Stability Vs Fun?

I was listening to Mark Montgomery’s interview and I was confused by what he said about stability.

I’m new to modern yoyoing; I yoyo’d a little ~30 years ago, but only just started playing with an unresponsive yoyo this March. I have 2 unresponsive yoyos. The Horizon which is apparently “oversized,” and heavier. The other is a Legendary Terrarian, which is much lighter, slightly smaller in diameter, wider across the axel.

I put OD 10-ball bearings in both because i like how quiet it is, and while it seems like there are a lot of people using centering bearings, there are also a lot of people raving about these OD bearings.

I think these two yoyos might fit perfectly into Mark’s comparison, because the Horizon has a lot more stability; it spins much longer than the Legendary Terrarian. I’m guessing this is because the Horizon is heavier overall, and it’s rims are much thicker. The Legendary Terrarian has very thin rims at the edge, and the weight is pushed back from the edge into the corner of the W shape. Although since the Legendary Terrarian is a few millimeters wider, it looks to me like the weight is about the same distance horizontally from the axle, but closer along the diameter.

But going back to Mark’s comments: I don’t understand why a less stable yoyo would be more fun. I know he was saying the best situation is a balance; has the Horizon hit that balance, or is it too stable?

I don’t mean to ask if the Horizon is a better than the Legendary Terrarian because it’s easier for me to do tricks on it. I guess maybe I’m wondering how close do the yoyos that I have come to the in/stability balance that Mark is talking about?

More Generally: Is a less stable yoyo fun because it’s more of a challenge to hit tricks with it? Does a very stable yoyo like the Horizon impede certain elements?


I believe your last paragraph pretty much sums it up


I used to have the exact same thoughts actually.
And I totally get where you are coming from.
In reality after a while, the stability thing become less and less of an issue (it doesn’t totally disappear though).
Without trying to sound elitist or patronising, which I am not as I have only been throwing for less than a year too myself and far from even intermediate compared to most guys.
But, after a while, unless you are trying to finish a sick extended combo, for the general playing it kind of doesn’t matter as much whether I am playing on a organic like a grail or something like a hummingbird.
Each yoyos do feel different and obviously there are differences with each one, and yes the more stable and powerful the easier it is but that gap narrows somewhat in my limited experience.

As for Fun vs Stability, hm kinda why not both, stable yoyos don’t have to mean it’s not fun or vice versa, but that aside, I think you can think of it a little bit like automatic car vs a manual one.

From a practical point of view there isn’t much need to get a manual car in this day and age, but then again more control over the car and more direct feedback etc… something like that?


For me, better performance is more fun. The longer I can use a yo-yo off one throw, the more effortless it is to control the less I have to actively think about my yoyoing, I can just zone out.

So for me stability, as an aspect of performance, makes a yo-yo more fun.


I thought pink was what made a yoyo more fun for you? :joy:


The thing is, @Markmont pretty much said that too much stability detracted from the fun of throwing for him. I’m trying to get my mind around that perspective, and also try to put the two yoyos I have on that continuum, because I don’t want to spend $1000+ buying a huge collection of really nice different yoyos, and I can’t meet up with other players in my area for an opportunity to try different yoyos because stupid COVID. That will change eventually, but I’m wondering if I can start to understand how too much stability could be a bad thing now.


Right. I want a yoyo to meet me halfway there…


Don’t strain your brain too much on this. The idea that stability is the enemy of fun is part of the false “performance vs. fun” dichotomy that, from what I have observed, mostly comes from long-time players disliking yoyos that make it easier to land tricks. They want yoyoing to be a struggle just like back in the day when they started yoyoing. The struggle gives them a warm, nostalgic feeling, and a highly stable, high performance yoyo robs them of that feeling, hence it is “bad”.

At the end of the day, “fun” is whatever makes you enjoy throwing. If that means a high-walled organic that is difficult to control, then that’s great! If it means a heavily rim-weighted competition bi-metal that stays on plane no matter what you do, then that’s great too! Don’t let someone else’s idea of fun make you question yours.


No… That’s not it. It has nothing to do with wanting to struggle, it has to do with the feel of the yo-yo. And yes, yo-yos can feel different even when you can’t quantify that feel.

One of my favorite yo-yos (still) is the One Drop Parlay. I have better performing yo-yos, but this one if more fun to play with, and I play with it often. The way it moves on the string, the way it can change directions with ease, the way it handles regens… it all just feels better than a super rim heavy bi-metal. It’s easier to just play with it. I don’t throw it because it’s harder to use, because it is not harder to use.

Not sure how else to explain it really. No one is playing with “bad” yo-yos because they like struggle, they just prefer a different type of yo-yo. Just a preference thing.


Aye wayment don’t you go paintin wit perceptions and broad strokes - i meant what I said not because of the reasons you listed at all lol.

I don’t prefer an in-between of stability to in-stability based off of just wanting more of a challenge and nostalgic feels (what?). It’s a matter of discernable feel. It’s akin to the difference between an automatic transmission vs manual. I also never said that stable equals bad - each stability set has functional attributes. More stable makes sense for competition. In-between lets you manipulate the course and speed of the yoyo more at will, ie giving you a bigger opportunity to ‘play’ (extra bonus is your hands instead over time make up for the instability and adjust tilt off of technique forming from practice).

@ChrisFrancz your best bet is to keep a lean set of yoyos to start with that hit a good range of stable to unstable - that way you can feel the differences and form your own opinion/preference yourself. On the full stable metal side, the Tourney was/is one of my favorite full stable throws. In between is Markmont. Classic. More on the unstable side and fun I’d say a used One Drop Cascade to save you some money.


This is a good true north to shoot for in my experience.

It reminds me of how YYJ twice back-to-back I wanna say in a span of 1 to 1.5 yrs released the longest spinning yoyo in the game. Mega SpinFaktor and NightMoves. It was ‘certainly’ the longest spinning by a land slide - but it still wasn’t a popular pick by the bulk of players. In fact most players still stayed on plastic; Freehand 1 at the time if I recall correctly. Prioritization for folks was on feel over performance.


There’s def fun to be had/felt on all setups - they are all just diff hues of it.

I speak from the perspective of having more or less ‘coded’ the control into my hands instead of me having to get that from the yo-yo. What I feel in my hands is what I prefer to feel, vs feeling it in a super stable yoyo (ie full electric self driving car lol)


In the performance-vs-fun debate, that dichotomy is rarely stated explicitly. Rather, it is heavily suggested, and the implication becomes solidified by constant repetition. The OP picked up on the implication, even if it wasn’t intended, and I completely understand how that happens.

For the record, I would never think/claim you were opposed to stability; the amazing stability of the MC speaks volumes in this regard.


Very stable performance yo-yos can start to feel the same (opinion of course) When a yo-yo is less stable, less rim weighted, or changes up the formula away from competition driven play, it can feel very different. I am enjoying the Zodiac for this reason. Lose something, gain something.


Stability is fun. If you want more difficulty, do harder tricks with a narrower yoyo.


Thanks for pitching in, I was hoping not to spend a lot of time talking about what you said without getting more details from you. “Bad” was definitely my phrasing. But it sounded to me like you were saying “too much stability” would be bad. I’m not experienced enough to understand ‘manipulating the course and speed of the yoyo’ but that sort of makes sense to me as a thing that you give up with a more stable yoyo.

I didn’t interpret it as a dichotomy; I should have titled this thread differently, but I figured it was a reasonable shorthand/summary. What I got from Mark’s comments in the interview was that on the continuum of stability, there’s good reason to not push stability to the limit.

I can imagine why a person might get enjoyment out of an experience that is intentionally designed to be difficult. I’ve played video games where the reason why they are fun is because it’s a challenge to hit the button at just the right time.

I think part of the reason I want to understand it is that I’m the kind of person who likes to drive a manual transmission, and I can enjoy the challenge of a difficult video game. Also, I wasn’t trying to ask definitively for everyone about stability/fun, just to get an idea. Probably should have phrased the question differently: what is fun for you about a yoyo with less stability?

I have been feeling (for the past 2 months since I got the LT) like the Horizon was heads and tails more stable and long spinning than the LT, but in every objective test I tried, the LT edged it out. I feel like when I’m just going through a few random tricks, the Horizon is easier to keep going for a few extra tricks. But when I just tried to do Superflow as many times as possible, I was able to do 13 reps with both, but I missed a string or got jammed up way more when I was using the Horizon. I also tried just throwing them (3x each) and timing how long they would spin straight before spinning out, and the Horizon was consistently ~50s and the LT was closer to ~65s. I know that’s not scientific or definitive, but it’s a little bit of comparison. So, I feel like maybe the Horizon actually isn’t as stable as I think it is. Maybe it’s just heavier, which means it has more inertia, which gives the impression of stability. Maybe it means I don’t have to complete a trick as quickly, which would make learning a trick a little easier. Maybe the Horizon will tilt off axis at close to the same time, but it’s spinning faster than the LT when it does.

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Yeah but that’s ignoring that, having “coded” that ability into your hands, a more stable yo-yo still has benefits when pushing into more risky tricks (and just in general tbh). There’s a reason most competitive yoyoers use powerful and stable yo-yos to compete; they are often going for difficult elements where every advantage counts.

I’ve yoyoed for over 10 years and was sponsored, I definitely do not need a yo-yo with more power and stability to yo-yo. I just have more fun without setting limitations and having extra variables like plane management or yo-yo positioning when doing speed stuff.

It’s like in golf, I’m sure most players today could still shoot incredibly well with older clubs. But with modern clubs they absolutely shred. Same thing with tennis rackets, hockey sticks, etc… These athletes have the control to use less optimized equipment very effectively. But I bet they enjoy the more effortless experience and better results they get from modern equipment.

Overall though I really dislike when it’s framed as if if you don’t appreciate less efficient yo-yos it’s because you lack the fine tuned control to use them well. Some people just prefer using the most optimized equipment regardless of skill level.


I currently lean towards my Horizon yoyo more often than the LT; it sounds like I have a similar perspective to you regarding stability. But my daughter misplaced my Horizon and we couldn’t find it for a couple weeks and all I had was the LT, and in that time, I’ve become a little more used to it. She found it a couple days ago, and that was around the time when I found the interview, and I was hoping to hear from players who like to use (not necessarily compete with) a yoyo that gives up some stability for whatever the quality it is that you get in exchange. It sounds like at least some of that quality is an agility in movement, and some of it is easier tilt adjustment in the midst of a trick. Which makes sense to me. Part of mastering a trick is making sure that the strings line up where you want them, and don’t touch the yoyo. Or, in other cases, maybe you can let the string make small adjustments in the middle of a trick to keep the yoyo tilting in just the way you want it.


Huh? I specifically said in the first sentence of that statement:

“There’s def fun to be had/felt on all setups - they are all just diff hues of it.”

I’m not saying anything to suggest any particular issue with having a preference and enjoyment yield from the play of more stable. In another comment in here I also called attention to the competitive advantage, thats a givin.

The statement I made about hand coding is to bring awareness to the fun of adjusting the tilt with your own hands - it’s not intended to be perceived as a be all end all nor dig at stable throws.


I agree with pretty much everything in that paragraph, except this. IMO it’s not that it’s hard to control. In a way it’s actually easier to control, as it responds more readily to your play adjustments.

I think the issue boils down to how involved in the control do you want to be? Is it more fun for you to have the yoyo not be so sensitive, and tend to stay on track on it’s own, or do you like to have the feeling that you’re more connected with it, as it responds to your movements?

I can guarantee that if you compete, losing would not be considered fun, and so the choice of which kind of yoyo is more “fun” for a competitor is pretty obvious, and not the same choice as Mark’s!

I don’t even think it’s a matter of skill, as much as two slightly different skill sets. While a more stable yoyo tends to hold it’s plane more securely, it’s also slower and harder to get it back on track if it strays. It might be more important to throw it straight?

An organic or less stable yoyo might waiver off line more, but is easier to correct, and can be kept on track during play once you get used to it.

BTW, if you want to accentuate the differences in your two yoyos, leave the OD 10-Ball in the Terrarian, and put the centertrac back in the Horizon.