Yoyo Components Explained

Body

The main part of your yoyo. It comes in two halves which screw together using the axle. Standard materials used are wood, plastic and metal. The most common designs found today are imperial, used for looping tricks, and butterfly, used for string tricks and most other styles of play.

String

The yoyo string connects you to your yoyo. Modern yoyo strings are specially made double twisted to loop over your yoyo bearing/axle at one end and tied with a slip knot at the other to go round your finger. Traditionally, yoyo strings have been 100% cotton but 50-50 cotton-polyester mixes have become common in recent years. The addition of the polyester makes strings stronger but also slightly slicker (meaning that they are slightly more likely to burn your fingers when doing string tricks). Strings come in various sizes, measured by the number of strands (6, 8, 9 etc). Thicker strings (such as size 8 or 9) increase the responsiveness of your yoyo by rubbing against the inner sides of the yoyo body more easily during a spinner and thus making it return up the string more easily at the end of a trick. Thinner strings (such as size 6) act in the opposite way and therefore decrease the responsiveness of your yoyo.

Axle

The threaded component of your yoyo that joins the two halves of the yoyo body together. On some more basic or traditional yoyos, the string is looped directly over a central smooth portion of the axle. Different yoyos have varying length axles, so if you need to replace yours, make sure it is the correct size for your particular yo.

Bearing

Modern high quality yoyos often contain a metal ball bearing that fits over the central section of the axle and is usually also recessed into one or both halves of the yoyo body. In their most simplistic form, ball bearings consist of a metal ring running freely outside another metal ring, separated by a number of metal balls. These balls allow the inner ring to stay fixed to the body and axle whilst the outer ring spins freely with the string looped around it.

Sidecap

Also known as a pog, this simple circular disc clips into the outside of both halves of some yoyo bodies and often features graphics and/or text. Due to their simple shape, players sometimes create their own caps to fit their favourite yoyo.

Clutch

Some yoyos feature a clutch system. This mechanism allows the yoyo bearing to spin freely when thrown at high enough speeds, and then activates the clutch when the spinning speed of the body drops below a certain level. As the speed drops, the clutch activates and the bearing locks, causing the yoyo to stop spinning freely and return up its string to the player. A great innovation for beginners as it allows you to concentrate on getting the spinner right and doing basic tricks without worrying about getting the yo back up to your hand at the end!

O-ring, starburst, friction stickers...

These features go by different names depending on the yoyo. They are fitted on the inner walls of the body of your yoyo and are in place to increase friction with the string and allow you to get the right response when it is needed.

Weight Rings

Used on some yoyos to alter the weight characteristics of the body and improve spin times by increasing the centrifugal force.

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