i think binds are great.
i teach a lot of kids how to yo-yo, and though i recommend they learn gravity pull and sleeper on something they can pull back, almost all the ones who come back want to switch to unresponsive. i encourage that. my #1 priority is to help a kid have a good time with a yo-yo. all the meaning and significance and art and competition comes in WAY later. kids come back to yo-yoing if they think it looks cool and if they can do it easily. my daughter is 10. all of her favorite throws are about twice as wide as mine. and i’m totally cool with that, because it’s keeping her coming back.
i learned trapeze on a midnight special. i probably landed it two times in a month, and besides eiffel and baby, it was about the only trick i knew. i don’t mean to be a curmudgeon, but kids aren’t wired like they were 20 years ago… or maybe, they’re literally wired in a way we weren’t. yo-yo’s are competing with other means of distraction and amusement that have 10 year-olds going from 0-captivated in the time it takes an app to download. you’re not going to get one to spend the time it takes to learn split the atom on a proyo. the yield just isn’t apparent.
yeah, i prefer old school yo-yo’s. fixed axle yo-yo’s. thin, responsive yo-yo’s. and it’s awesome to see a lot of younger people giving that stuff a shot. but while it was once necessary to develop the skills ON those tools, nowadays only those who have already reached a certain standard of skill see the value in trying it (and some never do, which is fine). if we maintain the idea that the “fundamentals of yo-yoing” are locked within a few classic maneuvers that are forever enshrined, then yeah, maybe it’s a little sad that kids don’t see the value in the persistence old school play requires. really though, they aren’t enshrined. the classics move. yo-yoing is constantly evolving, and the kids today are literally developing and redeveloping the lexicon of our art in real time. they’re inventing the NEXT classic tricks. i’m not gonna raise a fuss if they don’t want to hold their horses and make sure they learn ‘pop the clutch’ like i had to.
one of the things i love most about where we’re going is that the people who are trying out responsive play are doing it creatively. they aren’t just saying “well, i’ve been yo-yoing for a year, i should learn ‘shoot the moon’”. they’re saying "how can i take this old style and do something NEW with it. i DO think you should learn ‘shoot the moon’. i DESPERATELY want kids to seek out where yo-yoing comes from… but they have to do that on their own terms and for their own reasons. and if they don’t even give a crap about it, that’s their prerogative.
i agree that playing with aggressive response teaches you some wonderful things. after playing wood for a year straight, i think about tricks in a completely different way (and i was into old school before). but it’s not for everyone. it doesn’t have to be, and that’s one of the things that makes yo-yoing so radical.