I know the strongest people in the world. Mentally, emotionally, and physically.. The tricking community has shown me over and over that among the aliens who populate our community, are the some of the strongest beings around. This fact is nowhere more evident, than at NEO3 this past weekend.
If you journeyed to Ohio and tricked, even a tiny bit, you are brave. It takes incredible strength to enter a session at an event of that caliber. Even monsters, like Sam Caspio and Ryan Posipanka told me that they find it scary at times to throw down. Those 2 are some of the most powerful trickers in the game, and they feel it. So if you sacked up and threw down, you’ve taken a step that most people would never have the balls to do. It doesn’t matter if you crash every combo, or drop triptrips on people, the attendees of a gathering just want to see you throw down. Put yourself out there, and dont be afraid to show people who you are, and where you are in this game. It’s so much fun to look back, down the line, and say “hey, i remember when [name] could barely even cartwheel, and now they shit on double b’s.” Even if you never reach that level, the joy of tricking with your friends, and with people who have the same passion as you do, is well worth the initial feeling of trepidation. That feeling goes away quickly, as you allow yourself to just go out there and play your game.
Physically, there is no question that the elite level trickers today are power houses. Frankly, as a more creative-minded tricker, I think it’s fair to say that we’re being blown out of the water. The power game, especially in the midwest, is so high, that it’s no wonder some of the old skool trickers feel like tricking is turning into just twisting. It’s explosive, and exhilarating, and its level just keeps going up. Can we say the same at the creative game? sadly, no… at least not at the same pace. The strength displayed by SGTF, Bailey Payne, Morais Shaefer, and dozens of other trickers is incredible, and it’s alluring, and it shows me that not only has tricking fully matured into it’s own entity, not reliant on sport karate, but it has the potential to grow, and attract greater numbers than ever.
On the gathering itself:
I have so many things i want to say. I could easily write 10 pages. Instead, i’ll just make a few comments about what i experienced, and what stuck out most.
Morais Shaefer is the truth. He is an incredible tricker, and yall who don’t know about, need to. This kid should be on every guest list available, because he’s a giant, over 6′ (180cm), his tricks are massive, and his technique is perfect.
Sam and Posi are so good it’s absurd, and are really nice people, to boot.
Bailey is a machine. He tricks for hours and hours, nonstop, with little loss of power. This kid keeps spamming trips and dubdubs 6hrs in, and continues throughout the weekend.
On the other end of the tricking spectrum, Andrew Kohrt will spam high rotation kicks for hours. Seemed like everytime i was in the gym, i’d see him somewhere crushing the c9h (c10), jackknifes, and dub fulls.
Johnny Grabowski is power. Watching him trick is amazing, because he puts so much into everything he does, and he gets so high, that you can’t help be amazed by the things he does. Definitely a favorite tricker of mine after Tribe, and further confirmed at NEO.
The old idea that smaller is better is pure shit. It is wrong.. i said it. Look, little guys like Nick Fry certainly make a case for it, because he is incredible, but NEO3 sported giants who threw down incredible things. I’m not a small man, i’m 6′ tall, 210 lbs, and many of these men were well over my height, and probably as heavy, or heavier. Being small may be an asset at first, but i think after a certain point, the utilization of those massive levers to generate energy for swings and such, coupled with the inherent height and size a larger tricker has, creates a visual that simply cant be denied. It doesn’t matter if someone bigger than you is directly in front of you, when guys like Morais and Johnny do things, you see them. I dont want to hear any more about being “too big”, or “little guys have it easier”. Come to NEO4, and you’ll see that the midwest has massive young men at the top of the power game.. Tons of them.
Finally, and most importantly, a huge thank you to Matt Milhoan. He worked like a champ to deliver the best experience in tricking that most of us have ever had. Besides delivering what may very well be the event of the year, Matt is one of the nicest, most approachable people i know, and easily one of the best all-around trickers in the game. I am honored to call him a friend. If you were there, and you saw his dubdub, you may not realize that he hasn’t done that in awhile, and hitting that, in his one tiny session of the weekend, was an amazing thing. That, to me, is what NEO was. There was magic in the air, and amazing things became so frequent as to be commonplace.
If you miss NEO4, you are doing this whole thing wrong. Start planning now.