Spreading the word about return tops

Hey guys. I often enter situations in which I’m explaining the purpose and enjoyment of yoyoing to non yoyoers, as some of you may have had to do before. I find the main difficulty is explaining how yoyos have changed over the years in regards to the intricacy in designing, and the ability to form endless trick concepts thanks to technical advances (ball bearings, response pads), and because of these factors yoyoing has become an activity for ALL ages. Society is stuck in the idea that yoyoing is a kids toy. So I wanted to start this thread so we could come up with things to say to people that will show them what yoyoing really is all about, and so we can come up with ideas on how to spread the word. Feel free to pitch in ideas!

  • Zaheer Khan
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I’ll just show them. Really, in my experience in this hobby (on again off again since 1988), people either get it or they don’t.

As far as how to “spread the word”, if you’re yo-yoing in public, have fun while you’re doing it. Make sure it looks like you’re enjoying yourself. Have extra yoyos to teach someone if they express interest, even have extras that you can give away if someone is really enjoying it. I’ve been keeping extra First Bases, One Star’s, modified Butterflies (for fixed axle) around for awhile just for that purpose. Someone may see you, talk with you, try it out. But if they don’t have something to take with them many times they may just forget about it and not look into it again.

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Also remember that jumping into some long fast combo isn’t the way to pull people in. They will think it is cool the first time they see it, and then their eyes will glaze over. That stuff is just too far above the level of what non-yoyo players can comprehend. It doesn’t feel like the kind of thing that they could ever learn and it’s too fast for them to understand.

Stick with basic, but modern-ish and showy stuff. Suicides, grinds, whips, flops, short horizontal combos. Think “banger trick” more than “long ass combo like you were on stage at a contest trying for a thousand string hits”.

Consistently, the trick that pulls people in for me has been boingy-boingy. No idea why.

Simple and flashy. The general public seems to flip out when I do a grind as they ask “how is that still spinning?”

If somebody is talking to me about yoyos I’ll show them some simple things and then show them one of my longer combos.

Non yoyoer? My eyes glaze over seeing too much of that type of stuff ;D

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Public service announcement? Here is National Yo-Yo Day PSA we filmed for fun a couple years back.

You and me both, brother.

It’s part of what I like about kendama videos over yoyo videos. Significantly higher percentage of bangers.

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I think this is great. I take extra giveaway yo-yos with me on trips and give them away. Then before heading out go over the basics of throwing. This way they aren’t frustrated with the new yo-yo. Yo-yoing in public is a great way to draw attention. I’ll take yo-yos with me to the DMV and other locations where there is a lot of wait time. Airports are excellent since it starts conversations and provides entertainment to people stuck on layovers.

Throwing out ideas (pun not intended). In promoting the Art of Yo!it would be good to define an audience. Then trying to figure out how you want to reach that audience.

Define an audience (new -young, new -old, returning old) / this would be useful for coming up with a strategy to reach more players.


I’d take a look at things / events that introduce people to yo-yos. If there are programs that come into schools what happens after the program leaves and the kids have bought yo-yos. What happens? Do the programs result in a continuing yo-yo community at the school? If not it might be a chance to re-tool the programs to continue building a community.

The Yo-Yo University in Oregon was an amazing thing to see in 2010 at the Chico Contest. There was a huge group from Oregon at the National Yo-Yo contest. I’m not sure how they set-up the program but this seemed to create a huge community of players.


Then reclaim National Yo-Yo Day and set-up a free yo-yo event. In the last few years it has been confused with National Donut Day which is a marketing ploy. There are some very loose historical roots in the idea of a National Donut day; however it always falls on a Friday to increase donut profits during the work week.

There are a lot of ways to bump up the information on National Yo-Yo day. We could draw up a press release and have every player contact their local newspaper with the press release and host an event in the community.

In spreading the word it can be as simple as yo-yoing in a line at the grocery store or branching out and creating events. I carry both fixed axles and non-responsive yo-yos. If there is someone who grew up with fixed axles I’ll share a bunch of fixed axle tricks and then demo something new. I’ll also keep sharing with only people who are interested.

This thread is an interesting one. What caused the 1962s yo-yo boom (45 million in yo-yos sold) or the 1990s boom?