String questions

Hi Everyone. I just made the step up to an 888 from the Spintastics Tigershark that I’ve been playing with for the last 10 years. What an unbelievable difference.

However the one thing that has me a bit puzzled is the extra wide bearing on the 888. It is great for landing string tricks, but I can’t seem to ever keep the string the dead center. As a result I throw a lot of off axis sleepers.

Is there a trick that I don’t know about to keep my string loop in the center of the bearing without buying a shaved bearing?


Your sleeper isn’t straight. It happens to everyone. Here’s a tip that helps almost everyone: Go to an area in your home that has long lines on the floor… kitchen tile, wood flooring, a straight crack in a sidewalk, even. Throw your sleeper. The goal is to keep the gap of the yoyo lined up with the crack in the ground. This will help your muscles remember what makes it straightest.

I hope this helps!

Thank xdohl, I just tried that. which with more practice will help my muscle memory, however, i think that is only part of my problem.

What happens after i do a bind or two, I notice that while my yo yo is sleeping that the string has moved off to the side of the bearing (closer to one side than the other). To further illustrate, if I stop the yo yo and just let it hang, it hangs at a slight angle. I’m pretty sure this is affecting my throws b/c when I try to do the exact same throw, my yo yo will tilt right on one throw and left on the next (since the yo yo turns around each throw). when I use something to center the string, i get better throws, but only for as long as the string stays in the center.

What you’re describing is completely normal, I’m afraid. I just checked it out myself, and the string drifts towards one side. Its really just your throw, I believe.

Now, there are different kinds of bearings, like grooved and KK bearings that have properties that center the strings. However, it is best to just use normal bearings and learn the skills correctly.

Thanks again.

I should have guessed that it was me and not my yo yo that had the problems.

So, if this string drift is normal, what is the point of a grooved bearing?

A grooved bearing has a groove in the middle. Therefore, the string will automatically put itself in center of the yoyo. This effect can also be achieved by beefcaking.

Beefcaking = putting 2 bearings into your yoyo.

Ok, the folks in this thread have pretty much given you sound advice.

Your sleeper isn’t straight. I think we all go through this. I did when I made the transition from the “old school” stuff popular in the late nineties to the more modern stuff we all throw today. It’s hard to have a dead center sleeper with a lot of these wider gap models. Takes a good deal of practice.

It doesn’t have to be perfect every time, but you don’t want it coming down with the string sitting flush on one side or the other. This causes vibe and, in extremely bad throws, wobble. I can’t help but wonder sometimes if poor sleeper technique isn’t at least a little responsible for the bad reputations/reviews a lot of metals get, but that’s another matter…

After the sleeper, and during tricks of any sort, the string will have a tendency to “choose sides” as it were. There’s little you can do about this, but it shouldn’t affect anything. The gyroscopic properties that a fast-spinning yo-yo has will see to this, barring any bad moves on your part.

The real key to all this lies in practice and muscle memory.

As was mentioned, there are specialty bearings out there that make life in this regard a little easier. The most popular of these, by far, is the Dif-E-Yo KonKave bearing. It does an admirable job of keeping the string centered, provided you have anything even remotely resembling a good throw.

Contrary to popular belief, the use of the KK bearing doesn’t really breed bad habits. Over time, regardless of what bearing you’re using, your natural urge to throw straight will come through in the end. If you’re slacking on your sleeper technique, you’ll soon learn to throw straight right about the time the realization hits that doing any of the modern 1A tricks requires a rock-solid sleeper. This happens to everyone who practices long enough, and it will no doubt happen to you. ;D

When this finally becomes concrete for people, one of two things tend to happen shortly thereafter. Some will still swear by KK bearings, and others will move on to other high-end rollers without string-centering behavior. You’ll end up doing one of the two. The two trains of thought tend to be either…

“I’ve been playing with KKs so long I see no need to abandon them. They rock.”


“Man, I just threw a [fill in the blank] bearing! The string was centered and it was SMOOTH!”

The [blank] being a YYF SPEC, OD 10-Ball, EZ, whatever…

In any case, KKs tend to sleep a little smoother and longer than many “stock” bearings that yos will come out of the box with. There are exceptions to this (YYF and hSpin come to mind) but it’s a generalization. This isn’t to say that stock bearings are bad, as there aren’t any cases of poor ones I’m aware of.

Your 888 has probably shipped with the much loved YYF “SPEC” bearing. I’m not sure I’d tell you to try something else. The bearing will eventually break in, allowing a smooth and long sleeper, and your technique will eventually perfect itself. When this happens, the SPEC will start to shine. Brightly.

Of course, a KK is around $15, so feel free to experiment. Whichever works the best for you.

These replies are great, thanks for the effort guys. I just learned a lot. :slight_smile: