2A mechanics guide

Requested by Christian

There are many threads about what 2A is but they never go in depth about the trick aspect or about why a 2A yoyo is good. I hope to be able to provide my expertise and break it down today. (This is all from personal experience. You may disagree with me.)

  1. Choosing a yoyo

There are currently 2 yoyos i would recommend right now in the market and my setups for them. Take my setups with a grain of salt because 2A yoyos are in the end personal preference.

-Loop 1080

These are currently my choice and main throw whenever I play 2A.
The good:
It is slightly on the heavier side, which provides more momentum which leads to easier control.

The adjustable gap allows you to freely choose string type (will get into this later) and lubricant choice.

The spacers are also easily purchasable from yoyo stores as they are the same as raider plastic spacers.

The yoyo sleeps for very long

The bad:
The string frays extremely quickly, even with 100% poly

The adjustable gap does not close enough (fixed in gen 2)

Bearing needs to be constantly lubricated.

This is my favorite yoyo because it provides long spin times while maintaining the good strong snapping feel that a good 2A yoyo has.

-Modded Fireballs/Raiders
These are also very good, but because of all the work that you have to do with it, it could be a hassle. I won’t go into how to mod them as Pat Cuartero has a great guide on it.

The good:
Way more adjustable than Loop 1080s, but you have to figure out the settings yourself.

Yoyo spins for a long time.

Available in many colors.

Good snapping feeling
The bad:

There is a potential possibility of messing up the mod and breaking the yoyos.

The axle can sometimes bend causing vibration and the bearing not being able to come out.

These yoyos take a lot of time to find your ideal and could potentially cost a lot of money if done incorrectly. Generally one will break a pair of fireballs before being able to consistently mod them.

tip if you overcrank or need to redo the cranking process, take a fireball axle and put 2 A bearings inside it, then tighten the yoyo. It will return to stock gap.

-Why the rest are not as good as the preceding two.

The other 2A choices I will write about are the Sunsets, Unleashed, Loop 900, and the Reverb.

Sunsets: While the sunsets have superior sleep times and smooth loops, they do not provide a comfortable feeling and snag extremely easily during wraps. (Tested on Farrah Siegel’s pair)

Unleashed: The Unleashed would be good if it weren’t so heavy. I have heard of a mod to make them play more like raiders, but there has been no more information about that (I assume shaving the bearing seat and removing the pogs is part of the process)

Reverb: These provide an extremely smooth looping and wrapping experience but there is almost no feedback from the yoyo. I mentioned a snapping feeling with the Loop 1080 and the Modded Fireballs that make looping much easier. Without this snapping feeling (hard to describe without actually experiencing) it is much harder to control the yoyo; it feels like the yoyo is controlling you instead.

Loop 900: I have went through many spacers to find a good setting for these, and the answer is that there is none. While these are close to being good, they aren’t heavy enough and do not provide the snapping feeling.

  1. String:

I suggested using Poly 6 and Slick 6 for the yoyos. Why?

-Poly 6

I use these on the Loop 1080s. I mentioned that the gap does not get small enough currently, and from experience the poly 6 has provided more response for me. These slightly take away the snapping feeling from the yoyo, but provide much less painful wraps.

-Slick 6

I use these on the Fireballs. The Fireballs have a better response system than the Loop 1080’s, so using Slick 6 works well. Loops feel faster with the Slick 6, but cuts your arms more for wraps.

-String Length

This is 100% preference, but there is a general principle for figuring out the ideal string length. Measure from the tip of your middle finger to your shoulder. From there, add or subtract a couple of inches to find a perfect string length for you.

  1. Bearing maintenance

People may thing bearings don’t really matter in 2A, but bearings could completely change the way a 2A yoyo plays.

-Method 1 (Thick Thin Lube)

Method 1 is where you put thick lube on one side of the bearing and thin lube on another side of the bearing. This allows the lubes to evenly distribute in the bearing and provide response while not sacrificing spin time. I recommend this for the Loop 1080, as it does provide slightly more response than the next method.

-Method 2 (3-in-1 Pro Oil)

Method 2 is where you put 3-in-1 on one side of the bearing and Pro Oil on the other side of the baring. This also allows the lubes to evenly distribute, but uses a thinner lube than Method 1. 3-in-1 is about between Thick and Thin Lube and Pro Oil is extremely thin. This provides a longer spin time, but not as much response. I recommend this for the modded fireballs, as they do not need the extra response.

-Cleaning bearings

There has been mixed feelings about cleaning bearings for 2A yoyos. Shinji Saito never cleans them, while John Ando cleans them everytime before he lubes them. Patrick Mitchell suggests that every once in a while to clean the bearings in Ronsol lighter fluid with the bearing shields on. This makes a clear difference in wraps and tanglers, and loops smoothly as well. However, if in a rush, simply lubing them will work as well.

  1. 2A play

This section will be divided into smaller sections for ease.

I. Loops

There are many guides that explain in depth about looping. However they fail to mention certain hand mechanics. You should always start learning looping with your non dominant hand first, as it is easier to pick up with your dominant hand later than vice versa. Your hand and wrist should be doing most of the action while your forearm controls the yoyo ever so slightly. The motion should be somewhat ovular, similar to the shape of a loop. This allows for easier wraps as you progress.

II. Hops

Just talking about the mechanics, there is a 11 o clock 1 o clock rule with this trick, but many people don’t follow this. While this method is viable, it is much easier to keep both the yoyos at about an 11:30 angle. This allows uniform hops and is easier to align. Arm motion should be kept at a minimum. Ideally only your wrist moves for this trick. You will be solid if you can do these with just your wrist turning and your fingers flicking the yoyo.

III. Around the world tricks

There really isn’t any place that talks about this, but many already know and understand the concept. The most important part with around the world tricks is how easily 2A yoyos lose spin if knocked off axis. An axis is the concept of the yoyo moving in the same dimension as the way it’s spinning. Try your best to do around the world tricks in the same axis to maintain the most spin time.

IV. Wraps

After you master the Loops or Hops, you can move on to wraps. The number one mistake most people have is to focus on their wrapping yoyo hand. Instead, they should isolate the tricks and be able to do them separately extremely well, then think of only their looping yoyo when attempting the trick. This allows them to keep the loops going, and the wrapping yoyo will naturally keep going due to momentum.

V. Tanglers

The hardest part about this is the dismount to the trick. A simple way to remember is that if you mount from the right, you dismount when the right yoyo is at the top, and vice versa.

Summary:2A is a hard concept, but if broken down to the bare mechanics, is graspable.

Cheat sheet for setting up yoyos
Loop 1080:
Colored Poly 6

Fully tight gap

One drop of thick and thin lube

Modded Fireballs:
Tightened about 1 1/5 turns, spacer shaved flush with the starbursts

1 drop of 3 in 1, one drop of pro oil

slick 6 string

tl;dr loop 1080 and modded fireball are best all hail kim jong un

Please let me know if videos would help a lot more and if you have any questions or complaints or violent reactions.

1 Like

Pretty thorough, cool thread!

I would have to disagree with 1080 and modded raiders being the best.
There’s never a best in yoyos. I prefer 900s, reverbs, and unleashed to both of those. Grant Johnson only loops using sunset trajectories. It’s all preference.

Again, OP said you have the right to disagree since 2A is a style where personal preferences are very very important.

All hail kim jong un haha

I disagree with the number of turns when modding fireballs. String length, bolt and axle position, spacer height, string length, string thickness, etc play huge role. Basically even the very same gap with slightly different spacer height makes it loops differently. Also the “nut” placement inside the fireballs may vary, so the amount of turn needed for each yoyo may also vary.
Also about resetting the fireball gap, there is a limit of it. Basically using two A sized bearings or three raider metal spacers and overtight will “pull the nuts” inside, this is what I mean. The original nut position might be different for each yoyo. Once the nut hit the limit of the plastic, you can’t reset it no more.
I have written a guide on how to mod the raiders/fireballs, but hasn’t post it yet. I still need to take some more pictures and add some more tips, also hopefully the mechanics of what’s going on when you crank fireball’s gap.

The 1-1/2 turns is a vague tl;dr go to I use, and you’re right when you say it depends on the yoyo. There are already other guides out there for modding those yoyos, so people should refer to Pat Cuartero’s guide for it.