SNEAK PEEK: A Guide to the YoYo

[b]A Guide to the YoYo: Draft 1
Mitchell Purdy
14 March 2009

The yoyo is a unique toy which developed into a fast growing sport. This sport had originally started out as a stress toy. Now it is a huge competitive sport. In short, the yoyo has come a long way, with several changes from the original design. Many factors make up a yoyo, such as materials, shape, size, response systems, gap designs, bearings, caps, string, and other add-ons such as spacers and hub stacks/synergy caps.

The materials that make up a yoyo are extremely important to the yoyo. The main materials that may be used are celcon, rubber, and metal (usually aluminum). Celcon is acid-resistant plastic that is flexible, yet durable. Originally, plastic was used instead of celcon, but plastic cracked too easily. Celcon was the next option factories chose. It was strong enough to resist several bumps and drops, and it could easily be shaped into the yoyo because of its flexibility. Celcon is used on almost every yoyo, whether alone, as rims, or as the main body on rubber or metal yoyos. Rubber was another excellent choice, mainly for off-string yoyos, since they are dropped most often. It was also easy to form and one of the most durable materials possible. Yoyos that have rubber usually have it for rings, with celcon in the middle to hold the rims on. With this method, the yoyo wouldn’t be too light and remain durable. Most high-end yoyos have metal rims, or are even all metal. This gives the yoyo maximum spin time and performance. Metal rims make tricks like grinding and thumb grinding much easier. It is also easy to form, but scratches can be made very easily, so these types of yoyos are generally not a good idea for off-string, counter-weight, or for “walking the dog.” Those are the main materials that can be used for yoyos, but materials aren’t the only factor making up a yoyo. 

Shape and size also are important factors for a yoyo. There are generally two types of yoyo shapes: classic (Imperial) and butterfly. The classic shape is the shape that has been used for yoyos for awhile. Now it is mainly only used for looping yoyos. A classic shape looks like two circle-shaped pieces held together by an axle. Butterfly yoyos are used for string tricks and off-string. “ )( “ is what a butterfly yoyo would look like. With butterfly yoyos, complex string tricks can be performed. Size plays a key role to yo-yoing. There are 3 main sizes that are used: under-sized, regular, and over-sized. Under-sized and regular-sized yoyos are generally used for string tricks, while over-sized yoyos are used for off-string. Since over-sized yoyos are fairly large, catches and whips are made easier. The shape and size can make a huge difference in a yoyo.

To make a yoyo come back up, it needs something to grab onto. It grabs onto the yoyo’s response system. Response systems differ from yoyo to yoyo. The main response systems are rubber o-rings, silicone o-rings, friction stickers, starbursts, gap response, and hybrid response. Rubber o-rings and friction stickers are usually used to make a yoyo responsive. Silicone o-rings make a yoyo unresponsive. Gap response is a yoyo with no response, but a tight gap, so the string will grab onto the gap. Double starbursts (one on each side) are uncommon to see. Hybrid response yoyos are yoyos that have half and half response, a combination of two different response systems. 

Gaps are important to how the yoyo plays. With a tight gap, the yoyo is going to be responsive. Likewise, loose gaps will make a yoyo unresponsive. Most gaps on yoyos are adjustable, meaning you can change how wide the gap is. This gives players customizable settings on how they want to play. However, some yoyos are fixed gaps. That means they are not customizable. This is usually found on yoyos that are meant to stay either responsive or unresponsive. 

NOTE: I will delete this tonight, I just want to get some feedback. This is the first half of the guide. Feel free to comment! :slight_smile:

Thank you, Mitchell. That was interesting, informative, and well-written.


And that was only the first half, uncut!