Here we go: SR’s Nifty Little Yo-Yo Guide FOR BEGINNERS. NOTICE: I am still developing this guide.
SR’s Nifty Little Yo-Yo Guide
This guide will explain what a yo-yo is, the types of yo-yo’s, axle types of yo-yo’s, bearings, response systems, the main styles of play, info every yo-yo player should know, a buying guide for all players, and where to learn.
What is a yo-yo?
The yo-yo is a toy consisting of two equally sized but not specifically equally weighted pieces of plastic, wood, or metal, connected with an axle, with a string looped around the axle.
Oh, but it is so much more. It is more than a toy, used to perform amazing tricks, like grinds, whips, lacerations, and many more. It goes beyond tricks like, “Rock the Baby” and “Walk the Dog.” But it brings a sense of accomplishment as you learn and perfect the many tricks that make yo-yoing what it is today.
What are the types of yo-yos?
There are three basic shapes for a yo-yo; classic (or imperial), butterfly (or winged), and moddified shape.
The classic shape has been around the longest. It is also known as imperial and/or traditional shape. This shape yo-yo is characterized by a narrow string gap.
The butterfly shape is also known as (Wing, GT, and/or Saber) shape. It is essentially the Classic Shape yo-yo reversed. Its shape gives it a very large string gap, making it easy to land on the string. Many advance yo-yo tricks make use of the butterfly shape and string gap.
The modified shape is also known as the modern shape. It is a great combination of both the other two common yo-yo shapes. The rounded rims make for smooth, easy landings for string tricks. It has a slim profile making looping easy as well. The best feature of this shape is its additional rim weight, with allows it to sleep for long periods of time.
What are the axle types of yo-yos?
Fixed Axle- No spinning parts, the loop at the end of the string goes around the axle. It’s traditionally made out of wood and used in the classic shape.
Transaxle- The transaxle yo-yo has outer and inner parts which move independently from each other. The outer part is transaxle which spins around the inner (fixed) axle. The string then covers the outer part.
Ball Bearing- This yo-yo is similar to the transaxle, but it uses ball bearings between the transaxle and inner axle.
Clutch Transaxles- When the yo-yo slows down from spinning, the clutch mechanism will pull the yo-yo up automatically. An example of this would be a Yomega Brain yoyo.
What is a yo-yo bearing?
The bearing of a yo-yo is what makes a yo-yo sleep. There are many different types of bearings, and many brands of bearings.
Dif-E-O KonKave Bearings
The Dif-E-O Koncave Bearing comes in two forms; the standard version, and the ceramic version.
The KonKave YYJ / YYF bearing fits all “Large Bearing” YoYoJam or YoYoFactory yo-yos - for example the KickSide, Dark Magic, Axiom, eight8eight, SuperStar, etc.
The KonKave Duncan Bearing fits all Duncan yo-yo’s.
The KonKave hSpin Bearing fits all hSpin yo-yo’s.
YoYoFactory Spec Bearings
The Small Spec Bearing fits their Small bearing version.
The Large Spec Bearing fits most of their standard yo-yos such as 888, G5, SuperStar, Plastic Grind Machine
YoYoJam Bearings Small YYJ Bearing fits the Sunset Trajectory and Aquarius.
Large YoYoJam Bearing fits most YoYoJam yo-yos (KickSide, Dark Magic, etc).
X-Large YoYoJam Bearing fits the Big Yo.
What is a response system?
When you throw the yo-yo, the grip of the response system on the string is what transmits the force from the string to the yo-yo body to start the yo-yo spinning as it falls. A yo-yo with little response may feel like it ‘slips’ as it falls due to not having enough grip on the string to make it start spinning sufficiently.
The response system also affect how the yo-yo returns. Some yo-yos return at the slightest tug on the string, some require a rather sharp tug, and some do not return at all unless you wrap the string around the axle (that means a bind). Yo-yoers refer to yo-yos as having good, little or no response.
To understand why a response system is so important, let’s first discuss what happens when the yo-yo returns. It’s not so much the tug itself, but the moment that the string is slack for after the tug. During this moment, the string starts to wind around the axle two to three times until it is firmly wedged between the halves of the yo-yo. From that point on the momentum of the yo-yo is tranformed to vertical movement up the string. This is why a yo-yo that is still spinning but only slowly will not return.
Some examples of response systems are: Fixed Axles, Starbursts, Reverse Starbursts, Brake Pads, Friction Stickers, O-Rings, and Silicone. Hybrid response means a mix of different response types.
What are the main types of play?
1A The player uses a long sleeping yo-yo to perform string tricks which usually require the manipulation of the string.
2A The player uses two yo-yos simultaneously to perform reciprocating or looping tricks. This tends to be the most visually entertaining style with some players incorporating acrobatics into their routines.
3A The player uses two long spinning yo-yos to perform tricks that involve manipulation of the string.
4A The player uses an offstring yo-yo, often releasing the yo-yo into the air and attempting to catch it on the string.
5A The player uses a yo-yo with a counterweight on the other end of the string rather than having it attached to a finger.
I want to get a yo-yo. Which one do I get?
No yo-yo is better than the other. There is no such thing as a best yo-yo. Asking what the best yo-yo is like asking what the best type of food is. It’s all based on preference. Some people say, “I’ll get this yo-yo because it sleeps longer than my old one.” Spin times all depend on your throw. Don’t judge a yo-yo because of its spin times. Any yoyo will spin long enough for you to do a trick. All you need to worry about is having a good, strong, and straight throw. The following will help you find your preferences, and help you find a good yo-yo:
- What size do you prefer? (Big, small, medium, etc)
- What shape do you prefer? (Be specific: Round Butterfly, Flat Rims, pointy shape, H-Shape)
- What response do you prefer? (Silicone, O-Ring, Hybrid, Pad, etc)
- Do you like to mod/maintain it?
- What weight is ideal to you?
- Does color matter?
- How does your style relate to the yoyo? (What kind of tricks do you like to do?)
- What is your price range?
- What is your skill level?
About that throw… which to get? To get a good throw, and to get you started on begginer tricks, I suggest the Yomega Brain. You can purchase and see it here: http://yoyonation.com/product.php?productid=16165&cat=0&page=1
If you don’t know which yo-yo to get for a certain style, this should help you!
All yo-yo’s listed in the following can be found here: http://www.yoyoexpert.com
For beginners who want to start 1A, I recommend any of the YoYoJam Plastics (Journey, Kick side, Lyn Fury, Speed Maker) and the YoYoFactory Velocity (a good intermediate yo-yo as well).
For intermediate players who do 1A, I recommend any of the YoYoJam Bi-Metals (Dark Magic, X-ConVict, Speeder, Black Knight, Hit man) and the YoYoFactory Grind Machine.
For advanced players who want to continue 1A, I recommend the YoYoFactory dv888, and the YoYoFactory 888.
For all players who do looping, I would recommend the YoYoJam Sunset Trajectory NXG, and the YoYoFactory Loop 720.
For any players who want to do the challenging 3A, I would recommend Sigma Blade Zwei from YoYoJam.
For any players who want to start or have started 4A, I would recommend the YoYoJam Aquarius, Duncan Hayabusa, Duncan Flying Panda, YoYoFactory Offstring, or the Yomega Xodus II.
Any yo-yo used for 1A would be good for 5A. Here are some of the most popular choices though, YoYoJam Kick side, and YoYoFactory Grind Machine.
I have a yo-yo, and I’m ready to learn. What now?
To learn tricks beginner to master, my favorite sites to learn tricks from:
Thanks for reading!