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Topics - seán_

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Not long now but just posting this as a reminder or if anyone is free those dates and didn't know about it.

Plenty of information on the website and fb page, I suppose the most diabolo related aspect is that three of the MHD crew will be appearing in the gala show.

Community & Events / Manchester Juggling Convention 12th October 2013
« on: October 11, 2013, 06:17:53 PM »
(Thought I'd already posted this, so sorry if it's last minute but maybe useful for someone with no plans for tomorrow)


Chorlton leisure centre M21 9PQ, usual juggling, games, workshop board, traders.

Evening event St.Werburgh's Church Hall, 386 Wilbraham Road M21 0UH, chilled evening with an open stage (see orgs on reg desk if you fancy performing)

Community & Events / BJC 2013 North Yorkshire 9th-14th April
« on: December 30, 2012, 06:39:15 PM »

I thought I'd start the BJC thread of because today is the last day of the pre-pre reg so if you book before midnight (gmt) you'll save £20 on the door price.

Technical / MOVED: Fleur Blanche
« on: December 26, 2012, 10:37:42 AM »
This topic has been moved to Videos.

Gear / Henry's sticks, now with new grip colours
« on: November 08, 2012, 07:23:45 PM »
Henrys sticks are classically all black or all white and have been for years. They've now released Aluminium and carbon/fibreglass sticks with an additional choice in grips of Blue Green and Orange. The sticks themselves remain the same as they were always were except for the colours. (oh and the Alus are now lead free for those of you that tend to eat your sticks)

I got a sneak peek of them back at the Manchester Juggling Convention when Steph from Butterfingers brought some sample sticks to show people. I didn't take any pictures then because the lighting was horrible. I tried to find a picture on the Henry's site but I couldn't find one there are pictures on the Butterfingers site however if you want a look and no doubt other sites as they update their sites. They are officially released and for sale now.

Edit, lifted a pic.

There has been some talk amongst the mods and some of the votw team recently about how .ca is fairing at the moment. Those of us who have been here for a long time would likely agree it is the quietest it has been in years.
At the BJC some of the BJC mods and votw panel took the chance to ask some of the diaboloists present if they had any thoughts about .ca and what could be done to improve it. Below are some of the points raised.

-By a large margin the people at the meeting would land on the homepage/blog and maybe look at the forum rather than approach the forum as first port of call.

-Some had had problems registering, I said that was a problem a little while back when Sean had to do that for spam control reasons but that should no longer be a problem (is it?)

-Luked brought up his diabolo group on facebook is very healthy and that .ca has missed the boat where social media is concerned. (some talk about potential collaboration/integration with this fb group)

-People using the forum and not getting timely replies to questions.

-Inquiries about a chat room

-Some chatter about poster attitudes being potentially off putting - 'that's not the proper way to do that move!', youtube-esque replies to votw appearing on the forum as well.

-Just how exactly should spryoyabe's name be pronounced?

What I failed to bring up but meant to but did talk about a bit at some point during the BJC with some diaboloists their-

-VOTW's how to get them back on track.

-Potential for foreign language sub-boards maybe with 'reporters' bringing the best/relevent stuff to the main forum. (related to reports that some foreign diaboloists would like to post but their English wasn't up to the Job.

-If there was any need/want for a closed female subforum

-Thanking those and encoraging others for supporting .ca financially or through shirt purchases as Sean is still shouldering the main share of hosting costs. (afaik)

Lot's of thanks to those who turned up for the meet and shared your thoughts, sorry you had to put up with me eating that chicken :)

So I'm opening up this thread to get peoples thoughts on some of the points raised and indeed if any thoughts you might have that the mainly UK diaboloists missed out on. (or anything I forgot from the meeting)

General / Convention workshop tips, advice and good practice.
« on: February 04, 2012, 08:53:26 PM »

Thinking of doing a workshop possibly...
Anyone got any tips or links about doing good workshops? ...[clip]

I've branched this of from a current BJC2012 thread because I thought it would be nice to get some thoughts about the running convention style workshops into it's own thread.


This is the 25th anniversary of the BJC and is the first one in the south east of England for a long time.

I am just back from a site visit to the venue for next yrs BJC.

the venue is brilliant. 3 sports halls in one building plus rooms for workshops.

to give an example of size the sports halls equal 260% the size of the hall at Harvey Hadden in Notts and more than double the size of the hall in the Dome at Doncaster.

so plenty of space for all your juggly fun.

the campsite is sheltered by high hedges and has its own sports pavillion with showers and toilets. (the main sports centre also has over 40 showers and toilets) is the place to keep up to date with our progress and where to head to pre reg for this brilliant event.


For overseas people there are flights to the local airport (2 miles away) from Ireland, Barcelona and Amsterdam via Easyjet.

It's relatively* near London if you fancy combining the BJC with some time there you might want to look into it

Pre reg is £75 until 16th Feb

* as in it's in that rough part of the country <1hr to a major London train station

Community & Events / Brizzle Saturday 17 - 25 September 2011
« on: September 15, 2011, 01:58:07 AM »

I'll be there from the start, anyone else planning on going?

My plan was to pick up the purple van from Butterfingers on Fri and casually drive down and even more casually set up the stall in time for trading later in the week. But since I have found out it's a Sat start it's looking like extra pressure to set up 4 pop up stalls in 4 days rather than 5. I'm not sure if I can cope with that much pressure at Bristol  :o

Gear / Mr B evo 2 (bearing axle)
« on: August 17, 2011, 05:52:01 PM »
Had a quick play with the prototype at the EJC.
Planned release is October.

They are the same width as a standard axle it was nice to play with a standard width bearing diabolo that wasn't a bit weird (like some of the Taiwanese narrow axles)

I didn't automatically think 'this is heavy' but can't say how much weight was added by the kit.

Not deadly quiet but not anything like a dying fly.

not one, not two, not three but FOUR bearings (different from ones used in other diabolos)... let the bearing wars begin.

Hi recently somebody posted a very handy link to enable you to cut and paste a youtube link in if the video was blocked in your country.

I can't find that link so I wondered if anybody had one (preferably not a proxy site that looks like it's well sketchy, I'm hoping to pass this link on.)

Community & Events / Chocfest - York - 29th January 2011
« on: January 21, 2011, 01:59:51 AM »
Date: 29th January 2011
Time: 10.30 am til 10pm
Where: Joseph Rowntree School, York YO32 4BZ
Price: To be confirmed, but between 7 and 10 pounds (discount for CCCC
Who: Anyone who likes juggling and circus, or chocolate, or both!

It's back in York after a couple of years in another town, new shiny hall in the revamped school

Community & Events / Leeds - UK - Dec 4th
« on: November 09, 2010, 01:04:27 AM »
I'm not involved with Leeds since I moved to the other side of the country but I used to give a heads up on here about it so heres a cut and paste of the IJDB event entry.

When:   4th December, 2010
Where:   United Kingdom, Left Bank Leeds, The Former St Margaret of Antioch church, Cardigan Rd, Leeds, LS6 1LJ
Big juggling space (a beautiful refurbished church) Traders, shows - including an act by John Udry!!!, games, unicycle trip upto skate park (weather permitting), doughnuts, tea, coffee, and a homemade gift secret santa!

So for further info try the above email or facebook page (since were all on facebook these days eh?)

This is a different venue from previous years, a big old church not that far from the university. Leeds 1 dayers tend to be good ones, on the diabolo front you'd expect various northern types to be in attendance and for those into toss juggling probably know the standard of the leeds/yorks jugglers.

Wrap up warm, it's grim up north :)

Gear / Mr Babache Titanium Sticks
« on: September 03, 2010, 01:22:02 AM »
Popped into the Butterfingers warehouse after working a festival and Steph showed me these sticks.
Basically the same grips as the Alus  (afaik) a length of metal that looks like it means business and a screw end. The ends were a surprise to me as I expected a copy of the alus. The thread and end looked well produced. The ends don't look like they'll hang up.

I didn't get a chance to play with these sticks so I cant comment on how they are to use, this is just a heads up that they have rolled out really. cost? I'm not sure but have the feeling it will be a big bump from what we are used to paying for sticks. :)

(excuse the cameraphone pics)

Performing / 2d in performing - some thoughts.
« on: June 16, 2010, 02:18:48 AM »
I just wanted to get some thoughts out and get other people thoughts as well. They're probably going to be a bit all over the place :)

I've been thinking a bit about how 2d comes across to people. It's been a while since I've actively performed a stage act so some of these thoughts are informed by that, others are informed by things I've discussed with other diaboloists, or I've read on here or seen in performances and videos.  Recently I've been doing workshops and walkabout. Walkabout offers you the chance to see and hear reactions about what you are doing so that's in the mix as well. I haven't got a circus school background or a long fulltime performing career so I don't have the knowledge of performing that many that post here have but I would like to know what people with that sort of background (and anyone else for that matter)  has.
I'm trying to remember before I was a diaboloist to what I actually thought about 2d, it's quite hard, vaguely I remember
-Being basically impressed by it,
-Liking the way the shuffle seemed to flow and how each diabolo seemed to drive the other,
-being confused and lost as things started to get complicated,
-Having no idea about the difficulty of any particular move compared to another (unless by the level of panic/relief/contempt of the diaboloist)

Any way, thoughts-

'If I do a 1d section, then casually start knocking out 2d moves without any noticeable trouble, does that cheapen what I have just done with 1d?'
Hopefully a decent 1d section and a strong 1d finish followed by a build up/seperation should help this, they're not going to take back any applause :)

'OMG, I need to do my first trick NOW before they boo me off stage!'

I know this feeling. When I'm shuffling or getting up to speed in order to knock out a move it can feel a bit vunerable. When you diabolo on your own, learning a new move, or for a video, or with other diaboloists then I suppose standard practice is to wrap the 2nd in and backwrap/snap/hover to get speed ASAP and do the move. I don't think this is a good thing for 2d performing, I try and resist the urge to speed wrap too much at the start of 2d (or during for that matter) I'm not sure it's a good look. or always fits the flow.
A few times recently kids (because they tend to speak their minds) have accused me of cheating because 'that diabolo is tied to the string'. Whilst it's fun to play with that (which ones tied to the string *swap wrap* or *bang 2 high*). I think hovering is the worst one for getting this reaction, it's definitely the one I am trying to resist using as an initial speedup method in front of non diaboloists. (I'm not a big fan of the clank-clank hover correction in front of people either, It is the one I use most in general diabolo but I try and shuffle correct when practising as well so I don't become too dependent on it)

Dave P is a proper oldschool diaboloist, performed back in the days when running a shuffle would get you a standing ovation at a juggling convention. He mentioned once that people like the look of a shuffle and like the look of it when it is moved around so I found myself using that as a bit of a calmer before moving onto more complicated things. I'm getting my speed from that and I'm moving about a bit as I do it so I don't fall into being rooted on the spot (hopefully)

'How much do these people know about diabolo?'

Many of us here know other diaboloists or at the very least have an understanding of what is possible with diabolo. The level of knowledge of diabolo amongst the general public varies. (Australians for example have seen impressive diabolo recently on prime time TV for example). Basically though, although assumptions can come back and bite you, anything above a high throw, cats cradle and string climb stands a fair chance of being new territory and a pleasant surprise to many. I'm trying to keep this in mind especially where it relates to rushing to something high end. Plenty of moves available before I need to throw something full on or pass up the chance of just having 2 running being a nice thing to see.
We can all make a fairly good stab at what would impress other diaboloists/jugglers but It's important to remember that if you aren't diaboloing for other diaboloists then it's a good idea to revisit all the moves you can do (and possibly pick up some you never bothered with) and get advice from non diaboloists as to what they like. You might be surprised as to what will go over well.

'And Breathe'
Standard advice for diaboloists and performing (any performers really) is that combos aren't the be all and end all. an audience
needs a chance to breathe and respond to what you are doing. There are tried and tested ways of getting/allowing audience response but the sheer nature of 2d doesn't always lend itself to them. Stalls etc can be handy especially as they allow you to get eye contact. Stopping, gathering and restarting is a bit more problematical. Anybody got some thoughts on this, It's something I'd like to know more about.

For 1d Luke Burrage says that he gets the diabolo up in the air so that people that don't know what a diabolo is should automatically get a rough idea of what the object is/can do. Pretty much by the time you knock out 2d people will have caught on what a diabolo is/does so busting straight into 2 high (unless you are planning on going with a 2high heavy section) might be robbing you of a strong part of 2d which could be saved for later. I think Luke mentioned that with 2d just getting at least 1d up to some level has an impact. So a rocket start, throw start, 2 up start etc could be considered a stronger start than a wrap or hover. I often used one of those semi integral, diabolo in hand type starts, it tends to go over well but I'm thinking it might be something to use as a restart (either from drop or by design).
When I do wrap in I'm trying not throw it away. If I've done something like hold up the second diabolo to make the audience aware I'm about to step things up and do the impossible 2d on one string *gasp* then there must be some tension available in any start. (tension ruined by the kind of wrap start where your hand is crooked around the front cup of the diabolo, then knee brought up to hold diabolo as you change your grip before finally getting your hand in a suitable position to spin it!). Probably harder to get the tension in 2d than with a 3d wrap start but anyway.


So any thoughts? (2d specific over just general performing if possible)

Community & Events / BJC 2011 voting
« on: May 11, 2010, 10:48:27 PM »
Cross posted from Rec.juggling

after midnight tonight. the website at will be available.

we would love it if you where to take a look, read the two proposals for hosting BJC 2011.

if you have any questions can you please post them on the forums there, try not to use rec.juggling, uk_jugglers, facebook etc for discussions on the proposals.

the prospective teams will answer any questions you may have.

there is also a voting option on that website to allow you to vote for either proposal (or neither).

can we ask that you take your time to read the proposals and consider
them both before you "automatically" vote for your friends or which ever
proposal is closest to you. Consider which would make for the best BJC.

Mini (on behalf of both prospective teams)

At the 2010 BJC business meeting no team stepped up with a proposal for the 2011 BJC. It was decided that prospective teams be given a short time to arrange a proposal and for these proposals to be voted on online.

Three teams were considering putting forward proposals

Loughborough has pulled out, Bath and Nottingham have proposals  all available via
The proposal/vote site is open from  00.01 (gmt) May 12th and close 23:50 May 16th. so bob on over, check the proposals, reg (2 mins) and participate if you wish to have a say.

to reiterate Minis requests
"if you have any questions can you please post them on the forums there, try not to use rec.juggling, uk_jugglers, facebook etc for discussions on the proposals."

"can we ask that you take your time to read the proposals and consider
them both before you "automatically" vote for your friends or which ever
proposal is closest to you. Consider which would make for the best BJC."

This topic has been moved to Gear.

I sometimes help out Butterfingers at festivals and conventions, I sometimes get the chance to play with some equipment before it makes it onto the market. I haven't been over to Butterfingers since last year but today I received a package of handsticks in the post and a request to test them and report back. I thought I might as well tell the forum about them as well.

Steph kindly sent me 2 sets of sticks, 1 set of aluminiums (Alu ST 50) and a set of  carbons. Here are my initial thoughts.

I'm an ally man at heart so I'll start with these. They are very similar to the Henrys Aluminiums (that I have used for 5+ years) with a few tweaks.

Alu ST
They come in the usual Babache packaging of a plastic sleeve with an instruction sheet and 1 length of Babache coloured string.   
They seem to be improving the instructions these days, they have some handy little hints on what knots to use, how to deal with the excess string and a hint about what to do about knicks. All fairly obvious stuff really but still not a bad idea if you realise that it's not allways hardcore diaboloists buying these products. I might slightly disagree with the lengths of string advised for different numbers of diabolos but it's nice to point out that diaboloists do use different lengths of strings (no more 4' high kids with 6' long strings :) )

When I first saw a picture of these sticks I was a bit worried by the look of the handles, they looked pretty chunky but now I've tried them they're not that huge. The handles feel a touch chunkier than the Henrys allys but feel better and smoother than the Babache 'classic' foam grips. (IMHO)
The grips sat in my hands well, I hold sticks pretty lightly and these contoured grips lock into my palm and the skinny bit feels like it will stop slippages and prove useful when catching an inverted stick (suicides etc). The ends of the grips extend further than the internal metal bit so know more 'donk' when the end hits the ground :P
The Mr B line on the grips is 'Ergonomic handle for little and big hands' - I'm looking at them more as a grown up and someone who looks at props in detail but the 10/11 year old beginners who used these sticks at todays workshops seemed to find them comfortable enough.

The method of string adjustment is similar to the Henrys method. Where as Henrys have an angled hole to insert the string the Babache ones have the hole drilled in at 90 deg with a secondary slot at an angle. It's a small change in the design but a useful one. I like to have my string rotating if possible. It usually takes some messing about with a lighter or a worry about a slim knot pulling through but I got spinning string first go with these (with chubby Mr B string). The slot also makes getting the string out again nice and handy.

For those that care about these kind of things, the balance and grip size etc. feel pretty nice for flipping and twiddling

I didn't have any Henrys allys with me to compare in general use today at work but to me they felt pretty similar. I haven't done a side by side check for size/weight etc but here are the stats from the packaging.

Length 32cm
dia 7mm
weight 30 grms/pce

(online non Henrys stats for Henrys Allys = 33cm long 86g/set)

Colours, silver with white or black handles
anodised to be released later(?)

Pretty cool sticks, Think I'll be using these a lot.

[smg id=435]

I first tried these at the EJC. They seemed nice enough to me then although I'm only an occasional user on plastic sticks.
I think Mr B has done a long run of testing with these so hopefully they come to market with the kinks worked out.
I dont own any Henrys Carbons so I'm comparing these with Henrys Fibres and Sundia  Carbons.

The grips are the same as you find on their Alu ST so no real problems there,
they are a touch shorter than Henrys shorts and the tubing is to my eyes a touch thinner.

The 2 main ways in which these sticks differ from other carbons is the use of a screw end cap to attach the string and the the use of a solid carbon rod thru the length of the stick within a protective sleeve. I'm hoping the use of a solid carbon rod reduces the chance of snapping. The sleeve appears to be a touch harder than the sleeve on my fibres.

Attaching the string was a doddle, I got nice rotating string and the end caps appear to be an improvement on the energy/xtreme versions.
I thought I might get some string hangups but so far I haven't really. I'll report back on this with further use.

On a flex front, they are less flexy than the fibres but not as stiff as the Sundias. I'm guessing they might be between Henrys Carbon and fibres for stiffness but I cant check that out just now.

They play nice enough. Sit well in my hand and behave like other plastic sticks of a similar size. The cheap part of me likes the fact that I won't be wasting (sorry Ceri Anne) the extra string other sticks have running thru the middle. Also I won't be worrying about having the knot pulling thru into the tubing.
Time will tell about how they last lonterm but I havent felt like I should be nursing them. I'l see about finding somebody at the juggling club who might have some thoughts about how they measure up to the old school sticks and report back.

They gring really nice and smoothly for those who like that kind of thing.

They come with a length of Mr Babache string and decent instructions with tips for which knots to use, use of teflon tape if you get loose ends with protacted use, advice on stringlength etc.

From the packaging
Length 34cm
Dia (shaft) 7mm, tip 9.5mm
Weight 30 grms/pce

(online non Henrys stats for Henrys carbon short = 35cm long 62g/set)

Classic: all black, all white.
Contrast: white and black, black and white.
Color Classic: orange or yellow shaft, black or white handles
(white, yellow and orange shafts UV reactant)

[smg id=432]
view of ends

[smg id=431]
Comparision with Henrys Fibre short and Sundia carbons.

Steph says that the sticks are available now on the Butterfingers site. The Black and Purple G4's are also in stock now. The New finesse hub kits soon and the titanium sticks due anytime.
Other shops should have these in stock as soon as they order them. 

Gear / Finesse G4 (and evo6 and carbons)
« on: March 08, 2009, 07:04:41 PM »
May/June, very little info about it just a computer generated image that could be a G2/3 from the download section of their site.
That is all.

Edit: carbons reckoned to be the lightest on the market and whats presumed to be hubstacks also mentioned.

General / Unsung diaboloists
« on: February 16, 2009, 03:38:51 PM »
Cracker posted a video of Miguel Silva (from Chile). He's somebody who over the years I've heard about I've only seen the one video of.
Theres plenty of diaboloists out there and we get to see a fair few of them on .ca but theres also ones out there that we never see or hear of what they do.

This thread is hopefully a place for us to bring a few names up, a few tales of what we might have seen in our travels or from people from scenes where diabolo discussions dont always make it to .ca.
so videos, storys, links and leads please.
Also I'm up for hearing about people who are 'non standard' diaboloists.

I'll kick it of with the aforementioned video

Rezi from the Czech Republic is a diaboloist that i think gets over looked theres only really been one video (kind of badly lit of him) but if you go to his site you'll find some of the stuff he's done over the years and it's full on.
(Kaspar and old school Yufi (Czech Republic) are two more great diaboists and I often wonder what Yufi in particular is up to now).
some of Rezi's tricks are within the profile of that video

The pony tailed Italian diaboloist who often turns up at the BJC (name anybody I think it's Michael) is allways good to watch. I seem to recall him doing some sweet 2 and 3 high with some interesting body moves (knee through the string so the diabolos hop through the triangle for example) I have some footage somewhere I must try and dig up.
He knocks about with Zanzibar from France who is always good to watch. He helped me a lot when i was first getting to grips with diabolo, he has tech skills but his heart is in street performing. I have a a lovely memory of watching him diabolo at the Bristol nine dayer, doing a big slow 3 high with stick swaps throws between each diabolo.

Any more?

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