Paga 2007: To Compete Or Not To Compete?

I am going to Paganello for the first time ever after 10 years of watching it from afar and envying those who have been able to be there. I am really excited about Paga, but more so to see all my friends after almost a year away from Europe.

The first challenge was finding a way to travel to Paganello. After searching for months, I was able to find a good airfare. Once I figured that out, another question appeared: will I compete or just jam? Experiencing Paganello is one thing, but having the experience of competing in Paganello is legendary. Will I feel like I’m missing out by not competing?

The question is actually a bit trickier now because it is so late. There are only a few weeks until Paga, and most players have already teamed up. Usually I have been able to put together superteams of elite players, and that has spoiled me because superteams have a tendency to place well.

No superteam this year, but competing at Paganello with the rising European stars might be just as fun. I had a great time playing in Köln with Flo Hess.

And here is the quandary. In order to compete in Paga, I need to find a team soon, but part of my process for finding a team is finding a bond Рjamming with someone, knowing them. For instance, Flo and I had jammed for a few weeks before K̦ln.

If I compete at Paga, I won’t have a chance to put together the magical Paga team, the team that can capture Paga’s spirit and shred (no matter what our level is). Maybe my team will have magic; maybe it won’t. It will be sort of a blind decision.

So, now I must decide what to do. Will I be happier just jamming, like I did in Berlin? It’s nice to not have to rehearse or warm-up or conserve energy. It’s nice to just watch the competition and take photos. Or will I be happier experiencing Paga through the lens of a competition team. It’s nice to share four minutes of performance.

So, Yendor, and the entire Shrednow community…what should I do? Should I jam or should I compete? Should I compete with you? Should I compete against you? Should I leave my nails at home and go sightseeing?

11 comments

  1. razzle

    Dear Arthur, I will be at Paga and I would like to see you compete, please don’t leave your nails at home, you will find a great partner to do a great routine.

  2. gaddoz

    I totally agree with Razzle,
    You can’t come to Paga without competing!
    You’ll find a good partner, for sure!

    GadDozZ

  3. frisbeefreestyler

    Hi Arthur, Dori from Israel here.
    This is a guest performance for me on this blog so i must say something important 🙂
    In general: compete!!!
    If you are a very competitive person and being #1 at all costs is your vision then you might have a problem. You need a good team and many hours of prep.
    Reading your post I understand PAGA is a dream for you, not because of winning, but because of the energy and the size of this amazing event.
    I have competed PAGA twice and it never reduced any of my fun. On the other hand few other Israeli freestylers that came with me just to watch have been sorry for that until now (3 years…).
    So, give your best show, improvise, have fun, teach other jammers how to play and judge, play some ulti, jam in the parties and allover the streets, drink lemonchelo and most important: try to make the semis to play in the disco!!!!
    GO PAGA GO!!!
    Dori Yaniv
    Israel
    btw,
    I am not sure but check with the bees master (Gary) he contacted me few days ago about a partner.

  4. arthurcoddington

    Dori, you definitely get why I’m even wondering about competing. Because
    it’s PAGA. Recently, I haven’t been focused on competition, more on jamming
    and mentoring. But, Paga is such an institution and there is such a tradition
    around the Disco/Circus Tent round, it’s hard to travel all the way to Rimini
    without even thinking about competing.
    The response so far – both on Shrednow and off – has been incredible and
    humbling. Still nothing to announce in terms of superteams (no, Diego, it
    has nothing to do with wearing special underwear) or any other competitive
    configuration. Whatever I decide, I want to make sure it’s in the spirit of
    Paga, for the right reasons. No matter what, I will have fun there. Maybe it
    will be in the Circus Tent in front of a horde of rabid Ultimate players; maybe
    it will be in relative solitude by the beach in a mob op.

  5. Belgian Hans

    Please Arthur, compete! and let us enjoy of your fabulous moves and tricks!!!
    See you there.

  6. Fabio

    It will be a joy for me and for all of us meeting you on Rimini Beach. And for sure we’ll have a great time jamming and partying together, as every Paga so far.
    I want to share a personal thought I have when I travel to tournaments around, so it is not an advice, just words in air… 😉
    I often visualize tournaments in my future, Paga, FPAW, EFC, Vagolino, Citt

  7. arthurcoddington

    Fabio, yes. Not only do I see your philosophy in action as I watch you
    participate in events around the world, I think it is an admirable approach. For
    me, the first priority was to experience Paga – just to get there.
    Now, I map out my Paga experience. Parties? Yes. Jamming? Yes. Laughing?
    Yes. Photos. Yes yes yes. Add competition to that? That is the question, and I
    guess I will just have to wink about my decision at this point and tell the story
    later…

  8. arthurcoddington

    Well, half of my decision is made. I am psyched that Claudio Cigna, Jan Schreck
    and I have decided to play co-op together at Paganello. I had a great time
    meeting and playing with Jan last year in Berlin, and I have heard nothing but
    great things about Claudio.
    Next decision: Pairs. Playing in the tent in front of the big Ultimate crowd is SO
    tempting.

  9. Laerbs

    Even if it means you bump me out of the semis 🙂 But you should try to find a strong enough partner so you make the semi-finals at least – not always easy for any team with the number of great players now. The finals are secondary really, as there is no feeling like hitting big moves in the semis with 2,000 ultimate players watching in close proximity and everyone going crazy. I can think of many memorable performances, like Sune/Reto getting so hot the roof almost came off with crowd appreciation. Or just Reto and Clay warming up and the crowd going nuts.

  10. Fabio

    Indeed it is… I’ll always remember 2005 semis with Tommy Gereben, never felt a crowd like that!
    You have to do it once… 😉

    ” FLY HIGH AS A DISC IN THE SKY ! ”

  11. arthurcoddington

    Okay, I am on for both co-op and pairs at Paganello. As I wrote
    before, I’ll play co-op with Jan Schreck and Claudio Cigna. Just in the past day, I
    have teamed up with Manuel Cesari for pairs. I want to give special thanks to
    Andrea Poli, who insisted Manuel play with me even though they were set to
    compete in Paga. I absolutely did not want to split up any teams in order to
    play, but both Manuel and Andrea seemed happy with the result, so it’s Manuel/
    Arthur in Rimini!