2a Advice Sought

So a couple months ago I started trying to get back into yoyoing after a year or two off, and my main style is 2a. I’ve run into a couple minor problems though that I hadn’t ever figured out and would appreciate some tips from other 2a players on maintenance and taking care of my wrists.

First minor maintenance question: since I’ve been using 100% polyester strings I tend to run through them pretty quickly (they only last me 45 minutes or so of intense play before getting gross). As such, I change strings all the time, and this ends up being a bit of a time sink. So far my solution has been to cut a bunch of strings all at once and have them on hand, but I’m curious if you guys use strings that last longer but still play nicely.

Second minor maintenance question: how often you guys oil or clean your bearings? To get mostly consistent performance I’ve been re-oiling after every time I change strings, but I haven’t figured out how often I should clean them at that schedule. What’s been your strategies?

Lastly, I’m wondering if any of you have had any wrist problems from practicing, and what your solutions were. I’ve been trying to maintain 30 - 60 minutes of practice a day, and sometimes I worry about my wrists. I’ve started stretching recently, but I’m trying to figure out if there’s a way I can strengthen them or otherwise reduce the risk of repetitive stress.

Thanks, hopefully I’ll be at nationals to see some of you!

string: This isn’t a minor question! It’s a huge issue. 100% polyester is a no no for 2A. Way too much rapid friction on the string, it melts. 100% cotton will tear apart without a warning. Go with 50/50!

bearing: I apply oil when I feel like it’s about time. Once every 3 weeks I think. I just rub off any debris or dust with my finger when I notice it’s getting dirty.

wrist: Maaaybe you’re putting too much stress/force on your wrist. Can’t think of any other reason. 30 - 60 minutes of practice a day shouldn’t hurt your wrist. Just stay calm and let the yoyo do more work for you.

azunyan can educate all of us on this topic more.

Edit I’m I’m having stress in my biceps.

I disagree. Poly is great if your yoyo isn’t a fixie. The melting scare is exaggerated. I know some 2a players who do use poly instead of the traditional 50/50. But it’s all preference in the end.

A very close friend of mine cleans his bearings in lighter fluid, then floods the bearings with machine oil. Works great for loops but kills spin time.

There is something out there called the hyper yoyo maintenance oil. Shu Takada and Ginji Miura both use it. It preserves spin time while improving looping performance. Hard to find though so good luck. Ryuya Kaneko uses Thin lube on one side (Of the bearing) and thick on the other.

You don’t have to keep oiling your bearings. Do so when you feel like looping performance is decreasing. If you keep topping it up you’re just wasting oil.

Also, 2a will damage your wrists in the long run, similar to akido. It’s unavoidable, but can be lessened by taking breaks and icing after long sessions (If needed).

Everyone seem to have different opinion about this, from my perspective (about 4 years of 2a):

  1. I use 100% poly and it last about 1 hour or so, but I often keep playing it for like 1-2 hours more in practice session, less on contest day. Other types of string (slick/cotton) seem to wear pretty much the same. No poly doesn’t melt unless you’re using fixed axle or maybe bad setup (gap too tight).
  2. It seems that you rely too much on the oil for the yoyo to return, one should be able to loop a nearly dry bearing provided the yoyo is setup correctly. That being said, I usually lube the bearings when the string starts making slacks and feel uncomfortable, generally like, bimonthly I think.
  3. If you got injuries (other than string finger burns and maybe a few bruises), you’re probably fighting against the yoyo instead of flowing with it. Watch high level players and try mimicking their hand movements, don’t worry about the loop itself. Proper movement = proper loops.

As far as oiling the bearing, the reason I do it so frequently is for consistency of play, since I feel like my yoyos perform much worse when not freshly oiled. I thought doing so was far more common (I think I got the idea from Joseph Harris), but I’ll try oiling them less for a while to check if it actually helps and is not just a result of me being used to them that way.

From what it sounds like 50/50 doesn’t seem to wear out much slower if at all than poly, and since I prefer how poly strings play I’ll probably keep using them.

For injuries, I should clarify that I haven’t had any as a result from yoyoing yet, but since my wrists are pretty thin and are easily injured by other activities I was worried about the possibility. It doesn’t sound like you guys have had any big issues, so I’ll stop worrying about it.

Thanks for the input guys!

Lubing a bearing looper is key to it’s performance.

This is super true.


When setting up my looping yo-yo for the first time I soak the bearings in mineral spirits then lubricate them with the yoyojam thick lube, immediately change any response pad the yo-yo may have come with (both because I’m a little anal and because I can’t even tell you how many I’ve opened where the response pad was not centered and rubbed on the bearing), then, depending on the yo-yo I use I put a new string on. For Speed Beetles and Pulses I have been having the best results with the old yoyonation highlights. I will obviously have to find something else when I finally run out of those, but 50/50 is always a good choice. I pre-cut a ton of strings and have them ready because I know exactly how long I want all of my looping string, regardless of the yo-yo I will be using.

As far as how often to replace and maintain, I just feel it out. If my yo-yo slips, I replace the response and relube. I replace the string probably every time I throw for sure but during extended play it depends on how things are going. If the string is making me nervous with the amount of snappy throws (you hear it as the yo-yo reaches the end of the string) or looks overly dirty from hand sweat or whatever I will change it out. Bulk is the answer there. Just buy bulk and use it. NO need to see how long you can make any of the disposable stuff last. If your loops look bad, fix your throw and clean it up.

As to fatigue, there is definitely a smooth hand shaking or shooing motion you will want to make with your hands as you loop. If you feel that isn’t what you are doing, slow down. I’ve seen people get super burned out and cause all kinds of fatigue issues because they wanted to throw 90+ mph loops. Any trick you do will always look better to people if they can see it, so slow it down.

Hope any of what I’ve said helps. Good luck.


Pertyo… That is some pretty inaccurate information. First of all it is a minor question. Secondly it is not a Huge issue, lol. And poly is not a no-no for 2A.

I know a good number of 2A players and almost all of them use 100 percent poly. I have never ever heard one of them mention ‘rapid friction on the string’ ever. Like in never ever.

One of them is one of the hardest throwing 2 handed players in the United States or anywhere else for that matter. He uses 100 percent poly exclusively.

Why? Because he actually has less failure problems with poly that either cotton or 50/50 string.

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I have a bulk pack of Toxic brand poly strings someone gave me, and they last me about an hour of solid play before I have to change them. Except for forgetting to change one of the strings one time and it breaking I haven’t had any real problems with poly using the Duncan Pulse.

For the time being and just because I had it on hand, I used Mag1 disc brake wheel bearing grease. It’s super duper thick and seems to work good for me but I’ve never tried anything else and so far for this set of Pulse I’ve only done it once and have been using them for about a month and a half and haven’t noticed needing to do them again. I do have some Loop 900s coming so I’ll have to see how they play vs the Pulse.

As for the wrists, I haven’t had any problems, but if you’re noticing any issues there are a few companies that make wrist support gloves for other sports like bowling and whatnot that may help if you’re running into problems.