Dedicated beginner questions/recommendation

Hello all. I am just getting into serious yoyoing in my late 20s and am loving it. I threw a bit in my youth with imperials and butterflies so I know how to throw well and do basic tricks. I am throwing with a Profly right now. However, I am wanting to get into 1a style play and am looking for a yoyo to take me from beginner to advanced.

I have read a lot on forums and think I understand about responsive/unresponsive, different response systems, etc. I am willing to get a yoyo that requires regular maintenance or easy mods (I am a bit of a tinkerer).

I have the following questions:

  • How important is it to start off with a responsive yoyo when learning 1a. Should I be open to a more unresponsive yoyo? I have YouTube’d tons of “how to bind” vids and honestly, it doesn’t look that hard. A basic bind looks like wrapping another loop around a Trapeze, right?

  • Should I get a yoyo with a externally adjustable response (Velocity) or one where a bearing or o-ring change is required?

  • Gap: wide or narrow?

  • Price: my wife and 10month old would not appreciate me buying a $40+ “toy”! So I am looking for something $10-$25. I have seen a lot of mentions for the Velocity, One, Whip, Lyn Fury/Kickside, Freehand Zero, Journey, Legacy, plastic Grind Machine, and Protostar (a bit outside my pricerange). Any thoughts?

Thanks a ton in advance for any help yall can give!

I started straight out the gate with an unresponsive yoyo (from a cheap £1 brain) and I think it really helped me to get used to unresponsive play. Though some people take a while to learn the binds and prefer the option of a responsive. If you feel you can learn it easily and will stick to yoyoing then I’d personally get a unresponsive.

I have never used a adjustable response (like the Velocity) yoyo so I cannot but I like the idea though most yoyos can just be siliconed. Adjustable gaps I never liked since I always felt that it might be too loose or too tight.

The more narrow the gap usually means the harder it is to land the yoyo on the sting and often means it is more responsive, since it is building up friction against response system.

Out of the ones you listed the Lyn Fury, Kickside Free Hand Zero and Protostar are some of the best plastics out there so they will take you far and can be modded for more desirable play. If you can get a Dark Magic II even though it is outside your price range it is one of the best.

Hope this helped, son’t hesitate to PM me if you have further questions.

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I have commented on similar questions before I am almost identical situation I started with a whip and still use it today. Even though I have several throws in hundred plus category. The whip is fairly reliable and real cheap and won’t be out grown as quick as some others. Good luck.

The yoyo that took me from begginer to where I am now was the DM2. If you hear good things about this throw, you better believe them. One of the things that i loved about it was the fact that it came with a responsive bearing in the yoyo and another unresponsive bearing to switch with. I would recommend this throw to anybody who wants to step up their game.

I hear great things about the Northstar and Protostar so you should grab one or the other(they both have basically the same specs but different weights and are both unresponsive).

I would recommend not starting unresponsive. While the extra sleep time of a protostar or asteroid may seem helpful it will be harder to get a straight throw of you dont start on a responsive yoyo that forces you to throw straight. If you want to save money get a one with the 2 bearings so you don’t have to buy a new yoyo when you graduate to unresponsive. The one is only $10 so I dont think your wife would mind.

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The debate goes on and on about the advantages of starting with a responsive yo. Many feel that it is the best way to learn as you must be very smooth to prevent the yo from snapping back to the hand. However, others will state that the frustration slows the learning process down and increases the chance that people wont stick with it. I appreciate both arguments and find that each has its’ own truths. The fact is fewer and fewer people are using responsive yoyos to learn 1a today. You decide.

Any yoyo can be temporarily made responsive just by adding lube. I find the One to be much to light for my tastes and cheap feeling. That’s me though and I respect that others love this yoyo. I much prefer the Journey, Kickside, and the Lyn Fury. With some lube and some silicone and one of these yoyo’s, life is good and you will stay within your budget. You may find that you can actually get a couple of yoyos. There are several great plastic yoyos today that wont break the bank!

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Thanks for all the advice so far! I would really like to get a DM2 but cant justify the price right now. Also, I am a big fan of starting off with fundamental skills on fundamental equipment. I am not opposed to starting off with a responsive throw. However, I still want to get ONE yoyo that will take me from beginner to advanced tricks (and have time to squirrell away money to save up for a DM2 or dv888!!!). I think I want a throw that will start out responsive, and move to unresponsive as I progress.

I think I have narrowed it down to the following, let me know your thoughts:

  • ONE, swap out bearing when I want to go unresponsive. Definitely leaning towards this one as it is super cheap which will allow me to budget some strings and lube and stuff… Also, it looks like a good carry-around throw.
  • Legacy II, heavy lube to make it responsive. I heard this one is very similar to the DM.
  • Velocity, obviously can tune the responsiveness. Im still on the fence about this one, it seems a bit… fiddly…

Will 55 grams on the ONE and Velocity make a huge difference vs the 70 grams on the Legacy?

I think you’ll find what you get from the DM2 will outweigh your hesitation based on the price. Trust me on this one. It was my first “real yoyo” and yeah, it’s worth it. No doubt about it. 2 bearings, go from responsive and unresponsive easily. I would also get thick and thin lube. Thick for the thin bearing, thin lube for the Speed bearing. Swap bearings to swap personalities. Get 100 bulk 100% poly strings too.

Legacy II: Comes with 2 bearings. I would also get thick and thin lube. Thick for the thin bearing, thin lube for the Speed bearing. Swap bearings to swap personalities. Get 100 bulk 100% poly strings too.

ONE: Nice, not bad. Solid, durable, reliable, dependable, but too light. That’s really my only issue with it. Yes, it’s in the undersized category. My preferences are for full/overised and 67+ grams. The ONE is fun, I keep mine responsive, but it’s not where I would go.

Velocity? I don’t know. I got the Speed Dial and it’s fun and all, but too light and the width I wish was bigger, but also so it would be heavier. With B-stocks at $20 right now, might be a way to go. But I think too many mechanical parts is not necessary right now. For me, having a yoyo I can switch from responsive to unresponsive when I’m at a school is a big plus.

The weight difference between the Legacy II and the others WILL make a difference in your favor. The heavier Legacy II will perform better.

Honestly, step up. Take the plunge. DM2. The only mods you’ll want are as follows:
Remove the caps if you choose to(I like them in)
Silicone the response as it will take flowable.
Maybe try different bearings.

Trust me, get the DM2. I have 2, it’s my go-to for everything. I also have the Legacy II and the ONE and the Speed Dial. Totally, DM2 all the way. I got the Legacy II though so I’d stop playing with my kid’s Legacy II!

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I would recommend the Lyn Fury or Prelude. I only have limited time playing friends’ Lyn Furys, but the Prelude replaced the DM2 for me as my main practice throw. I liked the DM2 just fine, it is as great as everyone says, but for whatever reason I gravitated to the Prelude. It is responsive enough to return on a tug, but unresponsive enough you can learn to bind and move through all of the intermediate tricks on this site. It worked for me. Once there, you could justify something more expensive.

One thing I like about the Lyn Fury is it is a more common size/weight and comes with a standard C bearing. I haven’t thrown the YYF ONE, but it seems better suited to a true novice. I am not a fan of the Duncan FHZ (although I do have a light up FHZ coming in the mail). If you can afford the DM2, it will take you far and is well worth the money. But if you have to stay under $25, the Prelude or Lyn Fury is the way to go in my opinion.

I sent you a pm but for threads sake

I often wonder why people don’t throw in the adegle card in the ring more often in my opinion it the best 16 bucks you can fly out there. Psg is a little lighter that the asteroid both are great players that are non responsive. If you want responsive add lube to the bearing simple and cheap.

When I see the words “beginner”, the first thing I want to avoid is unresponsive play. It’s not nice to put an unresponsive yoyo in the hands of a beginner, at least NOT without guidance of someone being there to help them out. Frustration on not being able to bring it back leads to quitting early, which turns off someone from yoyo for life. So, starting off with unresponsive without an actual HUMAN to help out who CAN bind, just not a good thing in my opinion.

Now, as far as a noob who has gotten to the point where they can bind or are ready to learn to bind, then by all means, I would definitely in a heartbeat recommend the PSG or the Asteroid. They are both great yoyos and not just “great for the price” either.

While it is absolutely true you can load a bearing up with thick lube to make it responsive, I’m just not a fan of that method. I feel once they are ready for binding and unresponsive play, then the bearing should be cleaned out thoroughly and then put back in lightly lubed. A lot of people don’t want to clean their bearings. Also think about this: Many of the parents of these new players aren’t going to accept stuff like lube, much less maintenance issues. Even the concept of strings wearing out doesn’t sit well with some of these parents.

So, again, for me, beginner means RESPONSIVE play and it needs a yoyo that can do that. So, the direction I like to go in is YYJ and their two-bearing yoyos or the YYF ONE with 2 bearings. Why? Because with one purchase, it goes properly from responsive to unresponsive play via a bearing swap. I feel it’s a better value for the money. I also feels it is a better way to go and seems to have a better chance for success. Confusing a noob with needing lube and a yoyo that won’t come back… well, that’s just not a recipe for a happy beginner.

At least the OP is at an age where they can absorb and process the information and has their own money to spend.

Good answer studio sometimes it’s easy for me to forget about the “age” thing…it makes a great point.
All valid really. The op if throwing a profly which is capable of doing some simple 1a play and has that pimp wooden axle love that thing. But alas you are right the frustration of binding learned on your own could send you to the no yoyo abyss… :o :o :o :o

As I’m new to this whole thing(nearly a year), I still have my perspectives in place for that.

I remember after I got in, and seeing responsive play and seeing “I gotta do a trick just to get the stupid thing to come back” to be discouraging at first, but I had already bought my DM2 and was waiting for it to arrive. While I was waiting, I got impatient and got a Duncan Butterfly and Yomega Fireball. I already had a Reflex and Imperial at the time.

The yoyo is supposed to be a simple toy. Two halves on a string, up and down, simple stuff, that’s it. That’s how many people perceive this. Parents see inexpensive yoyos on toy store pegs and figure “that’s enough”. I recall my information overload, despite being an “very late starting noob”. Fortunately, my learning has shielded my wife from knowing all the nuances of serious yoyo ownership, and has made the yoyos for my kids seem rather painless and seamless. She doesn’t see the parts here and there, she just sees that “he’s not having to run out and get stuff all the time”.

While there is debate over starting responsive vs. unresponsive, I am in favor of unresponsive. Get yourself oriented properly, gain some skills, some experience, some self-confidence, let things evolve naturally. As silly as it sounds, there’s tremendous satisfaction from doing rock the baby or eiffel tower, especially when you’re a noob. If we follow the tutorials on YYE, you’ll notice a natural progression. Yes, the tricks get harder. You have to push yourself.

This is where buying a yoyo such as the DM2 is important. You can get something inexpensive that’s pretty much responsive only, only to outgrow it and put it away and have to replace it with something else. You may or may not end up spending more. The DM2 is just one of many examples of a yoyo that is two yoyos in one: responsive or unresponsive depending on the bearing. For a beginner, a Legacy II does the job just fine at a reduced price. Of course, we’ll all buy new yoyos over time.

Another method I use is to minimize loss. Don’t start off expensive, start off reasonable. If it takes off, worse case is you’ve wasted small dollars and you buy a more expensive yoyo and the old one can always be used again. If it fails,you’ve wasted small dollars, cut your losses and walk away.

I was at a yoyo meet a couple of weeks ago. There was this kid with an 888 beating the crap out of it. The kid couldn’t throw it. No spin, no control. It was like watching a spaz wth a rock on a tether. I bet his parents must be proud. This kid could easily be amused with an Imperial or Butterfly for 1/20th of the costs.

I really started at age 39 with the yoyo. Old enough to have my own money, old enough to learn a fair amount on my own. But also old enough to know how to cut my losses. I figure if that Reflex and Imperial pair didn’t work for me, then for $12, that would be my losses. However, it didn’t work out that way. I’ve spend quite a bit since then, including yoyos for my kids. I’m having fun all the time!

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Well shoot. Thanks a lot for all the replies everybody. I think I have a pretty good idea about where to go now. If I wasn’t such a cheapskate I would just get a Protostar or DM2, but this is coming out of my “bike parts” fund so I dont want so spend so much. (I bike commute 500+ miles a month so I never know when Im gonna need to replace something…)

Ive been playing around with a friend’s Duncan Metal Drifter and its OK, but not great, but it has made me realize that I definitely want a yoyo with some responsiveness to start out with.

So I’ve narrowed it further down to a ONE vs Kickside vs Lyn Fury.

  • I would like to get a ONE because of the ability to swap out narrow and SPEC bearings as I get better. However I dont know what effect its lower weight (57g) would have as I get good enough to go unresponsive. Oh, and its only $10bucks!!! Any thoughts on this?

  • The Kickside gets great reviews. Responsive enough for a beginner (right?) and sounds like one can mod it for unresponsive play with sili and sanding down the starburst, and putting in some shims to widen the gap (right?)

One more thing: 50/50 string or 100% poly?

Let me know what you think!

Go with100% poly it well last longer than 50/50 string.

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Go Legacy II. With the 2 bearings, you can easily go from responsive to unresponsive. It’s more, it’s worth it. We’re talking like maybe $10 more. It’s worth it.

I have a ONE, Kickside, and Lyn Fury. If I had to pick, I’d pick the Lyn Fury because you can yank the rings and silicone it, shim it and it’s unresponsive. The ONE is just too light.

Get 100% poly strings.

50/50 cotton poly lasts way longer for me than 100% poly.

Really? I’ve never broken a 100% poly string but I have broken 50/50. But then again I haven’t used 50/50 since my responsive days.

I’ve broken a couple of cotton strings, a couple of Slick6 and a couple of polys. But, assuming nothing breaks for whatever reason, then let’s just go by how long it takes for a string to wear through(as in, to failure), 100% poly lasts the longest for me. I also like how 100% poly performs for me.

I have had a couple of 100% polys break on me when I got my Agape yoyos. I was told to rub down the bearing seat with some denim. I did so and I’ve had nothing but an amazing time with my 3 Agape yoyos. Note: these two Agape yoyos were either completely soda blasted or partially soda blasted. The raw one did not need this treatment. On a side note: These yoyos are amazing players and I recommend darn near everyone try them, if not buy them. I’ve had many offers on my 3 but they aren’t leaving my collection.

I haven’t tried a lot of specialty strings. For me for now, the 100% poly YYE stuff works as good as anything else.

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