What tips are out there for a Fixed Axle beginner?


Well, technically, I’m a beginner at all of it but the Fixed Axle February stuff piqued my interest. I picked up a couple Butterflies to beat on and I’ve got a Legend Wing on the way. I feel like I’m picking up the tricks okay. Do you regular fixie players have some hints or recommendations that might be helpful to me? The Throws N’ Brews dude, Tom, recommended #10 string and helped me understand what that meant. There’s gotta be more cool little nuggets of knowledge out there. I’d love to learn more. Thanks!


Once you get past the basics, start watching anything/everything fixed axle that Drew Tetz and Ed Haponik have done over the past couple of years. In addition to being outstanding and completely enjoyable humans, they have pushed the fixed axle game in ways that nobody could have predicted.

Then, just talk fixed axle with other folks. For whatever reason, the fixed/responsive community is full of friendly low-drama folks who are pretty willing to talk about yoyoing and give advice.


Change your string often.

The Fixed Axle Collective on FB is cool.

Butterflies are fun, and the Legend Wing is great!


Learn about how to adjust Tension on a fixed axle, this is key and can not be overstated :slight_smile:

Drew’s “Learn These” tips/tutorials: http://yoyonews.com/2013/12/21/fixed-friday-learn/

And really, just look through the entire Fixed Friday tags on YoYo News: http://yoyonews.com/category/fixed-friday/ So much great info over there.


Plus, you can adjust tension with cool tricks!


This is all great stuff. Thanks a bunch, guys. I’ve been changing string tension with sidewinders. I feel like I’m getting pretty good at them, lol.

I got my Legend Wing in, today, and its fun. I feel like the response is strange, though. When I look in there, it’s all ragged like they just left that section rough and sanded the rest. Is there a wear in period?

Also, I swear I heard Tom say something about Chapstick on one of his videos being used on the string. Can I use something waxy to make it play more like a First Base or other responsive bearing yoyo?


Chapstick is a personal preference thing. Ed has said he never uses it. Jensen recommends it. Personally, I like it. Just put a bit on the part of the string that goes next to the axle. I don’t know about doing this on a metal axle, I’ve only done it for wood.

For the string tension, Sidewinders adjust in small increments, and UFOs and Sleeping Beauties adjust in large increments.

The Legend Wing is rough on the inside, and I think that helps it play as good as it does. It should calm down a bit as you play it, and you’ll get used to it, if you like it in general.

For wood axles you can condition them by wrapping a cotton string around the axle a couple of turns, and pulling it back and forth across the axel.


I haven’t tried a UFO with it yet. I forgot what a Sleeping Beauty is.

Bbdave just sent me a video of how to do that to condition the axle. Is it too late if I already played with it some or can I just use the piece of string I already have one there and do it? Also, how much should I do that and should I use a new string after I’m done?

So, Chapstick on the axle loop or above it where it rises the response? Does it have to be Chapstick? I have a 3 pack of Carmex, lol.


You can do the axle conditioning any time. I normally use plain cotton packaging string. If you use a yoyo string I would not use it to play. If the axle is at all rough it will wear the string as you pull it through.

As for chapstick or waxing the string where it wraps around the axle, use it sparingly. Too much will actually make it a bit more responsive. I’ve always seen it done on only the axle loop itself rather than the standing part of the string.


So how long should I work the conditioning? Until the string frays?


Just put the chapstick on and play. A few hard sleepers and you will be ideal. Get it in the loop. Its not tough or anything resembling science.

Fixed Axle is mostly just about doing it a lot and getting getting muscle memory ready to catch and or regen into another stall.

(Spinworthy Glen) #12

Never use wax or chapstick on the axle. Just don’t mess with it.

Just play it and it will be fine.


I gotta say that I’ve never once used wax or chapstick on an axle. I’m not saying that I never would. I’m just saying in all my years of throwing, I never have.

Wood axles take a bit to work in. It’s a slightly annoying part of their charm.


I want to try it both ways and see which I like the best. I’m worried that if I Chapstick it, it’ll never go back to the way it is now. That’s why al the questions. So far, it’s not too dissimilar from my Butterfly. Does all the same stuff but it just does it better. It has the natural finish so it’s really smooth which seems to make the string slide right into the gap when I need it to and it’ll actually spin on my skin. I’m diggin it, so far. I just don’t want to accidentally noob it into oblivion.


If you dig the way it plays, don’t worry about doing the Chapstick. I never did it until I watched Jensen’s “How to Make an Orphan" vid. I tried it, and liked it. I imagine it would wear off after a while, but you could always wait until you have another Legend Wing. At $10, it’s definitely worth having two.


If you try the chapstick and don’t like it, use a cotton string and do the axle condition exercise for a bit. It should remove it pretty good. Do it multiple times and use a fresh section of the string each time.


You work for YYF or something? Not a bad sales pitch, lol. I could try one in that purdy lacquer finish.

I am kind of interested in what the conditioning actually does. De-burr it? Is there leftover sawdust that it picks up? Polish it a bit? I’m kinda leaning towards polishing it if it just speeds up what happens normally through play.


Wooden axles tend to be a bit rough so the conditioning exercise is essentially a deburring action.

(Spinworthy Glen) #19

Are they really rough when you get them? I know I’m very careful to sand the axles in the yoyos I make and I know Once Upon a Paul is too.

A good manufacturer really shouldn’t be selling yoyos with rough axles.


It’s a YYF Legend. I don’t expect perfection.