GemMirage, Any wooden yo-yo (Minus Sleep Machine)BrainFireballRB IIFirestorm

The Imperial (also known as “classic”) shape of yo-yo features a narrow gap, thin profile, rounded edges, and large inner-walls.  These yo-yos are usually center-weighted, or the majority of the weight is near the center gap of the yo-yo and typically right at the axle.  The general purpose of this shape of yo-yo is to either (A) learn the basics or (B) looping or (C) just having a nice pocket sized yo-yo handy.  By using a classic shape yo-yo to learn the basics of throwing, returning the yo-yo, and throwing basic tricks like the trapeze forces you to have good technique.  Yo-yos with a larger gap like those mentioned later have more “room for forgiveness” and do not help foster good techniques.  However, looping is your major trick-area with these yo-yos.  By centering the “center of gravity” right at the axle, it is easier to loop due to one “flipping” the yo-yo during the basic loop maneuver.  Admittedly, I do not know much about this style of yo-yoing since I never got into it.  I own a fair number of classic-shaped yo-yos but never really caught on to looping.  However, it is a great style of fast-paced action that is sure to amaze anyone watching.

BUTTERFLY YO-YO

Next up is the Butterfly shape, also called “winged” yo-yos.  It’s name comes from the profile view which clearly has a butterfly, or winged look.  US Astrojax has a few of these as well: 888xDV888VolocityONEONEstarWHiPF.A.S.T. 201Triple ActionG-SpinFlex GapSleep Machine

Butterfly, or winged yo-yos are more of your string-trick yo-yos you see all those crazy guys using.  The butterfly has a wider gap between the two halves of the yo-yo, shorter inner walls and long angled or curved edges that slope out to the edge of the yo-yo.  Because of this, most butterfly shaped yo-yos are much wider than their Imperial counterpart.  And, in general, the weight of the yo-yo is placed on the outer-rims of the yo-yo to generate more stability and energy at high speeds.  Some of you might look at the description above and wonder why I’ve included the Flex Gap and G-Spin in the butterfly section since their edges do not have large curves like the Triple Action.  This is because the “Butterfly Shape” is a general term that is used for any yo-yo that has a very wide “catching gap” for you to land the yo-yo on the string.  This wide gap allows you to more easily perform complicated string tricks and allows for multiple layers of string to be on the axle (or bearing) at one time without it getting caught in the response system.  This is the type of yo-yo I personally use more often due to my love of string tricks.

From these two shapes, there are a ton of others being invented even as we speak.  There are some companies who let their pro players develop their own yo-yos and customize it however they want!  I hope someday there will be a yo-yo named, “Theferrell Flash”!!   But…. Alas.  That will probably never happen ^.^  Oh well, this blogger can always dream, right??

As always, I am open to comments, questions or suggestions.  Until next time folks, enjoy your yo-yo…. BE the yo-yo!

Theferrell

22
Jul 2013
POSTED BY USAstrojax
POSTED IN

A Wise Word

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Video Contest: Summer Skill Toy Showdown!

Skilltoyshowdown

Things are heating up as we crawl into some of the most brutally hot days of summer. So we thought to ourselves, “Selves? What’s the best way to beat the summer heat and improve the lives of our Jaxologists?” and then it hit us like an Arizona heat wave- a skill toy showdown!

This latest video contest comes with some caveats, however. Specifically:

  • Entries must be no longer than 3 minutes total
  • You can use one skill toy, or any combination of skill toys you’d like
  • Place http://www.usastrojax.com in the video description
  • Please submit new videos created specifically for this contest

 

This opens up a ton of possibilities for those of you who want to get creative with your skill-toy displays and we want to see your very best, and for your efforts? Well, this time around we’ve decided to give out 3 $30.00 gift certificates to the participants who take the gold in the following categories:

  • Most creative performance
  • Most skill toys used in a video
  • Best display of skill

 

So what’re you waiting for? Get out there and show us your best 3-minute displays of your skill-toy mastery, hit us up on Facebook, and you could even be showcased on our YouTube channel!

 

WHAT TO DO:
Film your video.  Upload to YouTube.  Complete entry form on Contest Page.  Win. 

BONUS POINTS FOR:
Cool or interesting location.  Personality and Enthusiasm.  Videos filmed in horizontal HD.  Shout-outs to US Astrojax.

CONTEST ENDS:
August 31, 2013

THE FINE PRINT:
By entering this contest, you give US Astrojax the right to print your first and last name, city, state, country and post your video submission. You also give us the right to upload your submission to our YouTube channel.

17
Jul 2013
POSTED BY spindoctor
POSTED IN

Contest

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video

Astrojax Trick ‘Mac Daddy’

Astrojax Trick ‘Mac Daddy': John Ferrell showing off his new Astrojax trick ‘Mac Daddy’.

“One day at work I was sitting at my desk and thought the following: Can I do a double wrist flick and chain it into a flick flip rewind?? I went home, tried it out, and the Mac Daddy was born!!” – John Ferrell

12
Jul 2013
POSTED BY USAstrojax
POSTED IN

Tricks

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Announcing Astrojax Neon Pop

Neon_POP_Astrojax

Hey everybody it’s that special time again where we all gather around the campfire to listen to old gramps spin another yarn about a rootin’ tootin’ SPECIAL set of Astrojax! Thankfully, this won’t involve a fabled treasure map nor any awkward ‘pull my finger’ jokes. That’s because we’re prepared to announce the latest and greatest in Jaxological advancement right here and now through your view screen!

Remember that time when you stole your neurotic friend’s dad’s Ferrari 250GT California, busted your girlfriend out of school and spent the whole day having wacky adventures throughout the greater Chicago area? No? That’s ok, because we’ve got an equally impressive piece of hardware for you that will ALSO tickle your fancy for the 80s.

Behold, the Neon POP. This electric monster rocks a bright yellow string with neon orange buds and super bright yellow balls flanking an orange center. Much like the 250GT California only a limited number will be made and at the risk of sounding cliche’ they are SO choice and if you have the means I’d highly recommend picking one up.

03
Jul 2013
POSTED BY spindoctor
POSTED IN

News

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It’s the Astrojax “EVERYONE WINS” contest!

Contest_tee

It’s that time again – time to announce a new contest!  With less than 3 weeks left in the month of June, we thought we’d keep it simple and fun and hold a contest in which EVERYONE WINS.  That’s right, everyone!  We want to see YOU and your Astrojax.  Good, bad, ugly or otherwise – film ANY Astrojax trick(s) and you will win our new sticker pack.  Want a FREE t-shirt too?  Send us your video and you’ll get a free t-shirt and a sticker pack with any $10 or more order.  Not too shabby!

So, that’s it?  Yep, that’s it.  But in case you still don’t know what “it” is…we’ll break it down for you.  Get your camera or camera phone and shoot a quick video.  Upload it to YouTube and complete our contest entry form.  That’s it.  You win.  Done.  Oh, wait, that’s not all.  Go for broke and send us something truly fun and entertaining and you just might win our top prize:  a $25 Gift Certificate to US ASTROJAX, plus the sticker pack and t-shirt!    

YOURS FOR THE TAKING:
Top entry: FREE Sticker Sheet, FREE t-shirt, and $25 Gift Certificate
All entries: FREE Sticker Sheet.  Or FREE Sticker Sheet and FREE t-shirt with any $10 or more order

THE RULES:
Film your video.  Upload to YouTube.  Complete entry form on Contest Page.  Win. 

KUDOS FOR:
Cool or interesting settings.  Personality and Enthusiasm.  Videos filmed in horizontal HD.  Shout-outs to US Astrojax.

CONTEST ENDS:
June 30, 2013

THE FINE PRINT:
By entering this contest, you give US Astrojax the right to print your first name and last initial, city and state, and post your video submission. Free t-shirt will be included with any $10 or more order. International contestants may be asked to pay partial postage to obtain free sticker sheet. All video submissions must be recently filmed.

13
Jun 2013
POSTED BY USAstrojax
POSTED IN

Contest

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Astrojax Trick Check Video Contest Results!

Trick-Check-Contest-Winner

When we launched our latest Astrojax video challenge, the “Trick Check Contest”, we were a bit uneasy.  With school and exams wrapping up and summer fast approaching, would timing be a problem?  Nope!  We’re happy to report that many of you rose to the occasion and accepted our challenge!  For those of you that are just finding out about US Astrojax and our contest series, you’re in for a real treat.

FIRST PLACE:  Gideon Dunkley  |  Bronx, NY
We’re stoked to see some players going all out!  Case in point: Gideon Dunkley and his watch-over-and-over video submission.  The Gidmeister didn’t pull any punches, somehow remaining humble all while demonstrating his talented flow in this feel-good video.  Just…wow.  Congratulations Gideon – you are the First Place winner of the Trick Check Contest! 

Gideon’s Trick List:

  • Gravity Roll
  • Immelman
  • Intra-Venus
  • Hurricane
  • Crown Jewels 2

 

 

SECOND PLACE:  Ian Sielski  |  Warsaw, Poland
US Astrojax knows no boundaries, as evidenced by Ian Sielski from Poland.  Ian’s screen time clocks in at just under 40 seconds, yet he manages to squeeze in some impressive combos and graceful transitions.  You’ll enjoy Ian’s submission, and find yourself trying to pick up a move or two.  Congratulations Ian, you snatched Second Place in the Trick Check Contest!  Thank you for sharing a little bit of your beautiful homeland with the rest of the world.

Ian’s Trick List:

  • 3D Printed Guns (Combo): orbit interception to revolver to spin factory to revolver to fabulous to crown of jewels
  • Webbed Jewels
  • Mini (Manic) Fabulous with reverse

 

 

THIRD PLACE:  Ryan Garcia  |  Hesperia, CA
Grab yourself a recovery drink.  You’ll need it after watching Ryan Garcia’s energetic submission!  Ryan rocks to his own soundtrack, freestyling multiple moves and tricks.  Congratulations Ryan, you win Third Place in our Trick Check Contest! 

Ryan’s Trick List:

  • Calicopter (forward)
  • Calicopter (reverse)
  • Heart Attack
  • Swirly
  • Swirly (variations)
  • Change Up
  • Lasso

 

 

RUNNERS-UP
The trouble with contests is all those flippin’ rules…  Why should there only be first, second, and third place?  After some debate among the US Astrojax staff we decided that we could not have a “Three Way Tie” or “Fourth” “Fifth” and “Sixth” place (seriously, we’re not kidding).  And why did we entertain such nonsense?  Because we received so many great videos, that’s why.  Check out a handful of runner-ups, IN NO PARTICULAR ORDER:

Scott Newberry  |  Palmerston North, New Zealand
Guaranteed to leave a smile on your face.

 

Adam Todd  |  Alameda, CA
Production value & an adorable kid?  That’s like a double rainbow.


 

Anthony Rojas  |  Riverside, CA
Thinking outside the yoyo box!

 

Blake Mathison  |  Howard Lake, MN
Lookout old-timers, next generation Astrojax players are on the rise!


Chris “PalmWho?” Palmer  |  San Jose, CA
Intellectual philosopher, and funny to boot.  A must watch video.

 

To say we’ve been inspired at US Astrojax is an understatement.  We owe a big shout out and thank you to all of our contestants.   All, including those that were not featured above, are winners and will be contacted shortly with details about their store credit.  But stay tuned, summer has landed and we’ve got new contests on the way!

US ASTROJAX

Kudos, comments, questions?  Leave ‘em below!

07
Jun 2013
POSTED BY USAstrojax
POSTED IN

Contest

DISCUSSION No Comments
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Astrojax Combo Theory

AstrojaxComboTheory

There are lots of theories about how to take tricks that you have learned and incorporate them into routines, or “combos”.  I want to explain my thought process on this, and I hope you will see that combining tricks turns a few cool moves into a really amazing Astrojax performance! It’s very important to understand that you are trying to compose a symphony of moves, not one-note sambas.  I find it interesting how people ask me, “What’s your favorite trick?” or “What’s the hardest move you can do?”.  I tend to frown on those questions because I believe that learning individual tricks is great, but combining them is like hearing multiple instruments in an orchestra. You want to be able to blend tricks in many intricate ways so you can bring variety to what you do.

Now, that being said, I’ll share how I tend to create combos.  You have to first know the trick you are learning inside and out.  Think about the trick you are learning and keep the following three things in mind: 

    • What do you do with the Jax to get into the trick?
    • How are the Jax moving while inside the trick?
    • How are the Jax positioned when you exit the trick? 

 

Now I can use these three simple steps below to analyze any trick, but the easiest for me to write about is the Venus

1.  What do you do with the Jax to get into the trick?
As you can see, you do a Vertical Orbit to start this move.  But look closer.  You can do a Vertical Orbit in two different directions to start a Venus.  You can have the end ball go over the left OR right side of your arm.  This now gives you two different ways to do this trick (and then more options to link it into other moves).  

2.  How are the Jax moving while inside the trick?
I understand this step sounds a little weird… I’m not really an English major….but hear me out.  Every trick has the Jax moving in a certain motion while “inside” the trick.  In the case of the Venus, the center ball is going over your outstretched arm while “inside” the trick.  Now what can you do with this?  You have three options that are really easy to see.  First, you can let the trick go as normal and simply let the center ball go over your arm.  Second, you can wait for the center ball to come over and grab it with your other hand.  From here, you have limitless possibilities like Lollies, Wheelies, or even Thrillers.   The last option I’ll discuss here is to let the Venus go a smidge more than usual and grab the end ball when it comes back around your arm.  With this, you can go straight into Pong tricks as well as many other moves.

There are many more ways you can “hit the abort button” on the Venus Trick and I challenge you to find more ways to do this.

3.  How are the Jax positioned when you exit the trick?
This means that when finishing a trick, the Jax are configured a certain way which allows one to link it into other moves without having to go back to Basic Orbits.  Tricks are truly mastered when you can execute a certain trick and then move straight into other tricks.  If you watch the best yoyoers, they are able to combine quite literally 10 to 15 different moves seamlessly from the time they throw the yoyo until it comes back to their hand.  You want to do this with Astrojax as well.

So what can you do with the Venus???  Well, I’ve already covered some of the most basic ways to abort the trick mid-flight, but when you do a complete Venus, you are back into a Basic Vertical Orbit.  However, you can choose to keep the rotation going to do what is called a “Infinite Venus” by using your outstretched arm to keep the Venus in motion. I’ve kept a Venus going for as long as a minute and it’s a really cool move visually with Blue Diamonds.  You can use Vertical Orbits as a bounce into another move, but the rule of thumb is to only use one Vertical Orbit.  Basically, the end ball goes down once in “one” Vertical Orbit.

On my profile, I’ve been toying with the idea of making “Combo Theory” videos, basically deconstructing some of my favorite combos that I do so you can see what tricks are used and how to perform basic combos.  I’ve made one video so far in this series and plan to do more in the future:

Well, that’s the basics of my Astrojax Combo Theory.  As I have mentioned before, the idea can be used with any skill toy.  While a part of my university’s juggling club, I was able to get my hands on many new toys and by using these steps, I’ve become proficient with lots of different skill toys.

And as usual, I’m always around the AP-Club forums and on Facebook and ready and willing to answer questions about Astrojax and other skill toys!

This is Theferrell, signing off.

 

17
May 2013
POSTED BY USAstrojax
POSTED IN

Tricks

DISCUSSION No Comments
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YoYoFactory Joins The US ASTROJAX Lineup

YoYoFactory

After years of discussion, YoYoFactory and US ASTROJAX decided to work together to introduce Modern Performance yo-yos on the US ASTROJAX store! Since the entire YoYoFactory staff and crew is comprised of yo-yo champions and enthusiasts, we have a huge appreciation for what US ASTROJAX does for the skill toy community. Whether it be yo-yos, astrojax, spintops, kendama, or any other skill toy, we enjoy learning about what is out there and spreading true modern performance yo-yos to all industries.

Whether or not you have ever tried a yo-yo before, YoYoFactory has something to offer you. Our introductory yo-yos are designed to make yo-yoing easier to learn and more fun to master. Our premium modern yo-yos are some of the absolute best in the game and they are used by the top yo-yo players around the globe. The way that people play with yo-yos today is completely different than it ever has been and YoYoFactory works day in and day out to take yo-yoing to the next level. We couldn’t be happier to teaming up with an awesome company like US ASTROJAX and we look forward to working closer with the entire Astrojax community in the future!

Patrick Mitchell
YoYoFactory

25
Apr 2013
POSTED BY USAstrojax
POSTED IN

News

DISCUSSION No Comments
video

OST: Sporthocker

Sporthocker (or Hockern) sounds like a game where you and your bro-ski hock loogies from your mouth and try to land them in various targets (such as, but not limited to, vases, small animals, and other people’s mouths). That is NOT what Sporthocker is (I think this version of it is referred to as ‘college drinking’).

The REAL Sporthocker is a skill toy, hugely popular in Germany and other neighboring countries, and to the untrained eye looks like what could be called Extreme Sitting. In fact, that’s what one news article referred to it as. 

So what is Sporthocker? Well, in two words as I just pointed out: Extreme Sitting. But it’s also so much more. It’s juggling. It’s skating. It’s a balance board. It’s a rhythm toy. It’s a sitting device. It’s definitely a new movement and culture. One that I hope finds its way stateside!

Really, it’s hard to explain. So, ya know, go to their website. Check out pictures. And especially watch the videos. Then you’ll see what it’s all about. When you watch the videos, you’ll see that it indeed is several toys in one that can be interpreted by the user to match his/her own unique flow… hmm, that sounds like some other skill toy I know…

Check the link! >>>>>  http://www.sporthocker.com/en

ENJOY!

~~OceanJax :)

ps. OST stands for Other Skill Toys. Stay informed and get the latest skill toy developments by signing up for our newsletter!

07
Nov 2012
POSTED BY OceanJax
POSTED IN

News

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