What are the differences between Old School vs. New School yo yoing?

 Hello everyone. I am learning that there are many different thoughts and aproaches to the yo yo, what you use, and how the trick is made. What is the general "old school" view of yo going compared to the "New School" way of doing things? What types of tricks and yo yos were used back in the day compared to now? Who are some of the old school innovators and who are some of the new? Thanks for the help. :)

Someone could better explain this than I could, but old school yoyos come up when you tug on them, meaning they are “responsive”. On the other hand, the newer ones don’t come back when you tug on them. This means that old school yoyoing was more of looping, and string tricks were harder and had to be completed quickly. Now you can do longer string tricks becaude the yoyo will sleep say longer.

Well, I’m sure others could give a much better answer, but here goes. Old school yoyoing and new school yoyoing are indeed different. Tricks were simpler back then as they didn’t have the high end yoyos with the unresponsive capabilities as we have now. All of them back then were responsive and could be brought back up with a tug. The types? Plastic yoyos, wooden yoyos where as now we have mostly metal yoyos. Don’t know alot of old school innovators, but I think people who are innovators are Andre Boulay, JD, Guy Wright, Zammy, Steve Brown, and Jensen Kimmitt. I’m missing a few here but there.

Here are some of the things I’ve noticed.

One of the more obvious is that old school is more responsive where new school is mostly unresponsive. In a lot of the older videos you see people adding loops into their 1A combos and doing a lot more wraps and stuff. I think all of that is pretty cool. New school is more tech then anything.

I don’t really know of anybody who really made up a lot of the old tricks, but one name that comes to mind when I think old school is Tom Kuhn. He made the first ball bearing yoyo and he designed the legendary No-Jive. For a Tom Kuhn Timeline/history lesson, check this out.


Some one who I think really paved the way for “new school” is Andre Boulay. He’s a great teacher, designed one of the most popular yoyos out there, and he is just a huge plus to the yoyoing community overall.

Also, if you notice. In the transition period between both eras,you can see a lot of kink mounts, those really influence a lot of tricks. Old school is a little more chopy and such.

Before the days of wide-gapped un-responsive yoyos becoming common (2-4 years ago), we use to associate “old school” with fixed axles and “new school” with bearing axles. Just goes to show that nothing stays the same forever…

Waiting for Ed Haponik to respond :]
He’ll give us the answer [other than 42]

I haven’t been around as long as some of the members here and I consider old school to be anything before 2008. As far as the kind of tricks people do a lot has changed. When I watch older videos I see a lot of insane tech with very complicated looking mounts. Newer videos and freestyles seem to have more flashy elements (Eli hops, Horizontal, Body tricks, etc.) Unless you’re Suzuki. He was doing horizontal before it was cool.

Probably sounds kinda dumb considering 2008 was just 4 years ago. But it’s just me.

“old school is my religion.”

like the other ed said, old school is always on the move. old school can’t be pinned down to this trick or that trick, because tricks and their moment of relevance have the half-life of a mayfly. i think it’s so cool to see happen. newer players i talk to have no real context as to how styles and trends have changed, even as recently as 2006-2008. we’re living through such a fascinating era wherein these ideas just gain traction and then explode, their raw material sweeping out to inform the next set of trends… and that’s been happening for a solid decade+. stylistically, what all of you are doing, whether it’s in your room or on stage at worlds… is old school (or will be, as quick as you can say ‘laceration’).

to me, old school yo-yoing is not about response. it’s not about wood axle, more looping, or less tech. it’s not about ‘oh, things were so much tougher when i was coming up’… all of us will, at some point, look back on our yo-yoing and where it comes from, comparing it with what we see in the present. and all of us will remember how hard we worked to push through this or that barrier, or to really nail something ‘the right way’. i think if ‘old school’ has a spirit, it’s that right there; the attitude that there IS an ideal (even if we create it ourselves), and that we should seek for it… that it won’t be easy, but that’s ok; it SHOULDN’T be easy. regardless of the stylistic context which happened to produce us, i think every yo-yoer can relate to that sentiment.

for years, i’ve made it my mission to try to focus on outmoded equipment and still think progressively. to take the tools of bygone eras and try to imagine where i could take trick development, ignoring the ball-bearing revolution. that’s what interests me, so people think i’m old school for that reason. but old school isn’t limited to wood or thin profiles or shoot the moon or the grandeur of bob rule and bud lutz driving through the midwest. to me, being old school is less about just playing an antiquated yo-yo and more about really pushing yourself. it’s about really appreciating where this stuff we do comes from (and where we’re taking it). it’s about rejecting ‘the easy way’, regardless of what you’re throwing. it’s about recognizing that however introspective and meditative we want to make it, good yo-yoing also engages the uninitiated and makes them happy. it’s about the fire-in-your-hair glee that radiates from you when you finally break through a wall to realize “holy crap… this is POSSIBLE.”

one of my favorite quotes is “do not follow in the footsteps of the masters. seek what they sought.”
if that describes your approach to yo-yoing, you’re old school.

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 That pretty much says it. Thanks for that great reply.

I’ve been around long enough to appreciate what ed and YoYoSpin said, but in the current context I view “old school” tricks as what constitutes the ladder trick routines over the last few years as well as Ken’s world on a string (kwos) http://www.kwos.ca/ and the old Sector Y - string tricks .