How to Select a Yo-Yo

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 110,951
    Yo-yo expert Dick Stohr demonstrates how to select a yo-yo.

    Dick Stohr

    Dick Stohr is That Yo-Yo Guy! He has been a full time yo-yo professional since 1997. He does the Spintastics all day teaching program Yo-Yo Fun & Science of Spin in elementary schools as well as libraries in the summer time in the Mid-Atlantic states. He also performs at parties, festivals, scout meetings, Trade Shows and other fun events. He has set six yo-yo World Records and has been a yo-yo contest judge at World, National, Regional, State and local contests since 1999. He started playing with yo-yos in elementary school in the 1950's. During High School and College it was not cool so he did not play much. Following a career in the US Navy and Navy Reserve plus positions of increasing responsibility in the civilian business world he quit his day job to become That Yo-Yo Guy. Any day that he gets to play with his yo-yos and other peoples kids must be a good day. Teaching the beginners has become his passion. He believes that kids are from 6 to 106 years old and all kids can have fun with a yo-yo if they get a good start and do not have to unlearn bad habits.

    Hi! I am Dick Stohr. I am also known as That Yo-Yo Guy. First of all I want to get started with just the yo-yo basics. So, I want to show you the types of yo-yos. What we have here is the all-wood, Duncan, Classic yo-yo, this is called the Imperial shape, and this is in fact the Duncan Imperial Yo-Yo.

    You can see that they both have a rather narrow area where the string rides, the string gap, and what we are talking about is the area where the string goes in between the halves of the yo-yo - this is the Imperial shape. This is the Duncan Butterfly; as you can see, it looks like the Imperial which is assembled backwards, so that you have a much larger area where you can land the yo-yo back on the string to do string type tricks. We'll talk more about that when we get into the tricks, but I want to explain to you the two different shapes in yo-yo. This one is called a modified shape. It's just a little different than the Imperial in that it has a little bit rounded area where you enter the string gap. The two shapes in yo-yos are the Imperial and the Butterfly, both of those made famous by Duncan. This is a modified shape. This is made famous by a lot of different yo-yo companies. The axle of the yo-yo is very important, and there are two types of axles; there is the fixed axle where the axle actually rotates with the yo-yo and a transaxle where there is no friction on the string because the string rides on something that does not spin with the yo-yo. This yo-yo has a wood axle, because it's all wood. This has a metal shaft as an axle that rides with the yo-yo. This one also has a metal shaft that rides with the yo-yo. This one has a replaceable wood axle as you can see in the one I have taken apart. This little wooden shaft is trapped by the yo-yo and rotates with the yo-yo. So, all of those are fixed axle yo-yos. This one is a transaxle yo-yo. You can see this little plastic sleeve; the string is wrapped around that sleeve, and that sleeve does not spin with the yo-yo. So, there is no friction on the string. This happens to be a Yomega Fireball. This one is a Tiger Shark - back to the butterfly type shape - and it has a ball bearing axle. The string goes around a small ball bearing. The inserts that go inside the yo-yo, trap the inner race of the ball bearing, so that there is no friction on the string, thats what spins with the yo-yo. The outer race of the bearing is what the string wraps around, and so the friction in this yo-yo is actually inside of the ball bearing.

    The two types of transaxle yo-yos are plastic sleeves and ball bearings. These are the types of yo-yos that we are using now, that most of the yo-yos are in these shapes with these axles, and many of the newer ones are actually made out of metal. So, the yo-yos spin longer, they have got more weight, and that sort of thing.