My previous post regarding the amazing distances and number of times that experts can skim stones prompted an e-mail from Johnny Ong in Kuala Lumpa. He highlighted the Malaysian game of Gasing - an incredibly skilled throwing game that makes skimming a stone a distance of 63m seem almost trivial.
Kids have played with spinning tops for hundreds of years - they are probably the oldest recorded toy - but on the East coast of Malaysia they have made spinning tops into an art form.
The spinning tops (Gasing in Malay) are superbly hand crafted hardwood and lead creations. Each, individually named Gasing measures up to 10 inches in diameter and weighs 6-8lb. The throwers (tukang gasing) wind a 16 foot rope to the top, loop one end around their wrist and throw it at a 3 foot square clay platform where it is scooped up by the catch man onto a wooden paddle. This is lubricated with coconut oil to aid in the length of its spin. Teams, consisting of up to 40 people (throwers, makers, catchers), set their tops spinning at the same time and it is the longest spin that wins. A good length spin is a staggering one and a half hours. An excellent spin lasts an almost unbelievable 2 hours long.
Top competitions between teams, watched by hundreds of spectators, consist of five rounds which obviously can last most of the day.
(See a you tube video perfectly demonstrating the game of Gasing here)
Mini Gasing & Spinning Top Videos and Resources
you tube videos:
good video demonstrating a Gasing top being wound but then poorly thrown,
Main Gasing video,
small tops - spinning and some tricks here ;
gigantic gasing - enomous spinning top here ;
Tonys spinning tops here ;
extreme spinning tops here ;
japanese LED spinning tops here ;
industrial strength spinning top here ;
battling tops - kids game here ;Beyblade battles here
some top spinning top resources:
topspinning.com the ultimate resource for top spinning
international top spinning association
levitron anti gravity top
the top guy:collector of tin lithographed spinning toy plunge tops.
flikr spinning top group - 100s of pictures of spinning tops
great site - full of lots videos of spinning tricks spintastics.com
world spinning top championships held in Florida
spinning top museum in Burlington
biggest wooden top in the world 2.4m high!
international top spinning day - October 2008 Wisconsin