Travel update: I received my luggage last night, diabolo sticks and all. Unfortunately the airline abuse of my bag caused a shampoo bottle to break and spill all over my remaining diabolo string. Oh well... it's "pre-soaped" now!
This festival was probably unique in that almost every diabolist could do 3 diabolos high and low. One of the few conventions in which not being able to make a solid transition from 3 low to high and back to low again can make you feel like a failure as a diabolist. 8-[
The week started off with Ryo Yabe schooling all the French guys with his 3 diabolo tricks. Ryo has been practicing HARD (as if he wasn’t already just a little good). His most eye popping trick at this point is probably his 3 diabolo double sun into an arm stall which he can then cleanly exit. He can split up the remaining 2 diabolos into another stall with his leg and get out of it. He is experimenting with putting these two diabolos into a sprinkler. He can run many of his 3 diabolo tricks while sitting in a chair.
Both Ryo and all the French guys ran workshops on 3 diabolo topics. Here are some points that came up:
3 diabolos low and high have been done for a long time to some degree but have only been popularized recently
It is important to develop a routine concerning when you spin and unwrap the diabolo.
Different people have different ways of finding the right timing. Trash counts beats in his head by feeling the beat of the pattern his hands. He doesn’t use his eyes at all. He could do it blind. Most of us look for when one diabolo has just left the string when we unwrap.
Too much speed on the diabolo that is unwrapped can make it harder to start.
Too much or too little speed on the other 2 diabolos can make the start difficult. Ryo suggested thinking of the speed of these two diabolos as being the same speed you would use for a single sprinkler.
You must concentrate on the left hand (if you are right handed) in both the start and the shuffle. Even Ryo, who usually uses only his right hand, will use his left hand when he begins and when the pattern becomes imperfect.
The timing of the start will change depending on many factors including the spin on the diabolos, the slipperiness of the string, and the left and right hand motion.
It takes a long time to learn to start 3 diabolos and perhaps an even longer time to figure out how to drive 3 diabolos. It takes most people about 5 to 8 months. Psychologically 3 diabolos low is very hard. You must put in 100’s or 1000’s of hours of practice before you will see any progress. Most importantly, as Baptiste pointed out, you must not spend endless hours repeating the same mistakes. After every couple attempts stop and think about what happened and decide what you could change that might fix it. Watch yourself on video if you can. If you don’t know what to try, try anything and see what happens. We all at one point were sure we would never get it. Feel free to cry yourself to sleep about it as many of us admitted to having done.
If you put in the time and constantly think about what’s happening and experimenting with different motions you WILL get it eventually.
The progression with 3 low is very, very slow at first and is later filled with many short upwards spikes of progress and long periods of regression. The progression of 3 high is close to linear. The more you practice the better you will get.
If you already have 3 high solid it may be easier to learn to make the descent into 3 low than to learn the wrap start.
With 3 high you must concentrate on using as much of the string as possible to keep the pattern large, give you more control, and to keep the diabolos spinning quickly.
Corrections of tilt are possible by changing the angle of the string just as you would do with one diabolo on the string normally. Corrections of rotation are possible by either tapping the cup of a diabolo as it falls on the string with the stick or by catching the diabolo either in front of or behind the axle. Tapping the far cup of the diabolo is hard. It is easier at first to turn the other two diabolos instead of tapping the far cup of one diabolo. Practice with 1 and 2 diabolos to help with doing this with 3 diabolos.
Tony and Ryo correct both tilt and rotation with their string. JiBe was mentioned many times as the master of the 'tapping' correction. Priam and Baptiste also correct this way.