Connor Scholten, a yo-yo historian, recently asked me about the origin of the term “Alpha Style”, which I used to describe tricks like The Matrix and Skin The Gerbil. Here is my response:
As far as the terms go, I know I really loved the Matrix around that time, so I think Alpha and Beta just sounded techie to me. My trick “The Matrix” was maybe the first time I started thinking of the concept of what elements can be linked together and what can’t, so that kind of goes to prove that whole “this term sounds computery” origin story.
Doctor M. Popular
Some elements of yo-yo tricks can be linked together to form a single fluid chain of movement. This means allowing the movements of one element to carry momentum and flow into the next element without any pauses or redirections. This style of yo-yoing is called Alpha style. However, not all elements can be linked together. Some elements may necessitate a pause or a change in direction, which would bring the Alpha flow to an end. Some elements may require a pause or change in direction which would end the Alpha flow. The point between two elements that requires the yo-yo to change direction is called a Beta move.
The Matrix (seen above) can be put together almost entirely in Alpha Style, but Skin The Gerbil (below) is constructed of both Alpha and Beta moves.
Here’s a new trick tutorial for one of my favorite tricks of 2021… which was actually inspired by one of Kota’s tricks in the early 2000s. The trick is called the PopGun Whip and I think it’s totally learnable by most players. I’m hearing a lot of great feedback from folks who enjoyed the tutorial. You can watch it here:
Shout out to my Patreon sponsors who helped me find a name for this trick as part of my monthly Name-This-Trick Contest. Congrats to EFF.n YOYO for suggesting the winning name.
“The End Part II #thingsthatrepeat” is my first full length trick video in a long time. I made it to promote the upcoming release of The End Part II yo-yo by Round Spinning Objects and myself. The video features original tricks and music over a minimal background. If you look in the video’s description, you’ll also notice I’ve added “chapters” to the video, to show the name of each trick and more info about that trick when possible.
I’ve also uploaded the song from this video for folks to download
Huge thanks to Shalaco for sharing his studio, lighting, and camera skills with me for this project.
This is one of my oldest and most fleshed out Möbius tricks, but I never named it. So I’m doing a name-this-trick contest on my Patreon page and giving Da Capo yo-yo (seen in the video) to the winning name. Enter here https://www.patreon.com/posts/55758053
This episode of PopCast was a real treat. I got to talk to Angelo Aguirre about his huge following on social media. Angelo is a team member of SF Yo-Yos and has over 1.6 million fans on TikTok. We talked about what it’s like to have so many followers, tips for creating viral videos, how TikTokers make money, and his plans for the future.
If you’ve been on the hunt for a Weekender, I have some great news… I now have Weekenders available in orange or light blue. I’ve been out of stock all year, so don’t miss out on these yo-yos. I think Weekenders set the bar for metal modern responsive yo-yos. They are light, snappy, and easy to stall.
I have 11 available in classic orange and 11 more available in a new light blue color that I think looks fantastic. These colors remind me of the classic Bolt colorways.
This episode of PopCast is an in depth conversation with André Boulay from YoYoExpert.com. I asked André about how he got into yo-yoing, how the pandemic has affected the hobby, what it’s like switching from being a yo-yo pro to being a yo-yo store, and if we’ll ever see another Dark Magic.
PopCast is a crowd sponsored yo-yo show. Huge thanks to Taka, John Anderson, and the rest of my sponsors on Patreon.com/docpop Just a note, André is one of the sponsors of this show, but he had no say in any of the questions I asked or how it was edited. I just thought he’s a cool person with a rad yo-yo story.
I’m giving away The Dark Magic bootleg yo-yo that we show during the episode. This has been a coveted part of my collection for a while, but it seems like the perfect giveaway. Find out how to win it on my https://www.patreon.com/posts/54347772
The Shawn Exploder is Shawn Garcia‘s first signature yo-yo. Shawn is a yo-yoer and photographer known for taking beautiful photos of yo-yos floating in air. This “exploded” photography is what first drew me to Shawn and was the inspiration for the name. The Shawn Exploder is a wedge shaped competitive yo-yo that was designed to look great in photos. I’ll say that again…
When I asked Shawn to design “a yo-yo that photographers would love” he sent me a sketch of a wide v-shape design with stepped edges. These hard contours created distinct areas of light and dark on the yo-yo. In stark contrast, and because I’m a huge fan of organic throws, I added a smooth contoured bowl to the outer walls of the yo-yo. These work great for fingerspins and claw grinds, but also distribute weight in an interesting way. I think the end result is a competition style yo-yo that feels fun and floaty.
The Shawn Exploder will be available in blue or yellow on DoctorPopular.com, with a small batch of red fades going on YoYoExpert.com. Additionally, a run of “Superblack” Shawn Exploders are now available exclusively to my sponsors on Patreon.com/docpop. Each Shawn Exploder comes with a silkscreened micro fibber cloth (for wiping your camera lenses) and an acrylic yo-yo stand featuring art by Rob Armin and Doc Pop.
I’m excited about this yo-yo because it represents many firsts. It’s the first signature yo-yo I’ve released for another player. The first wedge shape design I’ve released. The first yo-yo released with “yotography” in mind.The first 7075 aluminum yo-yo I’ve released. And it’s the first time I’ve released a designer yo-yo stand.
Many of y’all may not know this, but the PopCast Yo-Yo Vlog is a crowdsponsored yo-yo show. It’s made possible with the help and support of my patrons on Patreon.com/docpop (shout out to John Anderson, Taka from Spingear, and the rest of my sponsors on Patreon). As a special thanks for their support, I offer my patrons a 10% coupon code and access to a virtual yo-yo club each month.
I also offer an exclusive “Superblack” colorway to my Patreon backers whenever possible. The Superblack editions are yo-yos that are laser etched before they get anodized. The end result is a subtle black-on-black logo that looks super rad.
I’m currently offering Shawn Exploders, Weekenders, and Bolt Part IIs in this Superblack color. If you’d like to get your hands on one of these special editions, sign up for the Patreon for as little as $2 a month. This will get you a 10% off coupon and access to this post where you can buy the Superblack yo-yos.
I’ve been wanting to do a tutorial for the Overhand 1.5 Whip for many years. It’s been one of my favorite moves for a while, but it’s always been a little hard for me to break it down. I’ve finally shared a tutorial and I think it does a great job teaching this beautiful flourish. You can see it here
Huge thanks to all of my Patreon.com/docpop sponsors for their support and to Clifton B., the editor I hired to put this video together.