back to Skippy's Home Page

The following is a communication I had with Seppo Neimenen for his Doctoral Thesis on Disc Terminology.

In regards to terminology:

First of all please allow me to tell you a little about myself. I began competing in Disc Tournaments in 1976 although my friends and I were doing some form of disc play beginning in 1974. I was part of an active club in Modesto, California called the "Modesto Mutants" or the "Frisbee Flow of Modesto" depending on whether we were trying to impress or shock someone. We were geographically isolated to a certain degree and were all very creative. Freestyle was our natural bent. Most of the moves we were interested in were catches. Especially in a speedflow context. We thought we were doing things that everyone else was doing. In reality we were very unique and many of the catches that are now common place were innovated at that time. Another one of our interests was language. We enjoyed attaching names to some of our more interesting catches such as "Flamedotz" (for figure 4 catch), Phlaerd and Eflex as well as some esoteric moves that have been lost over time such as "Grunt Tunnels". During this time we began to travel to tournaments and realized that indeed we were not doing the same moves as everyone else.

One of the most innovative groups at that time (1978) was the Kitsilano Koastal Kats out of Vancouver, British Columbia. They were comprised of members John Anthony, Bill King and Jim Brown. Their esoteric approach was matched by their abilities to create new terms. From this group came such jewels as "Paddidle, Micronexia, Full Seal, Tucker Cowboy, the Leaning Kangaroo, the Flamingo, Arbitrary, Benign, and Zeno.

Another strong influence came from the East Coast where modern freestyle was essentially born if not perfected. The Washington Square Wizards and Central Park gang were setting the standards in freestyle play. Krae Van Sickle, John Dwork, Jeff Belberbaum, Joey Hudoklin, Richie Smits were just a few of the many high profile jammers to emerge from that scene. Krae Van Sickle was the most innovative of that group and created such notable moves (and terms) as Flamingitis (a variation on the Flamingo catch), Scarecrow, Juice and Helicoptor.

I moved to Sonoma in 1979 and became part of the UFOS club. This club was very active at the time and had Carey Basso and Evan David as members. They were the current World Freestyle Champions (Rose Bowl '78). In 1979 freestyle was just coming out of it's infancy and many new techniques were being innovated at that time. Each day I would try tocome up with a new move. The general rule then as always was the first person to do the move could name it. From this era came terms such as Phlaud (short for Phlauditis since it was a variation on the Flamingitis). Indigenous, Extraneous, The The and Observational to name a few. Soon after that many new arewas were asserting themselves in some form or another. In the early to mid eighties, the Bayou Blasters from the general Baton Rouge, LA area took the FPA by force. They were basically known for their disc work prowress but their ability to create new moves and terms were equally impressive. The Blasters were made up of two key players, Deaton Mitchell and Jim Schmall as well as assorted others such as Daryll Allen and Pat Carrasco. They created such memorable moves as Twistoflex, Schmalloflex and the mind numbing Double Double. Another strong precenses at that time was the team of Bob Coleman and Dave Schiller out of Austin, TX. Bob Coleman in particular is one of the most creative influences in the sport of freestyle. His claim to fame was "Connecting the Nuerons" a one hand turnover. Craig Simon was also emerging around that time. Craig used his intense analytical view of the sport and was able to dissect and expain it in a way no one else had ever done. He created some of the terms of that time such as "California Gitis" Radar as well as others. Meanwhile, the town of Santa Barbara was fast becoming a mecca of freestyle play. The world's greatest player, Joey Hudoklin has taken up residency in this coastal berg. Along with sidekick Richie Smits they proceeded to find new players and push their games to new unchartered territory. Crazy John Brooks, Kate Dow, Craig Smith, David Zeff and Chipper Bro Bell were the seeds of their efforts. Much of what they were doing had already been done. What they were doing that was different was creating a style that was strickly improvisational. Much like a jazz musician. At that time Chip Bell did a double "Bad Attitude" in the air and coined the term "Pull up the Roots" after the Talking Heads hit song. This was the hottest move of the decade. It was at this time the famous term "Goob Makes Spaunch Hein" was created.

After the mid 80's not much was happening. In 1988 I moved to Santa Cruz with Tom Leitner (my partner at the time). I had always had a strong technical approach to the game and was interested in new technologies. I innovated the "Skid" in the mid 80's and continued to explore it's possibilities especially in a beach environment. At that time we created a working vocabulary of skid moves and combinations such as "Brain Hotel", "Russian Submarine", "Skidout", and other terms. We also continued to perfect a style of beach play, borrowing heavily from such influences as John Jewell and Joey Hudoklin.
Skippy Jammer 5/18/95

back to Skippy's Home Page