So i threw responsive yoyos back in the 90s during the boom. Learned rudimentary skills but not much else. Flash forward to last year when i decided to pick up again and try my hand at unresponsive. As is typical, many beginner issues stalled my progress. A few examples are:
Landing the yoyo onto side mount after throwing a breakaway. I couldn’t consistently land this very basic starter step. Yoyo would always miss in front of or behind my string. Only advice I got for this one? Just practice til it becomes second nature, then you’ll hit it everytime. No tips or detailed instruction (probably because its so easy for most people). Unfortunately constant practice was very slow to give results. Even after a year, i still miss the simple side mount.
Yoyo would constantly go off kilter and lean right or left until it goes into a side spin. As a newby i tried throwing it harder for lots of spin power (didn’t fix it), and stopping endlessly to check it wasn’t my string all twisted up (it wasn’t). I found myself constantly pushing/pulling my string hand while mounted trying to get the yoyo to balance straight on the string. Any combo was impossible to practice with all efforts going into balancing the yoyo. This was extra annoying because nobody else seemed to struggle with this issue in thier videos. This problem plagued me for months and made me take many breaks from throwing. I could have even given up altogether at many points from this problem, until one day by random chance i decided to put a different bearing in and by total luck it happened to be a center track bearing. Problem solved immediately and i made instant progress with other skills after this simple fix.
If you can’t do a simple bind, then you can’t do anything unresponsive. I don’t even want to think about how many people give up on yoyo because they can’t figure out how to bind. I almost did, and it actually makes me really sad to consider how many are not with us in this great hobby today because some simple advice wasn’t given. All the videos i watched at the time focused on technique. Not a tutorial i saw mentioned string thickness. When i put a fatter string on (again, by random chance) everything changed. I had been doing everything correct all along and the stock string was just too thin and the gap too wide. Once I nailed a few binds on the fat string and my hands felt what it was like, i had it down easy. I switched back to thin and was now able to bind with it too. I just needed muscle memory/experience and was never going to achieve it without nailing a few binds first on the fatter string.
My point is that I’m willing to bet 99% of people that try this hobby stop and give up and never try it again because nobody told them some super simple advice. You could say “well its thier fault for being a quitter” or “they wouldn’t have gotten far in yoyo with that mentality anyway” …which are both true actually.
BUT hear me out. With every generation has come an increase in entitlement and the need for instant gratification due to new technology, social media, etc. Your average person will have far less patience as time progresses into the future. If we want more people in this hobby (which i hope we all can agree on) then we need to step back and look for little tips like these that could save someone who actually cares to learn yoyo from dropping off the bandwagon. They’re not easy to spot for a pro apparently, you’ve been throwing too long and forgot all the hangups. Im speaking as a noob with tons of noob experience.
Ok if you read this far congratulations and thank you. Do you know any simple tips/tricks they don’t tell you about on tutorial videos? Advice for me on how to nail a simple side mount consistently?Please share here and with others you see struggling. You might just be the person responsible for another wonderful player staying in this great hobby. Btw, don’t take this as a dig on tutorial channels, they’re great and doing great work bringing people in.
The closer your finger is to the Yoyo the easier it is land on the trapeze like less room to miss. Also try a shorter ish string like belly button length or short is easier to get control rocking good.
The best advice I can give is to keep practicing. This is honestly the easy part. Things get harder as they get more advanced. However, the more you can get the fundamentals down now, the easier things will be later. The better your foundation is, the sturdier your house will be. Remember, all the things worth having in life come through hard work.
I call it experts mindset. I see this in the workforce all the time even in technical work like IT. Sports as well athletes will say practice cause they don’t remember the little flick or minor hand twitch they do when they do there craft. You get so good at something you have the basics or simple stuff committed to muscle memory you aren’t even aware your doing it anymore.
So when explaining anything simple or complex you skip all the subtle steps that lead to doing the thing successfully and properly and get confused when someone new can’t do the same. Practice usually becomes the answer unless someone is super self aware or nowadays we can record and then study someone’s every move to better understand how they did a thing.
To be fair it does take practice to go from thinking about how to do a thing to doing the thing on instinct.
Simple example pinching the string to bind. It’s not easy to see that’s what someone else is doing in the quick motion and it’s not something intuitive so someone could spend hours trying and failing trying to essentially whip the string into a bind which will occasionally work leading to hope but confusion. Heck I’m responsive play if someone doesn’t understand slack and why that brings the yoyo back it would very hard to know when to expect the yoyo to return vs sleep.
The easy (but time consuming) answer to 1-3: practice, practice, practice (also just good advice in general). Muscle memory will eventually kick in.
The slightly more expensive easy answers to 1-3:
- Use a wider yoyo to make it easier to catch on the string from a breakaway
- find a yoyo with more rim weight to keep the center of gravity disbursed rather than all on one point at the center (bike wheels in motion kind of thing)
- a thinner string gap on a yoyo will make binds a little easier, as there is less space for the string to cris-cross in the gap on the bind and therefore easier to grab/catch inside the yoyo
In short, buying different yoyos will help you learn/perfect tricks and basics depending on what you want to do (advice for people new to anything— explore your options, get a feel for what works for you, what you like and enjoy, etc.)
As someone who has bought a bunch of yoyos but really only plays a handful, my real advice is just have fun with the process, go into it with a “here to learn” rather than “here to destroy my competition” mindset, and don’t be too concerned with at what pace other people are learning. Obviously still share your process/journey with others; friends and those who have gone before you will almost always be down to help or teach or just celebrate when you finally land that new or difficult trick. At the end of the day, yoyo is still just a simple toy, and the hobby is what you make of it.
(Also, same advice about learning trapeze, just start closer on the string to the yoyo to keep control on the trapeze string better)
Great advice, thanks!
Unfortunately for me i have no friends or family that throw and my attempts at convincing any to try has failed. I live in central MI, and don’t see any yoyo clubs/meetups in my area. So my only option has been to watch vids since i can’t find any in person tutors or mentors. Theres a club a few hours away in Plymouth that meets up but i have too busy of a schedule to make that trip.
One of these days im bound to run into someone throwing a yoyo and ill definitely approach them and hopefully they’re not creeped out and willing to at least chat a bit lol
Okay one more thing (I honestly have like 10 more things I can say about this but too much advice or too many tips starts to become burdensome)—try to be aware of what happens every time you mess up so if you miss the trapeze after a breakaway try to pay attention to how you missed it. Did the Yoyo go in front ? Then your hands were out of the correct plane and your throw hand was too far back so next time try to adjust like it’s not just practice but thoughtful practice that matters. You can teach yourself to do things the wrong way and form bad habits if you are not actively considering each mistake.
I totally totally agree with @Captrogers about the expert mindset and I’m constantly noticing things in tutorials that the pros or whoever forget to say or gloss over. Don’t only listen to what ppl say in tutorials focus on the hands and fingers too .
I think many of us are willing to share tips on how to do yoyo tricks. This has been my experience on the forum and when going to yoyo clubs. An advantage to yoyo club is that it is a good place to learn these tricks from other people.
The problem I have with creating guides online is that my guides would end up being just as good as what is already there. Also most people I talk to have no interest in learning how to bind. There is no point for creating a tutorial when no one would even view my tutorials.
As far as tutorials for the trapeze yoyo trick I like the tutorial found on yomega mania. If you want a tutorial describing exactly how yoyoers do trapeze you should watch Brandon Vu’s video on how “professionals” throw a yoyo
I don’t think it’s unspoken but think more people should do this. Buy a good old school feeling responsive yoyo like the fh1 and just practice. Even practice stuff that doesn’t seem possible with a responsive because it probably is. I’ve taken this whole weekend when I have the time to just throw my fh1. And Ive noticed that with my fancy yo-yos I’ve gotten a little more flow and smoothness that way on top landing tricks easier.
I really intended to put just one or two tips…. that did not go well.
Below are tips that would have helped in the early years of my yo-yo journey. Most probably all of the tips and help came from people on the this forum that have been willing to aid an old guy trying to learn new and old tricks.
Acceptance best tip for learning tricks.
Realize time is the most valuable practice commodity, you may not have enough time to learn all the tricks you want.
Quality time practicing is difficult to come by in a normal life. So carry a throw with you, you never know when you may have a few min to work on something.
- String tension kills when my interval to reduce string tension has decreased so much that I am reducing string tension every other throw time for new string for me.
- Change string more often.
- Do not worry about vib the better you get the less it will mean to you ( my unpopular Opinion)
- Have a working set of throws an organic type and one V type that you do not mind beating up ( take risk with your yo-yo exploration )
I am trying myself
- Understand your learning pattern example:
My learning pattern
a. 1st I watch tutorials, try to see the mount, motions, pinches, whips, slacks and rejection type things and try and see the magic moves.
b. Try the trick mount
c. Attempt trick too fast
d. get frustrated with myself
c. Slow down attempts
d. Start to see the string before each element as I am doing the trick
f. Start to feel the muscles in my hands and arms getting sore from new muscle recruitment
g. Start to feel the timing and hit the trick
h. Start to smooth out rough transitions in the trick
I. Start to invest quality practice time, now knowing the trick. Then I try to give it my own style maybe add a flourish in the beginning or at the end with a cool bind.
Getting the wrist snap initial throw down consistent into trapeze so the throw does not wobble too bad, is important too that is tons adjustments on your throw hand as you release.
Hope this has helped, it has helped me over the years.
Everyone have a great rest of the weekend
Start responsive, then move to unresponsive once your tricks demand a larger gap.
Starting responsive and playing on responsives for as long as possible is sage advice.
As a beginner if you’re not aiming to do the bleeding edge of modern competitive meta tricks, or super complex tech, a responsive yoyo like a Freehand One (or even a Renegade) is going to be more than capable enough for the vast majority of yoyo tricks you can throw at it.
Responsive yoyos aren’t “beginner” yoyos only capable of basic tricks. They just force you to have better control of the yoyo/string to get the most out of them.
i’m referring to how you pinch the string on the bind. this took me sooo long to learn. once i did, i could bind every throw. prior to this epiphany, i had issues binding wide gap or low response throws like my H-Spin Pyro. i had the hardest time getting a good, tight bind on that thing back in the day.
lol, this tip brought me back.
The one that got me was folding your fingers in (to pull the string in) on your throw hand for the brother part of trapeze and brother. Before I found that one I was just landing on all the string for what felt like forever.