When I started following yoyoing on the internets, there were the 4 main forums.
yoyoing.com/news (Infinite Illusions) was the big one, had the richest history, a hilariously crappy video upload system, and a legendary chat. To me that was THE yoyo board, and when it became totally searchable and archived, I think I read the whole thing back to 1997 lol.
Dave’s Skill Toys was almost as robust and had an awesome picture gallery along with the embedded “Museum of YoYo History” site. Higby’s Corner was there and the Team Duncan guys posted on it a bunch.
theYo was in some ways comparable to Dave’s. I was a member there, but not really a frequent poster. Guys/girls who came up in theYo vs ii or Dave’s had their own tight-knit thing and a lot of them are still throwing hard.
Extreme Spin was nowhere near the size of the others, but just so cool. That forum was really like hanging out with friends until it was no longer profitable for Rich to keep the store open and support the team he’d built. The board stayed open for a few years (now with 100% less STORE!) but it went the way too, in the end.
Later on, Pat launched YoYoNation, which was super small at first but exploded as Dave’s, ES, and ii all sputtered. Pat felt like he had the monopoly on both boutique yoyo sales and yoyo talk until he literally skipped the country leaving his partners holding the bag (meaning a bunch of debt) while he became CEO of Groupon in the Philippines. It was a majorly dickish thing to do.
And then obv Andre/YYE picked up the mantle. The internet yo-yo scene is not at all the same as it was 15 years ago. The store forums have mainly been replaced by FB, reddit, Instagram, etc. You don’t have to hunt for content like you did once. It’s been interesting to watch as the yoyo’s and technology has also become more streamlined, with the vast majority of throws conforming to a set of “best practices”. Less “mod-based”, less experimental… certainly still cool, but it no longer feels like yoyoing is “finding itself”. Natural for sure, but that time when it was feels pretty special now!