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.
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.