Lori Daniels Demonstrates the Invert Delay

Lori Daniels demonstrates the Invert Delay and two sets that can be performed from the Invert Delay position.

The Invert Delay is a flat nail delay where the wrist and hand are rotated inwards until the palm is up. In Freestyle Frisbee this is the Invert position since the hand is inverted from a normal palm up position. This is considered a restricted position since the mobility of the arm, elbow and shoulder are greatly limited.

Once the nail delay is established in this position, Lori demonstrates setting the disc under the inside of the same leg or outside of the opposite leg. Setting under the outside of the opposite leg in the invert position is also known as the Digatronic set. This is one of the most restricted tricks in Freestyle Frisbee.

Learn the Hal Delay

Matt Gauthier explains how to perform a sequence he calls the Hal Delay. This starts as a kneeling delay hold. Then the disc is set up flat and you switch hands and legs and return to a delay hold. This is a challenging trick because it involves both hands in restricted positions. It is also consecutive in that each delay hold is performed with out any unrestricted disc control.

Matt calls this the Hal Delay as a tribute to Hal Erickson, the first person Matt and I saw perform this sequence. Perhaps Hal or someone else has a different name for it.

Matt Gauthier explains how to do an Inverted Chest Roll

Matt Gauthier explains how to do an Inverted Chest Roll.

A Chest Roll is when the frisbee rolls from one hand, down the arm, across the chest, and out the other arm and to the other hand. A Chest Roll is performed when facing the wind so that they wind will push the disc onto the chest.

An Inverted Chest Roll is performed with the back to the wind. However, the underside of the disc is still towards the wind. Bend backwards as far as possible to provide as much surface area as possible and to get the head out of the way. Then, do a chest roll.

Playing with both sides

Jamming, everybody’s jamming. What a beautiful day. “Gimme an upside-downer.” Snap. “Now a rightside-upper.” . . .? A rightside upper? . . . That’s it! Oh, it finally makes sense! That’s why my mind is so captivated disc shaped pieces of plastic. Unlike the rest of the things I have been playing with all my life, a flying disc has two (count ‘em 2) distinct and very different sides. Is that why it is so different from the “objects” of other sports? Sideless baseballs, footballs, javelins, shot-puts, and hockey pucks all operate different principles. Even our fat cousin the discus just missed the point.

But surely not all sporting objects are so underprivileged that they are deproved of sides. No, pole vaulters and swimmers both have a top and bottom. So what’s the difference? The pits and pools don’t spin!

Let’s forget about that and get on to the joyfully limitless innovations of disc players. Once these guys start a disc spinning no part goes untouched. Just like the tired old story of the Indian and their buffalo, great freestylers find a use for every single bit of the disc. They nail delay the top and bottom, rim delay the inside and outside, use the ridge on Wham-O’s C mold, and somehow find flight ring delays on the old models. They can MAC the top, airbrush the side, padiddle a disc, and even breath delay a mini. Now with all this use, what I want to know is why no one hot stamps the bottoms!

These freestyle techniques sure get confusing and, in fact, quite overwhelming. By the time any one of these skills is copied, the state of the art has changed so drastically that there seems to be a constant need for something newer. But like any kind of technique it always goes back to the basics. For me, this is the nail delay, one side at a time.

The first time I saw a nail delay, I was totally mystified. “Hey, did you see that; man, what is going on around here?” I wanted answers and it drove me bananas, because unlike other sports, there was no way I could experience the big star performances vicariously. To relate to Dr. J all I have to do is to set up a six-foot hoop, but a nail delay…? About two months and a thousand questions later, I had attained my first goal; I was confident enough to practice an above-eye-level-clockwise-spinning-right-handed delay in the house. What a thrill; I laughed and laughed and laughed. Really wonderful, I thought. Now I only with my first teacher had told me to slick the disc. . .

Soon afterward I learned to delay a disc that was spinning upside-down. Quite quickly I found that it is in one way very different from delaying rightside-up. There is a longer walk to pick up drops. And slightly after that I learned about rim delays. If you can find one fingernail long enough to reach the corner of the disc, given enough practice, you’ll soon comprehend that slippery creature that changes curves and alters attitudes. Watch out though, for all their revelations, rim delays introduce extra friction. They are always, always capable of burgling the Z’s right out of your hands.

As I got more into this freestyle stuff my partner challenged me to put together a combination. “It’s the next step,” he said. Well the one I wanted to do the most involved delaying both sides of the disc at the same time. In this case I decided that the axiom about the whole being greater fun than the sum of its component parts is more true than ever.

The first time I saw anybody with hands simultaneously on a disc it was in my first copy of Frisbee Disc World (vol. 3 3). I had been delaying a short couple of months (I think I was up to using WD-40), but the trick was so hot, so state of the elusive art, that it captured my mind. Its attainment was a distant, much sought after milestone. Sought after not to say that I was physically capable of doing it, but to understand the disc well enough to comprehend just exactly how the trick would work. I had been playing with balls all my life, so I can sort of understand Dr. J levitating over the rim, but gyroscopic forces on a disc are another matter all together. Chris Taylor, who had written the Frisbee World Disc article, seemed to speak of the trick as though he was still a little mystified by it. The masters told him it was impossible, but still he knew that with the right tools and enough preparation its accomplishment was well within the physical laws of the universe. Such exploration is one of the very essential elements of our sport. People are just beginning to pioneer what a flying disc can do. So to our minds we can only say, “lead us not into limitation, but deliver us…” It’s so easy to get carried away. There I go again.

Back to the story. Before I had even seen a live and in person turnover, I knew that the crux of the matter was that the direction of the spin changed from one side of the plastic to the other. Chris Taylor told us that. So I, just like he, spent my time learning both spins on both hands. It was frustrating watching my friends accomplish more and more complicated single spin moves while I was in the elementary stages of both spins. I told myself that it would pay off and I’d one day put each spin together in a single package. It happened.

Chris said that in a turnover a clockwise spinning disc goes over to the opposite, counterclockwise spin. From playing with this idea and a disc, another self-evident realization came to mind. The disc also goes from one hand to its opposite, and again from one side of the plastic to its opposite. Everything, I thought, goes opposite: upside-down to rightside-up, left to right, and counter to clock. So 2x2x2=8. Therefore, there must be eight turnovers, if you could take either spin on either hand on either side of the disc, and turn them all over to their opposites. (I really am not sure if it is possible to turn them all the way over to anything else, but who knows?)

The fact that there had to be eight possible turnovers was obvious given a little thought. Accomplishing them is another story. Comprehending each one was my real goal, because I knew that would teach me about how a flying disc works. The physical part would come later. It was quite by accident that I learned a little about how our universe works. I told a scientist friend of mine that I didn’t know why the under-side was always spinning opposite its top. “It’s simple,” he said “why can’t you understand it? The same thing would happen if you turned over the earth. It would be spinning the other way.” Food for thought.

After studying the situation a bit, I was able to ask more than, “show me how to turn it over.” I asked everybody to show me their different turnovers. I learned first that it takes a lot of spin to do the trick. A rim delay causes a lot more friction that a nail delay, and a turnover is often both at once. Mega-Z’s are a must, especially at the beginning. A few extra can help us salvage our mistakes.

The next step was learning the pressure points both top and bottom. This essentially means knowing where to push and where to pull. My first turnover was upside-down to rightside-up. I started with my top hand pressing next to the rim and my bottom hand trying to turn the disc over. A rim delay (the top work on an upside-down disc) supported by a nail delay caused almost a total loss of spin. I finally got it though, and learned the risks: even with hot Z’s a turnover takes its toll.

The people who patiently taught me could show three turnovers that started clock: two upside-down and one rightside-up. The pressure points for each one were different. I found a lot more to it than just trying to keep a fingernail in the center. There is a balancing act with a hand on either side pushing the disc out of parallel with the ground. All this before righting it on the other side. Taking what we had learned from the Frisbee Disc World article, my friends and I extrapolated a bit more. Since one turnover started upside-down clock on the right hand, we figured we could learn the same thing starting upside-down counter on the left hand. With practice and experimentation we took the three tricks we had learned and turned them into six we understood.

The disc does go over and come up so we knew that the pressure points we had learned about did work. But I couldn’t help wondering if these points where optimum. What could be realized from trying some new ones? Well, a great thing happened when, for once, I moved off the rims. A lot of spin was left when the disc came over. Instantly I realized how and why the friction factor had been reduced, but more importantly, for the first time I felt the gyroscopic forces of a spinning disc. They were powerful; it was hard to turn the disc off its plane. There was real energy there. It reminded me of holding the axel of a spinning bicycle wheel and trying to change its plane. Now more than ever, I was left questions about the forces that act on a spinning disc. And questions about what else could be done with them.

Soon afterwards I began the familiar ritual of setting myself up, trying to figure out the seventh and eighth turnovers. Mostly I was pushing down on the disc and picking it up off the floor. It’s not such a bad was to spend a lonely afternoon. But all the time I was thinking, “what will happen if I push down here or there.” Finally one went over, and two tries later it was spinning the other spin on the other side on my other hand.

I managed to find out there actually are eight possible turnovers. For a few minutes I thought I knew them all. I was so excited. I was about to really start showing off. Later at home I started thinking about why I should have been able to figure out the last two from what I had known of the first six. “If that pressure point works that way, then this one would have to work this way,” kind of thinking. Clear enough. But, oh no, that means that still another point might work another way. That would mean, if you changed hands or started upside-down or…oh, at least ten or twelve variations, or who knows how many. And they are all related somehow.

Vickers Chambless

Go against the spin

I am not certain who was the first person to get against but I feel pretty
confident in stating that if there was a record for such things I would be
the career leader. The basic principle of spin is “Natural Procession”. What
that means is when a disc is spinning it wants to go a certain way. As a
person nail delays a disc, they do so by making small circles in the
direction of the disc. If you let your hand go limp the disc will rotate
around your finger the way it is spinning. There is also an anatomical
effect in play. If you are left handed, it is easier to learn to nail delay
clock spin. To test this theory, make small circles in the same direction
with both hands. Which one is easier for the respective spins? Now, to get
against, you must learn to go the opposite way of the spin. The best way to
start to learn this is to practice the “Crank”. There are 8 cranks, 4 with the spin and 4 against. Clock
inside, clock outside, counter inside and counter outside. All delay moves
are a part of a crank, some more than others. Here’s a drill. With clock on the left hand
(opposite hand for counter) take a nail delay and hold it above your head
with a straight arm. Now let the disc down and rotate your elbow to the
outside until the disc goes all the way down under the arm and let it pass
under your armpit until it comes out in front of you. That is a clock
outside crank. Now take a nail delay (clock again) in the right hand. Pass
it under the armpit and lift it up until it is above your head. That is the
second basic crank. It is important to try to keep the disc in the middle
and to try to do it slowly. By doing that, you are gaining a “feel” for the
spin of the disc and it will open up many more moves for you over time.

Now for some keys on how to do it. Try to get the disc to do all of the
work. If you are doing the left hand crank, let the disc tilt slightly
towards you. Then let the disc begin to drop down. It will be much easier
that way. Also, don’t keep your feet still. Rotate around the disc.

Here’s some moves to try:

Cove: This is a left hand (clock) pull done behind the back. Again, try to
tilt the disc so that it is falling in the direction you want to take it.
For extra credit try getting it in the ditch (or rim) and once you get it
through, continue the move into a one-hand turnover.

Juice: This is under the left leg with the left hand. Tilt the disc towards
you, drop it and pull it through. Viola! Magnifique!

BTB Crank: Do the drill I mentioned above and at the end of it, instead of
pulling it through, take it behind your back. Remember to rotate into the
behind that back position as the disc comes around your back.

Skids are against the spin moves done in the ditch (or inside rim). The
easiest way to do them is with a tilted disc.

Here’s basic Skid:
Throw up some spin with your right hand and extend your left into an
inverted wrist delay. Instead of keeping the disc on the finger, as soon as
you gain control, pull the disc around your back. Again, it helps to rotate.
Keep practicing this. You’ll start to gain a remarkable amount of control
and can use it as a set to other moves.

This is with the right hand (clock). Toss up some spin with and angle onto
your right hand. Freeze it, toss it up slightly then get it behind your
back. As soon as it touches your right hand finger nails drop your shoulder
and rotate around. Booyah!!

Amphibian: This is an inside crank done under the right leg (clock, right
hand). Drop your shoulders into position to get a better angle. Once you get
it down low pop it out.

WINDPLAY: If you are in a benign environment, you should be able to quickly
master some of these moves. Now to take it a step further, take it outside
and engage in some wind play. Think about where the disc is once it comes
out of one of these moves. Take the basic skid (left hand clock btb). If you
are facing the wind and do this move, it will now be behind you and you are
chasing it down wind. Now turn 1/3 towards your left. Now when you do the
move, it comes out into the wind lending itself to a nice floaty pull. Do
another skid like juice and you’ve just done skid row! Call your mom and tell her
“I’m on Skid Row Momma”!!! Actually it’s really Brain Hotel but she won’t
know the difference.

Skippy Jammer

Paul says, “turn it over”

The turnover is probably as technical a move as possible in disc
manipulation. It entails both spins, a myriad of angles and potentially the
whole surface of the disc. To do a turnover requires the ability to delay
both spins, to push the disc flat from an angled orientation and an
understanding of the wind’s (which can be self created) influence on the
disc. A basic clock turnover (a “the” turnover if there is such a thing) to
upside down counter would start with a clock delay in the left hand. One
must precess the disc. The nail will go from the center of the disc towards
the rim until the dome side is angled to a point where the disc can be
pushed with such force so the dome side is pushed into the wind and turned
over to a degree (and somewhat flattened). The finger would be inside by
the rim close to the body with the bulk of the disc away from the body (hand
on inside portion). This requires you to find the position which gets the
dome to be in a position to be pushed into the wind. This push is
essentially a skid as you push against the prevailing spin while pushing
into the wind while elevating it somewhat. To complete the turnover the
right hand needs to pick up the (now upside down) disc (somewhat, not
completely as it is at an angle) and flatten it. This is where right hand
needs to push into the dome upwards, making contact near the lowest point on
the disc, on the other side from the body. This push up will force air into
the “cup” of the disc, equalizing the pressure in it and flattening it. As
this is happening, the finger should precess back towards the center of the
upside down disc. It is kind of like digging out the disc.

The underlying key to a turnover will be the push. This is a
muscle-memory/feel thing and is different for everyone. The stronger the
push, the flatter the disc can become but the higher the risk of a
“blowout”. The push has a few components. The less the push the more the
upside down take will be angled becomes more difficult as the incoming angle
is increased towards near vertical. When pushing the disc over you will
push forward towards the wind (or somewhat across the wind) as well as
manipulating it in an upwards direction.

The ability to find the right body positioning cannot be understated.
However done, it results in the dome of the disc pushing into the wind like
an Apollo spacecraft re-entering the atmosphere and a “pull” which is also a
push to flatten the incoming turned-over disc. All funky turnovers will
have the same pressure point relationships. They will manifest themselves
in many ways, but if you could just focus on the disc contact point, they
will be remarkably similar.

Paul Kenny

The secret to Air Brushing – or – Sloppy Hands

Air-brushing is more than slapping your hands at a disc and hoping that it comes back up into play. It is an art form that only a few have mastered in the short time that Freestlye has been around.

I have been watching over time and have noticed something about the best wind players. They have sloppy hands when they are air-brushing. If you ever have a chance to watch players like Tom Leitner, Doug E Fresh, or Jake Gauthier, you will see what I mean. It would seem by watching that they should have no control over the disc and it’s flight with the way that they position their hands. It almost looks as though they have Cerebral Palsy. The hands seem to become limp and contorted. Somehow this allows for softer touch and greater precision while brushing. Adding Z’s, changing angles, or putting the disc out in front of you in just the right position. Sloppy hands are no doubt the way to go. It is the ability to adapt a soft touch with striking precision that will help you change your wind game from hopeful wind player, to Wind Jammer.

Matt Gauthier