Still can't do snap starts


I’m well past the point where I should be able to do a snap start but I can’t. I’ve watched lots of videos and as far as I can tell I’m doing what they’re doing. I push down with my thumb while pulling up on the string, the yoyo shoots forward while spinning, and I attempt to bind. There’s just either

A) Not enough spin to get the yoyo up more than maybe half the string length
B) Too much wobble in the yoyo to even get a proper bind

When I push harder to increase spin I usually increase the wobbling, and vice versa. Occasionally I manage to bind it all the way up the string but it’s a real messy bind that requires me to throw again and rebind.

Any tips? I would especially appreciate a detailed description of the snapping motion as I think that’s where I’m going wrong.


Instead of using your thumb to push down on the yoyo, try using your fingers to push down on both rims of the yoyo. I’ve found that I get a lot more consistent and stable spin doing it that way.

Another thing to keep in mind if you aren’t already is that the spin you are putting on the yoyo is the opposite direction of a typical frontstyle throw, so you’ll want to bind it on the opposite side of the string (i.e. from an undermount instead of a front mount).


Yossarian read my mind here.

Also, a “snap” start is actually doing a snapping type action with the yoyo in your hand (usually the throw hand) to get it spinning. Not the thumb/two-fingers thing, which is usually called a hand start.

The “snap” part is a misnomer, though. As long as you make a really long “tail”, you can have a very weak spin indeed, resulting from nothing more than a “turning the doorknob” type of action.

Following up on Yossarian’s advice… If you switch to doing a “snap” start in the commonly-accepted definition (per my description above) the yoyo will be spinning in the right direction for a normal front bind.


Also, if your spin is on the weak side and it only wants to go up halfway, pop the yoyo up as you start your bind so that it hangs “weightless” in the air as you feed the string into it. This takes some practice to get down, but doesn’t everything? When I do it, the yoyo ends up almost motionless except for the spin and my TH moves toward it at the speed that it’s wrapping the string…


Coming into tech terms it’s technically called a hand start. Like Greg P said

Like Yossarian said. Just keep practicing, some people do it with the thumb because they find it easier. Also starting it with your thumb is easier on organic shaped yo-yos like the old H-Spin Pyros. Or the 888s. If it’s something like a Shutter or CODE1 you’ll have a harder time with your thumb.

(Owen) #6

Dont sweat it Shai, you’ll get it, it just takes time.


I had a horrible time until I watched Ed Haponik’s instructions on snap starting a fixie. I hold the yoyo in my throw hand and use the middle and thumb to snap it as smoothly as possible. I just let it drop, but this allows me to get a moderate amount of spin going. Then it Just front-style bind as normal and really exaggerate the movements.

(Yo^2) #8

If you are using a nonresponsive yoyo you might try holding the yoyo in front of you with your thumb and middle finger then snapping so that the top of the yoyo is spinning away from you. Now it’s hanging on the end of the string spinning. Do a “cheap” bind. i.e. Take the string around the front and just bind it. You really do need to exaggerate the pull with the throw hand. It works for me every time. I had trouble with putting my thumb in the gap as well. Another advantage to this is it doesn’t stress the string at all.


Yep, affirmative.


I find this post confusing. Did you mean to say you really do NOT need to exaggerate the pull with the throw hand? Because if you do exaggerate the pull it would stress the string, right?

BTW, still can’t do the hand start. All my yoyos are V-cuts except my yoyomonster agonist which is this weird three step rounded shape. Also my hands are really small. Like average girl small. Maybe my thumb isn’t large enough to do these techniques right. Also I usually wear nylon gloves but I cut out the thumb holes so I should still be able to do this. I’ve tried with no gloves though, doesn’t make much difference as it seems you only need friction against the yoyo with the thumb. Could be wrong…

P.S. so I switched up the snap start and hand start. I was confused because at this site Andre teaches the Snap Start second but the motion I see pros usually doing is the hand start. I just assumed they were the same thing, my bad. Which is better do you guys think?


The one that is better is the one you can do consistently. :wink:

For me, it’s a snap start or the “roll up” technique. I usually roll up and if it’s only halfway there I do a responsive-style snap to get the rest of it wound up. But I’m not in the middle of a competition. If I were competing, probably a snap start for me.


It doesn’t really matter if you have wobble as long as your yoyo isn’t turning around. You really only need 2-3 revolutions per second to bind all the way up. My snaps are pretty weak but I can still wrap the string all the way up. The key is while your feeding in string with your non throw hand, you have to really pull with your throw hand to toss the yoyo in the air. This will reduce the amount the yoyo slips and will bind wayy easier. Also keep your throw hand underneath the yoyo while it’s in the air to wrap even more, and try not to launch the yoyo away from you, you want to bring it towards you slightly. It’s hard to explain and I really want to make a tutorial but I won’t be able to do that for a little bit

(Yo^2) #13

Sorry, I wasn’t too clear.
Okay, so you are holding the dead yoyo in front of you with your throw hand. Your thumb is towards you, and your middle finger is away. Snap the yoyo, and it will spin away from you. In a perfect world it’s spinning smoothly. More likely, it is wobbling. That’s okay. Now pinch the middle of the string with your non-throw hand, bring your throw hand around the front of the yoyo. When you bring the throw hand up, you are ready to bind it. Be sure to keep a good pinch with the non-throw hand and bring the throw hand up smartly. The bind and the momentum should wind the yoyo right up. It’s actually super easy once you have done it a couple of times. I predict on the third time you’ll get it. As has been pointed out, it doesn’t need to be spinning really fast. It’s the momentum that helps you out. And I was saying that since you are not pushing away from the yoyo with your thumb, it’s string friendly. And yes, this is a snap start. Good luck, and let us know how it works out.


Kick-starts are cooler anyway, man.


Could always do a palm start, which gets the yoyo spinning in the same direction as a snap start. Snap starts are cooler, but when you just want the yoyo back in your hand you should use whatever works. :wink: 0:27 or so for the palm start–>


I just realized that I get the yoyo spinning the opposite direction. I grab the yoyo with my thumb and 2 fingers (index and middle) and just give it a counter-clockwise twist so that if I put it on the ground it would come toward me… As I spin it, I toss it forward slightly and catch it on the string as it swings back. Then bind with a sharp pulling up motion with my TH to get it into the air so it can eat up the string without gravity stopping it… I do this start 99% of the time because it’s fast and takes little effort.


Snapping in reverse, eh? Cool.

Another one I’ve done recently that’s not in that video is to hold the dead yoyo with your NTH and do a plastic whip on the dead yoyo. Snap with the NTH (that’s the hard part-- more than some of the others, you need a strong snap) and you’re already in position for a frontstyle bind.


I actually got this method to work for me! I’m only successful at fully binding less than half the time right now but I think I’ll get there. Thanks

And thanks GregP for the video you posted, I’ll try some of those methods too

(Yo^2) #19

Awesome! Stay with it.


A good way to practice is to NEVER wind your yoyo up the plain old way, try to get at least a couple of wraps from snap starting then hand wind it.