The Star Malaysia – Ariff Wins Trip to Helsinki at Malaysian Footbag Championship (2011)

This is a follow up to the Malaysian event which has featured in some other articles in the collection. It was part of a product promotion for a range of fragrances from Adidas.

ARIFF Karim has won himself a trip to Finland after becoming the champion in the adidas Body Care — Malaysian Footbag Championship at the Mid Valley Megamall centre court in Kuala Lumpur recently.

Ariff was adjudged winner in the adult category after showcasing his abilities in the competition.


OGL Asia – Ultimate Footbag Challenge

In 2011 there were a number of events around Asia as part of Adidas using footbag to sell some perfumes and other products (unfortunately there was nothing to do with the Rod Laver shoe though.

As a bit of disclosure, I was involved in the Malaysian leg of the event where I gave some demonstrations and acted as a judge of the competition.

The inaugural Ultimate Footbag Challenge was organised by Kay Ess Enterprises, a local distributor for adidas body care & fragrances.

OGL’s main role was to reach out to the masses and gather support for the event by approaching several tertiary institutions to conduct Footbag workshops for students and staff.

As Footbag is a relatively new sport in Singapore, participants were guided to focus more on a freestyle routine rather than a monotonous juggle. This had helped to provide the Singapore winner with a competitive edge in the regional competition where Footbag champions came together from Malaysia, Taiwan, Thailand & Vietnam. An online voting system was created on ESPN website and Singapore emerged as the regional champion!


Here is some footage from the original competition. Most players involved across the countries did not have a footbag background, but some came from other similar sports.


The Star Malaysia – Footbag Tourney Part of Fragrance Launch (2011)

In 2011 Adidas ran a campaign through South East Asia to promote a line of fragrances. The Malaysian leg was held in a large mall in Kuala Lumpur.

THE newly launched adidas Pure Game and Happy Game fragrances have inspired some slick footbag moves among followers of the “hacky sack” in the country.

And they are hosting the Malaysian Footbag Championship as part of the launch of the brand’s body care.

Coty Beauty Far East Export general manager Fons Houtkamp said the national champion will earn a four-day trip to the International Footbag Players’ Association (IFPA) world meet finals scheduled in Helsinki, Finland from July 3 to Aug 6.


SFGate – Footbag Players Go Toe to Toe in World Championship (2010)

When Worlds were held in Oakland in 2010 there was a day when the media were invited along and shown Nemesis and other tricks along the way. It definitely left an impression.

For years, no one thought that “the nemesis” was possible–that’s a freestyle footbag trick in which a player must kick a small leather ball, also known as a hacky sack, into the air, circle it twice with each leg then catch it on their shoe behind their back. Seven years ago this legendary trick was accomplished during a competition but, even today, the nemesis remains a trick very few people in the world can achieve.

“Normally it takes a hundred tries,” said U.S. footbag champion David Clavens, a 22-year-old player who demonstrated different tricks and maneuvers at Oakland’s convention center on Monday during the kickoff to the 31st Annual World Footbag Championship. “It happens quick,” Clavens warned. Then he flung the bag into the air with his foot, his legs whipped and spun, and a second later, his fans and colleagues were clapping, cheering and shouting “Yeah!” because he’d conquered the nemesis.

Read more here

As a bonus for this post, here is some video I took on the day of exactly what the media were seeing.

The Daily News – Longview Man Riding The Footbag Wave (2009)

This is a fairly in-depth conversation with Aaron Shepard, who was very active in the scene in the late 2000s, making bags and going to many competitions.

Remember standing in a circle with friends, trying to keep a Hacky Sack from hitting the ground? What began as an idle kids’ game for most people has turned into a true passion for Longview-area resident Aaron Shepard.

Shepard, 28, thought he was “pretty good” as a teenager kicking around a Wham-O brand Hacky Sack, until he saw someone do a few cool tricks with a higher-quality footbag.

“I’d never seen anything like it,” Shepard said. “When I asked the guy about it, he suggested I go to a footbag competition, meet some people and see what competitive footbag was all about.”

You can read the full article here.

I couldn’t find any Youtube video in a quick search, but you can find a link to an Intermediate routine of his from Euros 2005.


The Seattle Times – With Flair and Style, Footbag and Juggling Festival Gains a Foothold (2007)

A 2007 article previewing the Seattle Juggling and Footbag Festival, with plenty of familiar names featured. Among them Lon Smith, Jorden Moir, Peter Irish, Jim Penske and others.

More than once, Matt Baker has dropped his keys and, without really realizing it, found them flying off the side of his foot, into the air and back into his hands. That’s the kind of move you find second nature when you’ve flown with the footbag crowd for so long.

“I’ve done that with my phone and broke it,” says Baker, co-founder of the Seattle Juggling and Footbag Festival, which turned the Ravenna-Eckstein Community Center on Saturday into a cavalcade of flying arms, legs, clubs and spheres.

Read the full article here.

To really go back in time, you can see the Modified thread about the event as well as these great photos from Dat Phan.

Torontoist – Tall Poppy Interview – Camille Surovy, Shredder

This one was the first that came up once I typed in “footbag radio interview” in a search. Though I think this does not come from a radio interview. It is quite detailed and shows what was happening in the Canadian scene in the mid 2000s.

Camille Surovy has made a name for herself in the footbag world. Apart from possessing some of the finest footbag skills, Surovy is also a key member of The Footbag Association of Toronto, and even organized the international footbag tournament called G.L.A.S.S. (Great Lakes Area Shred Symposium) that took place last weekend. Footbag (aka hacky-sacking) is one of the most inclusive sports in existence and anyone can play together irregardless of their skill. Surovy embodies the essence of the sport, she’s welcoming, thoughtful, and friendly. Torontoist caught up with Surovy after GLASS to talk about the tournament, the footbag community, and shreddin’.

Read more here.

Blue Ridge Outdoors – Footbagging Frenzy: Hackysacking in the South East

This was a preview for the East Coasts event in 2004, with a brief appearance from Peter Irish.

Footbag isn’t just the sport you played in the parking lot after school. In fact a lot of people take it quite seriously. It’s been competitive sport in several forms since the 1970’s-with a substantial number of footbag tournaments and festivals held around the world every year. Commonly known as Hacky Sack (actually a product manufactured by Wham-O, Inc.), footbag clubs are popping up all over the country including the Blue Ridge.

Pete Irish of Maryland has been kicking competitively for 20 years. His foot fetish began casually in the late 80s after he broke his arm in a skateboarding accident. After a little practice he made his parents drive him to the 1986 East Coast Footbag Championships in New Jersey. He quickly learned that this was a serious sport.


LA Times – It’s Still Kicking Around (2002)

The LA Times prepared a preview for the World Championships in 2002. It featured interviews with Tuan Vu and Steve Goldberg.

Full article can be read here.

SAN FRANCISCO — The 23rd Annual World Footbag Championships opened here this week with good vibes and scant fanfare, despite the fact that they coincide with the 30th anniversary of the Hacky Sack this year. Yes, there is a world championship featuring that little beanbag kicking game that Deadheads used to play in circles. “Hunh,” a middle-aged bureaucrat marveled outside one of the heats at the UC San Francisco student union. “People actually still do that?”

“Actually, the way it’s done now has a kind of X-games feel,” offered a 29-year-old software tester named Tuan Vu, to whom the question was repeated. Vu, a local known in footbag circles as “the Disco Ninja,” was bare-chested and sweat-soaked from the tip of his soul patch to his Adidas Rod Lavers.

LA Times – Mattel to Sell Sports Division to Wham-O

A rare mention in the business pages, showing the transition of the Hacky Sack brand from Mattel to Wham-O.

Wham-O, a toy company formed to acquire and reinvigorate classic toy brands, is majority owned by closely held investment firm Charterhouse Group International Inc. Mattel said the brands acquired by San Francisco-based Wham-O include Aviva children’s sports toys; Churchill swim-fin products; Frisbee, Hacky Sack and Hula Hoop; Morey and Boogie aquatic bodyboard brands; Street Jam, Trac-Ball and Wham-O.

Read full article here.