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:
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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.
Slick in the form of silicon spray or grease. This is used to make the disc’s plastic less sticky. Purchase here.
A slick rag. This is used to wipe down and spread out excess slick. Find one in your sock drawer.
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!
In this video, I demonstrate the flamingo catch. The flamingo an under the leg variation. To perform the catch, plant on one leg, lift the other leg into the air at 90 degrees or more. Reach around behind your knee or ankle and make the catch.
This is a great catch for times when the disc is coming in low. It has a large window and is very visual.
In this video, I describe the 4 basic, with the spin cranks. The crank is a nail delay move in which arm that is controlling the disc rotates either; up, around, and back under the arm pit or under the arm pit, back, around and down…its makes more sense if you watch it. The with the spin crank on the rim is a really good move to learn as a beginner. It will allow you to do many tricks and help you gain control over the nose of the disc.
The chicken wing throw is similar to a back hand throw. However, instead of throwing across your body and using the pull back to generate spin, this throw curls the arm under the armpit and uses an unwinding motion to generate the spin. Many players, especially women believe this to be the throw that generates the most spin. In this video, Lori Daniels demonstrates how to execute this throw.
Grip the tightly. Then bend at the wrist, the elbow, and the shoulder. Tuck the disc under your armpit. Now step back on the opposite leg and twist your back for a little more windup. Then, unwind like a spring, releasing the disc at the end. The motion will seem to pull or rip the disc out of your hand.
When I first started learning this throw, I found the disc would release from my hand much earlier than I thought. It took many practice throws by myself to gain the ability to predict where it would go. However, I’ve always felt I could generate alot of spin. Now, this is one of my favorite long distance, left handed throws (I’m a righty). Tell use what you think of the chicken wing in the comments below. Can you generate a ton of spin with it?
The center nail delay is the basis for much of Freestyle Frisbee. It is the act of spinning the frisbee on your finger nail. Matt explains how to practice so you can master this skill.
First, give yourself a two handed throw. Be sure you choose the spin, clock or counter, that you want to practice. This throw is good because the disc comes to you perfectly flat. Now, let the disc land softly on your finger nail. Most people use the index finger, but any finger nail works. In fact sometimes I use two, or all five (the claw). Keep the disc above your head so you can see the center. As the disc slides on your fingernail, move your finger so it stays in the center. This may mean moving your feet to pursue the disc. Stay loose and chase it around. If it falls all the way to the rim, no problem. That’s called a rim delay. Just let it spin there, trying to keep only your fingernail contacting the disc. The rim delay is also a useful skill. As you get better at both the center delay and the rim delay, bring your arm down until you have control while looking at the top of the disc.
Have advice for someone trying to learn this skill? Let us know in the comments.
Ryan Young teaches how to throw to yourself so you have the perfect set for practicing a trick catch. By using this throw, you will put the disc into the air with the perfect nose and enough spin to keep it stable. Thus you can practice any catch and spins as well.
As always, start by facing the wind. Grip the disc with a backhand grip at 3 o’clock (or 9 for counter). Now lift your arm and pivot your hand towards 6 o’clock. As your hand pivots, let the disc roll in your fingers so that it moves away from your palm. This is what generates the spin. As your hand gets to 6, release the disc into the air. The goal is to have about a 45 degree angle. The disc should float gently up and then back down and slide slightly towards you as it falls. Now you can make a trick catch.
I like to call this throw a luff, in reference to a sailing ship being steered into the wind so that the sails just begin to flap. Since the goal of this throw is to be a perfect set, you want perfect wind position and only enough spin to keep the disc stable, but no more. This throw is a necessity for catch mastery and can be used as a close up speed flow pass to a friend.
Ryan Young teaches us how to throw an overhand wrist flip. The first throw most of us learn is a backhand with our dominant hand. The overhand wrist flip is a good second throw for freestyle because it comes out with the opposite spin of the backhand. So, right handed people can use their right hand throw clock with a backhand and counter with an overhand wrist flip and vice versa for lefties. The overhand wrist flip is also useful because it’s easy to throw it to yourself for practicing other tricks. Having both throws means you can practice with both spins.
Watch the video for the explanation of performing this throw. Ryan does an excellent job in his demonstration.
Lori Daniels demonstrates going from a rim delay to a center delay. This is a critical skill that marks a new level of nail delay control in one’s game. It is used all the time since the disc may come in at and any angle. It is also used if center control is lost. As this skill improves so will center control and eventually you’ll be able to set and angle you want.
Here Lori uses a technique swooping down and then lifting upwards. As the disc travels up push across at a right angle to the center. This will cause the disc to tilt and flatten outs. As it flattens spiral your nail in towards the center and gain center delay control. For an in-depth written description of this skill, check out this article I wrote back in the 90s.
Ryan Young gives us a great practice technique for the rim delay. Basically, try to keep the disc in the same location in front of you while keeping the disc sliding on the rim, on your finger nail. To do this, rotate your hand in a circle the same direction as the disc is spinning. Also, move your wrist and finger so the disc does not touch your skin, only your nail. Lastly, move your elbow and other body parts out of the way so the disc will continue to rotate freely.