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The Basics of Yoyo: Beginner yoyo class

Riley Parker
Average rating:4.9Number of reviews:(49)
This 4-week course is designed to teach those with no prior experience how to do some beginner yo-yo tricks. Learners will also be well-equipped to begin learning intermediate tricks.

Class experience

Students can expect to come away from this class with proficient skills in the fundamentals of yo-yo. This includes both "picture tricks" which make formations and simple diagrams using the string, and "string tricks" which require the yo-yo to land on the string in the groove between the two sides of the toy. Learners will also be on track to begin intermediate yo-yo tricks, such as the one taught in my intermediate class. On certain days, there may be a few extra minutes of time at the end of class. In these situations, a few bonus tricks will be tagged on at the end, to give learners another thing to work on between classes. 

The tricks taught in this class include, but are not limited to:

Walk the dog, 
Jamaican Flag,
Around the world*,
Rock the baby,
Eiffel Tower, 
Brain Twister,
Split Bottom Mount,
Sideways world tour*,
Trapeze and his brother,
Double or nothing,

* Optional tricks that have extra space requirements. These tricks will be taught if there is enough time in class.

The maintenance students will learn is:
Yo-yo components and assembly.
Changing and sizing strings.
Fixing string tension.
Fixing knots.
Cleaning bearings.
I have 13 years of experience in the activity of yo-yo. I have taught countless friends and family how to perform a few basic tricks with the toy, and I have also performed in exhibition and competitive contexts, including an 8th place freestyle performance in the 2018 Western Canadian Regional Contest. These experiences have allowed me to meet some of the biggest names in the activity, and try some of the most cutting-edge products.
Homework Offered
Learning yo-yo tricks is fun, rewarding, and addictive, but beginners will soon find out that it can also be frustrating. It takes patience and repetition to get the all of the movements and steps done correctly, and even more effort to do it consistently correct. This is an annoying but necessary part of the activity. On top of this, every learner learns at a different pace, meaning that many learners will not find the allotted time in class to be enough for them to master the given trick. This means that practice outside of class time is of an important component of success in this class. Every learner will find that they need a different amount of time to practice compared to the other learners in class, and different tricks require different time commitments. The minimum amount of recommended practice is 15 minutes every day, but individual learners will quickly find out what is the best amount of time needed for themselves. Yo-yo is an activity where consistency trumps intensity. It is better to have played with the yo-yo 15 minutes a day for a week than to do 2 hours for one day each week. It is recommended that the learner only practices and masters 1-2 tricks in a session of practice before moving on to the next one. This is why we will only cover 1-2 tricks per class. Taking on too many tricks at once will only overwhelm the learner, and they won't be able to give enough attention to each trick.
1 - 2 hours per week outside of class
Assessments Offered
There will be no specific testing in this class, but we will - if time allows - do a friendly contest on the last class called "sport ladder", which is a contest to see who can do increasingly more difficult tricks before they make three mistakes. This contest will be all for fun and will not be marked, but it will offer incentive to get some extra practice time in. Also, this gives the learners a glimpse into the "sport ladder" category of competition, which is where most people compete for their first time out to a contest.
Grades Offered
The bottom line in this class is that the learner has a "sleeping" and "responsive" yo-yo. All this means is that the yo-yo can "sleep", which means is can spin at the bottom of the string around the ball bearing. "Responsive" just means that the yo-yo will come back to the player's hand when they give a tug on the string. Avoid the words "Non-responsive" when you are shopping, as this is something that will be touched on in intermediate and advanced classes. Yoyoexpert.com is the perfect place to begin shopping. Start with brands like YoyoFactory and Duncan.

These are the yo-yo's I recommend, placed in order of my personal favorites. These are not the only beginner yo-yo's on the market, just the ones that I have ample experience with such that I know for sure that they are suitable for every step of this class. They will be listed in the format of "make" and then "model". All yo-yo's listed have the "wing" shape, unless otherwise stated. 

* Can be found in some specialty retail stores, (in my experience). 

** Does not use silicone pads as a response system


YoyoFactory Velocity*


Balanced very well, long spin times, can handle most string tricks. Comes with a dial that can put the yo-yo from "responsive" to "non-responsive". This feature makes it perfect for long-term learning. I still pick up my Velocity from time to time to do some of my most advanced tricks. While this is NOT the only yo-yo you'll ever need, it has a long shelf life for beginners and intermediate players.

Duncan Freehand


This yoyo has no business being as good as it is for how cheap it is. It is the most balanced yo-yo in this entire guide, and has amazing spin time. If the player buys a "size C" bearing (not required), this yo-yo can also make the jump from "responsive" to "non-responsive" play. It also comes with a special dice accessory for a style of play called 5A or "Freehand". I don't recommend that the player uses this until they have finished the beginner class. Just like the YoyoFactory Velocity, this product has the potential to be a solid pick for learners to use even after they have learned all the basic tricks.


Duncan Butterfly XT**


This yo-yo is light, and can handle a lot of beginner and intermediate string tricks. The response is what's known as a "starburst" response, meaning it does not snap quickly back to the hand the way a silicone response does, but the player will get the hang out it after a few minutes of practice. The yo-yo's light weight makes it easily unbalanced. This can be both a blessing and a curse as it provides the beginner a learning curve but also will force the player to have refined technique, which will help them learn faster when they pick up more high-end products.

YoyoFactory One*


YoyoFactory Whip*


The Whip and the One are very similar in their play and their response. they are If the learner is a taller person (>5'8), I would recommend buying larger strings as these yo-yo's come with shorter strings, which will make play awkward. They are both slightly better balanced than the Duncan Butterfly, and they have nice and quick response, but they lose spin time quickly when landed on the string for string tricks.


Yomega Fireball* **


This was my first ever yo-yo. It all started here. Yomega used to be THE beginner yo-yo company. Although other companies now have that title, the Fireball is still a solid pick. It has an "imperial" shape, which makes it harder to be accurate with string tricks. Also, this yoyo has a plastic bearing, which is is not as durable as the industry standard metal bearings. Like the Duncan Butterfly XT, this product has the "starburst" response as opposed to silicone pads. I would pick this yo-yo if you can not find any of the others mentioned, but you will still be in good shape to learn the basics!


Yoyotricks FIZZ Yoyo: This yoyo is marketed towards beginners, but it's not suitable for the later tricks in this class.

YoYofactory F.A.S.T. 201: Good for picture tricks, impossible to do string tricks. 

Yomega Brain: Has an auto-return. Can be useful for learning the sleeper, but it will be a headache when trying to learn virtually all other tricks.


String: This is not mandatory, but I highly recommend that learners invest in a 10, 30, or 100 pack of extra string. When you are just a beginner, it is possible that you will break your strings. Even if the string remains in tact, the oils from your hands will quickly tarnish the string and make play much less enjoyable. If you are using your yo-yo for more than an hour every day, I recommend changing your string at least once a week.

Everything else: Not necessary, at least for beginners. If you have enjoyed your time in class, then it may be on the horizon for you to purchase extra bearings, lubricant, or extra silicone pads. But again, these should be the last of your concerns in the beginner phase.
The buyer's guide for yo-yos, string, and other equipment will be provided in the "Supply List" category, but much of the information on product can be found at yoyoexpert.com, which is the world's most renowned online yo-yo store.
Average rating:4.9Number of reviews:(49)
Hi there! My name is Riley, and I look forward to seeing you in one of my classes! 

I consider myself a jack-of-all-trades, as I have a wide variety of interests and hobbies. I have a Bachelor's of Arts in Film Studies, so I enjoy teaching... 
Group Class


for 8 classes
2x per week, 4 weeks
30 min

Completed by 75 learners
Live video meetings
Ages: 8-13
1-18 learners per class

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