Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Arrow Sign Spinning - The Next Great Sport

Where can you see Olympic level baton twirling, but not feel ashamed for enjoying it? Drive on Wisconsin Avenue/355/Rockville Pike/Frederick Road and look for the impressive moves of arrow sign flippers. It's the best in retail rhythmic gymnastics.

A 7-minute YouTube documentary must mean it's legit.

Because there are so many competitors with basic flipping skills, little separates the talent. You've seen one flipper you've seen'em all. All sign flippers are males, between 16 and 24 years old, getting paid $15-20/hour to burn in the sun and show their sleights of hand. It's a scene repeated every other traffic light and I can't stop watching.

Arrow sign spinning needs a Tony Hawk 900 move to advance the profession and artistry.

The spinners hawk signs for mattress stores, condominiums for sale, and furniture stores forever claiming they're going out business. Not only are the businesses repetitive, but so are the moves. I will never appreciate the more intricate moves, but I do notice people who do more than just spin the sign around their bodies.

The song may not be great, but spinner Matt Doolan keeps it interesting.

We've reached the pinnacle of signage performance. The tricks are the same including rotating the sign clockwise and counter clockwise, 360 degree sign rotation, flipping a horizontal sign, sliding the sign around the torso, and a horizontal flip high enough to pirouette and catch it again. To differentiate spinners, I need to see more non-flipping moves like dancing with the sign and creative ways to catch the sign.

Ah, who I am kidding, I have no idea what I'm talking about.

I wouldn't want something that sharp that close to my nether regions.

What the sport needs is an innovation or move that transcends the generations of sign flippers that have come before them. I think it'll come when the first vertical sign is flipped a few times on the vertical axis. Perhaps a vert-vert-flip is beyond the physics, aerodynamics, and wind resistance of gigantic arrow signs.

One of the top spinners in all the land.

While the signage gymnastics never fail to impress, the sign is never held still long enough to actually get the message out. All motorists learn is something is for sale somewhere, but they do get a good sign spinning show.

It could be worse, 355 could be lined with wacky waiving inflatable arm flailing tube men.


Sign Walker said...

sign twirling is crazy. the skill involved is ridiculous... i dont even know how you get good at that kinda stuff. a lot of the tricks looks like skateboarding since the board is flippin around in the air like that

Anonymous said...

I'm trying to find some sign spinners in the UK if anyone can help.