Are yoyo tricks ugly?

So I was having a discussion with a non-yoyoing friend. We were talking about yo-yos on an aesthetic sense. We brought up other skill related things like color guard etc. He said yoyoing was ugly. He said that the other stuff we mentioned was pleasing to the eye because of symmetry. Round arc motions and fluid motions. He said yoyoing was ugly because of straight lines and irregular movements. He was mostly referring to tech tricks and combos and I understand that to the untrained eye it’s not as interesting to non-yoyers and such. This has me thinking. Is yoyoing aesthetically unappealing. I understand everyone has their own opinion but to a general audience. Is yoyoing only interesting because it’s impressive? Is what makes it impressive just because the difficulty associated with it? Clearly certain tricks have more of a performance value than others, however, something I’ve been reflecting on my beloved hobby. Are yoyo tricks ugly?

To each his own. I understand how some may find tech tricks unappealing, but everyone will have a different opinion.

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

I would not say yoyo tricks are Ugly.

I think a lot of yoyo players are pretty Ugly.

But ‘not’ yoyo tricks in particular.

I also believe that some players that are really sloppy and mechanical; can make tricks appear distorted and unappealing.

I have also noticed that any trick Ann Connolly does automatically looks better.:nerd_face:

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It depends really. Everyone have different views. I personally find yoyo tricks very intrecate and pleasing.

I was a skater in the early '80’s,people thought that was ugly.I learned to ride smooth.

Now,yoyo I do the same thing.Make it smooth,clean and try to land it.
My Mom even digs it when I can throw a good one!

46yr old noob

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I think perhaps watching yo-yoing is a bit like listening to jazz. The tricks have gotten so complex, that the uninitiated can have trouble comprehending what’s going on. Much the same as it takes some time for the brain to decode, and hear the patterns in jazz, before recognizing the beauty; it may take more time watching yo-yo tricks to develop an appreciation for them, verses some other skills/skill toys.

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Yoyo tricks are absolutely beautiful when done right. On the other hand, I find things like color guard unappealing and awkward. I guess it really does depend on the person.

Anyone who thinks yoyo tricks are ugly think so because they cant do it XD. Your friend is just salty XD

Yes yoyo tricks are ugly, except 2a.
Just kidding yoyoing is awesome regardless of the division.

I think intricate string play is wonderful. Although 2a looks cool too… but horizontal yoyoing looks ridiculously cool to me… mainly cuz i cant do it… XD

While I dig the symmetry of 2a the tricks usually look a little awkward. I used to spin poi professionally for many years so that’s why I’m am a little picky with that. The rest is awesome sauceome!

Haha. I was going to say something similar. A lot of jazz is so “out there” that it is no longer “pretty” to the non trained musician. It has become music for musicians and it gets lost on the “normal” listener. It think the competition style presentation (a million tricks in a minute) feels the same way to many. I actually prefer a more relaxed and flowing approach and I don’t mind using a regen to extend my combo if needed. Trying to get all the tricks crammed into a single throw or racing to get the next throw out of the way makes some look frantic.


What kinds of tricks can be accomplished with toys is largely subject to the physics that the object operates under. Flowtoys like Poi, Devil Sticks, and Bo rely heavily on spinning the entire mass, which is highly pleasing to the eye for such a “simple” action. Yoyo and Kendama are more visibly reactive to the downward pull of gravity, and as such focuses more on swings, pops, and tugs.

To someone more familiar with flowtoys, or even to the uninitiated, yoyo is much more “segmented” in trick composition, no matter how well you lace your combo together.

r u 9

Maybe jazz, but maybe a little more ballet,

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Exactly. That being said, i spend 95% of my time with yoyo and 5% with Kendama while I retired from poi years ago, toss juggling equip hangs out on in the basket, buugeng hangs on the wall…
Man I am so glad I found yoyo. I love it SO much.
only problem I had with it before was lack of symmetry, which i found in 5A (3A is too much for me right now haha)

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I don’t think “ugly” is a right word, but there are tricks that seem more visually appealing as well as tricks that “feel right” to the yoyo player.

A visually pleasing trick can look sloppy though with poor execution.

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People who aren’t very smooth/fluid are ‘ugly to watch’.
Some tricks are fairly simple but if the right person is doing them it’ll look amazing.
Take sea sick for example.

Although the original post may seem a bit aggressive because “ugly” has such a negative connotation, I think this is an interesting topic. One of my favorite throwers to watch is Ann Connoly because her flow is so natural looking. She seems to dance with the yoyo on stage and I like that smoothness.

So I can see the point of view that the fast, angular trick style isn’t as pretty.

On the other hand, the jazz analogy is also very apt. Through the 80’s I was seriously into jazz fusion music where technique and speed were always right up front in the music. I loved it. I still do. But I completely understand how if you’re not into it or are not a musician yourself it can be really hard to appreciate.

Good discussion.

This is an issue that has irked me for some time.

When János Karancz won the Worlds, I realized something had changed. I watched his winning performance and noticed that halfway through his routine, I became bored. I seriously questioned why? I realized that because I was not “in” on these “intricate tech” tricks, the intricacy was overwhelmed by the lack of visual… anything.

The layman watches yo-yo because the long or short, looping arcs are visually appealing. Watching the yo-yo pop from string to string - all with the ultimate payoff being: “look no knot”; is not compelling unless you know the tricks and can appreciate the execution.

But, like art and the artist, the question soon becomes: who is yo-yo performance for? It is for the performer, or the audience?

It is tempting to say it is about the performer and what they like. But that begs the natural question: why perform in public at all; if it is all about the performer?

This is honestly why I tend to stay away from super techy tricks. I don’t compete at contests but I give speeches to people who have little MODERN knowledge of yoyoing.
I get bored sometimes as well watching some of the freestyles. Evan Nagao always keeps it interesting though :wink:

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