I couldn’t sleep last night and was thinking about yo-yos (as I often do), and I was thinking about all of the innovations that have happened over the years and how important they have been to modern play. I came up with 3 I think have been most influential in shaping modern yo-yoing, but wanted to see what you guys think -
This is obviously the biggest one, without it we’d all be playing with yo-yos with the string tied or glued to the axle. The idea that a yo-yo could be made to go down, stay at the bottom then return with a tug defines pretty much everything about yo-yoing today.
This one will be controversial, at the time people thought the idea of replaceable response was a terrible idea, more cost to the player and just designed as a “consumable item” to make money for Playmaxx. Turns out, it was the pre-cursor to every form of response used in modern yo-yos - without the brake pad, we’d still be using starbursts (or negative response). Brake Pads really go hand-in-hand with bearing axles but I really don’t think bearings came into their own until replaceable response became common.
This one was a toss-up for me because I’m a big fan of YYF’s hubstack technology but while stacks are fun I don’t think they will ever be more than a gimmick for most players. With Side Effects, One Drop produced a way for players to be able to customize the yo-yo center weight and style, while at the same time solving the problem of stripped axles. I think we’ll see more and more yo-yos use SE technology and I think we’ll see more designs along the way. I also think we’ll see something similar for the outer rim of the yo-yo, where you can thread on different weight rings to customize further - imagine a Space Cowboy where you can unscrew the rings and screw on different weights, or different materials (heavy plastics, steel, aluminum, titanium).
So, what do you guys think are the biggest innovations?