Tips on Tipping

Dave Lewis TippingWritten by Dave “Spike” Lewis

Question: What is tipping? Answer: Striking the bottom of the spinning disc with your fingers causing the disc to bounce upward. You can also do an elbow tip, a head tip, a toe tap, heel tip or a knee tip. Today I’ll only be covering tipping using fingers.

Tipping above the head

When you first start to learn to tip, start tipping above your head. Begin with the two handed self set. Rev the disc up with as much spin as you can generate so the disc lifts up above your head. Look up at the disc and find the center of the disc and as it comes down, give the disc a good pop with the end of your middle finger and ring finger. Hit the disc with the pad of the finger tips. Keep the two fingers nestled together and slightly bent for stability. First try one tip then catch the disc. Then try two tips. Now three. Now go pick the disc up off the ground….OK, now try tipping off of someone’s throw. If the disc comes in high and if lofting on a nice throw try one or two tips then catch the disc. Now go pick the disc up off the ground. If you want to learn a new trick you better get used to doing that.

The basic underhand tip

If you can do a nail delay and you have mastered “the above your head” tip you’re ready to learn the underhand tip at belly level with the palm up. This is more difficult. To find the right spot to tip, clap your hands together at belly level like you were applauding an amazing combo that Tom Leitner did. The spot where your hands meet is the spot where the majority of your tipping should take place regardless of which hand you use. Get the disc on a nail delay with your palm up at the same spot I just suggested that you should tip the disc. Loft the disc up to chest level and as the disc comes back down, with your middle finger and ring finger nestled together and with your palm up, strike the disc with the pad of your finger tips.(not the nail side). Bend or curl your fingers a little bit to create more stability when tipping around belly level. Don’t tip with your fingers straight. I would suggest tipping with alternating hands. One tip with the right, one with the left, one with the right, etc., see if you can keep it going until spin runs out. The more spin on the disc, the easier and more stable the tips will be. Fake nails don’t work well for tips. That’s why I only use a fake nail on my index finger and reserve the middle finger and ring fingers for tipping.

Restricted Tips: Before you try these. Did you stretch??? Always stretch lightly before and after you play… Restricted tips are done under or around the leg or behind the back, and even be behind the brain. The most advanced tipping and the coolest tipping combos use only restricted tips. It takes practice.

List of Restricted tips:

Right hand under left leg.

Right hand under right leg from the inside (called the Figure Four or Grapevine Tip)

Right hand under right leg from the outside.

Now reverse everything above using the left hand.

Right hand behind back,

Left hand behind the back.

Bad attitude tip (tip done in bad attitude position) both left & right hand.

Right hand in inverted position, tipping under right leg.

Left hand in inverted position, tipping under left leg.

Always strike the center of the disc. Try to tip at belly level, and try to stay under the disc (I mean have your hand under the disc). There will be a sweet spot that you will find for each of the different restricted tips. Learn the sweet spot. It should be about where you clap your hands at belly level. Try some nail delay combos and throw a tip in here or there to get better at it. Then maybe throw in two or three consecutive restricted tips in a combo, .

Advanced Tipping: The most important tip is the first tip of a combo. If the tip ends up with the disc coming back down at an angle then it’s difficult to follow it up with more consecutive restricted tips without having to get the disc back on a nail delay or to do a “the” tip. A “the” tip is the basic non-restricted tip done at stomach level without the tip being done from under a leg or behind the back. So…make sure you set the disc up flat and high to start the first tip in your tipping combo. And of course, always aim at tipping the center of the disc. Having some high tips mixed with lower or medium height tips make the combo have more variety and actually can make it easier to execute. I don’t know why, but I’ve noticed that it seems to help. Having a high tip every third tip or so helps buy you time to get under the disc for the next tip. Move with the disc. If you tipped the disc too far to the left or right, or too far in front of you, move with the disc. Make your feet, not your arms, do the work to get you to the right position for the next tip. You can’t be flat footed during a tipping combo.

Tipping injuries: If you do too many high tips you can hurt your fingers. The disc can compress the joints a bit. So to avoid this problem I try to limit myself to only a few tipping combos every time I play. You could also use a smaller and lighter disc to practice tipping to limit this problem. Overdoing any one type of move or motion in one practice session can lead to injury.

Dave “Spike” Lewis

Why fake nails – or – Is it So Wrong to Wanna Jam Better?

If you are a new jammer you may have wondered why so many advanced players all tend to wear some sort of extension or fake fingernail while playing. This article will explore the reasons for wearing fake nails in the first place, the materials that can be used, and how to make/apply them properly. Hopefully, by the end of all this babbling, you will be able to make a reasonably informed decision as to whether using fake nails is right for you as a jammer.

“A fake nail will be much more durable than your natural nail.”

Why Fake Nails?
If you’ve seen jammers wearing fake nails, you may have asked yourself why anyone would glue such hideous chunks of plastic to the ends of their nails. Well, this is for a few reasons. The first is durability. As the “nail delay” is on the fingernail, your own natural nails will take a beating from the abuse that jamming can cause. A fake nail will typically be much more durable and have less friction than your natural nails. Wearing fake nails will reduce the risk of chipped, bent, or torn nails. The latter can be most painful if it occurs below the fingertip and will take weeks to properly heal.

Another reason to wear fake nails is to reduce gouging. A natural nail is thinner than most fake nails and tends to self-sharpen during play. It becomes a small gouge that will rip chunks out of a disc while tipping, pulling, or even just delaying. This self-sharpening of natural nails requires more maintenance: not only day-to-day, but throughout the course of a normal jam day. Fake nails, especially acrylic, need little to no edge attention and won’t sharpen during play.

“They will give you more extension and better penetration.”

Fake nails will give you extension beyond what a natural nail can. Depending on genetics and the amount of calcium in your diet, a natural nail gets pretty flimsy once it’s about 3/16” past your fingertip. A fake nail gives you extension beyond what a natural nail can before it starts to bend or tear (ouch!). The extension of the nail gives the wearer a couple advantages: it keeps the disc a little higher off your forearm/body while delaying and allows better penetration into the rim for rimming, sets, and pulls.

Fake nails, as mentioned above, have less friction than naturals—especially acrylic. This gives you the obvious advantage of a disc that spins faster and longer.

“You don’t wear a claw-hammer on your belt when you go dancing, do you?”

Another reason for wearing fake nails (which is a matter of personal preference) is that you can take them off at the end of the day. Although there are plenty of jammers who keep nails on 24/7, it’s not for everyone. Fake nails are necessary tools for jamming, just as a claw hammer is for effective carpentry. But you don’t want to wear your hammer on your belt when you’re out for a night of dinner and dancing with your sweetie, do you?

What are fake nails made of, and how do I get them?

Materials
There have been many types of materials and apparatus used over the years from thimbles to guitar finger picks, and from Lee Press-On nails to dental acrylic—even small seashells. Finding a product or material that you prefer can be a matter of availability and personal preference. Acrylic is perhaps the most effective material being used today, but they aren’t always easy to come by. The same goes for Swedish plastic. Still today, one of the most convenient and effective materials is the protective outer tube from Krazy Glue. Not only is this a relatively fast plastic, but it is also included in the purchase of a tube of Krazy Glue. Don’t be shy about trying new stuff to stick on the end of your nails—you could discover the next best thing to happen to freestyle since judging!

“Don’t be shy about sticking stuff to the end of your nails.”

As mentioned above, you can cut nails from the outer tube of Krazy Glue. It is soft and easy to shape, but this is also a disadvantage as it wears down over time. It also has a natural curve to it already that helps fit the curve of your finger.

Acrylic nails are not only hard and fast, but for the fashion-conscious they can come in virtually any color you desire. But getting them is a little tricky. Some are made of dental acrylic such as Yar-nails and others come from nail salons. If you know someone who is a dental technician, they can make you an exact fit. Otherwise, you will have to rely on fine- tuning the fit after they have been made. The advantage of getting acrylic nails from a salon is that they will fit perfectly to your existing nails. Some players have them made in a natural color and leave them on until they break off or grow out. Salons nails will cost more, but are quite effective.

“Hobby plastic is pretty cheap, but you’ll have to go to Europe for the Swedish Stuff”

Hobby plastic is plastic that can be purchased at most hobby/craft stores. It is basically the same material (a dense polystyrene) that plastic models are made of and can be bought in sheets of various thicknesses from .005” up to .080”. The most common thickness for fake nails is .050” (50 gauge). Hobby plastic is also quite affordable and, if a couple jammers go in on buying a package, the cost goes down even more. It does require some special handling to get a curve to fit your own nails: This technique will be covered later in this article.

As for Swedish plastic, go to more tournaments in Europe and make lots of friends—especially with the Swedish players. See if they can hook you up.

Now I’ve picked a material, how do I get them to stick?

Adhesives
The two most common methods of adhesion of fake nails are Krazy Glue (or other cyanoacrylates) and contact cement. They each have their advantages and disadvantages. Krazy Glue adheres fast, is strong, and applies in a very thin layer. For some, nails applied with Krazy Glue have a more “intimate” connection with their natural nail and feel more like a part of their body. It also comes in a very compact container so it’s easy to tote around and can be used in emergencies like when you knock over that family heirloom vase while jamming at Grandma’s house. But these adhesives have drawbacks such as: instantly gluing your fingers or other body parts to each other, the fumes will burn your eyes and nose, nails can be exceptionally difficult to remove—sometimes taking a layer of natural nail with it, and nails can just POP OFF without warning.

“Crazy Glue has a more ‘intimate’ connection”

Contact cement is much less aggressive than Krazy Glue. It is easier to remove the fake nails and won’t take a layer of nail or skin with it. The fumes are nowhere near as nasty either. And if a nail is starting to lose adhesion, you can typically tell in advance and fix the problem. But re-application will take you out of the jam for as long as 20 minutes while the glue dries. You also need to count on that 15-20 minute dry time when the nails are first applied before jamming. Contact cement is a much messier process. Even in tubes, contact cement takes up a lot of space in your nail kit and has less of a MacGiver factor than Krazy Glue. And for some, there is a sort of “mushy” feel to the nail that feels like the nail could pop off any minute, thus losing that “intimacy” gained with Krazy Glue.

The next installment of this article will be on the making, applying and maintenance of your own fake nails.

Magman
#beginner

Jam Report

The scene at Magnuson park was a peaceful one. The sun was out, the grass was dry, and there was not a soul in sight. Cindy, Ryan, and I turned on the tunes, sauntered out to the jam field, and broke the peace. We almost instantly peeled. Ryan hit a skid, I hit a skid, Cindy hit a skid to a crow brush to my brush pass to Ryan’s crushing gitis.

Somehow the energy in the park had changed. There was a certain inaudible buzz in the air. Just about that time Lori and Randy walked up. With brief hugs, they were in and hein ensued. Randy brings a certain energy into a mob-op that is indescribable. It grabs your full attention…the environment melted away.

At some point I looked up from a phlaud and a second jam had emerged. “Where’d they come from?” It was Mike G, Beast, Ryan, and Ryan’s friend Greg who was having his second jam. But how could that be? He takes both spins! I went to say “hi” and jammed with this crew. Before I knew it, Mary, Rick Sader, and Bob B had also arrived.

Now there were three jams. It was like a buffet, all you can eat and whatever you want. I took full advantage, switching jams often to get maximum face-time with all. At one point Randy, Lori, Cindy, Rick, and I were in a jam. Randy had the disc and did some funky monkey, spinny, tipping combo. He was inches from Lori, who instinctively knew when it was her turn. She snatched the disc on her nail, did a restricted pass back to Randy, who sent it immediately to Cindy and we were off. After multiple rolls, Rick ended with a picture perfect phlaud. Later in the jam I had the disc. I did some pass to Randy who set the disc on it’s side on the ground. It’s spin sent it straight to me. My heart jumped and skin tingled…kick brush! But I was a split-second behind and my foot stuck to the ground like glue. ARG!

And then…behold…more jammers! Jeff, Jacob, and John Titcomb arrived to the scene to add their special spark, and fresh legs. 13 jammers in all, the jam just would not stop. After about 4 hours I stopped on a double barrel roll off Beast’s roll out. But Beast would not be out done. He, Bob, Ryan, and Jeff kept going. That is until the move of the day took place. Every one touched it, multiple restricted passes. Then, off to the brushing races they went. A few rolls across the jam, then Beast hits a kick brush, and POW gitis that took him down so hard he rolled end-over-end three times on the ground. It was so hot that everyone just stopped…”jam over, we can’t top that.”