A recent Facebook post asked “What is your favorite yo-yo video?” and the results were pretty stunning. I’ve made a lot of yo-yo videos, but don’t really watch as many as I should. Thanks to this surprisingly awesome thread, I’ve discovered a bunch of new videos and had a chance to re-explore some classic videos with a fresh new perspective on how innovative they were at the time.
It all got me to thinking about some of my favorite yo-yo videos. Youtube didn’t come around until 2005, so many old school/self hosted videos have disappeared. As a point of reference, Glasslab Experiment #4 (my first big yo-yo video) came out in 2001. I’m sure there are many more that I may have forgotten, but here’s my (incomplete) list of the greatest yo-yo videos of all time. :
I’m slowly rolling out some of the photos I took from our most recent trip to Iceland. A already posted some color shots from our week of camping in Hornbjarg, but this week’s collection is off of a roll of Lomography’s LomoChrome Purple film from that same adventure.
LomoChrome isn’t just a purple filter effect, it really brings out unusual color combos depending on the amount of light and the colors you are shooting. A similar effect comes from intentionally flipping a roll color negative film, so the light hits the film from the wrong side. That effect is often called “redscale”, since the predominant gel on the backside of color negative film is usually red. You can see more of my LomoChrome Purple photos here.
Yo-Yo Store Rewind just posted a bunch of short “combo videos” from the World Yo-Yo Contest in Reykjavik, Iceland. I was happy to find a couple of my yo-yo tricks made the cut, so I wanted to share them here.
The first combo starts off with a Magic Trapeze Mount, which is a ton of fun once you get the hang of it, and then goes into an alternate hand version of Branding.
The second combo is a fun new outer arm (or what I like to call “bendy”) mount and ends with a newer version of my old gyroscopic flip trick.
Both of my videos are really just about shorter concepts, but there are a bunch of great videos on Rewind’s channel, like this combo from Riccardo Fraolini.
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: