4 Testimonials

Without the online community that developed around tricking, the sport would not be what it is today. Part of what makes the online tricking community special is its direct relationship with the sport. In my experience, I have found that it is quite uncommon to find someone who considers himself/herself to be a tricker but has not participated in the online community at all (by watching tricking videos, reading tutorials, asking for help, etc.). To demonstrate the importance of the online community, I posted in the TrickSession forums asking people to explain (in their own words) why the tricking community is important to the sport. I also asked them to provide examples or stories that they think represent the unique qualities of the global tricking community. The following are direct quotations from some of their responses that I believe accurately reflect the views of many people within the community.

Testimonials

“If it wasn’t for tricks tutorials,juji’s samplers and tutorials I wouldn’t have started tricking… Almost every tricker in my area i’ve met was through the forums or facebook. before I even got to my school, I knew who tricked in the area and had set up a session thanks to TT. and the guys I trick with now I randomly met on a comment on Daniel Graham’s wall and we started tricking together a lot and went to loopkicks together during the summer. THE POWER OF THE INTERNET!” –B. Adams

“The capability to share information with people over a computer network seems so boring when taken plainly, but what it entails is so much more. People who have no chance in hell to meet each other, are now guaranteed to meet each other because of the sheer traffic and volume of users…it’s only a matter of time. Now, a person on the other side of an ocean can be your greatest life-coach, confidant, or simply a great friend…and ideas or mindsets from differing social cultures can clash; but at the same time harmonize, because the majority of people who trick are open to change and have high levels of tolerance.” –Sesshoumaru

“I think the way top level trickers will add anyone on facebook and just talk tricks with any noob who wants to is a testament to how awesome the community is.” –FaecereTricking

“Tricking is so much different than any other thing I have done because of the people. For example the first time I went to a gym I met tricker who was a million times better than me and instantly we were friends and would talk about tricking. It’s the same with every tricker I meet, It doesn’t matter how much better than me they are. You don’t see that in any other sport.” –Sunkickr


“Prior to preparing to create the documentary, “It’s Called Tricking”, I was presented with an opportunity to organize a trick battle in my hometown in Wisconsin. In order to find people to come to the gatherings, I simply just used Youtube to look for samplers of people from nearby states. That’s how I discovered Ben Atkins and John Vanek. I sent Ben a message through Youtube, told him to come through. A few weeks later, him, John, and a few of their friends drove 8 hours and arrived in Madison. It was the craziest thing, and it made me realize the importance of social media.

From there, I created Flippin the Script! on Facebook and have been working to gain the following of every tricker on the planet. It’s amazing. I can now to go anything related to tricking and people know who I am! I’m a shitty tricker and you don’t find any samplers of me, but because I use the internet as a networking tool, it’s allowed me to do some pretty amazing things such as create the project “Life In A Day Of A Tricker” which was a collaborative effort from trickers all around the world to film themselves on a single day, and right now I’m trying an experiment to see if I can get trickers to find others in their area that train together by making location-specific tricking posts on Flippin the Script!’s Facebook page. The evolution of tricking and the evolution of the internet go hand in hand!” –Jacob Wolfman


how do you think the online tricking community has affected/shaped the sport? has it even done anything?

To be honest, the online community is a double-edged sword. On the one hand, it can (and does) bring people together that previously would never have got the chance to meet. I mean, I got a message from one of the international guys I met at UKG10 saying he was in the UK for a few days and wanted to trick, so I travelled a few hours on the train to go meet up with him for a session. Although this was just one person, I would have pretty much done it for anyone in the same situation. Without the online community we would have never both attended UKG10, and consequently never met up again in the future.

The other side of the online community is that it can present people in the wrong light – people can come off as big-headed, arrogant and offensive. Well, that’s the impression I give most of the time anyway. This can put people off and make people think you’re like that in real life. Honestly, I’m not – and the people that i’ve met at any gathering will testify to this. On a bigger scale, people who rarely visit the forums and read the odd ‘can you help my backflip’ thread that gets spammed with omgwtfnoob posts can get put off going to gatherings and events because they think they’ll be mocked for their skill level. This is never the case.

The ability to use the internet to organise gatherings, promote events or even just message eachother to say you’re gonna go have a session at x time at x place is great, as it means that anyone with a smart phone can be instantly updated on events. Without this, events would be a lot more drawn out and not half as well attended.

what makes the tricking community different from other sporting communities?

I think this is a difficult one to answer, because unless you’re involved in another sporting community to the same level as you are in the tricking side, you can’t really compare. I’d like to think trickers are different though.

For a start, all trickers have an innate drive to want to actually do something physical. We yearn for sunny afternoons or open gym sessions with an uber loud stereo that we can blast our music out on. At gatherings, this translates as there pretty much always being someonestill tricking. I remember at the end of the first UK gathering in ’05, we were laying out on Andy Ward (alpha145632788654)’s driveway, and someone said “hey, can anyone still trick?” and George (Rook) got up and did a perfect axe to aerial in shoes in the road. This feat, after the days of camping, sleeping on the floor and a ridiculous gym session seemed even more impossible than usual. At smaller gatherings, it means that we want to periodize our activities- though we all like playing xbox/PS3, consoles will be left to gather dust when the clouds part and the sun shines down.

I strongly believe the other thing that sets trickers apart is our patience and time we have for other people. I don’t think i’ve ever felt that I couldn’t talk about something other than tricking to anyone i’ve met, and i’d take an interest in their life outside the sport. We’re just not selfish by nature, and we have a massive drive to see other people succeed. I don’t think you really get this in anything else. Its like negative competition, there’s no concept of losing, everyone is just winning and we’ll go nuts if they land any trick for the first time, regardless of whether its a triple cork or their first backflip.” –TKD Andy

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