In Memorandum – Bob Bowden – 1954-2013

Yesterday while on “Post Worlds” phone call with Greg Cohen, Greg revealed to me that the legendary Bob Bowden passed away having lost his battle with cancer. Bob was a pillar in the yo-yo community during the last yo-yo boom. He is one of the few yoyoers who found his work published on a world wide scale and was key in the promotion of many yo-yo companies. Bob was also one of the first yoyoers with an online presence paving the way for sites like
I never had the pleasure to meet Bob in person, but his death will have an impact on the yo-yo world as his life did. I asked Chuck Short, a close friend and colleague to Bob Bowden to write a few words.

Bob Bowden, a pioneer in the on-line presence of the art and sport of yo-yoing, passed away on August 6th, a day after his 59th Birthday, after a long bout with cancer.
A resident of Vancouver, British Columbia, Bob worked over the course of 3 decades teaching and inspiring thousands of others to yo-yo through the Spintastics “Science of Spin” program, as well as authoring two books on the subject, “Awesome yo-yo tricks” and “Yo-Yo for beginners” .
Bob may be best known for his role as a participant and administrator in the first established yo-yo chat at, where we made hundreds of friends throughout the world and established himself as someone that could be relied on for information and help. His work continued through his web site “Bob’s Land O’ Yo” a very early resource for information and links to other yo-yoing related sites. Beside working extensively with Spintastics and their elementary school based programs throughout Canada and the Pacific Northwest of the United States, Bob was one of the attendees of the now famous “Yo-Yo University” seminars put on by HPK marketing in Hawaii in 1998, that featured many of the top yo-yo performers and instructors of the day, many of which are still active today, and has been thought of as a catalyst for the famous “yo-yo boom” in the late 90s and early 2000s.
Bob served for many years as a member of the Board Of Directors of the American yo-yo Association (AYYA) and was the first international member of the board.

Since being diagnosed with cancer 4 years ago, Bob has turned his attention to another of his great passions in life, the guitar, and has been very actively involved with making as much music as possible, playing hundreds of shows as part of his own “music therapy”.
Bob touched a pot of peoples lives and was a beloved character to people that have known him over the years, both in and out of the yo-yo scene, and he will be deeply missed by this family and many friends.


Chris "Dr. Yo-Yo" Allen is the creator and founder of He has been yoyoing for over 25 years and has a passion for the industry.

'In Memorandum – Bob Bowden – 1954-2013' have 2 comments

  1. August 14, 2013 @ 8:32 pm Rob Davies

    Bob Bowden was a Canadian Cheerio yoyo champ in Vancouver Canada in the 1960’s.
    Bob and I worked together later on in life on several large yoyo competitions and promotions over the years as well as some TV commercials for promoting ProYo and promoting yoyo play.
    Bob was always upbeat and enjoyed getting together with other players. He was patient and a good yoyo instructor and player.
    Meeting and working with Harvey Lowe was a real highlight in Bob’s life. Harvey, Bob and I enjoyed many hours of working and playing together, enjoying each other’s company.
    When Bob was a youngster in Vancouver he used to watch Harvey demonstrate and was hooked on yoyo from those early days.
    Bob’s biggest joy in life was very obvious and that was his Son Dominic, who he adored.
    Bob also had an amazing yoyo collection that he collected from far and near. He inspired me to be a better collector.
    You will be missed Bob Bowden and maybe one day we will all spin together again!
    Thank-you for the memories – Rob Davies – former Canadian National yo-yo Champion and demonstrator.


  2. August 12, 2013 @ 9:30 pm Dennis McBride

    I am saddened to hear of Bob’s passing. Thank you for posting this announcement. Chuck, thank you for writing in his honor.


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