Word of The Day – Zzzs

Zzzs (noun)Zzzs

Zzzs is the spin of the disc. The faster the disc is spinning, the more Zzzs it has. A disc that is hardly spinning at all may be referred to as having “one Z” or “half-a-Z”. It comes from the sound that the original Sky-Stylers Super-Pro (thanks, Rick) made when they were delayed upside down.

The spin of the disc is highly important in Freestyle Frisbee for several reasons. First, the faster the disc is spinning, the easier it is to nail delay. Also, the more Zzzs a disc is thrown with, the more tricks that can be done until it runs out of Zzzs. Finally, the direction of the spin is important as each trick must be mastered twice, once for each spin direction; clock and counter.

Example: “Throw me some Zzzs.”

Example: “He throws more Zzzs than anyone I know.”


Episode 52: Joey Hudoklin – Tipping Combo King

Joey Catches a Barrel

  • You’ve been hearing about it for a couple weeks now, and today, we are excited to be launching a Patreon Campaign!! Jake explains the program and we would love your support! 
  • Joey returns with more incredible stories. First up he talks about his routine with Ritchie Smits where they had no throw, one catch, in a no drop routine. (video below)
  • When Jake asks how they thought of doing such a thing, he says it started with a simple thought, “wouldn’t it be cool if…”
  • Joey explains how he became part of Team Bud Light back in the mid 1980’s.
  • Among many of their amazing experiences, they opened for Rock Bands such as Stevie Ray Vaughan. Not a bad perk.
  • They also traveled to China and played with the musical group Jan and Dean. Although the crowds seemed to love the frisbee routine, the music wasn’t resonating. In an effort to engage the crowds, this cultural exchange went awry and became part of an international news story.
  • Joey finally reveals the secrets behind his famous tipping combo. (video below)
  • Can you remember the times that you were REALLY ON?
  • Enjoy Jakes Patreon video here. 



Poll: What is Your Bail Catch?

Cindy Catches a Scare CrowThe concept of the bail catch is an interesting one. It’s really your go-to catch. It’s a catch in which you have supreme confidence and that you can pull out without giving any thought to it. It’s the catch that’s used any time there’s trouble. Maybe you’re going for a hein combo and the wind puffs? Give the disc a touch and make the bail catch. Maybe your partner sets you short? No problem, pull out the bail catch.

Yes, we all need at least one bail catch. Mine is the left hand scarecrow. I recall the moment I realized this was the case: it was in a competition, the wind was unpredictable, and I was on a brushing run when the wind puffed. The disc began to blow behind me and, BAM, without even thinking about it I reached back and caught a scarecrow. It happened before I even had time to panic. 

So now let’s find out, what is your bail catch? Don’t worry if you have more than one, as this poll is multiple choice.


What is Your Bail Catch?

What is Your Bail Catch?

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In case you don’t know what these catches are, follow these links:

How to Do a Behind the Back, Right Hand Skid With Clock


In this video I explain how to do a behind the back, right hand skid with clock. This is an against the spin move that adds the extra restriction of pulling the disc behind the back before performing the against the spin pull.

To perform this trick, basically throw or set the disc on an angle at your left hip. Step forward with your left foot, reach behind your back and hook the rim with your nail. Now swing down and then back up. As you swing the disc up turn to your right.

Extra credit points if you can go from this move to another against the spin move.

Episode 51: Dexter Struz Talks About Giving Competition Formats Some Sizzle

Dexter catches a Chair

Photo by Ken Shults

  • As both a Footbag and a Freestyle organizer, Dexter shares his thoughts on competition formats and how they are perceived by an audience.
  • He thinks there’s a more exciting way to promote Freestyle and attract sponsors. Some of the ways include location, judging, and prize money.
  • Dexter, Jake, and Randy toss around some ideas about judging and making competitions more audience friendly.
  • Jake and Randy define what they mean when they use the phrase “audience friendly” which simply put, for them, is about taking something they love doing and sharing it.
  • Stay tuned to learn more about becoming a FrisbeeGuru Patron…
  • How do you fuel your tank before you play? 

Poll: What is the Highest Wind Speed in Which You Are Comfortable Jamming

Jan UTL BrushThis poll idea comes from Ayal Benin. In an earlier poll we learned what the ideal wind speed is for jamming. This question puts a different spin on the wind speed conversation. You see, we can’t really control the wind speed. Rather, we grab our discs, nails, and friends and head to the jam spot. When we arrive mother nature lets us know what she has planned. Sometimes there’s no wind, maybe it’s gusty, or maybe it’s a blow out. If we’re lucky it’s perfect. This variation in wind conditions is something that I rather enjoy. It allows me to explore new possibilities and push my skills to the absolute limits. I never want to arrive to the field and feel like I can’t play because the conditions are not right. I seek to be able to handle anything. With that said, of course, there certainly are limits. This poll is aimed to find just that, our limits.

Bonus points if you share a story about the craziest wind you’ve ever played in. Thanks, Ayal, for the idea. If you have poll ideas, leave them in the comments or send me a message here.


What is the Highest Wind Speed in Which You Are Comfortable Jamming

What is the Highest Wind Speed in Which You are Comfortable Jamming?

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FrisbeeGuru – 2017 in Review

One of the most effective strategies for improving one’s Freestyle Frisbee game is self-reflection. After a jam or performance, it’s helpful to take a moment to think back and recognize what worked, as well as where we can improve and grow.

Since this site’s inception in 1998, I’ve been doing a similar exercise. As I sit and reflect on Heinsville and FrisbeeGuru in 2017, I am taken aback at just how much we’ve accomplished. I also want to share my thoughts with you because you’ve all been such an important part of this amazing journey.

At the beginning of 2017, I set three goals:

  • Centralize Freestyle Frisbee live streaming on this site
  • Increase the audience viewership for the FPAW 2017 live stream over 2016
  • Create at least three new items of content for the blog

Looking back, all three of these were successful. With the help of Jakub “Mystic” Matula and Chris Bellaj, we hosted 14 live streams. We also added our own streaming service so we no longer need to use Youtube, UStream, etc. This means no commercials and that we control the content. For FPAW 2017, we placed a Facebook ad promoting the finals. This resulted in an uptick in viewer traffic, surpassing all other FPAWs except for 2013. And, of course, with the weekly podcast on Sunday, weekly polls on Thursday, and other content (like the training videos) on Tuesday, the goal of three new items per week was easily met.

Randy Editing

If that were all, I would be more than satisfied. Looking back at previous years, those three items would have put 2017 as one of the top productive years. But that’s only part of the story. Early in 2017, Randy came to me with an idea. As we discussed it, we realized the synergy with my expertise with internet technology and his expertise with internet marketing. We partnered up and created another set of goals:

  • A Weekly Podcast
  • Increased website traffic, live stream viewership, and audience engagement
  • Income to fund the FrisbeeGuru mission

Shortly after this conversation, Shootin’ the FrizBreeze was born. Then, we rebranded Heinsville to FrisbeeGuru, which immediately grabbed people’s attention and made it easier to point non-Frisbee friends to the site. We also organized our Facebook presence, added a mailing list, and began promoting FrisbeeGuru and all our projects. Then, we added the donate button, T-Shirts, and the Wall of Gurus. Most importantly, we clearly defined our mission.

What’s been most amazing about 2017 is how many of you have joined us for this adventure; comments are up 10x from years pasts (even more than that on our facebook posts), people contact us regularly with feedback, ideas, or questions (some from regular freestylers and others who are new to the sport). We’ve had more outside blog posts and photo contributions this past year than ever, including people proudly wearing their FrisbeeGuru T-Shirts, and many generous donations toward our continued endeavors. THANK YOU!

Of course, any good self-reflection includes areas for growth. There are several things that I’d like to improve:

  1. Technical issues caused some of our live streams to fail this year. This included both issues with hardware on-site and issues with our live streaming service. Certainly sometimes things just break, but I’ll be adding more backup planning and improving the software.
  2. I’d like to improve our overall audio and video quality. What we produce is pretty good, but I believe increasing the polish would lend more credibility to our various projects.
  3. I’d like the FPAW live stream to be more like a show that communicates not only to the knowledgeable freestyler, but to a lay-person audience. Therefore, I will be working toward adding more commentary and other filler material to keep people engaged with the live stream. We’ve experimented with this in the past and the feedback has been very positive. I think we now have the expertise to bring this to the next level in 2018.
  4. FrisbeeGuru T-Shirt sales and donations have been appreciated; enabling us to do many things this year that we would not have been able to otherwise. In order to keep our growth and improvement on track, we are launching a Patreon campaign on Feb 4th, 2018. Patreon is basically a crowd sourced funding platform, similar to Kickstarter, allowing fans to become monthly Patrons of projects that they love (like FrisbeeGuru!).

Looking back at this past year, I could not have imagined accomplishing so much without the help of so many enthusiastic jammers, partners, fans, and contributors. What excites me the most is that looking ahead to 2018, I am more motivated and charged up than ever.

Now I am asking you to share what you think: What have we done well? What could we do better? Is there anything that you suggest that we can try? Let me know in the comments, or send me a private message via our contact form or via email, Facebook, etc.

Episode 50: Matteo Gaddoni –The One and Only Freestyle and Disc Dog World Champion

Photo by Arthur Coddington

    • Matteo talks about the evolution of his mindset as he grew his Freestyle skills, going from just having fun to focusing on competing.
    • Matteo shares his memories of the 2009 World Title he won with Tommy Leitner in Berlin and lessons learned (video below).
    • Then, remarkably, he defended his title, by winning Open Pairs again in 2010 with Arthur Coddington in Seattle (video below).
    • Although Matteo still tries to Freestyle, he now prefers playing with dogs vs. humans. His passion for Disc Dog has resulted in more World Championships. Seriously, he must be the only person to accomplish this, so cool! (video below)
    • Hear Matteo talk about his wonderful canine partnerships, their well-rounded lives, and how his experience competing is one of the main things that has transferred from Freestyle to Disc Dog.
    • Hear how doing the Podcast for almost a year has impacted both Jake & Randy.
    • Be sure to look at the responses from the Frisbee Guru poll questions and thanks again for your engagement!
    • Your ability to become a Patron is just around the corner.  





Poll: What is the Longest Break You’ve Taken from Freestyle Frisbee?


Photo By Kristýna Landová

The addiction to Freestyle Frisbee, or ZZZs disease, as Deaton calls it, is known to be incurable. Yet sometimes it goes dormant for long spans of time. In our interview with Arthur Coddington and Dave Lewis, we learned that they had each taken an extended break from Freestyle Frisbee before meeting and going on to be the dominant team that they were. 

My story is a little different. From the moment I caught ZZZs disease, I have never gone into remission. I was forced into a 1 year break from Freestyle due to a knee injury. The whole time I was feeling pangs of withdrawal. Still, though, I did take a break and enjoyed Freestyle all the more when I came back.

In this weeks poll, let’s find out how many of you have taken a break from Freestyle Frisbee. Extra credit if you tell us why you took the break in the comments below. This weeks question:

What is the Longest Break You’ve Taken from Freestyle Frisbee?

What is the Longest Break You've Taken from Freestyle Frisbee?

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Word of the Day – Lane

Lane (noun)
A term to describe an area in the jam that is a player’s specific space. When players are more stationary, as when jamming in a circle, a lane is a circle around each player. As players begin to move together as a team, as when jamming in a line, the lane extends forward of direction of movement. Where the is no wind, as when jamming in doors, lanes move freely about as the direction of play moves. When there is wind, lanes almost always move into the wind because players will tend to face the wind as they play.

Reading lanes is as much about reading the nose of the disc as it is about reading a players intentions. For example if a player is not intending to move then it could be argued that their lane no longer extends up wind. Likewise, if a player intends to chase the disc no matter where it goes, it could be argued that their lane is the whole field when they have the disc.

With that said, it is generally accepted that one’s lane extends in a straight line, into the wind, similar to the way a swimming lane extends in a swimming pool. When all players work under this assumption, it is much easier for the group to perform spontaneous cooperative tricks.

Example: “Sorry, you’d have caught that if I didn’t poach your lane.”

Read more about lanes here.