Does diameter matter?

I am a semi-noob working my way through the tutorials here on yye and am contemplating my next yoyo purchase. I have looked at a lot of different yoyos and their specs, and it seems that the diameters of more of the high-end yoyos are what everyone refers to as “undersized” - being around ~50-51 mm in diameter. Indeed, even the much venerated dv888 is about 49mm. This has got me wondering, do you feel that there is an advantage in undersized vs normal vs oversized yoyos as far as getting good at yoyoing goes? Or is it all personal preference for feel in the hand?

It would seem to me that if you had yoyos X and Y, both with the same width and approximate shape, but one being 55-56mm and one being undersized 49-51mm, neither would present a advantage or disadvantage because the width and catch zone would be the same. Whadaya think?

I only ask because I like the idea of a smaller yoyo that will fit into my jeans pocket easier so I could carry one everywhere, BUT I am afraid of getting something that would be frustrating to play or a hindrance to my progression…

For the most part it is preference. Some people prefer larger yoyos to smaller ones. I prefer yoyos that are 52-57 mm. There are some advantages to undersized yoyos when it comes to certain types of tricks such as chopstick type stuff. but mostly it’s preference.

I was thinking the same thing as you, but I just got a Burnside, which is my first full sized throw, and it is the floatiest throw I have ever thrown!

A smaller diameter makes it easier to pop the yo through small spaces which would be an advantage for complicated string tricks.

I’m not claiming to be a physics wiz, but I think I read somewhere that rim weight and the distance from the center of the yo to that rim weight dictates momentum. Assuming that’s true then a larger diameter yo would get more momentum out of an average power throw.


Full sized are generally more stable, and easier to maneuver from my experiences.

I’m known for liking full sized yoyos, but right now I’m having amazing results with undersized yoyos. I’ve currently been playing my Gnarwal and XCon Pro a lot lately. I think if designed properly, the size doesn’t matter. Perhaps it’s easier to design a larger yoyo because you have more “play room” in it for how you distribute the weight. In a smaller yoyo, you simply don’t have the same amount of space so any design flaws become more readily apparent.

I think it’s really a matter of player preference as long as the yoyo itself is designed properly.

Getting an undersized throw won’t be a hinderance, especially considering you would be more likely to carry one with you in your pocket.

While a pro can make do with anything, I definitely feel like as I get better I prefer the larger throws. At first, undersized was great because they felt good in the hand and they usually play fast, so it “feels” like you’re doing really well. But as my combos got longer I started to slowly shelf the undersized stuff and move to 54-57mm because they seemed to be more stable and long spinning after numerous string hits.

It is a preference thing though. I can definitely still appreciate the undersized if I’m in the mood for it.

I like the ~53 area.

Undersized throws FEEL great in your hand and they are comfortable. Full sized throws perform better. That is the experience I have allways had. A full size will perform better than a undersized. Now I am not saying compare a protostar with a messiah just on diameter but I have not played a undersized that can beat the performance of my chief, code2, genesis, or sleipnir.

With a good throw small diamiter yoyos spin faster and will be stable.
Momentum works both ways.

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Size matters…

But in yoyos it’s all preference. I play both “full size” and “undersized.” My preference is for full sized, but my undersized yoyos play just as well.

Its all preference but for me undersize is kinda my thing. Im a short person and have smaller hands so undersize works best tor me. Being short means shorter strings and undersized yoyos give me more room to work so to speak.

It mainly is your own preference. For some tricks and styles, diameter is a problem once you become more advanced (like offstring).

I pretty much only throw smaller diameter yo-yos…around 49-54mm in diameter (my main throws being evil-yo’s, decapods, viszillas, strykers and omnicrons) and I have no issues with spin time. With a good, proper throw and correct technique you can achieve sufficient momentum. in the end it really does come down to preference and technique. Find what works best for you through trial and error. If you ask other people about something like diameter, rim weight, gap width, width or anything else you will get a ton of opinions since it is something that comes down to preference which is dictated by things such as style of play, anatomy like height, arm length, muscle tone and strength, coordination…the list goes on and one (I am a physical therapist so I know) and you need yoyo that is going to work with all these things plus that all-important personal style you will develop as you progress.

I’m all over the board with my yoyos. It really doesn’t matter to me. As long as it spins and I can have fun with it I’m good.

Assuming all other things being equal, the diameter won’t change the amount of energy you can put into a throw. A larger diameter will store the same amount of rotational energy as a smaller diameter. This means that it will spin slower but generate more stability per rotation. It also means that, since the energy is stored further out, it will have more mechanical advantage against friction from the bearing and walls (and lowering the walls further increases this mechanical advantage). This is desirable because it makes the yoyo more forgiving to sloppy play caused by nervousness on stage, inexperience, or whatever other excuse you feel like using at the time.

Of course, this is assuming the weight is in the rims. Wherever the weight is is where the effective diameter of the yoyo is. So when you see a yoyo that’s big but has really thin rims or the weight otherwise stored somewhere else, you have to think of it as you would a more efficiently-designed smaller-diameter yoyo in terms of performance.

The main reason you don’t see more huge-diameter yoyos with their rimweight maxed out is that there’s a tradeoff. The more weight you put on the rims, and the further out you put it, the harder it is to throw the yoyo comfortably. The yoyo speeds up more slowly and it requires more time to get to the bottom of the string. This manifests as kickback, where the yoyo pulls back toward your body on a frontstyle throw. This can also be exacerbated in yoyo design by using a smaller-diameter bearing or a wider gap (including worn-down pads or silicone). Those factors affect the mechanical advantage of the string as it winds and unwinds, and are a crucial and oft-overlooked aspect of balancing a yoyo in terms of weight, weight distribution, and diameter.

tl;dr a larger diameter can help the yoyo SPIN MOAR LONGER because it slows down more slowly.

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