Thoughts on "most difficult style"?


#1

I had some time to think about this the other day and was writing down some notes and thoughts regarding the issue.

I want to say that by no means do I consider any style to be “better” than another. For all styles have a very unique substance that makes them all very impressive and highly respectable. That said, I do think perhaps some styles might be possibly “more difficult” than others, and I thought I would see what the rest of you thought of my ideas.

Breaking down the styles, I start with the most familiar style everyone is familiar with.
1A.
No doubt the most widely played style, and of course the “standard” style for many since even exclusive players of the other styles start out with this style. Easily, single A is the most competitive division where we see well over 100 competitors at numerous contest all around the world. And with players seeming to push the limits of play on a daily basis through showcase videos on youtube and the trick circle on instagram, its easy to see that to make a name for yourself in this style, you have to REALLY stand out and push things to new limits. Although difficult to be noticed by the saturation of 1A specific players in the yoyo world, 1A also is the style with the most resources to learn and obtain new concepts and material. Here on the site, as well as all over youtube, there are countless numbers of 1A tutorials where players can pick up new ideas and learn.

5A.
Freehand to me seems to be a style that many pick up and mess around with once they have come proficient enough in 1A. It adds another element of a moving object that needs to be manipulated along with the yoyo itself, meaning that the player must keep track of two objects at once and understand how both objects can correlate together to create a complete trick or combo. 5A has a large number of players although the crowd is not as large as 1A. Although not as big, it seems that most players will dabble in this style for a bit just for fun at the least, and once an understanding of how a counterweight reacts with a yoyo, players seem to be able to pick up the basics relatively quickly, although moving into harder original tricks can take a while. Although not as many resources as 1A, there are quite a few good 5A tutorials here and there. For the most part, after the “basics” it seems that players are expected to simply make up and create, which is also the case for 1A, but perhaps not as much.

4A.
Offstring yoyoing is a division that I have noticed is not as big as 1A and perhaps 5A, but seems to have a very clear dividing line between who is “good” and just “average” that I see more so than 5A and 1A. The learning curve in 4A seems to be a bit rough at first as now the player is dealing with an object that if missed on a string, will be sent rolling away, forcing the player to restart, and completely start the trick over from the beginning. Mistakes are unforgiving. Where as in 1A and 5A, a missed string or a missed catch can be “repaired” by remounting, or undoing, a mistake in offstring results in a complete do over from scratch. Basically, it’s very hard to “cover up” a mistake. There are some resources here and there similar to 5A, although not anywhere near as much as 1A. Lots of hitting the tricks seems to be more muscle memory and precision than “knowing what to do”.

3A.
3A seems to be a smaller division with not too many competitors compared to the other styles, which makes sense to me as the way I see it, it is twice as difficult as 1A as we now add another yoyo. It goes beyond just adding another element as 5A, for now not only do we need to follow two objects, but we also must keep track of keeping planes, balance, and hitting strings, all while doing the same thing on another yoyo on a different hand. Two yoyos, twice the difficulty. Unlike the other styles, there are almost NO resources to truly pick up this style. Players who find themselves delving into the style are often forced to learn many things on their own, and try things that they see professional players do on stage or in videos. While not having the same sort of “unforgiving” aspect of missing a string in offstring, a missed string in this style can result in some very ugly and cringe worthy knots and tangles. When you add that second yoyo, it adds just another item to cause a really bad incident.
It seems to be a style that some may dabble in, but not many will actually take to it seriously.

2A.
2A is a style that seems to have a VERY distinct line between who is good and who is novice.
Similar to 3A, it also adds another element of a moving yoyo in addition to the first, but on top of this, 2A takes a completely different sort of yoyoing and forces the player to do such style on both hands. I have met numerous very skilled players of other styles who could barely do single hand loops, as it is a totally different sort of animal. The learning curve of 2A seems very long, with some players going years just to get down clean two handed loops, which is only then just the most basic stepping stone into the world of that style. Many players may attempt it a bit, but it seems that very few actually take the time to take it on and progress past the basics. Like 3A, there are almost NO resources for this style, and unlike many of the other styles, it is based completely on muscle memory, as what needs to be done is usually quite clear, but actually pulling it off is another story entirely.

For myself, the way that I see it is that these styles can be listed as such in terms of least to most difficult:
Least
1A
5A
4A
3A
2A
Most

These are based clearly on what I see around the yoyo world. I am almost strictly a 1A player, do a bit of 5A for fun sometimes, rarely throw offstring, only tried 3A once in my life I believe, and own two unleashed but can’t seem to get loops down yet. So by no means are these assumptions only based on what I experience myself. :slight_smile:

Would love to hear some other options on this!


#2

Pretty much agree with that assessment


#3

I tend to agree too, even if I think opinions may vary according to what style you’re the most into


#4

By 1a I understand that you mean unresponsive
But throwing fixed axle in the mix is really fun to

Play fixed axles makes you rethink what a yoyo does abd what other things can be done with it
(It doesnt always have to be spinning while doing tricks)

I personally think mastering it (for example Ed Haponik) can be much more difficult than the others
Just my 2 cents here…


#5

I have to disagree with your statement about 2a having almost no resources for learning. There’s all the basics, as well as some tutorials for concepts of more advanced tricks. After you get to that point, there’s not really much more that can be taught.


#6

I would say

least
4a
1a
5a
3a
2a
most

it seems the double division is the hardest and has the least players because of it.
I would say 4a is the easiest because the concepts are fairly simple.
2a is hardest because it’s hard to make the yoyo turnover in regens


#7

I’d argue that 2A is “easier” (and I use that word as relatively as possible) than 3A for this reason: 1A skills are not a prerequisite for 2A. Compared to the other styles, 1A ability doesn’t carry over much with 2A, which is why I think it might seem harder to a 1A player; when you start 2A, you’re pretty much starting from scratch. But I think the road from total newbie to pro level would be much longer for 3A than 2A.

And in my own experience, having made futile strides toward learning both styles, 2A was at least pretty enjoyable and addictive, even if the learning curve is indeed vertical. 3A was an exercise in supreme frustration, even if progress came more quickly. I still bust out the loopers from time to time, but have no interest in revisiting 3A. Fun is a major factor in difficulty, since it’s ultimately what motivates us to continue with a hobby.

But obviously, since there’s no real skill limit on any of the play styles, they all posses potentially infinitely difficulty.


#8

poll?


#9

For me it’s this,

Easiest
1A
3A
4A
5A
2A
Hardest

I’ve been going at this hobby for about a year. For me, the first 3 are easy to me to make original tricks and learn. 5A is the hardest string trick style to come up with tricks for me and I’m not really used to the faster element that is the dice so I don’t really have anything except the basics (Jake Elliott’s tuts are really helpful tho)… While for 2A, it has a pretty steep learning curve since it’s all about repetition but isn’t that steep (When I tried to play 2A with my friend’s Unleasheds I could do about 5 inside loops alternating after about 4 mins, learned 3A and tried drumming even though I suck at drums before so doing some motions with my left hand wasn’t weird at all)… But the more advanced maneuvers are difficult (tanglers and wraps) to learn.

If I considered substyles, Möbius would be after 1A and Doubles would be next after 3A since it’s the same but the knots are still horrifying as ever haha.


(velez_adrian) #10

For me it’s
1a
5a
3a
4a
2a


#11

Hmmm, I wouldn’t have even considered this, but I think you might be right. I remember being amazed at just how much I was able to learn the day I got my first offstring. I actually thought I was some sort of 4A prodigy at first (no such luck).

Depending on your setting (eg: grass, no thorny bushes or furniture to roll under), having to retrieve the yoyo when you mess up isn’t necessarily too big of a deal, especially if you’re barefoot and can pick it up with your toes. Probably no more annoying than constantly picking out knots when you start 1A. String tension isn’t an issue either. Also, I think the standard Offstring throw is a more intuitive arm/hand movement than a Breakaway or Sleeper (though the other aspects of it are certainly tougher).

I wonder if anyone ever has just jumped into 4A without a background in another style. Learning Trapeze on a 1A yoyo first would be a big help (maybe even a prerequisite), but other than that, it seems plausible that someone could move straight into Offstring.


(major_seventh) #12

I agree with your “least difficult to most difficult”, UsagiCat


#13

For me order is
1A
4A
5A
3A
2A


#14

One day I promised a friend at school I’d teach him how to yoyo, I brought a classic and a Go Big. Another friend I taught was using a classic to learn split bottom mount and he saw the Go Big. He was able to do catches and binds within about 10-15 mins. Without learning simple 1A. That was in October, he started 1A only a month after in November when he convinced his mom to buy him a Dark Magic 2 since he saw it was the “#1 Choice” on YYE so yeah… People can start on any style without on touching other styles.


#15

I know that topics tend to repeat, especially with new members coming and going all the time.  For reference, here is a past thread on the subject. You might like to read this one:

http://yoyoexpert.com/forums/index.php/topic,64559.0.html


(ed) #16

i think the idea of “difficulty” is pretty vague and tough to pin down in this case. it’s like asking “what’s harder - playing heavy metal, jazz, or classical music?”

from a learning curve perspective, 2a and 3a are very difficult, as the basic “vocabulary” for throwing those styles depends on the right kind of throw, which takes time by itself. so that alone dissuades people from trying them out. i find that 4a and 5a are easier to start out in (partly due to their similarity to 1a), but though the basics come more quickly than 2a/3a, you hit a wall where the really advanced elements are just BRUTALLY hard. the difficulty associated with 1a is that essentially everyone does it, and you have 1000’s of people putting out original content, which makes it difficult to innovate with a fresh perspective. there’s nothing prohibitive about the style itself, but to “get good” relative to its huge population is daunting.

within each style, there are “approaches” you can take which can either simplify things or compound the difficulty. playing 1a with aggressive responds makes the learning curve more like 3a - prohibitively frustrating at first but with lots of room to explore once you “get it”. you can approach 4a like most people or you can approach it like conde, which is basically amounts to seeking out the high-risk elements in designing tricks. just like each style is different, each player takes to elements differently. i can catch loops pretty fast, but i have a hard time keeping two objects moving at different rhythms. so while i find weird kickflips pretty easy, i’ll never be a strong 2a or 5a player.

basically, every style is “perfectly impossible” if you give it everything you have. it’s totally natural to want to stratify things and ask what’s harder and what’s easier, but when the most advanced tricks of each style present a challenge for a lifetime, no answer will be satisfying.


#17

for me its…

easiest
1a
5a
4a
3a
2a
6a (double dragon is sooooooooooo hard for me :stuck_out_tongue: )
hardest


#18

I haven’t tried 4A yet but 4A is relatively easy in comparison to 3A and 2A for sure. Comparing 4A to 5A, 4A is visibly easier since 5A has two moving objects.
Right now i am trying to pick up 2A and i can assure you though some people can do 4 or 5 alternating loops. It is shit tons hard because you need to actually be able to do 30+ alternating loops in a breeze to actually get into 2A. It is totally down to muscle memory and is the hardest out of all the divisions. The amount of effort required to go pro in 2A is ridiculous since the learning curve at first is like vertical.
From easiest to most difficult it would be
1A
4A
5A
3A
2A


#19

1A
4A
3A
5A
2A
Am I the only one who thinks 4A is closer in concept to 1A than 5A is?


#20

For me its…
1a
5a
3a
2a
4a