Here is an interesting discussion I thought I would throw out and get some opinions on.

Often times when we see new 1A yoyos released into the market, we hear players labeling these new yoyos into different categories.

Probably one of the most common 2 that I see though, is wether or not a yoyo is a “competition” throw, or a standard everyday play throw.

My question is, what makes a “competition” yoyo to you? And what are the particular attributes that cause a yoyo to be placed into this category? And what makes a yoyo NOT " a competition " yoyo?

Maybe list some examples of yoyos that you feel fit into the two categories for compare and contrast.

Interested to see opinions.

Fox Out.


I’ve never personally understood this at all. I just assume when people say competition throw they mean a higher than average performing yoyo in terms of spin time and stability, which usually also means an expensive yoyo.

I’ve seen people mention price when it comes to competition-grade, but I don’t really agree with it.

I think it has to do with speed vs. stability. Slower throws are almost completely crossed off the competition list by most players, but some yoyo’s get unstable if you move them too fast, so I think it’s a mix of those two elements. Something stable that can move as fast as you want it to.

I think it’s mainly the shape. An angular-shaped yoyo (example is YYJ Phenom) that can play fast and horizontal and handle gyros and regens and tons of layers of string and is for the most part, expensive, is IMO what the stereotypical competition throw is. A yoyo with an old-school shape (another stereotype) that plays a little slower and heavier and can’t do horizontal as well is what I think makes a yoyo not a “competition” one. The non-competitive ones are still just as great and expensive usually, they’re just shoved into a different category. An example is (I repeat, an example) is the CLYW Chief is categorized (by the community) as their competitive throw, while the Canvas is the old-school one that is put into the category of being non-competitive. Sure, you could still use the Canvas at a contest, but I think the Chief would be the more popular decision. This is what I think. Also any YYR yoyos are considered competition throws because they are each made specifically for a player, to help that player be better (at competitions).

I love Ernie and all but he kind of screwed up my thinking on this with the release of the KLR:

He labels his B-Grades (flawed throws, not up to par) as “Competition Grade…” shouldn’t this mean above average throw? But he’s using it to describe a lesser yoyo than what it should be.

I was confused when he announced this because I think this should mean a fantastic throw built for the competitor. But it doesn’t. Not seeing the logic in that, but whatever, it’s his company and I love it no matter what he labels his throws at.

I just know it should mean a competitive yoyo built for the player in competitions.

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Competition, meaning non collector or plain old functional.

I think the reason he say that is because in a competition, you would be going all out, not caring if the yoyo gets scratched or anything, because you are trying to win. With transportation and everything, it could get beat up.

That is atleast what I have put together

Stookie nailed it, I think. but then what about those people who use non-competition throws, like plastics to win. Doesn’t that defy the point of Competition throws entirely, if you can win easily with a plastic? Just food for thought, but I dissaprove the whole Competition grade thing, as yo-yos are supposed to be fun, too.

However, with the label of Competition throw and casual throw, it really sets up the mind-set for those competing for the first time that it’s indeed the yo-yo, not the players. IM), any yo-yo can win a contest (don’t get smart alecky with me). It’s all in your control

I guess it really comes down to the person… Someone like Jensen can use a north star… But someone new probably won’t use a north star … Prob use what they are comfortable with… So personal preference.

The player makes the yoyo. NOT the other way around.

I don’t get what competition grade means. Even YYJ says on the box for the Lyn Fury it is a competition grade yoyo. Well, wasn’t it used to win Worlds for 5A one year?

I’ve only been to 2 major contests and 1 small contest. I’m doing sound for another small contest this Saturday. I’ve seen people compete with high end stuff and low end stuff and everything in between. Metal, plastic, delrin, it doesn’t matter. I thnk if someone feels they can compete with it, then good enough. That works for me!

If I were to compete, I kind of know what stuff works better for me, which as would be of no surprise, I’m finding more of the V-shaped metals to be to my liking. While I suck as a player, I like stuff like the KLR, Phenom, Firmy and T5, even the Skywalker, Chief and Avalance are good for me as well. I’ll never compete, and that’s MY choice. I’ll never be competition quality, and I’m perfectly fine with that. That won’t stop me from buying and throwing and enjoying.

Ultimately, it comes down to the player. If a player feels most confident using a $23 Starlight or a $35 Northstar to achieve their goals, then who am I to argue with them. The player makes the yoyo, the yoyo does NOT make the player.

I was thinking about some yoyos and how they might be considered competition play or not.

While its true that for for the most part its the player, not the yoyo, It is certainly much easier to do directional plane changes into the horizontal axis from rotational shifting for contest based manipulation bases on say a yoyorecreation sleipnir, than it is on a siliconed FHZ.

Also, it is easier to control the flow of a heavier feeling and slower moving Peak than it is on a light and speedy Mangaroo.

Technically you should be able to do both on either, but one sure makes it much easier than the other.

And sometimes its pretty much next to impossible, I take into account the Onedrop Cafe Racer and the Square Wheels Royale. Fantastic yoyos, fun to mess around with, but when I’m in a contest and going for big horizontal sustained combinational inter-twinings, I would choose a Mangaroo simply because the Cafe Racer and Royale are very difficult and almost impossible to do those same tricks on.

There is some sort of a difference, and Im curious to see what others may think it is.

I notice that for the most part, YYR and C3 yoyos all seem to be chosen competition yoyos and from those that I have tried, they do seem quite worthy, never exactly pin-pointed what gives yoyos that feel though.


We might also be able to look at it from the other direction, and say that “competition” yoyos necessarily include the signature models of professional players. You could definitely say that those are built with competition in mind, whereas other models may or may not target the casual player (superwides and “specialty” designs are probably prime examples of this).

“Competition” grade yoyos all seem to have a sort of main attributes to the body of the throw:

-Possible Step in for friction resistance
-Possible gap wideness for easier string hits.
-Possible Flair rims for weight distribution.
-Possible Slope up to the rim for increased ease with horizontal string tricks
-Possible silicone groove for unresponsiveness
-Possible heavier weight yet floaty type of play

All of these qualities of a throw seem to make up what they classify now as a competition grade based throws. There is other things thrown into the fray now, such as bearing set ups and material use like 7570 grade aluminum. And now companies have expanded their development with different forms of ways of taking out material for weight distribution (Muffin top/undercut/double rim).

Seriously, look at all the major company’s based throws and look at all of them and you will notice a major similarity between them all, all of them competing against each other to get the buyer to buy it.

Tyler Severance won worlds with a Freehand. This is fact. Jensen won worlds with a Northstar, that had the design classifications of a “competition” grade yoyo.

Ever since the introduction of horizontal tricks taken to a whole new flipping level design spectrum have changed quite a bit.

Very interesting, nice to get a pro’s take on this matter. Wait, Zammy, you are a pro right?

competition yoyo = any yoyo

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Yep, pretty much

competition yoyo = yoyos you throw at competitions
no sarcasm, no bs.

I usually consider a yoyo that is easy to play a competition yoyo. This means different things to different people, but it almost always means stability, large catch zone, optimal weight/size, and sufficient spin time.

For me, at least, fun yoyos are different from my competition options, in that they have some quirk that makes them a little tougher or different to play. They way to get the added challenge and satisfaction of landing a trick well.