Posted by: pocketdisc | January 17, 2013

2013 Pocket Disc Designs Named After Mayan Ruins

The 2013 catalog unveils seven new Pocket Disc designs that our Facebook Fans helped us to pick out.  Each new design is named after a Mayan ruin.  The ancient Mayans built their amazing cities to last, and we build our Discs the same way.(Pocket Discs have survived for years in Elementary school PE programs).  Here is the public debut:

First, Tulum:

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Tulum, is the ruin American tourists are most likely to see because it is a short drive from Cancun.  Even still, we know one American who has been to Cancun 4 times and never gone to see Tulum.  Don’t be that guy!

Next, Tikal:

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Tikal is located in Guatemala. It is one of the largest archaeological sites and urban centres of the pre-Columbian Maya civilization, and host of a whole lot of disappointed end-of-worlders this past December.

Next, Yaxchilan:

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To get to Yaxchilan, you must drive hours through southern Mexico, stop in the middle of nowhere, board a very long and narrow boat (designed to cross over whirlpools) on a crocodile infested river that divides Mexico and Guatemala.  How do we know?  We’ve been there!

Next, Tonina:

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Pronounced TO-NEE’-nah.  Isn’t that beautiful?

Next, Chichen Itza:

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Ever watched that powerful scene in Indiana Jones where the priest pulls the still pumping heart out of a man?  Well, that wasn’t entirely fabricated.  Pulling the hearts out of live captives was done at Chichen Itza in order to give the Sun God power to fight the forces of the night.

Next, Palenque:

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Archaeologically, one of the most significant ancient Mayan sites located in Southern Mexico.

Next, Ixchel:

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Named after a female goddess of fertility and creativity, and located on Isla Mujeres (Island of Women) this is hands down our favorite ruin.  Why?  Because we are all about empowering women and creativity.  It is the amazing creativity of our Mayan artisans who thought up these 2013 designs. With their help we are following the immortal words of Willy Wonka ” If you want to view paradise, simply look around and view it. Anything you want to, do it; want to change the world… there’s nothing to it.”

Posted by: pocketdisc | December 6, 2012

Pocket Disc Featured by the PDGA

Below is a reprint of the article featuring the Pocket Disc on the PDGA website.  Click here to see the originial on the PDGA site.

Nikko Locastro and Will Schusterick have joined forces to promote the Pocket Disc to the Disc Golf world. Weighing in at 2.2 ounces and measuring eight inches across the Pocket Disc is capable of flying up to fifty yards. Pocket Discs are more portable than a rigid flying disc as they can be stuffed in your pocket or backpack where they wait ready for impromptu disc games of all sorts both indoors or out.  “They are great for killing time around the teepad when play on the course in front of you is slow,” says Schusterick.  Locastro adds, “When its nasty outside, I like throwing the Pocket Disc at targets in the house…It’s like indoor disc golf almost.”

Pocket Disc has been around for about four years now, but just recently arrived on the disc golf scene.  In September, Pocket Disc sponsored the Southeast Collegiate Open (SECO) in Appling, Georgia, which boasted the largest collegiate field other than the National Championships.  

The following week, Pocket Disc sponsored three time player of the year, Nikko Locastro, in his bid to win the United States Disc Golf Championship (USDGC) in South Carolina.  Shortly after the USDGC, the tourney winner, Will Schusterick, joined Nikko as a Pocket Disc athlete.  Nikko discovered the Pocket Disc at the fly mart at the Worlds in Charlotte this summer and thereafter connected with Pocket Disc on sponsorship and other ideas like his Disc Golf Expansion Project, which Pocket Disc hopes to be a big part of in 2013.  

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Pocket Disc has begun a project filming instructional videos with Locastro and Schusterick that are currently in the editing phase.  Patrick Groft, co-founder of the Pocket Disc says, “I have enjoyed working with these guys.  They bring a ton of energy to the company.”  Expect to see the videos on You Tube in the coming weeks.

Both Locastro and Schusterick are happy to represent a socially conscious business like the Pocket Disc.  The Pocket Disc makers are proud members of the Fair Trade Federation.  In addition, business headquarters in North Carolina are entirely run by renewable energy, and each Pocket Disc contains minimal packaging.  “We hope to bring our social and environmental conscious, fun products to the Disc Golf world in 2013 with a bang,” says co-founder, Chris Larsen.  So far, at the tail end of 2012, it seems like they are right on track.

Posted by: pocketdisc | November 20, 2012

The Pocket Disc Is Big in Japan

The Pocket Disc is sold in over 100 stores in Japan including Patagonia Japan.  Discs have been available to people living in Japan for about two years through the Japanese distributor Aloha Corporation.  Aloha also sells Discs online in Japan.  If you can read Japanese, check it out at http://www.pocketdisc.jp.  Pocket Discs were also at the Tokyo Toy Fair this past September, an event attended by more than 15,000 people.

Our Japanese Pocket Disc model, Ai Tateishi.

In addition to beautiful women promoting the Pocket Disc in Japan, we are happy to have two very talented Japanese artists collaborate on a piece of art featuring the Pocket Disc.

This original work of art by artists Hisashi Iwasaki and Shinichi Tubota was on display at the Tokyo Toy Fair.

Japanese artist Hisashi Iwasaki created the left-hand side and Shinichi Tubota created the right-hand side of this painting.  In the middle of the painting is a Pocket Disc created by a Mayan Artisan.  We couldn’t be happier with this amazing work of art which was displayed at the Tokyo Toy Fair.  Being big in Japan is just our style!

Posted by: pocketdisc | October 18, 2012

Chicken Bones, Mexican Public School, and Coca Cola

What do chicken bones, Mexican public school, and Coca Cola have to do with each other?  Anyone who has been following Pocket Disc’s activities closely knows that co-founder of the Pocket Disc, Chris Larsen and his family have spent the last year living in Chiapas, the poorest state in Mexico.  Chris’s family went to Mexico to look for Mayan artisans and to expose their children to a new culture and a new language.

Indigenous adults have less than half the level of schooling of nonindigenous adults. Poverty accounts for a large portion of this gap.

Chris’s daughters, Hannah, age 11, and Ellie, age 8, both attend school in Chiapas.  This past month Ellie, who attends public school, was given an assignment to put a chicken bone in a cup of coke and bring the bone to school after four days.  When Ellie retrieved her bone from the coke it was black and bendy.  Her teacher at school told her about how Mexico’s rate of diabetes is soaring in part because of coke consumption.

Ellie Larsen on her way to public school in Chiapas, Mexico. Chiapas is the poorest state in Mexico.

Every day in Chiapas the Larsen family sees Mayan mommies giving coke to their children as if it were water.  This is because the tap water is not safe to drink, and a bottle of coke is cheaper than a bottle of water in Chiapas.  Plus, coke comes with calories and water does not!  But it is also because many of these moms and their children have not been able to attend school and learn what Ellie’s teacher told her about coke.

Help make school a possibility for a Mayan child.

That is why the Pocket Disc is donating a month’s worth of school supplies to a Mayan child for each Pocket Disc bought online in October http://www.pocketdisc.com.  It may seem strange, but some children do not get to go to school in Guatemala and Mexico because they cannot afford school supplies which include mandatory uniforms.  The Pocket DIsc will be working with Mayan Families a local non-profit to ensure that the most needy children receive supplies for school.  Mayan Families is a top-rated charity and the Pocket Disc has worked with them in the past. Check them out at http://www.mayanfamilies.org.

Posted by: pocketdisc | October 15, 2012

The Pocket Disc Is Green!

Pocket Disc headquarters and warehouse space are 100% powered by renewable energy. A 2011 Bosch geothermal system provides all heating and cooling. In addition all electricity to run operations in the U.S. comes from renewable energy provided by the North Carolina Green Power Program. In addition to its energy sources being clean, Pocket Disc headquarters have been updated with additional environmentally friendly insulation in the roof and sealing of the crawl spaces.

The Pocket Disc is a fair trade company that promotes social justice. To Chris Larsen and Patrick Groft, company co-founders, taking care of the environment is a part of the company’s commitment to social justice. According to Chris, a former board member and executive committee member of the North Carolina Sustainable Energy Association, “If you can be green, be green!”

Just one more reason to ditch your plastic flying disc and buy a Pocket Disc!!

Hannah Larsen helping to install a stove in a Mayan home. Stoves, that replace open fires, reduce indoor and outdoor air pollution and deforestation. Social justice is a part of the Pocket Disc mission.

Posted by: pocketdisc | October 3, 2012

Disc Golfers Dig the Pocket Disc

Watch out, you may see more Pocket Discs flying at disc golf courses soon!  While the Pocket Disc is not certified by the PDGA for official play, it has garnered support among the disc golf set. Disc golfers love its ease of portability.

Interest in disc golf sports has grown exponentially in the past ten years. According to the Professional Disc Golf Association (PDGA), the number of registered PDGA players has risen to over 16,000, with hundreds of thousands of others playing casually. The prize purses at disc golf tournaments have grown to a total of over $2 million.

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We have not been sitting on the sidelines. This past weekend Pocket Disc sponsored the Pocket Disc Southeast Collegiate Open in Appleton, GA. This Disc Golf tournament boasts the largest collegiate field other than the National Championships.

The University of South Carolina came out on top in the men’s division and Mississippi State took the title in the Women’s Division. The men’s division match was a nail-biter, with USC edging Georgia, and Pocket Disc was proud to sponsor such a high level of play.

Disc Golf excitement is only growing this week. Wednesday, October 3rd marks the beginning of the United States Disc Golf Championship in Rockville, South Carolina. Pocket Disc will be sponsoring two favorites for the Championship, Nikko Locasto, one of the sport’s young guns and Cameron Todd, who won the 2001 World Championship. Cam says, “I love the Pocket Disc, it’s the easiest way to take fun anywhere.”

Posted by: pocketdisc | September 27, 2012

Our Commitment to the Maya

Phd Productions, makers of the Pocket Disc, has a mission that includes supporting Mayan communities outside of our business relationships with the artisans. In this past year Phd Productions had the privilege to get involved with and in small ways support outstanding organizations who are addressing the basic needs of indigenous populations in Guatemala and Chiapas in southern Mexico.

In late 2010 Phd Productions teamed up with the organization Mayan Families to provide the funding for 20 water filtration systems for one of the producer communities we work with. Aside from the obvious health benefits of clean water, a major benefit of making filtered water available is that in the absence of potable well water, families are buying bottled, purified water, a significant expense. Additionally, for many women, not needing to walk to buy water and carry it home is a big time saver.  Our goal is to be able to provide similar water filtration systems for all producer communities we work with.

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Photo by Jon Look

Also last year, Chris Larsen, co-founder of Phd Productions family, his wife Rachel and daughters Hannah (11) and Ellie (8) volunteered in a Mayan community named Nichnamtic. The Larsen family was able to install two stoves and a new roof, as well as lend a hand with the construction of a brand new middle school. This opportunity to live with and help the Mayas of Nichnamtic was made possible by the Escalera Foundation, an organization that builds schools in Southern Mexico. As part of Escalera’s larger effort to improve conditions in the village of Nichnamtic, Phd Productions provided funding for stoves as well as roofing materials for a particular family in need. The stoves reduce the women’s burden of finding firewood because they are designed to have a much longer burn time and require smaller pieces of wood.

This in turn reduces deforestation and pollution. The stoves can reduce indoor air pollution by as much as 95 percent, which is important, considering the children in Nichnamtic and other indigenous Mayan villages seem to have a chronic cough from open fires in the home. Inches of tar hang from the ceilings in homes with open fires, and because of open fires, many indigenous Mayan women have the lungs of heavy smokers at age 40.

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Earlier in 2012 Phd Productions visited the village of San Pablo in Guatemala to check on the working conditions and speak directly – without intermediary – with those artisans who speak Spanish. (Many Mayan artisans only speak the local indigenous dialect.) The village of San Pablo has one of the highest rates of malnutrition in Guatemala, which as a country has the second highest rate of malnutrition in the western hemisphere, after Haiti. When asked what they are able to do with the money they earn making handcrafts, they typically list basic food supplies, and – perhaps more significantly – school books, supplies, and clothes for school. Studies by aid organizations regularly show that money earned by women is more likely to be spent in ways that support the family and therefore has a greater community impact.

Posted by: pocketdisc | September 26, 2012

Like a Frisbee®, but Better!

You can use a Pocket Disc like a frisbee® for outdoor sports like disc golf or ultimate.  The difference is that you can stuff your Pocket Disc in your back pocket and take it with you everywhere.  Disc golf, sand, and the Pocket Disc, does it get any better than this?

Photo by Andrea Rose Needham

Posted by: pocketdisc | September 18, 2012

Newly Discovered in NASA’s Archives

Newly Discovered in NASA's Archives

Maybe in order to understand mankind, we have to look at the word itself. Mankind. Basically, it’s made up of two separate words–“mank” and “ind.” What do these words mean? It’s a mystery, and that’s why so is mankind.
-Jack Handey

Co-founder of the Pocket Disc featured in Princeton Alumni Magazine

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