Freestyle Players Association
Voices from the Past
Excerpts from an Interview with Joey Hudoklin
From 1978 PAW Magazine (Padiddlers Association of the World)
By John Dwork
This issue's interview of Joey Huudoklin was done by John Dwork under a ridiculous deadline. Joey might not make it to he Rose Bowl this year because he is the best freestyler in he world. So far he has chosen not to choreograph his play to suit the Standards" of the current judging system used in competitions. The difficulty level of moves exhibited by Joey and his partner Richie Smits at Santa Barbara's tournament earlier this year will be achieved only by a handful of players in the next thirty years. They placed fourth which is why standards is in quotation marks. Joey is the present standard. If he doesn't get invited to this year's Frisbee championships, is freestyle far behind?
Paw: Tell me Joey, when did you start playing Frisbee?
Joey: I started playing Frisbee so far back that I can't remember. Must have been about 4 years ago. I'm an old-timer.
Paw: Where did you start?
Joey: Oh, down where the Wizards come from.....down in the Village. You know, down in Washington Square Park where all the junkies hang out.
Paw: Isn't it a little distracting playing amongst all those, oh....how should we put it...,um, villainous creatures.
Joey: Ya, they get in your way a lot. It's hard to duplicate a tournament situation when you're playing amongst people who insist upon standing in your way to make their drug deals.
Paw: Yet you do this every day. Is it because you live in the neighborhood, or because of the crowd that hangs out there?
Joey: It can't be because of the crowd that hangs out there.
Paw: I mean your friends.
Joey: (laughs) um, I think because I'm closest to the place actually.
Paw: Joey, ....what disc did you start playing with?
Joey: I start playing with a C.P.I. All-Star Saucer Tosser, which was the best thing on the market at the time...before Wham-O took control of everything even CPI which was unbreakable and usable forever Good-bye CPI .
PAW: When did you start using silicone?
Richie came up with the idea after the Michigan Guts tournament in 1976, when nobody had really ever heard of it. I don't know what people were using back then.
Paw: Probably Pledge Lemon Pledge.
Joey: I think Richie was the innovator for silicone.
Paw: When did you switch to the 165 G Frisbee.......you are probably the first person who used it for freestyle and paved the way for165 G Frisbee freestyle?
Joey: Ah, considering that I' m the first
I started using
it before it even came out, actually I was given one by our Stork,
and he asked me how I liked it
I showed him how I liked it
at Santa Barbara in '77.
Paw: Where's your favorite play in the world to play, Joey?
Joey: Definitely the beach, where you can brush and brush, and create ultimate z's without even playing with anybody definitely where the worlds first solo routine should happen.
Paw: Is there any particular beach that you have favored?
Joey: Venice Beach without a doubt.
Paw: What do you think of the New York freestyle scene as opposed to other places in the U.S. to play? Ah, what do you think about the concentration of freestyle in NY?
Joey: There is undoubtedly more freestyle happening in Lower Manhattan than any place else in the world. There may not be all of the best freestylers here, there might more better players on the West Coast, but there certainly aren't as many of them playing in one spot all the time, than in Manhattan.
Paw: What's your most memorable Jam...as far as being the hottest?
Joey: Probably it would have to be at my most unthinking time, which was after a Hot Tuna concert when they played one of their more memorable 6 hour sets .and which we walked out of there without being able to hear anything except more Hot Tuna for a few more hours at the very least. And Richie and I went out to the Park, still buzzing, and pleased ourselves for a long time. Also, playing as a pair, I could say I've gotten hottest, thinking of the routine as 2 people working as 1,with Roosevelt Baucas, in which we get into some of the fastest freestyle imaginable, I believe
Paw: is there any particular move that you remember as being your hottest?
The only one that I can remember off hand is one I pulled off
in Boulder; where I pulled off 2 trick turnovers off the same
spin, with a bit of trick brushing in between, and ended up in
a quadruple catch.
Paw: Who influenced your game the most?
Joey: Kerry Kolmar definitely influenced me he was the only one who was good enough to influence anybody at the time around NY. And, it just so happens that I picked up a disc before most people did. Kerry and Krae Van Sickle were about the only 2 hot players around N.Y. at the time, and they were playing with a very, I guess you would have to call it, a very free style....and you could see The flow they were playing with....and that style of play....that basic philosophy of freestyle, that has made the biggest impression on me and made me want to develop it myself.
Paw: What are you working on now most of all? What are you concentrating on?
Joey: My freestyle, I'm sorry to say, has to change, as far as for competition sake. Because in order to win you have to sort of compliment the 4 categories, and to do that you have to mix in a lot of different things although you may not always be playing the way you're playing when you just go out to play in any normal situation. You have to, at least I find myself, shorting my game up immensely playing in tournaments. So I find myself doing that to practice when I'm playing on own, by myself, working a lot more on short moves....short, good looking moves. And also I'm working on twirling on my left hand so I look different from John Dwork.
Paw: (Laughs) What are your thoughts on competitive freestyle performances?
Joey: Well, performance is usually what it actually comes down to the fact that it's true makes me ill when I think about it, because the public or who ever might be watching a freestyle competition, other than the players themselves, don't see what is really freestyle jamming... ....but they see a choreographed routine that is set up to bring out the emotions for the people watching, and the judges, who don't know a anything about what would really be the hottest Frisbee that could be our there.
Paw: Do you feel that the judges are influenced by the crowd's reactions?
Joey: Well, I think that if here was no crowd they would be just as influenced. They feel the same thing that the crowd feels and therefore they're overcome by these feelings about the routine that can't be expressed in anything but their emotions.
Paw: So, in other words, you're saying that the judging in the tournaments that you've been to recently has been more subjective than objective?
Joey: Well the system.... the ju ju...judging system (laughs), is more subjective because you don't have educated judges out there judging the freestyle finals ..you only have people judging from what they know, and most of them don't comprehend what it takes to do a series of difficult moves. I think what happens a lot is categories get overlapped, and the most common one is execution overlapping difficulty...and a lot of people don't get credit for difficult moves that aren't executed as well as simpler moves that are executed better. I think that people don't get credit for it in terms of difficulty because they didn't complete it or they didn't do it as smoothly. Also I think that people shouldn't be thinking of anything but difficulty when they're judging difficulty, and not how well they executed the move, but what move it was they were attempting to do.
Paw: What do you think about players who set up their competitive performance to look harder than it is?
Joey: Well, I can't say anything about the people except that it's their game and they're entitled to play what ever way suits them.....but I think many Judges get confused when somebody does relatively simple moves while interrupting the flow of their moves with something like a straight delay or straight tapping to set up their spectacular finish perfectly and without when you think about it, its really a flaw that makes a move look more difficult than it really is an imperfection in the move.
Paw: Do you think that people are getting screwed for doing moves that they make look easy but are actually extremely difficult?
Joey: I think that it happens at every tournament its just one of those things that people can't be expected to realize.
Paw: So in other words you think that Judges are not educated enough to Judge fairly.
Joey: I think beside the fact that the Judges don't really know what it takes to do the moves that are being done in freestyle competition, they don't realize that it takes a lot more and is much more difficult to string together a series of moves without interruption than it is to do what might be more difficult individual moves with interruptions between them.
Paw: What do you think of this new 4th category, the presentation category, that has been added at Rochester and will be used at the Rose bowl?
Joey: Well, I think if the presentation category were judged the way it was set up by the director of the I..F.A. to be judged, it might wind up helping everyone involved all the competitors. But I think that everybody who takes a look at the presentation score wants to judge it in his own way and by that, makes it the most subjective of all the categories...and by that you have each person judging it differently and you cannot possibly come up with a fair score.
Paw: So in other words you're saying that the presentation category is too subjective and is determined by too much personal opinion to be used at this moment?
Joey: Absolutely. it is so ridiculous that presentation was added on when it was...that it gives reason to believe that it could have been a corporate decision .because the action that was done by the IFA in putting presentation in the judging system is the total opposite of what we were promised!
Paw: In other words you are saying that the IFA was trying to strive towards a more objective system?
Joey: This is what we were told was going to be done, but it's not what the outcome was.
Paw: Do you think that the International Frisbee Association truly represents the best interests of the players?
Joey: Well, I think the best example to say it doesn't, would be to show the presentation category and how I believe most of the top freestylers in the country are opposed to it at this point. But no matter how many of us get together and oppose it, it's not going to change...and the decision to put it in was made by the IFA without consultation of anybody.
Paw: Who do you think is going to win the World Freestyle Championships this year?
Joey: Around the only people who will be there who have the best chances are: Mr. Dwork & Mr. Felberbaum, Mr. Kirkland & Mr. King & Mr. Van Sickle, and the V Brothers .and I wish them all the best of luck.