First, we would like to know what kind of play you are into. You may wish to watch some videos on the topic. I would suggest you start in the Learning area here on YoYoExpert to help you start to direct yourself in the proper direction.
There are 5 basic styles of play.
1A is string tricks. This involves the yoyo landing on the string and being manipulated. This is done with butterfly shaped yoyos. Most people here, this is their main style. It is for me.
2A: These are the “imperial” type shapes, but they are a bit different. We call this “modified shape”. This is for your “around the world” and “loop the loop” tricks. This also involves two yoyos, one in each hand.
3A:This style of play uses two butterfly shaped yoyos, one in each hand. Like with 1A, the yoyo is used to hit and land on the string, but in the case of 3A, further mounts and configurations(called “houses”) are created. It can be a very difficult style to learn. not impossible.
4A: Off-string. Using an over-sized butterfly shaped yoyo, the yoyo is not tied to the string, and when throw, will be launched up into the air and caught back onto the string, where it both the yoyo and the string are manipulated. It’s not as difficult as it sounds to throw and catch.
5A: This style, the yoyo is not tied to your finger, but rather to a small counter-weight. This style uses a butterfly shaped yoyo, same as you would for 1A style, but with the additional counterweight, so it does have an additional bit of equipment involved. Both the counterweight and yoyo are used, spun and manipulated. It’s a rather exciting style that involves a lot of interaction between the body(arms, hands, feet, legs, torso, neck and more) and even involves complete releases where the yoyo and counterweight are thrown and then caught.
For more information:
Also visit YouTube and look for “World YoYo Contest” and go ahead and find 2012 videos. It’s a good starting point for competition performance videos.
For the purposes of this discussion, I’m going to assume you are interested in 1A. So, you want to get a butterfly or wing-shaped yoyo. With so many to choose from, we have to start from nearly zero. Thankfully you gave us a budget and indicated you needed a butterfly shaped yoyo. That is a big help!
A lot of people here started with a YoYoJam Dark Magic II. I did. It’s a great yoyo that can take you from nothing to competition. It’s a great yoyo and under $45 I believe. It comes with two bearings, allowing you to start with responsive play(tug brings it back) with the pre-installed thinner bearing, and then let’s you upgrade to unresponsive play by putting in the wider bearing included in the package. Unresponsive play means the yoyo has a wider gap, which allows for more string layers in the gap, but also means you have to do a “bind return”. It’s OK, it’s not that hard to learn the bind return. Watch the YoYoExpert videos here, things progress rather naturally.
Quite a few of us started with responsive play, but it appears more of us are starting with unresponsive play. The downside to this is that you have to learn to bind immediately.
Back to models:
If $45 is too much to spend, then the under $25 YoYoJam Legacy II is another model to consider. It’s essentially an all plastic version of the Dark Magic II and also includes 2 bearings, the same as the Dark Magic II. YoYoJam offers many yoyos with two bearings, incuding the Chaser, Speeder 2, Hitman Pro, XCon Pro, SpinFactorX, SR-71 and others. All are great yoyos in their own rights. I have most of these myself. Prices vary.
If budget is a concern, the YoYoJam Classic is just under $10, but as it ships, it is responsive. To bring this yoyo up to unresponsive play, you need to purchase a C-sized bearing, which can be as low as $6 for a quality bearing. Basically, any bearing you can buy from YoYoExpert is a quality bearing. I would recommend a YoYoExpert C sized bearing or the slightly more expensive YoYoJam Speed Bearing. You may also want to purchase response pads as well since the Classic uses rubber gasket rings but can also use YoYoJam response pads and flowable silicone. However, for a completely new person, having to deal with so many extra things up front is often a bit too much to handle.
You can also purchase a YoYoFactory ONE for $10 with the two bearing configuration. It ships with the slim bearing preinstalled and the other bearing loose in the upper portion of the box. There is another version that includes a DVD but no extra bearing, you don’t want this packaging. The downside to the ONE is that it’s lightweight and a bit small, so that does mean reduced spin times, but for starting out, it’s actually not bad.
Now, if you’re planning to start out unresponsive, there’s so many more model to choose from, almost all the ones I’m about to give you right now are under $30 and is stuff I personally have and enjoy. Please note, I am going from memory here, so if I leave stuff out, I apologize.
YoYoJam yoyos: Kickside, Speed Maker, Lyn Fury, Trigger. The following have 2 bearings: Legacy II and Chaser, so put in the wider bearing. I’m only not recommending the Pinnacle because it’s designed for 5A and includes a counterweight, but it’s also a good yoyo.
YoYoFactory: ONE(2 bearing packaging), WHIP(either version), Stackless Grind Machine, Starbright, Starlight, DieNasty and Plastic Grind Machine. There are others, these are the ones have and recommend. For $35, some of the best plastics you can get are the Protostar and Northstar, and these fall within your $50 budget.
Adegle Yoyos: The PSG and Asteroid, and with recent price reductions make these even more amazing.
I’m really not going to recommend any metal yoyos at this point. I’d rather you put some of that $50 towards extra strings(100 pack of 100% YYE polyester string in a bright color is a good start) and a bottle of YoYoJam thin lube or VM4 lube. Also, due to your location, as much as it may annoy management of YoYoExpert, shipping is expensive from here to your stated location of Lithuania, so you may wish to find a European retailer who may be able to save you money on shipping, or a retailer within reasonable travel distance so you can walk into a physical shop and get information as well as purchase something.
Now, some people have recommended the Velocity or “New Velocity”. YoYoFactory has recently upgraded this model. This model has a dial-based system so you can adjust the response system in or out to make the gap bigger or smaller and can make the yoyo go from responsive to unresponsive. I personally don’t care for this yoyo that much, but it is a viable option. I think YoYoExpert had some B-grade Speed Dials, where cost the same(around $20) and are mostly metal. I have one of these Speed Dials, and they aren’t that bad, but they aren’t that great either in my opinion. These are perfectly valid suggestions though.
Now that you have some information, don’t go rushing in to spend your money. Wait, let the information sink in and think about it for a bit. Then, ask more questions. Why? It’s not that we want you to spend that money, it is because we’d rather spend the extra time and effort to ensure that the best options are being presented and considered, and that you are gathering the information you need in order for you to make the best purchase decision you can.
Thanks for all this information!
I have been already learning some beginner tricks from another website but once I discovered this one, that’s where I learnt the rest of the beginner tricks. Trying to grasp intermediate ones and perfect the beginner ones, some out of which seem impossible because of my old yo-yo.
Yes, you guessed it. I am interested only in 1A style so far.
And thank you for all the well described yo yo suggestions =)
I think I got several with my eye on them now and actually an idea of what I’m looking at. But having never bought something online AND internationally, I have no idea of how to tackle the problems of buying from Europe. And there are no yo-yo oriented shops here, just some average toy shops happen to have basic selections of yo-yo’s and some of them - strings.
I personally wouldn’t recommend the Starlight, Starbright, or the PGM. The Starlight is known to crack relatively easily, and considering that the OP is just starting out the likelihood of him dinging his yoyo numerous times is fairly high. For the very same reason I’d advice against getting metal yoyos.
As for the PGM, it’s a nice enjoyable plastic yoyo but, at $30 it doesn’t play as well as the $15 YYJ plastics. The Stackless option is something to consider though, but I think the $15 YYJ or $13 Adegle would give a much bigger bang-for-the-buck.