When did responsive become popular again?

I know back when I was really involved in the community before Ed was already on his grind and even had a responsive yo-yo with SPYY, but I don’t recall any other high end responsive yo-yos or even newer fixed axles really being a thing.

I was aware of the Spirit Bomb club and thought it was awesome, but now there are multiple manufacturers with multiple fixed models and I’ve seen a decent amount of posters saying they either mainly use responsive setups or at least throw responsive a decent amount.

When did this trend start to emerge? I imagine it’s a result of finally being far enough removed from the initial transition to unresponsive play that it’s no longer viewed as “inferior,” but i was hoping for a rough timeline.


Did you mean to put “responsive” in the title?

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Lol good catch.

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Okay that makes more sense lol. As for your question, I don’t feel I’ve been around long enough to offer an accurate perspective.

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Just my 2 cents here, but it appears to me that many primarily unresponsive players, myself included, have realized that playing responsive after alot of unresponsive play helps to not only point out our flaws in trick execution and general flow, but simultaneously tweaks and smoothes out the kinks in our muscle memory developed from “loose” play due to the forgiveness of a large C bearing. Also, with the plethora of new tricks in existence today, I’d imagine players that use responsives as a refining tool also implement and attempt all sorts of things never thought of before the unresponsive revolution. This may have created the niche that is quickly bringing reaponsives somewhat back into the fore. What say y’all forum fam?


Unresponsive isn’t cool enough for the old school players, that’s what I think :joy:

Responsive has always been a niche thing that old school players enjoy but I think the turn really became more noticeable 2015-2016 when everyone discovered the formula for the perfect unresponsive 1a yoyo.

So responsive became more popular again when unresponsive yoyos actually got good and people got bored because good yoyos have no “soul” and are “boring” to play with


Neither are concave bearings.


Good yoyos are lame man, idk :man_shrugging:


This is “Unpopular Yoyo Opinion” gold


But yeah, serious answer was unresponsive was cooler when companies were trying to discover the formula for the perfect yoyo and there was a lot of variance in yoyo designs. When that started to normalize in 2015-2016 due to advancements in our understanding of good yoyo design more people started going back to responsive more.

That would be my guess

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Probably after 2014 when @drewtetz started coming up with all of the Kickflip Suicide variations and killing it with Duncan Butterflys. Then YoYoNews started a Fixed Axle Friday series.


Up until 2014 I only played responsive. Then transitioned into learning unresponsive. I turned down so many Walters that year :man_facepalming: After a year or two of learning unresponsive I went back to primarily playing responsive, for no other reason than that’s what I love. I’d say Andy had it, probably 2015-2016 people started to notice it more.

But yoyos like the Alleycat (2017), Deep State (2018?), Confusion etc. put quality responsive yoyos on the market again, in high enough quantities and at such reasonable prices that people were able to really try it out. Then recently, Doc Pop with the Weekender, and the Bandalores project on instagram have really put it in the spotlight.


Didn’t they come out in this order starting in late 2016?
Basecamp Moonshine
CoreCo Alley Cat
OD Deep State
Basecamp Sherpa
Rain City Gamer
CoreCo Alley Cat 650B
YYF Confusion
Now the @DocPop Weekender

The TK Black Cat was released in there as well but most people slept on that one. Then the special ordered Walter’s and Theodores


Alright, so as per Durfee’s request, I jotted down a quick timeline of stuff I remember.
Some of it is bigger stuff which I feel made a more obvious impact (for example the Kickflip), and some of it is more subtle. It’s really hard to dissociate “responsive” and “fixed axle” because they were mutually dependent and co-evolving. I tried to include stuff which was not necessarily to do with ANY responsive play, but contributing to the development of a responsive “style”. (For example, a company like Yoyofactory has done a TON with regard to the inclusion of responsive setups and bearings, but usually that’s more about getting kids into yo-yoing. As opposed to a yo-yo like the Legend Wing or Confusion, which have propelled the responsive style forward).
I included stuff involving myself, and if I did so disproportionately, it’s NOT toot my own horn, but because, well… I guess I remember that stuff best lol.
I would welcome any disagreement, criticism, correction, additions, etc. When I started playing mostly responsive, it was definitely an anomaly, and it’s been really rad to see it pick up, evolve, and develop into something unique from what it was before unresponsive took hold. It’s still an anomaly, but it feels more like its own thing, as opposed to just being “retro”.


  • “Fixed Axle Fun Unlimited” filmed at Worlds, one of the first fixie-specific clips, featuring Jack Ringca, Ben Mcphee, Nathan Crissey, and Augie Fash. Video ends with Jack doing the first fixed axle Gyroscopic Flop.
  • First formal “fixed axle throwdown” workshop at worlds. (Previous years had featured fixed axle ladders but not a scheduled informal throwdown.)


  • Duncan sponsors a fixed axle contest at Worlds, with a trick ladder compulsory round followed by 2-minute freestyles. Miguel Correa got 1st, John Bot came in 2nd, and Paul Han took 3rd.
  • Diss Kings (Jack Ringca and Josh Root) release “Shutup”, a video shot with Tim Simco using only responsive slimline Duncan Avengers and Ballistics.
  • Yoyofactory oversees the F.A.S.T. Challenge, a speed-based tricklist competition using the responsive FAST 201 yo-yo.


  • Yuuki & Paul Han spearhead usage of the backhand stall in 1A, inspired by Eiji & other 4A players’ regens, which (while still primarily performed on unresponsive yoyos) helped popularize regens in 1A.
  • Yoyofactory releases the 401k and Speed Dial, metal yo-yo’s designed with dial-adjustable response.
  • Ed Haponik releases “Stock Proyo” and “No Jive” clip videos.
  • Doc Pop and Joe Harris collaborate in “PopCast 05”, which demonstrates use of Stall tricks.


  • First usage of “shoe judging” for the Worlds fixed axle throwdown.
  • No Jive Spirit Bomb Club is formed, with the name describing the sole entry parameter.
  • Tom Kuhn releases the Fat Cat responsive aluminum yo-yo.


  • Yoyofactory begins to proliferate the “half-spec” bearing as a means to convert certain yo-yo’s from unresponsive to responsive.
  • Flying V is released by SPYY, a slimline metal designed to play responsive.
  • Drew Tetz wins informal, peer-judged, invitational “Fixed Axle Championship of All the World” at Worlds.


  • Duncan holds a “reboot” of the 1955 National YoYo Contest at Worlds, featuring Bob Rule, Dale and Val Oliver, and Bill deBoisblanc, along with modern players using period yo-yo’s on the main stage.
  • Randy Jensen wins Fixed at Worlds.
  • First known games of Butterfly HORSE played on the Duncan Heritage tour.


  • Colin Leland releases the Irving wooden yo-yo and begins TMBR…
  • Colin Leland wins Fixed at Worlds.
  • Butterfly HORSE becomes a regular occurance at yo-yo contests and clubs.


  • Drew and Ed join Steve Brown’s 365yoyotricks.com, highlighting ~75 original responsive yo-yo tricks throughout the year.
  • Ed throws the SPYY eH wooden yo-yo exclusively for one year. The yo-yo is subsequently put into annual production by SPYY, TMBR, and YoYoExpert.
  • Luke Hildebrand starts his Hildy Bros company releasing high quality wooden yo-yo’s
  • TMBR produces take-apart yo-yo’s with removable axles.
  • Ed wins Fixed at Worlds.
  • #fixedfriday hashtag begins on Instagram
  • Drew hits the first Kickflip Suicide!
  • Jensen Kimmitt begins hand-crafting awesome wooden yo-yo’s.
  • Kendama-mania craze begins, influencing the direction of static fixed axle tricks.


  • Ed and Drew share a weekly column on yoyonews.com called “Fixed Friday” highlighting fixed axle tricks.
  • Spencer Berry releases Walter yo-yo, which quickly achieves cult classic status
  • Spencer Berry joins 365yoyotricks.com, sharing mainly responsive 1a tricks using Walter.
  • Ben Conde wins fixed at Worlds.
  • Drew is awarded Trick Innovator of the Year at Nationals.
  • Once Upon a Tree begins producing wooden yo-yo’s.
  • Numerous state level contests begin holding fixed axle divisions.
  • Kyle Nations releases “Sting Like A Butterfly”
  • First “Fixed Axle February” contest is held.
  • Jensen releases “I Should Shut Up”.
  • Danny Severance, one of the most talented yo-yo players ever, known for his use of a stock Duncan Freehand, passes away.


  • Colin begins production of his wood-thread axle system.
  • Yoyofactory begins the “King of the World” contest at Worlds, requiring the use of an ultra-thin wooden Legend fixed axle yo-yo.
  • Tom Kuhn Yo-Yo’s releases its (as yet) final run of the iconic No Jive yo-yo, including the Mandala 6, Mandala 6.1, Optic Star, and Play Simply models.
  • Drew releases the Moon, a flatpack yo-yo which emphasized fixed axle’s trend toward doing tricks with minimal assistive technology.


  • Ed & YoYoExpert develop a Fixed Axle tutorials for the “Learn” section of the website, and hold a “Fixed Axle Challenge” contest on the forum.


  • Basecamp releases the Moonshine and later the Sherpa slimline responsive yo-yo’s.
  • Ed wins fixed at Worlds.
  • A-RT, a company founded by Jensen and Charles Haycock begins production of both unresponsive metals and wooden models.
  • Freshly Dirty begins production with their “Traveler” fixed axle wooden yo-yo.


  • CoreCo releases the AlleyCat
  • One Drop releases the Deep State
  • Yoyofactory introduces the Legend Wing at an incredibly low price point.
  • Recess begins collaboration with Hildy Bros, releasing take-apart wooden yo-yo’s made from reclaimed skateboards.
  • Ed is awarded Trick Innovator of the Year.
  • At Worlds, Mountain Dew sponsors the Mountain Dew Cup, requiring the use of a standardized responsive yo-yo.
  • Tom Kuhn releases the “Black Cat” anodized Tom Cat responsive slimline.


  • @bandalores begins creating responsive trick element tutorials on Instagram.
  • Yoyofactory releases the Confusion responsive yo-yo.
  • CoreCo updates the AlleyCat with the 650b.
  • Rain City Skills releases the Gamer responsive yo-yo.
  • Spencer Berry releases Theodore responsive yo-yo.
  • Luftverk releases the Daytona titanium slimline.
  • Spinworthy begins production and releases its Harbinger fixed axle.

thats too detailed to be a rough time line :smiley:
i’m impressed.


Yeah @edhaponik is the authority on this subject, that’s how it all went down in a nut shell


Walter release was 2013 unless there were a bunch of one offs kicking around for 2 years which there may have been.


Yeah I remember the first one was 2010 machines by hspin and there were subsequent protos but I missed the actual production release clearly.


Sounds right. I remember that was a long project. I just happen to remember the 2013 since it was the yo-yo I carried around Italy on my honeymoon.


Not on topic, but I have another quick responsive question for @edhaponik. For trick naming, are Kickflips in a Brother mount considered Switchflips or would you call them Brother-Flips? I could see Switchflips actually being saved for a responsive 5A throwhand Kickflip.

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