When you get a Yo-Yo, What do you do First?

Q. When you get a Yo-Yo, What do you do First?

A. When I get a Yo-yo, I…

  1. String it up

  2. Snap start it (and bind it) to my hand.

  3. Throw it one more time to make sure the string is tightly wound around the bearing.

  4. Throw it once more and test the smoothness. Then I superman bind it back to my hand for some reason.

  5. Do step 4 one more time

  6. I begin throwing usually starting with a technical trick.

What’s your routine?

  1. Stare at it up close for a while
  2. Throw a sleeper and bounce it around. I dont think this tests anything, its just fun
  3. Do a couple light binds to check snagginess
  4. Tell everyone about it

depending on the presentation, take in the yoyo itself and the packing, accoutrements itself.

grab my favorite string, measure the string. measure it again.

throw it for a little bit, binds and all…

take a couple pics

sit with it and observe it, manipulate it and handle it and get a feel for all the unique tactile differences and curves and angles that make it unique

get back to throwing and appreciating what i observed


Hide the packaging from my wife so the yoyo blends with the rest of my collection. Then i nonchalantly grab it and throw a few tricks in the living room to test it out, all along trying not to seem like I’m excited about a NEW TOY!
Kidding. I have everything delivered to my office just in case.


When I get a new yoyo, I usually take a pic for Instagram. Toss a string on, usually I have a few lying around that are already looped and cut to the right length. Snap start, then a real throw to get a nice right bind. Then I throw a trapeze, double or nothing, GT, pop it out, do a Brent Stole, then Hidemasa Hook, and bind. Then I do that again. And again. These are the only tricks, in the only order, any of my throws will ever know.

I never claimed to be a good yoyoer.


That’s a very sad story! Would you like to learn some new tricks?


Haha I’m exaggerating a bit, I know a few more tricks but that little combo is my go-to that u do a lot. I honestly don’t spend a ton of time actually yoyoing, now that most of my time is taken up making string. I’m happy where I am though, once every couple of months I’ll pick up something new like I recently learned Ninja Vanish, but overall I just yoyo to chill not to get good.


I always rip the box open as soon as possible, usually while it’s still in the post office workers hands as they are handing it me.

Next is extract the yoyo box from the protective bubble wrap, usually using my teeth.

I am very careful with the actual box of the yoyo, because I don’t want to ruin it in case I want to resell the yoyo.

Usually by now I’m starting my car and reversing out my parking to make it to an important meeting that allowed me a window of time to slip out to the post office without my wife realising where I went.

I try to get a good look and feel for the yoyo while getting out of a tight parking space, trying not to hit any pedestrians or dent my car.

By now I’m speeding round town to make it to my meeting with a yoyo in my lap, trying to admire the colorway or get a good look at the shape of the yoyo, also checking for any damage the yoyo may have, trying not to look down too much and drive safely.

When I finally get to the meeting, I have a throw or two while walking, all the while being conscious not to be spotted yoyoing by my boss, fellow workers or clients.

The yoyo then gets hidden in my briefcase until my wife goes to sleep, after which I can throw my new acquisition in peace.


^^These are some great responses. I’m still laughing.

I’ve learned not to open a new package until I have a little time, otherwise I’m going to be hopelessly distracted. Then I open it up, look everything over, unbox the yoyo and really take it in. Next I put one of my preferred strings on it, snap start, bind, test throw, bounce it to make sure it isn’t being responsive or snaggy. If it seems OK I throw it harder, test again for responsiveness or snags. If I can’t get a reasonably smooth throw I’ll check for vibe. If its snaggy or responsive I’ll do a bunch of regens and gyroscopic flops to break in the response and bearing. Check for string wear near response.

Once I’m satisfied its not going to make any sudden unannounced returns into my face/knuckles I do this combo I always do: double or nothing->matrix->A’s->suicide->slack brother to 1.5ish mount → ripcord slack thing back to double or nothing → kwijbo → double or nothing → supercharger → bind. If I can get through the whole series without missing or having the yoyo die out I know I’m going to really get along with the yoyo. I usually do this a bunch of times since this best helps me get a feel for the yoyo. Then I do other random hooks, slacks, rejections, Colin’s chopsticks to magic drop rejection trick, some frontstyle stuff, and whatever tricks I’ve been learning.

Finally I have to decide which yoyo of the many sitting on my desk is going to be displaced by the new guy.


I open the box as I walk out of the post office then fondle it as I sit in my car. As I am usually then off to do errands I cover the yoyo so I do not look at it when I am driving. When I get home I will put a string on and throw then bind a few times to see if I need thicker or thinner string. Once I am happy with the string I will put the yoyo through what tricks and elements I know. It’s rare that I ever love a brand new yoyo. I need to warm up to a new yoyo. Sometimes it takes a few months to get the feel of it.


15 yoyos later I still have only 10 yoyos. My partner doesn’t know the difference between any of them so the “enjoy” aspect of getting a new yoyo is done in secrecy. I have several several drawers I hide older yoyos and then am able to display the newer ones so I always have 10 yoyos. Never more than 10.


I will spare you my entire process but it involves some Al Green and a scented candle. Obviously after everyone else in the house is asleep.


Circa 2020-2021, my yoyo-receiving routine has been to wipe down the yoyo with rubbing alcohol, first.

No offense to any folks I’ve bought yoyos from this past year.

Then, I take a shot out of the yoyo with non-rubbbing alcohol.

Ok ok… jk on the 2nd part, but really about the first part.

  1. Throw a string on.
  2. Throw a sleeper.

What happens after that depends on how that first throw felt. Maybe switch out for a different string (thicker or thinner, or maybe just newer). Maybe swap out the bearing for something more centering.


I tend to start by asking the new yoyo a series of intense, well thought out questions. Some of these include:

  • Who sent you?
  • What are you hoping to get out of this experience?
  • Name a time when you were involved in a conflict with a customer or coworker and describe how you handled that conflict
  • Tell me something interesting about yourself
  • Do you get dizzy easily/are you afraid of heights?

What’s with rubbing alcohol? To clean it?


Usual practice is to do a couple of throw downs to get a preliminary feel for it. Then a trapeze, double or nothing or trapeze and brother. After a couple of those it’s a McBride Roller Coaster or two.

  • inspect it and feel the texture
  • string it up
  • throw a sleeper to see how it feels and finger grind for days
  • then just freestyle until I figure out how much spintime it has

The first thing I usually do is stare at it for a few minutes wondering why I even thought I needed another yoyo.

Then, I always get a new string to put on the new yoyo because I almost never use the string that may be supplied with a new yoyo.

Then, I throw the new yoyo for about 20 minutes, trying to see how fast I can read off a list of a few dozen yo-yos I already have that seem to play better.

Then, I try to figure if the yoyo vibe is ‘half related’ and/or the vibe coming up the string is ‘bearing related’?

Then, I take the yoyo apart to see if the bearing ‘One Drops’(their in house machine work is so superb that most often the bearings can be removed using only fingertips) or is STUCK like it was pounded onto the half with a jack hammer.

Then… I usually throw it some more before putting it away and thinking I didn’t really need it.

And ‘then’ the very next morning I start throwing it again and decide it’s my new favorite yoyo… until I buy my next new favorite yoyo 3 days later.

And the saga continues…


Yes. But truthfully I’ve been cleaning used yoyo purchases since a long time. It really is the first thing I do with a yoyo. After that I never clean them again, lol