If you are an absolute beginner and you don’t know from where to start, I got you covered! In this article, I’ll show you how to use a yoyo from the beginning so that you become a more experienced player in just 7 easy peasy lemon squeazy steps.
Step 1-Know your type of yoyo
There are several types of yoyo that play differently depending on the shape.
- Imperial Yoyos -These are the classical yoyos that you may have played with when you were a kid or when your parents were just some joyful children. the most known yoyo in this category is the Duncan Imperial, an O-shaped yoyo that stays comfortable in your hand and comes back easily when you tug it.
- Looping Yoyos. This kind of yoyos is specially designed for 1A tricks ( the so-called looping tricks. It has a narrow gap, sometimes even narrower than that of a classic Imperial one. Most Yoyo Players prefer the new modified shape for the looping yoyos as they don’t hurt themselves so much it happens to hit themselves with the yoyo. The modified shape is sometimes referred to as flywheel shape.
- String tricks yoyos– These yoyos are specially designed for 1A, 3A or 5A yoyoing. These yoyos enter in three main categories depending on their shape
I) Butterfly yoyos.: They have a very wide gap compared to the Imperial and Looping yoyos. However, these toys don’t come back so easily and you may need to perform a bind.
II)H-shape yoyos-This type of yoyos is suited for competitive play as the shape tends to have rim weight for stability and power of the spin.
III)V-shape yoyos-also good for competitive play, but without all the rim weight hype
4.Automatic yoyos: These are yoyos like the Yomega Brain that use a clutch system to bring back the yoyo automatically once it doesn’t spin fast anymore. The main disadvantage of this type of yoyo is the reduced spin time so you may feel frustrated that you can’t let the yoyo spin for more time.
5.Offstring yoyos: these toys are literally off the string: the string loop is not attached to the bearing of the yoyo. This gives a whole bunch of new tricks to discover. However, you need a larger yoyo to play smoothly this kind of yoyoing style. That’s why some models have a large diameter and a great width, just so that you catch the yoyo onto the string.
The type of yoyo influences the way you play with it! So pay attention to this aspect!
Step 2-Know your response system!
As you may know, yoyos come in different shapes and sizes. They also come with different bearings, axles or response pads depending on the style of play, age of the yoyo or rend. Let’s see what are these systems like!
Firstly, I will talk about the response systems.
Most of the older yoyos came with this response system. From my perspective, it is the most inefficient axle/bearing I’ve ever seen. Why? Think about the friction between the steel or aluminium axle and the yoyo string. It just slows things down very quickly and you can’t enjoy so much playing on the yoyo.
How does it relate to using a yoyo?
In this case, you need to know that the yoyo will be more likely to come back even when you slightly tug it. As a result, the fixed axle makes a good responsive yoyo as a starting point for beginner players like you. However, there are better alternatives.
Starburst system+Fixed axle:
This type of response system presents and asterisc shaped figure around the axle which protrudes the inner facet of the yoyo and improves the grip of the system.
Although you can make the yoyo come back up, you will feel dissatisfied with the noise that this starburst system makes when putting in friction with the string.
Another disadvantage is that once the response is gone the star-shaped figure can’t be replaced with something else. It is also difficult to add the starburst system to aluminium yoyos as the process of creating an aluminium yoyo is centred around spinning a cylinder of aluminium that gets carved in a convenient shape.
You can now to that edges of the star by spinning and carving the yoyo. This innovation in the field of yoyo play was brought by a Duncan employee in 1957. Honestly, there have been changed so many things in this time!
Brake pads for Duncan Playmaxx yoyo
The response consists of a reverse starburst system with rubber pads with arrayed “teeth” around the axle of the yoyo. It was patented by Playmaxx and it is replaceable. It was the basis of all modern response pad systems.
Friction Stickers/Response Pads
These are the most used response pads in our days, even though the response system was patented in 1984, which is so much time ago.
However, they only gained popularity in 1990 when the production of the aluminium yoyos has increased greatly. Until then.most of the yoyos were made of plastic and played acceptably, but that was nothing compared to the aluminium yoyos you can try today.
- The response pad sth on the recessed section of the inner wall that makes the yoyo unresponsive and capable of handling more tricks.
- they can be replaced when worn out or exchanged for a different kind of material
O-rings-almost the same as friction stickers
they are the most popular-most of the yoyos have injected liquid silicone in the recess and left to dry, afterwards the excess is removed with a knife.
Yo-yos with recessed silicone response systems are generally considered to be for advanced and even professional-level players who enjoy very little response, and use a bind to return the yo-yo
Step 3-Know your bearing type and configuration!
Ballbearings were introduced in the late 1990s and since then they have remained the most popular feature of the yoyo because such bearings can offer a whole range of possibilities within the yoyo play realm.
There are 3 configurations of the bearings
- Thick lubricant setup_this causes the yoyo to have low sleep times. It is ideal for responsive play, especially for looping tricks.
- Thin lube setup-in this case you put a bit of lube onto the bearing or between the tiny balls of the bearing system.
- No lube setup-also called as “dry play”.Cleaner than the previous ways, but there may be a greater chance of wearing out your bearing and making the unresponsive yoyo come back to your even if you don’t want to. By not using lube, you reduce the lifespan of this replacement part.
- Steel -most of the yoyo bearings are made of steel. Most of the time stainless steel is being used. However, some companies consider that regular steel is more durable than stainless steel.
- Ceramic-_htere are expensive Silicon Nitride(Si3N4) balls inside which are contained into a stainless steel race and exterior. This type of bearing is more likely to suffer from shock damage.
Yoyo Bearing Sizes
there are many yoyo sizes on the market, but I’ll mention the most notable three sizes, as they are used all over the place.
- Size A -Some companies produce and sell this kind of bearings like Duncsn, Playmaxxx and YoYoFactory.It is 5mmmx10x4mm. These undersized bearings are good for looping yoyos.
- Size C Most of the yoyos use this bearing size It also is the most popular for competition lever 1A yoyos.
- Size K-A miniature bearing for YoyoFactory Mighty Flea. It is smaller than even a size A bearing. The K bearing was widely used in the Loop 900 and the Loop 1080.
- Flat bearing-there is no groove or track and the string tends to hit the edges of the yoyo, a thing that is especially annoying at least when I used to play with my laptop.
- Center Trac -It all started with the collaboration between YoyoFactory and Central Bearing Co. It is similar to concave bearing, instead of smooth curved shape, it is flat with flared edges. There is also a gold plated version of the bearing that doesn’t change things so much except for money. You can also purchase a 10 ball bearing instead of 8-ball bearing for more smoothness and performance(it is nicknamed “CTS”).
- Konkave Bearing-Dif-E-Yo started manufacturing this type of bearing in 2003. The underlying principle of the Konkave baing is that it keeps the bearing centred away from the edges of the yo-yo comes in A, C, D, L sizes and there is also a ceramic option.
- V-cave bearing –it is a single-angled recess. There is a v-shape designed to centre the string, preventing accidental returns
- Pixel Bearing-it consists of a series of eight steps starting from the side walls descending towards the centre of the bearing. The string can micro-adjust over each other while you perform complicated tricks.
- NSK bearings-they is the most precise with a tolerance of 5 to 1000, they need little to no maintenance, they perform extremely well straight out of the box. It has a similar shape and feels to the KonKave bearing. However, you need to be careful and prevent the bearing from locking up during the play due to the machining precision.
- Grooved bearings-they have a groove in the centre of the flat bearing
Step 4-adjust the string length
In this case, you need to make the string long enough that you have more freedom for your tricks(more space between the fingers, you can have larger slacks to catch the yoyo easily). However, the string shouldn’t be too long, otherwise, you hit the ground too often.
Ideally, the string should be about 110-130 cm in length that can be adjusted depending on your belly button position. To have a precise measure, you should let the yoyo on the ground in front of your feet and hold the string tight at the end of it (in your hands) until the yoyo doesn’t touch the ground any more. If the string passes the belly button level you should make a knot and cut from there.
Don’t know how to do a knot and then a slipknot?
No, problem, I’ll teach you right away. There are some simple steps that you can do in order to make those. Just follow the instructions in the image.
Then you should cut the excess string with scissors and you are set. Insert the rest of the string into the created knot and slide through the loop. Then put the slip knot as shown below. The two strings should face the ring finger. Tight up the slip knot. The loop should sit on the middle knuckle of your middle finger.
Step 5-Throw the yoyo the right way.
Position your yoyo as shown below. When you throw the yoyo you should imagine that you hold a dumbbell into your throwing hand. Hold your yoyo into your palm tight.
The motion is similar to the up and down motion with your dumbbell. Stop your hand when the arm is parallel to the ground to prevent the yoyo from hitting the floor or tarmac.
From this point, this yoyo should spin(this motion is called “sleeper”).tTo bring back the yoyo you should tug it and the toy should return to your hand. If you didn’t manage to make the yoyo come back, it means that you didn’t pull enough the string or the yoyo is unresponsive.
Responsive yoyos are the ones that return to your hand when you tug them and the unresponsive ones are the ones that don’t return to your palm no matter how much you tug it. For unresponsive yoyos, you need to do a special trick called “the bind”.
Here is a tutorial from which you can learn more about using a yoyo. Click on the black play button and then on the red play button.
Step 6-Know some basic tricks!
What good o have a yoyo if you don’t know what to do with it. I will teach you the easiest yoyo tricks that will make you the expert in your friends’ circle!
Do the bind
Throw the yoyo and roll over your left finger. Lower your right hand, then your left hand at the same time pinching the string and raise your right hand as soon as you release the string from your left hand.
Hold the yoyo in your hand with the palm facing your back and throw the yoyo forward. When the yoyo is spinning in front of you at the end of the unwinded string you can tug and catch it with the palm facing the yoyo.
Around the World
Same motion as for the Forward Pass with the difference that you make the yoyo revolve around your hand once or twice before tugging it.
Walk the dog
Throw the yoyo and let it touch the ground in order to move forward. Flip your hand to make it come back.
Rock the baby
Drag the string with your left hand and then bring the yoyo-hand near the yoyo. Pinch the two strings with your right hand and enlarge the loop created with the left hand by spreading your fingers within. Bring the yoyo into that large loop and start to swing it.
Throw the yoyo. Put your left finger behind the string next to your body.roll the yoyo towards your body and over your left finger to land the toy onto the string.
Step 7-Adjust string tension!
AS you play you may observe that the string behaves strange and it looks like spaghetti. Don’t be discouraged, as I’ll show you 3 effective methods of removing the string tension.
You can just read further or watch this video to learn more about adjusting the string tension.
Throw the yoyo horizontally and the string will make a swirling motion.HOld a part of the string with your thumb of the left hand. Pop up the yoyo and as soon as the toy is at your throwing hand level it will come back to your hand.
Dylan Kowalski’s method
while watching Dylan’s tricks while reviewing some yoyos, I observed that he used a cool metal to get rid of the string tension. Do one-and-a-half front mound and then grab the middle string(coming directly from the yoyo) with your left hand. Pull that string and you’ll see another kind of tornado string move.BE cautious as you will start to tilt to the left as you apply this method.
Brandon Vu’s Method
These are the most important things you need to know about using a yoyo. If you made it until here, Congrats you know some things that many people don’t know! If you have any question, don’t hesitate to ask it in the comments!
Tell me what do you think I should add at this tutorial! Any suggestions are welcomed!