How did you end up here, and with a yoyo? …

And what kept you going with yoyo?

Before I retired two years ago I told everyone I was going to start bowling as a pastime and for exercise. I did my research, bought a set of nice bowling balls, a bag, shoes, and signed up for lessons. Had to drive 85 miles one way for lessons from a good instructor in Lexington. All in all at least a $1200 investment to get started right. Lessons were once a week for three months so you can add travel to that total. I didn’t like driving that far but the instructor and the facility was great. Then it happened. The local bowling alley closed. I had barely gotten started. All the small town bowling alleys have closed in my area of the state. Suddenly the closest decent facility is where I was taking lessons, 85 miles away. In addition, my best friend who also retired and promised to bowl with me has never made it a single time. … … … Time to move on to another hobby.

Enter two possibilities, disc golf and yoyo. At the time the closest disc golf course was 30 miles away. While fun, that is a long way to travel every time I want to practice with a real goal/target. On the other hand, I bought a few cheap yoyo’s and looked online for lessons, … Jackpot! There are lots of great sources for learning, including yoyoexpert.com. Once I bought a pocket friendly Deep State I was free to yoyo anywhere, in any weather, and any season. No dealing with the interstate expansion construction. A big change from long distance bowling or disc golf.

So while yoyo was not my first choice, it ended up being a good choice. And the online community is great. I’d love to take local lessons, but with the proficiency of good videos I don’t HAVE to have someone local to teach me tricks. And as a side note to disc golf, my town just completed an 18 target course at a local park. Looking forward to warm weather so I can try it.

24 Likes

I used to throw a little bit (mostly just dabbling) up until 2007, and haven’t thrown since.

I was never that good anyway (got as far as split the atom) before I somehow stopped, not quite sure why, more interesting things to do I guess in my adolescent years.

Recently I decided I really wanted to get back into this hobby and have started throwing for two months now since just before Halloween.

With my enthusiasm re-sparked I am now starting again from scratch and going through each and every video one by one on yotrick level-up and also on yoyoexpert.com tutorials.

I have been throwing a little every night for the past two months, progress is a lot slower than I expected. It’s not quite like riding a bike and I have lost a lot of feel, but at the same time, I have caught up with where I left off back in '07 though and also learned some more tricks since.

I’m 32 now and back when I was 8? 9? yoyo became big at my school when ProYo 2 came out and YoHans became popular.

I had an omega brain yoyo back then that my parents bought me, and I had one of these books called “Splitting the atom & other yo-yo stuff by Richie” and learnt from that.

I was always super jealous of kids that had a Bumblebee or a Henry’s Viper which was the best thing since sliced bread back then, and something way out of my reach as it was really expensive and not something I could get my parents to buy me.And then yoyos became banned at our school.

When I got to Uni, I found yoyoz, theyo and yonation forums and started getting back into in But didn’t get much further than I did before (split the atom), I got bored quickly doing the same trick over and over again but kind of didn’t learn new tricks and stopped again with no progression.

Anyway fast forward to 2019, I am now getting back into this, and want to keep getting better!

My joy comes from the community, the satisfaction of nailing tricks and seeing improvements, and just having a hobby that has always rung so close to me.

12 Likes

I’ve had yoyos for a very, very long time. I’ve been a member of about every yoyo forum in existence since about 1990, maybe earlier… :roll_eyes:

14 Likes

I feel like I was kinda just ushered into it multiple ways. One of my earlier encounters just getting a duncan butterfly and playing that thing like crazy. The next influence would probably be a guy me and my dad called yoyo man. His name escapes me right now but he traded my dad a case of yomega yoyos for a tattoo. I think he was either one of the pioneers for the yoyo craze in the nineties and/or was sponsored by yomega. So I got to play with a case of some super cool yoyos, all of which I completely forget the name for.

Time passes and those get lost. Find an old cheap light up yoyo play around with that thing a lot. Soon enough my step father takes notice and we both pick up some OD’s. He grabbed a Summit and I grabbed a Code 2. Play with that Code 2 for about a year and soon enough the response pads give out and because I don’t have money and don’t want to badger my parents I forget about it.

About 2 years later my siblings and I head into a dollar tree cause I was picking them up from school and they were very adamant about getting a treat of some sort. I spot a yoyo and pick it up for myself. thing fell apart within a few hours but I was reminded of the fact that I used to be super into them. Bought a Kuntosh 5000 QV about a year and a half ago and have not looked back. I’m 36 yoyos deep and have gotten 3 other friends into it. All took place from about the age of 10 to 18.

Yoyo man unfortunately passed away about 2014 or 2015 from cardiac arrest. He was a very kind man and I can thank him for being such a massive influence to getting me into yoyoing.

9 Likes

1988ish: dad gives ed yomega brain as a gift picked up while traveling (incidentally made in fall river ma, his hometown). sweet jewel box packaging, cool clear yo-yo, but clutch thing feels dicey and it took away my his good trick, up & down. ed swaps it at school for darryl’s duncan midnight special.

1992ish: ed has continued to buy midnight specials for no discernible reason whenever he sees them at toys r us or walgreens. breaking with the ritual, ed buys a duncan professional AND duncan trick book. ed is dismayed to learn the yo-yo does NOT make him play like a professional, but book DOES increase his trick repertoire by 500% (6 tricks).

1998: ed is 20 and a ymca camp counselor and WAIT, yo-yo’s are suddenly, inexplicably cool? ed’s 6 tricks + new purple yomega fireball make him the raddest counselor at tanglewood. at end of session, campers luke and sean gift ed with a $30 glow thp raider, by far the coolest yo-yo anyone at camp has ever seen. ed takes raider to college, expands repertoire to ~16 tricks (half of which are just junk he made up).

1999: yo-yo boom has baked in for real. ed spends too much time/money at the yo momma mall cart. buys custom reactor (performance rings - blech), returns for custom mag predator. drools over cold fusion and sb-2.

2002: yo-yo boom ancient history. ed buys a clearance superyo renegade because it comes with an extra string so he’ll have one for his mag. finds ken’s world on a string. has mind blown learning “the zipper” and “chain reaction”, but full-time teacher/aikido-student ed isn’t gonna sacrifice time surfing for time yo-yoing.

5/22/2005: ed’s student ace kaspar brings a yo-yo to school. ed digs custom mag out of teacher desk, borrows ace’s string (renegade string long gone). ace blown away, makes ed feel like he actually did a thing. 10m of googling. ed finds yoyoing.com/news, dave’s skill toys, extreme spin. ed sees doctor popular/glasseye’s “glass lab experiment #4” video… jaw hits floor. ed stops at target on drive home and buys freehand 2 & FAST 201. ed is done.

ed plays yo-yo literally every day since.

there are a lot of reasons i’ve stuck with it. it’s FUN. it goes anywhere. people are engaged by it and want to understand it. it’s an old-fashioned thing, yet it’s constantly evolving and there’s always something fresh to explore. almost every other hobby i do hurts me - and i do LIKE that, but it’s nice not to skin your knees or throw out your back. and the people are incredible - so many multi-faceted, deep-thinking introverts, so many wounded birds (myself included) who are most able to tolerate themselves when losing themselves in a trick. so many KIND people who just want to laugh and be amazed by each other.

sometimes i catch myself continuing to do this after all this time, and i’m amazed i ended up here… but more often i think “how could i have ended up anywhere ELSE?”

17 Likes

I was like 13 went Christmas shopping at toys r us for my cousins with my parents, I saw the yo-yo aisle and asked my parents to get me one(Yomega Fireball) cuz I wanted to see how many times I could make it up and down.

Came with a booklet, learned sleeper and forward pass with it then I went online and found YYE. Learned the beginner and intermediate stuff with the fireball.

Friend got me a YYF One as a gift later on, learned trapeze and some other stuff in the advanced section of YYE tricklist.

Dude on forums gifted me his One Drop and that’s when I was officially hooked forever

6 Likes

On a stunt kite forum (I used to make a few), someone shows the guts of a yoyo with a bearing. I only remember solid axle from a boom in early 70’s, so I’ve got to try one. Find other forum, research and get yoyo. So much fun. Start learning ladder tricks. Want different kinds and a full metal. Hard to justify $ for high end yoyo (essentially a younger person’s toy to spouse). See that people make string which sounds like a fun experiment. Try, and fail miserably. Feel challenged to make better string. Think maybe I could have a yoyo budget if I sold some. Set up free website and have only one sale to Great Britain. Realize there must be a better way. Try, and fail miserably. A year or two pass. (Still having fun with yoyos.) Discover another way. Snowballs from there with many lucky breaks, some discoveries, and great people. (Still having fun with yoyos.)

10 Likes

Had a Yomega Brain when I was ~ 5yo.

Shortly after, I mastered sleeper, forward pass, around the world, walk the dog and rock the baby.

Then I LOST IT. :cry:

Didn’t get another yoyo till I was 26yo — an impulsively purchased Duncan Butterfly while Christmas shopping for my kiddo.

I never really lost the muscle memory, so it was instantly “fun”.

I wanted to learn more tricks, and stumbled into the r/Throwers Reddit community, then found this forum via @codinghorror.

Fast forward 3 years, I’ve thrown a yoyo at least once a day ever since.

I rarely visit Reddit these days.

The supportive community and exploring new tricks, the subtle nuances of yoyo design, string and maintenance as well as building a collection/ using the BST have all kept me here.

Idk, it just feels like home here. As does a yoyo in my hand.

11 Likes

Around 2015 I discovered what yoyos were because I was very into Spintops. One day, I saw one on a dollar store that literally broke the first day(really bad quality).

After a while(I didn’t really know how to buy things online) I found a “yoyos energía”(yoyofactory brand in Spain) velocity. It included two strings, and I didn’t even know what unresponsive meant, so I ended giving up the next day. I didn’t even know how to do a trapeze lol.

Then, in may 2019 I knew I needed something to spend my time in(I had no hobbies), and suddenly (:joy:) a video yoyo appeared on my youtube recommendeds( one by Zach Gormley). Yoyos came to my mind, and after watching some routines and videos I decided I wanted one. Then my father bought me one on Amazon and paid me some strings.

6 Likes

In August of 2000 I transferred from the community college I had been attending to University and started a new job at a bookstore on the exact same week. I suddenly was at a new job and school where I knew no one and both experiences were a little stressful. One day at work I came into the break room and there were free YoYos, spintastic spinmasters, that had come with a learn to yo-yo book we had to throw out but the YoYos they gave away. It started with that one which I thought was okay but quickly discovered a local store that sold beanie babies and Yomega yo-yos. I bought a green Fireball and spent the next several months on breaks and before classes wearing out strings learning tricks. It being became my zen. I used to say I wear out strings instead of nerves. I got many Yomegas until I saw JD win worlds in 2003 and then I got my first Hitman and yoyojam. About this time I discovered a website called yoyoexpert.com where a guy named André was selling his yo-yo the Dark Magic and featuring tutorials. At the time the two biggest online stores I knew were infinite illusions and yoyonation. I watched yye grow to the greatness it is now while yoyonation faded away and infinite illusions slowed down.
Then I set down my Yoyos in 2010 after a bout with swine flu left me with double pneumonia and the road to recovery. My nephew was also born a few months later and I was so busy enjoying the little guy I did not think about a yo-yo again until 2013 when I found yye was not only still around but the best store out there and started up again.

7 Likes

Early 90’s as a teenager got a Duncan Wheels and Imperial and played start/stop/start throughout my adult life. Gave up on online communities after Dave’s board closed. As I’m racing towards my 50’s I’m enjoying throwing more than ever.

5 Likes

sometime in 1999 in vermont in college (go catamounts!) was at a beer festival and strolling around the various tents towards the end… one of the vendors had coozies or cheapo SWAG yoyos. i naturally selected the POS yoyo… my girl at the time asked why i didn’t grab the coozie… i asked how many more damn coozies we needed…

i played with this for a good couple months i’d say, keeping it together and learning what i could. then i became determined to find a glow-in-the-dark duncan imperial… it became an obsessive hunt, as i couldn’t find one anywhere… i wanted to be able to play it in the dark - specifically with blacklight, and in pairs eventually… i found one, i can’t remember where, but it took forever… and became the one i learned on and played for several years… and i’ll still play it (pic is floating around the forum)… and being a poor college student, i couldn’t afford much else, but i rocked on this at the time… mind you, i had no idea there was a ‘craze’ going on just down the road… life happened, i started djing more, and less, life happened…

fast forward to a few years ago, i found a couple of the old boys picked up a couple extra for the kiddo… now he’s actually tall enough to play them, lol. and with all the changes and advancements/options, there’s never been a better time to grab a yo!

8 Likes

Not exactly what sparked my interest at first…but I jumped in during the late 1990’s/early 2000’s.
I was a regular on theyo(.)com forums…had a lot of fun times there.
Also won the novice division at a Yomega contest in Vegas in 2003 which was super cool!
I eventually started to burn out because I was so frustrated with how slow my progress was…that and life got pretty crazy there in my mid 20’s.

I tried to get back into the hobby a couple of times since…but just wasn’t into it.

Then in April of this year I was at walmart and just happened to see a red/white Duncan Pro Z…and that thing flooded me with nostalgia. I decided not to buy it figuring it must be a pretty bad yo-yo. Later that night I did some research online and found out that it was actually a pretty decent throw!..so I made the 30 mile trip back to Walmart just to pick it up! lol

And now here I am!

My mom passed away in 2017, then my dad moved out of state soon after. For the first year I was a total wreck…I relied on my parents HEAVILY and man was I spoiled! It was super rocky trying to find some ground underneath my feet.

I think I just really needed something to sink all my hyperness into…something to be passionate about and to spend a lot of time on. Something that could help me get out of my head a bit…give me hope, and enjoyment.

A lot of things are keeping me in this hobby. The awesome community, the rewarding feelings I get when I finally start making noticeable progress on things, the excitement of finding the next throw I can’t live without, the satisfaction I get from owning a decent (and growing!) collection…
And really…it’s just fun!

I really needed something to help boost my spirits in life. And this has filled that spot quite nicely for me!

4 Likes

While on vacation in South Tirol in 1997, I saw a kid play with a (sadly unknown) yoyo (it had some gear mechanism inside, but it was no Brain). When I came back home, I bought a Duncan (Glow) Imperial and shortly after a Yomega brain. Ever since then, yoyos are a part of me.

3 Likes

I was in prison at the time. Doing a life sentence for being a convicted cereal killer.

Store camera captured it all. I killed 3 boxes of Corn Flakes, 4 boxes of Captain Crunch and 11 boxes of Lucky Charms.

My Mom took my switchblade away from me for parking my Harley in the dining room. So I just brought a wash tub with me and held all the boxes under 2 feet of Almond milk(original unsweetened flavor).

The Warden was out on inspection one day; and saw me juggling chainsaws in the Prison Garden. I was doing a pretty great job. Accidentally severely injuring only several other inmates that were a little too close.

He was impressed with my coordination skills.
And for the safety of the remaining inmates(population started decreasing the day I arrived); that I be sent to solitary confinement with only a box of Yoyofactory 888 Forever yo-yos and 1 Sengoku Shogun and a pair of 720 Loopers and a case of Stringlab Venom string.

A year later when they pushed a small plate of Hot Wings under my cell door; they heard the Ice Cube rap and decided to look through the inspection window. I was so good at throwing yoze by then; that the Warden sent a freestyle video to Governor Donald Duncan. The Governor commuted my sentence to time served with a condition.

I have to yo-yo every day or I will be scheduled for Extermination by particle defragmentation.

I have found the daily yoyoing has allowed me to keep my promise to myself to never kill again.

… Hans, Julio and Matt were all at my pre-release hearing. They told the Judge to keep me locked up. But he would listen.

Thanks guys :flushed:

5 Likes

Lucky charms? At least the Trix rabbit and Toucan Sam were safe from your monstrous actions

2 Likes

That was you? Sorry, but they told me the prison would stop buying Venom, and I thought they said serial, not cereal. How surreal.

2 Likes

Used to yoyo when I was much younger, and caught the bug in the early 90’s at the end of middle school. Then high school sports, parties and GIRLS came along and took care of that fixation.

Fast forward to a few years ago when I got hurt at work, partial tear of the quad tendon🦵. No surgery required but I had a lot of painful physical therapy to look forward to. For only reasons the devil and insurance companies understand, they put me on the “deny and die plan😱” and delayed getting me any treatment for a couple of years🤬. So, I started to develop hip and back issues, you know, as icing on the cake. Ortho kept telling me I’ve got to get up and do some, if even the most minimal, exercise.

One day, the family and I are walking around Toys R’ Us, just before they were closing, and I found the Duncan display and had instant nostalgia! Bought a couple Imperials and Butterflies for us all to share and I was hooked again! I actually had motivation to get off my butt, stop feeling sorry for myself and do something productive.

Jump forward a few more years, and I have rekindled my love affair with throwing. I get up, walk, stretch and at times, play through the pain, but I’m doing it! The motivation to get up and throw for 20-30 minutes at a time has spread to me forcing myself to get back on my elliptical, and lack of treatment be dammned, do my own PT. Still gimping along, but a little stronger every day. Now if only G2Jake, the boys of A-RT, and the folks at CLYW, would stop raiding my wallet, I might finally find peace :grin:.

3 Likes

When yoyo was popular here in the UK at the end of the 90s I was about 15/16 and I got a Playmaxx Pro-Yo II and loved playing with it. I had that Splitting The Atom yoyo book (not much in the way of internet access back then!) then got a Turbo Gumblebee for Xmas which I also loved. Within no more than about 6 months I had broken it and yoyo ended up tyaking a back seat in my interests for a long time. Early 2010s I picked up another Turbo Bumblebee followed by a Yoyojam Lyn Fury which was my introduction to unresponsive.

It didn’t last long for whatever reason. Fast forward to Xmas 2017 and I got a Magicyoyo V3 from my sister and I have since really caught the bug I think it is now going to be a lifelong hobby, I tend to yoyo for about an hour per day sometimes more. I even pick it up and casually throw it around even if I am feeling a bit burnt out on it.

Hurrah for yoyo!

3 Likes

I remember asking my mom if i could get a Duncan Butterfly while we were at Big 5 because i thought it looked cool. Couldn’t really figure it out because i was 8 and this was like 2002 and the internet wasn’t what it is today with all the tutorials, so it wound up at the bottom of my toy box. Then i started seeing the Fast 201 commercials on TV in 2005 and got a renewed interest in the hobby. I got one for christmas, my best friend at the time got one too and we converted a few of our other friends at school, because Yu-Gi-Oh at lunch time was getting boring and kids kept stealng our cards. In 2006 my step dad at the time got me a Duncan Cold Fusion for my birthday. The toy store clerk sold him on the “fact” that it was the longest sleeping yoyo but we later found out that the SuperYo Samurai had beaten it. That, obviously, was my favorite yoyo at the time. Then my best friend shows to school one day with a ProYo Cold Fusion GT and i got real jealous. Then i convinced my parents to get me a Duncan Throw Monkey. I got the whole “We got you a $100 yoyo, why do you need another?” response. “This one does different stuff” was my reply. I got real into “freehand” after that. We didn’t have 1a, 2a, 3a, etc. naming at the time. It was just string tricks, freehand, looping, offstring, and double. In my group of friends, i was the freehand guy, my best friend was into regular string tricks, another one of our friends got a Henry’s Viper and was the offstring guy. Then i moved to a new state and started going to a new school where nobody yoyoed, so I lost interest in the hobby. Somewhere along the line, my Cold Fusion got lost, probably in another move, and I’m kicking myself in the teeth over that because i had the red and black one which apparently is super rare now. Earlier this year, i saw a video on Wired’s youtube channel with Gentry in it and i remember thinking “Wow, this has evolved A LOT since i last yoyoed.” So i bought a Wedge and since then i’ve made a lot of progress in my skill. When i left the hobby over a decade ago, the hardest trick i could do was “Roller Coaster” and I’m surprised at how quickly everything came back when i started throwing again.

3 Likes