I am always up for a fun time, yet I was reluctant to take my frisbee out from my backpack the other day at an outing. I desperately wanted to yell, “Hey! I have a frisbee. Want to play?”, but found it too embarrassing to ask.
An indifferent stare serving as a reply is the last thing I want. It’s not like I have such a big ego that I can’t handle rejection. What concerns me is the frisbee being a subject of uninterest. After all, it has been sitting unused in my backpack for quite a while.
Frisbee is not as popular as it used to be. Back in the day, you could always see them flying around on a summer beach or in an autumn park. Now when I see youngsters throwing a frisbee, it’s like seeing an old friend. I could easily spend an entire day staring at frisbees flying in the sky.
Throwing and catching are the essence of the game, and I am particularly fond of this simple yet repetitive routine, which is similar to baseball. Some say that it is the natural hunting instinct that makes dogs run behind a moving object in any “fetch the ball” game. For me personally, I like the feeling that my friends can smoothly catch the disc I throw into their hands. It’s not about skill and technique. Just a simple throw and the frisbee will fly high and far. But at the end of the day, one has to be in the field to actually understand the real fun and excitement of throw and catch that is rarely found in other kinds of sport.
The American toy company Wham-O has been producing flying discs since the 1960s and even patented the design for frisbee, making it a synonym of flying discs. Back then, the flying disc game was a big part of people’s lives and the stranded discs could easily be spotted in the eaves. Written on the back of a Wham-O sky blue Frisbee produced in 1966 is:
Play Catch-Invent Games. To Fly. Flip away backhanded. Flat flip flies straight. Tilted flip curves-experiment!
I interpreted it as pulling the disc along a straight line will get you a flat flip while throwing at a tilted angle will result in a curved-flip. Aerodynamics ultimately directs where the frisbee goes. Even professional players can hardly do a perfect throw in the wind. But this is also why frisbee is so fun.
Nothing feels better desperately chasing after and eventually catching that flying disc when it goes off the desired track.
Although frisbee is far less popular nowadays, the variation of disc games that has been developed over the last 60 years is still enjoyed by some. There are games in which players throw the disc for the longest distance, and there are also the large-scale activities such as disc golf that requires the players to throw the disc at a target. Nevertheless, the frisbee has always maintained its plastic appearance which is easily associated with the style of the 60s and 70s. The bright, vivid color on the frisbee reminds me of the old rock and roll music and hippie culture of the same generation. Don’t you think that classic lemon yellow on the frisbee looks the same as that on The Beatles’ “Yellow Submarine”?
I dearly miss the time when I could put my hands on a frisbee. Being away from the crowd, running freely under the sky; these are the times and space that can hardly be found again in current Hong Kong. I am more determined than ever to take my frisbee with me on the road — To take it with me to the uninhabited grassland. “Hey! I have a frisbee. Want to play?” I imagine myself saying.