31 yr old - buying first throw


Hi there. Just looking for some help in finding my first throw. I’m 31 yrs old and been playing with fixed axle yoyos since I was a little kid. I’m pretty good (with what a fixed axle is suited for) and can do solid sleepers, walk the dog, round the world, creepers, throwing sideways etc. (<–I know this probably isn’t very impressive to you people on this forum. Just trying to give you an idea of where I’m at.)
Anyways, I got the bug to get a ball-bearing yoyo and try learning some of these crazy technical tricks I’ve seen on youtube. I like the 1A style of play and I really liked some of the really technical guys like Palli. That’s the direction I’d like to go.

So in an effort to help here are my answers to the questions from this board’s sticky on asking for help.

-Do you know how to bind the yoyo? I know what this is but have never had a need to do it. At the same time it does not scare me to have to learn (read:I don’t want to be limited because I don’t know how to do this right now.)

-Do you have a yoyo that you own or played with that you have liked very much? I always used a good ol’ Duncan Butterfly. But I’ve never thrown a ball-bearing yoyo.

-Do you have a preferred shape of the yoyo? I like the butterfly shape, unfortunately I can’t give anymore detail then that.

-Do you have a preferred weight or weight distribution? I’m thinking I would enjoy a heavier throw. One that spins longggg and smoothhhhh.

-Do you have a price range? I could be tempted to spend over $100 but I’d like to know the extra money was making a big difference (Buy quality and cry once or buy crap and cry over and over)

-Do you have a certain amount of yoyos narrowed down? No ideas yet

-Do you prefer a certain brand? I’m liking the looks of the CLYW throws but brand isn’t a deal-breaker with me.

-Are you looking for a yoyo that specializes in a style? I guess I’m looking for a yoyo that is well suited to technical string tricks.

-Do you prefer a certain response syetem? I just learned about these and I guess I have no immediate preference.

-Do you want hubsstacks or z stacks? I honestly don’t know what these are.

-What trick are you currently working on? I guess the plan was to start learning all the trick on this site in order from the beginning. I got some of them down already but I’m sure they will feel different with a ball-bearing throw.

-Do you want a yoyo to Thumb grind or arm grind good? This stuff is neat but not really an aspect I’m focused on.

So anyways I’m asking for you guy’s (and you ladies’) help. What’s the good stuff? What do you recommend?
Maybe I could ask for a sub $100 recommendation and a “money’s no object” recommendation.

…and thanks in advance. I’ve helped new people before on forums of other varieties and I know the research and time can add up. I appreciate the efforts sincerely.


If you like Palli, you could just get a CLYW Puffin and call it a day. :wink:

That’ll do absolutely everything you need; the only thing it doesn’t have is an inner ring that’s suitable for thumb grinds, but that’s ONE trick, and one that if you really wanted to do, you could still do “at an angle”.

There are far too many great yoyos out there. The Puffin is probably not as heavy as many, but it’s still going to be nutty long-sleeping compared to pretty much anything you’ve come across before.

If money’s no object and you just want to go quality right from the beginning, look no further! Puffin!

If part of the enjoyment for you is researching, though, there are plenty other recommendations a person could make for you to sort through. Just depends on how much you get out of reading a bunch of opinions, doing research, and finding a yoyo. But avoidance of “analysis paralysis” makes Puffin an easy choice.


When you say butterfly shape, do you think organic shape? Meaning that you like it rounded more or more sharp like a v shape?


I’d suggest something like a Dark Magic 2. Mainly because it comes with a responsive bearing. You’ve got most of the beginner tricks down so binding will probably not be too hard, still.
If you really do want to go straight to a high-end throw I’d recommend any CLYW, OD, SPYY. I use the Sakura by I <3 yoyo + One Drop. But the puffins cool too. SPYY look AWESOME. Haven’t had the privilege to throw one, but I hope I will in the future.
To sum up: puffins cool (but on the light side)
SPYY: look cool and have heard good things
One Drop: all great and I use the Sakura
Dark Magic 2: good starter that has a responsive bearing as well as unresponsive


Sure, you could get a CLYW and just start unresponsive right away… This wouldnt be terribly bad since you are already comfortable and have the feel for responsive beginner play and beginner fundamentals… BUT, Id recommend going dm2, it has a responsive and unresponsive bearing. I think you should learn a few basic 1a tricks responsive and then move to unresponsive. The dm2 will let you do that and once you move to unresponsive, it wont hold you back… It can do anything you throw at it, other more expensive throws simply make tricks a bit easier and comfortable and smoother but the dm2 can do everything you throw at it and can do it well… Another reason i think you should get a dm2 first instead of a high end metal clyw is because I think you should buy something cheaper to see if you really like 1a yoyoing and plan to stick to it, and once you decide you do you can move on to a high end if you wish.


You could go buy some $100+ yoyo, that could work. or you could work your way up with more expensive yoyos, but when your advanced enough. If your going to buy an expensive yoyo, id Go with the CLYW Fools gold (avalanche) its just like a $120 avalanche, but its half the prie because it shakes a little bit. If you want to work your way up ( likebuy cheap yoyos, but every time you get anew one it will be a little bit more expensive) Id start with a One star ($15) this was my 2nd yoyo(my first was like yours) it will teach you all the intermedaite tricks. Remember, Buying an expensive yoyo expecting it to make you a better yoyoer, just because its expensive, is like buying a expansive pen thinking youll have better hand writing. Dark magic two is also a great choice because it comes with two bearings(metal things inside the yoyos that spin) one that requires a bind to bring back up nad one that just requires a tug. So Id say dm2. Or if you dont wanna spend $40-50 bucks, then something like the onestar


I think it’s worth reiterating from time to time that a person, not least of all a 31-year old with their own means, is at liberty to spend an “extravagent” amount on a yoyo if it’s not interfering with their budget for living expenses, etc. :wink:

$150 for a hobby isn’t really that much. To take up guitar, you should spend $300+ and you might not like THAT either. $150 isn’t much to take a risk on, if you have a bit of disposable income.

You could always add a YYJ Classic to your order to keep learning responsive tricks. No matter what other “advanced” yoyo you get.

Binding isn’t hard. And once you get it, it’ll be a while before you regain an interest in playing responsive.


I am a few past fourty, and I just started thorwing return tops this year, from zero to unresponsive, since you have exp. in responsive you will have no issues picking up on unresponsive play a lot quicker than most of us.

I agree with GregP. go for the nice throw that catches your eye!

Don’t forget about the Summit! it is a great and solid throw.


With your experience with fixed axles, and if you play even half or a tenth of what you say you do, I would agree with your self-assessment that learning to bind won’t be a big deal. For you, it will simply be a new skill to master, and based on what you do already know, you’ll most likely get this and be fairly good at it within a very short period of time.

No the question comes down to what do you want to spend, and what material do you want the yoyo to be made of.

I’ve been pushing the YoYoJam Classic. Inexpensive, plastic, durable, loads of fun, but does need a little work to really shine. You’ll want a C spec bearing(I recommend a YYJ Speed Bearing but any C bearing will work) and the response to be either siliconed or get a pair of YYJ pads. I’m just thinking you may not want do this much work immediately as there are plenty of quality pre-made 100% unresponsive yoyos.

The issue these days is there is a lot of great stuff to choose from. I’d say come up with a budget and a material and see what fits in with those objectives. You really can’t go too wrong these days.

I would recommend against certain yoyos for now. Biases aside, I’d steer clear of the YYJ Popstar(a yoyo I simply don’t like), the C3 Token(one I really do enjoy) and the dv888(due to it playing heavy and being undersized). I would recommend a full sized yoyo if at all possible. It’s also what is the trend for most competition these days as well.

I don’t want to really make too many recommendations because it will just be confusing. Again, there’s so much good stuff out there. I would just take your time making a decision. Everyone has preferences, and terms like better and best are all based on preferences.

I can be happy playing a Classic with a YYJ Speed bearing and siliconed response, or I can be happy playing an Anglam, or nearly anything in between. Have fun choosing!


I personally think buying metal as your first throw is always a poor choice because you normally beat up your first throw

I think the alpha crash is a perfectly good plastic throw that’s unresponsive

As for a bearingized responsive throw the kickside is amazing and as you play it the yoyo will wear in and get to be an almost entirely unresponsive throw

Just keep in mind that going from fixed axle to bearing will make any yoyo look amazing


Wow! Thanks for all the great advice! (You folks are great!)
So I looked at the Dark Magic 2 and I gotta say I don’t like the looks all that much.
That Puffin looks great (the Wolverine color is slick) but that price tag…ouch!

I guess my budget is completely open… I agree that $150 is not a huge risk for me for a hobby.

To answer another question, I like the looks of the metal ones. (good point sparhawk about beating it up, maybe I’ll get a cheaper plastic one too. Thanks)

Also let me ask…Lets say I order the Puffin. What else do I need to include in the order?
Do I need a bearing or does it come with one? What about strings? Do I need lube, friction stickers? Anything else I’m not thinking of?


lube, multi tool, 2 extra bearings, and Snow Tires, NOT FRICTION STICKERS.

if i were u i would grab a classic because you are gonna want to play responsive a little

Look at the cascade instead of the puffin maybe, its a little less.


Haha, ya… The silver things on the dark magic 2 are caps, those are removable.


The yoyo will come stock with a bearing and I’ve never had a reason to get a different bearing unless mine locks up which is rare and can normally be fixed by cleaning the bearing. You will want to pick up some thin lube and 100% polly string. I’d suggest just getting a 100 count since you tend to burn through it fast. As for friction stickers you don’t need them for the listed yoyos since they can all accept silicone which you can pick up at any hardware store.

Also I’d suggest taking a look at the BST if you’re planning on a metal since there tends to be pretty good prices. Just make sure the person has a good reputation and lots of feedback.


For a budget plastic yoyo with a bearing, NOTHING, can beat the YYJ Classic.  It comes responsive, so if you want to learn unresponsive, you’ll need another C sized bearing. And if you don’t want your string to turn black, you’ll need new pads or flowable silicone.  I don’t think you’ll really need lube, I bought it but never needed it.

The DM2 is great, too, but I prefer the Classic to it.

For metal yoyos, Magic yoyos are extremely good. Their not just good for the price, they’re good for anything! The best seem to be the n12, t5, and n5.

C3 yoyodesign also has some great models. Many like the Capless, diBase/diBase 2.

Onedrop’s Code 1 and Cascade are my favorite yoyos ever!

CLYW has great offerings. The Chief, Avalanche are their most popular yoyos, and the Puffin is great.

Although many dislike YYF, the Supernova is also one of my favorite yoyos.


String! don’t forget string!  10-50 strings will last you quite a while.  Kitty strings are good, but seem to wear out and get thin quickly.  My favorites are JAMS string. Contact them through here:


v4m lube from onedrop is awesome! pads not friction stickers. go for either a terrapin x bearing or twisted trifecta bearing for extra spin. the people talkin about the classic by yoyojam, SERIOUSLY look into that! have fun picking!


You’re not necessarily going to beat up your first yoyo, but you might. :wink: I’ve never thought of that as a reason to avoid a purchase. I definitely hit my yoyos off of stuff still, but no more or less than when I first started. There are those of us who treat scrapes and dings as badges of honor, and those of us who just LOVE the look of a pristine yoyo.

No matter what, I wouldn’t say that the YYJ Classic is even a compromise for performance. It’s just a different yoyo. Everything you can do on an expensive metal, you can do on the YYJ Classic (with upgraded bearing and response). It’s just a really good yoyo, though it’s going to be bulkier than most of the metals to get that same performance.

But if you have $150, you know you’re going to get some sort of fancy metal eventually… :wink: You don’t have to go all the way to a Puffin, you could get something by C3 or God Tricks, for example. Or the YYJ Theory. There are many yoyos in the YoyoFactory lineup that are considered “premium” yoyos but don’t carry quite the same price tag, like the Supernova: http://shop.yoyoexpert.com/product/294/YYF-SuperNova or Genesis: http://shop.yoyoexpert.com/product/87/YYF-Genesis-135

So, now you’re in research phase instead of “calling it a day”. :wink: But that’s part of the fun, in my opinion.


Seriously thank you everybody for all the suggestions.
I’m looking real hard at that Puffin now and the YYJ Classic.

So if I got it right my shopping list should look like this:

  1. Yoyo
  2. 100 pack of strings (I’ve burned enough strings up on my fixed axle throws to know to get the 100 pack)
  3. thin lube
  4. extra bearing (maybe, especially if I get the YYJ Classic)
  5. response pads (snow tires look good if I go CLYW)

and that should do it. Do I have that right?


Sounds about right. If you go CLYW, snow tires are the only way to fly. If you decide to get the Classic with an extra bearing, you might as well go whole hog and get the replacement pads as well. The Classic comes with rubber O-rings (the black kind like you use for plumbing!) but it’s considered an upgrade to drop these in:

I also don’t buy into the “buy 100 strings” thing. If you really get hooked, you might decide you want to try some specialty strings or at least different strings. 100 is a lot to go through and if you switch to another string brand/type, now you have  a heap to go through.

But that’s just me.


What strings you planning to get? I’d recommend JAMS, link to their facebook page in my sig. Just as good if not betterthan kitty, and cheaper. $14.50 for 100 strings!