How to Install a Yo-Yo String
A yo-yo string is one long string, folded in half, and twisted. The end where the two string meets are tied together to make a loop, eventually used to make a slip knot for your finger (see 'Slip Knot' below). The other end, where the string is folded together is where the yo-yo sits. Untwist the folded end with your fingers in order to separate the two strings. Untwist it large enough that the yo-yo can be placed between the strings, so that a single string sits on the axle of the yo-yo, as shown below. Then simply let the yo-yo string re-twist together. The string is now installed on the yo-yo.
Double looped vs. Single loop strings
The drawing above shows a single looped string. This is used for sleeping fixed axle yo-yos and for most ball-bearing models. However, beginning players benefit greatly by using a non-spinning yo-yo while they are learning the initial throws and handling of the yo-yo. To make a fixed axle yo-yo into a non-spinning beginner yo-yo, the string should be attached with a double, rather than a single, loop around the axle. To do this, follow the instructions above for installing a yo-yo string, except that after the yo-yo is placed on the string, cross the 2 strings, and wrap the string around the axle a second time. This, in effect, acts like a knot in the bottom of the string, causing the yo-yo to bounce back up or return more easily to the beginner player. Once throwing proficiency has been gained, the second loop came be removed from the axle, returning the yo-yo into a "spinning" yo-yo.
Slip Knot - putting a yo-yo string on your finger
The loop at the end of every yo-yo is NOT the loop to put your finger in. This loop is too small or usually too large for your finger, which will cause the yo-yo to fall off your finger while playing. To make a slip knot, take some of the straight string that is hanging down from the tied loop, and put a section of that string into the tied loop. When you pull that section of string through the other side of the loop, you have a one-size-fits-all slip knot for your finger. That slip knot goes on your middle finger (tallest finger) between your first and second knuckle on your dominant hand (the hand that you write with). DO NOT put the string at the base of your finger (that is reserved for rings!). Although it initially feels funny, proper string placement will ensure tricks can be done most easily.
#s indicate the number of threads used in the
finished string. The bigger the number, the thicker the string.
#8, 100% cotton. This is the most common string. For
all fixed axle yo-yos this, or a #9 string, is a must. Cotton has a
high resistance to wear with friction against the fixed axle.
#6, 50% cotton/50%
polyester. Used for ball bearing yo-yos. Good mix of
wearability and tensile strength.
#6, 100% poly. Popular for ball bearing yo-yos,
particularly ‘Bind’ yo-yos.
#8, 50/50. Good string for looping with ball bearing
and fixed axle yo-yos.
#9, 100% cotton. Beginners string. Good for fixed
axle and auto return yo-yos for maximum wearability.
Maelstrom Bearing Assembly
Atom Smasher vs. Split the Atom
by Dale Oliver
As often as I have explained this to a number of people, it seemingly has yet to make an impression. They still
continue to use the terms synonymously. Split the Atom was a Barney Akers trick and it does not utilize the split bottom entry. The spinner was thrown and then the yo-yo was put on the string ala brain twister. The string on the left index finger is then
transferred to the right index finger and the trick continues from there beginning with inserting the left index finger behind the string hanging from the yo-yo finger and making multiple forward to back passes under the yo-yo. Atom Bomb, aka Atom Smasher begins with the split bottom entry. Then the left index finger is already in the position to begin the pass
The Aluminum Hollow Point Spin Top
newest design. The Hollow Point can be thrown with any other
Spintastics spin top inside it so that it spins both tops at once or
thrown by itself as an excellent fixed tip regenerating top.
THIS IS NOT A BEGINNERS TOP! IT IS FOR EXPERIENCED
PLAYERS ONLY! IT IS MADE OF ALUMINUM AND WEIGHS 85 GRAMS. IT CAN BE
DANGEROUS IF EXTREME CARE IS NOT USED ABOUT WHERE AND HOW IT IS
THROWN. NOT RECOMMENDED FOR PLAYERS UNDER 12 YRS.
If thrown as a double top, wind as usual around the cap of the
inserted top and pull string down to the tip of the Hollow Point.
Then wind tightly and smoothly up the body of the top. If you throw
the regular top with the point straight up, tilt the double top so
that the point is away from you slightly above horizontal.
If thrown by itself, start with the end knot at
the first groove up from the tip. Pull the string to the tip and
start winding up the top while holding the end of the string against
the top with your thumb. When the wind gets to the knot, continue
winding up and around the knot. If you use the whole string, you
need to tilt the point of the top toward your body about 45 degrees
or if you take one wind of the string around your fingers you can
throw the normal way with the point straight up. The trapeze can be
thrown more or less in the usual manner.
BE CAREFUL WHERE YOU THROW THIS TOP! DO NOT THROW
AROUND PETS, OTHER PEOPLE OR BREAKABLE OBJECTS! BEST
PLACE IS OUTSIDE ON THE GRASS (unless throwing on the ground. A
smooth surface should be used for floor tricks. Concrete will chew
up your point.)
1. Double Spinner, on the floor
2. Double Scoop, scooping one top into each hand
3. Two in One, Throw to floor so that tops remain together. (Hint,
don’t pull back.)
4. Double Sky Rocket. Do Two in One, then sky rocket and catch 1 top
in each hand.
5. Double Boomerang, catching one top in each hand.
6. Cork the bottle. After Boomerang, put the plastic top back inside
the Hollow Point.
7. Double Boomerang under the leg.
8. Double Boomerang behind the back.
assembly for Tornado, Turbo Torch & TigerShark yo-yos.
READ THIS IF YOU HAVE A SPINWIZARD
The unique design of this
state-of-the-art, ball-bearing, auto-return yo-yo makes it the
longest spinning and best built on the market. Under normal
circumstances, the yo-yo is practically unbreakable and no parts can
be lost. There are only two things that are necessary to be aware of
with this yo-yo.
Press the yo-yo between
your palms (instead of gripping the yo-yo body) and unscrew the
yo-yo. Check inside the body of the yo-yo under the raised side cap
to make sure that the four steel balls are in the sockets of the
four arms (easily seen). Realign the pieces in place, put the yo-yo
half on a hard surface and strike the side disk with the edge of the
other half of the yo-yo like a hammer, which will snap the two parts
Oliver's Famous SWEET SIDE/SOUR SIDE tip
Every Yo-Yo player that has gotten into string tricks (Brain
Twisters, Trapezes, Atom Smashers) knows what happens when you put
the Yo-Yo on the string 'backwards'. It has a tendency to 'bite'
i.e., catch the string and try to wind up. Some Yo-Yos will tolerate
this if you are careful, other Yo-Yos will immediately 'bite' and
freeze up. What does "on the string backwards" mean? The
string is wound around itself (about 7 to 9 times per inch at
neutral, depending on the type of string). That wind is directional
(like a one way street). If you have a sensitive touch, you can feel
that the string slides more easily through your fingers from top to
bottom than from bottom to top. The Yo-Yo spinning at thousands of
R.P.M. greatly multiplies that difference. When the Yo-Yo rides on
the 'Sweet Side' of the string, i.e., with the direction of the
string wind, it is smooth sailing. But when it is put on the string
with the spin going against the grain of the string wind, you have a
potential disaster. This function is actually used in the trick
'Thread the Needle' and 'The Shotgun'. Many yoers who were trying to
learn Brain Twister' from written directions were continually
frustrated by unwittingly putting the Yo-Yo on the string
'backwards'. What most players don't know is that the same scenario
holds true for the single strand of string that goes around the
axle. This 'single' string is actually 6, 7 or 8 individual threads
twisted together to form the string. It is this unidirectional twist
that causes the string to wind around itself those 7 to 9 times per
inch. This unidirectional twist also creates the some type of
'grain' or 'sweet side' experienced with the doubled string. The
Yo-Yo will actually spin easier and longer in one direction than the
other. I have seen this phenomenon cause problems in every contest
that I have ever witnessed. A contestant will 'test throw' their
Yo-Yo until it sleeps and then try the trick only to have the Yo-Yo
return to the hand without sleeping. They will take another test
throw and the Yo-Yo sleeps easily. Back to try the trick again and
once more the Yo-Yo doesn't sleep. The trick is to throw a sleeper
on the test throw, then take another test throw to put the Yo-Yo
back on the 'sweet side' of the string for the attempt that counts.
When you are on the 'sweet side', the Yo-Yo not only sleeps easier
and longer, but string tricks run smoother also. I actually use a
bi-colored Yo-Yo and set it up so that I know which color needs to
be on the right for the 'sweet side'. Remember, it's the string not
the Yo-Yo so if you use this bi-color method, when you change a
string and test it, you may have to remove the string and put it
back on the other way to match the color you want to use as a key.
It's best to always use the same color as the key so you don't have
to stop and remember each time which is the 'sweet side'.
For transaxle players, the
sweet side can have an effect too, but in reverse. One of the
biggest problems in using a transaxle yo-yo is getting it up at
times. The sweet side that makes a standard yo-yo work better will
make a transaxle harder to get up....so.....if you are in a
transaxle competition, better to try the trick on the sour side
(particularly on tricks like around the corner) so it will be more
responsive on the return. Also in this vein, most transaxles can be
adjusted to be more responsive by varying the number of wraps around
the axle. The more wraps, the more responsive. You'll also give up
some smoothness at the same time but for some tricks, it can be
Dale Oliver's Secret to Good
The question that I get most often from advanced players is
"How do you do good consistent repetitive loops?" So see,
you're not alone. I consider the 'simple' inside loop to be in the
top five hardest tricks to master. OK, here we go;
#1. Practice only good loops. The instant they wander, stop and
start over. When you get really good at them, then you can correct
and recover, but until then, you need to train that hand and arm to
do the same right thing over and over until it becomes automatic.
#2. The yo-yo should be tilted about 6% to the outside ( that's just
about like this / ) . (For the left hand, like this \.). This is a
control tilt which keeps the string in contact with the side of the
yo-yo. If the yo-yo is straight up and down, it can roll to one side
or the other too easily. Start your first throw with this tilt and
#3, The loop is not a throw, it is a pull. When you start, the yo-yo
should go down toward the floor, then out and then return toward
your hand. Try just letting go of the yo-yo behind you as you bring
your hand forward. This pulls the yo-yo forward. Then just stop your
hand and watch what happens. Depending on the speed of the pull, the
yo-yo should whip past (over) your hand and take off on another
orbit but not quite make it back to your hand the second time. The
only power you need to put into the loop is what is needed to
complete the trip back (not very much at all). This is best
accomplished by doing an inside wrist roll that starts BEFORE the
yo-yo returns to the hand which gently PULLS the yo-yo around the
hand while imparting that little extra power to keep it in orbit.
Precise consistency is the key.
#4. Yo practice, Yo practice, Yo practice.
#5. See # 1.
Good luck, it took me six months.
"Reach for the Moon anyone?"
My nomination for
the five hardest yo-yo tricks to master. Inside loops, Outside
Loops, Hop the Fence, Reach for the Moon, and Punching Bag.
"Hey!", you say. "Everyone can do Loops and Hop
the Fence." Mastery is the key word. Mastery means
you can do about as many as you want to every time you pick up the
yo-yo and you can do them while reciting the Gettysburg Address and
scratching your head with the other hand.
Multiple Reach for the Moon is the only trick I can think of that
I'm afraid to try with a blindfold on. You must follow it and
make corrections. It doesn't follow you. That's why it
is so difficult for most players to do more than 10 of them with two
hands. Dale Myrberg has done over 300 of them. I can't
hold both hands over my head that long. Forget doing Reach for
the Moons that long.
OK...on with the trick. First problem is to get the yo-yo
going the right direction around your hand. Start with this
preliminary trick. Do a Hop the Fence, but when it returns, go
into a reverse or backwards Hop the Fence, then forward again, then
backwards again...hey!...you're doing Reach for the Moon (when it's
over China). Actually, this trick is now known as Planet Hop.
Now for this side of the world. Notice how the yo-yo passes your
hand when you do Hop the Fence. The first pass of Reach for
the Moon is the same direction. You throw the yo-yo up at a 45
degree angle, but when it comes back, the yo-yo must pass below
your hand (try for about 6" below). Act as though you are
going to do Hop the Fence straight up. That is, in fact, what
you do and when (if) it comes back down, you loop it back out.
you would think that if it has to go up, you would need to throw it
hard...NOT! A very gentle, slow touch is by far more
effective. If correctly thrown at the beginning, the yo-yo
will swing past your hand and go up by itself without any added
power (If sometimes helps in learning the trick to push your hand
straight up the way you want the yo-yo to go as it is coming past
your hand.) and then you add just a bit of power on the outward
bound pass to repeat the trick. I don't use my wrist at all on
the upward part of the trick. In fact, I find it helpful to
hold my cupped fingers together and brace my yo-yo finger with my
thumb just behind the string. That freezes the yo-yo finger
and makes a solid pivot point for the yo-yo to swing around.
Once you actually FEEL the way the yo-yo acts when this tricks is
done correctly, you'll know what the term "in the groove"
really means. It flows almost effortlessly. But it takes
A LOT of practice effort to get there.
String Adjustment for
String Adjustment for beginning spinners. Every time a Yo-Yo is
thrown, every time a Yo-Yo is wound by hand, the twist of the string
is changed. A beginner needs to adjust the string for about every
three or four times the Yo-Yo is wound up. If you are having trouble
making the Yo-Yo sleep, drop it. If it won't sleep when dropped, it
definitely won't sleep when thrown. The fastest, easiest and most
accurate way for a beginner to adjust the string (advanced players
use string adjustment tricks like the Flying Saucer) is to remove
the string from the finger, hang on to the Yo-Yo and let go of the
string. The string will quickly adjust itself to neutral. Then wind
the string back into the Yo-Yo BEFORE putting it back on the finger.
If it still won't sleep when dropped, there is a knot in the bottom
of the string around the axle. If it sleeps when dropped but not
when thrown, there is a problem with the throw, not the Yo-Yo.
Usually the hand is moving as the Yo-Yo reaches the end of the
string. The hand must be stopped and relaxed for the Yo-Yo to sleep
when it reaches the end of the string.