Category Archives: News – Indefinite Hiatus

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I have been sitting at my computer now for an hour trying to figure out how to write this out. The best way is to just be straight forward and come from the heart… it’s not you, its me.


No but really. I really love all of you guys. The readers, fans, and yes even “teh haters.” For 5 years has been my passion and my drive in the yo-yo world. When I started there were only a handful of yoyo web blogs but now…. now there are HUNDREDS. The landscape is changing and the time has come for me to realign my hobbies to my lifestyle. I am a father who is getting ready to add to our family through adoption, I have a full time career that is very demanding of my energy, and I am quickly approaching a few specialty training courses followed up by a Masters program. I am a busy guy and as much as I love bringing everyone in the yo-yo world news, reviews and videos I just don’t have enough time to juggle everything effectively. I have to focus on my family, my career, and my education and to do that unfortunately I have to make responsible sacrifices. That’s right, being an adult can suck.

So I am placing on indefinite hiatus. That is a fancy way of saying YoYoSkills is on hold, and maybe if things align or change I may re-launch YoYoSkills.

A few questions I expect:

Are you quitting yoyoing?
No, Just the website, and its not quitting its just on hold. I still plan to come to contests and be part of the community.

Are you going to sell the domain?
No, and I won’t autoforward it either. There may be a few tweaks to the front page but the main site will stay up in archive mode.

Can we still comment on stuff?

What about YoYoNation?
The YoYonation project turned into a giant cluster of programmers rage. I am still picking apart the code to dig for the the online content from the store. If I come up with anything salvageable I will upload it. The forum is at is up but in all forms of reality should be considered “For reference use only.”

Will you still be selling the Skill Life Shirt and the Throw Game?
Yes, links are in the side bar.

Was that a shameless plug?
Your mother…

Where will you go now?
Wherever there is new content… I’ll be there. Wherever there is a new video… I’ll be there. Wherever there is El Guapo, the Three Amigos will be there…. I’ll be around also. I may find another role in the yo-yo world that doesn’t require daily site updates, but we shall see. In the mean time there is always Facebook and Twitter

Any other questions, feel free to hit me up. I do really love this site and all of you. 5 years of my blood, sweat and tears are embedded in this PHP and HTML script bag along with a ton of time and dedication but the professional career world is calling, the kids need help with homework, and I have a book report due on Tuesday.

Love you all

- Chris Allen

So you want to enter a contest…

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So you want to enter a contest.

It may be your first contest, it may be your fiftieth.  Either way, the prep is the same.  Everyone has a different learning style, so by all means, embrace what works for you.  Here are a few tips that may help.

1. Song choice.  This drives your performance.  Know the rules of your contest so you know how much
choreography you need to worry about. Don’t just pick your favourite song, as it may not be the best for
your style.  Choose a song that has a beat that is a little slower than your fastest yo-yoing.  When you
get up on stage the stress and nerves will make you rush and make mistakes; choosing the right song
will keep you to a speed where you can land tricks with few errors.

2. Trick choice.  Don’t use your newest trick.  Use the ones you can land Every Single Time.  Mistakes
cost you double, the negative point and the point you didn’t get.  Chose tricks that flow well together as
the smoothness of your routine counts (do your tricks start and end nicely? Are the pauses or
unexpected stops? etc).  If you can, include some variety (some front style, some side style, horizontal,
under the leg, behind the back), but work within what you have mastered.

3. Choreography.  Don’t go overboard.  If its prelim, pick a couple points where starting or finishing a trick
in time to the music works.  If it’s a final, work in some movement, more timing points, try to have at
least one or two tricks where you can make eye contact with the audience.  Again, missed tricks cost
you more than they choreography was worth, so make sure you can land the trick while doing whatever
else you are doing.  I yoyo while walking to work, so I can move and yoyo at the same time.

4. Professionalism.  Find space to acknowledge your audience. If you can be wearing an outfit that
matches the music, all the better.  Those few pauses to indicate the audience should cheer count.  Just
keep them short.

When you practice, make time to run your routine start to finish multiple times every day.      Make mistakes and practice getting past the mistake to your next trick.  Have those spare yoyos ready and run the routine through yoyo changes so you are ready for if it happens on stage.  Practice your audience interaction and choreography, and if you can, do it in front of people.

When you do get up on stage, remember that it’s a contest, one moment in time.  You are there for the love of yo-yoing. Focus not on beating the other guy, but on landing your tricks and sharing what you have created; don’t worry if you make mistakes.  Everyone makes mistakes at contests, and we all have a laugh and smile afterwards and move on to improving for next time.  Please don’t forget to have fun!

Old Favorites Friday – BLACK

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Ok, so Fasano’s out of commission from getting his wisdom teeth out, and this video is barely old enough to consider it an “old favorite” but none of that matters when you’re talking about Black. If even half of us could match his intensity, yoyoing would be in the Olympics by now. This guy is my ultimate yoyoing role model.

Feel better soon, buddy. Enjoy having four less teeth to take care of.

So You want to Make Money Yo-yoing

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“I’m going to be a Professional Yo-yoer for a living…sort of, kind of…maybe?”

So what does it mean to be a professional Yo-yoer?  Is it possible to make this a full time job?  If I work really hard, with there be fame and riches awaiting me?

Um…no.  Take note: the world champion gets what, 500 dollars?  There isn’t a lot of money to be made as a yo-yoer.  For the rare few it can be a career, mostly those that make yoyos, or are spectacular entertainers and business managers.

Very few of us have what it takes to be John Higby.

For the rest, the yo-yo is a fun hobby that gives you a skill and social group to relate to.

But fear not!  While you probably aren’t going to make a living yo-yoing, you can make enough money to get that new yoyo you wanted, or help pay your way to nationals, or worlds, or that trip to Vancouver to meet me.  Because I know that’s everyone’s dream.  Here are a few ways to scare up some pocket change:
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3 days to win a $100 YYBB gift card

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Just a reminder, 3 days left to have a chance to win $100 at and a handful of other goodies.

Using the #yys5bday and @dryoyo, post a picture on Instagram of your favorite yo-yo along with your favorite yo-yo accessory. It can be a yo-yo strap, a bundle of string, Hi Chew, a string cutter, whatever you like. ENTER AS MANY TIMES AS YOU LIKE.
On 31 August I will choose an Instagram post at random, and the winner will receive a YoYoSkills sticker, a copy of Throw the YoYo Card Game, a Skill Life shirt, and a $100 gift card to YoYoBestBuy.
10 other winners will receive a YoYoSkills sticker.

A Very Merry Birthday to my bestest buddy Chris Allen! You know, the guy that MADE THIS SITE AND ALL

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Well, it’s that time of the year again, so it’s time we all got together and sang songs and told stories about how cool Chris is and how much he has meant to all of us over these five yearsJUST KIDDING SILLY PICTURE OF CHRIS GO

yeeeesssss carry me like one of your satchelsssssss

lol but seriously, Chris has been the greatest friend to me for over ten years now. Better yet, he introduced me to the only hobby my goofy ADHD brain will stay entertained with. For that, I am always grateful. Thanks, buddy!

If you guys want (you should) to say something nice to Chris, drop a line here in the comments or on his Facebooks or Twitterpages.

Or, if you want to say something nice with your wallet, you should buy his Skill Life shirt!

The folks at Terra Kendama made a wood yoyo??

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I spotted this on /r/throwers on the reddits. Apparently the guys over at Terra Kendama tried out making an unresponsive wooden yoyo with what looks like a large bearing and .555 pads. Groovy.

Terra Wood Yoyo

In case you haven’t caught the kendama bug yet, Terra Kendama is the company behind the Pill, and easily the best kendamas I’ve played so far. Opinions on kendamas vary wildly, and my experience with them is admittedly limited, but I seriously doubt anyone would argue with their woodworking abilities on a purely objective level. Terra Kendama has said nothing past simply posting the picture with the most simple of titles “Handmade Unresponsive Wooden Yoyo”, so who knows if they were just playing around or if they plan on making the leap to having a few yoyos.

I can only speak for me, but if they do make some, they’re probably going to be really good. What do you guys think? 5th Birthday Contest!!!!! YoYoBestBuy Credit of $100 !!!!!!!

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5 Years. It has been 5 years since first opened its virtual doors. When I first started back in 2008, I did it because there was a lack of YoYo new websites. There were websites that catered to the yo-yo world but many were tied to a company or a manufacturer, or just were not updated regularly. YoYoSkills was certainly not the first yo-yo blog, but I would like to think that we have made an impact. While in 2008 the yo-yo online community was limited to cells and groups, looking around today there are hundreds of yoyo news websites, in dozens of languages, pulling amazing amounts of yo-yo news from all corners of the globe. Add onto this the adoption of Facebook, Instagram, and Tumblr, and we are now more connected than ever before. Today the server reports an average of about 500k page views a month with readers in 186 countries. I am honored that despite all other available resources, the yo-yo community still takes time to check for news and videos that my team of volunteers and I can find and post.
YoYoSkills has the same mission today as it did when I started it in 2008:
“Unbiased reviews and news from around the yo-yo world, free from company influence and favoritism.”
I would like to think that we have done just that, and I strive to keep that promise as we move forward.
It has been a great pleasure to serve you, the yo-yo community for the last 5 years.
To celebrate, our good friend JD who owns has donated a $100 gift certificate to a contest of our choosing. Considering that it is the age of Instagram, how about an Instagram contest?

Using the #yys5bday and @dryoyo, post a picture on Instagram of your favorite yo-yo along with your favorite yo-yo accessory. It can be a yo-yo strap, a bundle of string, Hi Chew, a string cutter, whatever you like. ENTER AS MANY TIMES AS YOU LIKE.
On 31 August I will choose an Instagram post at random, and the winner will receive a YoYoSkills sticker, a copy of Throw the YoYo Card Game, a Skill Life shirt, and a $100 gift card to YoYoBestBuy.
10 other winners will receive a YoYoSkills sticker.
Thank you all for continuing to support with your viewership.
Special thanks to YoYoBestBuy for sponsoring our Birthday Contest!
- Chris