What is a yo-yo?
A yo-yo is a skill toy made of two discs connected together by an axle. It comes with a string, that is used to spin and control the yo-yo. Usually this string is attached at one end to the axle of the yo-yo while the other is tied to the middle finger of the player's hand.
"Normally" a yo-yo is thrown, "sleeps" (i.e. keeps spinning) at the end of the string. When the player tugs the string, the yo-yo returns to the hand, using the inertia stored in its rotation. Modern yo-yos sometimes do not return with a tug, but require a bind.
Types of yo-yo
Different types of yo-yo are suited for different styles of play. Factors such as the shape, response system and the string used are crucial in determining how well the yo-yo will perform in that style.
Yo-yos typically come in three shapes; butterfly, classic and modified. For a more in-depth discussion of yo-yo shapes, please refer to yo-yo shapes.
Most yo-yos are made of wood, plastic and/or aluminum or 24 carat gold See Yo-yo Materials.
These can be fixed axles (usually wood or polished metal) or transaxles. The latter come as sleeve bearings (basically a loose plastic sleeve around a metal axle) or ball bearings. For advantages and disadvantages of different axle types see axles. Most modern yo-yos can be screwed apart at the axle for maintenance and to remove tangled string.
Response determines how easily the yo-yo returns to your hand. If a yo-yo just requires a light tug, it is said to be responsive. Some yo-yos, especially those with ball bearings or transaxles, have little or no response and thus require a bind in order to make them come back.
The following is a list of yo-yo parts that serves as an index to the respective detail pages. If you are missing something, you might also want to try the Glossary.
- Ball Bearings
- Side Cap Bearing
- Response Systems
- Rim Protectors
- Weight Rings
- Full Anatomy
In order to work properly, a yo-yo requires constant care and maintenance. Things you can/should do include:
- Replace the string - This is probably the one most important maintenance you should do regularly.
- Clean and lube your ball bearings.
Sometimes people like to change the yo-yo from stock, in order to improve them. These modifications are usually referred to as mods. Refer to the Yo-yo Modifications page for details.