Comprehensive YoYoing GuideVersion 5.4
- Refer to bottom of post for last updated time/date.IndexSection 1
ii: Sideshowbob's "How to ask good questions" Guide
iii: YoYo Videos/LinksSection 2
i: 1A Questions
ii: 2A Questions
iii: 3A Questions
iv: 4A Questions
v: 5A Questions
vi: String Questions
vii: Maintenance/Modding QuestionsSection 3
i: YoYo Tricks
1A (also known as single A and A): String (sleeper) tricks with a single yo-yo.
2A (aka A and AA ): Double handed looping tricks.
3A (aka as triple A and AAA): Double handed String (sleeper) tricks
4A (aka OS and Offstring): A Single Yo-yo which is not attached to the string (but string is tied to the finger)
5A (aka FH, counterweight and Freehand): Where a weight is attached to the end of the string (that would otherwise be attached to the finger).
For a detailed explanation of the different yoyoing divisions, check out the Yo-Yo Wiki's Styles of Play
page.Getting started linksHow to Start Yo-YoJ-'s Guide to Being a Non-Annoying Newbie
and J-'s Beginner yo-yo FAQHow to wind a ball bearing yoyoYoMeisterís Buying GuideYo-Yo Care by Jennifer Baybrook's
*********************************************************How to ask good questions
Refer to Sideshowbob's "How to ask good questions" Guide
*********************************************************YoYo Links and Videos
Refer to The Exhaustive list of YoYoing Links
*********************************************************1A Questions1A questions are in bold, beginning with numbers (eg. 1, 2, 3 etc)1A is almost always the style of play a yoyoer starts off with as 1A is the very foundation of yoyoing.
. When someone thinks about yoyoing, he'd probably be referring to 1A.
1: I'm new to YoYoing. Which yoyo should i get - YoYoFactory Fast 201, YoYoJam Speedmaker, YoYoJam Kickside, YoYoJam Lyn Fury or Duncan Freehand Zero?YoYoFactory Fast 201Price: $9.99
Shape - Butterfly/ Wing, Weight (g) - 63.60, Width (mm) - 35.35, Diameter (mm) - 56.73, Gap Width (mm) - 3.05, Bearing Size (mm) - 5x10x4, Gap Type - Adjustable, Response System - YoYoFactory F.A.S.T. 201 StarburstYoYoJam SpeedmakerPrice: $14.40
Shape - Butterfly/Wing, Weight (g) - 61.20, Width (mm) - 36.13, Diameter (mm) - 55.08, Gap Width (mm) - 3.48, Bearing Size (mm) - 6x13x5 (Large YoYoJam Bearing), Gap Type - Adjustable, Response System - YYJ Hybrid (Half Starburst Half Double O-Ring)YoYoJam KicksidePrice: $14.40
Shape - Butterfly/Wing, Weight (g) - 66.40, Width (mm) - 41.71, Diameter (mm) - 55.97, Gap Width (mm) - 3.42, Bearing Size (mm) - 6x13x5 (Large YoYoJam Bearing), Gap Type - Adjustable, Response System - YYJ Hybrid (Half Starburst Half Double O-Ring)YoYoJam Lyn FuryPrice: $14.40
Shape - Butterfly/Wing, Weight (g) - 65.50, Width (mm) - 41.78, Diameter (mm) - 54.40, Gap Width (mm) - 4.58, Bearing Size - 6x13x5 (Large YoYoJam Bearing), Gap Type - Adjustable, Response System - YYJ Double O-RingDuncan Freehand Zero ClearDuncan Freehand Zero TranslucentDuncan Freehand Zero OpaquePrice: $17.99
Shape - Butterfly / Wing, Weight (g) - 64.40, Width (mm) - 38.10, Diameter (mm) - 57.15, Gap Width (mm) - 2.85, Bearing Size (mm) - 5x10x4, Gap Type - Fixed, Response System - Duncan Friction Sticker
You can't really go wrong with any of these choices. All of the YYJ celcon models play great for beginners or even the most advanced players. The same could be said for the FHZ. I would confidently choose any of those apart from the 201. Although it can good to learn on, I feel that it takes more work to make it capable for advanced play.
The FAST 201 is really cheap and highly moddable (if you want to). However if you are looking for a new yoyo that requires very little maintenance, I would go with a Lyn or a Kickside. I have a Lyn (double o-ring) and a Kickside (hybrid). The Lyn is an awesome yoyo straight out of the box. It would be a very good idea to pick up some YoYoJam thin lube with your purchase. You will learn (as I did) that many of the intermediate and advanced tricks will become easy quickly with a newer yoyo.
The Kickside for me with its starburst response system is still too responsive with a shaved down silicone o-ring. You would need to shim it to make it unresponsive. There is no modding necessary with the YYJ shims (in the sense that you do not have to drill or cut the yoyo, just install the shims and you are ready to go). The shims come in two colors, each with different thickness (refer to the question on shims in the ďMaintenance/Modding QuestionsĒ section below). There are plenty of people on YoYoNation that have Speedmakers and love them. The Freehand Zero (FH0) allows for several setup options straight out of the package as well. The older packaging came with little o-ring to place in the "guts" of the yo so that the gap would be adjustable on the fly. The newer packaged FH0 no longer come with those, but they do have the spacers to set up two different gap widths. I find that going wide on a FH0 with two friction stickers is the ideal setup. Watching the Steve Brown video (that comes in the newer packagings) will quickly lead you into 5A.
The Fast 201 comes with 3 different response settings from beginner to pro. It is almost idiot proof and inexpensive. Other than changing string, there is hardly any need for maintenance. I have a gold 201 at my workplace that I like to play quite a lot as it very decent for advanced string tricks. I canít say too much about Lyn fury, Speedmaker and Kickside as i have not tried them - all i know is that they feel like the Zero. All other 4 yoyos would make a good 2nd step into Single A.
As for the Freehand Zero - I did not recommend it as a beginner's yoyo because of the need to replace the frictions stickers and is therefore not as straightforward as a Fast 201, which does not need to be maintained or modding. This is especially important when the younger kids (6 - 10) want to pick up yoyoing for the first time. However, for the beginner to move on to higher level tricks, Freehand Zero would be highly recommended as its price is one of the most competitive in comparison to other brands of yoyos around its level. I have been using the Freehand Series for around 5 years and I have yet to find another yoyo that feels and plays so natural, and yet be so inexpensive.
A new player would want the best of for his money. He tends to usually brutalize his yoyo with multiple hits to the floor. The FHZ is a good yoyo to start with. However, i strongly recommend you try out other yoyos so that you can maximize your potential. Play with a yoyo that you like - something that fits comfortably in your hands. There is no need to buy multiple quantities of 1 particular yoyo unless you are a collector, or if you are going to use it for your freestyle during a competition (weíll worry about this later), in which you would want to prepare at least 3 yoyos.
The Freehand Zero is using a polycarbonate plastic body, which is one of the toughest plastics known to man. Its shape is ideal for most palm sizes and it has a solid body construction. It might cost the most but you get more out of your money. The newer ones come with a demo CD by DUNCAN - which is a good way to learn some cool basic tricks as well. The downside to the FHZ is that it has the most parts (o-ring spacers and bearings) to mingle with inside the yoyo you might loose some bit but if you would be fine if you know which part is for what and where it should go. The other downside is the need to replace the Friction pads, spelling high maintenance. Usually FHZs out of the box are fine so you need not worry unless youíre doing some crazy tricks.
I would least recommend the Fast 201. It is rough on the strings with its FAST (fully adjustable starburst technology) system. I usually break the starbursts off and install my own friction stickers, this makes it play wonderfully. Itís a little light but still a good player, however I find its width to be too narrow.
My second recommendation after the FHZ would be the Speedmaker. Its small size makes it easy to handle. The Yoyo is narrow but the sharp gradient of the inner walls of butterfly shape makes it easy to land string tricks as well as ensure the yoyo is stable during play.
The Kickside is a remake of the popular Patriot, which was my first ever YoYoJam. It set a new boundary to my yoyoing when i first got it 3 years having switched from thin profiled yoyos. The size is large and is pleasant to use. The hybrid response may be a little too unresponsive and would require a bind to return (refer to the FAQ on binds below for more information).
The Lyn Fury: Personally, i am not a fan of this yoyo. I tend to get strings that slip into the sides of the yoyo when i untwist it to widen the gap even a little. Any YoYoJam yoyo plays really well shims to centre out the bearings. For any YoYoJam yoyo, get a yoyo best for your hand size. That way, it will be easier to progress with your tricks. The Lyn's weight is fine but at times i find it too light; this is because i am used to metal rimmed yoyos. The spintime I get on the Lyn is too short for my style of play.
The YYJ speeder or any metal rimmed yoyo by YoYoJam give u longer spin times that allows you get to work on more tricks. I feel there is a big difference when i pass a kid a metal rimmed YYJ yoyo as he would have more spintime to perform the trick. It is more of a confidence booster when you have a yoyo that would spin as long as you need it to be. The Bottom line: If you are new, get the FHZ. Once you've progressed and got the cash, get a metal rimmed YYJ yoyo.
2. I am looking for a durable and smooth string for 1A. Any recommendations? What if I canít find YoYo String in my country?
String is cheap and is a preference issue. I use slick 6 50/50 cotton poly. Try a little of everything and see what you like the best. gsimian makes string and would probably send you a few strands to test out (I shouldn't be speaking for him, so ask nicely). Most of yoing is a personal preference. You can ask one question and get many different suggestions.
Also a preference matter. The most popular choices for 1A are slick 6, type 6 100% poly and Brazilian string. Eventually you'll have tried them all out and you'll develop a preference, and for now you can settle with any of them as they all perform relatively well.
About availability in countries without YoYo stores, put in mind that the majority (as far as I know) of (serious) yoyoing purchases are done online. If you'd like to have the advantage of getting a very wide range of choices and being able to get new yoyos as soon as they are released. Otherwise, if you can't order online, don't let it put you off yoyoing. I'm pretty sure you can manage without it, but I do suggest you try to gain access to it.
String type, is mostly a matter of preference, and different players will tell you that different string plays the smoothest for them. However, there's not a lot of debate that 100% polyester string outlasts other string types by a fair amount. If there's none available in your country, it's no great expense to add some to an order you make from an online store. 100 strings online these days range between $8 and $17 and buying in bulk is a lot more practical than buying packs of 5 or 10 in local stores.
3. Terminology: What is a bind?
Quoting Ryan Monson, ďa bind is the deliberate insertion of string into the yoyo's gap so as to make unresponsive yoyos return to your hand, due to friction from the string rubbing with the response system of the yoyo.Ē
A bind is a way to get an unresponsive yo-yo to return to your hand. It is done by taking your non-throwing hand (the hand which doesn't have the yo-yo tied to your finger) and using it to insert an extra segment string into the gap (the space in between the two halves of the yo-yo) until it catches, bringing the yo-yo back to your hand.
J- of Begin2spin.com defines a bind as, "Intentional insertion of extra segments into the yo-yo gap (usually a wrap around the axle) in order to get an unresponsive yo-yo to return."
Or as Ryan Monson aka Harry Houdini put it in layman's terms, "basically it is a move that helps get an unresponsive yoyo back to your hand. Usually when you have a yoyo that requires a bind it either has a large bearing that widens the distance between the string and response system, or it has a response system that is not very aggressive. To get the yoyo back to your hand you must bind
The bind is fundamental
for semi-responsive to unresponsive play. A normal tug would not bring the yoyo back to the hand. You would like to start off learning the basic bind
and later the side (trapeze) bind
. When you get better and want a bit more variety, you can try a few other variations of the bind. You can check out videos of advanced binds at the YoYo Tricks
4: Terminology: What does it mean when a yoyo snags?
The snagging of a yoyo means that if the yoyo is in a specific part of a trick that has a lot of string in the gap or some other situations, the response system would grip suddenly and the yoyo would stop or return to your hand (or face =p) depending on how much spin it had.
A snag is when the yoyo bites the string in the middle of a trick and returns to your hand unexpectedly. It can be caused be a sloppy string hit where the string rubs too hard against the response system, too many layers being in the gap, or backspin against the spin of the bearing. A bind really, is nothing more than a controlled snag.
5: Response Systems: What is difference in performance between the Yo ring (dual o-rings) and hybrid (half starburst half o-ring) and dual starburst response systems?
The difference between the two isn't something really definite, but most people would agree on the fact that hybrid response opens suicides a bit better, even though silicone O-rings have come to bring victory to O-rings (just my opinion
) in the suicide battle.
Some other differences people mention or feel about (mostly me, but people usually agree on these) are that the starbursts in Hybrid yoyos cause an annoying sound when it rubs against the string. Another thing I personally dislike about Hybrid response is that I feel it kind of slips when I do a bind (refer to the FAQ on binding below for more information) at a low speed in comparison to double O-ring.
One of the gripes people have about O-ring response is that they find it causes the yoyo to snag at times, but some O-ring lovers also find the opposite to be true. Another thing I personally like about O-ring response is that I find it a bit more customizable, between flowable silicone, red silicone O-rings and rubber O-rings, and with the option to shave the latter two flush with the surface, you have lots of options and setups to choose from.
</O-ring response shameful advertising
In the end though, it's a personal preference matter and you might end up liking the hybrid response more than double O-ring so that's why I think it's good you're trying both out.
Yoyos with dual rubber orings are more response, while yoyos with dual starburst response are less responsive. Yoyos with hybrid response have responses that are in between the two. New players may not get use to the dual starburst response at the start (applying to YoYoJam yoyos), dual rubber o-ring YoYoJam yoyos (eg Lyn Fury) have better response and are therefore easier to start off with.
6. Learning to grind: What are grinds? Are plastic yoyos or metal yoyos better for learning grinds? Is there some like ABCs of grinding resource/video out there to help me start off?
nooby note: include tommy gun's grind post.
Depends on the plastic. The Celcon YYJ's like the Lyn are actually pretty good grinders. Johnnie DelValle did actually make a Grinding 101 video but i'm not sure if he's still hosting it.
Any1 has a link to JDís Grinding 101 video?
Arm Grinds are probably one of the easiest of all grinds to do, hardest to master.
Easy way to start? Grab the yo-yo about 1.5 inches from the yo-yo set it on your pointer finger sticking out, and let it ride to your elbow. Make sure you keep your arm straight as it goes. Use your pointer as the "leading" finger, it will set up the path for the yo-yo. Then move from grabbing the yo-yo and setting to you arm to popping it up and set it the same way with your "Leading" finger. Let it grind all the way down to your elbow. From here you can swing to different mounts or like Gerard or JD can pop it up to other mounts. It's all practice and dexterity.
*********************************************************2A Questions2A questions are in bold, beginning with capitalized roman numerals (eg. I, II, III etc)
I. I'm thinking of learning the basics of 2A. Which yoyo would you recommend for a beginner 2A player? Duncan ProYo
, Duncan Ballistic
, Duncan Speed Beetle
, YoYoJam Sunset Trajectory NXG
, YoYoJam Relic
, Hyper Yo-Yo Hyper Raider
?Duncan ProYo TranslucentDuncan ProYo OpaquePrice: $3.99
Shape - Imperial, Weight (g) - 48.10, Width (mm) - 27.78, Diameter (mm) - 57.14, Gap Width (mm) - 2.47, Bearing Size (mm) - 4.09x17.56x8.77 (wooden) Gap Type - Fixed, Response System - Tapered GapDuncan BallisticPrice: $13.99
Shape - Modified Imperial, Weight (g) - 52.60, Width (mm) - 34.36, Diameter (mm) - 56.91, Gap Width (mm) - 3.20, Bearing Size (mm) - 5x10x4, Gap Type - Fixed, Response System - Duncan Friction StickerDuncan Speed BeetlePrice: $7.99
Shape - Modified Imperial, Weight (g) - 47.50, Width (mm) - 37.69, Diameter (mm) - 56.95, Gap Width (mm) - 3.17, Bearing Size (mm) - 5x10x4, Gap Type - Fixed, Response System - Duncan Friction StickerYoYoJam Sunset Trajectory NXGPrice: $14.40
Shape - Modified Imperial, Weight (g) - 51.00, Width (mm) - 35.64, Diameter (mm) - 57.97, Gap Width (mm) - 2.88, Bearing Size (mm) -6.3x9.49x3.14, Gap Type - Adjustable, Response System - YYJ Double O-RingYoYoJam RelicPrice: $19.80
Shape - Modified Imperial, Weight (g) - 51.20, Width (mm) - 33.59, Diameter (mm) - 56.53, Gap Width (mm) - 2.01, Bearing Size (mm) - 6.3x9.49x3.14, Gap Type - Adjustable, Response System - YYJ Double O-RingHyper Yo-Yo Hyper RaiderPrice: $7.99
Shape - Modified Imperial, Weight (g) - 53.30, Width (mm) - 35.19, Diameter (mm) - 58.30, Gap Width (mm) - 3.06, Bearing Size (mm) - 3.95x7.92x3.21, Gap Type - Fixed, Response System - StarburstYomega RaiderPrice: $12.99
Shape - Modified Imperial, Weight (g) - 53.60, Width (mm) - 35.04, Diameter (mm) - 58.49, Gap Width (mm) - 3.15, Bearing Size (mm) - 3.95x7.88x3.2, Gap Type - Fixed, Response System - Starburst
Nooby note: Ask pat about including the ballistics in his answer.
For beginners learning how to loop, i would recommend the Duncan ProYo ahead of the speed beetles as the friction stickers in the speed beetles wear out too fast (therefore requiring constant replacement of the friction stickers). Sunset trajectory NXGs are good because they loop really well out of the package. No modding required! They also sleep a very long time for around the world or wrap tricks. NXGs are actually one of the best loopers around, in my opinion... Relics are still good though, but just not as good as the Sunset Trajectories. As for Sunset Trajectories OR the Relics, it depends on the size of yoyo you want (Relics FEEL a bit smaller). The weight difference of the sunsets and relics WOULD matter, but to someone that knows how to loop WELL. Looping is a matter of experimenting to find what's right for YOU.
My most favorite looper, however, is the great Yomega Raider. The shape, size, weight, and FEEL of Raiders as you learn 2a is ideal. Actually, yes, the Raider is a GREAT 2a yoyo without the mod. All you really have to do is get some really think lube to lube up the yoyo. You'll get amazing loops, but you won't get such long around the worlds, which is fine for learning how to loop. The only downside is that they are high maintenance - Performing the Raider Mod
and constant lubing/cleaning. Everyone's ready to try a Raider when they first start, but performing the Raider Mod and looping with a modified Raider takes a little experience.
The Duncan ProYo is good for beginner who wants to learn 2A. It does not need to be maintained and the string does not need to be changed very often. The ProYo does not use friction stickers (which need to be constantly replaced - especially for 2A), its wooden axle eliminates the need for the axle to be lubricated or washed bearings, as compared to most of the other 2A yoyos which use metal ball bearing axles.
As a beginner you will most likely be learning how to loop. The ProYo is easier to use/control when it comes to looping. Its essential to learn how to control the string tension, for example how to make the yoyo responsive or less responsive by throwing a sidewinder/UFO, as different tricks will make the yoyo string tighter or loser with every loop you do. When you can do fountain (2 handed punching bags up and down) easily then it is time to change out of the ProYo.
I have personally tried relics, ballistics, and raiders (tried as in having played it extensively and not just throwing them a couple of times). I have not played the Sunset NXGs or Speed Beetles enough to comment on them. Relics are too light and the shape of the yoyo is not very suitable for advance play, such as wraps. Ballistics are good as it weight can be increased using the metal balls. You can change the Ballistics caps to Freehand Zero caps so that they wont come out so easily when u hit something. The friction sticker response (do note that the Duncan Speed Beetles also require friction stickers) is not a good choice for serious 2A players given the high maintenance costs/time involved. There is a simple mod for it: use worn out friction stickers, sand the spacers (do note that the spacers are not easy to sand - they are made of metal) to make the gap thinner, use washed bearings that are lubricated and new strings.
Having said all of that, I still prefer Raiders. I personally do not feel much difference the two. The raider is highly customizable, although it takes some practice to make them suit our playing style, but this is the yoyo to mod to how you like it. Maintenance is quite tedious as we need to change string often, use slick 6 to be safe (because cotton strings will break easily due to the wear caused by the starbursts).
II. Which type of string should I use for 2A - 100% COTTON, 100% POLYESTER, or 50/50 COTTON/POLYESTER (Slick 8s)? Which type is the most durable and loops the best?
Another matter of preference. I know Pat Cuartero likes to use Slick 8 (50/50 poly/cotton) for looping and I've heard that cotton string is recommended for wooden axles and that polyester in strings could eventually burn/affect the wooden axle from friction.
A lot of players use type 6 50/50 (slick 6s). Supposedly, the thinner the string, the more tension (meaning the string is tighter), giving you cleaner and faster loops.
Poly string is decent, but is not the best. It plays similar to the 50/50 string, but is the most durable. Poly hurts after awhile though, as the string starts to "bite" your fingers after a lot of loops. However, I switched to 100% cotton Type 6 for my 2A, which works the best, in my opinion, but NOT very durable. You really have to watch how long you've been looping with 100% cotton, or else the string will break easily.
It actually depends on the yoyo. Normally the common choice for 2A is cotton 6. Slick 6 is much stronger compared to cotton but it is more expensive. Cotton is really good enough for other yoyos. However, due to the Raider mod, the starburst will create a lot of friction with the string, wearing them out to the point of snapping them at times. Therefore slick 6 is a must for raiders. I would not recommend 100% polyester because the tension is too high, which makes the yoyo harder to control. How well a yoyo loops best depends on many factors and not merely string. String length, old/new string, the yoyo itself, type of and the amount of lube are a couple of the factors.
III. It seems as though the Yomega/Hyper raider is THE yoyo almost all top tanked 2A (double handed looping) players in any yoyo competition are using. Iíve read that they place plastic spacers in their raiders and I'm thinking doing the same mod. Would that be recommended for someone who has just started 2A?
Stock Raiders aren't so good at looping and the champs who use Raiders all use modded Raiders. If you're going to get a pair of Raiders keep in mind that you're going to have to mod them if you want to get the most out of them.
The "Raider Mod" has some specific methods and one of them is mentioned in The Definitive Raider Mod Post
by Pat. If you have any specific questions about it you could ask them in that thread (after reading it over in case it is mentioned).
The Raider mod, does without much argument create the best 2A yoyos money can buy, however, it's both a fairly tricky mod, and a very personal one. Beginners to 2A may find themselves breaking several pairs Raiders before they get one working right. Also, since every player does the mod slightly different in accordance with what he or she wants the yoyos to do, a beginner may not know exactly when he's got the mod right. It would be much easier for a beginner to pick up a pair of Sunsets or Relics and to learn with them, they're fine yoyos in their own right and will serve you very well. After you have begun to develop your own style and a feel for 2A then it may be worth pursuing a pair of your very own modded Raiders.
A useful tip that might help is that you should do a double loop
around the axle of a 2A yoyo. It helps a yoyo return more easily, which can help in your looping. =D
IV. Would the wooden axles in Duncan ProYo (formerly known as Playmaxx's ProYo 2) wear out?
Yeah the wooden axles do wear out after a while and become better at sleeping then looping. You can try to double loop your yoyo if you feel that your axle has worn out (refer to diagram above for instructions). Fresh wooden axles are a joy to play with though.
Refer to Drew Tetz's 3A mega post
*********************************************************4A Questions4A questions are in bold, beginning with small case roman numerals numbers (eg. i, ii, iii etc)
i. Choosing a yoyo: Duncan Flying Panda, Duncan Throw Monkey, YoYoFactory Flymaster (aka Offstring) or YoYoJam Aquarius
.Duncan Flying PandaPrice: $16.99
Shape - Butterfly/Wing, Weight (g) - 69.30, Width (mm) - 42.18, Diameter (mm) - 65.63, Gap Width (mm) - 2.60, Bearing Size (mm) - 5x10x4, Gap Type - Fixed, Response System - Duncan Friction StickerDuncan Throw MonkeyPrice: $16.99
Shape - Butterfly/Wing, Weight (g) - 69.20, Width (mm) - 41.50, Diameter (mm) - 62.95, Gap Width (mm) - 2.72, Bearing Size (mm) - 5x10x4, Gap Type - Adjustable, Response System - Duncan Friction StickerYoYoFactory Flymaster (aka Offstring)Price: $17.99YoYoJam AquariusPrice: $22.50
Shape - Butterfly/Wing, Weight (g) - 74.60, Width (mm) - 45.80, Diameter (mm) - 74.72, Gap Width (mm) - 2.33, Bearing Size (mm) - 6.3x9.49x3.14, Gap Type - Adjustable, Response System - Tapered Gap
The Flying Panda is the ideal choice for Offstring players of all skill levels, from beginner to pro. Its shape is designed to suit the hands of players who are not experienced to the generally larger size of standard Offstring yoyos, hence it is perfect for beginners.
*********************************************************5A questionsString questions are in bold, beginning with numbers (eg. 1, 2, 3 etc)1. I'm thinking of learning the basics of 5A. Which yoyo would you recommend for a beginner 5A player?
The Duncan Freehand Zero in my opinion is the Best choice. It is fairly cheap, is used by pros and beginners in both 5a and 1a. Best 5a yoyo ever made in my opinion. The bearing comes with a ďmagicĒ lube which you canít find anywhere else. It is made of plastic, so it may take a hard hit on your floor when you drop it learning 5a. Tug responsive Duncan friction stickers are found in stock FHZs but they are not good for unresponsive play, which is what you will need when learning 5a. The friction stickers will eventually be worn down as you learn the beginner tricks and will that almost feel like unresponsive dif-pads. I however, do not recommend the use of an unresponsive yoyo to learn 5a. The duncan bearing, which in my point of view isnít too good until you clean it and break it in. The tuggable response may useful as you start off, but it may be too responsive for your liking. However even with a clean bearing and new Duncan stickers, the yoyo will be mad responsive. The metal zero is really good but try to stick with a plastic or rubber yoyo when learning 5a, as you WILL drop it a lot and you will hit yourself many times. Would you rather be hit by metal or plastic?2. Which type of string should I use for 5A?
The Duncan Flying Squirrel can be used for both 1a and 5a. It comes with a really cool squirrel weight if you order from YYN. It is small and handy to pop out when you feel like playing it. It is VERY cheap (almost cheaper than shipping) and chopstick style tricks (Youíll learn what that means later on). It is made of plastic and also uses Duncan friction stickers (refer to paragraph above).
The Duncan Flying Panda has rubber rims so it doesnít hit the floor (or yourself) too hard. It is cheap and can be used for 4a and 5a (maybe even 1a too for some players.) It is however fairly heavy and big in size. It uses Duncan friction stickers.
The Duncan Throw Monkey Plays nice with a clean bearing. It is fairly cheap and comes with rubber rims. So If you get hit, it wonít hurt too much and if you drop it there will be no marks on your yoyo or your floor. =) The package on YYN comes with everything you need to start 5a except string (The rubber ball counterweight and friction stickers). It is however not as nice as the FHZ (both in appearance and play). It is a very good yoyo but not too many pros use it.
For beginner and pros, type 9 string is always the way to go. I always use black (Steve Brownís signature) string. I feel that color makes a difference but itís probably psychological. Try to use bright string while playing in a dark setting and black while in a bright setting as your eyes are going to need all the help it can get to see where the string is in the air.
Any string acceptable for 1A is also very efficient for 5A.3. What are counterweights and which type should i use if i'm learning 5A?
Counterweights are the figures (usually dices, balls, or miniature figures) that you attach to one end of your string instead of making a slipknot around your finger. Counterweights are what make 5a, 5a instead of 1a. To insert a counterweight onto your string, create a slipknot on your string with the loop pointing up. Slip it through hole of the counterweight. Take the other end of the string and put it through the slipknot dangling out of the counterweight. Pull tight, attach yoyo and play. For learning 5a, I prefer using the ball that comes in the Duncan FHZ package, as itís light, rubber, and wonít hit the floor hard or any part of your body. It also doesnít hurt as much as the plastic counterweights when you get hit in the face or something.
Counterweights are typically objects attached to the end of the string in place of the finger for freehand play. The ideal Counterweight to yoyo weight ratio is 1:7. A typical counterweight will weigh in at 10-11 grams. All counterweights provided by Duncan work very well, but by drilling a hole in a die or a bouncy ball, one can make their own counterweight, just keep the weight ratio in mind.
*********************************************************String questionsString questions are in bold, beginning with small case alphabets (eg. a, b, c etc)
a. Which string should i use so as not to burn my fingers?
Brazilian style polyester string (1x10) or 50/50 cotton/polyester blend (slick) is the softest on the fingers. However after a few weeks or months of play the skin around your fingers will toughen up, and you wont have to worry about string burn any longer.
Most strings will cause a burning sensation until you develop a callous (roughened skin from constant friction with the string). For 1A I prefer Slick 6 (50% cotton 50% poly), and for 2A I prefer Cotton 8.
What follows is my opinion based my string usage experience:
String burn is not caused solely by the type of string you use. There are several other factors such as environment (i.e. humidity), yoyo weight, speed of play, types of tricks, etc. I personally have found that 1x10 (100% poly) is by far the "smoothest" on my delicate digits. Cotton has a naturally rougher quality when you first start using a new string, and although it does get a bit softer as it works in it is still rougher than a Slick 6. Slick 6, due to it's dual material construction, has the inherent softness that poly brings to the mixture. Moving to a Poly 6 takes you even deeper into the realm of smooth and fast.
I am naturally biased towards my own handmade string
, which uses spun poly thread in a 1x10 configuration, as it is incredibly smooth and soft, yet plays great. After using my string I find Slick 6 seems a bit rough and cotton 8 is like a saw on my skin.
b. Where do I find information on the naming of the different string types and string terminology?
Refer to Tommy Gunís Yo-Yo String Guide
or XConvict's String Comparison Guide
*********************************************************Maintenance/Modding QuestionsModding questions are in bold, beginning with small case roman numerals (eg. i, ii, iii etc)
i. Should i mod my bearing or just play it right out of the package?
Most yo-yos, right out of the package, are well beyond the skill level of the players holding them. Leave your bearings alone. Just play with it. A lot. You'll find that a genuinely broken-in yo-yo performs infinitely better than an artificially broken-in yo-yo. There is no amount of scraping, cleaning, de-greasing, etc that can accurately replicate a truly broken-in yo-yo and bearing.
I'm totally serious on this. And I've got 11 years of doing it to back me up. Not trying to pull rank or say "Oooh, look at me, I'm so much more EXPERIENCED than you!" Just saying that it really is the truth. Ever dig out a yo-yo you haven't thrown in years, but used to throw all the time? Plays sweet, doesn't it? Yep. Time and play are the best bearing cleaners. Use is the best way to break in response.
MODDING is a way to is a way to make the yo-yo play exactly the way that you want it to). Some mods are simple (changing string, trying different stickers, different bearings). Others are COMPLEX like PHYSICALLY altering the yo-yo such as recessing the side of a DUNCAN FREEHAND ZERO. A mod like this requires that you have a LATHE or drill press and cut out some of the plastic (usually on one side).
Most of the time, playing your yoyos stock, or very close to stock is a better idea. People get carried away with modding their yoyos because they see a lot of people talking about it, but really unless there's something quite obvious you need to fix, there's a lot to be said for leaving your yoyos alone and just playing with them. A well played and broken in bearing will play a lot smoother than one cleaned in fluids, playing with out KK's or recesses will only make you a smoother player in the long run. "Fixing" your yoyo, is usually a lot easier than fixing your technique, but the latter is much more gratifying in the long run.
My pal yktan defines Modding as, "to modify the yoyo, mostly for the benefit of enhancing play. To play your yoyo stock or mod it is up to you, but it doesn't matter much to new players if the mod isn't needed."
Modding of consists of various aspects, namely:
- Cleaning (or washing) of a bearing with a solvent such as mineral spirits (paint thinner).
- Lubing (or lubrication) of a bearing with a lubricant. Commonly used lubes (or lubricants) are as follows. YoYoJam Thin lube for unresponsive play, YoYoJam Thick lube and Yomega Brain lube for responsive play.
- Installation of shims (we will come to that in a while) to widen the gap of the yoyo. Examples of shims are YoYoJam red shims (thick) and YoYoJam grey shims (thin) and Dif-e-yo brass shims (0.030in and 0.045in).
- Changing the response system of the yoyo. For example replacing the stock o-rings with silicone o-rings (we'll get to that in a while) or replacing the stock response stickers (often found in Duncan yoyos) with custom ones such as Baz Pads, Kentaro Pads and Dif-e-yo Pads.
- Recessing a yoyo using a drill press or lathe.
You can view videos on modding in the video section below.
ii. Should i clean (wash) and lube my bearing? How do i maintain my bearing to make it spin longer and lengthen its lifespan
To play it stock. You don't need to do all those washing, unless your working for the ministry of health and environment. It spins better and all, it's up to you. To the average player, all you need is a long enough sleeper to accomplish tricks, long sleeper with no skills=noob. Cleaning/washing makes the yoyo sleep longer and more smooth to play. But remember to lube your bearing or it'll "dry out" the bearing after washing and shorten its lifespan.
One of the first things that you should do when you first get your yo-yo is to take out the bearing and clean it. Different people use different things but i prefer to use MINERAL SPIRITS because Iíve never had a problem with it unlike some of the problems that people have with LIGHTER FLUID (it leaves residue) and other solvents.
Do not play with your yo-yo if you have wet or moist hands because this is the number one way to make your bearings rust.
if a bearing is cleaned PROPERLY and LUBED occasionally then it should keep and nice spin and last a really long time. This is the number one reason that Iíve seen bearings die. If you clean them (using mineral spirits) and lube them using a good lube (like YOYOJAM THIN LUBE, 3-in-1 or trumpet valve oil) then it should last you a long time.
If you want to run your bearings absolutely dry (no lubrication whatsoever) then your best bet would be to save your beans and invest in some CERAMIC (silicon nitride) bearings, which to my knowledge, do not have to be lubed.
have to worry about cleaning your bearing until you have probably mastered all the beginner and/or intermediate tricks. I would not recommend a player going straight into unresponsive play (cleaning a bearing would cause a yoyo to become unresponsive - meaning you would have to bind a yoyo for it to return to your hand).
There probably would come a time when you feel that you want longer spintimes or decrease response. You may think of cleaning the bearing but I personally recommend you play with the yoyo until all the lube inside (yes there is a small amount of lubricant applied during the manufacturing process) dries up instead of cleaning the bearing. If you want long spintimes, practice your throw. As for how to ensure your bearing lasts for a long time, add a tiny drop of YYJ Thin Lube. Running the bearing dry (without adding any lube) although would give you long spins, would shorten the life of the bearing. It's your call.
Refer to the "YoYo Modding Section" of the The Exhaustive list of YoYoing Links
article for more help on bearing maintenance.
iii. Should i use mineral spirits (paint thinner) or lighter fluid to wash (clean) my bearing? Is there any drawbacks/cons if i use either of them?
All I've ever used to clean bearings since I've started was lighter fluid. And it doesn't seem to be bad, at least from my experience, I just don't let it soak for ages, just place the bearing in there and shake it around for a couple of minutes. However, these days I'm getting lazy and with the amount of yoyos I have, I never clean bearings. Now I just add a little bit of thin YYJ lube after I play it stock for a bit, and keep it like that. I don't care that much, seems to work pretty well for me just with that unresponsive and smooth (with the right response system setup)
iv: Modding: Do shims fit large bearing yoyojams? If they do, do they make the yoyo unresponsive? Are they sort of like "plug and play" or do you have to mod the yoyo to fit them in?
Metal Dif-e-yo shims should fit all large-bearing YoYoJam yoyos, and they are "plug and play". You just put them in the bearing seat and they are removable. YoYoJam yoyos are adjustable gap yoyos, and the effect of shims is that by using them, you can fix the gap since when you put them in the bearing seat, the minimum gap of the yoyo will be wider than the minimum gap without shims, so by installing a specific shim setup to obtain a specific gap, it'd be fixed since you'd close the yoyo all the way and the shims would make it stop turning when it reaches the gap you need.
The Dif-e-yo and YoYoJam shims serve the same purpose. However do note that the shims from YoYoJam can get bent if you close the yoyo in a certain way if they weren't placed correctly, which renders them useless.
The following shims fit all large bearing yoyojams (most yoyojams use large bearings, you can ask what is the size of the bearing in the event you are unsure). There are two brands (namely Dif-e-yo and YoYoJam) of shims that one can choose from, of which each brand has shims of different widths.YoYoJam shims
: YoYoJam Grey Shims (thin - 0.150in)
and YoYoJam Red Shims (thick - 0.030in)
.Dif-e-yo brass shims
: The Dif-e-yo 0.030in
shims. Do note that Dif-e-yo shims are harder to remove as compared to YYJ shims once installed into the yoyo. You can view Houdini's video on how to remove Dif-e-yo shims here
Do note that the YYJ shims are made of cardboard and the Difeyo shims are made of brass (a type of metal). They come in sets of two when you order from YoYoNation.
v. Modding: I am considering replacing the stock rubber o-rings with silicone varieties. Could you walk me through on the differences of the variety of o-rings (flowable silicone, red silicone O-rings and rubber O-rings) in terms of performance, responsiveness and feel?
Rubber O-rings are what YoYoJam started with (and it is what they always come with stock). They aren't as grippy as silicone but they are sometimes more snag-inducing (refer to the question above if you do not know what is snag).
Red silicone O-rings are ready-made Silicone O-rings that have appeared recently (I guess around a year ago?) and I find them very smooth mid-play (as in they don't snag very easily) and their high grippiness provides for tight binds (you might not know what binds are, let's leave that for later) but they are sometimes a bit responsive stock and their grippiness can cause the yoyo to snap back very hard when you bind. A characteristic of silicone O-rings is that they get worn down eventually with play until they become flush with the surface of the yoyo and sometimes even below the surface (recessed) and when they are flush or below, people usually find them smoother since they don't interfere (or stick out) in the gap of the yoyo, and this leads us to one of the modifications people do to O-rings which is shaving the O-rings flush, which makes it possible to even have rubber O-rings flush with the surface of the yoyo.
Flowable silicone is another alternative to O-rings which was mostly started to be done and popularized by an Italian player called "Niubi" (on another board) and it was inspired by the first yoyo to use silicone response, the Italian-made Oxygene 4 which is made by Carlo Menon. The advantage of flowable silicone is that it's level can be controlled since it is basically using a tube of silicone to make the O-rings yourself in the groove. Most of the people who silicone their yoyos make the silicone recessed (below flush) or flush with the surface of the yoyo.
Recessed silicone (the flowable type) is a very popular response system but my own personal preference is using one Rubber O-ring and one silicone O-ring, with both shaved flush with the surface of the yoyo.
Just to add on to jojojam's comprehensive answer.
Refer to the "YoYo Modding links and Videos" section below for information on doing the silicone mod. Once again, do keep it mind it is advisable to play your yoyo stock until you are sure you want to do the silicone mod.
vi. Modding: I've heard about recessing a yoyo. How do i go about doing it and would there be any considerations before i decide to recess a yoyo?
Well first you need to figure out which way your going to do it the 2 main ways are with a lathe or a drill press. I would watch Dave Poyzers video for a lathe and the drill press recess video
i made for a drill press. Your yoyo is going to be smoother and less responsive. You really cant go wrong cause if you dont like it you can just stack the stickers.
*********************************************************YoYo TricksVLC Player - Some Videos are in divx format or .mp4, resulting in windows media player or realplayer being unable to view them. Do download this awesome free software that supports almost every single possible video format.Basic bindingFront BindSide (Trapeze) bindAdvanced bindingCarlo's trapeze bindHoudini's How to Bind Video Trick Video sitesDave's Skilltoys
: 1A, 4A and 5A tricksBegin2spin
: 1A, 2A, 3A, 4A and 5A tricksMastermagic.net
: 1A tricksDif-spinners.com
- Ryan Monson aka Harry Houdini's instructional videosShawn Fumo's Looping Guide
- A must-read guide for any 2A player-to-beDrew Tetz's 3A mega post
- Awesome 3A resource by YYN's Drew TetzCosmic yoyos
- 1A tricksYomania.com
- 1A and 2A tricks and basic mountsTym.de
- 1A to 5A tricks and moreYo-Yo.jp's trick list
- Yo-Yo.jp's Official 1A and 2A tricksThe next level
- 1A and 5A tricksOffstring.com
- Official OffString (4A) Trick List for JYCC (Japan Yo-Yo Contest Committee) and US NationalsKen's World on a String
- 1A, 2A and 4A tricksBoing.org
- 5A tricksThe Glass Lab
- Advanced 1A, 4A and 5A tricksYoYo Belgium
- Advanced 1A tricks (Grinds, Whips, Lacerations, Flops etc)Yet.yoyoing.com
- 1A, 2A, 3A, 4A and 5A tricksDiagrammatic and Instructional Trick Tutorials (non-video) - For those with slow internet connectionsYoYoguy.com (Infinite Illusions)
- Beginner tricksKey2success.com
- Beginner tricks/tutorialsSector Y string tricks
- 1A tricksYoYo Wiki's YoYo Tricks
- 1A and 4A tricks
Contributors: jojoyam (YYN), YoBemis (YYN), mOe2 (ES), yktan (ES), Tommy Gun (ES), Live for Today (ES), Sottle (YYN), gsimian (YYN), Pat_Cuartero (YYN), TheOrganizer (YYN), sideshowbob (YYN), YinYo (YYN), unkle steve, AikHwee (Spinworkx), Lionel (Spinworkx), Kim (Spinworkx), profire (Spinworkx), Luke Vader (theyo), Outsidethe9 (YYN).
Others: Marthis (YYN), MrClaws (YYN) and Ultimatsz (Spinworkx) for pointing out errors in the guide! =D