How do different yoyo shapes affect play?


Just wondering


Do you mean the shape itself (as in contact with the string etc)
or the weight distribution which also depends on the shape?


Well, there are 3 different shapes a yoyo can come in. The three are; Traditional, Modified Traditional, and Butterfly. Butterfly is then broken into three subcategories. They are; H, O, and V.

So lets get into each type and explain how it plays.
A common traditioal shaped yoyo is the duncan imperial or a really old Flores yoyo. The YoyoFactory Legend is also traditionally shaped. It is rounded with an extreme high wall and it used primarily for basic up and down yoyo play and/or looping. There isn’t really much to talk about with traditional shapes.

Modified Traditional
Modified Traditional looklike two squares on each side of the yoyo. The Duncan Pro-yo, Bumblebee, Turbo Bumblebee, etc are all examples of modified traditional. They have extreme high walls and instead of a rounded shape and sides, the sides of a modified traditional yoyo are flat. This is used to better looping aero-dynamics. Even the YYF loop series (loop 360, 900, 1080) are all modified traditional because their flat side shape helps with the transition the yoyo makes when it loops.


Butterfly is the almost classic. Traditional is the classic. Because it is what all yoyo’s today (1A, 3A, 4A, and 5A) are based on. Butterfly shapes flare out so the yoyo can land on the string easier and perform string tricks. Like I Said earlier, it is divided into three types, H, O, and V

H shape yoyos usually have beefy rims so that when looking at the profile of the yoyo it looks like an H. H shapes, due to the large rims, tend to have extreme spin times. and due to their weight distribution, are extremely stable. Yoyo’s like the YYF Genesis are an amazing example. It is super long spinning and stable as a house. The CLYW chief is also H shaped. H shaped yoyo’s tend to be a bit on the slower side when compared to V and O. So what they have in spin and stability, they lose in speed. But with lots of practice, an H yoyo can be super fast.

V shaped yoyo’s are most likely the most popular. Some examples include the YYF supernova, star series, CLYW Avalanche, the Summit etc. basically, the yoyo is in the shape of a V. V shaped yoyo’s tend to be extremely fast. Yoyo’s like the supernova and speedaholic, which are known for their crazy speed, are V shaped. Because of this, they are a bit less stable than that of H shapes. Stability here meaning its proneness to tilt off axle. V shaped yoyos due have good spin times, but because their weight is distributed more evenly through out the yoyo rather than it only being in the rims, they dont sleep as long as an H shape. But like I said, you control the yoyo. the yoyo does not control you so you can easily make a V shape sleep as ling as an H.

O shapes are known as organic. Yoyo’s such as the Benchmark O, Duncan Metal Drifter, CLYW Peak are all O shaped yoyo’s. O shaped yoyo’s tend to have characteristics of both V and H. They tend to be all around good yoyo’s without having ups or downs. I don’t have much experience with O shapes. But if you dont really know your play style, O shapes are a great place to start.


I also forgot to mention the different the different types of walls.
Walls are where the response system goes and there are three types of walls. There are High wall, Mid Wall, and no wall.

High wall yoyo’s like the Duncan Hugo-Z-Hor, make your yoyoing look very old school. You cant go as extreme as yoyoers are today with a high wall yoyo. But high wall yoyo’s tend to be better for beginners.

No wall yoyo’s were made popular by the YYF catch 22 which was the firts no wall yoyo. No wall yoyo’s maximize performance as they hinder stability. Personally, I believe no walls are the best to go with and most high end yoyo’s today are no wall.

Mid wall yoyo’s like the CLYW/OD Summit are a combo of the two. They can create crazy extremeness but also give your yoyoing an old styled relax feel and appearance.

In terms of speed, a no wall is fastest and a high wall is slowest.


Wow!!! Thanks a lot that was a bunch. I own a popstar


Sorry I had to go I also own a yomega dash and maverick and will be receiving a g funk shortly. What diameter would you recommend.

(WildCat23) #7

They don’t. The shape only really appeals to aesthetics these days.


H, V, and O simplify it too much. The phenom has a drastically different shape than the summit but they are still in the same category.


I understand that these categories are not black and white. There are certainly going to be yoyo’s that fall within some grey area. Even the H5xChief is considered an H shape yoyo and for me personally, I would consider it a V.
However, if one is new to yoyo-ing having a basic understanding of H,V, and O shaped yoyo’s will help alot. Especially if one is starting out and is looking at the benchmark series. I didn’t mean to over simplify it. Just to give a brief generic understanding of yoyo shape.


If you own a popstar, then you are already familiar with undersized yoyo’s and V shape. The G-Funk is an H shape and a great yoyo.

In terms of diameter, there is no recommendation I can give. no diameter is better than another. it all depends on what you like. Because the popstar is undersized, you are already using a small diameter yoyo. the G-funk is also tiny if I’m correct. But yeah. just sample around and see what you like.
Like for me, I like my yoyo’s to be big like the genesis, supernova, summit, etc.


2 yoyos that have same specs, same weight distribution, (in the rims), but have 2 different shapes, and will play as different as day and night. There’s just no comparing an organic shape like the Peak to the H shape like the Genesis. Personally I prefer an O shape, a lot more comfortable to hold.


FYI. The sentence in the highlighted section above is not true! A properly designed looping yoyo will easily flip while looping whether or not there are flat caps on the sides. Aerodynamics has essentially nothing to do with the flipping motion.



What cheap large yoyo would you recommend. Maybe the dv8888 or the musket?


The shutter is supposed to be full sized is it really?


Thanks fools gold dogger


The Dv888 is not a large yoyo lol. Its actually undersized. For a cheap full sized yoyo, I would go with either a protostar, Northstar, CZM8, or shutter.

I wouldnt consider the shutter full size. The Summit is more full sized. The shutter is more mid sized. But you cant go wrong with any of the ones mentioned above.

Also CLYW sells B grades for half price at you can look there for cheap full sized yoyo’s




Yes, yes it is. Check the diameter against other full size yo-yos. Definitely in that range. I wish I had a pick of my case with a dv888 and a shutter next to each other. Makes it very obvious.

Shutter just looks small for some reason. Can’t figure out why. =P


Yep. And also a V is more a combination of O and H.


Not all H shaped yoyos are angled.