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How to yo-yo like a pro

Updated on October 14, 2010

What are some yo-yo tricks for a beginner?

It's easy to make a yo-yo go up and down. I did it all the time when I was 6. It's much harder to do some tricks that will really wow people, but there are some relatively easy tricks that you can learn that will leave people astounded. The first thing you need to learn is the sleeper, because it's the basis for just about all other yo-yo tricks. You've got to be able to get the yo-yo to spin at the end of the rope and not return until you want it to. That's where we'll start first.

The sleeper

Hold the yo-yo out in front of you with your palm facing up. Make sure you have plenty of open room in front and behind you, because you might screw this up the first few times. Use a whipping motion to flick the yo-yo downward. Basically, it's kind of like throwing a fastball except your hand is backward. You even flick your wrist backward. When you've done it right the yo-yo will stay down, spinning at the end of the string. Turn your hand over so it's facing down now. After a few seconds give the string a little tug and the yo-yo should return.

The forward pass

With your hand at your side and the yo-yo under it, flick the yo-yo down. Swing your arm forward and give the string a slight tug when you feel the yo-yo reach the end of the string. For obvious reasons, you should not perform this trick when someone is standing in front of you, unless of course you don't like the person and you're attempting to use your yo-yo as a weapon.

Around the world

This is a variation on the forward pass I taught you above. Instead of tugging the yo-yo back to your hand, flick your wrist all the way backward so the yo-yo does a full circle and returns to your hand as it comes back around. Make sure you have plenty of clearance in front of, behind, and above you for this trick. I've heard of this one also being called the light fixture-shatterer.

Skin the cat

Start by throwing a really good sleeper. Take your left hand (assuming you're right handed and throwing the yo-yo with your right hand) and put your index finger on the right side of the yo-yo string about halfway down. Lift your left hand left and upward, so it lifts the string up. Tug a little with your right hand while making another quick upward motion with your left hand. You're trying to fling your yo-yo up and over your left index finger. When it does fling over go into a forward pass motion before returning it to your right hand.

Now you know the basics

Now that you've got the basics down, try looking up more advanced techniques to become a true yo-yo pro.


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