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Yoyo Beginner’s Guide

Yoyo Beginner’s Guide

If you’re new to the art of yoyoing, here are some tips to help you get started:

1. Setting the length of the chain

Firstly, your yoyo will most likely be ready to play right out of the package, in which case give it a few spins (see point 6) to see if it suits your playing style. If you are unsure or are stringing a new one, a general rule of thumb is that the end of your yoyo string should come just to your belly button when the yoyo is fully unwound and resting on the floor at your feet.

2. Tie a slipknot for the finger loop

New yoyos should come with a slipknot already tied, but if your yo gets a lot of action, you’ll need to replace the string soon, and then you’ll have to tie your own slipknot at the end. Before tying the slipknot, you should tie a permanent loop at the end of the rope, this loop should be large enough to fit over your thumb. Next, hold the loop with one hand, while with the other hand you grab the thread about 12 cm below the permanent loop and bend it. Then push this string through the permanent loop to create a new loop. Insert your middle finger through this new loop and pull the string tight.

3. Change the settings of your yoyo

Modern yoyos are made to allow the yoyo to spin freely on the bottom of the string, giving you time to perform advanced tricks. For beginners, fixed-axis yoyos can be made to immediately return to your hand without the free-spinning action. You can do this by creating a double loop around the shaft: take the string above the self, unwind it counterclockwise, then wrap one of the two resulting strands twice around the shaft. This same method can also be used to increase the response (how easily the yoyo can be made to return down the string) of non-fixed axis yoyos.

4. Wind up the rope

With modern yoyos it is often not possible to simply wind the string around the yoyo’s axis, this is because they are set up to allow you to “sleep” or spin the yoyo on the bottom of the string. Instead, you will need to hold the self in one hand, place one finger of this hand in the gap, and wrap the string over your finger once. Then wrap the rest of the string around the yoyo but under your finger, and just before you finish, release the single loop of string from your finger to allow it to wrap under the rest of the string.

5. How to hold your yoyo

Place the slipknot over the middle finger of your ‘writing’ hand (the one you use to write with!) and pull it just enough to make it snug (if you’re cutting off the blood supply to your finger, it’s too tight !). The loop should be between the first and second knuckles. Hold the yoyo in your hand with your palm facing up and the string running from your finger over the top of the yoyo.

6. The basic throw (becomes a ‘spinner’ unless its rope is double looped)

With your yoyo held as described in #5, raise your hand over your shoulder, then move it down so it’s about waist level. As your hand reaches waist level, unwind it to release the yoyo onto your fingertips and send it spinning toward the ground. If you are using a single loop or non-fixed axis yoyo, it will spin at the end of the string. The time it spins depends on the speed of your movement. You will then need to rotate your hand so that the palm is facing the ground to prepare it to catch the yoyo as it (hopefully!) travels back up the string. Bring it back up to your hand by giving the string a strong tug.

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