How to Tip a Frisbee, by Ryan Young

Tipping a disc is when you poke the disc with the tip of your finger to pop it back up into the air to keep it in flight. Often, this is one of the first tricks someone will learn after the basic throw and catch. One subtle difference, however, is that many people begin by tipping the disc while it is above their head with their palm facing down or out. Here Ryan shows a more advanced version with the palm up and the disc directly in front of you.

Basically, give yourself a flat throw with lots of spin. Then curl under your pointer finger, hold it with your thumb, and point the remaining finger upwards, with the palm up. Then, tip the disc in the center, over and over. Not too hard, just enough to keep it under control and in front of you.

This is a handy skill that can be placed anywhere in a series of tricks. For example, set the disc under your leg, then tip it. Also, this tip can be made more advanced by adding a restriction. Tip it under your leg, behind your back, or in a bad attitude position. If you want to see how far tipping can go, check out this video of Joey Hudoklin. Might be the most hein tipping combo ever.

Throws, Catches and the basics

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BASIC THROWS

It is very important to learn the fundamentals of throwing before trying more advanced moves. Remember to step towards your target, or at the very least to shift your weight from your back foot to your front foot while throwing. Concentrate on rotating your shoulders, hips and legs through to the point of release, and end with a natural follow through. Keep your arm straight for distance, or bend your elbow and exaggerate the snap of your wrist at the end of the throw for greater spin on the disc. Adjust the angle of your release for accurate throwing.

The Backhand The most common throw is the Backhand release. Stand sideways toward your target, and grip the disc by placing four fingers under the rim of the disc and your thumb on top. Reach across the front of your body, then swing your arm back, releasing the disc towards your target. Tilt the outside edge of the disc down slightly (approx. 30 degrees) upon release and follow through!


The Finger-Flip Stand sideways toward your target, and grip the disc by placing your thumb on top of the disc and the first two fingers in the rim. Much like snapping a towel, swing your arm along the side of your body, snapping the disc towards the target. More snap equals more spin. Tilt the outside rim down slightly upon release. Use your wrist snap to propell the disc, not your arm.


The Thumber The Thumber is much like the Finger-Flip except for the grip. Stand sideways toward your target, and this time place the thumb in the rim with four fingers on top of the disc. Again, swing your arm along the side of your body, waist-high, snapping the disc toward the target. Slightly tilt the outside rim down upon release.


The overhand wrist flip For this throw, stand facing your target. Begin with the same grip as the Thumber, then turn your arm and wrist over. With your wrist cocked backward, swing your arm above your shoulder and snap your wrist forward towards the target. Remember to keep the outside edge of the disc tilted slightly downward at the point of release.


TRICK THROWS

Trick throws can be created by modifying the throws previously described. Use momentum from spinning or pivoting to create the snap needed to throw around your back, neck or legs. Be creative and invent new throws with your friends.

UPSIDEDOWN To throw the disc upside down, use the previously shown grips. Release the disc tilted slightly upward (Approx. 30o), instead of downward.

CURVE To throw a Curve shot, simply angle the disc upon release of your throw in the direction of your desired curve. Special precautions should be made in windy conditions.



SKIP SHOTS Skip shots can be made by striking the far edge of the disc on the ground between you and the receiver of the throw. Skip shots are easiest on hard surfaces.



BASIC AND TRICK CATCHES

Catches can be made off of throws from your partner or from your own set-ups, and can be made with either hand. The disc is always spinning, so be sure to make a strong squeeze when catching. Standard catches are made with the thumb up on low catches and the thumb down on high catches. Catches can be made more difficult by spinning around before the catch is made. Below are some examples of beginning and advanced catches, but make up some of your own, that’s half the fun. Catches can be made while standing, running, sitting, lying down or jumping in the air.


Pancake


One hand catch; High and Low


UTL (Under the Leg)


BTB (Behind the Back)


Bad Attitude (Around the Extended Ankle)


Flamingo (Around One Leg)


Figure Four (Reverse Under the Leg)


Behind the Head


Chair (Around both Legs)


Triple Fake (Around the Body)


Phlaud (Around the far side of both Legs)


Gitis (Around the far leg)

TERMINOLOGY

Nail Delay – Spinning the disc on your fingernail allows you to do many things. By balancing the spinning disc in the center, you can maneuver it under your legs, around your body and set it up for catches. Move your fingernail in a small circle underneath the spinning disc. Your finger should move in the same direction of the spin. When outside always face the wind.
Note: Silicon lubricant is used to create less friction.


Rim Delay – Similar to the nail delay, this technique involves letting the inside rim of the disc ride on your fingernail. Simply hook your finger so that your nail is the only thing making contact with the disc. This allows you to swoop the disc and create a flowing motion.


Spin – The disc spins two ways, clockwise and counter-clockwise. When the disc is thrown with a lot of spin, the flight will be more stable, and the nail delay will last longer. Also, the disc will hold an angle longer, and be more manueverable.

Percussion – Tips and kicks in the center of the disc offer many moves for the novice and professional alike. It is important to make contact as close as possible to the exact center of the disc. The action should be quick and precise for maximum control. Use your fingers, elbow, knee, head, toe or heel to pop the disc into play or to set for a catch. Experiment with trick tips under your leg, behind your back and with your feet.



Air Brushing – By hitting the disc on the outside rim with either the hand or foot, you can maintain spin and keep the disc in play. It is easiest when there is a slight breeze. Angle the disc upward into the wind and brush across the outside rim. The disc will rebound. Repeat the action or make a catch. Indoors, the brushing action can be used to pass the disc to your partner. Experiment with different hits and kicks into the wind or indoors.



Body rolls – Rolling the disc across your body is fun and easy. The most common roll is the chest roll. First of all, make sure to face the wind, then, while leaning your torso back and with the disc tilted towards you, start the roll at your finger tips. Step into the disc to maintain contact between your body and the disc throughout the roll, and watch the disc progress from one hand to the other.



Co-op – Passing the disc between players by center delay, rim delay, air brush, kicks or tips is called co-oping. For routines on the competitive level, these tricks are choreo-graphed to music.



Freestyle Competition

In competitive freestyle disc play, players organize three, four and five minute routines to music, and are judged on execution, artistic impression, variety and difficulty. Tournaments are held worldwide, and exhibitions can often be seen in schools and at special events.

For a complete listing of freestyle events, please contact the Freestyle Players Association at:

http://www.freestyledisc.org

Needed Equipment

For a simple game of throw and catch, a disc is all you need. If you desire to expand your play to the nail delay and other advanced moves you might want to spray the bottom of your disc with a dry silicone lubricant. Spraying the disc will make it slick and nearly friction-less, which allows for easier nail and rim delays. Another part of the equipment needs of professional disc athletes are fake fingernails. Since real nails tend to grind down with extensive play, fake nails are used to protect the real nail and give a secure surface for the spinning disc. Other than that, the only requirements for freestyle disc play are open space and you!

Text by Rodney and Bethany Sanchez

Graphics by Gina Sample

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