Frisbee is a game of throw and catch. It’s not a sport that would seem to involve feet at first glance. Of course, finding new and inventive ways to interact with the disc is what makes Freestyle Frisbee so fun. As a new player, I saw my first kick tip and thought, “yeah, I could learn that.” Then I saw a kick brush…mind blown. I had no idea that those two moves are just the tip of the iceberg of what done with feet. In this poll, let’s find out what tricks you can do with your feet.
What Freestyle Frisbee Tricks Do You Do With Your Feet?
The Freestyle Player’s Association (FPA) recently announced their second annual auction. This includes mini-discs of the inaugural hall of fame inductees and commemorative Sky-Stylers of the event. Bidding on these items helps support the FPA and in turn helps grow Freestyle Frisbee.
Looking through the collection, the Sky-Stylers are especially interesting to me. Of course, I have my own collection of Sky-Stylers. I have a disc from every event I’ve been too, and for every year that I’ve been a member of the FPA. I also have several older Sky-Sylers, including one of the original prototypes.
Am I the only one who collects Sky-Stylers? Let me know by answering this poll:
Do You Collect Sky-Stylers?
As we learned in the poll “How Many Hours of Practice Does it Take to Be Proficient at Freestyle Frisbee?, this sport can take a life-time to master. That’s where training tools come into play. Discs like XDISC that make spinning the disc on one’s finger easier, allowing for exploration of nail delay tricks. The Whiz Ring which makes air brushing easier, allowing for practice in light breeze and no broken blood vessles in the your hand. The Newbie Nail and other fake nail alternatives don’t require glue. And, of course, the Z-Machine removes the need to throw to yourself and can spin the disc faster than anything else. Personally, I am a believer in these tools and have used each one for both my own training and to teach others. In this poll, let’s find out:
Which Freestyle Frisbee Training Tools Have You Used?
By the way, if you’re interested in buying any of these tools, here are some affiliate links. If you use them, FrisbeeGuru gets a small percentage of the sale.
Here in Portland, winter is starting to set in. It’s cold, rainy, and the sun goes down by 4:00p. This weather pattern really puts a cramp in our usual jam routine. It seems each year we make a different adjustment, but we never stop the jam. Many years ago, we’d jam in covered basketball courts and wear extra warm clothes. Then we became members of a local gym and played inside. Now we are back outdoors, but on artificial grass. In this poll, tell us your strategy for jamming in the winter.
What Do You Do When the Weather Turns Bad?
In our recent podcast episode with Joey Hudoklin, he talks about the amazing jam communities in both Washington Square Park and Central Park, New York. We also interviewed Mehrdad Hussanian, who is from Berlin where there is another great jam community. Our jam communities are a big part of what makes Freestyle so great. After work, or the weekend, we know what we’ll be doing…getting together to jam. We push each other to new heights.
On the other end of the spectrum is the lone jammer. When I moved to Portland in 1998, that was the situation. During this time I really grew as a Freestyler. I got to focus on skills like against the spin, upside down counter, and consecutive airbrushing. In 2001, Matt moved to town and the Portland community grew to 2. We jammed constantly and honed our co-op skills.
Yes, jam communities can range in size from one, to many, many jammers. But, no matter the size, they are all near and dear to our hearts. So, sound off and answer the poll for this week:
How many people are in your jam community?
One of the things I love about Freestyle Frisbee is that there is no end to learning. There are literally an infinite number of tricks, skills, and combinations to be mastered. This type of continuous growth it what keeps me engaged. But I recall being a new player and feeling frustration. It seemed like the most basic skills were far out of reach. Getting that disc to stay balanced, making good throws to my friends, knowing when to try the next trick vs going for a catch, and not hitting myself in the face with the disc all seemed impossible.
I stumbled across this Ted Talk video. The speaker, Josh Kaufman, says any skill can be learned with 20 hours of practice. Certainly it takes more than 20 hours to be an expert, but Josh claims you can be proficient enough to be past the frustration phase. To prove it, he learns to play the ukulele for his talk.
Now, I didn’t log my practice time when I was becoming proficient at Freestyle but it sure seemed like more than 20 hours. Then again, I didn’t exactly follow a plan. I just grabbed a disc when the mood struck and tried whatever skill I was interested in at the time.
This is an interesting question as we try to initiate new players into the sport. How long should they expect to work at it? The poll for this week:
How many hours of practice does it take to be proficient at freestyle Frisbee?
A common experience shared among jammers is packing one’s jam equipment into a bag before heading to the jam. The bag the holds the equipment can be integral to the process. It must hold everything; the discs, whiz rings, nails, glue, slick, shoes, etc. It must be easy to pack and unpack and easy to carry without being too bulky or heavy. Sometimes it must also protect the gear from wet grass or rain or possible worse…the sweat from the dirty clothes after the jam.
When Charles Kuske recommended this poll to me, I took a moment to reflect on the history of my jam bags. I used to use a duffel bag but switched to a backpack long ago for the ease of carrying. At one point I had a special backpack with a Sky-Styler sized disc pouch. I found that I carried more discs than would fit in the special pouch and so moved on to a water-proof backpack so my clean clothes would stay dry. Still, I am not convinced that my bag is the best. It doesn’t quite fit all my stuff, especially on a cold day where I need warmer jam clothes. I’ve seen people use rolling suitcases, and other custom bags that are tailored for Sky-Stylers. So now, Charles and I want to know:
What is the Best Type of Bag for the Jam?
If you have a favorite bag, please leave a comment and let us know.
This 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?
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?
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?