ta0.com Spinning Top

What you were afraid to ask

Tops are just a child's toy, aren't they?

The advanced division players at the worlds spintop contest have ranged in ages from 16 to 60 (the best ranked player is 21 years old). Catherine Sampietro reports that at her program (youtube) at The Academy of Berkeley, California, 6-year old Sasha K. can boomerang and 10 year-old Eric Liu has a record of 270 700 rollercoaster-to-string catches. But the spintop crowd is definitely older, on average, than the yoyo crowd. Many of the currently active players started playing after their teenage years were long gone. One of the players in the sports ladder at W07, Jeff Smith, was 77 years old. Personally, I plan to spin until old age.

Isn't this hobby too dificult?

Anybody can learn to throw a spinner on the floor in a few tries, if he is given the correct instructions and if he is using the correct length of string. Most spintop players around the world just do this and play fun games like battling tops. The threshold to become a trick player is to boomerang to the hand. It is probably easier to learn than juggling three balls in a figure eight, which the average person can learn in one to two weeks. And if you know to boomerang, non-players will consider you a bonna fide top expert.

Where are basic instructions to wind and throw a top on the floor?

New tutorials coming here in the future but there are some videos on youtube.

What has to do Taoism with this site?

Just contemplate a top spinning on a smooth surface, and you'll know.

Are you a Taoist?

Following the description in The Tao of Pooh (see Papyrus), most of the time I am not very Pooh-like (Taoist). By inclination and training, I am more like an Owl or perhaps a Rabbit, who sometimes likes to fool as a Tigger (but not much of an Eeyore or a Piglet). But then, there are those precious moments when I watch a spintop spin until the end . . .

So, who the heck are you, ta0?

My name is Jorge Alcoz. I remember watching older kids throwing peg tops growing up in Uruguay. I have collected and played tops since 1999 and I've been a frequent poster on the spintop message boards. I won the 2008 US National Championship in Chico, California and the 2009 World Spintop Championship in Orlando, Florida. As a collector, my most cherished spinning top is a spiky peg top with battle marks that my father threw when he was a kid.