tips for maintaining yoyos in open, harsh climates for long periods of time.

Hey guys, first sorry if this ends up being to broad, but I thought it would be better than making a bunch of individual threads.

In February i’ll be heading to Zambia for two years as part of the peace corps. I’ll be living in a rural village with no water or electricity in a mud/grass hut. As you could imagine yoyos are probably going to be one of the main things that keep me sane thus it is of great importance that I am well prepared to properly maintain the throws that I bring and my accessories. Basically I was just looking for tips on various things related to this like if it would be best to bring plastic over metal throws, the best string, bearing care, etc. Zambia’s climate is very humid and rainy for part of the year by the way.

Thanks in advance!

Stainless steel bearings mainly, may want to take the strings off your yoyos too if you aren’t using them. Won’t really matter if it’s plastic or metal. Silicone response instead of pads for humid climates, the humidity may mess with the glue on the back of the pad.

I’d be worried about keeping the bearings clean, so you’ll want shielded bearings just for an added layer of protectio. After that, the next choice might be silicone vs pads, as well as how much of either. Then, strings. Wow, how to stock up on that. How many strings to get?

Another yoyo store sells small glass jars for bearing cleaning. It might be good to get one of those. A container of 100% pure acetone would be another supply, that should last you a couple of years worth of cleaning. To lube or not to lube is your next choice, or to Dry Play. Also, what ratio of bearings to yoyos should you maintain. 1 spare bearing for every 10 yoyos? 20 yoyos? Are you going to standardize with C bearings? Any loopers in the mix? Fixed axle?

Metal, plastic, your choice. I’d say

All I will say is that my experience with Africa is second hand, and what I’ve heard isn’t favorable. A sister in law had her laptop stolen, and when she left the area for a trip, the house she was in was broken into and raided. Security might be a concern. Peace Corps too. She had to bug out of Zambia due to warring in the area. Everywhere she went, nobody made an effort. They expected the Peace Corps person to do it for them. Hopefully the mentality has changed. I doubt it.

When I was in Vietnam, I had some yoyos need pads replaced since the humidity caused the adhesive to fail. In one, a Fiesta XX, flowable just wouldn’t stick due to the celcon.

I don’t know what your play habits are like. This only helps with string wear. I’d say 1000 strings should do you good, but maybe 500 is more realistic.

Other than the warnings for “harsher weather” and you’re planning for 2 years, I’d say stocking up ahead of time is the biggest concern. Good maintenance is good maintenance.

Bring a glove. Without a doubt, playing when sweaty is one of the most annoying things in the world if you don’t have a glove.

extra bearings, small glass container of acetone, lots of string. I’d try to keep the amount of actual yoyos in your possession at any time to a minimum.

I’m speaking from wild guesses here, but given the humidity would I be wrong in suggesting getting a 100% ceramic bearing?

eh, i’m not sure i could afford multiple ceramic bearings

If your response fails, your yoyo becomes a paper weight. If I were going to live in a mud hut for two years, I would be tempted to bring Lyns and Kicksides and Journeys with good old fashioned o-ring response. Not too sexy, but almost indestructible.

I would definitely call ahead to see how much acetone you’re allowed to bring on an airplane!

1 Like

The Lyn Fury uses #11 sized o-rings. I think this is the same size that the Classic also uses, which means that most YYF’s and YYF’s can also use this size as well

Yeah, I forgot that the Classic comes with them. Thanks.

I was planning on bringing like 5 tubes of silicone with me, does humidity affect the actual process of putting the silicone in the yoyo and it setting properly as far as you know?

I think some of us may be going a little overboard… I haven’t had to clean a bearing in a few years, and I haven’t used silicone in a couple years either.

I’d agree with Java. If it was me, I’d just take a few hardy YYJ plastics that use o-ring response. Lyn Fury, Classic (maybe two, one set up responsive and one unresponsive). You could always buy a few different types of o-rings as well, if you think you may want to switch things up. That’ll save you having to bring your own silicone. You could even silicone the yoyos before leaving - and then just keep a few o-rings as backups.

String, I wouldn’t take more than 200 - that will give you a string allowance of two per week over two years. Sure, some weeks you may use more than two (especially with humidity), but it’s also likely that there will be times where you play less and may use no strings for a week or two.

I wouldn’t bother with acetone. Surely you will have access to a medical officer…? In that case, you should be able to pick up small amounts of surgical spirits quite easily if you needed to do some bearing maintenance. If there are firearms around - gun oil is a fantastic bearing lube.

I think the point I am trying to make is, don’t over-pack :wink: