Recently, at a few different yoyo contest, I have talked to many kids who were somewhat new to yoyoing.

And I brought up something with a few of them that resulted in surprising responses for me.

I brought up the sport ladder tricks, and literally, almost every kid I talked to reacted with something along the lines of “oh those arent hard tricks” or “those are old”, and mostly “sport ladder is boring.”

And its interesting to see that so many kids now are trying to jump on into the difficult tricks that they see big names pulling off, without even having the fundamentals that are the sport ladder trick list.

I grew up learning the sport ladder tricks and I am very glad I did. That list has some seriously helpful tricks with elements that are used in many of todays tricks.
I feel that much of the flow and style that I have developed, I owe greatly into the mastering of those sport ladder tricks.

I see people trying to jump ahead way too fast, and what often we will see, is kids pulling off these big name tricks, but doing it very sloppy and unfluid, due to their lack of the fundamental tricks that ultimately led to the tricks of today, and its quite sad to see honestly.

The sport ladder tricks arent an “easy” or “boring” trick list. You should respect that list and take it to heart to learn those fundamentals when you are in that stage of learning. I can honestly tell you that it WILL make a difference in your yoyoing.

And have some respect for the sport ladder competitors too. I hear many a kid talk down sport ladder competitors like they cant even yoyo or whatnot. You try landing all of the sport ladder tricks flawlessly with no mistakes all in a row under pressure from a couple of judges. Its not as easy as you may think.

  • Sleeper (5 seconds)
  • Sideways World Tour (Sideways around the world)
  • Eiffel Tower
  • Rock the Baby (5 full rocks)
  • Elevator (Up and down the string)
  • Brain Twister (1 Somersault)
  • Trapeze
  • Split the Atom(3 somersaults)
  • Double or Nothing
  • Mach 5 (5 full rotations)
  • Cold Fusion
  • Pop ‘n’ Fresh (2 reps)
  • Gerbil
  • Plastic Whip
  • Eli Hop (3 rep)
  • Boingy Boing (5 rep)
  • Gyroscopic Flop (Half flop)
  • Kwijibo
  • Hidemasa Hook
  • Suicide Catch (2 reps)
  • Iron Whip (2 reps)
  • Kamikaze
  • Spirit Bomb
  • Throwhand Grind
  • Black Hop

Take those to heart ^

Be legit, or else be pretty freaking lame, I don’t care.




I agree. These people are extreme and just blow past the good stuff. It trains your hands better than jumping on these huge project tricks and like J said doing them sloppily. It’s the same thing when you meet a guitar player who ONLY knows the names of the open strings and wants to play fast. Slow it down big shooter. You want to build that house on concrete not sand. Respect the ladder. Please.

Redemption post. I like it. I totally agree as well.


Outstanding post! Your list should be handed to every new beginner as they’re told; "Here you go. Work your way down the list 1-2-3 then you will be building a strong foundation for mastering the sport. I confess I need to improve on so many of these fundamental tricks. Thanks for the list and sound counsel.

Hey Jayyo

Let me get your opinion on something along the lines of what you are talking about that I have been wondering. Not that what I am about to say is true, I just wonder if it is.

Are novice throwers leaping into higher end, more advanced throws to early and before we’re ready? Would young players advance with greater skill and a more solid foundation under them if they work through the fundamentals with a less expensive Freehand or YYF One or even like a DMII before jumping up into more expensive throws. Is it detrimental to a reliable advance to be trying to learn “Double or Nothing” or “Split the Atom” with something like a Sasquatch or SPYY Ronin. Yes, they are great throws, but they are just too advanced for a noobie’s level of play.

What do you think?

Agreed. It’s what I did and it worked out very well for me. A well performed spirit bomb looks better than a badly performed grandma kimmet sandwich.

Kids need to learn their fundamentals instead of trying to rush through stuff.

Granted, I’m a noob and I’m an older noob, and this is NOT all coming to me easily. It took me a good week to get many tricks, many more than a week. Right now, I’ve been working for over 10 days on atomic bomb and ripcord. I got Ripcord nice and smooth last night, but Atomic Bomb still needs work, what between me popping the yoyo out of the strings or missing strings or just being sloppy. Can I do it? Yes. Can I do it consistently? Almost. Can I do is smooth? Not even. I got a ways to go.

Granted, the trick ladder may not have the wow and cool factor of the major style performances, but still, it shows skill and knowledge.

At the same time, I have nothing against a noob with a good yoyo. We don’t need to start with a CLYW! A DM2, Northstar, Protostar, dv888 and stuff in those price ranges is more than sufficient for starting out with a quality yoyo. Yes, there’s some stuff cheaper that is great too. Some people seem to forget, it’s the thrower, not the yo. The yo is a tool. A good thrower can do just about anything with just about any yoyo. Personal preferences can determine what are better fits for players. However, if you can’t land a trick on a Lyn Fury(for example), a BVM ain’t going to be doing you much better.

Slow down, practice, refine, enjoy and have fun. If you’re into competitions, then practice and refine more, but still slow it down and don’t rush and keep having fun. You can speed things up through more practice to get that refinement and smoothness and consistency down. Practice for perfection, not practice for competence. Get the trick, get consistent with the trick then get smooth with the trick. THEN move on. However, practice what you already know. Always! Don’t forget even while moving forward.


Like everything in life, it isn’t very good to jump in the deep end right off.

Being “so pro” can wait.

This makes me think of “Redemption Song” by Bob Marley.

I regret that I still can’t magic drop.

Thanks for the reply.

Honestly, when I teach kids how to yoyo, I start them off on something like a saber raider. Some may groan at this, but here is why. The saber raider is just slightly wing shaped, so you need to develop a pretty decent aim to land the fundamental tricks. While for some learning, this may seem difficult, it keeps them from being sloppy. Players develop a good eye, good coordination, everything.

The responsiveness of the yoyo also prevent sloppiness. The kids who are throwing expensive metals with wide gaps these days as a first will often have very unsmooth transitions, rolls, hops etc, that on a responsive yoyo, will cause the yoyo to respond and snag. If you start on a responsive yoyo and learn these hops, rolls, transitions etc. It forces you to do them much more smooth and carefully than the unresponsive wider yoyos. Making your style much smoother.

I learned how to do tricks up to split the atom on a fixed axle proyo before I found raiders, it was difficult like mad. But it really taught me allot about how a yoyo works, and the very careful feel of the spin. Working with the yoyo’s spin and natural grain only, as working against will work against you.

Usually for the students I teach, I have them work up a scale to what yoyo they own for there skill level.

Saber raider up till gerbil usually. Kickside or something of the sort after (and the kids get really excited for this, even though its just a basic plastic, they really feel like they are owning a serious piece of equipment. And that kickside will last them for a long time to come. It also gives them an appreciation for such plastic yoyos as they can feel the difference as they progress. Some ended up moving on to some metals and whatnot, but I know a few who stuck with the kickside and still will use it much today, as they don’t feel they need some big fancy metal to do what they need to do. Which is really true.

yoyo, trick ladder, its how everyone should start I think.


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Yeah, i’m guilty of jumping ahead of myself. I see a trick that looks cool and I try to do it. And yes they’re harder to do because I don’t have all the fundamentals down yet.


Thank you so much for taking the time to give such a comprehensive response. Every thing you said makes complete sense to me. It is obvious you are an excellent instructor to have when learning to throw. I wish you lived close by, I could sure use a good tutor.

This has been one of the most beneficial threads ever posted on these forums.


His thread has proved very educational to me… Even tho I am long past these tricks, it mite improve my playing to go back to them with a simpler yoyo, but I think it’s given me the tools to become a more effective instructor

Thank you for this post josh

I didn’t even know people took jumping to extreme tricks seriously. I’m a beginner and right away I realized that I couldn’t just do a White Buddha without even doing a solid trapeze.

I think the reason beginners want to jump into master tricks right away is to impress their friends and compete with them to see who can pull of the coolest and most complex trick. Yes, breakaway isn’t that cool but it will really help you with every single trick you do later!

I agree this will help them, however I think that the frustration of using a saber up until the expert tricks might not be so enjoyable to them and make them maybe not like yoyoing so much and quit.

Not really. You would be surprised at what can be accomplished with a saber raider. all it needs is the right touch, and it can very easily be taken up beyond the sport ladder.
I haven’t had a student frustrated with the yoyo as of yet.

Just a bit of thin lube, and the you have a nice spinning, smooth, stable, and responsive yoyo that really all the kids love.

I don’t

I don’t think it’s too dissimilar from me who was using a Duncan dragonfly up till I was doing spirit bombs…

I will work on all of the sports ladder tricks until I eventually master them. There’s only about 4 or 5 that I can’t do, and I like to base a lot of tricks, into tricks that I do.

i am still stuck on the ladder… and i have been at it a while … but thats why i love it …

… there is so much to learn … but not enough time …