Best yo-yo innovation?

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 -

  • String Loop
    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.

  • Brake Pads
    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.

  • Side Effects
    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?

hubstacked, free spinning gap wall, or those so called ‘‘V5Stacks’’.

Can you give me some examples of yo-yos that use those technologies? I’m not familiar with either of them.

I completely agree with your list, and I’d also add one:

The ‘Butterfly’ Shape - (#pleasenolawsuits)

Whilst I’m not sure whether the Duncan Butterfly was indeed the first yoyo to adopt the open organic shape, the idea of widening the catch zone was a fantastic one. Can you imagine trying to do complex string tricks on a Duncan Imperial or Bumblebee? Possible, but very difficult.

I’m going to have to go with Side Effects on this poll.


No-one put Unresponsive yoyos? Those are easily the biggest innovation.




low walls

Ball-bearing axles
Replaceable Response

Those are the three things that are responsible for everything we consider modern yoyoing.


Polyester/Non-Cotton strings. H-Shape. Concave/Center-Trak bearings. Machined yo-yos. Not the best, but should be mentioned.


Twisted string, bearings, replaceable response. Pretty easy trio IMO.

I “accidentally” invented the same thing few years ago, not sure which comes first but I didn’t patent it.,99101.0.html

You don’t need to imagine, already exists for many years:
Any 3X

and it never worked (too much vibration, too delicate)

The Onedrop had a great idea with the axis of the project, a smart way to solve many problems for such a delicate yoyo part, the axis.
The Side Effect are among the most useless things I’ve ever seen and used, vary the weight in the only point where it is useless for to change the behavior of the yoyo, the center of gravity … it’s just empty weight.

For the rest agree with Steve Brown and Mullicabob

Tom Kuhn no jive 3in1?

if you’re askin’ for just one - i would say, the ball bearin’.

first yoyo design by tom kuhn (pls. correct me if i’m wrong), innovated by frank difeo (no correction needed) and ‘tweaked’ just ‘nough to avoid infringin’ on a patent by everyone else.

if you’re askin’ for two - i would say, the ball bearin’ and jake bullock :slight_smile:



Werrd Beef/Decision series.

The first prototype (which then became Kuyostar) came out i early 2012. Your sketch however didnt show how the hubstack bearings, response system and central bearing could all be fixed to the yoyo body while being separated from each other, which is why i believe that idea wasnt realized.

Ever seen?  wow.  Yeah probably more useless than a regular axle system.