US NATIONALS 2009!
Once again, I have gone to the US National yoyo contest.
Every year has been fun, and this year was for sure one of the best contest I have ever been to.
Like every other year, we took the 3 and a1/2 hour drive from San Francisco to Chico CA. The drive can be a bit boring due to the fact that all you see is farmland with the occasional factory and small towns. It can be somewhat confusing driving to Chico but thanks to our GPS we didn’t have any problems.
We drove into the parking lot of the Chico Holiday Inn to the sight anyone will see each year: Yoyoers outside the hotel.
This year was interesting however due to the fact that the hotel didn’t block out as many rooms for the yoyoers, so many others ended up staying at surrounding hotels.
But even with people staying at other hotels and motels, they still came over to the Holiday Inn to throw with the rest of us.
The weather was quite a bit different than last year.
For those who were there, you would remember how it was pouring rain quite a bit that weekend. Luckily this weekend was clear with no rain, not much wind but a bit warm.
Last year, we got kicked out of the hotel lobby for yoyoing and we had to yoyo further back where the convention rooms were. This year they seemed to have no problem with us yoyoing there. Not sure why.
At around 5 o clock that night, everyone migrated over to Bird In Hand to throw, check out the yoyo museum, and of course, buy new yoyos.
I got there at about 5:15 and met up with some of the guys from the YoyoeXpert forums.
I checked out the yoyo museum and as always first looked to see if they had any new yoyos from yoyo champions freestyles. And sure enough, they did. Winning yoyos from Worlds and Nationals were all in the display cases. I don’t know how others feel about it, but I know that if I had used a certain yoyo to win a big contest, I would feel a bit sad to give it away to be put in a display case never to be thrown again. Its cool to see the yoyos there, but I am somewhat surprised others would be so willing.
I went out to the back of Bird In Hand to throw with some of the others.
Out of the corner of my eye I thought I saw sparks and I heard a loud dinging sound. It ended up being someone trying out the new 1drop Sovereign.
The yoyo is made out of titanium and when grinding on concrete, makes an amazing show of sparks!
Back inside the museum, I was very surprised to see Evan Nagao walk into the store with his Dad and rest of the family. Evan was a one of my early yoyo inspirations and to meet him in person was very cool. Even after taking a few years break from yoyoing, he still can throw just as good as the rest of us, and beyond the most of us in 2A haha.
I got a ride back to the hotel just in time for the Holiday Inn Poolside BBQ.
Lots of yoyoers where there by then. People everywhere trading tricks and yoyos.
I met many cool people and got to try many new yoyos including some very cool prototypes and small run yoyos.
The BBQ was quite good. For ten dollars, you would get a burger, a hot dog, a piece of chicken, and a variety of Salads, chips, and drinks. Much more than the awards dinners they have had in the past.
After the BBQ, I went back inside to throw with some of the others.
I recorded some yoyoing from Zach, Eric Ngu, Tarvis, Issac Sams, and many others.
I had a much better camera this year to film stuff for a video.
For those who remember past contest I have filmed, I would always use my small RCA smallwonder and more recently, my Canon FS10. This time, I came with my new Canon GL2 and it is by far the best Camera I have ever used. After yoyoing for a bit, and fimling, I went back to the hotel room to get ready for the next day…
So Saturday was awesome.
Upon arrival, I turned in my preliminary music for 2A 3A and 5A and went to go check out the different yoyo sales tables. Yoyojam had some cool stuff including some Higby yoyos and the new Eneme. I was a bit sad to see that they did not have any atmospheres however.Yoyofactory had some new stuff and B-grades for only 35 dollars (That is amazing right there…). Duncan had there new screaming eagle yoyos and the new runs of bionic special edition nats freehand zeros. Also with a table was Born Crucial, Save Deth, General yo, 27 stories and 44.recreation.
All tables had some very cool stuff for sale.
Prelims started with 5A and everyone was throwing out some crazy tricks for the judges. Nate Sutter and Connor Ebbinghouse both had very amazing 5A prelims that inspired me for sure. My 5A prelim went well, but I really felt that my tricks were not smooth. Nerves must have gotten to me. Jon-Rob had a very cool and smooth prelim that made everyone look on in awe. The 5A prelims finished up and they went right into the 4A prelims.
4A was very cool this year.
Many new faces up on stage and some very amazing talent. I was quite impressed by Eric Ngu and his 4A skills. I see that guy going quite far in 4A, A 4A player to keep an eye on for sure. Zach Rubino is also a rising 4A player to look out for, very smooth style and a fast learner. Ian Johnson nailed it in the prelims without any mistake and amazed me with his fast style. 4A prelims were just awesome this year.
3A prelims started quickly and also showed some amazing talent.
Hank Freeman had an incredible prelim that seemed to be just one nice and smooth flowing combo, and Zach Lytle came out with his awesome magnet 3A once again!
2A prelims were amazing as always.
For the crowd, 2A is the most amazing style to watch, the speed of the tricks, the movement on stage, all equals an amazing show. I was quite happy to see Patrick Mitchell back on stage. He seemed to leave yoyoing for a bit and he came back with an amazing show!
1A prelims were awesome as well.
Such a mix of awesome talent. From the amazing new style from Zach Gormely, to the fast style from Alex Berenguel, to the very cool frontstyle flow tricks from John-bot, it was all there.
After the 1A prelims, there was a break for an hour for everyone to go get lunch, check out the sales tables etc. I went to get lunch and came back to look at the sales tables once again. I was quite impressed by one of 44.rec’s new Sleipnr.
A very oversized yet very cool new yoyo. I went over to the duncan table and got a bionic special edition zero and got to meet Brandon Jackson and film Hank Freeman doing some crazy 3A.
Soon the break was over and it was time for THE FINALS!
WOW! Ok, I have no idea how I got in the finals of 5A, I was not expecting that at all.
I did my best though, got through it, was ok.
So many crazy freestyles that day! 5A 4A 3A 2A 1A, all amazing! Sterling’s 5A was epic smooth. Jon Robs was filled with style, Miggy had a crazy freestyle that wowed us all. Figtree had an amazing 4A, Tyler Severance came out with some awesome 4A (Who knew he did 4A?). Patrick M had one of the craziest 2A freestyles ever seen. Joseph Harris also had amazing new tricks. Everyone went absolutely crazy during Augies 1A, truly mind blowing. And Yuuki just destroyed it on stage.
So much skill all in one place, it cam make one dizzy.
In the end of the day, the results were announced and they go like so…
1 Spencer Yuuki
2 Koloski Eric
3 Brock Sebastian
4 Fraser Chris
5 Fash Augie
6 Chow John
7 Quinn Sterling
8 Severance Tyler
9 Han Paul
10 Berenguel Alex
11 Rojas Anthony
12 Bergen Andrew
13 Dietz Daniel
14 Yath Paul
15 Scott Samm
1 Mitchell Patrick
2 Harris Joseph
3 Grant Johnson
4 Mikamoto Yoshi
5 Scholten Connor
6 Lai Ryan
1 Freeman Hank
2 Borgerding Patrick
3 Yath Paul
4 Mikamoto Yoshi
5 Lai Ryan
6 Scholten Connor
1 Figueroa Bryan
2 Cole Ian
3 Coons Jeff
4 Scholten Connor
5 Severance Tyler
6 Conde Ben
7 Johnson Ian
8 Swan Connor
9 Mikamoto Yoshi
10 Dietz Daniel
11 Ngu Eric
1 Correa Miguel
2 Quinn Sterling
3 Severance Tyler
4 Scott Samm
5 Robinson Jonathan
6 Brock Sebastian
7 Sutter Nate
8 Ebbinghouse Connor
9 Scholten Connor
10 Yee Josh
11 Johnson Ian
It was awesome being on stage among truly awesome 5A players for the group photo, although its too bad the medal refused to fit over my head…
After the results were announced, they started the spin top freestyles.
I do not think they should do the Spin top freestyles before the results honestly. The spin top players wait all day 7 hours to show their stuff on stage, and everyone is already leaving by then since the results were already announced. I watched the awesome spintop freestyles and looked around to see that not many people were left. People were leaving, sales tables being put away. I felt bad for the top players honestly.
In the end Derren Kim took the Spin top champion title and the large wooden prize top.
We went back to the hotel to rest a bit and I went with my parents to the Denny’s thats about a block away from the holiday inn.
Ok I gotta ask, for those of you that have gone to denny’s before. is it always really slow? Pretty much every Denny’s I have gone too has had really slow service and cooking and I was wondering if this i common, or I just have bad luck choosing which Denny’s to eat at.
After eating, I went to yoyo with everyone in the hotel. It was getting pretty crowded where all of us were yoyoing and it was also getting quite hot, so me and some of the others moved outside to the windy front of the hotel.
Mike Sparhawk decided that it was time to scare people with his awesome eli hops that go about 2 inches from your face. I followed him around with my camera as he went around finding his next victims of close to face eli hops.
We were all shocked when some of the guys hanging outside yoyoing suddenly sprayed a bottle of champagne all over everyone. The smell was just a bit too strong for me so I went back inside to yoyo a bit more. Soon I got tired and went back to the hotel room though.
The next day was the day I would go back to SF. Not many yoyoers left in the hotel. I hung out with 3 of the remaining leftover yoyoers for a little while and then we went home.
This Nationals was awesome, I got to meet so many awesome people, try many new yoyos, buy and trade for some awesome stuff, watch amazing freestyles, Be IN an actual national final, and just have fun!
Major thanks to all who made the event possible, the organizers, the sponsors, the judges, and especially the sound guy who did all the work with an arm in a cast! Thats dedication!
Awesome contest, cant wait for next year!
If you have never been to US Nationals before, you better commit to going next year!
See you all Nats 2010!