So a few of our readers have been posting quite a bit about questions regarding yo-yos and the styles of play they are suited for.
Truth be told, although you can technically use one yo-yo to do all styles of play, some do it better than others.
It’s like footwear, you can run in slippers if you like, but a pair of shoes would make running easier!
Just like the example above, different yo-yo shapes also help with different styles of play, as we take a brief look at what shapes are suitable for which style of play…
GENERALLY, there are three basic shapes that yo-yos go by.
1) Imperials (Clear Yo-Yo on the left picture above) being one of the most common yo-yo shape, and was named after the Duncan Imperial which came out during the 60s.
2) The next shape would be the Modified shape, which has the same high-wall, slim profile as the Imperial, but without the rounded sides.
3) The last shape, seen on the right side, would be the Butterfly shaped yo-yo, named after the Duncan Butterfly that sports a "wing" or “V” profile, initially considered to be an inverted imperial yo-yo design.
So which yo-yo is suited for which style?
There are currently 5 competing styles of play that is recognized by competitions worldwide, and they are:
- Single Handed Play (aka 1A)
- Double Handed Looping Play (aka 2A)
- Double Handed String Play (aka 3A)
- Offstring (aka 4A)
- Counterweight (aka 5A or Freehand)
In general, the 2A division is the only division which sports slim profile yo-yos, much like Imperials and Modified shapes.
Imperials and Modified shaped yo-yos make good loopers because they are slim, meaning all their weight is located near the axle.
Whenever you execute loops, you are forcing the yo-yo to flip with every loop the loop you make, which is why you need a yo-yo with as much weight located in the middle so that it flips easier.
|The modified-shape Bumble Bee, also has its weight located nearer to the axle|
Try this out, walk an imaginary thin line on the floor. Is it easier to walk on this line with your arms stretched out to balance or with your arms tucked side by side?
Naturally, a slimmer yo-yo, with it’s shape being more tucked in than a butterfly shape, is less stable, making it harder to “balance”, thus it flips easier, allowing loops to be done easily on this yo-yo.
Some Imperial and Modified shaped yo-yos include:
- Adegle Macaron
- Duncan Pulse
- Yomega Raiders
- Yoyofactory Loop 900
- Yoyojam Unleashed
What about Butterfly-Shaped yo-yos then?
So now that you know Imperial and Modified shaped yo-yos are great for looping because they are less stable and flip easily, what are butterfly shaped yo-yos good for then?
Naturally, string tricks require a yo-yo that is able to balance itself properly on the string.
Just like how you would stretch out your hand to maintain balance when walking on a thin line, Butterfly yo-yos has its weight “stretched out” and away from the axle, making it more stable and great for string tricks.
The thing about Butterfly-shaped yo-yos, is that because it has its weight far away from the axle, the profile of the yo-yo is wide, allowing it to land easily on the string when doing string tricks.
Larger Butterfly yo-yos are great for offstring-style tricks, which require the player to toss the yo-yo up in the air and land it back on the string again. With its shape offering more stability than an Imperial or Modified shape yo-yo, Butterfly yo-yos are great for tackling hard tricks without flipping over easily.
Needless to say, Butterfly-shaped yo-yos are terrible at looping. With it’s weight located further away from the axle, the yo-yo doesn’t flip easily like an Imperial or Modified shape yo-yo.
Some Butterfly Yo-Yos include:
- Duncan Echo
- Duncan Freehand Zero
- Duncan Hayabusa
- Yomega Saber Raider
- Yoyofactory FAST 201
- Yoyofactory Supernova
- Yoyofactory Velocity
- Yoyojam Go Big
- Yoyojam Lyn Fury
- Yoyojam Hitman
So now that you know how different shapes of yo-yos affect different styles of play, learn to pick the right yo-yo for yourself when you are considering a purchase.
Basically, if you want to get into looping tricks, get an Imperial or Modified-shaped yo-yo. For everything else, Butterfly-shaped yo-yos are the way to go.