So you’re thinking of picking up a yoyo, but you’re not quite sure which one is right for you… Choosing the right yoyo for your skill level and desired trick style can save a lot of time and frustration… not to mention money if you end up just wanting to get a different one.
Let me start off by briefly discussing the two main types of yoyo: Responsive and Unresponsive.
The more classic style of yoyo is referred to as Responsive. This means the yoyo will return to your hand with a slight tug of the string after it’s been thrown. Responsive yoyos are excellent for people who are picking up a yoyo for the first time, or for individuals who haven’t played yoyo in quite some time. The most popular kinds of tricks that people do on a responsive yoyo are things like Walk the Dog, Around the World, Rock the Baby and looping tricks.
An Unresponsive yoyo means the yoyo will not return to your hand with a tug of the string. Once thrown, the yoyo will continue to spin (sleep) indefinitely, until you perform what is called a “Bind Return”. This is the more modern/popular style of yoyoing. Essentially this unresponsiveness means you can do a whole lot more in terms of the kind of tricks you want to do without having to worry about the yoyo popping back up in the middle of a trick and possibly whacking you in the hand or something like that… (trust me, it’s no fun when that happens). Learning the bind return definitely definitely takes some practice to get the hang of (like any skill toy), but in the long run it’ll pay off and you’ll be able to do some really cool stuff with your yoyo. From my own personal experience and what I’ve observed, it takes anywhere between a couple hours to a couple days of just tinkering with the bind return to become proficient at it.
So which one should you choose?
To someone who has never thrown a yoyo before, or for younger children around 5+ years old, I’d recommend starting off with a good Responsive yoyo… something like the YoyoFactory “One” or YoyoFactory “DV888”. The “One” is made of durable plastic in a variety of colors, medium sized for a comfortable fit in the hand, and is easy on the wallet in case you want to upgrade later on. The DV888 is a solid aluminum yoyo for extra weight and superior spin times, also mid-sized (great for smaller hands), and although it’s a little higher in price, it can actually be upgraded to fully unresponsive with the addition of the YoyoFactory “Modern Play Upgrade Kit”. This saves having to go out and buy another yoyo if you eventually want to learn Unresponsive play.
I’d say, if you’re familiar with the classic responsive style yoyo, but are interested in learning something new and are willing to stick with it, definitely give Unresponsive a shot. It’s what has taken my interest in yoyoing to a whole new level, and there’s an endless amount of tricks you can practice and learn. If I could recommend a great starter Unresponsive yoyo it would definitely have to be the YoyoFactory “Replay Pro”. It’s a low cost durable plastic unresponsive yoyo with an “organic” shape, a larger diameter and a really cool look. The price alone is convincing enough just to give it a try, but above all, it plays exceptionally well. Of all the plastic yoyos I’ve played, I’d say it performs as well if not better than some of the more expensive metal rim-weighted plastic yoyos.