Alright, so as per Durfee’s request, I jotted down a quick timeline of stuff I remember.
Some of it is bigger stuff which I feel made a more obvious impact (for example the Kickflip), and some of it is more subtle. It’s really hard to dissociate “responsive” and “fixed axle” because they were mutually dependent and co-evolving. I tried to include stuff which was not necessarily to do with ANY responsive play, but contributing to the development of a responsive “style”. (For example, a company like Yoyofactory has done a TON with regard to the inclusion of responsive setups and bearings, but usually that’s more about getting kids into yo-yoing. As opposed to a yo-yo like the Legend Wing or Confusion, which have propelled the responsive style forward).
I included stuff involving myself, and if I did so disproportionately, it’s NOT toot my own horn, but because, well… I guess I remember that stuff best lol.
I would welcome any disagreement, criticism, correction, additions, etc. When I started playing mostly responsive, it was definitely an anomaly, and it’s been really rad to see it pick up, evolve, and develop into something unique from what it was before unresponsive took hold. It’s still an anomaly, but it feels more like its own thing, as opposed to just being “retro”.
- “Fixed Axle Fun Unlimited” filmed at Worlds, one of the first fixie-specific clips, featuring Jack Ringca, Ben Mcphee, Nathan Crissey, and Augie Fash. Video ends with Jack doing the first fixed axle Gyroscopic Flop.
- First formal “fixed axle throwdown” workshop at worlds. (Previous years had featured fixed axle ladders but not a scheduled informal throwdown.)
- Duncan sponsors a fixed axle contest at Worlds, with a trick ladder compulsory round followed by 2-minute freestyles. Miguel Correa got 1st, John Bot came in 2nd, and Paul Han took 3rd.
- Diss Kings (Jack Ringca and Josh Root) release “Shutup”, a video shot with Tim Simco using only responsive slimline Duncan Avengers and Ballistics.
- Yoyofactory oversees the F.A.S.T. Challenge, a speed-based tricklist competition using the responsive FAST 201 yo-yo.
- Yuuki & Paul Han spearhead usage of the backhand stall in 1A, inspired by Eiji & other 4A players’ regens, which (while still primarily performed on unresponsive yoyos) helped popularize regens in 1A.
- Yoyofactory releases the 401k and Speed Dial, metal yo-yo’s designed with dial-adjustable response.
- Ed Haponik releases “Stock Proyo” and “No Jive” clip videos.
- Doc Pop and Joe Harris collaborate in “PopCast 05”, which demonstrates use of Stall tricks.
- First usage of “shoe judging” for the Worlds fixed axle throwdown.
- No Jive Spirit Bomb Club is formed, with the name describing the sole entry parameter.
- Tom Kuhn releases the Fat Cat responsive aluminum yo-yo.
- Yoyofactory begins to proliferate the “half-spec” bearing as a means to convert certain yo-yo’s from unresponsive to responsive.
- Flying V is released by SPYY, a slimline metal designed to play responsive.
- Drew Tetz wins informal, peer-judged, invitational “Fixed Axle Championship of All the World” at Worlds.
- Duncan holds a “reboot” of the 1955 National YoYo Contest at Worlds, featuring Bob Rule, Dale and Val Oliver, and Bill deBoisblanc, along with modern players using period yo-yo’s on the main stage.
- Randy Jensen wins Fixed at Worlds.
- First known games of Butterfly HORSE played on the Duncan Heritage tour.
- Colin Leland releases the Irving wooden yo-yo and begins TMBR…
- Colin Leland wins Fixed at Worlds.
- Butterfly HORSE becomes a regular occurance at yo-yo contests and clubs.
- Drew and Ed join Steve Brown’s 365yoyotricks.com, highlighting ~75 original responsive yo-yo tricks throughout the year.
- Ed throws the SPYY eH wooden yo-yo exclusively for one year. The yo-yo is subsequently put into annual production by SPYY, TMBR, and YoYoExpert.
- Luke Hildebrand starts his Hildy Bros company releasing high quality wooden yo-yo’s
- TMBR produces take-apart yo-yo’s with removable axles.
- Ed wins Fixed at Worlds.
#fixedfriday hashtag begins on Instagram
- Drew hits the first Kickflip Suicide!
- Jensen Kimmitt begins hand-crafting awesome wooden yo-yo’s.
- Kendama-mania craze begins, influencing the direction of static fixed axle tricks.
- Ed and Drew share a weekly column on yoyonews.com called “Fixed Friday” highlighting fixed axle tricks.
- Spencer Berry releases Walter yo-yo, which quickly achieves cult classic status
- Spencer Berry joins 365yoyotricks.com, sharing mainly responsive 1a tricks using Walter.
- Ben Conde wins fixed at Worlds.
- Drew is awarded Trick Innovator of the Year at Nationals.
- Once Upon a Tree begins producing wooden yo-yo’s.
- Numerous state level contests begin holding fixed axle divisions.
- Kyle Nations releases “Sting Like A Butterfly”
- First “Fixed Axle February” contest is held.
- Jensen releases “I Should Shut Up”.
- Danny Severance, one of the most talented yo-yo players ever, known for his use of a stock Duncan Freehand, passes away.
- Colin begins production of his wood-thread axle system.
- Yoyofactory begins the “King of the World” contest at Worlds, requiring the use of an ultra-thin wooden Legend fixed axle yo-yo.
- Tom Kuhn Yo-Yo’s releases its (as yet) final run of the iconic No Jive yo-yo, including the Mandala 6, Mandala 6.1, Optic Star, and Play Simply models.
- Drew releases the Moon, a flatpack yo-yo which emphasized fixed axle’s trend toward doing tricks with minimal assistive technology.
- Ed & YoYoExpert develop a Fixed Axle tutorials for the “Learn” section of the website, and hold a “Fixed Axle Challenge” contest on the forum.
- Basecamp releases the Moonshine and later the Sherpa slimline responsive yo-yo’s.
- Ed wins fixed at Worlds.
- A-RT, a company founded by Jensen and Charles Haycock begins production of both unresponsive metals and wooden models.
- Freshly Dirty begins production with their “Traveler” fixed axle wooden yo-yo.
- CoreCo releases the AlleyCat
- One Drop releases the Deep State
- Yoyofactory introduces the Legend Wing at an incredibly low price point.
- Recess begins collaboration with Hildy Bros, releasing take-apart wooden yo-yo’s made from reclaimed skateboards.
- Ed is awarded Trick Innovator of the Year.
- At Worlds, Mountain Dew sponsors the Mountain Dew Cup, requiring the use of a standardized responsive yo-yo.
- Tom Kuhn releases the “Black Cat” anodized Tom Cat responsive slimline.
@bandalores begins creating responsive trick element tutorials on Instagram.
- Yoyofactory releases the Confusion responsive yo-yo.
- CoreCo updates the AlleyCat with the 650b.
- Rain City Skills releases the Gamer responsive yo-yo.
- Spencer Berry releases Theodore responsive yo-yo.
- Luftverk releases the Daytona titanium slimline.
- Spinworthy begins production and releases its Harbinger fixed axle.