Matt Teaches the Kerfuffle

In this video Matt teaches how to perform a kerfuffle. A kerfuffle is when the disc rolls around your hand on it’s rim, spinning on a third world axis. If that doesn’t make sense, the video will make it clear. 

To perform a kerfuffle, toss the disc up so it is perpendicular to the ground and to you. Put very little spin on it on only toss it a few inches for your hand. Now, lightly push into the rim at 3 with the side of your hand o’clock for clock or 9 o’clock for counter. The disc will pivot on it’s axis and begin to roll around your hand. Slightly lift up and then down and grab the disc as it rotates back into your hand.

The Kerfuffle is a fun move that can draw alot of attention. Still, it’s not used much in most freestyle play because it’s challenging to connect it to other moves. Sometimes it’s used at the end of a series as a catch restriction…the kerfuffle itself is a restriction. Of course, of the best reason to learn a kerfuffle, as Matt points out, is that it is a “gateway trick” to learning the cuff. The hand motion and the place you touch the disc are very similar between a kerfuffle and a cuff, so learning a kerfuffle will aide in learning to cuff.

 

Catch zones

Film Strip CatchesAfter writing the poll, what is your bail catch?, I realized a discussion of catch zones was in order. As one hones one’s freestyle skills, one begins to realize that the disc can come in at any height, any angle, and any side of one’s body. As such, it pays to have at least one answer for every possibility.

This is where the concept of catch zones comes in – it’s a way to break down all the possibilities in order to reflect on what skills one may wish to develop.

I break down the zones as follows: ankles, knees, waist, shoulders, and head. Each of these has a right and left side, for a total of 10 zones.

So with that defined, the first step is to ask yourself, “what is your bail catch for each zone?” Here’s a worksheet to help:

Side of Body Left  Right
Ankles                                                                                                             
Knees                      
Waist                      
Chest                      
Head                      

Once the list is filled out, evaluate it with the following questions:

  1. Are there any gaps?
  2. Are these catches truly bail catches? Can you make them with both spins? Any angle?
  3. Are you satisfied with the difficulty level or your form for each catch?

For example, here is my list:

Side of Body Left Right
Ankles Chair Phlaud
Knees Under the Leg Under the Leg
Waist Behind the Back Triple Fake
Chest   Scare Crow
Head Behind the Head Scare Crow

The first thing that I notice from my list is the gap at Left-Chest. A great thing for me to practice is a catch in that zone, maybe a right handed scarecrow. Next, I notice on my right side I have more difficult catches than on my left. So, I could drill my left catches; or target one of the zones and start drilling a different specific catch. For example, a left handed phlaud for the left ankle zone. Lastly, I my Knee Zone catch on both sides could be improved with more difficult catches, like a flamingo.

This “zones” exercise can be useful for more than just catches. For example, takes, sets, air brushes, against the spin, UD, really any category of tricks can be examined in this way.

What zone do you plan to work on next?

Matt Shows the Equipment that Freestylers Use

In this video Matt shows us the basic equipment needed for Freestyle Frisbee. This is really the video version of one of the oldest articles on this site. This video is perfect for someone who want to get started with Freestyle but doesn’t have a friend to show them the ropes. Nice job Matt!

Here’s his list:

Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links. At no additional cost to you, FrisbeeGuru receives a small commission if you use the link and make a purchase. This helps support our mission.

  1. A disc with a smooth bottom. Many discs have raised lettering, which is bad for the nail delay. Most Freestyler prefer the Discraft Sky-Styler. Purchase here.
  2. Slick in the form of silicon spray or grease. This is used to make the disc’s plastic less sticky. Purchase here.
  3. A slick rag. This is used to wipe down and spread out excess slick. Find one in your sock drawer.
  4. Fake Nails. These provide a stronger surface on which to nail delay the disc. Purchase here.
  5. Super glue. This is how the fake nails are attached to your natural nail. Purchase some popular brands: Krazy Glue and Uhu.
    1. An alternative to glue is double sided tape. Check here for more details.

Addressing the Disc

Addressing the DiscI was practicing my counter airbrushing in high wind the other day and I had an “ah ha!” moment. You see, I have been great at brushing clock in high wind for a while, but only recently have I decided to seriously practice counter in high wind. In the past I was happy to have just enough counter skill so I could control the disc to pass or immediately catch it. More recently, I’ve decided it’s time to master counter. It’s actually quite challenging, but in a different way then when I learned clock. Now when the wind is high – I know I can brush clock all day long and have a blast. But, if I start brushing the disc counter, after two or three brushes, it soon drops or blows away. Maximum frustration.

So, the other day the wind was up past my comfort zone with counter. I decided to “pay my dues” and just keep at it, no matter how frustrating it got. This is what lead me to my “aha!” moment. I found that when the disc was getting away from me, when I had to make my maximum effort to get to it, I’d arrive to a place where I could reach it, but not at a place where I had options to make a save. I was literally putting myself out of position to make the play.

“Why is this, what am I doing wrong?” I asked myself. One of the most important skills I had learned early on was to judge where the disc was going to land, then calculate where I could meet it before it hit the ground, and then run straight to that point. This was the skill I was applying, but it was letting me down.

I had apparently learned a more nuanced skill with clock spin, but not realized it. The spin of the disc changes how the disc flies through the air. More wind makes this even more pronounced. A clock disc will tilt to the left (forcing my body to twist toward the right) and a counter disc will tilt to the right (forcing my body to twist to the left). The tilting of the disc, of course, changes the flight path, but it changes another thing as well: the it’s direction relative to the wind, i.e. where the nose is pointing.

As I pursued the counter spinning disc, I was considering the flight path, but not the disc’s direction to the wind. My muscle memory for clock spin was causing me to arrive at the counter spinning disc with the nose pointing off to my left, leaving me with limited options. I needed to not only meet the disc, but meet it at a place where I had the maximum options for addressing it. In other words, I had to get “behind it”, which is a different place for counter than it is for clock.

Making this adjustment was quite challenging. It was a little like fighting against an instinct. The more I forced it, the easier it got and soon I found options for saving the disc that were not there before. As this adjustment became more natural, I started to see the counter spinning disc falling into the pocket for more catches! This shift in thinking opened up my counter brushing game and gave me a deeper level of insight into freestyle skills.

If you are working on your brushing game, here’s a tip: as you pursue the disc, consider it’s flight path and it’s tilt relative to the wind and run straight to the place that gives you the most options. I call this place “behind the disc.” This way, as you brush it back up into the wind, the nose will be pointing away from you, causing the disc to float out, and then right back to you. 

Need some more airbrushing advice? Here are some great videos and another informative article.

Dani Demonstrates How to Attach a Fake Nail with Double Sided Tape

Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links. At no additional cost to you, FrisbeeGuru receives a small commission if you use the link and make a purchase.

There are many techniques to applying fake nails for jamming. I usually glue them on with Krazy Glue. In this video, Dani show’s his technique of using double sided tape from Uhu. This is perfect for those who don’t want to or can’t use glue. 

If you’re looking for tips on the equipment needed to get started with Freestyle, check out this article. If you have any questions, leave a comment below, or contact us directly. We’d love to help!

Appendix from Dani: after a couple more years of experience, it is recommended to use a nail-polish block to shine your own nail (until really shiny). That way there is no need for any isopropanol. It’s very fast, more effective and less chemicals on your nails. It holds days, but can still be taken off without harming your own nail (as it can occur with super glue). Perfect for beginners and pros in my opinion. Please share your experience!

How to Deal with Low Spin

In this video tutorial, Ryan Young teaches us how to deal with a disc with low spin. His strategy is to quickly and precisly set the disc and make a catch. This is a great skill to master as it allows for using more of the spin before catching and for recovering from errors that use up most of the spin.

Ryan gives excellent detail in the video, but the gist is this; delay the disc in the center as long as possible. Then, spiral out to 10 o’clock for clock spin, or 2 o’clock for counter spin, and just touch the rim long enough to set the disc do it falls into the pocket.

How to Practice the Kick Tip

Learn how to practice a kick tip, also called the toe tip or toe tap. The goal is simple, kick the disc with your toe to pop it back up into the air.

Kick tips are great for a couple reasons. First, it is a gateway trick to begin integrating feet into Freestyle Frisbee. Second, kick tips a great way to save a disc that can’t be reached with the hand.

To practice, set the disc flat in front of you just under leg’s length. This can be done with a self set throw, or from a center delay. Now, point your tow towards the sky and kick the center of the disc with medium power. The goal is to lift it back up to chest height to regain control.

To improve your kick tip, watch the disc intently. You want to aim your toe to hit the center. To judge how close you came to the center, watch the wobble of the disc. If there is no wobble, you hit the center correctly. The more wobble there is, the further from the center you contacted. As you watch, you’ll get the feel for how to hit the center every time.

Have a kick tip story? Let us know in the comments below.

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.