Spintop: Blizzard

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Spintop: SideWinder Elite

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Description: [Bearing top] With the top spinning on your throwing hand, wrap the string around the tip once clockwise (ccw if left handed). Wrap the string two or more times counter-clockwise (as seen from hand) around the forearm and raise it, keeping the end of the string on the other hand. Use a small circular ccw movement of your forearm to propel the top on a ccw circle while it slides along the string from the hand to the elbow, describing a helix. Exit, for example by popping to the non-throwing hand.

Advice: You may want to use your free hand to loosen the wrap around the arm before starting the corkscrew. This is especially true for a Bearing King but it is not necessary for a Topdog. The top is doing a kind of merry-go-round and the arm needs to follow in sync, not too fast nor too slow.

You use your non-throwing hand to control the exit. There are several ways of getting out of the corkscrew. The easiest is probably to go to a trapeze hold by just letting the top lean over. More difficult is to land it on the non-throwing hand or to get into a bind using a large final circle.

Corkscrew can be done without wrapping the string around the tip, but it is more difficult. Just let the top lean by cetrifugal force against the string.

With a fixed-tip top the trick looks very similar but the mechanics are a little different. Keep the arm still and let the top walk its way around the arm instead of trying to swing it. Do not tighten the wrap around the tip so the top will have a lot of slippage, go slower and not be flung out. The top will loose a lot of spin: it is difficult to keep it spinning after three wraps. The trick is quite more difficult than with a bearing top.

Notes: This is a great trick. With some practice it can be done very consistently and it always impresses onlookers. The YYJ tops are the best for this trick as they lean very little and the helix can be tight around the arm.

History/Etymology: The trick was invented in the US by Lao Alovus around 1999 as an example of the new tricks made possible by the invention of modern bearing tops. I believe Hornbeck was the first one (2000) to report that it could be done using fixed-tip tops. However, it seems in Mexico the trick (using a fixed tip) was known since the 70s and was called among other names, cascabel. Its corkscrew name is obviously descriptive.