I got into yo-yoing in early 1998, just before a massive yo-yo craze swept the world. For the next two years, there were contests in every major city, yo-yos in every corner store, and most schools had some sort of temporary ban on the toy. Since then I’ve seen several different toy fads come and go, including kendamas, hoverboards, tech decks, and razer scooters.
If it wasn’t for that first yo-yo fad, it’s hard to imagine how different my life would be today. I received a couple cool trophies (3rd place World Champ & National Trick Innovator being my two faves), became a regional manager of several yo-yo kiosks, and travelled around the country doing shows (eventually landing in San Francisco). Thanks to those opportunities, I’ve never liked to complaining about any of the other fads as they come and go. When you’ve had a career as a “professional yo-yoer”, it’s hard to imagine calling someone out on whatever weird hobby they happen to have. Fad or not.
It has, however, been interesting to see the yo-yo community react to the recent fidget spinner boom. I tend to think that the younger players, who weren’t around for the yo-yo fad and it’s eventual backlash, are quick to jump on the fidget spinner hate-train, while the older players are trying to figure out how to encourage fidgeters to cross over into other skill toys.
As an example, here’s a recent rant by Brandon Vu, who has a stellar series of yo-yo related videos:
Here’s a group of yo-yo and kendama players trying to seamlessly tie in a bunch of fidget spinner tricks into one of their videos:
And here’s Dylan Kowolski showing how to make the World’s Smallest Fidget Spinner using old yo-yo bearings:
And here’s me playing with some magnets… just for shiggles:
— Doctor Popular (@DocPop) May 23, 2017