If the 70’s were a time of Innocence and Fruition, and the 80’s were the golden age of the sport, the 90’s were an age of perfection. The level of play had evolved at an exponential rate. It was during this period of play where what was once thought to be impossible or improbable became common place. The players were for the most part still the people who had either excelled during the previous decade or were fringe players who’s time had come. They brought the game to unforeseen levels. The numbers dwindled as the skill levels increased however. During the latter part of the decade, a resurgence of the Junior’s division created optimism for the next era.
And in a moment of pure genius, an Italian Beach Ultimate tournament in 1998 would feature Freestyle. The results of that event would radically change the sport in the coming decades.
Won everything in sight from 1988-1994. This team lost only one time (Ft. Collins 1994) and won 5 times during that span. High difficulty and low execution errors were the standard of play for this team. The cornerstone of the team was Larry and Skippy who won three consecutive US Opens with a different third partner all three times (John Jewell 1989, Tom Leitner 1990 and Pat Marron 1992). This was actually a 4 person team with little drop off in talent when one of them sat out (Pat was an emergency sub). JJ has been lauded earlier for his exploits on the beach and in the dark. Larry is mentioned below with due credit. Tommy was the young protoge learning from the masters. He would later develop into perhaps the most important freestyle of all time as he influenced the new generation of European Freestylers. One of Tommy’s trademarks is his uncanny ability to play on the edge of control.
Mikey has so many elements to his game he is difficult to pigeon hole. There is the obvious aspect of his big air catches and crash and burn landings. There is also the consecutive nature in wich he puts his combinations together. And he can skid away until the cows come home. An often overlooked part of anyone’s game, speedflow gets full attention by Mikey and he makes it a critical part of his routines. His overall skills are a throwback to a time when players learned from the ground up. His big air repertoire is unmatched. His abilitiy to put together interesting combinations are also an attribute that often is overlooked.
Ted is as gifted a player as you will find anywhere. Among his many forte’s are his multiple spins, a fantastic roll game and great delay work. What goes unnoticed to most is his uncanny ability to give perfect sets, either to himself or to his partners. The perfect team player in all regards. The only player who performs barefoot.
With 5 major Women’s Titles during the 1990’s it’s hard to overlook the accomplishments of Judy Robbins. The former Boston “Bostyle” shredder took her game to Arizona where she added to the local heat index with her hot moves.
Heater is a constant ball of positive fun energy, firing up jams everywhere she goes.