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Reply To David (Sling Theory) (Read 14988 times)
Whipartist
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Reply To David (Sling Theory)
Oct 10th, 2003 at 8:47pm
 
I started writing this in reply to David in another topic but it got so long and I was having so much fun I decided to put it here to spark discussion.  I've been slinging for probably about 8 years and I guess I have a lot of thoughts on the subject, though I admit they are just thoughts and theories; I'm not near as accurate as I want to be, just a fanatic about achieving it. 

                                              Ben

Wanna hear my theory?  This won't be very organized but I'm itching to write it out just for my own reference Smiley

It seems longer slings don't work as well for accuracy.  Long range bombardment yes!  I've grown very comfortable with a 33" long sling folded.  That's 66" straight out.  I've found my power and range are almost as good, maybe equal to the longer slings, but that I can't use quite as heavy a stone with the same ease.  Long slings can fire much heavier stones with ease because the constant angular change of the stone in it's orbit is at a lot less sharp an angle and less intrusive to the centrifugal force's pull.  Jim Burdine uses slings between 25" and 18" for accuracy.  So do some South American tribes and a racoon hunter out in the woods that Jim's met.  I think scientifically, shorter slings are less powerful because they provide less of a mechanical advantage.  That's what slings are about- mechanical advantage.  The human arm has great strength but not great speed of travel.  Strength can be turned into speed through the sling. 

But biomechanics come into play here too, not just physics.  A 70" sling may not have any more velocity in it's shots than a 33" sling, or it may.  Don't know.  It will be able to handle larger stones forsure, but it's range may not be greater with those stones.  The acceleration at the final pull is the key to all slinging power, but it will be somewhat less of a factor, the longer your sling, because the rock is going at a faster speed during the wind up and your arm has little control of something orbiting so far from the body. Considering it's going over a longer distance to make it's orbit, it's already moving fast during even an easy swing.  With shorter slings, the final acceleration is especially the key.  And biomechanics along with physics do mean there are compromises.  But there are also laws we can figure out through experimentation.

For all around use I have been using a sling about 30" to 33" myself.  The modern Balearic slingers appear to use slings about 25" to 28" but that's just a good guess.  I find that a shorter sling tends to accelerate too fast at the end of the throw.  Considering the fact that the circumference of it's travel is a smaller arc, it tends to release late, having traveled faster than my hand.  This seems like a waste of my strength to me.  Because just as my hand's gaining momentum, the sling has already passed it's release point and my strength is wasted unless I throw far to the left.  I think biomechanically there is a point at which the human arm can be either taken advantage of by sling length or wasted.  Either by a sling too long or too short....  Remember, the reason I'm looking for this compromise is this.

Long slings scientifically suffer in accuracy because of the inherent difficulty of aiming them.  It's like trying to shoot a rifle held 4' out to your side.  There is not enough precise control.  If I can gain the same power with a more accurate sling I will.

Short slings scientifically suffer in power because they offer less of a mechanical advantage due to their short length, and secondly because they tend to arc past the release point just when you're gaining strength for the release.  If I can gain the same accuracy with a more powerful sling I will. 

I believe longer slings are less efficient biomechanically but that they make up for it physically.

It all comes down to personal value.  There are scales set before us.  Power/Accuracy.  We can give up our personal value for either accuracy or power, but if we value both almost equally and are willing to make a slight compromise with both inorder to reasonably gain both, we can find a happy medium perhaps.  I'm sure that in every culture and for every purpose, these values have been shifted around by the slingers.  The Balearics carried 3 different length slings!  Three different purposes.  I guess they never found their happy medium with one sling.  Perhaps there isn't one.  But even with rifles there are different puposes for every calibur.

Power can be looked at either as the range a sling shoots if we only value range, or the range plus the stone mass.  It's up to us.  I don't need massive stones to be happy. 

Scientifically, the velocity and the mass would be a more accurate measure and when put together we come up with the footpound measure.  Theoretically, 1 foot pound is the amount of power is needed to raise a 1 pound weight 1 foot.  But we can't measure foot pounds with slings very easily Smiley  It would be nice to test the foot pounds of energy different slings and slingers can deliver wouldn't it?  I guess we will have to be content with our own semi-scientific tests using range and perceived velocity.  For me, I am content to use stones between about 2 to 3 oz.  But I like having a long range to my throws.  It depends on what the slinger values.  I like my power!  I also like accuracy. 

It seems historically and in modern times, most people have found that the medium compromise between accuracy and power to be found in slings between 24" to 36" long.  That's quite a range in length actually.  I'm trying to decide what side of that range I prefer.  The slings over 30" seem to me to be the most powerful and possibly the slings under 30" tend to be the most accurate.  I call these average slings, but historically there have also always been the long slings and the short slings.  But think about David and Goliath.  David's sling was able to accurately send a stone powerfully enough to sink into Goliath's skull.  I'm happy with that!

Like I said, this is all my theory.  Go to the Balearic Federation of Sling Shooting and take a look at how long the average sling they use is.  About 130cm.  I think that's about 25" folded, maybe a little more.  You will need to view the site in Spanish to see all the pictures.

I've experimented with several throwing techniques.  I've found that a horizontal swing with a vertical throw, like J. Vega uses, is the most powerful technique with an average sling between 24"-36."  The reason is biomechanic efficiency. 

The longer slings tend to be more powerful with more of a lateral horizontal throw and that arm sweep I talked about in the last post.  The longer slings are great for big stones and power hungry walnut tree limb cutters!  The technique is altered to use biomechanics to greatest advantage.  But with practice, a 33" sling can be very powerful!  When I started out I didn't think anything under 45" would satisfy me! 

The vertical swinging underhand throw can be more effectively used for higher angle shots to obtain greater range, but they don't seem to have the same efficiency biomechanically to me.  Personally I find I get more range with the horizontal throw at even a lower angle of shot due to the added biomechanical efficiency of that throw into that angle.  The greatest accuracy with the vertical throw seems to come when you swing vertically and throw horizontally.  The clutch effect J. Vega talks about. 

I've also tried a straight overhand throw.  I feel I lack power with this.  There is no wind up.  I've dropped the sling from my left hand, behind my back, right into an overhand pitch.  the accuracy is good but the power lacks. 

All in all I'm trying to decided right now between the horizontal throw and the vertical.  I notice the Balearic Islanders use the vertical, and I've seen a few pictures of Peruvian Indians using it.  They sort of cock their arm back and swing the sling vertically but at a slight angle so that at the top of the swing the sling is over their head.  It's like a 10 to 20 degree angle.  I've been very accurate with that throw though I need too keep practicing with it to see if I can have enough accuracy and especially power to feel comfortable with it.

One of the articles Chris refered me to in our articles section, helped me to keep something in mind I tend to forget.  I tend to analize the advantages and disadvantages of technique so much that I forget to aim altogether!  And of course aiming is the key to hitting the target.  It's not only the way you hold your rifle, it's the way you use your sights. 

So I extend my arm toward the target as a followthrough for each throw.   

I've noticed another thing.  It's easy to get good at one technique and be poor at the others, and so in the end you favor the technique you're good at and disfavor the ones you don't to your own limitation.  I want to get as good as I can at all of them before finally choose which one or more I prefer.  For that I'll need a lot more practice.  I must go buy that tarp! 

But beyond this I see two or three more factors. 

In whipmaking friction is the key to everything.  A whip should have as small and dense a thong as possible, while keeping adequate weight.  The faster something moves the more friction it encounters.  For this reason..., I believe all else being equal, split pouch slings with thin cords are the most powerful slings.  Wider strap slings or oversized pockets can really limit the speed you can accelerate your shots too.  Perhaps a sling made with cords of thin steel cable would be the most friction efficient sling of all.  I know the world record sling distance shot according to Guiness, was made with a 50" sling and a 2.5oz dart.  I guess it was probably made of Uranium or silver or something, because the record was over 500 meters if I'm recalling correctly!   

Secondly keep in mind that a quick shot may be a real value to some.  Sorter slings are accurate without windup and can be whipped out at the target before the target can really be aware of what's happening.  You can't hunt with windup.  The quickest gunslinger wins.  Maybe the quickest sling slinger wins too Smiley

Thirdly, I've been toying with the idea that every individual, with his individual technique, may have one length sling that has it's shots set for him.  Considering the way that short slings tend to release late and long slings need to be waited for in release, I think it's reasonable to say that there may be a certain sling length that will work perfectly for every individual.  In instinctive bow shooting there is a range at which the archer is able to place the tip of the arrow on the middle of the target and release for a perfect shot at that range.  I believe that is called point blank range because the archer doesn't need to aim above or below the target for a perfect hit.  Every bow and archer is different.  I'm wondering if there may be something like this with slings. I believe it should be possibly the combination between a natural throw without a sling, and a sling throw.  Perhaps as if you could imagine you were pitching a ball at the target instead of slinging it, and it would hit on target anyway, no need for compensation.  But this is just speculation by a slinger who isn't that good, and anyway, I believe such a magic sling length would be very hard to determine.  I have trouble using any length shorter than what I'm comfortable with.  And yet I know others are able with great results.  A slinger can still get good while using compensation.  I just wonder about those guys who could choose which part of the face they wanted to hit.  That's accuracy us moderns can only dream of.  That's what David could do.  Maybe we can too if we keep on thinking and experimenting. 

Well there is my mass of unorganized thoughts.

                                           Ben
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JeffH
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Re: Reply To David (Sling Theory)
Reply #1 - Oct 10th, 2003 at 11:40pm
 
In archery there is a rule, when shooting the traditional way that is.  The arc the arrow travels is fairly constant over the range of pull weights WHEN using arrows matched to the given weight of a bow.  What does this mean?

If I shoot a 50lb bow with properly matched arrows (weight and spine) the trajectory SHOULD be the same as a similar bow, shot by me, that has a pull weight of 80lb with properly matched arrows.  The biggest factor here is the weight of the arrows.  If we figure on 10 grains of weight per pound of pull, the arrows should always have a similar velocity out of the bow and therefore a similar trajectory.  And, as in any projectile weapon, velocity is the major factor in the path of travel.  The projectile falls via gravity at a constant rate, the greater velocity just allows it to travel horizontally further prior to impact at the ground.  If a bullet is fired horizontally from a gun, and an identical bullet dropped from the same height as the barrel at the moment of the bullet leaving the muzzle, both bullets will impact the ground simutaneously.  The fired bullet will just have traveled a long way horizontally before impact.

I believe there is a corrilary in the sling.  The longer sling would have a similar feel, veloocity, release and trajectory as a shorter sling.  But this is based on using a heavier projectile matched to the length of the sling and similar release velocities.  The end result is that in the two slings would have similar ranges, but the longer sling/heavier projectile would have more energy and momentum and thereby be more lethal.

Now, when a lighter projectile is cast at a higher velocity, it has a flatter trajectory to hit a target at a given range.  If the velocity is high enough, the energy matches the heavier projectile.  However, the momentum is still lower because it is effected more by mass than the energy calculation.

With bullets, the kinetic energy at impact is calculated by the formula ((velocity x velocity) x weight in grains)/450240.  If you use weight in pounds replace 450240 with 64.32 (7,000 grains per pound or 437.5 per ounce.)  Those working in metric just do the calculation from grains or pounds to grams.  I don't remember for formula for momentum off hand.

At the low velocities of a sling projectile, I believe that momentum is the real killer to contend with.  The mass of the stone is what does the job.

Now, down to the nitty gritty.  Every slinger will have a different style, release and velocity of projectile.  This means that the slinger must practice a lot to learn how to be most effective in his personal slinging.  I agree that the best sling length would be hard to find.  We just have to keep practicing util we find what works.

I personally like the single windup, whether under or over hand.  I have thrown large stones, bigger than my fist, probably 100 yards.  This with no prior use of the sling, and with an underhand throw.  For lighter stones, in an accuracy mode, I sling much like David Taylor.  One windup, starting with a hanging sling, ending with the release between 120 and 135 degrees up from the hang.  I have hit a 24" wide tree at about 40 or 50 yards with a golf ball with this style.  (After several tries.)  I use a sling that is about 33" from loop to middle of pouch.  I wear the loop over my ring finger, so it is effectively shorter.  I don't get much power with a golf ball because it is so ligh.  If I slung it a max speed, I would have no control at release.  So, I find that a much heavier stone does better.  I have thrown some stone at about 2 or 3 oz over 100 yds without any effort (very little control tho.) 

The most important things appear to be a good release and the velocity at release.  The velocity may be reached as easily with a whippy, single windup as a multi spin windup.

Well, I have exhausted my brain.  Luke, help me a bit here on the ballistics.  I may be too tired to state it correctly.

Great post Ben; hope it generates lots of interest.

jeff <><
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So David triumphed over the Philistine with a sling and a stone. (1 Samuel 17:50)
 
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Re: Reply To David (Sling Theory)
Reply #2 - Oct 11th, 2003 at 12:31am
 
Hey this is lots of fun.  Good stuff Jeff!  I have a lot of trouble doing the instant throw thing right off, but on a horizontal plane I haven't found it to lack in power at all when done right.  Infact it produces a sort of consistency in my shots that I'm intrigued by.  The 3 spin technique has been my mainstay.  But I haven't slung a rock in quite a while.  Only t-balls into a plastic tarp at close range.  33" long sling is my favorite too!

                                    Ben
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Re: Reply To David (Sling Theory)
Reply #3 - Oct 11th, 2003 at 3:21am
 
Ben, your theory of the sling is almost a treaty on the matter... you are in the way of writing your own sling handbook.... Thanks to mention my style, that although I use many pages of detailed description in the hanbook, initially I describe it in an easy way, and with few words: "... the one that for me is the best technique of throwing is based on a natural ability of the primitive man and that perfectly dominates the boys of rural places or little developed countries: the stone launching by hand. The most close to this style in modern sports would be the launching of baseball. If in this ability we are able to develop a great power and accuracy, we will have walked more than half of the way of learning in sling trhowing. As after all, the style that I consider more effective consists of connecting the turn around over the head with the firing from back, made in the same way that we launch stones by hand. Those same movements, applied to the stone that arrives backwards, strongly clutched to the pouch in the whirl, will drag the sling behind the hand in a peculiar trajectory and will project the stone towards the target."

J.Vega
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He brought a conquering sword..., a shield..., a spear... , a sling from which no erring shot was discharged.&&
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Re: Reply To David (Sling Theory)
Reply #4 - Oct 11th, 2003 at 10:19am
 
Hey guys,

This is all very informative to a newbie.
One answer would seem to be--purpose determines best length. Scatterred  B o m b ardment with mass to inflict damage---long sling. Accuracy to pick off the guy on the pretty white horse giving orders--shorter sling with matching stone mass...

In most hunting I agree that a wind-up is out. Althought some of the doves Iv'e slung at make me understand where "bird brain " came from. Grin

At first, I thought it would be hard to be accurate with 2-3 rotations. The quick,one motion I described my son doing seemed the best--kind of the idea of -the less motion the more controled. But, now that I have just tried a gentle 2 rotations and then the whip, I can see how that could be very accurate. Especially using random ammo--the weight can be processed in our brain on the first two rotations before we sling it. I found myself dangling the stone in the pouch near the ground to sense the weight before I slung it at a target when using the no rotation style.

I have rescently experimented with the horizontal plain swing above my head then going to a 3/4 overhand release. It seems to be the one I like for close range accuracy with power. Question--Has anyone tried this--Start off with left arm straight out at target as in first pic of my son--then swing arm horizontal to the right holding the stone, then swing the arm quickly to the left in the same path to give the stone speed, release the stone and swing it around behind the head and into the 3/4 overhand release? I'm thinking it would be a hunting style?

Did anyone notice in one of the spanish sites the rules for slinging competion? One was that you must make I think 1-2 rotiations before release. That made me think--Why would they have that rule? Is it because "no rotations" is too easy to hit the target?? What would be the purpose of that restriction?

Very interesting and helpful!!! Thanks
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Re: Reply To David (Sling Theory)
Reply #5 - Oct 11th, 2003 at 1:32pm
 
Ben,

Could you explain that "Balearic Islander vertical" style.
are they swinging it around. I don't know if this will help but, looking at the slinger from the back, use the clock number positions to explain the swing, and tell me where the hand/wrist is located--just above head --head level but light of head 12" As an example: Using my 46" my right arm is bent at elbow and my hand is about 18"rihgt of my shoulder at shoulder hieght. The rotation is on the 11 o;clock to 5 o:clock line

I tried to find a way to rotate the sling and turn it into a vertical release, but couldn't come up with one that didn't tie me all up or lacked power.

Got any suggestions?

Don't forget to aim! aIt was funny--today I was dong some 20 yard practice at a circle piece of stee labout 10 inches diameter. I then thought, OK burn your eye focus at the center of the target and don't take it off--I nailed      center. It only happened 2-3 times after that but it made me laugh. There is a eye to hand connection.

Enough, now to the real world!
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Re: Reply To David (Sling Theory)
Reply #6 - Oct 11th, 2003 at 9:52pm
 
In answer to everyone....

Quote:
Ben, your theory of the sling is almost a treaty on the matter... you are in the way of writing your own sling handbook.... Thanks to mention my style, that although I use many pages of detailed description in the hanbook, initially I describe it in an easy way, and with few words: "... the one that for me is the best technique of throwing is based on a natural ability of the primitive man and that perfectly dominates the boys of rural places or little developed countries: the stone launching by hand. The most close to this style in modern sports would be the launching of baseball.


Thanks Jesus Vega.  You taught me a lot back in the beginning.  I agree with you about the Iberic slinging (horizontal with a pitch for the final throw).  It is the most natural style for me and the most powerful.  Sometimes my accuracy with it suffers a little bit but I'm learning.

Quote:
Question--Has anyone tried this--Start off with left arm straight out at target as in first pic of my son--then swing arm horizontal to the right holding the stone, then swing the arm quickly to the left in the same path to give the stone speed, release the stone and swing it around behind the head and into the 3/4 overhand release? I'm thinking it would be a hunting style?
 

Yes I have.  I found it to be really accurate but I couldn't get any real power with it.  I certainly want to keep trying it, maybe with a shorter sling.  Because it's accuracy was very good. 

Quote:
Did anyone notice in one of the spanish sites the rules for slinging competion? One was that you must make I think 1-2 rotiations before release. That made me think--Why would they have that rule? Is it because "no rotations" is too easy to hit the target?? What would be the purpose of that restriction?


I don't know.  Maybe Jesus Vega knows?  I would guess it would be maybe a safety thing?  Because I can't imagine any other reason for eliminating a legitimate sling technique.  I believe they have sling length restrictions too.  1 meter max. 

Quote:
Could you explain that "Balearic Islander vertical" style.
are they swinging it around. I don't know if this will help but, looking at the slinger from the back, use the clock number positions to explain the swing, and tell me where the hand/wrist is located--just above head --head level but light of head 12" As an example: Using my 46" my right arm is bent at elbow and my hand is about 18"rihgt of my shoulder at shoulder hieght. The rotation is on the 11 o;clock to 5 o:clock line

I tried to find a way to rotate the sling and turn it into a vertical release, but couldn't come up with one that didn't tie me all up or lacked power.


Jesus Vega knows more than I do.  You can look at some posts of his I put up in the Federacion Balear... topic.  From what I know they use a vertical style.  Probably with the sling going between 12 and 6 oclock.  I saw a few Peruvians going between 11 and 5.  The hand is probably held about neck height with the elbow cocked back and held at a 90 degree angle.  The farther forward or back the hand is held during the wind up, the different characteristics of the shot.  I believe this is the adjustment between sling lengths.  I wouldn't use a 46" long sling in a vertical throw.  Go with something around 30" and try again.  In my experience the vertical does lack power.  I am wondering if with enough practice I'll be able to increase it's power.  For accuracy it is very good with practice I think.  Shots never go to the right or left of the target and up and down accuracy isn't that hard to maintain it seems.  I don't know I'm not too good with it yet but it has potential.  I really don't like it's lack of power so far but it isn't too bad.  The way I do it is swing between 11 and 5oclock  with my hand held in front of my face cocked at 90 degrees at the elbow and then I throw with a sort of straight punch toward where I'm aiming.  I hit dead center quite a bit but sometimes I throw a little low.  A shorter sling would bring my shots up a bit I think.  I really miss the powerful pitch of the horizontal throw but the lower power helps me be more accurate and consistent.  I'm using 5oz baseballs for practice.  Lighter rocks won't go as well.  The horizontal is so powerful that with all the factors involved I have more trouble being accurate.  It's still my favorite though! 

Remember that sling shooting competitions at ranges up to 60 yards are different than battle conditions in which power is more necessary. 

                                          Ben
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Re: Reply To David (Sling Theory)
Reply #7 - Oct 11th, 2003 at 9:57pm
 
Quote:
The way I do it is swing between 11 and 5oclock  with my hand held in front of my face thingy
ed at 90 degrees at the elbow and then I throw with a sort of straight punch toward where I'm aiming.


I think the forum automatically thinks I'm using a bad word when I use the phrase c*o*c*k*e*d back.  My arm is **** back at a 90 degree angle.  Let's see if it will post this?

                                       Ben
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Re: Reply To David (Sling Theory)
Reply #8 - Oct 11th, 2003 at 10:03pm
 
Here's a quote from Jim Burdine.  I can see that others have had the thingy problem before me.  Is there anyway we can allow this one word since it has applicable meaning for slings Chris, or is the filter not setable?

Quote:
I found that my throw accuracy is better if I don't do any windups. I thingy
back and throw and wind up with better accuracy than when I try to build up more  force with a windup. That also means that I use slings with fairly short cord lengths. A retention cord length of between 18 and 25 inches is enough for me. The braided cords are stout enough to keep from getting tangled. Most of the tangling comes from cords that are too flimsy for the pocket. Paracord works well. So does narrow rope.


Jim, as you can see, has another strategy for accuracy.  The sort sling without windup.  I feel power is somewhat limited by this technique but nodoubt accuracy is good.

                                        Ben
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Re: Reply To David (Sling Theory)
Reply #9 - Oct 12th, 2003 at 9:06am
 
Hola slingers, you are insatiable at the time of making questions, jaja, but  is praiseworthy to have as much interest in the sling.

In the Balearic competitions, the norm of having to give at least two turns before the firing is to avoid that you smoothly push the stone towards the target, helping itself with an ample movement of the arm, with the right speed to only arrive until him. That is to say, that the firing must be an  authentical firing of sling, vigorous, and not a positioning of the stone in the target to similarity of the final blow in golf that  tries to arrive slowly until the hole and not to exceed it.

As far as the vertical style that uses modern Balearic slingers, it is certainly a peculiar style, that is adapted to the precision competitions, with which is tried to obtain the maximum control of the firing. Although since we have said is necessary to avoid the firings excessively lights, they either do not develop in  competition an excessive power, because the objective is to hit right in the target, not to destroy it as  they did primitive  Balearics in the war. Those old slingers did not use this type of competition firing, but the one of turn over head with three turns, as itīs described in the classic literary sources.

Returning to the present style of competition, it consists of several turns, generally only two, in a vertical plane next to the body, with the hand to the height of the shoulder and turning the wrist and the forearm around the elbow, and not all the arm around the shoulder. They use heavy stones , not inferior in size to an egg, that facilitates the control of the firing. This one becomes from the lowest position of the trajectory, changing to a horizontal plane from which they cast  a flat level shot. If one did not change to a horizontal plane, the firing would leave with enough angle and little precision. The advantage to shoot from down with heavy projectiles is that without mobilizing too much energy, the stone, by the own inertia of its movement downwards, is clutched strongly to pouch in the inferior point, from which goes off. He is not easy to dominate this style of launching. Personally, I do not like too much this style and  prefer the old military one, even in competicion.

I hope all this is intelligible, but I and Altavista translator are not sure.

J.Vega
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Re: Reply To David (Sling Theory)
Reply #10 - Oct 12th, 2003 at 2:54pm
 
lol, I never looked at the censored words list before.  Very funny what they translate things to.  I've removed 90% of the words from the list, so you should have any problem unless you go on a cursing rampage.   

Chris
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Re: Reply To David (Sling Theory)
Reply #11 - Oct 12th, 2003 at 10:18pm
 
Yes, I am have many questions Cheesy
In the competition style, is the vertical spin overhand or underhand? When they change from the vetical to the horizontal, I assume the hand swings  above the head?

Thank you for replying to my questions!!
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David_T
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Hooked on Sling'n

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Re: Reply To David (Sling Theory)
Reply #12 - Oct 12th, 2003 at 10:22pm
 
Thanks Chris! I could not figure out why they would censor %      od" I thought it funny that they also cut the %      " out of my statement "hit the target      center"
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David_T
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Re: Reply To David (Sling Theory)
Reply #13 - Oct 12th, 2003 at 10:26pm
 
I guess it still does not like the word M E T H O D or D E A D  ???
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Chris
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Re: Reply To David (Sling Theory)
Reply #14 - Oct 12th, 2003 at 11:39pm
 
method
dead
cocked

Works for me.
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