Gen(eration) X throwers?

I got into yoyoing in my mid-20s, which was in the mid-90’s, and took a break from right around 2000 until a few weeks ago. I clearly missed quite a bit of innovation and I’m trying to catch up. I figured that I’d start a thread for those more “seasoned” players that might want to reminisce about the Old Days, and maybe help fill me in on the high points that I missed. I was in the SF Bay Area until late '98, so if you were around then, we might know some folks in common.

Thanks in advance for your time!

7 Likes

Welcome back!

Its pretty much the same story for me. I always liked yoyos and got really into it in the early 90’s while I was in college. In 2000 I started a company, got really busy and quit following yoyos actively. I kept throwing my assortment of yoyos over those years.

I happened to see Evan’s world championship freestyle via some random link on youtube or reddit around the time he won. My mind was blown, and I decided it was time to buy some new yoyos and learn some new tricks. I’m still catching up, it seems like yoyo technology evolved like crazy just about the time I quit paying attention. I love the hobby more than ever now.

Beware the mad buying spree you have coming…

7 Likes

I basically stopped throwing entirely for a while. Every once in a while I’d pick one up, but everything sat in an old Yomega case in the attic. Then my kids expressed interest so I hauled them out about a month ago, and I went online to see what was available for them to start out on. It blows my mind how far things have come. I mean, the last trick I learned back in the day was Cold Fusion, which I learned on a Cold Fusion. I loved that yoyo, but it punished me several times.
I haven’t watched much of the previous Worlds yet, but I did watch a bunch of the freestyles from this year. I have no idea what I’m even seeing, but man, they are fun to watch. I really like Evan’s style, so I’ll be sure to check out the year he won. Hajime’s 3A this year was like waking up one day to a sky full of flying cars. I had no idea that 3A was even a thing, it was the first 3A I’d ever even seen. I kept yelling “WHAT?!” at the screen.
I’m trying to keep the buying to a dull roar, which is made easier by being nervous about metals. I’m still far more used to plastic, and super comfortable with it, and they’ve come a long way. And I love the new shapes, since I always disliked organics, but they’re so damn wide. So instead of missing everything I’m trying to hit, I hit everything I’m trying to miss. I just suck in a different way now, so that’s fun.

3 Likes

I think you’ll find that there is a pretty solid core of guys from this era around. In fact, big chunks of the industry are run by, or very influenced by, guys who started in the mid/late 90’s or early 00’s these days.

I’ve thrown from the late 90’s until now, with varying levels of dedication and connection to the community. Kids/work/life/etc, you know how it is. But there’s always been a pile of throws on my desk, a daily driver of some sort in my pocket, and a crew of yoyo folks that I’ve been lucky to have in my life.

4 Likes

Yeah, even though so much has changed, there are still names I recognize floating around out there, which is pretty cool. I’m happy to find a thriving online community and it’s been an incredible resource for learning, but I do miss just hanging around and throwing with people IRL. It seems like there used to be a pretty active community in Mpls/StP, but I’m having a hard time actually finding a club or anything that’s still meeting regularly.

1 Like

When I saw this I thought it was a GenXs throwers thread, but I’m a GenX thrower too. I played as a kid in the eighties, but then had no idea what was going on in the yoyo world (or that there was a yoyo world) until a year ago when my kid got interested. Around 2000 my best friend got a $30 yo-yo for Christmas, a price we all found exorbitantly expensive. I don’t know what yo-yo it was. He died a couple of years later, and I so regret us never being able to share this hobby.

3 Likes

Ohh, good point. I changed the title to attempt greater clarity.
I’ve lost a few friends over the years, so I know a little about how hard that can be, and can only guess what it would be like to lose a best friend. I imagine enjoying a hobby you know he enjoyed might bring some comfort. For me, when I listen to music that people I’ve lost loved it helps me to remember them.

1 Like

It’s great that you say that, since I think he’s the one in my life who introduced me to more music than anyone else.

1 Like

The tunes of good ole Willy Nelson will always have memories attached to my father.

3 Likes

I’m 42, so kinda on the gen x bubble? I also got into throwing during the boom, also set it down and picked it up only sporadically until around 04. Since May '05 I’ve played every dang day. Like Root said the throwing is addictive and wonderful, but the relationships are what keep me tied to it (so to speak).

6 Likes

You are solid Gen X Ed.

" Baby Boomers: Born 1946-1964 (54-72 years old) Generation X: Born 1965-1980 (38-53 years old) Millennials : Born 1981-1996 (22-37 years old) Post- Millennials : Born 1997-Present (0-21 years old)"

This is what google suggests as the rough generation guidelines atm.

3 Likes

I swear i never understood these generation names.

2 Likes

Me too! We would go on two or three week car camping trips every summer, and every single time we got in the car he’d sing On the Road Again. (He’s still alive. It sounds like yours may not be, and I’m sorry.)

1 Like

i honestly never realized there was such a "craze’ going on during the late 90s early 00s until i recently started throwing again. i had gone to an outdoor beer festival where they were handing out swag, and this one table had a choice of a koozie or chintzy yoyo - i chose the chintzy yoyo. my gf at the time and the people at the table were like wtf!!! i was in college then, and tossed that thing around and it crapped out quick, so i picked up a glow in the dark imperial and a trick book. i just kept throwing it around campus, in the bars, parties… just everywhere. this was in vermont… i grabbed a couple other models, but my edc was that same glow fixie - i loved it. i stopped playing after college, but now that my little guy is interested and we can do it together, it’s so fun!
I still whip that original falling apart glow imperial 'til this day. but man, things have progressed immensely. it’s amazing!

now we can’t stop. reading, watching, practicing, learning… an ‘occasional’ purchase… we love 0A. that’s what i always did, he likes it, but that doesn’t mean we’re staying with just that

3 Likes

Hey, Ed! Big fan of your work. 0A regularly saves me from absolute frustration with trying to learn modern 1A.

3 Likes

I’d love to hear more first throw stories! The first “nice” throw I bought for myself was a dark blue Spinstastics Terminator Technic. Probably around '96 or so, and I still have one half from it. I remember driving to the house of the guy that ran an internet yoyo catalog called Yo-Topia. He invited me to a yoyo contest later in the month, which I think was the California State Yo-Yo Championship. I went and I met a ton of people there, including some of the greats. I remember it being one of the most encouraging and welcoming communities that I’d ever run across. One thing that I clearly remember from contest day was burning the axle of that Technic on a hard throw. I couldn’t figure out why my yoyo wouldn’t sleep, so someone showed me what had happened, gave me a replacement axle, AND a spare. Good times, good people.

3 Likes

Thanks! Me too! :pray:t3:

1 Like

Fellow GenXer. My yo-yo collection, a few Duncan Imperials and a bunch of wood yo-yos, burned down with my house in ‘94. For 20some years I didn’t own a yo-yo. Occasionally I’d pick one up at a friend or family members house and throw some basic loops to mild applause. About 2 years ago I picked up a new Imperial when I took my daughter to the toy store. That lasted about 10 minutes before the string broke and the yo-yo flew across the room narrowly missing my daughter’s face :open_mouth:. I guess if it had, I might have quit again right then. Luckily not, and I bought some better throws a few months later, then got into unresponsive 1a, and I’ve been yo-yoing as a semi-serious hobby again for about 1.5 years. It’s been pretty interesting seeing how much I missed and just how much different it is now.

2 Likes

You learn something new everyday. I am Gen X! I knew I was too young to be a boomer, but didn’t know what I was called (aside from old).

It’s kind of fascinating how many of us took extended breaks and returned, in many cases due to our children’s interest in it. For anyone that cares to answer: What’s been the most challenging part of getting back into things?

2 Likes