Preventing injury


Hi, I’m new here… I posted a long introduction in the appropriate thread, but the short of it is… I’m just barely beyond the “beginner” stage in my yo-yo skills.

I’ve recently caught the yo-yo bug again, and have been practicing for hours each day. I’m finally making progress, but I’m REALLY messing up my right hand. My middle finger looks like it’s been through a meat grinder. Not only do I have a huge gash where I tie the string to my finger, but I also have a bruise on my palm and my middle finger is swollen very badly from having the yo-yo come back and hit my hand with too much force.

I put a band-aid on the gash, and realized that the band-aid itself helps keep the string from cutting into my hand. So, as weird as it may look, I may continue wearing one when playing, even after it heals…

But what I’m really wondering is how to protect my hand from the flying yo-yo. Even when I call it back on-purpose, it’s frequently spinning so fast that it hits with enormous force, and I’ve not found a good way to mitigate that. I don’t know if I need to work on my catching technique, or if a glove would help, or what… But, I can’t practice as much as I want to if I’m going to sustain injuries.

Does anybody have a suggestion about how to keep from smashing your hand with the force of the yo-yo, or how to keep from getting cut by the string? I’ve seen several suggestions for gloves to keep the string from cutting, but I’m not sure what I should be doing about the bruises and swelling from being nailed in the hand by a speeding yo-yo…



(drumma/yoyo) #2

practice more you will get into good habits. Dont yoyo so fast. Wait till the yoyo has begun to slow down

(Mitch) #3

Welcome to the forums!

About cutting your finger… Just keep on keeping on, you’ll develope a calus and you will be proud of it… I can yoyo for hours and my finger looks awful but feels fine…

Maybe you could play out the spin a little longer let the yoyo slow down before you catch it… But other than that try catching it different ways to see which works for you…

good luck

(JonasK) #4

Everything on your body gets stronger from a little tear. Your muscles are great examples of this. When you work out, you are in fact breaking down your muscles, when you relax after working out, the muscles will rebuild themselves to even more than they used to be (with the help of good nutrition). Do the same with your yoyoing. When you get the pain, just stop for a while, it will eventually get better. You will get a callous on your finger and your hand will get used to catching. If the catching pain never stops, the yoyo might be hitting a bad spot, you might end up being forced to change yoyo in this case.

Addment: Don’t worry, you’ll be fine.


As they have said, the knot will eventually form a calluse and won’t hurt near as much. A glove can also help.

As for catching, I would recommend either slowing the yoyo down with the ground or your hand first. Another option is to give it some “crash room” and what I mean by that is like how a car works in a crash. The front part crumples up, lessing the impact on the rest of the car. Same with the yoyo. As it’s hitting your hand, put your hand straight up into the air. You won’t feel the yoyo hit your hand hardly at all.


Thanks for the replies.

I guess I knew I would get a callus eventually. I always have in the past when I would go through a yo-yo phase, but this time (probably because of my new found exuberance) the damage is far worse than ever before. I actually broke the skin… Once it heals a little I’ll go back to using the string on my bare skin again and hope for a quick callus.

As for the beating my hand is taking from the yo-yo… I think drumma/yoyo hit the nail on the head. It’s probably my lack of skills. I’m still VERY sloppy on the string tricks (and in general) and I end up throwing massive sleepers to keep the yo-yo spinning through the whole trick. If I don’t, it slows too much from the friction of the string, and I can’t get the yo-yo back. But, should I screw up and abort, I haven’t scrubbed enough speed off the yo-yo and it comes back WAY too fast. It probably doesn’t help that the yo-yo I’ve been using sleeps forever and doesn’t seem to slow much (except on the string). Since my finger started swelling, I’ve started to scrub a little speed off on the carpet before I return it, but even then, I sometimes mis-judge and it still comes back at 100 mph.

The yo-yo still sometimes surprises me when it returns… I’ve been wondering if I should maybe look into an unresponsive yo-yo so that stops happening? I tried to set my SB2 up with a wide gap, but without friction stickers, it either won’t come back at all even with a bind, or it comes back at the slightest slack in the string, depending on gap. There’s no in-between. With the friction stickers in it, it comes back pretty well with the gap set as wide as it will go, so I can’t get it set up for unresponsive play.

Maybe I’m getting ahead of myself there. I suppose I should woodshed for a while longer before I start thinking about unresponsive play, huh?


Edit: Since I posted this, I broke out the yo-yo and have been trying to throw it with less force. I’ve, apparently got a lot of work to do, since I can’t throw a straight breakaway without throwing it hard. But, it isn’t killing my hand to catch it at that speed, and it seems to sleep long enough for practically anything, even when I throw it slower. I just need to clean up my play so I don’t slow it down so much on the string and I’ll be OK. Thanks again all.


Rather than going right back to a bare finger, I’d keep using the band-aid. When I first started I used one because my finger hurt so much. I used the same one for a couple of weeks. When you put it on don’t untape it, just pull on it and it will eventually slide off. Then you can put it back on and off until your callus gets built up. That’s how I did it anyway.

Also, how old is your string? That can make a big difference. New string is thicker and softer. It doesn’t hurt as much. Old string gets stretched tight and can really hurt.


Hmm, well, I’ve been changing the string more often than I probably should. Maybe after 6 hours of play, I’ve been putting a new string on it… BUT… The strings are OLD. They’ve never been used, but have been in a cardboard box in my closet for about 12 years. Maybe they have an expiration date? :slight_smile:

I suppose I should probably order a mess of new strings for it… With all the rave reviews of the Dark Magic, and how great it is even for an intermediate yo-yoer (yo-yoist? yo-yoista? I don’t know what the right word is) and since it is more of a butterfly shape, I’ve been thinking about ordering one. I was going to order a bunch of strings on the same order, but don’t know if I really want to spend the money on a DM, yet. So until I make up my mind, I’ve been using the old cache I’ve had around forever.


(drumma/yoyo) #9

deffinitley get some new strings and look at some of thee reviews of the DM around here (mine please)


Get some new string and your finger will thank you. It’s also easier to work with.

You’re best off spending a few cents more for something other than cotton. I’m really not sure which is better between polyester and 50/50, it seems to be a matter of personal choice. But most all of us here agree, either one is better than just cotton.

And I think the DM is great. But then I don’t have too much to compare it to. Although, for the money the Legacy is really hard to beat. It may not be the best choice for beginners though. But when you’re ready for a step up, I’d go that way.


I would be part of the other group.

Depending how the string was packaged when you put it away 12 years ago, you may or may not need to replace it. If they’re still soft and they still last a while, it should be fine, but if it’s kind of rough and doesn’t last too long (until breakage) then you’ll want to replace them.

Many people don’t like cotton, but that is why there are 5 packs. You could get several different 5 packs to try different types of string out.

Also, if you want to get an unresponsive yoyo, go ahead (if you have the money). Especially if you can bind, go ahead. It does many string tricks much easier. The Dark Magic is a great choice, just know that there are many others out there that are also wonderful.


Yeah, I don’t think the strings are quite as soft as they were when new, and the reason I’ve been replacing them so often is that I’ve broken 3 of them so far, and I want to get a new string on it before the yo-yo goes flying across the house. I need new strings. I had already intended to buy at least one 5 pack of each type I could find before deciding what to buy in larger bulk.

As far as binding, I can pull off the motion, but since none of my current set of yo-yos need it, I don’t know if it’s enough to bring back an unresponsive yo-yo. I’m sure I’d get the hang of it in no-time if I needed to, though.

I’m about to pull the trigger on the DM, along with a few 5-packs of strings, and some lube. All I have to do is figure out how I’m going to explain the purchase to my wife. :o



Yeah I could see how explaining it to her could be a problem, but you could show her any of the high end metal yoyos and say “At least I’m not getting that one. Or that one. Or that one.” Hopefully she’ll understand and be cool with it.

And yeah. If you can at least figure out what a bind does and the general idea of how to do it, you should be fine.


dont worry about it, youll just get a callus and wont feel it. as for your hand keep doing tricks till it slows down or dont throw as hard. sometimes when im feeling lazy i throw it softly and see what i can pull off and still have enough spin for a bind.