This page lists some of the yo-yo styles you will come across. This list is not complete but covers all of the most common styles and a few of the more outrageous ones. This page should serve to give you ideas of new ways to play. It should be noted that some of these styles blur, and so some people would dispute as to whether they are a separate style (for example, some people consider sliding counterweight to be part of freehand).
What makes a style of playEdit
A style of play should not be confused with a trick category, such as grinds. A style of play requires there to be something different about the equipment that allows new tricks to be performed. This is why we have classified sliding counterweight as different to freehand because the setup is different and so different tricks can be done.
Also known as 0A.
Loop based tricks with a single yo-yo. Zero A play consists of continuous loops, hops, and shoot the moons. Zero A is where most people start when they begin the style AA, and although Zero A is a relatively simple style, most people decide to practice A. Looping yo-yos usually are a modified or classic shape, and are usually weighted in the center. Those yo-yos used among popular players consist of the Yomega Raider and Fireball (usually modified), the YoYoJam Sunset Trajectory,the Duncan Speed Beetle, the Duncan Ballistic and the Relic, as well as many others from various other companies. No contest has been ever held for Zero A.
This is a style of play where only one half of the yoyo is used. The yo-yo is slightly unscrewed, then one side is grabbed while the yo-yo sleeps. The other half stays spinning at the end of the string due to the gyroscopic forces. This only works with certain yo-yos. It was created by Joshua Yee in 1999 but other notable yo-yoers in this style are Ryan Lai and Dave Poyzer.
Also known as single A and 1A.
String tricks with a single yo-yo. The yo-yo tends to be unresponsive (at advanced levels of play) to allow complicated string tricks to be performed.
Single A is what most people think of when you talk about yo-yoing. This style is also almost always the first style yo-yoers learn due to it being the most well known and the easiest to start.
Also known as dualstring or Single Fivepoint
1.5A is a style of yoyoing where you have extra string connected to your freehand to which you use that intermintent with your throwhand that has a yoyo upon that string set up for either 1a, 4a or 5a. Your freehand can use other combinations such as string with a dice at the end or a full loop of string.
Tourniquet style is a subdivision of 1A and derives its name from the slipknot wrapped around the arm. This style was invented by Jensen Kimmitt. The main idea behind Tourniquet style is a longer string that is used for various wraps and tricks that involve unique string combinations with the yo-yo and the player's body.
Also known as double A, 2A and two-handed yo-yoing
A style based on the use of two looping yo-yos, one in each hand. High-level AA play consists of various series of continuous regenerations, such as loops, hops, moons, punches, stalls, etc. Also performed are hundreds of different forms of around-the-worlds and other circular motions with the yo-yo. While combining loops and continuous circles, wraps can be done. Another growing part of AA (also possible in AAA) is based on the tangler trick, where the strings of the yo-yo cross, spin around the "knot", and are then uncrossed.
Generally the yo-yos used for AA are based on either a modified or a classic shape. Those yo-yos used among popular players consist of the Yomega Raider and Fireball (usually modified), the YoYoJam Sunset Trajectory,the Duncan Speed Beetle,the Team Losi Da Bomb, the Duncan Ballistic and the Relic , as well as many others from various other companies.
Also known as triple A and 3A.
String (aka Long Spin) tricks with two yo-yos. Popularized and pioneered by Mark McBride, the first modern Triple A trick appeared in Fiend Magazine and was called Velvet Rolls. The different mounts are referred to as houses (e.g. "Kink House").
Photos from as early as the late 1950's show early yo-yo demonstrators performing very basic Triple A tricks, such as a Sleeper with one hand, and a Trapeze with the other. While Triple A as a concept has existed for many years, it was not until the release of Velvet Rolls that development began on what is currently considered Triple A.
Also known as OS and 4A.
Where the yo-yo is not attached to the string, but the string is tied to the finger. See the offstring article.
Also known as FH, counterweight and 5A.
Where a weight (typically a casino die or small ball) is attached to the end of the yo-yo string that would otherwise be attached to the finger. The yo-yo itself is attached to the string in the normal manner. Developed in 1999 by Steve Brown, freehand is considered to be the fastest-growing style of yo-yo play, as well as one of the most exciting to watch, due mainly to the wide diversity of styles from one 5A player to the next.
Manufacturing of a yo-yo with a fixed or sliding counterweight is covered under United States Patent #6,371,824.
Also known as AP
Artistic Performance is a style yo-yoing that uses any type of yo-yo or other prop in order to perform an artistic freestyle. This style is based mostly on performance of the player over the sheer number or complexity of tricks that they execute. Choreography, use of music, creative use of the stage, movement and performance is among the important aspects of this style of play. However yo-yo incorporation into said routines is a primary source of the performance.
Also known as 9A (5A plus 4A), and offhand.
A counterweight is attached to the string, but the yo-yo is left unattached. This allows a great variety of tricks to be performed. Notable players of this style include Ryan Lai.
Also known as astro due to its similarity with the astrojax skill toy.
Originally called Astro Crap by its key innovator Seth Peterson due to the fact that few yo-yoers particularly like astrojax, but the name was later shorted to astro.
It is similar to freehand, but the counterweight is free to slide along the length of the string.
Conceived in 1999 by Chris Neff, Sliding Counterweight has gained popularity among freehand players in recent years due to the development of additional tricks and its mysterious "re-naming", largely attributed to Seth Peterson and Doctor Popular. Both players are considered the pioneers of this style, as it was their tricks that have popularized it.
Invented by Steve Brown in early 1999, but also developed and popularized by Tommy Gun, this involves putting two yo-yos on one hand. Typically one goes on your ring finger, and the other on your pointer finger. This is to keep the yo-yos from hitting each other too much.
Tricks were shown in YoYoWorld Magazine issue #3 released winter of 1999. Tricks also appeared as single videos on his (old) site, as well as in Chicago Crew clip videos. Some tricks include Teamwork, Yellow Pages, Double Boing, Trapeze Entanglement, and Trapeze Traverser. While it has potential, this style really never caught on possibly because of the difficulty and aggravation of having less control over each yo-yo. AAA is quite similar so most people do that instead.
Also known as Cherry and Asquared
The concept of Hydra is that two yoyos are connected to just one particular string. This is done by setting up the string where it is two seperate strings tied together via a knot while the ends of the string where the yoyo goes is still intact. This style had a adaptation in Japan where instead of a knot to tie the two strings together, they used a counterweight and identified it as "Cherry". Asquared is the next generation of Hydra where instead of using regular yoyos you use hubstacked based yoyos such as the G5 which allows for more freedom and 5a-like maneuvers via holding the sides of one yoyo.
Doc Pop StyleEdit
Discussed on Radio Kwyjibo. Doctor Popular has developed many novel techniques, including using a paper-clip on the yo-yo end of the string while playing off-string. Using this light counterweight allowed him to return the yo-yo one-handed. This was done before the 1 handed whip-like regenerations developed by the Japanese offstring champion (Eiji?).
Developed by John-Bot. It's a style of one-handed yo-yoing mostly inside a gunslinger (split bottom) mount. It can best be described as one-handed tiny yo-yo tricks. The Boingy boingy is a probably the most well known trick from this style.
Also known as slipknot play,
Supposedly this style reaches as far back as 97 but there has been no known creator. However, it was repopularized by Doctor Popular in 2000. It involves 1a like tricks done inside the expanded slipknot loop of string that would usually go around your finger. The style is named after the theoretical physics concept known as a Moebius Loop. Notable players of this type of style include Doctor Popular, Alex Berenguel, and Zammy.
Each standard style of yo-yoing (1A to 5A) may be done in a moebius style. These are named moebius (1A), dualbius (2A), triobius (3A), offbius (4A) and astrobius (5A).
A style featured by the Pretty Boy Spinners (PBS). Similar to freehand play, except that you throw the yo-yo and counter-weight in order to interact with your environment. Not recommended around living things.
Also known as flying Eel or offhand.
This style is similar to freehand, but without the counterweight. Technique mostly involves using the weight of the yo-yo to bring the string around. Rarely done today.
It was popular among members of Team High Performance in 1998, and inadvertently led to the development of freehand by Steve Brown, due to his inability to successfully perform the Flying Eel tricks he was creating. The complicated nature of his creations necessitated some kind of stopper on the end of the string, and it was through experimentation with different beads and attachments that freehand was created.
This style was recently rejuvenated by Kerzic (popularly known as "CizreK"), with his new video Free Floating. This video has developed quite a bit of controversy, because Kerzic referred to it solely as "Free Floating," as if it were a new style, even though the concept of the "Flying Eel" has been around longer than 5A. Although viewers of the video may be right, Kerzic is one of the first players who has created useful and noteworthy "Flying Eel" tricks.
Tricks performed by throwing the yo-yo as you would in A, but then unwinding the string and popping the yo-yo out of the loop. You then perform one or more offstring tricks before putting the yo-yo back in the loop and returning it. Invented by Doctor Popular.
Also known as DD.
Double D is a combination of normal freehand and sliding counterweight, where you have two counterweights. One counterweight is tied to the string, the other is free to move. This style is quite similar to sliding counterweight, except the increased weight of the DD counterweight allows different maneuvers not possible with the typically light astro counterweights.
Also known as 13A (5A + 5A + 3A).
Double freehand is similar to AAA, but each yo-yo has a counterweight attached. It is a difficult style to do due to the fact there are four moving objects to worry about (two yo-yos and two counterweights). It was created by Steve Brown and originally named 13A, but it is sometimes referred to as 10A (5A + 5A). Notable players of this style include Rafael Matsunaga.
5A + 2A
A counterweight is attached to the end of one or both strings of a pair of looping yoyos. This style was explored during the beginnings of counterweight play, but due to its difficulty it never gained much popularity.
This is a style of play involving a fully untwisted string loop, much like a much larger version of washing machine. Tricks are created by maneuvering the yo-yo both while inside the string loop, and while off the loop, in a sort of pseudo offstring-1A style. Innovators of this style include Takahiko Hasegawa, Hironori Mii, and Kenji Nishi.
Invented by Doctor Popular around the same time the Japanese were innovating "Go West" style. Sumo stands for Super-Moebius and differs only in that you are playing with an regular yo-yo string that has just been completely untwisted. It differs from Go West because Go West is just a solid loop of string, with no finger knot, and Go West is usually double wrapped around the axle.
A style involving a sliding die as in Double D but the string is attached to the yoyoer's finger.