Is the yoyo community declining?


(M²) #1

This is a question that entered my mind when I saw that yoyoskills.com was going to be put on indefinite hold. I haven’t been as involved in the community as I used to be, which is why I’m asking you guys. It seems like a while back, everything was going up. Yoyo companies were popping up all over the place, new forums and site were getting bigger, yoyoers were making the news and organizing bigger projects, the occasional documentary would come out… I just don’t see these kinds of things as much any more. When yoyonation went under, that was a bit of a blow to the community I think, and now yoyoskills won’t be around. So what do you guys think? Minor draw-back? Something bigger?


#2

dude, i just joined the yoyo community, so it’s all up from here!

in fact the community might not even be able to contain itself now that i’m on the scene


(Erik Kerber ) #3

As long as YYE stays in buisness the yoyo community should be fine!


#4

With YoYoSkills, the operator of that site has had some significant, yet mostly positive changes in his life recently. It’s just a matter of having to choose how one best utilizes their time. If I was in the same position as him, I’d have made the exact same choices.

YoYoNation was a victim of many elements, one of which being a large theft, and the other apparently being a lack of enthusiasm by the owner. If you’re not enjoying something, do something else.

Yoyo can’t be in decline, at least not at the moment. While some seasoned brands are shutting down, others are springing up. Contest attendance has been up, at least as far as CalStates, BAC and Worlds are concerned. New retailers are coming up and doing well. The only negative is that most have to be internet/mail order though, but hey, if you know what you want, you’re good.

I also feel there is a backlash going on against video games. I think parents are getting sick of violent video games. I think kids and their parents are tired of sitting on their butts and getting fat. I think things like skill toys mask slight exercise into fun that gets your whole body moving. While it seems kendama is on the fast track, many kendama players are getting into yoyo. The reverse is also true with yoyo players getting into kendama. The synergy and cross-over between the groups has been amazing and positive.

I don’t think the increase is giant, but it’s on the rise. That’s a good thing in general. I’m pretty much hooked on this stuff, so I’m sticking with it, through thick or thin.


#5

This same question comes up every so often and I have to honestly say I don’t know. Like so many esoteric diversions there is always a revolving door of people going in and out of the hobby. I can’t help but notice there are names which were extremely active when I first registered here at YYE who now are seen only sporadically, sometimes not at all anymore. My own participation here excels and declines from time to time.

The question is, as a general rule are there less people over all throwing now then say two years ago? I don’t think so. I believe, although it may be ever so slowly, participation in throwing a yo-yo is on the rise, especially among older folk who had an Imperial as a kid and now are intrigued by the technological innovations the yo-yo has seen in the last decade or so. This perception may only be due to my belonging to such a demographic, but I think interest is at least steady if not rising among folk over 30. I could be wrong.

There is one thing for sure, others becoming involved depends upon the enthusiasm maintained by those of us currently engaged in our avocation.


#6

I mean yoyo used to be huge a few decades ago… But it’s dropped drastically since then… Is it still dropping? I’m not sure… There are people coming out, but there are people coming in. I personally think yoyo is coming back, ever so slowly, but I’m not sure to be honest :-\


(kclejeune) #7

Eh… If we made a graph of all the competing yoyo players over the last 10 years, I think the slope would be pretty darn close to zero. I’ve seen people come and go for a long time, the number haven’t really tanked or blown up ever.


#8

YoYoing is on the verge of becoming big, REALLY big. WIth guys all over trying to expand it as a hobby, it’s only a matter of time until the expert community quadruples and the beginner community is 90% of all kids. Worlds this year had its largest attendance since after Hawaii at 832 registered attendees, not to mention the unregistered tag alongs ::slight_smile:
Yoyoing is about to blow up faster than Justin Bieber or the Jonas Brothers, and I’m excited to watch it all go down. :slight_smile:
Get ready yoyoers, things are goin’ up!


#9

The thing is, I don’t really like to see the yoyoing community undergo a boom, because that would result in a large amount of people flooding suppliers, which may result in companies offering customer service because there will be a larger market. I am fine with how yoyoing is growing right now- where not many people are joining, but the people who are joining will stay with the hobby.


(WildCat23) #10

Would you take these arguments to a video game discussion thread if one was created? Just wondering because I want to discuss this particular topic, but it is irrelevant to the current one.

I completely agree that the slope is likely close to zero.


#11

After reading all of the other replies I tend to think to myself that honestly the only people who could give you a good answer would be companies like yoyo expert or YYF. I think in terms of the remark that there are a lot of older guys 25+ who are getting back into it definitely seems true. The only real thing that I can say is if you want the community to grow then action should be taken, and vice versa if you want it to maintain. I myself play with my yoyo outside while I smoke (trust me, I want to quit as much as you are urged to tell me that I should quit) and almost every day a new kid will walk by and just stand there in amazement about what I am doing. On the occasion, if a kid seems really interested then I might give him/her a Duncan imperial or butterfly that I picked up as an impulse buy and I’ll teach them to throw and walk the dog. I also would like to see the community grow to help kids from getting into drugs or gangs when they live in a shady area. I like the community as it is now but I would like to see more kids using skill toys and not on the streets though. I’d say that I’m optimistic about a growth in the community


#12

Well, here’s my take…

keep in mind that the online yoyo community is only a small portion of the actual yoyo activity. There are far more active people than online posters. At the same time, on any given forum there is a core group of people that keep things going. This group changes over time, but as a percentage of the people active in an activity, it’s not that large. This is pretty much true of most any online hobby/activity forum. I’ve seen this on a number of other forums I am active on from cars to camping and canoeing.

A few years ago there were 7 major yoyo forums, 6 connected with stores.

  • The independent one (yomania) died due to a serious hack that virtually destroyed it. The owners tried to revive it but by then most people had moved on.
  • Not sure what happened to Dave’s Skilltoys, a pioneer in the field. One day he just posted a note that the store and the forum were shutting down. I think he just got tired of the scene and it was time to move on.
  • The other store/forum I was associated with floundered when Mike the owner died. Family members have taken over but it is a faint shell of what it was. The family never understood that it was more than just a sideline business to Mike. He was part of the furniture, so to speak. Love him or hate him, he was an integarl part of the “community”.
  • Extreme Spin suffered a couple of blows. The sponsoring store closed. The admin, Tommy Gun made a valiant attempt to keep it going but eventually succumbed to a very serious spam problem.
  • YYN died for a number of reasons as stated above. Sorry to see them go.
  • yoyoing.com has been offline for a number of months with promises of coming back after hardware problems. Probably not very likely, ehh. The associated store seems to be going yet.

So of the major forums/stores, that leaves YYE and a few others that I’m not real familiar with.

There are a few independent blogs and such, as well as some facebook sites. Yoyoskills has been discussed above. Yoyonews appears to be going strong.

So, is it declining? Probably not. Changing - yes.


#13

Some of the posts here have got me thinking… Will yye fall apart along with the rest not too long from now, a fe wyears at most?


#14

This reads to me like jhb8426 surmises the return top as a hobby is in a free-falling decline.
Is this correct?

As to andy569’s question, I have to believe YoYoExpert will remain strong as long as André wishes to continue this enterprise. Should he ever conclude his brightest future would lie in directing his commitments towards more lucrative pursuits only then would YYE follow the path of others previously mentioned.

Say, where did my quoted post disappear to?


#15

Yes and no just depends on how you look at it.
Yes in the terms of people getting interested like I’m starting a Yoyo club a my high school. And other people just mesmerized by it. And the no comes into play when people see a few companies die Here and there Plus a few people quit yo-yoing because it isn’t what it was.


#16

No that is not my take on it.

(I took it down for revision - reposted)


(kclejeune) #17

Andy569- I asked myself the same question. All these other stores have gone down… Is YYE next? Personally I think no. André seems to have a good handle on his networking and systems. Even if someone were to hack the forums, I feel like he would have it running within a week and we would all be happy again. Even if not, we have no other major forum to go to.


#18

Hackers are not the main reason most store/forum sites go belly up. Change of direction, lack of interest or inattention to the business by the owners as well as legal problems in one case are factors.


#19

I consider YoyoExpert.com the hub of all things yo-yo right now. If I could choose one entity that could suit all my yo-yo related needs, news, tricks, store, forum…this is it. If I blocked out every other yo-yo site on earth, I think I could get everything I really need here. Part of that is dependent upon the content that we, as the community, create ourselves. This site has the traffic to show that it is steadily growing.

In direct response to the question, I think the answer is all a matter of perspective. Is the glass half full, or half empty? Just a matter of perspective. For everything I can think of that has gone, I can think of something arguably better that was gained. I don’t think it has much to do with the number of stores around, the number of existing manufacturers, or the number of yo-yo forums. It is not the quantity, but the quality of what currently exists, that counts most.

I believe that there is a natural evolution of things, and only the strong will survive. Survival of the fittest. If you are weak in any way, as a store, manufacturer, or person running a forum, whether it is a lack of ambition of an owner, poor management, competition of life circumstances…you have a good chance of things dying out. I think the smart people are the ones who know when to quit while they are ahead, and not let pride leave them hanging on. It does no one any good. I am referring to forums, stores and such that are no more. I believe, that these sites that are no longer, are not indicative of “failure,” rather evidence to support that things are evolving and changing, as they should. And, with that, there will be gains and losses in that regard. I see the gains and losses as the natural progression of things.

So, in short, if we focus on the losses, of course things will seem bleak. But, if we focus on the gains, it seems everything is thriving and much better off as a result. I cannot speak for the contest scene nationwide or worldwide, so I will let someone else tackle that part.

That is how I see things. :slight_smile:


(M²) #20

Interesting responses. I’m glad to see the general consensus seems to be that it isn’t going down.