Friction Stickers, also known as Response Pads, are a common type of yo-yo response system that increase the friction the sides of the yo-yo have on the string, enabling the yo-yo to return. Although there are a number of different types of friction stickers, most tend to be similar sizes, so players can experiment with different types in the same yo-yo. Pads are also very versatile so they can be mixed and matched, or even only a have singular pad on one side for low-responsive play.
Pads wear out from extensive use and so must be replaced regularly. However, many yo-yoers prefer pads after they have been 'broken in' so the yo-yo doesn't 'snap' back at their hand. Some of them replace the pads one at a time so at least one pad is broken in at all times.
There are four major pad sizes. Most yo-yo companies use standard-sized pad recesses so that the yo-yoer can customize the yo-yo to his or hers desired response. The four standard recess sizes are small, large, .555, and silicone groove. Small sized pads only fit in yo-yos with an A sized bearing without a notable lip between the pad and the bearing. Large sized pads fit in yo-yos that have an A or D sized bearing and a lip between the bearing and pad. They also fit in a large bearing yo-yo without a notable lip between the bearing and pad. .555 pads are named because their inner diameter is .555 of an inch. .555 pads fit in large bearing yo-yos with a lip between the bearing and the pad. There is also the silicone groove. The silicone groove has no definite size but some companies such as YoYoJam, YoYoFactory, Duncan and One Drop have made yo-yos that use silicone stickers in a flowable silicone groove. The most common size for the silicone groove is the 19mm OD or "Large Slim".
The AnY Pads are made by the Korean yo-yo manufacturer AnY. They are made of bluish-colored silicone, very durable, great for unresponsive play and provide very tight binds. These pads can be found in the Air Rider, Free Rider, and MiRoC 2. Available exclusively at Yoyonation and Yoman Store. They are large bearing sized.
Baz Pads are a type of friction sticker created by Bazmonkey. They were made from a rubber product called Plasti-dip, but are no longer available as Bazmonkey has left the community. They are of the large bearing size.
CBC Pads (also known as K-Pads)
A silicone response pad manufactured by the Central Bearing Company in collaboration with YoYoFactory and Kentaro Kimura, renowned for its balance of responsiveness and smoothness. Commonly seen in high-end YoYoFactory yo-yos, as well as in yo-yos produced by other companies, such as Turning Point and C3yoyodesign. Comes in Large Slim (19mm OD), Large Broad (21mm OD) and Small. There were also special Flea-sized pads for the Big Deal and Mighty Flea (2010s version).
Chaz Pads are an updated form of the Baz Pads. They are also made from Plasti-dip, but produced by Charles Schluer, not Bazmonkey. They come in the .555 size. These are no longer produced but were briefly revived in 2017 with an extra thick version for the Core Co Alleycat release.
CLYW Snow Tires
A silicone pad developed by Caribou Lodge Yo-Yo Works for their large-bearing return tops. Comes in white, aqua, red and green. They are of a unique size. They are often seen in more modern responsive designs such as the Moonshine and the Gamer.
Core Co Response Pads
During the development of the Alleycat, Core Co Yo Yos had intended to use Duncan Friction Stickers for the response, but during the production of the yo yo, Duncan discontinued the stickers and tossed out the warehouse supply making them effectively unavailable. The first couple of runs of the Alleycat used Chaz Pads but they were a somewhat weak alternative because they were not as grippy as the Duncan stickers.
Due to this void in the marketplace and with a desire to sustain the existing Friction Sticker based yo yos, Core Co developed their own replacement version which they have used in subsequent releases of the Alleycat and 650b.
Custom Products' yo-yos use their own replaceable response pads called Performance Rings (sometimes referred to as Speed Rings). Originally made from Rubbermaid tub strips (self-adhesive friction strips made to prevent slipping in the bathtub), they were later changed to a smooth, black rubber. These pads were the subject of the Playmaxx VS Custom lawsuit, due to similarities to the Brake Pad Technology (BPT).
The Dif Pads by Dif-e-Yo are made of a rubber-like material, and were first introduced in August 2003. Although they come as standard in all Dif-e-Yo yo-yos from 2003 onwards, they are also often added to other yo-yos by yo-yoers to make them less responsive. They come in two different thicknesses: 0.015" and 0.03", referred to as 'thin' and 'thick' Dif Pads. Thick pads are more responsive than thin pads since they protrude farther into the gap. They come in both large and .555 sizes.
Duncan Friction Stickers (also known as Fiction Biscuits) are comprised of a thin layer of rubber covering a black fabric with adhesive backing. They are very responsive at first, but as the rubber breaks down, they wear out completely, as the fabric backing is not very grippy. They come with most ball bearing Hardcore series yo-yos as standard, and are only available in the small bearing size (12mm ID). Duncan's Friction Stickers were introduced in 2001, as they were installed stock on the original Freehand yo-yo, however the original pad used a white rubber, unlike the black-colored pads available today. Some time around 2017, Duncan not only discontinued the production of Friction Stickers, but also trashed the existing warehouse stock. This caused Core Co to come up with Core Co Response Pads as a sustainable replacement.
Looping Stickers are slightly less responsive, but are more durable and longer-lasting than the standard Friction Stickers. They are usable for looping yo-yos in the Hardcore series, such as the Speed Beetle. Small bearing size (12mm ID) only.
Silicone Stickers are another variant of the basic Friction Sticker, in which case they are made with silicone. Long-lasting and extra smooth for a superior response. Comes in small (12mm ID) and large bearing (13.7mm ID/.555) sizes. Usable in Hardcore series yo-yos, as well as the earlier models of the Screaming Eagle series (from the MayheM to the Exit 8).
Brake Pads were originally designed by Playmaxx. It was first introduced in 1997 with the ProYo Turbo Bumble Bee, but became a Duncan product when it had bought out Playmaxx. These response pads, made of a thick rubber which resembles cork in appearance, are made with arrayed "teeth" encircling the bearing to form a starburst-like pattern. They were the basis for all modern response pad systems.
SG Stickers are Duncan's own brand of silicone groove response pads designed for advanced yo-yos and players, first introduced with the Raptor yo-yo. They are mostly unresponsive but have great binds when recessed into the yo-yo. They come in both small (12.3mm ID) and large bearing (19mm OD/Large Slim) sizes. A majority of Duncan's unresponsive yo-yos use the large bearing pads, and by far, the Magnetude is the only known yo-yo to use the small bearing pads.
Gen Pads are rubber response pads made by General Yo. They have been engineered to have a very specific grip ability. Furthermore, you can buy them smooth or textured (like Kentaro Pads). They are .555 sized.
Hat Pads were made specifically for their Hatrick yo-yo, but have also seen use in the Magnum, and most yo-yos in Landon Balk's 3yo3 line. They are a silicone-based pad available in thick and thin varieties. The thick pads come in both smooth and textured, but the thin pads only come smooth. They are .555 sized.
Ghost Pads are a creation of Paul Yath. They are clear (leading to the name), thick and durable pads with one side being adhesive. They are made of flowable silicone, and are available in large bearing and .555 sizes.
One Drop Flow Groove
A silicone response pad produced by One Drop for their silicone groove yo-yos. Each pad is .062" thick and .105" wide. Also comes in 19mm OD/Large Slim and .555 sizes.
Kentaro Pads or Kimu Pads are made by Infinite Illusions employee and Team YoYoFactory member Kentaro Kimura. The pads are made from a textured black rubber that tends to make strings dirtier with use. They come in large bearing, silicone groove, and .555 sizes.
Flea Bites are a much smaller variant of Kimu Pad used in the YoYoFactory Mighty Flea. They are made by cutting inner circles on standard-size Kimu Pads to form the Mighty Flea's special response system.
Tom Kuhn's Turbo Discs are the only type of response pads that are made from cloth and feature a unique interaction with the fibers of the string. The fibers in these stickers received its own patent. Supplied with all of his current ball bearing yo-yos (except for the SB4), they can also be used on the older version of the SB-2, and certainly put the "B" back into Bullet. 3M Durapore medical tape would have the same effect as Turbo Discs. They are small bearing sized, and were first introduced with the aluminum Pocket Rocket.
Chu Pads are very unique response pads because they are very thin (thinner than even the Dif thin) and are made of plastic. They gave very slight response, which allows it to be used with other kinds of pads. Players can replace the Duncan Friction Stickers with Chu Pads without the insufficient feeling on stock Duncan yo-yos.
Shinwoo Response Pads
By far, there were two different iteration of Shinwoo's response pads. The original version of the pads, seen in yo-yos such as the original Phantom and Techno (2002 model onwards) were made of a long-lasting and durable rubber, rarely needing to be replaced.
In 2010, Shinwoo released a new version of their response pads, which are reversible, double-sided units with a different texture on each side; it is flat on one side with a starburst pattern on the other. The gimmick, is that the user can flip these pads to adjust the yo-yo's responsiveness to his/her preference. They are made in the 19mm OD/Large Slim size, allowing them to be used in other non-brand yo-yos that use pads of this size. The pads are also made in silicone, along with a variant used for the Loop 2 yo-yo.
These blue silicone response pads are produced by Henrys for the Python, Viper Neo, Viper Neo XL, Viper Flux, and M1 yo-yos. They attach into the yo-yo by clicking into place with no need for adhesives. As with a majority of Henrys' yo-yo products, these are named after a reptile. They come in a non-standard size and could only be used in the aforementioned yo-yos.
Hyper Infinity Rubber Friction pads
Believe it or not, the Hyper Infinity, a motorized yo-yo that is more of a novelty item than most other yo-yos in the Hyper Yo-Yo line, has its own replaceable response pads, which are made of rubber. They are also sold separately in packs of four.
A line of high-end silicone response pads developed by 2007 East Japan 1A Champion Ryosuke Iwasawa through extensive trial and error. These pads are made by hand of high-grade pink silicone, providing a balance between sleeping and response, and are renowned for their durability and longevity, making them popular with the top Japanese competitors. They were originally named IPads, but were re-named to avoid copyright issues with Apple Inc., despite that the IPads were in production long before the iPad tablet was announced. They come in the largest variety of sizes and thicknesses of any other response pad on the market;
- Dif Thin and Dif Thick
- Large Slim (19mm OD)
- Duncan Small Bearing (12mm ID) and Large Bearing (13.7mm ID)
- YoYoJam O-ring Thick and Thin
- ILYY Enigma 2011 D-bearing size
- CLYW Snow Tire size in Normal, Thick, and Thin
- Sturm Panzer 0.5mm and 0.5mm-D (D-bearing)
- One Drop Flow Groove
- HSpin size
Paul Yath Carbon Fiber Friction Stickers (PYFS)
A type of response pad designed by Paul Yath, manufactured by Infinite Illusions and sold online at Yoyoguy. Made of carbon fiber, these stickers are designed specifically for unresponsive play and to last longer than Dif Pads. Despite their popularity, these did not catch on with all players, due to concerns of the stickers' texture potentially cutting the string during play. They are no longer available due to the supplier for the materials having gone out of business. Comes in .555 and Duncan small bearing (12mm ID) sizes.
YoYoFactory Redline series Response Stickers
A series of response pads featured in the early models of the Redline/Project Red Alert series, they came in three different varieties, each made of a different material for a different feeling of responsiveness. One type is made of the kind of rubber used in the erasers of no. 2 pencils, making for moderate to high responsiveness. The second type is made of the three-ply material used in inflatable river rafts for high responsiveness. The third type is made of the faux leather used in belts for smoother and more forgiving response. Exclusive to the following yo-yos listed below;