• So. I had a Yoyo back in the 1990’s. What’s changed?

    So. I had a Yoyo back in the 1990’s. What’s changed? Can I still “walk the dog”?


    Oh, the 90’s. A time of pokemon cards, pogs, cereal chosen primarily based on the free toy, Art Attack, and yoyos. Yes, the yoyo craze. Playgrounds full of kids violently swinging “around the world”, getting all digits involved in an unforgiving tangle in a “rock the baby” and ever escalating arguments on who can throw the longest sleeper. An adolescence brought to you by Duncan, Yomega and Henry's.


    So, What’s changed?




    The leap in technology in creating yoyo has been vast. In the 90’s we were playing with a pedal go cart, in the mid 2000’s we were playing with f1 cars, today we are playing with space rockets, so to speak. World record sleepers went from a few mins to nearly half an hour.


    And fancy yoyos means fancy tricks. The new common style among pros and hobbyist alike is “unresponsive” yoyoing. Which means that you have to do a special trick to make it return to your hand, opening up fleets of new tricks and styles.



    But that all still the same principle of finger-attached-to-string-attached to-yoyo. Nothing else has changed, right?


    Like I said, everything changed.


    Over the last 2 decades, new bewildering and mystifying styles of play have come about.


    Think 1 “unresponsive” is just on challenging enough for you? Try 2 unresponsive yoyos, one in each hand. Also known as 3A.




    Think having the yoyo attached to your finger is soooooooooo 90’s? 5A is for you! Instead of the string attached to your finger, it is attached to a counterweight, allowing for it to easily be released and swung/thrown.




    Do you feel that having the yoyo attached to the end of the string is just too restrictive? 4A is just what you need! In a similar style to diabolo, the yoyo is not attached to the string at all, allowing it to be thrown and caught again on the sting.




    Now that your mind is well and truly blown, I can hear you ask, “how do I get back into it?”


    Well, first you’re gonna need a yoyo.

    If you’re fingers still remember how to throw a sleeper, I suggest the Infinity Blaze.



    Out of the box, you’ll be able to throw a good long sleeper and do all those awesome tricks you remember. Flags, stars, cat's cradle, rock the baby etc. But here’s the jazz: this one comes with a 2nd wider bearing. So you can modify this yoyo to become Unresponsive and learn all these swanky new fangled modern tricks like slacks, whips and rejections.


    You’ll need to learn to “bind” the yoyo (the mentioned special trick.) Good news! Youtube was invented since the 90’s. Youtube will be your friend and mentor as you progress.




    “But, Can I still still walk the dog!!??” I hear you ask.


    Yes. And do it with a titanium yoyo, it will spark.





  • Loz Because on Play Perfect Hoops

    I have been hooping for 8 years, I perform as a professional circus hulahooper, with a strong cross-over into dance hooping of various styles. I travel a lot with my work and like to train and play with my hoops every day if possible. I discovered Play Juggling Perfect Hoops at the British Juggling Convention (April 2013) and have since completely converted to them. I have sold most of my other hoops (a mix of rhythmic gymnastic hoops and poly-pro) in favour of the Play Perfects – so I feel obliged now to the hooping community to write a review and let you all know about them!

    My hoop size of choice: The 16mm tube, 860mm/34inch diameter (outer edge)


    Rigidity – lovely lovely rigidity.

    This hoop holds a damn near perfect circle. Because the plastic resists flex so well, it is
    also mega responsive. If you think of how it would feel hulahooping with a floppy innertube – where it absorbs all movement into a wobbly mess that falls around your ankles like yesterday’s pants. Well it is the opposite of that. Tight-freshly-elasticated-cottonfresh hulahoop. It responds to the smallest of movements, so if you’ve ever struggled raising a hoop from your knees to your neck you will love this. Also for multihooping, the first time I tried splitting 4 hoops with the Play Perfects was a joy!

    Rigidity does not however mean total lack of flex. I love a good wedgie trick (where the hoop needs to bend quite significantly in order to spring back to complete the trick), and this plastic definitely allows for a great range of movement. You can flex it and even pack it down to half its size and when returned to its original size its an almost perfect circle! BOOM! Wedgie trick into an isolation? Not a problem.

    Externally the plastic has a very smooth opaque finish (in a range of colours) and is aesthetically very pleasing. I’ve found I like to grip-tape just the inside of the hoop for good traction, but leave the outside naked for good-looking-ness. I simply scratch the outer edge with some rough sandpaper for traction on body rolls etc.


    This is one of the best features of this hoop. They are detachable at one point with a button release. You can fold the hoop around itself to reattach at half its original diameter. This is incredibly useful for transport. I clip mine onto the back of a rucksack; I can carry up to 8 hoops this way without feeling encumbered. WIN. You can also carry them diagonally across the neck and shoulder quite comfortably and securely. You can go trekking through mountains with your hoop and hardly notice it’s there! What’s even better is you can fly more easily with them. Sadly they don’t actually give you the power of human flight, but if you employ the services of an established airline, you can transport them easily in a suitcase, or in hand-luggage.


    The attach/detach mechanism is stiff to use. Play juggling would do well to provide a device to help press the button without breaking your thumbnails.
    The mechanism obviously has to be sturdy to withstand the onslaught we hoopers inflict on our equipment, but it’s a pain in the thumb to open.

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