Episode 24: More Insights from Bill Wright

Bill on the cover of FrisbeeworldJake, Randy, & Bill have a conversation about introducing new people to Freestyle and some of the reasons it’s so hard. It is more than teaching, it is inspiring people. When you find someone that has “the bug” you can see it, and it’s so cool! They also chat about the past and how Whamo managed to attract such big crowds to events. Oh, the good ol’ days of yesteryear….

How many people have YOU converted to Freestyle? We’d love to hear your success stories! 

Poll: On Which Fingers Do You Wear Fake Freestyle Nails?

Guru Hand with Fingers LabeledWhen I first tried on fake nails, I was instructed to wear 4 nails – 2 on each hand; 1 on each index and 1 on each middle finger. Soon, however, I found it difficult to tip with all those nails. Tom Leitner explained to me that he wore nails only his index fingers for just that reason. I quickly made the switch and never looked back. However, many others (like Paul Kenny) wear even more than 4 nails; and find they have more intimate delay control. 

This Poll asks the question: On Which Fingers Do You Wear Fake Freestyle Nails? Please select all that apply. Just so there’s no confusion, check the graphic for the name of each finger.


On Which Fingers Do You Wear Fake Freestyle Nails?

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WFDF 2017 Freestyle Event Will Be Live Streamed

WFDF OC 2017 LogoThe WFDF Overall Championships for 2017 is coming up soon – taking place in Basingstoke, UK for six days of all-day Frisbee/flying disc games; from July 24th-29th. The Freestyle part of the Overall games will be during the final days of the week: July 28th and 29th.  This will be the first time in many years that the WFDF Freestyle event will garner Pro-level (“major”)  ranking points, especially since competitors are vying for the WFDF World Freestyle title.  The current list of participating competitors includes some of the best women, men, and junior-level freestylers in the world, from at least 12 different countries, and many of whom are preparing for the following week’s premier freestyle event: the FPA World Championships in Udine, Italy (Aug 3rd-6th). 

The WFDF World Freestyle event will include both open pairs and women’s pairs, and will use the standard FPA competition format. Ryan Young will be there to head up the judging with his tablet based system.

Being an Overall flying disc event means that points are earned by disc players in every disc game played throughout the week, including Freestyle.  Therefore, numerous “hidden” jammers (i.e., disc golfers, double-disc court players, discathon runners) will be putting on nails and competing in freestyle with routines filled with creative ideas and tricks. 

There’s a lot to see throughout the week, if you can come and watch the action.  Can’t be there in person?  Well, no need to fret! For the first time ever,  Jakub “Mystiq” Matula will be live streaming both days of freestyle!  Check it out here.

Episode 23: Jeff Felberbaum’s Final Installment

Jeff Felberbaum and the Washington Square WizardsJeff remembers some of the important, but forgotten players from his generation. He shares his perception on how the game has changed over the years and although the moves have become more technical, he questions the overall direction. Being asked to be in the Hall of Fame was meaningful for Jeff and he appreciated hearing that he’d made an impact on people’s lives. He now uses his passion for Freestyle to make the world a better place through his V-Disc Project. Here is the link to learn more.

Poll: What are the 5 Most Important Characteristics of a Freestyle Frisbee Shoe?

Jam ShoesOpinions about the best shoes for Freestyle are varied. In Matt Gauthier’s article about Freestyle Frisbee equipment, he writes that wearing shoes one size too small helps with kick brushing control. Conversely, Larry Imperiale recommends one size too big. Donnie Rhodes and Ryan Young like jamming in Ballet shoes for maximum foot articulation, while Lori Daniels like high tops for ankle support.

In this week’s poll, we search for common characteristics that define the best Freestyle Frisbee shoe. Choose your top 5 answers.

What are the 5 Most Important Characteristics of a Freestyle Frisbee Shoe?


What are the 5 Most Important Characteristics of a Freestyle Frisbee Shoe?

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If you’re looking for shoes, here are 2 suggestions. Note: these are affiliate links so FrisbeeGuru gets a small cut if you use the link and make a purchase:

Rebook Classics – Jake’s Choice

Adidas Samba – Matt’s Choice

History: 1977-1982; Huge Growth of Freestyle

80 MoldIn 1977, more State Championship tournaments got their start, specifically Arizona and Tennessee. The delay move rapidly replaced controlled tipping as the foundation of a freestyle routine. (It was either adopt the delay, or never catch up to Joey and Richie.)

The NAS Tournaments expanded and continued to fuel the growth of freestyle. The WFC Freestyle championship became the de facto world championship of freestyle; no other competition could match its prestige. Joey and Richie’s adroit use of the “lid,” as the Wham-O 80 mold 165 gram disc was affectionately called, began the transition that eventually led to the 80-mold becoming the new standard for freestyle. The 80-mold lent itself to longer delay moves due to its larger flight plate and weight, and this shifted the focus of play away from the direct catch and throw game.

Sky Styler BirdDave Marini started up the Freestyle Players Association in 1978, and freestyle became a sport of its own. The sport of Freestyle attracted a new generation of players such as Rob Fried, Doug Simon, Roger Meier, Peter Laubert, Krae Van Sickle, Jeff Felberbaum, John Dwork, Brad Keller, and Donnie Rhodes from New York City; and John Jewell, Brian and Matt Roberts from Los Angeles. Also new to the scene was Kevin “Skippy Jammer” Givens who would become highly influential mentoring numerous future champions. The sport also saw the emergence of the “Coloradicals” featuring Bill Wright, Doug Brannigan and Rick Castiglia. On the women’s side of things, New York’s Sue Strait and Jane Englehart set the standard and were closely rivaled by G Rose and Laura Engle. Seattle’s Mary Lowry also began playing around this time and would eventually become one of the most influential women’s players of all time. Seattle’s Randy Silvey got his start during this era. Discraft’s introduction of the Sky Styler disc in 1980 presented an option for Freestylers and became extremely popular as a freestyle disc, eventually replacing the 80 mold as the de facto disc of choice. The Sky Styler weighed in at 160 grams, slightly less than the 80 mold. While it had a smaller flight plate and delay surface area, it had a deeper rim which allowed for superior brushing, rolling, rim work and wind play. It was also easier to catch than the Wham-O 80 mold. Tom Schot’s World Disc Games in Santa Cruz got its start during this period and further fueled the growth of freestyle.

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 22: Ilka Simon, The Reluctant Champion


Photo by Sisco Lord

Ilka Simon and Bianca Strunz won the Women’s Pairs division at the 2014 World Championships. In this episode, Ilka shares how factory work can lead to playing frisbee. For Ilka, Freestyle Frisbee was not love at first sight, but after experiencing the supportive environment, continued support from Boguslaw Bul and a little extra attention from the Beast, she was hooked. Hear why Ilka finds greater comfort in competing vs. jamming and why 2014 was one of the best years of her life.

Poll: How Many Hours Per Week Do You Play Frisbee?

How Many Hours do You Play Frisbee Per WeekFor many of us, Frisbee is more than a pastime. It’s a passion. It’s what keeps us grounded. It relieves the daily stresses of life. It’s what we look forward to after work, on weekends, and for vacation. It’s what gives us purpose. It’s what we live for.

This Poll asks; How Many Hours Per Week Do You Play Frisbee? This means all forms of flying disc play, not just Freestyle.


On Average, How Many Hours Per Week Do You Play Frisbee?

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Potlatch Freestyle Frisbee 2017 Review and Results

Potlatch Group PhotoPotlatch is a long running mixed (co-ed) Ultimate event that is hosted by Disc Northwest in the Seattle area. Four years ago, Ryan Young teamed up with Disc Northwest to add a Freestyle event to the Potlatch schedule. Every year since then, the event has challenged Freestyler players to “think outside the box”, attracted the attention of many Ultimate players, and been an all around fun time for all. This year was no different.

The scene at Potlatch: Imagine walking onto 60 acres of lush green grass, filled with Ultimate games covering 16 fields with two teams already involved in their games. Hundreds of ultimate players are everywhere, most in costumes representative of their team’s theme – and dragging their props with them between games from field-to-field. Camping tents are surrounding the perimeter of the entire venue. Amidst all this is a half-sized Ultimate field, carved out for the Freestyle Event. Tunes are blasting while jammers are pulling off heinous moves. Ultimate players walk by on their way to their next game and suddenly are taken aback by a chest roll or spinning kick brush. For Freestylers, just being in the middle of all this was a treat.

Potlatch had 27 registered Freestylers and several more who were just there for the jams. This year featured three events: 2 minute Open Pairs, a new event named Turbo Jam, and the always popular and famous Flower Round. 

The Open Pairs judging system featured Ryan’s unique tablet based judging system that uses an XBox controller for input. There are two triggers on the controller. One trigger represents a heinous move, while the other represents a drop or other significant error. Ryan compares it with driving a car. As players get hot, the judges will pull the “gas” trigger and the score ramps up. If a player drops, the judges pull the “brake” trigger and the scoring slows down. An interesting result of this is that a drop in the middle of a routine hurts more than a drop in the beginning or at the end. 

Players in this event got the message that they should “go big or go home”. And, that’s exactly what happened.

Taking third place were Lori Daniels and Jake Gauthier (me). A couple of mid routine drops held back our scores. However, we had some nice passing, a solid brush run, and a strong finish with a gitosis. In second place was the seed-busting team of Juliana Korver and Emma Kahle. These player’s styles complemented each other nicely with tight controlled flat work and an intense brushing “GRRRRR” factor that propelled their scores in the eye’s of the judges. The first place team of Ryan Young and James Wiseman was untouchable in terms of level of difficulty with almost every catch  preceded by a double spin. Their individual moves were also executed with confidence and explosiveness. And, though playing spontaneously, they hit music ques repeatedly. Perhaps the most telling sign that they were doing so great was that a large group of Ultimate players stopped and watched their entire routine, cheering the entire time.  Scores below.

The Turbo Jam event is an interesting twist on individual move competition format. Similar to an Open Pairs event, players team up with each other and then teams are split into A and B pools. From here, the event is very different than an Open Pairs event. Players on each team in a pool are set as either A or B. Being an individual move competition, each player in the pool goes through a “round robin” format: Player A for Team 1 gets 1 throw, and then Player A for Team 2 gets their first throw,  and so on.

Play order is determined as follows: Teams in the pool are ranked as a whole; let’s say 1, 2, 3, 4. So, player 4B goes first, receiving a throw from their teammate, 4A. Then 3B receives from 3A, 2B from 2A, and so on, until every B player has attempted their highest scoring moves; then the rotation goes for the A players receiving throws from their teammates and trying their tricks; then switch back to the B teammates, and then to the A teammates. The round for the 4-5 pairs teams goes for 25 minutes. When the clock runs out, the current rotation finishes and then play is completed. Within the 25 minutes, each player from each pairs team will have had about 6 attempts at a turbo move. 

Judges are looking exclusively for difficulty. If the player drops, the highest score is 10. If a player catches, the highest is 50. At the end of play, each player keeps only their highest score. To get the team’s score, player’s highest scores are added together for a total 100 points possible per team. The top 2 teams from each pool move to the finals.

As if doing a turbo move individually wasn’t enough challenge, Ryan required that each player only have three touches to the disc prior to a catch, with none of the touches being a center delay. Rim delays were acceptable, as were nail maneuvers that brought the disc flat briefly – but no center-delaying. Air-brushing, tips, cuffs, and body-rolls were counted as one touch.  Players with 4 touches or more prior to a catch attempt were not scored. 

These rules seem limiting at first. However, they proved to be quite enjoyable as players had to rethink their approach to an individual competition. Players quickly figured out what types of trick to focus on. One option employed by James Wiseman was to do three spinning restricted pulls into a spinning restricted catch. He earned several scores of 50 with this approach. Ryan Young started a lofting throw, did several brushes and then went for a very risky “early retirement” catch (bigger than a vacation) but dropped when he hit the ground. Still, he had other moves that earned him a 48. Matt Gauthier decided to go for a score of 50 off of all of the throws he received, eventually able to coax-in a double spinning UTL hammer pull and then using the next two touches for regaining control before the catch.

All-in-all, The Turbo Jam was a success. It was fun, very challenging, kept things fast-paced, and brought out some huge combos that might not be seen in a standard Open Pairs event. Scores below.

And, of course we can’t forget the Flower Round. Teams of 3 are randomly created from a hat. Then they play for 3 minutes each. But, instead of judging, the audience gets to throw flowers onto the field whenever the team gets hot. This makes for a low pressure, go-for-it type round. Many ultimate players stopped to watch and several times, entire teams participated in throwing flowers! One of the more memorable moves was when James called for Ryan to hit a triple barrel gitis, at which point Ryan’s smile got a little bigger and he went for it, hitting it perfectly. Flowers flew and the crowd cheered.

Potlatch this year was an incredible event that included amazing jams, great weather, audience engagement, Spam musubi, heinous competition, and fun fun fun for all.

Thank you so much, Ryan Young for putting on this event for the players and ultimate community, many of whom were in awe of what they were watching! If you have not attended a Potlatch before, add it to your schedule for next year.


Open Pairs

  1. Ryan Young James Wiseman 3706.905 2718.458 6425.363
  2. Emma Kahle Juliana Korver 2653.87 2520.37 5174.24
  3. Jake Gauthier Lori Daniels 2380.459 2273.05 4653.509
  4. Matt Gauthier Lisa Hunrichs 2347.91 2087.88 4435.79
  5. Johnny Trevino Angelo Trevino 1234.681 2630.23 3864.911
  6. Charles Logan Char Powell 745.8279 1940.43 2686.2579
  7. Cindy St. Mary Tony Pellicane 1176.384 1384.355 2560.739
  8. Mike Galloupe Mike Slaska 504.79 1599.03 2103.82
  9. Mary Lowry John Titcomb 257.99 1408.335 1666.325
  10. Dan Yarnell Bob Boulware 299.43 516.76 816.19
  11. Doug Korns John Anthony 127.85 506.48 634.33
  12. Michaela Galloupe Aiden Slaska 178.15 387.16 565.31

Turbo Jam

Semi Pool A

  1. Ryan Young James Wiseman 48 50 98
  2. Lisa Hunrichs Cindy St. Mary 46 43 89
  3. Jake Gauthier Lori Daniels 49 34 83
  4. Aiden Slaska Angelo Trevino 25 29 54

Semi Pool B

  1. Doug Korns Matt Gauthier 25 50 75
  2. Mike Galloupe Johnny Trevino 32 27 59
  3. Tony Pellicane Emma Kahle 27 24 51
  4. Juliana Korver Charles Logan 25 25 50
  5. Bob Boulware Dan Yarnell 10 47 47


  1. Ryan Young James Wiseman 40 48 88
  2. Johnny Trevino Mike Galloupe 30 35 65
  3. Doug Korns Matt Gauthier 20 40 60
  4. Lisa Hunrichs Cindy St. Mary 35 25 60