Fixed Axle Play


I’ve been hearing more about fixed axle play lately and it’s piqued my interest somewhat. It got me wondering how many of you here do it, what some of the commonly used throws for the style are, and more generally, what type of tricks can be done?

I’d be interested to hear your takes on fixed axle play, as well as seeing any notable videos you think are essential for a newcomer to the style to see!


I experiment with it a little. Stall tricks are fun. Check out Once Upon a Tree (aka O.U.T.) I enjoy their stuff, and I’ve heard good things about tmbr. Look up fixed axle Friday for vids


Just look up Ed Haponik :smiley:


Does anyone else agree fixed axle is kind of like kendama?

(Nova) #5

I know what you mean. Ball-bearing play is all about the flow and appearance of tricks and playing fixie is about raw skill. Tricks are often cool because they are HARD not because they are flashy. It’s often the same with kendama tricks.

Although if you’re asking if one skill transfers to another…not at all, haha.

(Former National 4A Champion) #6

They do somewhat. Any hand-eye-coordination exercise will transfer to another hand-eye-coordination exercise.


There’s an active fixed axle discussion here: Wood is Good


Also here: the fixed axle megathread of awesomeness


first see the other threads that have already been linked!

i throw my TJ NoJive 3-in-1 every single day! …


Some days I just want to work on something straight forward, and fixed axle is it. You have a short period of time, so you learn quick, single elements, like stalls, regens, various suicides, and looping that you can focus on and then start putting together. It feels very organic after you get some of it down, since you aren’t focusing on one long combo, but can come back to a stall as a place of rest, then do something completely different. And some of the skills definitely translate back to ball-bearing. Of course, some of the 1A ball-bearing stuff translates well to fixed axle and Ed Haponik has a great stalled version of Kwyjibo, which is just wild.

Just about any decent, inexpensive fixed axle yoyo from a reputable brand will work fine, though the hardwood yoyos from OUT and TMBR are pretty awesome. The feel of wood is great and the shapes are remarkably technical for helping with stability, spin time, balance, catching stalls, etc.

(ed) #11

when i started doing a lot of fixed axle, it was mostly based on an internal dare. like “ok, me. i bet you a coke you can’t hit kamikaze or cold fusion” or something. the more i played though, i stopped trying to do tricks that really suit ball bearings and focused more on tricks that felt like they were “meant” for fixed. that meant a lot of traditional stuff like shoot the moons, loops, regens, fly-aways, etc. in late 2006 it occurred to me that you could go from one stall to another, which really changed the way i looked at it. you can pretty much take any 1a mount and make a “fixed axle analog” of it, either using stalls, flips, stop-n-go’s, etc.

it DOES have a kendama feel, both in terms of the rhythm of the tricks (you need to pause for a second to regain your balance sometimes) and in the rhythm of your learning curve (easy to hit “ok” stuff, then wildly hard to hit harder stuff).

i’ve always liked the no jive best, but tmbrs are truly wonderful as are the new OUT’s (just wish they came apart - i’ve burned through a couple). even a butterfly or profly can do amazing stuff. it’s not for everybody, but it’s pretty crazy how challenging it can be and how much room there is for new, creative stuff. there’s always been kind of an undercurrent of fixed axle awesomeness from the top 1a players, just because they’ve got an appreciation for where yo-yoing comes from AND the skills to make it work. but in the last few years people have done a lot more with it, which makes me glad.

stuff i’d suggest checking out:
drew and i worked really hard last year on the fixed friday series. i feel like watching and reading through the articles is useful, if only to know what’s been thought of so far.
drew’s last issue - “learn these” is a perfect (if daunting) place to start.

if you’re an absolute novice, i did a “back to basics” article in the ff archive, and i did this tutorial years ago.“how to stall”

also check out the fixed axle fun unlimited videos from worlds 04 and 09, and the fixed axle championship of all the world footage from 12 and 13.

the future belongs to kyle nations, who has developed a crazy flowy style.
kyle nations has developed a really great style - super-flowy:

and then here’s a lot of the tricks i’ve worked on this year (90% fixed, 3.0 coming soon):

EDIT: sorry that was so long winded, and it wasn’t meant to come off as pretentious. i’m obviously really into fixed axle and “where it’s going”, but if you just want to pick one up sometimes and throw a few trapezes or loops, that’s honestly just as rad.


Do fixed axles have to be wood? Why not make high performance rim weighted fixed axles?

(ed) #13

It can be a hindrance having a lot of rim weight. If you’re going for long sleepers then sure, and the yyj dj did that to be able to break the sleep record. Some of TMBR’s models are also built heavier and further out (and with harder, less responsive axles) for longer combos. In general though, fixed axle tricks tend to use loops, kickflips, dumptrucks, moons and other elements which are harder with weight away from the hub. So though it may sound cheesy, it’s true that as far as fixed axles go, “wood is good”.


I’ve been trying to get into it myself. I have a TMBR Baldwin, I think it is a bit lite. Hopping to get a no jive soon.

(major_seventh) #15

No need to apologize! I really appreciate the post. Thanks!

(major_seventh) #16

Also, I posted this in the looking for help/recommendation thread, but which should I get, or which do you prefer: the No-Jive 3-1 or the Turner? I’m leaning towards the No-Jive. I want something that can last me (hopefully) a lifetime.

(Yo^2) #17

I’m a huge fan of the no-jive, partly because it’s readily available and partly because it’s a time-proven design. I read Bill Alton’s book on the Noble Disk, and that’s the yoyo he used. You can still get a copy of the book (if you can’t find it, pm me or respond on this thread, and I’ll send you the email address). What I really enjoy about fixed, is how it makes even the most basic tricks really challenging. Plus, there’s kind of a zen-ness about the whole experience.

I would definitely watch some of Ed’s videos.

(ed) #18

there’s something classic about the no jive, but in time there will be something classic about tmbr’s as well. i really feel like what colin is doing and how he is working is a lot like tom’s san francisco workshop days. can’t go wrong with that choice.

the noble disk was awesome! by all accounts bill was a pretty mercurial dude, but he could play and he definitely cared about preserving yo-yoing’s roots. for a step deeper into new age yo-yo zen-ness, “the book of yo” by neil feser is also great!

(Yo^2) #19

I actually have that book.

"The yo-yo uses no words,
but speaks to us,
seeks no gems,
but shares its beauty.

It tells the foot to be careful
the hand to be gentle,
the heart to be happy,
the mind to be still.

Hear the yo-yo roar."

Pg. 91
It’s just lovely.


The no-jive is probably my favorite fixed axle yo-yo too.
You can still find tutorials on youtube showing the original sting tricks. Things that are pretty easy with a bearing yo-yo become amazingly challenging with a fixed axle. There are lots of the old school tricks on the Dennis McBride youtube channel. I learned string tricks from watching his VHS tapes (a long time ago).
You might not get hooked on throwing fixed axle if you don’t do it much because it is so different
from the popular style of play today, but there is nothing like having enough spin to loop out of Hydrogen Bomb, or getting in the groove with Shoot the Moon.