New to unresponsive play


I recently decided to get back to yoyoing after a long absence (think Coca-Cola spinners and you’re not far off :wink: ), so transaxle/bearing yoyos are new to me.

Happily the basics came back to me pretty quickly, and starting with a reasonably responsive bearing yoyo (YYJ Journey), I made some decent progress, including some basic bind returns. After about a week of play I decided to get a Dark Magic.

Out the box, it was just too unresponsive for me to get any real practice, apart from hours of hand-winding practice. I was however able to adjust the gap and add a couple of loops around the bearing to get something I could return to my hand with little or no binding. I love this yoyo!

However, what puzzles me is watching video tutorials on tricks and bindings, I often hear that it is a good idea to make a simple front throw after a bind in case of knots/snags from the bind. But if I set this one up as it was out the box, I can’t get a down/up without a bind - something of a catch 22 (or should I say, a no-catch 22?).

Where I see people in videos doing a simple down/up front throw after a bind, is there a trick to get it to bounce right back, or is it just a case of fine-tuning the response? Or is it simply that I need to get better at binding to be able to guarantee a snag-free return?

Also, how do others feel about looping the string round the bearing; it seems to my addled physics-brain that this shouldn’t affect sleep time, since even a simple loop will hold the bearing still when the string is taut; however the extra loop(s) would add friction between string and bearing when the string is loose (e.g. after a tug), persuading the string to wrap until the response system kicks in. That seems like having cake and eating it; are there down-sides to doing this that I’m not seeing (apart from the obvious that too many loops might make the yoyo twitchy and liable to crack your knuckles mid-trick)?



First of all, glad you got back into yoyoing and welcome to YoYoExpert.

The Dark Magic should come responsive, but yours might not be. From experience, wrapping the string multiple times around the bearing does make it sleep slightly less.

If your DM is unresponsive, you’ll need to learn a bind to get it to come back up. I’d recommend learning this on your Journey (you can slightly unscrew it to make it a bit less responsive).

It seems to me that a lot of people have trouble binding because of their throw. The key is a strong throw, so focus on that. Also, not many yoyoers learn to bind after one week, so don’t get discouraged.

Here is a video on how to bind…

As for the last part of your post, I’m not sure I completely understand.

I think what you mean is that you are supposed to throw the yoyo soft after a bind in case you have a knot. This is a good idea when you are first starting out because you don’t want to get hit in the face.

Hope I could help.

I started with an Lyn Fury responsive, after time I wanted more time to learn tricks so unresponsive was the next step. At first I was annoyed and sloppy with it but practice practice practice, now life is good. The question about the loop around the bearing is yes it snags easer and will be tug responsive, but if you will take the time to learn how to binding it will make your throwing much more enjoyable. Also the string actually spins around on the out side of the bearing giving you a longer sleep time, so looping it twice will shorten the sleep time on the throw. A question how long have you been using the Dark Magic, is the bearing fully broke in?


Thanks for the replies. I have actually learnt a couple of simple binds, and can use these pretty comfotably, though occasionally they lead to loops and snags in the wound-up state, which make my next throws poor. By using extra loops around the bearing, the yoyo is tug-responsive, and I find that in this state, I can get a clean wind up the string, ready for the next throw.

When watching André’s videos, I often see him follow a bind return with a simple down/up throw (no sleep at all), which is something I can’t do when the yoyo is too unresponsive. I was wondering if this was some technique I am missing, or just that his yoyo is set to have some response for the purposes of the videos.



The reason Andre does that is because he was binding the yo-yo a certain way. He was binding WITH the spin of the yo-yo. This means that you generally have a more snaggy and less smooth bind. He throws it down after that bind to make sure there is not a knot in it. Now, when you just simply throw a sleeper and bind it back up frontstyle, you are binding the yo-yo AGAINST the spin of the yo-yo. This means you generally have a smoother and cleaner bind and do not have to throw it down again like Andre does.

Hope this helps

  • Rusch


Yeah - I have found backspin binds better, but am not yet able to guarantee a clean wind with them. However, I’m guessing that I just need to get better at them!

Thanks again,


Yea just keep practicing and you will eventually get.

P.S.- It should be a little easier learning to bind on your journey.

Oh yes. The Journey was one of the best buys I ever made. Without it I wouldn’t have been able to look at the Dark Magic. As it is, I have work yet to do, but alternating between the Journey and the DM seems to be advancing me faster than I ever thought possible.

P.S. DYonch mentioned throws; this tickled me somewhat (though I’m not trying to demean his post). The last time I picked up a yoyo before the Journey was as a 13 year old kid with a Coke spinner: Fixed axle (wood in fact, if I recall correctly), and I was doing sleeper tricks with it. Anyone who has trouble throwing strong sleepers with today’s yoyos should give that a shot :wink:

Thanks again,


that is funny my first was an humming bird fixed wood axle and the spin time was nothing it took some real practice to get it to sleep for long enough to do rock the baby.

Thanks for asking that. I’m new to binding too having recently gotten a legacy. Like you I’ve been wondering if it’s technique that allows andre to do a gravity pull or the way the response on his DM is set up.

Question is- In the instruction vid on response he mentions having an O-ring “like you can get in hardware store” Are there O-rings available to change the response of the legacy? (not sure I want to as I’m getting the hang of it :slight_smile:

I’m not too familar with the legacy, but I have a Dark Magic an can answer your question about the gravity pull. Out-of-the-box, my Dark Magic was unresponsive to ‘tugs’ even if it was tightened all the way. Once I opened the bearing and added a dap of YYJ Thin Lube, it became ‘tug’ responsive. I can still adjust the gap to make it unresponsive again though.

Because of my experience, I think Andre’s Yo is set up the same way. Just a little bit of lube goes a long way on these Yos.

do yo mean thick lube? i my experience i found that thick lube did the job making my DM responsive.
i was in a similar state of play when i got my DM it was just to darn unresponsive even with the gap tightened, i just practice good binds for like a week! i think the golden rule with yoyoing (as with life) is practice, practice, when you cant be bothered practicing, practice some more! lol

p.s! glad to see another British yoyoer on here! where abouts are you from?

Thick lube in the bearing of a Dark Magic will make it very responive to ‘tugs’. A good pull with thin lube will also (in my experience) do the trick. If you want it mostly responve even as you begin to open the gap, then thick lube is best.

The legeacy uses yoyojam new silicone response, so it is ment to be unresponseve. I don’t know if it would work with o-rings or not, but i would just leave the silicone in and just keap practicing.

Yes, you can get o-rings from hardware stores that would replace the ones on the Legacy, but as David just said, the Legacy uses silicone, which is better because it has less friction when the string is spinning but when it needs to grap the string it holds very tight and the string is wound up very snug.

Crossword bob. How’s the binding going now? Practice makes perfect.
The reason André often does a throw is because the yoyo often snags and he just checks to make sure it is loose enough for the next throw. If you watch some of his later videos, he does the same thing but the yoyo does sleep because his yoyo is more unresponsive then.

Thanks. silicone definitely stays. Seems like a mix of thick and thin lube does the trick to dial the response. (not at the same time) That is… using thick for a while seems to gum up the bearing … add a little thin and back to nice spin and nice response.

No one told me yo-yo was so addicting. Should have a warning somewhere. :wink: