The 'Flow'

Us yoyo enthusiasts throw the word flow around, but what does flow mean to you? A smooth trick? Tricks that connect seamlessly?

For myself it’s all about the aesthetics. If it looks good then I’m all for it.

i’ma get flakey for a minute.

to me, flow has less to do with how you look and more to do with how you ARE. i feel like flow is an internal thing, as opposed to just something we attribute to someone we see on youtube. it’s about not attaching to whether you hit every trick/element “perfectly”, and being able to continue to play in the moment. it’s about forgetting yourself - the stuff you have planned, your motivations for yo-yoing, your happiness with your performance or how it connects to your online personality - and just throwing for its own sake. it’s in that place where yo-yoing really comes to benefit your life, and ultimately becomes totally addictive, because it represents an escape from all the baggage that we tend to tie on to it. personally, i feel like when i get into that “state of yo” kind of zone, i probably DO play better aesthetically, with better integration, coordination, and intention to my movement… but when i’m doing it right, i’m not even aware of that.


my understanding of flow is when it looks like this.

ed’s insight always makes me a better yoyo player. ed is one of the ‘best’ players in the world, imho.

in addition to kinopah, i think doc pop also defines ‘flow’.



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Charles Haycock

Flow is the ability to effortlessly combine different elements and make it look as if there was no hitch even if you combine an element you have never put in before. The perfect flow contains parts of slack, speed,and complexity, and maneuvering. Flow is not just what the yoyo is doing but also what the player is doing. flow to me is more of a theatrical element of yoyoing it shows oneness with you and the yoyo and happens when your not standing in front of people and suddenly goes away when you try to pull of that perfect trick in front of your friends… aah such is life i guess.

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I’m with Ed. The essence of ‘flow’ is not about a good or bad session or performance or others opinions/reactions. It’s where you disappear mentally and just the flow, the movement, exist. It’s where your mind becomes quiet from the constant chattering, reinforcement, and recording of ‘self’.
I think anything you do in the flow has more potential than any other time. Thinking is actually slow and can only slow you down or cause mistakes. But that’s the trick. To learn you must think, practice, think, practice… but to enter the flow, this thinking that creates the ideas and desires has to become silent, so the truth of you, of yoyo, can perform itself. Corny as a cornfield maybe but get there and you’ll see for yourself. It’s not an intellectual place or mind generated place, it’s an experience… an experience of the absence or silence of mind.


There’s different types of flow in yoyoing, all with their own pros and cons…

Guy Wright: smooth smooth smooth flow, each move has a similar pacing and the transition between tricks in a combo feels seamless. Pro: like ballet, a graceful dance. Con: can seem a bit ‘flat’ and not dynamic enough

Yuuki Spencer: (full disclosure: my favorite yoyoer ever) speed and dynamism. Instead of making each move with the same pacing, each move gets its own speed and the flow can feel more unpredictable and dynamic. Small moves, big moves, speed and choppiness. Pro: exciting, pure adrenaline feeling Con: some might not like the aggressively choppy feeling to some tricks and would prefer a smoother flow

Jensen Kimmitt: rhythm and bounce. In his prime “ping-pong” era of hoppy tricks, Kimmitt pushed a distinct type of flow to the forefront and cemented this much-copied style. Maybe it was born out of a need for string hits, but it looked so good. By using lots of hops and focusing on flow, Jensen’s style seemed much more rhythmic and controlled but still dynamic, a very satisfying mix of smooth and dynamic. Pro: really really satisfying to watch Jensen execute a carefully composed sequence to music, when he was on, maybe the best locked-in flow ever Con: Some of the moves worked too well, and it could get a bit repetitive at times.

Riccardo Fraolini: a flow that takes its time and is all about visual appeal instead of string hits. Yoyo equivalent of soul-surfing, maybe (and for that phrase, I have to check Ed H., he personifies yoyo soul-surfing in a way, too). This flow is all about where the string is, instead of where the yoyo is. And the string is light and likes to flop and slack around, so the string dominates this flow. The string sets the clock on this flow. Pro: tons of visual appeal and a speed that lets you see all the moves in a trick so this style lends itself well to careful composition and choreography Con: because of the slowed pacing, some dynamic tension that you see in other styles is not here.

I feel ya Ed. I definitely get lost in the zone during a throw session. I throw without music playing all the time. The quiet hum of the bearing as I’m going from one element to another, and the snap of the bind at the end is just really satisfying.

Diggin all the replies on this thread!

transitioning from trick to trick smoothly

To me, flow is when it feels like the yoyo is playing you as much as you’re playing it.

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For me, from my point of view, flow is a lot like what Ed said, but it also has to do with how effortlessly I can pull off the movements. For me, flow is about how effortless things look. If you’re just doing it and the yoyo is moving the way you want, that looks flowy. If you’re making quick jerky movements, your face looks like you haven’t pooped in weeks, and the yoyo looks like it might be on drugs, it doesn’t matter if that’s the trick, or if it’s hitting the string, that’s some bad flow.

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I guess it’s how you want to define ‘flow’. Some are describing what they see while others are talking about a state of being. :wink:

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This is the closest to how I would define my use of the term “flow.” Well done. :wink:

Damn! No F’s given in that vid.

to me flow is the annoying girl from the commercials.