By Popular Request: The End of My Part in This Particular Debate

Alright, here goes! This one’s been a long time coming.

The short of it: Full concession on my part, and an apology to boot.

The Long of It:
Over the the two years, I have frequently been part of a debate with many members on this forum, regarding what I have referred to as “the collector identity”, whether it even exists or not, how it involves organic yoyos, age range, materialism over skill, etc., etc. I consistently spoke out against this identity, specifically to the exclusion of progress in yoyoing skill. I’m here to rectify that.

A little background: I devote my life to mastery of different pursuits. (Please read my long response on this thread if you have time: How do you get better - #4 by nightshadow ). I feel very deeply that this is one of the most important things in life, and that it is an absolute gift that we as humans have the ability to go so far towards mastery in so many disciplines, and then to use this mastery to create real beauty. This is how I was raised, and lived. It is very important to me.

This is also why I came to the YoYoExpert forums when I was young. To discuss various aspects of mastry in yoyo with people who felt similarly to me about it. However, I have noticed that the people that care much about mastery at all have largely migrated to Instagram, a platform with little in the way of discussion. And in their place, many more collecting inclined users have come. And I struggled with this. I didn’t understand this new demographic, and I knew I certainly didn’t agree with a lot of them. I wondered where I could go to talk about that raw drive and passion that I felt for yoyoing. Not the drive to win contests and get high scores. But just to see myself get better. It seemed like all I saw was threads about slimline organics and jokes about wifes getting angry about too many yoyos in the mail. Nothing about being unable to sleep at night because of the dreams of mastery inside your head, and the profound emotion that comes with self improvement.

So, I started, and participated in, a lot of debates regarding this topic. Annoyance combined with me being far less careful than I should have been about making my responses not sound derisive lead to some long threads, and a lot of heat being taken on my part. And to be fair, I definitely had all of it coming. I want to make it clear that I did not wish anyone ill, but too many snakry comments in text form rapidly start to be rather obnoxious. I concede that, and apologize for it.

But, I did end up having many interesting conversations. I ended up feeling close to many of the members I clashed most frequently with, and they often brought up points that changed my mind. I almost never felt upset with any users personally, no matter how many times we disagreed on the points themselves.

But, I have been rapidly realizing that this is not true for some other people, regarding how they feel about me. Because of this, I fully concede that I debated this topic too much, pushed it too far, and was in the wrong.

Here are the three realizations I have come to, regarding my debating this topic, and how it effects my image in the community:

1.) Selfishly, I should stop because I do not want to be a disliked figure. I do not want to be remembered as that guy who wouldnt shut up about collectors being bad. I want to be remembered as someone who helped the community grow, encouraged the love of yoyoing, and was a positive presence.

2.) I should stop debating this subject because annoyance at me could rub off on people I associate with. Which is highly unfair to them. I had someone express lack of interest in buying my signature yoyo, the culmination of my entire yoyoing career, because of my posts on this topic. That was an arrow through the heart, not just because that project is my baby, but because I knew they were not being unreasonable, and that I messed up. I am not making this thread to increase sales (I get exactly $0 from any yoyos sold), but I hope to not have projects I work on be clouded by annoyance from my harping on the above mentioned topic.

3.) If so many people are annoyed at me personally, I messed something up. So, uh, yeah. My bad.

So with all this in mind, I am pleased to announce my permanent retirement from this reign of debate on this topic. I’ve said my piece.

Way too much of it, in fact. In a much too snarky manner. For that, I apologize. Sincerely.

I would like to offer the olive branch of some free string to anyone I have clashed with on this topic. You guys are great people, and I feel bad for coming across as someone who is derisive of what you enjoy doing. Organic, vintage, slimline, whatever, your throws will need some fun string on them. Hit me up. Seriously.

To those (few) of you who agree with me on this topic, do what you will, but I’m no longer weighing in on discussions regarding it.

With all that said,
Peace out. Catch you on the BST, especially if you have any undercuts.


Discord seems to be the middle ground here; I’ve found a lot of tricks and trick discussion posted in various servers. The discussions are more instantaneous and not as long form since it’s more analogous to an old IRC chatroom w/ modern improvements, but it might be worth checking out a few servers to see if you can find a place that fits. Idk if there’s a main list of all the different yo-yo servers but most brands have their own discords, YYE has one, and r/throwers has one (though the latter has been kinda dead lately, seems a lot of the activity has splintered over the other various servers).


You are fully capable of being a positive presence and keeping your mastering mindset. It’d be nice to see what you do with it in practice. Tap into the joy of it. Share it. Show it off.


I agree with this sentiment. A large portion of the Instagram trick sharing community is also on discord. I’d be down to pm you some links to some servers if you’re interested @nightshadow . Of course I’m not implying that you shouldn’t be here, the Forums will always be a place to discuss all topics in yoyoing, and we’re all collectors to some degree lol, but if you’re looking for more people focused on learning tricks then I think you’d find spending some of your online yoyo time on discord rewarding.

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Feathers, I have been I have ruffled a few.
I appreciate the amazing human potential for growth and mastery in all of its forms.
What a great post & response thread.
I love this place


I think people focused on tricks suck.

I think people focused on collecting suck as well.

You all suck.

Fight me.

(nah, you guys are actually great, I find the debates on here quite entertaining however. So can we stop conceding and keep the bickering going please? I need my yoyo drama fix! Thank you.)


Even ‘I’ thought that was a whole lotta writing🙀

Easily the most unwarranted and unnecessary apology I have ever read on a yo-yo Forum.

Robin, you are a very intelligent guy. You have great yo-yo talent. You have an excellent sense of humor. And you care about others.

You are a very motivated person and feel compelled to speak up if and when your viewpoint might add clarity and/or perspective to a subject.

You stick your neck out with your opinions. You seem less concerned with drawing a few boo birds, if that is the price to enlighten those that may be at a logical sticking point.

I don’t think you have ever deliberately planned to be rude or arrogant. There are a good number of people on any Forum that stay in a nice comfortable ‘likable’ spot…… because they don’t say enough to ‘draw the ire’ of anybody. (The ones that seem nice simply because they jump in the MIDDLE OF THE PUDDLE!).

There are always several possible feelings/opinions, reactions to anything anybody posts in creating a subject or responding to one:

  1. Geese, I didn’t know that.
  2. Wow, I never even thought of that.
  3. Sounds reasonable, but I wouldn’t have the nerve to post that, lol.
  4. Just because this guy is Smart, he feels he has to keep letting us know.
  5. I’m sure glad he said that. It needed to be said. But I would not say it because I don’t want to look like a jerk.
  6. Arrogant people are often helpful…. But nobody asks them to be. They just like to put their views in others faces by talking down to them. Even if I find their view informative. I didn’t ask them for help.
  7. Why do people step up trying to be informative? Can’t we all just be collectively ignorant and one big happy yo-yo community with ever saying things that may put off others?
  8. Or…. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Mine don’t align exactly with yours on the subject. But I have a more balanced understanding on the matter with more information to consider for perspective, etc…

Robin… we’ve been friends for awhile now. But when we first met on the Forum, we fought like cats and dogs. Then I realized you were part of the solution and not part of the problem.

A reality in life is that a person has only 2 options: To be part of the solution or part of the problem’. There is no middle ground. Although a variable percentage of forum members identify as a 3rd choice> There is an Old Saying that goes like this> ‘You don’t know me well enough to not like me’.

2 people can get along for years simply by never really having any constructive conversation. You are classmates, neighbors, coworkers, see each other on the same bike path every day with a simple smile, etc… But you somehow end up seated at the same table at some Company function. And within 5 minutes of a round table discussion, you suddenly don’t like the person because they spout a diametrically opposite view than yours on a certain subject.

….The point being that it’s a lot easier to draw disdain from others when you speak up, regardless of your wording or actual honest intentions.

….And, it’s a lot easier to think people just have to be sweethearts because they won’t step in ‘that puddle’.

You will Never push a dead car down the street by standing on the curb and watching.

When a person speaks up, the value of what they say is not cancelled because others may not agree with it.

That is why opinions and facts are spelled differently.

Robin…. You have tried a good number of times to push that car down the street.

I look at your post much more as an explanation…. And much less as an apology.

Stick around for awhile….


I think this applies way more often than a lot of people realize, myself included. I’ve rubbed the wrong way with YYE forum folks before, and it’s usually due to me only seeing a few posts and then judging people based on those few posts rather than actually getting to know them. We’re all just a bunch of yoyo fans having a good time here, and like 95% of the drama could be avoided if we just realized what we have in common.

Again, myself included. If I’ve ever rubbed any of y’all the wrong way I’m sorry for that. At the end of the day, I respect pretty much everyone on the forum at least somewhat more than the average ape. Even if we disagree on a particular point, that doesn’t mean I think any less of you as a human being.

I think some healthy debate is definitely a good thing. I know I’ve been guilty of not engaging in debates because I don’t want to make waves, or conversely going too hard and personal without really considering the people on the other side. And for that, I’m sorry.

@nightshadow I don’t think we’ve ever had problems. Just felt like a good place to weigh in with my thoughts.


I just want to give you my 2 cents, and some tough love.

No one else was raised like you, even your siblings have different opinions and mindsets. Don’t force your ideals onto others. What’s VERY important to you could be the least important thing to someone else. State your ideals, what you like what you believe in and what you want to pursue and respect the fact that others will not have the same view without holding your ideals higher than others because you believe them to be so. I don’t eat sugar, but I don’t ever force ANYONE or tell anyone that they should never eat sugar. I explain to them on why I don’t, if they choose to eat sugar or not after that is not my business nor my concern and I most certainly will not harass or name call them for their choice in the matter.

I don’t think your realizations are helping you understand WHY this all happened.

It’s really simple man. You’re basically like a young skateboarder who is harassing and labeling others as casuals because they just wanna ride around on longboards all day. Just because you want to become the next Nyjah and they just wanna chill doesn’t mean they’re any more or less of a skateboarder than you are. In fact, most of those guys you call casuals are probably the dudes from DogTown who helped pioneer the hobby you love so much. So really, think about how disrespectful that is, to call others casuals just because they don’t share the same mindset as you because they’re at a different point in their life. Your devotion to yoyo mastery is probably half of their devotion to providing for their family, most of them don’t have the time to enjoy a bathroom break to themselves muchless enough time to breakdown a tutorial for some complex meta trick outside of the skill level because of how much effort it takes to provide for a family, work a job, have free time with the family, and enjoy the rest of your life outside of yoyoing.

Happy for you. This is growth as a human, progression, mastery of life, something you stated you care about. Don’t just focus on getting good at yoyoing, focus on becoming the best person, and best version of yourself you can be. Be compassionate, understanding and grateful so that you can better understand and see eye to eye with others even if you disagree. Name calling or belittling others for a differing opinion is not the way to do it my friend. Hit me up anytime in the PM’s if you wanna chat about anything.


Where can I go to see some video of your tricks?


First, id like to apologize if I said anything that hit too hard in the thread yesterday. You seem like a nice guy (a little ambitious, but no harm in that), and I understand your perspective. I come from a pretty toxic music community (death and black metal) that judges you harshly on musical taste based on bands you like. If you like ‘x’ band you are a queer, poser, etc. Or you claim to like ‘x’ as well as ‘x’ and you are a fake elitist. Long story short, every community has gatekeepers. Sometimes I even find these points valid to a certain extent.

But in the end, we are just people with hobbies. Do you want to get better? Do you want to discover forms of art that might blow your mind? Or are you content with what you are doing already?

I used to be “that guy” who loved metal so much that I had disdain for people who listen to the top 100, pop punk, or those who consider bands like Korn or Disturbed “metal”. I would give them CD mixes (post cassette era, im not that old) to try and ‘convert’ them and give them a true taste of what is actual quality music. It didn’t work, and in hindsight I was just a jackass.

I know that you have been trying to move on from this mentality, and I know it takes time and effort to become accepting of people with different ideas. You are young, and this is a part of growing up in the modern world.

And please don’t stop being yourself. Honestly, I trust a critique of a performance yoyo from you over another guy like myself, because that is you. The problem comes when you throw shade on the casual majority. Everyone who throws a yoyo wants to be better at it, but it is indeed a casual hobby for most and the ambition to get better is less intense than just simply enjoying it. Im glad guys like you exist as motivation, but don’t gatekeep or be condescending because you are better and we have huge collections. We can co-exist.


Thanks for the replies everyone.

You know, I know that this whole thing has been about me ragging on collecting as a hobby, but the fact is, I’ve got a (modest) collection myself!

I’m thinking of making a collection video. Would you guys be interested in seeing what weird yoyos I’ve chosen to hunt out?

I bet you I’ve got some unexpected heat🔥


Not really dude, collectors just ain’t my thing.

Joking, would love to see what you got


It’s as hard to find fun collection videos as it is to find fun trick videos, so, yes. Show it off.


Most definitely!

BTW, as far as the thread topic goes, I enjoyed reading your post. It’s a spectrum, but I’m pretty sure that I’m a little closer to the collector side than I am to the thrower side.

It’s not that I’m not interested in throwing or don’t spend much time actually throwing, it’s just that I’m still at the beginning of my journey and it’s way easier to buy some beautiful/awesome/strange/etc yoyos than it is to make leaps and bounds in the skill area. I’ve been throwing every day for just about a year now, with the shorter days being around 30 minutes and the longer days around 1.5 hours. So I definitely throw a lot (given my other obligations in life), and there are some rare days here and there where I actually spend time with more than 50 different yoyos. That’s probably due to some intangible itch that I’m trying to scratch more than anything, but at least I don’t ignore the better yoyos in my collection. Given all that, I consider myself a little bit of a thrower and a little bit of a collector.

The other point that I wanted to make is that I enjoyed your “How do you get better” post. I have a few hobbies that I’m obsessed with and have spent a lot of time, effort, and research on ways to improve. I’ve even read a bunch of books about “learning how to learn”! With yoyos, I have no desire to actually compete or try to be the best at anything. But my goal is to be able to master some really cool-looking tricks that I enjoy doing. I’m definitely making progress in that area, but there’s a lot more that I want to be able to do with a few more years of practice. Because of that, even if I’m having a more casual and relaxed throwing session I still try to keep an eye on improving. Sometimes it’s practicing a bind that I’m working on, and other times, it’s a more abstract thing like improving my economy of motion.

So all this is to say, if you ever have the time and inclination, I’d love to hear your thoughts on ways to improve. Not the typical “practice, practice, practice”, as I already do that. In particular, I mean the way to practice more effectively, so that I can learn more things in less time without a lot of wasted effort. As an example, one concept that I borrowed from strength training is the regression/progression principle. What, you can’t do a single pull-up? Don’t worry, we’ll break it down into smaller, or easier to perform movements that help to build up the strength and foundation that will eventually help you to do your first pull-up. Some of the regressions would be doing “let-downs”, where you only do the eccentric portion of the exercise and ignore the concentric for now, doing them with a band that goes from the bar to your feet, reducing the amount of weight you have to work with, etc. I’ve found some of those principles difficult to apply to throwing, as there’s only so slow you can go before the yoyo loses inertia and falls. So if you have any thoughts on the subject, I’d love to hear them!


The term “tough love” originated the late sixties.

It has nothing to do with compassion, understanding and gratitude that you preach in the end of your post. In fact quite the opposite.

How do you manage to dish out critique in the name of compassion, and not realize the contradiction?


I really loved to read this post!
I am by no means an expert in muscle memory and whatnot, but I definitely owe any successful yo-yo practice I’ve had to habits instilled in me through violin. I might make a topic or a video about that later.

You’ve put the idea in my mind to germinate.


Youch! That’s very tough indeed my friend! :smile:

I would agree. While I am not the primary breadwinner for my family, I come from a pretty traditional (multi generational) background in that my first responsibility is 100% to care for the older and younger generations in my family. I carry a decent amount of weight as far as that’s concerned.

Independent pursuits, while extremely important to me, are indeed secondary.


I’d definitely be interested in watching that. I’m still waiting for some step-by-step tutorials on those advanced horizontal combos you do, though.


I like to apply the progressive overload concept when trying to get better at something.

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