The lessons of fixed axle

Since this is the Fixed Axle Friday in the middle of Fixed Axle February I thought it might be interesting to see what (yoyo or life) lessons people have learned from playing fixed axle. Mine tend to be practical, but I’m sure others have some that are more philosophical.

I’ll start with some of my observations.

  1. You only need to throw the yoyo as hard as the trick requires. This actually applies to all aspects of movement, but the amount of spin is usually the most important. It is way easier to stall a slower spinning yoyo, for example, and you can save your hard throws for longer tricks that require the extra spin time. With unresponsive, extra spin is usually just absorbed by the hand on the catch, but with fixies and responsive it can come back to bite you. This lesson was reinforced by watching someone do suicides with an Alley Cat 650b and by practicing the plastic whip on responsive yoyos.

  2. I am terrible at staying on plane. This lesson is re-taught to me every time I try to do intermediate string tricks on a fixed axle with high walls. I need to just slow down and remind myself what details are important.

  3. Sometimes simple tricks can just be very satisfying. For me, some tricks just feel good when they’re happening smoothly. Planet hops, Stop and Go, Frog in My Pocket, and Loops fit this category for me (when they are working).

  4. I need to practice more. Seeing what the demonstrators and pros of prior generations and the wizards of today are able to accomplish with fixies tells me that I need to put in more work. It always amuses me when someone comments that some intermediate trick or another has to be done on an unresponsive yoyo when the trick was invented before unresponsive yoyos existed. Is it easier? Sure. Is it required? No.

What has fixed axle taught you?


  2. I really want to make wooden yo-yos soon!


Most if the time, it can be done on fixed axle, you just need to try hard enough or find another way.


If I were to start to consolidate my thoughts on this it would turn into my life story… or at least the last decade and a half.

I’ve tried to write a lot about what fixed has taught me, esp on my blog but all over too (including on here).
Exhibit A:

And I guess here’s something from not too long ago where I shared some related thoughts.

Maybe that’s less “lessons” than “encouragement”, but I feel like this is almost all I write about regarding yo-yo.

It’s funny because I really throw fixed to get AWAY from all the words and comparisons pervading yo-yo… and yet for years I’ve kept throwing words and comparisons AT it thinking they’ll stick. They never do. They never will. Nothing fixed axle can teach you will really hit you just reading about it. You just have to do it. <3


This. 100.


I suppose I can get overly romantic and philosophical with my approach to fixed axle but to me it really is about being in the moment simply enjoying the act of throwing be it simple or complex. Tom Kuhn used to talk about the State of Yo often and I really believe in that. Not to get overly zen about it but it really teaches you flow and being purposeful and intentional. Its funny how many important life lessons I’ve come to understand from such a trivial thing as a yoyo. It almost can feel like a form of meditation to me