by John Titcomb
November 30, 2004
Here with a report on our trip to Israel:
--all hours, all venues, all angles, all spins, all ages, both sexes!
Conclusions: Israel is a great place to jam, there are many good
there and many, many new players too, and any tournament there is sure
be a success. Special thanks to Dori Yaniv.
After 20+ hours in the air and a calendar day later, flying
Seattle-Newark-Rome-Tel Aviv, Steve "the Beast" Hays and I arrive on
Thursday Sep 16, uneventfully. We grab our luggage, go through the nothing to
declare door (unless it shoulda been Matt Nails and heinsville rings) turn the
corner, and are met immediately by Dori and Etai who after frisbee hugs
take us directly to our hotel (the Eshel, a budget hotel that fit us
perfectly, 2 minutes from Herzelia Beach). We know not to take any naps, and so we
switch to jam clothes, grab our discs (nails already on, of course), and head
to the beach, and this is all within an hour of landing!
Herzelia Beach is packed. In fact it's packed with beach paddle ball
players. (Actually, while we were there it was always packed with
paddle-ballers; it's an unofficial national sport? The beach was also
packed with pretty girls when we went there; this must be another
national sport?!) But our eyes catch the glint of Skystylers to the
and 5 minutes later we're in jam heaven! There are probably 15 jammers
action on the hardpack, some who I know from Riminis and Paganellos,
meet guys from the army who jam, we meet Arnon and Dragon and Nerl and
and Tal and Becky and and and ... we jam a couple-three hours 'til the
glorious golden sunset over the Mediterranean. Yes, we're in Israel.
So we earned a good nights sleep and get up late, have a hotel
toward noon, and head to the beach: wow, there's a jam in progress.
jammers, and we jam 'til dark!! I've lost track of my phlauds, gitis's,
spins, and Beast can barely crush a btb anymore; so then we go to
dinner (late) and get to be part of his family's new year meal, relax,
etc. Thank you, thank you. And there _are_ a couple pretty girls
Day done? NO, NO, NO, young man. We head out for the nightlife, with
and Geiger. First stop, the Feature Movie Bar, one of two
sit-down-eat-watch-a-firstrun-flick places that Barak manages. Barak is
welcome site for these eyes! We also see Arnon again, too, watch the
Butterfly Effect, and grab a bite and a beer. And still there are lots
pretty girls, and yes, we're in Israel. Sleep? No way. In the square in
front of the theater Dori, Beast, Geiger, Etai, and I jam another
with a cameo walk-on by one of the appreciative bystanders helpfully
launching our disc safely onto the roof and out of play! No matter,
disc appears and on we go, with Dori's crowd appeal quite evident!
Next day, Saturday, Beast, Arnon and Barak do a morning jam near Beach9,
Titcomb gets to sleep in. Beast recovers with beers over lunch, and we
watch the ahem pretty girls, until we meet Etai and soon others on the
packed sand for our next jam. It's darn windy, but we persevere. A bit
we meet Dori again for the ride to the Sportek park in Tel Aviv, our
event for this day. The place is a big 24/7 hightech sports park,
wall, bungie cage, skateboard ramps, etc park on the north edge of Tel
and the event is FLOW's new year's celebration. At least two mob-ops
going all the time, and there's a field full of throw and catch
The ultimate teams from the Tel Aviv area are also here, and they play
couple games while the rest are jamming. I'm happy to say hi to a
Holylanders who I met at Paga.
At a certain point, we break and gather
pour honey into upside down discs, dip our apple wedges, and make
around, with Beast making a mighty good speech (mine was pretty
we go back to the discs, until well past dark! And did we pass a disc
window-to-window between cars while freeway driving back to Herzelia? I
don't remember very well. Then we eat at Humus Mama's place, where
have to get the rest of the story from Beast.
So next day, Sunday is it, we rest? No, no, we keep going! Barak,
John jam a couple hours on the beach in the morning, 'til it gets too
and we reward ourselves with beers and baywatching at Beach9 until
sets in. Then Barak rewards us more with the best burgers in Israel at
Agadir, near one of his clubs, and Beast falls in love (again) with a
blonde. Rest yet? no way. Beast and I show up at 7p for our 9p
on the blue carpet and figure to warm up easy... but, again, no way: we
attract a couple delayers we haven't met before and jam away until
Geiger, Dean, Dori, Noa, and some others show. And then Barak arrives,
he and Dori go off; it's fireworks! Barak leaves at about midnight, but
keep jamming and jamming and then we head to the Reggae show! Pretty
ya man, irie, and then when the band breaks Dori and Beast do a demo,
they even get me into it! And later Geiger tells Beast how to get the
but you'll have to ask Beast for the rest of that story, too.
The blue carpet? There's a permanent outdoor Rimini- and Viareggio-type
jamming carpet jamsite right on Herzelia beach, with lights and a good
system and with adjacent outdoor seating, beach umbrellas, and a bar.
would be a perfect place for any part of a tournament that wasn't on
hardpack or at an inland venue like the Sportek or Rabin Square. (The
hardpack is more extensive than Rimini's, flatter than Santa Cruz's,
quite La Jolla Shores or Ocean Shores.)
So next day it's Monday or maybe it's Tuesday 'cause I've lost track of
time, and we go to the TV studios for a couple hours. While we've been
jamming these days Dori's been teaching frisbee classes (that's his day
these days btw), and he'd arranged for live disc segments for 6 kids
that week on national TV, and we get to attend one. Maybe 30 kids show
all jazzed to play, and we do. Then they go on live TV with Dori
some throws, the kids doing a catching game, then a mini-Ultimate demo.
stuff, and fantastic national exposure for flying discs!
Then Tuesday night at 10p we drive with Dori to Tel Aviv's Rabin
surely one of the main squares, maybe 100m by 100m, a lit up, and ALL
with frisbee players. Tuesday night must be the National Flying Disc
and everybody is there! There are two if not three mob-ops, and maybe
pairs of throw and catch, continuous through the night. I have a
throw and catch with Noa, I see Dor's improved, Ayal is hot, Yinon is
Dan catches his gitis, Ofer gets it going. Etc, etc. When we leave at
scene is still happening.
By now I really am losing track of the days, and there's talk of a
strike, which would close the airport, and we develop plans to jam with
and others in Jerusalem. Fortunately the strike ends after only one
we're off to Viareggio, where Beast and I have other adventures, but
another story, too.
OK, OK, so now you get the idea. Beast and I were there for 6 days, and
jammed about 12 times totalling about 40 hours, probably more. This was
neat. No tourism.
Special mention goes to Oriel, Zion, Amit, and Lusti, who as a group
best young jammers I know of anywhere right now. And there are some
kids, too, for sure. And notably there are some young adult players who
already excellent and will only, duh, get better, to world class level,
soon. While I've tried to name a lot of the players, I know I've left a
bunch out, apologies, and I know I've mangled some spellings. We didn't
actually meet everyone, there were so many. Like David, and Yinon's
and the guy in the 69 shirt, other people in the army, and and.
Dori and his crew in Israel have a great thing going. Congratulations!
Z you all again.
(writing from Seattle)
PS I had absolutely no security concerns while I was there. (Errors,
omissions, and any tactless insults are this author's fault; Beast can
his own later.)