Best YoYo for someone returning to it?

It’s been many years since I brought out one of my yo-yos, and I wasn’t very good at it when I did yo-yo. I think the most advanced trick I learned was the brain twister using a Yomega Raider.

I come back to it and now find there are so many options as far as yo-yos (brand, type, price range, etc.). There are even “unresponsive” yo-yos - was that even a thing back in my day of yo-yoing? LOL

I’d like to get back in to it and have tried reading reviews and watching videos in regards to what brand of yo-yo is now the best, but it seems like a lot of those types of videos are done by someone who uses a specific brand (seemingly sponsored by that company). So I’m not sure how much stock I should put into their picks.

I see that some recommend yo-yos that are responsive but come with an unresponsive bearing so you can have either…such as The Sage or the Arrow Elite.

Would you recommend going with something like the Arrow Elite that allows both, or buying two different yo-yos, one responsive and one unresponsive?

I really don’t want to put too much money into it to start with (maybe $40 or so). I assume since what I’m using now are the Raider and the Turbo Bumble Bee which are many years old, about anything on the market now will feel like an upgrade compared to them.

I would appreciate any and all advice on what yo-yo(s) you feel would be great for a 56 year old looking to get back into it!

Thank you!


*btw…I see that the YoYo Factory offers a “Beginner to Pro” set with three yo-yos (Spinstar, Arrow, Replay Pro), string, lube, tool - for $40. Of course I have no clue if those are quality yo-yos or a good deal for the money


The shooting star comes responsive and is a much better unres than the sage and arrow. Its build quality is also better bc it’s machined from polycarbonate instead of injection molded. It just may be a bit worse for responsive play


I’d recommend the Shooting Star or the Speedaholic XX. Both are relatively cheap and offer great performance for plastics.


I was pretty much in the same boat as you and i got the yoyo factory set to start with. Really good value imo

1 Like

Yotricks has a similar beginner set thats a little bit better but also costs a little more.


Here ya go


I like a FHZ for cheap fun.


First of all I’d like to welcome you to the community and reassure you that you are far from alone in your plight. There have been many changes over the years and the sheer volume of tech to sift through to determine what you even like is astounding.
So I’ll start by saying that many people still demand that they have Raiders and Turbo Bumblebees in their regular rotation to this very day. Those are both excellent throws. Basically the technology advanced in an effort to make yo-yos more and more capable of ever more complicated tricks that required having more string in the gap than the yo-yo accept without snagging. That goes until you have full unresponsive yo-yos. Now playing these is lots of fun and you can learn so many tricks, but there are differences in the play. So a good place to start is decide how you would like to play. Many excellent suggestions have been made here and all of the suggested yo-yos will be much different than what you have right now.
So are you thinking you may like to try unresponsive, are you wanting to devote yourself to learning many tricks, or are you more happy with the yo-yo as a fidget? These are good questions because they can help refine the suggestions here. The reason I say this is: it’s so easy to get caught up in a buying frenzy when starting off without direction. Many here can attest to this. Myself included. There are so many variables that affect the way a yo-yo feels and plays, and it would be foolish to say that looks didn’t matter. So as much info as possible regarding what you think you might like or where you see yourself taking this can help us narrow it down so you don’t end up buying a lot of toys you never play with in search of the few that you do. :grin:


Welcome back. FH1 and String is what I would grab. FH1 is a timeless classic, you’d probably end up buying one somewhere down the road eventually - I think it makes for the perfect “first” yoyo. The first 1-50+ tricks were invented on the FH1 or Renegade. Once you get into tricks that become too difficult to hit on a responsive (too many string layers for the gap) then you move onto something unresponsive with a ton of options to choose from.


If you are looking for a great yoyo on a budget one of the best is the yyfr shortcut.

Thanks for everyone’s help so far…really appreciate you welcoming me back to yo-yoing and your recommendations!

I appreciate you letting me know that my Raider and Turbo Bumble Bee are still quality yo-yos to have in my collection.

I’ll try to answer your questions the best I can:

  • I plan to take it further than I did many years back when I stopped. I think I stopped because I wasn’t seeing a lot of progression since I felt I had to “rush” my tricks before the Raider stopped spinning.
  • I would love to learn a lot of new tricks (youtube seems like a great tool to help with this) and I’m willing to put in the time to do so.
  • I understand about the buying frenzy, as I feel like I fell into that ‘trap’ many years ago, worrying more about getting another amazing yo-yo than about learning tricks.
  • I think that’s one reason I was leaning towards a responsive/unresponsive combination, so that way I could stay with that yo-yo, allowing me to have both types of yo-yos, and not worry about looking at other yo-yos (yet, LOL). But if having one dedicated responsive yo-yo and one dedicated unresponsive yo-yo is a better route to take I’d look at that option as well.
  • Just seeing some of the new tricks out (DNA, godspeed, etc) has got me pretty excited about learning new tricks and sticking with it this time. I realize I’ll be starting with much simpler tricks, but to see where yo-yoing has come since I left it is inspiring.

Again, I can’t thank you all enough for the warm welcome and the great information!



Even before you said what you did I saw @suspense had recommended the FH1 and I’d second that recommendation in a heartbeat. All the points brought out were spot on. It’s a great place to start with a very capable and comfortable yo-yo that you can learn A LOT of tricks on, while NOT feeling cheap and crappy and leaving you wanting. Also comes in Delrin and Polycarbonate options these days which are a bit more premium. :grin:
Not to mention the aluminum option.


If you get the starter pack from Yoyofactory, get the one with the Atom Smasher instead of the Replay pro. The Atom Smasher is a great yoyo.

If you get just one yoyo, i recommend a C3 Speedaholic xx.

1 Like

Thanks to everyone for taking time to reply and your excellent advice!

Quick question: if I put a new string on either my Yomega Raider or my ProYo Turbo Bumble Bee, could I use one of those as my responsive yo-yo and then just order a $30-$40 unresponsive yo-yo (the C3 Speedaholic XX seems to be mentioned a good bit)? That way instead of taking the yo-yo apart and switching bearings, I can just switch yo-yos.

Again, I appreciate all of your help!!!



I think you should get an Aoe with a responsive bearing and you can change it to unresponsive when you want.

1 Like

Thats exactly what I would do. Responsive is fun, but you wont regret getting the speedaholic or something similar like a shooting star.

There are other plastics, but you want to look for machined plastic not injection molded. Injection is fine, but thats the difference between the low end and high end plastic. Some of these plastics may be better than some low end metal ones, easily.

You can work on yohr responsive tricks with what you got. Or get yourself something specifically for that. Two yoyos, then branch out from there if the hobby sticks.

1 Like

I’d get a Shooting Star. That’s what I got at first and I still love it. Been temped to try out the yoyofriends AoE. It also has both bearings. First Base is fun too. If I were you starting over again I’d go Shooting Star though.

1 Like

I was in your shoes a little over a year ago.

My recommendation unfortunately is multiple yoyos.

I would play with the unresponsive and get frustrated. It was eaier for me to pick up the responsive, continue to play, and it come back to me with a tug. Verse swapping bearings.

If going this route, I also recommend getting similar shaped yoyos. That way they feel similar while playing differently. This is in the 1A string trick style.

Also, keep your budget lowish. Plastic is fine at this stage. Your going to drop and bang up the yoyos. Once your skill progresses, you can start looking at metals.

Almost any yoyo you buy from a yoyo shop like Yoyo Expert will Play Well or better. Starting off, remember its not the yoyo, its you.

As mentioned above, get string. Dont be afraid to change it often.

Another note, you can still have fun with Old School Throws. We are in the middle of Fixed Axle February and a lot of us are playing without a bearing. Literally stopping the spin of the yoyo mid trick. So look into that too. This style of play is relatively new. A lot of the tricks developed in the last 10ish years. This style can be learned and played on a $3-$5 Duncan Butterfly.

Have fun!


You can absolutely throw your Raider and TBB for your responsive. They will be limited in what they can accomplish due to their design. They’re far more suited to standard throws and looping, and they are very satisfying to throw. The idea as mentioned by @Pun1sh3R of having a responsive that is similar in shape to your unresponsive is, it will be capable of doing many of the same tricks while still being able to return to your hand with a tug. Let’s not kid anyone here…you know that no matter what you get, you are still going to throw your Raider and your TBB. :rofl::rofl:
The Shooting Star, AoE, Speedaholic are all very good choices and as you’ve seen will get recommendations from most on the forums. You can’t go wrong with any of those.


Again, I appreciate all of the advice you’ve given me here as well as all of the recommendations.

I’ve spent all morning checking out all the yo-yos you’ve recommended and tried to see which of the ones you’ve mentioned were really calling to me" and ended up loving the c3yoyodesign Speedaholic XX and the iYoYo Shooting Star.

I’m not sure what is drawing me to these two specific yoyos (your recommendations obviously), but these are the two that stand out to me.

So I have two last (for now) questions:
1) The SXX is obviously unresponsive and the SS is responsive but also comes with with an unresponsive bearing. If both are used only as unresponsive, is one of the two yo-yos better than the other?
2) What extra strings would you recommend? Not only to use with the one of these two I purchase but also for my Yomega Raider?

Again, I can’t thank you all for all of the guidance!!!