Episode 37: Dexter Struz from Prague

Dexter Strunz
In this episode we talk to Dexter Strunz, one of the original tournament directors for the Famed Frisbeer Competition.

  • Hear how Dexter, who started as a foot bagger and event organizer, added freestyle to his repertoire in 2004.
  • He shares the origins of the popular Frisbeer Tournament and the sudden interest from others in Prague.
  • How did 15+ great players suddenly appear?
  • Dexter shares tips on the best way to learn the sport.
  • Jake asks Dexter to share some of his favorite memories from Frisbeer, which he has so successfully organized over the years.
  • Dexter gives a personal thanks his freestyle family in the states for hosting him while he and Lucie traveled the world, something he highly recommends!

Poll: If there was an overall event where you had to compete in at least 4 disciplines, would you be interested?

DDC shenanigansThis poll comes from Jan Müller. Jan runs the site doubledisccourt.de and is trying to establish both DDC and Overall a bit more in Germany. Jan is considering hosting an Overall Frisbee event that would include 7 disciplines: Freestyle, Discgolf, DDC, Discathon, Accuracy, Self Caught Flight, Distance. He wants to determine if there is interest among the freestyle community to attend such an event. Though hosted in Germany, anyone from any country is welcome to attend. Players must compete in at least 4 disciplines. So, for those who enjoy Freestyle and are interested in trying other disc sports this is a great opportunity. This weeks poll aims to find out how many people are interested in such an event.

Since Jan wants to hold this event in Germany, answers are broken into 2 sections; German residents and all others. Don’t worry if you could not attend for other reasons such as living far away. This poll is about learning if freestylers are interested in trying other events.

 

If there was an overall event where you had to compete in at least 4 disciplines, would you be interested?

If there was an overall event where you had to compete in at least 4 disciplines, would you be interested?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

Matt Gauthier Teaches the Flamingosis Catch

Matt Gauthier teaches us about the famingosis catch. This is one of the more challenging catches to master. Also, it has a intriguing look due to the unique body rotation involved.

First, some nomenclature. The basic osis catch is covered here. It involves catching behind the back as one spins away from the disc. A similar spinning away movement can be applied to almost any catch. In this example, Matt is showing us the flamingosis, which is a flamingo with the osis style rotation. There is also gitosis, chosis (chair osis), bad attitosis, and probably a whole host of others. So, take your favorite catch and try to add an osis to it. It can open a whole new world.

Now for the flamingosis. Set the disc up and then spin. If you spin to the left, as Matt demonstrates, then plant on your right foot, kick your left foot out, and reach behind your right leg with your right hand and make the catch. As you spin, watch over your right should as long as you can, then flip your head around quickly and watch the disc into your hand over the left shoulder. Matt points out that the motion is very similar to a phlard. So, one way to begin is by catching a pharld but move your hand to the other side of your leg. This will help you with the motion.

There are also some subtle variations here. For example, the raised leg could travel over the disc before the catch is made. Or, it could move into position before the disc is low enough for the leg to go over. Or it could never go past the disc flight path at all. All are valid but it changes the aesthetic. My guess is that, with a little creativity there are other possible variations as well. If you think of any, please share in the comments below.

 

Episode 36: The Lost Interview with Steve Hayes, AKA “The Beast”

The Beast

Photo by Char Powell

As we practiced to start our podcast, we interviewed Steve Hayes “The Beast”. He has so many deep thoughts about Freestyle Frisbee that we found ourselves fascinated. This is one of those early interviews.

  • Randy starts off with a burning question for Jake.
  • The Beast goes deep on what he considers a good throw.  Who knew he was so philosophical and thoughtful?
  • He talks about the heartbeat of the jam, which is not just about making the hard moves, but about the connection with another person and making them look good. 
  • Jake talks about the hoop factory.
  • Randy, Jake, and Beast discuss flow, and a what that means now and how that evolved over the years.

Poll: When You Go for a Spinning Trick, Which Rotation Direction Are You Strongest?

Sacha Spins

Photo by Anne Gabriel

Many performance based sports like figure skating and freestyle skiing as well as most dance styles incorporate spinning. Freestyle Frisbee is no different. Adding spins to any trick ups the difficulty and adds to the artistic value. I came across an interesting article about different disciplines and the performers prefered spin direction. According to the article it seems that few, if any performers will rotate both ways. It also seems that many “athletes” spin counter clockwise while many “dancers” spin clockwise. Of course there is no rule that says one must spin in a given direction and every discipline has exceptions. The article doesn’t really conclude why one spin direction is prefered over the other, but preferences are quite clear.

This left me wondering about spin direction in Freestyle Frisbee. Perhaps our preference will reveal whether we are athletes or dancers. This Poll asks, when you go for a spinning trick, which rotation direction are you strongest? Note that this not asking if you can do both. Yes, I can catch either direction, but percentage wise I have a much higher chance of catching if I spin counter clockwise. 

When You Go for a Spinning Trick, Which Rotation Direction Are You Strongest?

When you go for a spinning trick, which rotation direction are you strongest?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

History: Appendix 1: The Development of Freestyle in Canada

Canadian Open FrisbeeIn 1970, Ken Westerfield and Jim Kenner moved from Michigan to Toronto, setting up their Frisbee playing headquarters in Queens Park. Playing Frisbee freestyle and object disc golf became a daily event at the park. In 1971, with a hundred dollars each, bedrolls and a Frisbee, they set out to hitchhike across Canada, stopping to do improv Frisbee street performances at popular annual events, the Klondike Days in Edmonton and the Calgary Stampede in Alberta. Concluding their cross-country hitchhiking tour in Vancouver, they made their summer home in the Yippie (Youth International Party) founded “All Seasons Park” (tent city). This park was a protest against the Four Seasons company plans to build a complex on two blocks adjacent to Stanley Park, which was inspired and modeled after People’s Park in Berkeley, CA, formed two years prior. Westerfield and Kenner, although not politically affiliated with the Yippies, still made the protested park their home while performing nightly Frisbee shows in the historic Gastown area, in front of a railroad car turn restaurant, oddly enough called Frisby’s. Because of the urban settings, free-styling with a Frisbee at night in front of crowds in the streets was very surreal. They would bounce the disc off the buildings, throw around statues, skip the Frisbee through traffic and throw over mobs of interested spectators. In the fall of 1971, wanting to return to Toronto they needed travel money. Continuing to perform at Frisby’s, they decided they would try to collect money like street musicians. It was a success. Returning to Toronto they lived in the notorious counter-cultural Rochdale College while performing Frisbee shows on the Yonge Street Mall. Nightly, thousands of tourists and Torontonians would enjoy displays of their Frisbee expertise, while friends would use a Frisbee to collect donations. Wanting to add professional legitimacy to their Frisbee show, they approached Irwin Toy, the distributor of Frisbee’s in Canada and proposed their show to promote the Frisbee. Their first professional performance was a basketball half-time show at Jarvis Collegiate Institute in Toronto. The students loved it; Westerfield and Kenner were only paid twenty dollars each for the show, but more importantly, they had proven that their show would be beneficial in helping the company to promote the Frisbee. In 1972, they were retained by Irwin Toy to perform at special community and sporting events across Canada. Each year beginning in 1974 their Canadian tour would end in Vancouver where they would conduct their Vancouver Open Frisbee Championships (1974-1977) on Kitsilano Beach and Stanley Park. These Irwin tours also included teaching and conducting contests for the Jr. Frisbee Program assisted by the Canadian Parks and Recreation. This program was adopted from the successful Wham-O, Jr Frisbee Program in the United States.

Canadian Open Frisbee Championships 1975Ken Westerfield and Jim Kenner teamed up with Andrew Davidson, early Canadian disc sport promoter and Jeff Otis, event coordinator for the Canadian National Exhibition (CNE), to produce the Canadian Open Frisbee Championships in conjunction with the Canadian National Exhibition. The event began in 1972 with Guts and Distance, and later added Freestyle and Accuracy. In 1975, the Canadian Open Frisbee Championships moved to Toronto Islands where disc golf, ultimate and the individual field events were added to the original events that began at the CNE.

Actually, in 1973, Westerfield and Kenner, wanting to see if there were other Frisbee freestylers, had decided to add their idea of a Frisbee Freestyle competition to the 2nd Canadian Open Frisbee Championships, but due to a lack of competitors, the freestyle event was canceled. The only two other freestylers that showed up in 1973 were Victor Malafronte and Jo Cahow, who performed a Freestyle demonstration that wowed the crowd. This was the first time Ken and Jim would see other highly skilled freestylers. Unknown to Ken and Jim at the time, there had been the beginning of a growing Frisbee freestyle swell in the United States centered in Berkeley, New York, Ann Arbor, New Jersey and Chicago. In 1974, at the 3rd annual Canadian Open Frisbee Championships, Westerfield and Kenner introduced the first ever freestyle competitive event called Freestyle which was attended by players from each of the above-mentioned areas.

Vancouver Open 1974Later in 1974 Kenner and Westerfield organized the Vancouver Open Frisbee Championships at Kitsilano Beach in Vancouver, BC. They included their second big freestyle competition where Bill King, Jim Brown and John Anthony made their first competitive appearance.

Also in 1974, Westerfield and Kenner approached Molson Breweries with the idea of performing Frisbee shows at basketball halftimes in Canadian universities as the Molson Frisbee Team. Always looking for unique ways to get into the university market, they accepted their proposal and were more than impressed with the results. The next year, Molson’s used their show exclusively to introduce a new brand of beer called Molson Diamond. In 1975, with Molson’s sponsorship, Westerfield and Kenner moved the Canadian Open Frisbee Championships, from the Canadian National Exhibition to the Toronto Islands. Molson’s would continue to sponsor their Frisbee shows and events for several years. Along with promoting Molson products, this would help Westerfield and Kenner to promote their new sport everywhere.

Mary Kathron After 1974, interest in Frisbee and disc sports exploded across Canada. Jim Kenner and Gail McColl moved to London, Ontario and founded their disc manufacturing company Discraft. Ken Westerfield and Mary Kathron began a Professional Frisbee show called GoodTimes, performing in Canada and the United States at universities and sporting events. Also, there were several sponsored Frisbee touring shows coordinated by Bob Blakely as IFA Director at Irwin Toy with Orange Crush, Air Canada and Labatt’s Breweries. Orange Crush even provided logo painted motorhomes with several touring Frisbee teams to do shows at fairs, sporting events, shopping malls and schools across Canada. Bob Blakely, Ken Westerfield, Mary Kathron, Ron Leithwood, Mike Sullivan, Brian McElwain, Kevin Sparkman, Stuart Godfrey, Pat Chartrand, Peter Turcaj, Gary Auerbach, Jim Brown, Bill King and John Anthony were the touring freestyle performers in the series and became the foundation upon which Freestyle grew in Canada.

Last Article | Next Article coming soon.

Thanks to the Freestyle Players Association (FPA) for sharing this information with FrisbeeGuru.com.

The entire document is stored on FreestyleDisc.org, as is the FPA’s Hall of Fame.

Episode 35: The Last Words from Deaton Mitchell

  • Deaton Mitchell hits an Indigenous.Deaton Mitchell discusses his hardest moves and which ones he was responsible for inventing.
  • He reminisces about playing with Gina Sample and winning the Mixed division in Fort Collins in 1986.
  • Later on, he just attached himself to the “Gina Sample Express.”
  • He also praises the Velasquez brothers on their remarkable sportsmanship, and they weren’t too bad looking either.
  • Jake and Randy share their hardest moves they’ve ever done and the hardest they do on a regular basis.
  • Can you believe this is the 35th Episode of Shootin’ the Frizbreeze, and there have been over 10,000 downloads?!  Hear Jake and Randy’s observations and key learnings from doing the podcast.

Poll: What is the Ideal Temperature for a Jam?

Arthur Does a Third Side Delay

I pride myself on being able to jam under any conditions. I have jammed with 5 people in a small classroom with a 3 meter (10 foot) ceiling. I have jammed in a torrential downpour. I have jammed in the snow and ice. 40KPH (25 MPH) wind? Bring it on. Night time? No problem.

Despite all that, there really is nothing like jamming in the perfect conditions. You know when the wind is right, the surface is to your liking, you have the right number of people, and your favorite colored disc that the jam is going to be amazing.

But wait, there’s another factor to consider for the perfect jam. That is temperature. When it’s hot you can wear lose clothes and the sweat is great for cuffing. Too hot, though, and it drains your energy. Cold can be nice because you don’t feel drained, and don’t need as much water. But too cold and it’s becomes difficult to move with all the layers of clothing. This poll asks:

What is the ideal temperature for a jam?

What is the ideal temperature for a jam?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

Ryan Young Explains How To Make Your Gitis Look Great

Ryan Young explains how to improve the look of a leaping gitis. Many people learn the leaping gitis without considering form. In fact, that’s my style…for me it’s traditionally about making the catch, with no thought to it looks. As a result, I look all compact and hunched over.

Ryan takes his gitis to another level by focusing on the form. Basically, as I understand it, the goal is to keep the knees straight, point the toes and kick the back leg backwards as you leap. This creates straight lines and splayed out look that is pleasing to the eye. I am certain Ryan learned this leap in ballet and has translated it into the gitis catch. In the video, Ryan goes over warmup and how to practice the form, even before trying to make the catch. Thanks to Ryan’s inspiration, you may see me trying to improve my form.

Episode 34: Carolyn and Stacy – Can we Make a Living Throwing a Frisbee?

Carolyn and Stacy

  • Carolyn and Stacy talk about the high expectations when they started playing and how the thought of playing professionally was always on their minds.
  • Although early competitions didn’t necessarily lend themselves to connecting with other women that were playing, they recall some memorable female players and their routines.
  • Stacy talks about playing with Amy Schiller, “The California Girls.”
  • Carolyn shares that as early female pioneers of the sport, they would sometimes feel isolated, and she and Stacy share some interesting thoughts on why that was and offer ideas on how to engage women so they’ll stick with it.
  • Is Mixed Pairs a strategy?
  • There is no question that people want to see women play!
  • Randy recommends a new and easy way to judge…Do you remember the Gong Show?