Year 2016 is over and The Jammys are back, this time in a different format. No more categories, no more nominations, no judges, no rules…just whatever you wanted to say…and here are the Jammy stories which the jammers wanted to with us:
I hope to write a few short notes for the Jammys this year, but I have to start out by saying a little bit about Jakub Koštel. There may be no one else doing as much for the sport right now as he is. He has transformed the FPA. There are so many new initiatives to help spread the sport and he seems to be heading all of them. The FPA website is now such a cool place to get new content and even news. I know whenever I have an email or notification from Jakub it’s time to sit down, stretch out, and enjoy what’s happening in the community. Suddenly, I feel like I’m part of something that feels really relevant. It isn’t just a scattering of events to get together to jam. It’s like being part of something that’s going somewhere, and I think Jakub might be the one at the front of the ship. I’m glad of that.
And, of course, last time I checked, he’s shredded his way into the top ten. But I know you’ve all seen the way he’s playing now, and if not, do yourself a favor and watch some of his routines. The earth spins a little slower every time he picks up a disc.
Another freestyler who stood out to me this year was Paula Willin. I met her in Karlsruhe in 2015. She was this impossibly young girl who was feverishly working. At any given time, she was running what seemed like at least five errands for the tournament directors. I remember thinking: does Alex Leist have a daughter? And why is he so mean to her?
When I saw her actually jamming, I could barely believe it. There was a time when I really thought I might be part of the last generation. But here was Paula, this 12 or 13 year-old kid going around asking everyone how to do this or that. She was so enthusiastic and clearly soaking up everything you told her.
I remember politely “inviting” her to worlds in NYC, thinking there’s no way a young girl who’s never left Europe is going to come all the way across the Atlantic to hang out with a bunch of frisbee dudes. But a year later, there she was, racing through NYC’s subway system to make it to the jam on time.
But what made me want to write this was not all that, but the way she played in worlds with Christian Lamred. She was sick the whole time she was here, and I didn’t even think she was going to make it that day. But she took the 2 hour trip out to Brooklyn to do her routine and it was special. I could not believe all she had learned in the last year. Heck, I could barely believe what she must have learned in the last DAY given that I hadn’t seen her do half of those moves in the jams before. She came off the field absolutely beaming and I could tell she was in it for life. At least, I hope so. For our sakes.
Of course, this gift to the sport would not be possible without the incredible support and effort from her family and the Karlsruhe crew. I know they are doing everything they can to help her and I am grateful for that. Especially her Mom, Uta, for taking her near and far and Christian for pushing her game to the next level. I think Christian might of had a shot at the triple crown if only Paula hadn’t been sick!
So many moments and memories but this one stood out for me. Florian Hess, Alex Sander & Christian Lamred just finished their co-op routine in the gym NYC FPA worlds finals. They shredded, it was electric and much celebrating was taking place. Hugs, high fives, miles of smiles and Flo circling the gym before exiting the floor. Just as Flo was about to leave the gym floor he turned and threw a full length UD throw at the basket on the other end and swish! At that moment we all knew who the champs were!!
James Wiseman adds: “That was special. There was no stopping the magic and momentum of Karlsruhe this year. It’s also worth mentioning that the level of play was incredibly high in the coop round. I thought Matt Gauthier, Jakub Koštel, and Pavel Baranyk hit a routine that would have won 9 times out of 10. It was super clean, super difficult, and the choreography was dead on. So Karlsruhe had to earn it, and they did so spectacularly.
Randy continues: Juliana Korver Freestyler. Her desire to learn and grow this year has been beautifully fierce and inspiring. Only one conclusion to be made…she is now one of us.
Not quite sure if this fits in here but we want to let you know the following:
Imagine a friend – a friend who is juggling a crazy count of beautiful and challenging things in Life. One of these things is organising one to two Frisbee events: A YEAR (not going into detail when it comes to: running a beer shop, a pizzeria, a beerstro , working in a family company and above all being a lovely father at first sight).
Imagine you attend one of your friend Frisbee events and you have the honour to be his guest.
Coming home in the evening you realize there is exactly one bed for the both of you – ulala 🙂! You look closer and you realize there is only one big blanket. Again: for the both of you, ulalalala :)).
Then after getting ready for bed, like a couple, you look into your friends direction and what do you see ???
Nooooooo, he is wearing the same frisbee shirt you are wearing yourself…. :)))
Then you know: This is the Jamily!!!
Thank you to Manuel Cesari and all the Jamily for creating and sharing these kind of moments.
Some random spewing from a madman! There is so much to be thankful in the freestyle community. Some things that pop to mind (note if I missed anybody (and I will), I apologize).
- NY FPAW – what a great event with the tribe pulling out all the stops to host this event in maybe the most challenging city in the world to do so because that is what the jammers wanted. Thanks to Roger, Brad, Daniel and the whole crew! Who knew Daniel was such an exciting announcer?
- The Inaugural FPA Hall of Fame was a ridiculous success. Taking advantage of being in NYC, many of the historical figures of our sport came together with the future of our sport in a way that could not have been predicted. Nicely emotional for many. Thanks to Skippy, Lori, Bill Wright and Discraft for this wonderful gift to the sport.
- The electricity in the gym on FPAW finals day, especially the routine from Flo, Christian and Alex. Also Christian taking home 2 open titles! Lisa and Matt’s continued domination of the mixed division with Lisa getting her 18th World Title.
- Carl Emerson, Cheryl Kenny and Mom for making The Jammers The Jammers.
- The FPA Board (Lori, Bethany, Jens, Randy, Jakub, Fabio) – Playing shorthanded the whole year, these folks have responded a huge workload and to their own motivations to do many special things to make the sport better for everyone. Special props to Jakub who is the most relentless to make our sport special for everyone.
- Discraft, Discovering The World and Wrightlife again coming through to sponsor our sport. Without these folks, we would just not be able to many of the things we do, including our new membership structure which, while maybe not perfect, is set up to make for more membership for the long term.
- The video efforts of many. James is the tip of this spear but there are many others such as Tom’s Capocotta videos and Ayal’s Jamories that continue to inspire jammers all over the world. People are Awesome creating a viral platform for our videos has already helped bring in many new people to the sport. This is a big deal! Keep those videos coming! Follow Jakub’s post to get more videos there.
- Speaking of video, how cool is it that Jake and Chris have been hauling their equipment all over the world to allow us to watch tournaments from the comfort of our own homes when we cannot travel. I just saw the Bologna tournament where Matteo live streamed from Facebook and it looked great. We need to continue to try to live stream these events and advertise that we are doing it.
- The FPA Auction was a great success! Thanks to Lori, Randy, Wrightlife and Discraft for making this first one an incredible success. The Board is working aggressively to try to take the financial burden off the collective jammer community.
- The new Forum that Jakub and Mystiq have had the biggest hand in developing, to get Board messages, videos and all things freestyle in a periodic format to jammers worldwide. Thanks to Jakub and Michal mainly (and Larry and Mystiq) for all their efforts to make the website better, faster and more current.
- Kolja and Ilka for handling the rankings. Kolja especially is doing great work with it.
- A quick shoutout to Ted and Chrissie for being the backbone of A*T. Humble and lovable these two.
- Thanks to Zanardi for putting on EFO in Bibione. Nice to go to the beach to jam! Thanks to all Tournament Directors out there. You are the engine that brings the community together and the reason there IS a Jamily.
- The Medellin scene continues to thrive. It is especially cool to watch and share the joy Juan Piercing brings to the kids there. Also fun is Pablo’s art.
- Japanese freestylers have been posting a lot of crusty videos and doing tournaments. Is it possible that there is always someone jamming somewhere in the world at any given time?
- It is really cool to see new energies form. Poland is the new Czech Republic. A lot of fun crazy jammers from there. Great to see Spain (and the Canaries) along with Portugal starting the gain a strong foothold in the jamming community. Great that the SpinCollectif crew (especially Raphael and Julien) spread their wings and sharing their very French sensibilities – art, graphics, great freestyle, wine, stinky cheese and snails with the rest of the world!
- Cool to see the Gamboa, the Pink Flamingo, the Pitone, The Poland award (any name yet guys?) and other small recognition vehicles to help inspire great jamming everywhere.
- A very special anonymous donation has been made to the FPA, leveraging employee matching contributions to nonprofit organizations. The FPA is a 501.c.3 nonprofit and would very much appreciate if all of us could check with our employers to see if they would match your contributions. Either way, your contributions are tax deductible and especially for those with means, we would appreciate any financial support you can give. The Board is looking to look at more and better ways to get our sport visible to the widest audience and are looking at new vehicles to do this. Please help if you can.
My 2016 story starts at 2010. My last tournament was FPAW 2010, last day, last jam, in a stupid mistake I tore my shoulder joint. My army service only made it worse and I needed surgery. So after surgery and recovery and 6 years of service. In 2016 I was finally back. I went to Cologne to Ilkas birthday hat tournament. Wasn’t planning on competing. But the guys put my name in the hat without me knowing. So when I arrive I hear I am playing and I got Notzi as my partner. What a great partner and what a great jam we had. Won second place! After 6 years I didn’t compete and an injury I get into second place in my first tournament that I didn’t thought to even compete. I was so so happy, and decided this time I am going for it. Since then I was at almost every tournament and planning to keep it going. Yes because I love the sport but mainly because I love our amazing international family. Miss you all and so so happy to be back. Keep on jamming!
I will never forget my summer holidays 2016. I had a terrible time missing flights, loosing a lot of money, becoming sick and having at least three nervous breakdowns. In these times which weren’t at all easy I made the experience that only the jamily and frisbee is able to help me to get back on my feet and I will be forever grateful for this experience. There would be a lot of people to thank. Here a few: Thanks, James, for offering your home for me to stay in bed for a whole day and for coming back earlier to go looking for food with me. Thanks, Roger, for offering your house for all of us to party before Worlds and creating a great atmosphere. It was your garden where I had a great deep talk with Matt. Thanks, Matt, for listening and making me understand that I need to play more frisbee and take more time for myself and the things I love. Thanks PK, Jens, Mördi, Robert, Raphael and Cécile for knowing that going dancing, making me drunk and having an epic evening (you know) would be the only possibility to make me happy on a day which would have become the worst of the year without you, guys.
Thanks, Sash, for organizing and financing my trip to Berlin so that I didn’t have to miss a tournament. But first of all a big thanks to you, Paul Kenny, for being an awesome host although you yourself had a tough time. For giving me a beer without a word when I came back from the airport. For helping me with my fights with the airplane companies and for giving me the feeling that everything gonna be alright. I came home knowing that everything gonna be alright as long as I am a part of this crazy tribe.
Best year of my life! And mostly thanks to frisbee and the Jamily. I have experienced so much that is hard to put it into words. I will try at least briefly:
- Jamming with a random surfer dude on the beach somewhere in the Phillipines was a proof that freestyle connects people even in the places where you wouldn’t expect it at all.
- 10th edition of Frisbeer and huge turnout! Happy and greateful that people like our tournament (and beer). And we are not finished! On the contrary 😉
- Head judging EFO in Bibione – lot of work but great experience rewarded by my first Spirit award ever. And my first major title 🙂 Thanks Ilka, Zana & Anna.
- Seattle. Potlach. Start of my big US summer trip. Hanging out with Ryan, Randy and the rest of the NorCal jammers. Best jams with these guys. Then coming back for the Beach weekend in September and jamming with all these (and many more) great people again on the insanely huge and perfect beach. Blast!
- Santa Cruz, US Open and the Jammer family. So much hospitality and such a great time with Skippy, Andrea and their boys. Staying in their house, especially during US Open was crazy. Freestyle legends showing up there all the time. Meeting Chipper Bro for the first time and sleeping with him in one tiny tent at the end of the same day :). Great mountain biking in the hills above Santa Cruz and disc-golfing with Skippy at the legendary DeLaveaga course. Coming back later that summer and attending Skippy’s retirement party at the USSC campus. And winning there the US Open with Pavel, not to forget 🙂
- Putting together Coop routines with Pavel and Matt in Golden Gate park in San Francisco – loads of fun and forging friendships. Hitting the routine almost flawlessly in New York in the finals of World Championship and in front of all the legends of the sport – pure magic! That was THE MOMENT of 2016 for me. Goose bumps squared.
- The whole New York experience. Harlem, Brooklyn, Queens. Central Park. FPAW. The Tribe! All of it enhanced by fresh love. Head in the clouds…Big thanks to Daniel for hosting me!
- Jacksonville Beach. Great crew of people and great hosts – PK and Larry. And the beach!!! Such a great time and perfect way of relaxing after Worlds.
- Portland. Very cool city! Matt and Lisa are such a great hosts and people! And they grow delicious tomatoes 🙂
- West Coast trip! Driving down from Portland to San Diego together with Benno and Mystiq was a great adventure. Meeting so many nice people along the way. Many of them for the first time and they did not hesitate to host us like kings! Another proof of Jamily’s hospitality. Big thanks to Matthew Roberts and his family, Santa Barbara wind jammers, Danny Cam, SchillerZ and everybody else who we met on the way. California is beautiful!
- Crazy pirates from Brighton. Amazing crew of special people living and freestyling in a very special city. Visit them if you have the chance!
- Jammy B vol. 2. Nice atmoshphere again. Winning Mixed with Bibi. Competing together for the first time, with no routine and expectations. Chemistry! Be aware of us in 2017 🙂
- Lazzaroni. 40 crazy Italians indahouse and shredding! That was supposed to be small tournament, no? Freestyle in Italy is thriving!
Im so happy and blessed to be part of the Jamily!
In response to the recent call for 2016 Jammy nominations, I would like to acknowledge the efforts of the 2016 FPAW organizing committee and the NYC crew that worked on the tournament.
I had not participated in a tournament for 25 years and really had no idea as to what to expect when I went to NYC. All I can say is wow!
The efforts of those who worked on this event were very impressive. Although I did not arrive in NYC until the day before the start of the event, I could see on-line that various activities were arranged for those that arrived early. Furthermore, when we got there, there was a fantastic party hosted by Roger and his wife (I believe her name is Trish). What a gracious gesture to open their home to others, many whom I am sure they did not know, myself included.
As the tournament started there were kinks, as there always is when you coordinate an event involving dozens of people. Brad and Daniel, along with many others really worked hard to deal with pretty well every situation. Some spur of the moment decisions were made, always with the interest of the players in mind.
The food and refreshments were always good and there were some awesome social events. The fact that the Jam continued, after the Tournament, in the “Sheep’s Meadow” on Monday solidified their commitment to provide a quality experience for all.
Like I said, it’s been a long time since I have been to a tournament and maybe the “Big Apple Jam” the standard, I don’t know. What I do know is that those who participated in the organizing of the 2016 FPAW should be commended for a job well done.
Tommy L’s end of year thoughts – Sweet ’16
2016 will be remembered for many reasons… here are some moments that stood out for me…
- Spreading the jam with freestyle’s first real viral videos
- The FPA Worlds in NYC brought together all the generations of freestylers in a way never seen before.
- Frisbeer’s 10th anniversary event had 80 players – making it the largest non-worlds event since the early 1980s.
- The FPA inducted its first round of players into the Freestyle Disc Hall of Fame.
The online video revolution…
2016 marked 10 years since the first freestyle video was posted to youtube, now there are thousands of freestyle videos with new videos coming out every week.
It took 10 years but freestyle finally got it’s first viral videos… first, it was James Wiseman ‘Crazy Skills’ video – posted to ‘people are awesome’ in November which has now reached 470,000+ views, followed by Balu’s ‘Freestyling’ 540,000 views posted in early December. Both were soon after eclipsed by Yuval Rei Koren ‘I miss summer’ video in late December which has now accumulated over 1.3 million views!
Having the worlds in a big city like New York is not a trivial matter. So much credit should be given to the NYC team (especially Brad, Roger and Daniel) for the incredible job they did.
Here are a few memorable moments from NYC Worlds…
- Tall Paul’s walk across the Brooklyn Bridge
- Band Shell rain jam – which turned into a dance party with the local skaters and jammers taking refuge to boogie down together
- Roger and Trish’s epic house party
- Pizza/beer party on the fields
- Sponteneous dance party on the Subway
- Washington Square jam with Joey, Piccio, Fabio Sanna and Buti
…and who could forget…
The super high level of play and spirit during the finals at the historic Erasmus High School gym in Brooklyn, which featured one of the best co-op final rounds we’ve seen in many years.
The sincere joy expressed by old and young players getting to meet for the first time. I’ve never seen so many frisbee legends in one place at one time and it just happened to be same year we got more European players to come to the US than ever before. Pure magic!
I’ve been competing since 1983 and there were so many legends I got to meet for the first time… especially Kerry Kollmar, Jeff Felberbaum, Augustine Lynas, Mike Connely and Dave Marini – I could just imagine what it must have felt being a young European jammer and getting to meet so many legends… and for the legends to get to see how vibrant and spirited the new generation is.
Watching the Hall of Fame induction ceremonies and speeches in person was truly remarkable… I’m so glad that it was streamed as well – my mom and Skippy Jammer said they were really moved watching it online as well.
Then on Sunday there must have been over 60 jammers jamming at Sheep Meadow making it the biggest jam ever in Central Park. woah!
And beyond the FPA Worlds lots of great events and jams were had…
Epic playing conditions beach events!
There were several tournaments with awesome playing conditions – Beach Stylers at the incomparable Lo Jolla Shores, Paganello for the first time moved to the hard pack next to the sea had perfect wind, Amsterjam on the super beach in Zandvoort allowed for beachjamming until 10 pm and Anzio Jam with it’s huge hard pack beach and steady breeze. The Jammers in Jacksonville which has set the standard for years! There was also a big jam weekend organized on the pristine Long Beach in Washington. Hard to remember so many events in one year with such great conditions – yeah ’16 was sweet!!!
Huge turnout for the 10th Frisbeer Cup!
80 players – yes 80! attended the Frisbeer Cup’s 10 anniversary event. making it the largest non-worlds event since the early 1980s! The organization was better than ever and it was so great to see so many new Polish players!
Other tour highlights…
- Skippy’s farewell event the US Open in Santa Cruz
- The European Freestyle Open in Biblione
- Sandslash – which is gaining legendary status
- Jake and Randy going dropless at Potlach
- Lazzaroni’s team battle
- American prodigies Daneil O’Neil and James Wiseman winning the 40th Virginia States
- the 2nd Jam Britannia
- The German Championsips in Munster
- First time event in Brighton the ‘Pirate’s Picnic’
- Udine’s freestyle frisbee contest
- Fabio and Ele’s Summit and Sea jam weekend
- Munich’s Oktoberfest ‘Weis’n Jam’
- Hat tournaments in Karlsruhe, Nurenberg and Berlin (4)
- Ilka and Dr Noz’s birthday clash
Looking forward to 2017!