Competitive Throws - 2020 Honest Talk

Hey guys,
Lately I’ve been reading a lot YYE forum posts, taking into account all possible information, without marketing biases, and I came to a conclusion that I would like to discuss:

Before putting my opinion, which may be wrong, let’s go to the world contests data:

2015: Zach Gormley ( United States); Shion Araya ( Japan); Iori Yamaki ( Japan)
2016: Shion Araya ( Japan); Yamato Murata ( Japan); Zach Gormley ( United States)
2017: Shion Araya ( Japan); Andrew Bergen ( United States); Gentry Stein ( United States)
2018: Evan Nagao ( United States); Takeshi Matsuura ( Japan); Yuki Nishisako ( Japan)
2019: Gentry Stein ( United States); Evan Nagao ( United States); Yuki Nishisako ( Japan)

Okay, with that trustworthy basis, I tried to make a relation with the sponsors of the professionals in that year.
I obtained this information, which may have mistakes, since I did not do a thorough analysis on the topic:

2015: CLYW; C3; Yoyorecreation
2016: C3; sOMEThING; CLYW
2017: C3; Recess; Yoyofactory
(edit) 2018: YoyoFactory; TurningPoint; UNPRLD
2019: YoyoFactory; YoyoFactory; UNPRLD

It makes me think of two things, when I think of competitive yoyos, what comes to my mind is an equipment capable of winning the metagame of the moment, and in this study case, free of preferences and tastes, we have these companies.
Now when I think of these companies, what would be the best competitive yoyo, for example from Yoyofactory? It makes me think that it does not depend on the equipment, but on a series of factors: from training to psychological aspects of a world contests.
Therefore, I wonder, what is the best competitive yoyo of all??

Today it makes me think that, well … first I don’t need that, since I’m not in the professional competitive environment, but if I really was, possibly any yo-yo (if we consider the whole world base, there are other companies in this score), as long as I have the necessary technique to perform well in this specific equipment.

Maybe I’m wrong, so I ask, what is the best competitive throw in your opinion?


i personally don’t own any comp throws but from watching vids on yt i would say the edge or the yoyofreinds perigrine


for a lot of people, “competitive” is sort of synonymous with “rim-weighted” so designs that maximize rim-weight should also maximize “competitiveness”.

Therefore the Chameleon is the best competitive throw don’t @ me


Takeshi used the Turning Point Mustang, a Titanium that I believe is his signature.


Hmmmm, thanks for the information, I’ll edit the orinal post! But what’s your view on competitive aspect of yoyos? I would like to know, since you know the drills.

That is true.

Any thoughts on the best current competition throw, although that’s a complex question?

OP, I enjoy this topic as I gravitate towards the higher performance end of the spectrum. I paraphrased Steve Brown’s assessment of the Wildfire in the Akita thread, where he said that the design is more like a Japanese design instead of a traditional CLYW design. I think that’s a great summary and also telling regarding design and the meta even within countries.

If you look at the design of Iori Yamaki (Draupnir, I believe), Yamato Murata (Anglam presumably?), Yuki Nishisako (Flash/Flashback), Takeshi Matsuura (Mustang), and Shion Araya (OG Radius), they have some general similarities. They are all relatively narrow compared to the current competition design meta, and relatively highly rim weighted, except perhaps the Radius. The Radius, although objectively the most successful in Shion’s hands, is actually more like a One Drop. It is narrower than most, but only moderately rim weighted and pseudo-organic. I believe I read that C3 went through the most prototypes before Shion got the exact play feel he was looking for.

The American contenders, Zach Gormley (Borealis 1), Andrew Bergen (Vacation), Evan Nagao (OG Edge or Edge 1.5?) and Gentry Stein (OG Shutter and Shutter WA Champion’s edition) also have general similarities. Only 2 are bimetals, obviously, and the designs are generally wider, more center weighted, and rounded. You might also include Connor Seals’ (Motive) win in the 2020 Scales online contest, though it’s certainly not equivalent to Worlds even by Connor’s admission. The Motive is wide, only somewhat rim weighted, but also comfortable and plays with more flow.

Listening to Bird’s YouTube channel has given me a greater appreciation of the nuances of competition performance. I believe the particular player’s throw design helps them perform based on their specific style and preferences. Narrower and rim weighted would favor speed combos whereas wider and mid weighted (comparatively) would favor bangers and tougher creative tricks. So, different strokes for different folks. The Japanese players’ throws, with the exception of the Mustang (Takeshi’s 5A roots presumably strongly influence his preferences), are also generally faster playing throws than the American players’ designs.

When looking at them as a whole and considering how they fit into the overall yoyo design universe, they’re generally higher rim weighted, wider (especially in recent years), and obviously facilitate consistent pace and performance in the particular player’s hands.


i would say the best yt for yoyo reviews is yoyojoe1,watch him he has like 100 reviews

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That’s an amazing overview.
So, the metagame “best” competitive yoyo is also related with a temporal analysis, considering that style could be different in the future as it was in the past?

Thinking this way, we can also relate the “best” yoyo with the judgment system that we have? Or is it a totally different field?


i think the def of comp is a long spinning yoyo that is wide and has snappy binds

Certainly competition throw design has evolved immensely over the years as throw styles have evolved. The change in the judging system influenced style change to a degree, from my understanding (as an intermediate and non-competitive player). I believe it mainly influenced choreography, timing and trick construction (to focus on clicks rather than some purely creative tricks). I would guess the current meta would have likely evolved similarly regardless, as there are so many non-competitors pushing the creative boundaries. As speed combos and the like reached their presumable limit years ago, but ‘string manipulation’ limits continue to progress (e.g. Polo), wider throws with more emphasis on feel and ‘float’ (nebulous and ill-understood, yet American designs continue to be more rounded and less extremely rim weighted) have become prevalent.


Hm, here’s my 2 cents. Im assuming we are just talking 1A. Skill and routine are far more important than yoyo choice. Yoyo choice does matter though. I have yoyos that I love to throw (Ti-888, General-yo 5 Star, ILYY Mary, etc) that I objectively would not pick if I were looking to land all of my tough tricks consistently. Id aim for what is considered a full-sized yoyo. Something that is also wide enough in catch zone to lend some forgiveness (think more classic V, H, and W shapes), but not feel extra wide to avoid catching unintended strings. Also some solid rim weight to add to spin time, but not too much where you sacrifice stability. I have many yoyos that can serve these requirements and could be my choice comp style yoyo, but play style will inevitably draw you towards certain yoyos with different attributes; such as weight, x-factors like float, stability, and whether the yoyo feels too fast or too slow, etc. Sometimes those factors when aligned with the right trick just feel more natural than others. Like gloves, a one size fits all yoyo may fit some people perfectly, but it will not necessarily fit you or everyone else.

Looking at the winner’s competitive yoyo choice only tells me what worked for them. Similar attributes in each may be able to tell you what usually works best, but to me the Edge line is so different than the Shutter (both successful in the hands of the preferred) that I can’t imagine a player that would feel comfortable with both. I think yoyo design and build quality has evolved to the point where talking about best is irrelevant. Sure, some attributes of competition style throws can share common ground, but it is imo kind of obvious when looking at a yoyo if it was designed to be performance oriented or more of a niche/gimmick sort of throw.

I think the best thing you can do if you want to git gud is to use the same yoyo as much as possible without losing interest. Aim for consistency. Same yoyo, string, pads, and bearing shape. I don’t care if your using a Markmont Classic or a Hummingbird, if you can pull off a Gentry and nail all of your bangers in a calculated routine for clicks you will wreck the competition. You can probably only determine the perfect yoyo for you after you know your own style and straight up try the yoyo yourself. If you are on a budget, align your play style with those in the competitive scene and check out what they use. It might be a fit, or might not.

To answer the initial question, my throwing is not competition style oriented, but if im looking for a yoyo that I feel elevates my consistency and I feel I can nail my hardest tricks, id pick my Butter. I also think that it is impossible to control for the myriad of skill/technique variables in a way that allows you to even nearly identify an objective best. Nobody does the same trick in the exact same way as someone else, and these differences will mark your style and change your preferences in how the yoyo responds.

Sorry for the tl;dr, but this is a forum…


What Yo-Yo is that?

Sorry typo, meant the Mary. It is a small diameter organic.

edit: even mis-typed it in this post :man_facepalming:

U mean an ILYY? Just curious I have a pretty good collection of ILYYs that one I do not know.

Ah ok now lol thx - Mary makes more sense

Yea, long day at work plus switching from day/night shift and a few drinks and I guess im not typing so well. It’s an ILYY

I just thought I missed something that I need to have right away lol


lol, don’t blame you. I think id buy everything they have if availability and funds weren’t an issue :stuck_out_tongue:


Exactly same for me :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:

Thanks a lot for your contribution, so that’s what I also concluded, the skills and the correct mindset for competition is much more important than the throw alone, no need to pursuit the best yoyo, but understand your style and be good at it. Surelly taking into account shape and more forgiving yoyo for the clicks.
That’s a good “stop” to exit the compulsive shopping cycle for the best throw, and spend more time practising.