Opinions on 0a, and learning it before 1a or unresponsive

Hello people, my first real post here. I was interested in gauging people’s thoughts on the modern responsive (0a) scene.

Since I first picked up a yoyo I always loved the feeling of a yoyo “returning with a tug”. I love to share my hobbies with my friends and the ease of use of a responsive yoyo will forever be what an average person expects of a yoyo when handed one.

I have commited to learning 0a, with the help of various youtube videos and the bandalores project. I’m interested as to what people think about 0a here as a legit play style. Elsewhere I have been urged to learn 1a first as unresponsive is the ‘professional or advance level’


Welcome! 0A is just as legit as any other style. Yoyoing as a hobby is about fun and if you want to have fun exploring 0A you should and in my opinion any person that tries to steer you away from it is a serious party pooper with an agenda that gives me the creeps. There’s no reason you can’t practice 0A and 1A and whatever other style simultaneously.



While I can’t say for sure whether or not they have an agenda to push, I took their advice more so as if I were to learn 0a first the muscle memory would make it more difficult to learn 1a.

That being said, I initially tried to learn 1a but something about unresponsive yoyos make me uneasy… I want to like them and I appreciate what people can do with them but it just doesn’t feel like a yoyo to me. I’m having a blast with my weekender and hope to one day fully appreciate unresponsive play. I just hope I’m not shooting myself in the foot and making it more difficult in the future by playing responsive.


While I am no fixed axle expert, I surely do love it. I always have some sort of fixed axle on my person at all times. Something about it is just so comforting for some casual throwing. That said I think the days of it being viewed as strictly casual are no longer, and there is a solid fixed axle community on these forums that can sure prove that. As for learning I think 0a is a great way to learn. It can teach fundamentals for most styles as well as having its own rabbit hole to dive into in terms of complexity.


There is a whole thread dedicated to 0A with a lot of resources and links;

As far a learning 0A first, you’ll probably have more control in the long run. 0A at its heart is a return to basics and rediscovery. I feel in today’s modern META mentality of 1A makes it easy to get lost and in knots, which can cause frustration if that’s your only known focus. 0A cherishes simplicity as a foundation to complexity.


You can have lots of fun and benefits from enjoying both. It’s not like one style is going to ruin or make another style more difficult. I have a $10 wood fixed axle that I love, some plastic responsives, and lots of metal unresponsives. I enjoy throwing all of them. I am not incredibly skilled and enjoy the experience in their differences. Just play with whatever type of yoyo makes you enthusiastic and excited about playing with a yoyo.


Here’s what I would argue. I am from the “yoyo generation” that had instant access to unresponsive yoyos. This led to a lot of sloppiness in our tricks because we knew the throw would forgive it. We would look down against responsive throws because that is not competition oriented and lame. It got so bad for some that you could give these people a responsive yoyo and they would truly struggle (I included).

In the last couple of months, I have attempted to remedy this. I converted my Metal Racer back to responsive, and I threw fixies more often. Since then, my style has been a lot more flowy, and I have developed a taste for 0a. In my opinion, every thrower should, at the bare minimum, “dip their toes” into responsive play.

I think you are totally on the right track. If one day you go unresponsive, let it happen. If not, totally cool as long as you are having fun

That’s the thing about throwing, you just need to have fun doing what you like to do, not what society “wants” you to do.

Happy throwing


This makes me wonder how well some of today’s world / national champions using metal nuclear powered unresponsive very wide gap forgiving yoyos would do with a simple wood very narrow gap fixed axle. I don’t mean Ed. It doesn’t matter to me if they excel at both or are only good at metal space age yoyos imported from Neptune. Some people just do tricks on dirt bikes while others just do tricks on bicycles. I’m waaay better at unresponsive so that’s what I mainly throw. Wood fixed axles are fun but I can only do a handful of basics and I’m fine with that. I love that my case of yoyos offers me choices to suit every mood, skill level, and what I will find fun at the moment.


I absolutely get what you mean. It feels like 1A is the expected “standard” and responsive is kind of like, “well that’s not how we do things anymore.” At least, that’s the vibe I got when I first got into yoyo about a year and a half ago. But lately I’ve been getting into responsive, and it’s a ton of fun. I think there are a lot of people like me who tried 1A because it’s the most common, and rediscovered responsive later. I still love both, and I want to learn 4A and 5A too. It’s not mutually exclusive, you can learn all the yoyo styles and it’ll just add to your experience.
It seems like responsive and fixed-axle yoyo is having a resurgence, I’m seeing more and more posts about it lately, but I’m still relatively new to the scene so maybe it just comes in waves? Either way, my next purchase is going to be a wooden fixed-axle because I have enough 1A yoyos for now :wink:


Play how you want and don’t worry about there being a “right way” to develop. In my experience, it’s easiest to practice what you find appealing and of course you get “good” at what you practice.

The idea of 0a being a prerequisite for effective 1a really isn’t applicable any more. The styles are very distinct, and while experience with one informs the way you approach the other, unresponsive skill doesn’t lean on responsive skill in the way it did a decade ago.

I’m biased because I’ve been treating 0a as a “legit style” for a very long time now. To me it doesn’t make too much difference whether it’s universally perceived as such, but every style is legit in the moment you’re throwing it. To me 0a lends itself to wonderfully blurred lines between introspection and amusement, but really it’s just a fun way to play yo-yo with a lot of room to explore. I’m glad you’re finding @Bandalores useful! Hit me up if I can help in any way.


If anything, delving into 0A will make your 1A improve. You can learn many techniques involved with yoyo control that translate extremely well with cleaning up 1A play. I will admit that it can be jarring when coming from a fixie binge and then throwing an unresponsive metal, but once you warm up you will more than likely feel like you picked up right where you left off, but are now smoother.

At this point in my yoyoing (2+ years daily throwing), I am about 50/50 on what style I prefer. I do think that having a good responsive base set of tricks before moving into 1A will make you a better 1A player, but obviously 1A is so different that it requires re-thinking a lot of what is just natural in 0A (binds, string rub, string wraps, etc). Same goes if someone completely learned on a 1A yoyo. You will look like a noob playing 0A for the first time, and your normal ‘go-to’ tricks just wont work. They are two different kinds of yoyoing and fun for their own unique skillsets. 0A is a legit play style.

edit: @edhaponik basically nailed it. Watch any of his vids and tell me that isn’t legit.


On a related note, is there a substantive difference between fixed-axle and responsive? In my mind, responsive play includes yoyos with a bearing, as long as they come up with a tug, whereas fixed-axle looks to be even more responsive because there’s no bearing so the string catches easier. I guess where I’m coming from is I have a Circle City Warbird that’s set up with a thin bearing to play responsive, but it feels completely different from playing with a Butterfly, so I’m wondering if there’s a real difference in style there.


I just really want to agree with the sentiment that you should play what excites you. I totally get the feeling that only comes from a tug response, and I would never give up responsive play. In the end I find myself playing unresponsive more, because that’s just what I enjoy. But I don’t think there are too many who would say that you need to pick a style for fear of building bad habits on one style or the other. (You do hear that, but it seems to be the minority. I really have no idea myself.)


Variety is the spice of life.

The foundations built in fixed and responsive play will help exel other styles IMO. The subtly of touch required is a great attribute to have.


I’m late to the game here, but, a lot of very smooth players have credited their flow to learning to play responsive. @Markmont comes to mind as being a guy with amazing unresponsive flow and being one to sing the benefits of responsive play.

That said, if you want to learn responsive first, go for it. If you prefer to learn 0A and 1A at the same time, go for it. The great thing about yoyo is it is a toy, and, there is no wrong way or right way to learn, just your way. (Also, there is no wrong or right pace to learn, just your pace).

There are some amazing 0A players out there, and you can do a great many 1A tricks responsive. Enjoy your journey, ask questions, don’t take yourself too seriously, and have fun.


It’s a matter of opinion, but I would say there are differences and some of it is personal preference, however the difference between 0A fixed and 0A bearing responsive is smaller than the difference between 0A and 1A.

Some of it does come down to the design of the yoyo as well. My preference is for slimmer, higher walled responsives and fixies which are going to play differently than a modern “wide” design with a responsive bearing. This is partly shape, partly weight distribution, but (more importantly to me) response system. Most of the throws I like have wider, thicker pads than the standard 19mm slim.


Yea, they are different enough that I consider fixed axle play and responsive play to be two different play styles. In general you arent going to want to do multi-step sleeper tricks with a fixie (sure, you can do it, but you have to work for it so much harder), whereas with responsive you have some time to do longer spinning tricks depending on how smooth you can be.

I can’t believe im saying this, but if I were to learn it all over again, id probably start with a responsive yoyo and learn the “ladder” tricks before delving deeper into fixed axle. I think id get frustrated if I had to learn how to land a trapeze with a modern fixie. It’s probably easiest with a 1A yoyo, but you learn a lot by feeling how slack in the string can impede spin or make the yoyo respond. Fixies are for when you want to hone that even further. Learning on a fixie is possible (and how the old guys did it), but learning on the middle ground responsive first will help you develop balanced skills for both 1A and fixed axle. If you can learn a trapeze on a responsive, you already have the skills to hone in on the fixed axle trapeze stall. You will able to do trapeze no problem on a 1A yoyo. But learn trapeze on a 1A yoyo, and if you don’t have it down smooth, good luck doing it on a responsive yoyo without a bit of practice.


Could you elaborate on “ladder” tricks?

I am mostly training on modern responsive type A bearing yoyos, I got a Weekender and an OG Alleycat. I plan on picking up a fixie soon but gotta pace myself or otherwise I’ll turn this into quite the expensive hobby,


Thank you!! I’ve been doing them completely out of order haha.