The Unofficial Guide to Starting 4A (v1.∞) // Includes open string catches, tips

This is my guide for 4A. Pretty much. If you have any suggestions or questions, just post and I’ll update/edit/answer any questions you have. I pulled this directly from my original post at “another site”

_Just the BASICS: Choosing your yoyo, response, string length

Coming whenever I feel like it (the ∞-infinity part):
-Help for more basic tricks
-Videos for open whip help
-Ask away

And, I always direct everybody to this site because it is a great resource:

-Choosing Your Yoyo-

Technically you can use any yoyo to do offstring with as long as you can bind it back. I’ve used yoyos ranging from Velocities, Legacies, to even a Superstar for offstring fun. However, the list of yoyos used in recent 4A competitions include the:

-YYJ Aquarius
-YYJ Fiesta
-YYJ Bigyo2
-Duncan Hayabusa
-Shinwoo Griffin Wing
-YYF Offstring + Pocket Change

Your question: Which one is better?
My answer: Just choose one. These all play so different, and have different properties to fit different play styles. Yes, they all play similarly and you can do similar tricks, but some people may prefer certain things over others. For example, the Bigyo is gigantic to do any kind of catch easily and even some tech, however it regens kind of slow, throws close to the body, and relatively heavy. On the other hand, the Fiesta throws a lot further from the body, requires quick reflexes for regens, and is one of the lightest yoyos for its size.

Your next question is: What does it matter for quick and slow regens? Does that make the Fiesta better if it has faster regens?
My answer: Not at all. With the Bigyo doing regens slower you can do certain tricks easier than others. However, some people may not prefer that property from an offstring. Example: Lim Aik Hwee’s behind the back regen VS Rei Iwakura’s. They both do the job perfectly; it’s just a matter of how you prefer your yoyo to feel.

Another possible question: Then what should a beginner choose?
My answer: Stop asking, and pick one that you think looks cooler, or that your favorite 4A player uses. Chances are that if you want to imitate someone’s tricks you should use their yoyo for better results.

The bottom line (if you haven’t caught it yet), is to just choose one! Choose one that your favorite player plays with, or one that you think looks coolest. Also, take the time and read their specs


Let’s check out some response systems on popular offstrings:

-Bigyo: Rubber o-ring, silicone
-Aquarius: Tight gap
-Fiesta: Tight gap
-Hayabusa: Tight gap
-Shinwoo Griffin Wing: Large sticker-sized rubber o-ring (for now)
-YYF Offstring + Pocket Change: Silicone pad, silicone
-Kamui: Silicone o-ring, silicone

All of these responses have their ups and downs for 4A, but for the most part there is nothing that takes away from their playability. Rubber o-rings are super unresponsive in general, and will keep you from getting the best spin generation and open string/whip catches.

The best response set up is up to the player. Personally, I like my yoyos to have more response than usual to ensure open whip/string catches.

-String length: The Basics-

When I started offstring, I thought that longer string was generally used and preferred. That’s not generally the case as a lot of people use stock highlights for offstring. You can use stock string, or you can cut your string. I know that Rei Iwakura used to use super long string for his Bigyo, while Bryan Figueroa uses his string super short. Cutting will not prevent you from doing body tricks; you just have to either work better at it or lose some weight.

Advantages of long string: Easier body tricks, better spin generation(maybe), more string to do more complicated slacks and tech.
Disadvantages of long string: Regens are slightly harder to time depending on the yoyo, loss of control, more string to snag on.

Advantages of short string: Regens are easier to time depending on the yoyo, more overall control, faster.
Disadvantages of short string: Some body tricks will be harder to do than with long string, shorter string might make tech a bit harder depending on what you’re using.

Now, string type may affect your performance because some string is less responsive than others. That’s kind of important, but what’s more important is making sure to allow some time to break in your string. Doing offstring with a fresh string may make the yoyo slightly more responsive, and the new string will bounce. This causes a couple of annoying problems.

-Throw technique + String Length-

Offstring throws aren’t just interrupted forward passes; they’re modified interrupted forward passes. First of all, be able to throw a completely straight forward pass. Next, practice making it stronger. But, you notice that for some reason Sean Hung’s Fiesta sleeps longer than your Fiesta. That’s where the technique comes in.

This is where it’s also important to stick to a certain string length, because you have to know where the end of the string is in order to get this throw down. You have your forward pass down, and you kind of figured out how to throw the yoyo out in front of you…

What you want to do is when the yoyo in a comfortable spot in front of you, pull as hard as possible.
This gives you the oomph you need, plus it helps you get more control over your throw than normal. The yoyo may fly into your face at first, or it may fly off due to a delayed pull. After some time, you’ll get the technique down and you’ll be on your way to much better sleepers and more comfort with your yoyo.

-String Length + Bearing size or Yoyo size = ??? (Extra; Something to Consider)-

You have your Bigyo and you want to switch to a Fiesta or Hayabusa because you hear that they’re “better” (ha, stop that). Next thing you know, you have a Fiesta or Hayabusa at your door step. Yes, you can play with this yoyo, right? Not after you throw it and it flies about 10ft to 20ft away into your neighbor’s pool never to be seen again.

Or, you have a Fiesta and want to switch to a Bigyo. Long story short, you get the yoyo and as soon as you throw it, it hits you in the face.

Why does this happen? Getting used to a 4A yoyo is entirely different than getting used to a 1A yoyo. I have a theory for why certain yoyos fly off more than others:

Larger yoyos/bearings have the string wrapped around the axle fewer times than smaller yoyos/bearings, causing the yoyo to feel like it has a delayed throw or regeneration because the yoyo is closer to the end of the string.[b] Pretty much, the closer you are to the end of the string, the more control you have over when the yoyo will come off and where it will fly.

I may or may not be wrong, but that’s what I think. You might also want to think about this in relation to general string length principles in 2A yoyos. Longer string lengths will cause you to loop lower. The yoyo is spending a lot more time getting towards the end of the string, so it will loop much lower and further than with shorter string. On the other hand, really short string will cause the yoyo to loop a lot higher and closer than normal because it is spending less time reaching the end of the string.

Let’s apply this to a popular 4A yoyo now: You’re using stock highlights with a Hayabusa, so you’ll end up having to pull more on the string earlier on the throw in order for it to be launched directly in front of you compared to a Bigyo. Same with regenerations; you’ll have to pull a lot more and earlier for it to be regenerated at a comfortable position above your waist.

You may have to factor in the response of the yoyo as well. That’s getting a little too complicated for my fun, so just experiment yourself and discuss what you think about this! But, please make sure you have a solid basis for your argument: experience with multiple offstring yoyos, and a some amount of experience in offstring in general past the basics.

What I think may or may not be wrong and is definitely a jumbled rant that I have yet to fix, but it’s something to think about when switching yoyos and messing with string length.


_It is much easier to do a whip if you turn your hand slightly perpendicular to the yoyo.

Orbits: Arms, Legs, Body
_You should have the string on either side of what you’re orbiting parallel and facing each other. Being slightly off angle will make that much of a difference.
_Bring the strings closer to each other
_Set an imaginary line/point where the yoyo will orbit the body. For example, I wear belts so I use the belt as a landmark for my body orbits.

_Offstring regens are very similar to 1A regens. Practice 1A regens to get the hang of 4A regens.

Reverse trapeze passes
_Do not let go of the string when the yoyo is directly above your hand. You will lose control. Instead, let go of it as it approaches the area above your hand.

The Guide to Basic Open String Catches

Since I don’t do too much 4A too often, I feel that I should pass on what I have learned to you, the reader. This guide was made for how open string catches generally work. We can get into details about how tight the gap is, string width, and all that, but let’s keep it simple and you guys can figure that out for yourselves. Any additions to this guide will be appreciated.

Here’s a video to help you out…


-The Basics-

So you’re throwing your offstring with a basic forward pass throw and land in a basic trapeze. How do you bind it? Keep that bind in mind, because that’s how open string catches basically work. If you attempted to bind it with a brain twister mount, you should see that the yoyo will just slip out of the string.


Now, let’s throw the yoyo in the opposite direction. It’s not spinning in the forward pass throw direction, so a normal trapeze bind will be harder to perform. You will now have to perform a reverse trapeze bind by popping up the yoyo, crossing your arms, catching it, and then binding.


But how do you get the yoyo to spin in the opposite direction? It takes some practice, and depending on what you use you’ll have to work on pulling on the yoyo sooner or later like this…


Taken from

-Things get a little complicated…-

Now let’s start catching the yoyo an entirely different way… without your other hand to guide the string into the gap. You have to keep in mind that the direction the end of the string is facing plus the direction of the spin is very important. The spin direction guides the end of the string into another segment of the string, causing it to bind.


So it happens like that, and happens exactly the same in the opposite direction. If you perform a forward pass, you should be able to do an open whip catch if you toss the yoyo up and whip the string into the gap. On the contrary, if you do a brain twister throw and slack the string on your shoulder, then catch the yoyo into the slack, the yoyo should catch. If you tried any of these tricks with a yoyo spinning in the opposite direction, it would probably not work out too well.


Here’s a video of me applying these…

Getting Technical with Open Whip Catches

Let’s start off with something Elephark said a couple posts down:

This is true. You should also consider the amount of string between you, the yoyo, and the end of the string. You will have more success if you have a lot of string after the yoyo. Elephark’s statement also applies to open string catches: if you pull slightly (SLIGHTLY) as soon as the yoyo hits the string, it causes the string to whip into the gap. This, plus the amount of string after the yoyo, leads to successful catches. However, if the yoyo is falling too fast or if you are not gentle enough, the string will pull itself out of the gap.

So, there you have it. I told you I’d keep it simple. Go experiment and have fun.


Awesome post. BTW, the youtube video toward the bottom isn’t showing up.

this needs to be stickied…

Fixed all videos and added more.

Maybe with these tips I can keep my YoYo of my face and on the string

this is awesome i can tell you put a lot of effort into this

Wow, this is awesome. Thanks a lot, this is a great guide. I think it should be stickied.

I love this, there needs to be more 4A on this site! Offstring = Love!!!

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