A year ago, almost to the day, I picked up my first serious yoyo and started on what has been a surprisingly exciting journey with some great people. I started out essentially dipping my toes in the water and ended up becoming enthralled and constantly pushing myself further down this rabbit hole.
A few months ago I wrote a post called Zen and the Art of YoYo, a look into life lessons that I learned from throwing (community speak for yoyoing). The post is largely about me learning that somethings are just out of your control and that the only option is to adapt which moves directly into that you should go with the flow. When life throws you punches you have to brush them off and keep moving forward without breaking stride. You can’t force people or things to bend to your will; you can’t impose your will onto others. You have to be supportive. If you need a situation to go your way you need to position yourself so that things naturally come to the outcome you want. The last point was just how wonderful of a tool a yoyo can be to clear your mind and de-stress.
In this time, I’ve grown by a leaps and bounds as a player as well. When I took my first throw, the yoyo vibrated at the end of the string so insanely that it looked more like a sphere than a yoyo. I stuck with it. I practiced. I learned helpful techniques. I practiced some more. I pushed my self to try thing I know were out of reach. I continued to practice. I made sure to try everything that looked fun along the way. I’m proud to say I’m now at the point where I can learn nearly any trick within reason as long as I have sufficient source material. It may not look as nice as the player in the source, but the mechanics will be there. That said, I still have a long way to go. There’s no way I could even place in a local competition and there are whole disciplines that I have little to no skill with. Beyond that, the skill ceiling is just so high—potentially infinite, so there will always be room to grow.
The community is, without a doubt, one of the best aspects of the hobby. It can also be one of the worse parts if you’re not careful. On the whole, it’s very welcoming of newcomers and supportive of everyone’s growth. That said, it does suffer from much of the drama prevalent in many small communities. It’s not hard to avoid the drama though. There always seems to be some sort of event going on too. Sometimes it’s contests at the professional level, sometimes it’s a community giveaway, or some sort of fun game with prizes. It really helps build a tight-knit group.
The people who make this community possible, in particular the /r/Throwers sub-reddit, are some of the nicest most generous people. I’ve met many awesome people along the way that I now consider friends. Hell, I talk to some of them more than friends who live in the same city as me. To all of those people, I’m sure you know who you are and I thank you. I’ve also met people I look up to who have served as a constant source of inspiration.
Anyone who knows me, knows I like collecting things. Yoyos fit so naturally with that mentality. First and foremost, there’s tangible, and sometimes significant differences between each yoyo changing the way it feels or even the style of play it’s intended for. Beyond that, so many of them are like little works of art that don’t take up a ton of space.
I’ve tried to take a practical approach to what I add. Some are style specific, some round out the collection with the gamut of performance characteristics, a few I just got because they looked cool or as a novelty. There’s also a few that were gifts or prizes. Those have a special sentimental place in my rotation.
- Steel – Engraved Galaxy
- HiDRA Prototype – Red
- F.A.S.T. 201 – Green
- Replay Pro – WYYC15 Edition
- Daydream – WYYC15 Edition
- Titanium Dream – Raw
- Space Cowboy – JonRob Silver
- Flight – Electric Glow
- Downbeat NQP – Pewter
- Cascade – Black
- Orca – Every Berry
- N12 Shark’s Honor – Deep Blue
- D1 Ghz x2 – Blue
- Moxon – Maple
- Butterfly XT – Green & Blue
- Aircut – Blue Splash
I’ve also picked up a Yomega Kendama, a no-name balisong trainer and made a begleri.
Time for a fresh string
This has been a wonderful, and quite short, year. I feel like I’ve learned so much and met so many great people. I can’t wait to see what the next year brings. Throwing definitely feels like a hobby that I’ll be sticking with for a long time. So it’s time to put on a fresh string and get back to throwing.