What would you say a good yoyo for teaching someone to learn to yoyo on?

ALRIGHT, so I have a neighbor who wants me to teach them how to yoyo, and I was wondering, what would you say the best yoyo for teaching someone who needs to learn responsive basics first to use?

Thanks in advance!

P.S DONT recommend the Whip or One, I want them to learn on a modified shape yoyo or even an imperial shaped yoyo. I might however choose the Butterfly XT. I want the neighbor to learn on a Duncan like I did. Bojacks, got any input on this?

FH1 or FH2.

I’d suggest a YYF Velocity.


Any particular reason you want them to learn on modified shape? I see no reason to impose a “it worked for me, it’ll work for you, too!” mentality on the situation. If it seems like they’ll have more fun on a modern shape and learn more quickly, why not go right to the fun zone? Fun is so, SO important when someone is first learning.

If you want modified shape, though, pretty tough to beat a Raider.

Although the Velocity suggestion goes against your “pleast don’t recommend…” I did some great responsive learning on a Velocity, so I’d have no problem seconding that.

Or a YYJ Classic. Kinda heavy and funny for certain old-school tricks, but it’s still pretty versatile.

Well, I want them to learn the basics of responsive yoyoing first EG Gravity pull, sleep, walk the dog, etc. And I think it feels more organic to learn on a “normal” shaped yoyo.

I dont want his friends to be like “Thats a fake yoyo” So it discourages him (Mind you he is about 11 years old), so I think the modified shape would help with that.

Although when he learns these basics I will for sure get him a velocity or one or yoyo like that, but I really want him learn basics first.

Im pretty sure im gonna go with the Raider or the Imperial (Imperial simply because its fixed axle) Or maybe even the YYF legend.

YYJ Journey

I understand the idea behind not going with an unresponsive yoyo to start, or even a butterfly at all, but I think giving him a fixed axle might limit his possibilities when learning. I know Ed and Drew can both rip on a fixed axle, but it might be a little rough on a beginner, in my opinion.

What you’re looking for is a Duncan ProZ.

I’m going to disagree here. It might feel more “organic”, but its also worlds harder. I remember trying to land trapeze and double or nothing on my raider and getting VERY frustrated because I just couldn’t hit it. I can now, but thats because I’m much better. Point is I almost stopped because it was difficult. Once I got a butterfly shaped yoyo it got SOOO MUCH EASIER, and to me, more enjoyable. I see no problem with a Velocity, one, or a Classic. I know we have some awesome younger people on these boards, but lets be real, at 11 years old a lot of kids won’t take the time to learn, they will move on to something else easier (video games, etc) Why not make it an easier transition with a more user friendly yoyo?

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I’m 11 and I do basketball, track, baseball, all advanced classes at school, Boy Scouts, and yoyoing. It’s all really fun. But back on topic. My friend was going to get me a yoyo for my birthday, but I couldn’t wait so I went and got a whip. The day after that I could do all of the basics. Then the yoyo came. It was a velocity. I didn’t like it at all. So I used my birthday money to get a dv888. I used that until Christmas when I got a protostar and an Avalanche. I now use it for 5a. The dv888 got me to expert part 1. I know this didn’t really help but you can kind of refer to this. When my friend wanted to start yoyoing I gave him my whip. My velocity went to another friend and my best friend bought a dv888. I also got a velocity for my friend for christmas

alright, you guys arent getting it, I want him to learn BASICS first, NOT double or nothing and NOT trapeze until he has a good throw.

Learning Gravity pull and Sleep perfectly on a fixed is gonna help him with his throw, which is what MANY MANY MANY people struggle with, even some pros.

When I feel its time for him to learn string tricks I will upgrade him to a Velocity, or maybe any of the other throws you guys have recommended. I want him to learn that you need perseverance to yoyo and that sometimes its not all butterflies and rainbows.

Thanks for the help guys I will consider everything you have all said.

And camjm, Im sure you are a very smart kid. But the average 11 yr old isnt doing track, basketball and all advanced classes at school.

Nah, we’re getting it. We just don’t agree with your pedagogy. As a teacher myself, I can tell you that the surest way to get someone to learn is to light a fire, not force routine drills. This goes with math, history, English, sports, and… yoyos. If it’s fun, they’ll WANT to learn, and your job will be done.

Practicing a gravity pull ad nauseum isn’t necessarily that fire, although there ARE people out there that will just get a kick out of that one simple thing. But why take that chance? Or even better… go ahead and follow your method (it may work for him!) but be mindful of his interest level. And don’t be surprised if a few days (or weeks if you’re REALLY lucky) he finds excuses not to have his “lessons” anymore.


You can gravity pull and work on your throw using a YYJ Classic or a Velocity. You don’t need an Imperial shape to do that. But at the end of the “lesson”, you can show him something more advanced like a trapeze and he’ll have a yoyo with a chance for success for landing that trapeze.

“You advance by having a good throw. Everything comes from a good throw,” you reinforce to him. “But hey, this move is pretty fun… you can practice this in your spare time, too.”

Sorry to go on and on, but I’m pretty passionate about the teaching and learning process…but one more example…

You decide you want to play guitar because you saw someone doing it and it looked cool. You get a guitar and an amp, and go to a teacher who says “Don’t plug into the amp. We’re going to learn ‘three blind mice’ today, but we’re going to do it without plugging in.”

You reach the end of the lesson and go home. You’ve made advances… after all, fingering and plucking notes is a guitar fundamental.

In an alternate universe… same lesson, except after teaching you “three blind mice”, the teacher says, “OK, the main lesson’s over. Let’s have some fun. Here’s how to do a power chord.” The teacher shows you how to position your fingers (it’s not hard, btw!), lets you plug in, cranks up the amp and says, “Now hit those strings!”

KERRRANNNNGGGG!!! A mighty power chord erupts from the amp and you feel like a rock star. Unless you’re a particularly morose person, you probably have a big grin on your face.

Which lesson do you think was more successful? It’s a rhetorical question, of course… in the second one, the same fundamentals were learned, PLUS an additional “advanced” skill, PLUS it had fun factor and produced a positive feeling toward the lesson.

It’s important not to hold someone back, either. What if he “gets” gravity pull first lesson? It’s not rocket science! Why not let him learn breakaway (or even breakaway to trapeze) and leave it with him for “homework”? You always want a student to be pushing forward, not waiting for you to open up the next door.


Just jumping in here with this quote, What’s to say you pushing him to use a yoyo shape that you used wont push him away.

I pushed an old yoyo of mine on a friend once and put them off yoyo’ing all together because they couldn’t use something they wanted. Take the options that people have given you in this thread and talk to your neighbor, ask him what he think’s coolest and then go from there. If he feels he has some input he’ll enjoy it a lot more than just being forced into using something you say is good.

Along side this, give him something with a wide catch area - My girlfriend hated her YYF whip (I love it, great little plastic) and almost gave up throwing, I gave her my Supernova and now she’s actually pretty decent at it all - If he can come onto YYE and learn trapeze or even small things like rock the baby, He’ll have the fun of coming to you the next day, when you aren’t even expecting it and impress you by showing you a trick you didn’t teach him.

At the end of the day, Give him some freedom and he may just surprise you with some initiative.

Pretty much what GregP said. I’m a teacher as well (high school English) and you want to teach them something fun that they’ll get a sense of achievement out of when they finally get it. In any case, you can play a Classic and a Velocity as both a responsive and unresponsive when he’s ready.

That said, this is your neighbour and your lessons so do whatever you feel is best. And to get back to the original question, if you absolutely must have an imperial or modified shape, I’d go with a Raider.


You are telling us that you want him to use an imperial, yet asked if your first post what we think he should use. Why are you asking anyone of the forum when you already have the answer? Okay just my two cents

I wanted the forums opinion, which they have very graciously given and have given me a different point of view on this subject.

Thank you for the help, I will consider everything everyone of you have said kind YYE members.

Ok, so two summers ago, I quit my old summer camp and went to a different one. I brought a few unresponsive Yoyos, and my trusty old fast 201. Some people took interest, do I began to teach. By the end of the summer, most of the group could bind and do brain twister, others were still more advanced. My point is that a perfect throw on a fixed axle is not that pertinent to most yoyo tricks.

The Fireball is a good choice.

Your throw is extremely important on any sort of advanced play.

Agreed, but not on a fixed axle yoyo. I am very advanced, but I can hardly use a fixed axle yoyo.