Tag Archives: YoYoSkills

One Year Later – State of Yo

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Today is what would have been the 6 year mark of YoYoSkills and nearly the 1 year mark of YoYoSkills being on hiatus.  I can’t tell you how much I have missed you all.

Last September I decided to hang up my proverbial Keyboard and Mouse. My wife and I started Foster Care certification classes to hopefully, increase our family.  Leaving YoYoSkills was a move that was hard to make and I was humbled by the a significant amount of support you guys gave me.   5 years of my life and 5 years of dedication.  As much as I miss it I still feel it was the right decision to make.

As today is the 1 year mark,  I felt I owed you an update as to where I am in the progress of my life changes.  I also wanted to take the opportunity to speak to the state of our community as I have observed it.


We finished our classes to get our Foster certification in October.  It took several months to then get the house certified, and then the search began.  My wife and I went to several interviews, saw several case files and talked to many, many social workers.  Looking for a child to adopt is a surreal experience.  You look at so many case files they start to blur together.  Initially the Foster Agency has you create a “Target Range” with specifications when you are looking;  Boy or Girl,  Age range,   Ethnicity,   Siblings,   Temperament, ect.   In a way, it is like choosing a yo-yo but one million percent more serious.  My wife and I already have a natural daughter so our target specifications were primarily based on what would be the healthiest for her. Rylie is a very strong kid, but she is just a kid after all and it was very important that we set her up for success.  Being a big sister is no small feat.  We wanted a boy, but were open to a girl if there was a good fit.  We wanted to stay within a few years of the age of my daughter.  We wanted a child that would fit well temperament wise in our family.  The rest of it was not important to us.  We looked so many case files, had so many interviews and saw so many kids in need.  It was hard to not take them all.  This process took so long that I found myself seeing kids in our target range in public and wondering if they were available to adopt!

In March, we were blessed with an interview that fell out of our requirements, but felt right in every way possible.  They were brothers,  aged 3 and 4.   They were younger than we were looking for and both came with challenges.  I will level with you, never in my life had I ever considered three children but these two stole my heart immediately and my wife felt the same way.  After a month of visits we moved onto overnights, and then in May they moved in.  For the last four months these two boys have transformed my heart and family and it honestly has felt like they were always part of my life.   Before all of this, I never considered life with three kids and now I can never see my life without them.

These two boys bring my child count up to three, and one is still a toddler.  They demand all my free time and I am more than willing to give it to them.  At the end of my day when my wife and I collapse in exhaustion into an unmade bed with the mornings unfolded laundry,  when my office job goes immediately to a fatherhood referee upon coming in the front door, when there is enough fighting among siblings that we could have a WWE ladder match in the family room and when I only get to throw a yo-yo for those sweet quiet 15 minutes after everything is all done before I have to get ready to do it all again in the morning, it is worth every single moment.


Though I don’t get much time any more to be part of the yo-yo world  I do still manage to squeeze in participation where I can.  MonkeyfingeR was kind enough to offer me a position on the team as a Brand Manager and I have been doing my best to help Ray keep the MonkeyfingeR brand focused and on track.  This arrangement is great.   MonkeyfingeR is an amazing indie brand and being a brand manager is similar to program management which I do for a living anyway.  I also got to help design a new yo-yo, the Gelada 2 which is the best yo-yo I have every played.  I am thrilled at the reception  the MonkeyfingeR brand and the Gelada 2 has been getting and with throws like the Apex, Co-Lab, and Gelada 2 receiving positive feedback I get the same feeling I got when I ran YoYoSkills.  I am extremely excited for the future of MonkeyfingeR and can’t wait to show you guys what we have coming up next.  MonkeyfingeR has allowed me to take a step back from YoYoSkills but still be active in the community, and I can never repay Ray and the team for that chance.

That said, YoYoSkills is something I miss daily.  I miss reviewing yoyos from around the world.  I miss covering yo-yo news.  I miss having time to watch hundreds of throw videos from players all over the world and highlighting them on the worlds largest yo-yo news website.  While prepping this write-up, I was shocked to see that YoYoSkills STILL gets a few hundred views a day.  I was expecting maybe dozens, but hundreds?  I miss you guys too.  Not a week has gone by without someone asking me to start up YoYoSkills again.  As much as I want to I would not be able to dedicate the time to the website that you guys deserve.  I have also been asked to hand it off to another party but honestly it would take the right person with the right track record and the right circumstances to make that happen.  As it stands, I have not been presented anything that gives me confidence that YoYoSkills will continue to be run with my vision in mind.

On that, there is nothing that is keeping you  from starting your own blog.  When it comes right down to it, YoYoSkills is just a name, brand, and web domain.   If I could grow it organically with zero web franchise experience, you can too.

The Players:

This has been a banner year for yo-yo players.  The evolution of tricks is absolutely  amazing.  The tricks I see online and from friends are absolutely amazing and we are not exactly talking about a huge amount of time.  Zac Rubino, who first started getting into 4a seriously a few years ago is now considered to be one of the best in the world.  Tessa Piccillo whom I campaigned in 2010 for a spot on the YoYojam team has captured the top female yo-yoer position.  Gentry Stein, who I called out in 2009 as one of 5 players that NEEDED to be sponsored, is now the World Champion.  These guys are not the only ones but I mention these three specifically because they are players who I have been cheering for and supported for years.  They have grown into world level performers.  Don’t get me wrong,  I had ZERO to do with these three incredible players successes, but it is amazing to see three players whom I cheered and rooted for become so successful.   I admire them as a fan, applaud them as a friend, and am very proud of them.

The Community:

It is amazing what happens when you step back and take a look from a 10,000 foot view.

For the majority, the community is kind, welcoming, and inviting, but there are very vocal outliers that don’t seem to want to sport to grow, or only want to target a certain demographic with a certain style and attitude.  While I know that this has existed forever my new focus as a brand manager seems to reveal it with more clarity.  Instead of calling out names and incidents, I feel it would be more constructive to share my personal architecture of community success.

1: Build the next generation – YoYoing will grow and evolve as the community grows and evolves.  Without a generation of players to replace those that are graduating to different roles in the community, the only result will be stale contentment.

2: Respect the work of the last generation – You are here because of them, whether you want to admit it or not.

3: Welcome new opinions and ideas – This industry can never be run by one person or one group of people successfully.  It takes a constant flow of talent and ideas, just like it takes a constant flow of water and sunlight to grow a forest.

4: If you want something, start something – Want another YoYoskills?  Start one.  Want a club in your city?  Start one.  Want another place to buy yoyos?  Start one.  Want a yo-yo company to make a certain kind of throw?  Start one.  This community is run by the constant steam and power of people who started something, and it will continue when you start something also.

Lastly-  YoYoing is for everyone, and everyone should be welcome to yo-yo – If you exclude someone or something, you prevent yourself from becoming smarter, stronger, and loving more.  Much like how I never considered having three kids, now I can’t imagine my life without them.

– Chris “Dr. Yo-Yo” Allen

YoYoSkills.com – 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 YoYoSkills.com 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 YoYoSkills.com 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 YoYoNation.net 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

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 YoYoBestBuy.com 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.

YoYoSkills.com 5th Birthday Contest!!!!! YoYoBestBuy Credit of $100 !!!!!!!

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5 Years. It has been 5 years since YoYoSkills.com first opened its virtual doors. When I first started YoYoSkills.com 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 YoYoSkills.com 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 YoYoSkills.com 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 YoYoBestBuy.com 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 YoYoSkills.com with your viewership.
Special thanks to YoYoBestBuy for sponsoring our Birthday Contest!
– Chris

Guide to the new YoYoSkills.com review format

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In my five years of yo-yo reviewing, I have boiled down the overall success and popularity of a product into five basic elements that quantify the quality of a skill toy.   There may be others, but having had thousands of yoyos across my hands and having delivered feedback on hundreds for five long years, this is how I have come to see it.  Also I like graphs, and my reviews lacked a visual for quick reference.


Sample: This yo-yo would have high performance and experience elements, but average value and design, and lower than average hype.


The five basic paradigms of the quality of a yo-yo are as follows.

Performance: Performance is captured in how well the yo-yo holds up to the basics in the tricks style it was created for.  In reviewing yoyos, a 1A / 5a yo-yo will be measured against its ability to handle complex maneuvers with minimal spin loss, 2a for looping, 3a for long spin times and stability, and 4a for clean return reliability.  Some of the other measurements of quality can be overlooked if the level of performance is high enough.  For example, a yo-yo could perform very well, but be really ugly preventing you from playing it.  In this case over all Experience would not be greatly impacted by performance.  Inversely, a yo-yo could have almost zero hype, but have a high level of performance.  In this case, overall experience would be heavily weighted by performance.

Hype: Like it or not, admit it or not, hype plays a factor in your yo-yo choices.  Hype could possibly be the most important and least important measurement in the quality of a yo-yo.  Proper advertising and word of mouth can influence sales and usage of an item, but can also have a negative effect if overused or if the product fails to live up to the hype.  Hype from a manufacturer is not as powerful as hype from consumers, which is prone to wild fluctuation.  Hype can also be overlooked and if other the other elements of quality are high enough.

Design:  Design captures all elements of manufacturing and presentation which can include but are not limited to; material, color, shape, finish, extras, logo, engraving, marking, recognition, specs, name and packaging.  Design has variables that can change based on user preferences, buy overall design choices can greatly affect the success and overall user experience of a product.

Value: The element of value is determined by the feeling of worth versus the associated cost.  A product can have a low cost and a high feeling of worth greatly scaling up the element of value and impacting the overall user experience.  Inversely, a product can have a high cost, but a low feeling of worth if the other elements of quality fall short.

Overall Experience: Your experience with the product is always the first and last measure of quality.  This is where the vision of quality for a product is translated into reality.  Generally, captures the value of their experience based on the measurement of the other 4 paradigms of quality, those being Performance, Hype, Design and Value.

Reviews on a non technical item are extremely subjective, and this format that I have been working on, i think, best depicts my feelings on any particular yo-yo.  People who love to read can read, but for those that are TLDR types, can jump directory to the graph.


The New YoYoSkills

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Hey guys. SO I DID IT! Jeez, the last website design looked like it was 5 years old or something (it was). This design is cleaner, should load faster, and will work with future updates better than the old build.
So Features:

  • Links and Key Words are at the bottom of the page. I have set it so that it no longer overlaps the comment field,(sorry about that).
  • I merged the two twitter feeds into one. The #yoyonews and #yoyodrop twitter hashtags we have been using for years are easier to read if they are in the same feed and it clutters the site less.
  • Even though I am the “caretaker” for YoYoNation now, I don’t see it as an active forum. It is an archive. I replaced the forum link with a link to the /r/throwers sub-reddit.
  • The “Learn to throw” section will be changing. Announcement coming soon.
  • More social links with more modern drops.
  • And more of the screen is now being used.

Overall I feel it is simpler to look, easier on the eyes, and after 6 months of taking an hour here and there to tweak and insert little bits of code I am happy to call this the new YoYoSkills home. I hope you guys are happy with it also.

Casa De Allen x YYSxYYF (Allen, Benharris, Severance, Owens III)

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YoYoFactory legends Tyler Severance and Harold Owens the III came over for dinner last Friday during their post BAC Roseville tour. With Dylan living here now, we thought it would fun to do a three camera video. Hope you enjoy. (and yes, I know that old man Allen is seriously out trick classed here… haha)

The song BTW is a killer mashup on the Bootleggers Soundcloud channel.

Flo Rida vs fun. vs Ellie Goulding vs Red Hot Chili Peppers

4th Annual YoYoSkills Best Of Awards 2012 – Results

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It has been a great year for yoyoing, and after nearly a full month of nominating and polling, the results of the 4th Annual YoYoSkills Best Of Awards.  Earlier this month, I asked for nominees and after racking and stacking over 300 emails I put up the top 5 in each category and opened the voting.  We had 6745 unique votes based on computer and IP information from all over the world, and here are the results. In the comment section, feel free to voice your opinion but please keep it respectful.

Yo-Yo Country of the Year – United States

The map above shows where this years votes came from.  Approximately 40% of this years votes came from the United States, followed by 35% from Canada.  The remaining 25% is spread out across 65 different countries from China to Chile. I feel that the majority of these votes for the United States as Yo-Yo Country of they year likely come from the fact that YoYoSkills is mostly read by North Americans. With that in mind, 56% of all votes total came in for the United States which means that there were plenty of votes for the US coming from other countries.


Yo-Yo Player Team of the Year – CLYW

Source – CLYW store

Zach Gormley, Andrew Maider, Petr Kavka, Charles Haycock, Abe Ziaimehr, John W. Robot, Palli, Pekka, Ernest Kahn, Alec Campbell, Mark Mangarin, Elliot Jackson, Boyd Seth, Adam Brewster, Alex Berenguel, Harrison Lee, David Kreibich, Ewelina Wejner…. Need I say more?

Yo-Yo Company of the Year – CLYW

Late last year, CLYW designed a new yoyo feature with the Chief that has been adopted in 2012 by more companies than I can count.  The double rim added stability and a new way to place weight without sacrificing flexibility.  Chris also ramped up production by hiring OneDrop’s skilled machinists to keep supply up with demand and brought back Jensen Kimmit to run his packaging and distribution services.  Combine these actions with a strong 2012 line, artwork by Jason Week, and a Player Team that is very well respected and you have CLYW as the Company of the Year! I should also mention, that CLYW had such a good year that collectively  they took 7 of the 10 categories this year.

New Yo-Yo Manufacturer of the Year – G-Squared

When Brett Grimes and Jacob Gross came into the design world, I do not think that they anticipated the demand and success of their launch model the Albatros.  Followed up quickly by the Nessie, G Squared has fan loyalty and a yoyo community awaiting future designs and releases.


Yo-Yo of the Year – CLYW Arctic Circle

Picture care of yoyoz.co.uk

A third honor for CLYW.  The Arctic Circle combined the design know how of Chris and the skilled hands of OneDrop Machinists.  Interesting fact by the way, One Drop machined the top three vote earner this year. Not only were their incredible colorway options as seen above, there was also a limited run featuring the artwork of the very talented Jason Week.  The Arctic Circle was a yo-yo not to miss this year.


Yo-Yo Video of the Year – Aero-Yo Ghost in the City

The Aero-Yo team is very impressive.  They remind me of the talent assembled in Team High Performance.  One of the things coming consistently out of the team are amazing videos and Ghost in the City is a prime example of just that.  Congratulations to Ilya Shaposhnikov, Konstantin Moskvin, Evgeniy Kim, and Mikhail Kotsilov .


Yo-Yo Contest Freestyle of the Year – Zach Gormley US Nationals

Yo-Yo Contest Moment of the Year – Zach Gormley US Nationals

Yo-Yo Player of the Year – Zach Gormley

I am going to consolidate this write up for Zach Gormley because I feel that the first two awards lead directly into the third.  Zach has grown as a player in the most incredible ways.  The most recent culmination was his freestyle and subsequent win at the U.S. National contest.  Zach’s freestyle seen above set a benchmark in yo-yo contest history.  It is a shining example that style and substance can beat trick combo speed runs.  In 2009 Zach was named YoYoSkills Rookie of the year, and today I am happy to name him Player of the year and holder of Freestyle and Moment of the year.


Yo-Yo Rookie Player of the Year – Harrison Lee

Allow me to pull the info on Harrison directly from his profile on the CLYW Team page.

  • Harrison Nathan Lee
  • Age: 12
  • Home Town :Vancouver, BC
  • Handed: right
  • Added to the team: March 2012
  • Favorite return top: Chief, Avalanche and Peak
  • Discipline: 1A
  • Occupation: Student
  • Favorite food: BACON BURGER’S
  • Favorite Animal: Hippos
  • Interesting fact: I am the smallest in my class
  • Favorite Colours: Pink, Blue and Orange

I don’t really know much about Harrison, except what I have seen from contests.  I have a feeling that we are looking at a top ranking player in the next few years.



Most Inspirational Player of the Year – Michael Lucas Cummings

This category was created this year and the winner was chosen by the YoYoSkills.com Team.
As I said in an earlier post: The above video is Mike yoyoing after a frighteningly long medical ordeal that nearly took his life on more than one occasion. For the last two months, Michael has been in and out of extremely invasive medical procedures and for a while was unable to move any of his fingers or toes. Micheal’s mother kept the yoyo community in the look on Michael’s Facebook page and uploaded videos of Mike Smiling for the first time, moving his toes, and reacting to things like footage of the National Yo-Yo contest. This is a video from a few days ago. Michael Lucas Cummings yoyoing for the first time since almost losing his life to a collapsed lung and a series of blood clots. Michael Lucas Cummings is an inspiration to the yoyo community and therefore, 2012′s Most Inspirational Player in the eyes of YoYoSkills.com.

A Special thanks goes to Mrs. Cummings and the legion of yoyoers that visited, called, send gifts and prayed. Most of all, thank you to Michael, who reminds us how amazing the yoyo world is to have a community that rallies around each other in times of need and to not take for granted the hobby we all love.

THROW! – Coming to YoYoExpert at 2012 NATS

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The goal is simple. Get to 100 points before your opponent does. Before you start collecting trick points, you need to play a Throw card. You collect points by finalizing your trick. You can finalize after one point card, or many. It all depends on what you are willing to risk!
Game Details –
– 70 Cards – Two players for each deck
– Game designed by Chris “Dr. Yo-Yo” Allen
– Illustration by Jason Week
– $25
– Available at YoYoExpert after the 2012 National Yo-Yo Contest
– First Release at the National Yo-Yo Contest on October 6th at the YoYoExpert table!


Music –
Penny Arcade
by Mr. Bear

Dear YoYoSkills.com – Happy 4th Birthday!

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My how the years have passed. Today marks the 4th complete publication year of YoYoSkills.com. It seems like only yesterday I was interviewing Hans and John Higby, and getting ready to do my first review. Since inception, YoYoSkills.com has had 6.8 Million visits and over 18.8 Million page views. YoYoskills has been read in almost every country on the planet.   YoYoSkills.com now has an average of 600k page views a month. This last year I experimented with a few ideas like My(dot) and Made(dot).  I was trying to fill more needs and provide more support to the yo-yo world.  While not all of the idea’s stuck I learned from them and am pushing forward with bigger, more grandiose ideas

This next year, YoYoSkills is going to take slight a direction change. We have a few actual product ideas that should excite the  yo-yo world.  We will make the first of these exciting announcements in the next few months. With new reviewers on staff, different writers will have a focus area in which should excite collectors. With some luck, YoYoSkills will turn 5 bigger and better this time next year. We are also for the first time ever sponsoring yoyo players. The goal of the YoYoSkills Players Team is to promote new talent and help them get picked up by the big named companies. We had our first graduate, Dylan Benharris, get picked up my Timeless YoYo’s earlier this month. I am very excited to see where the Azevedo Brothers Nick and Andrew and the talented Carter Bliss end up. Expect more players in the future and more videos promoting these talented players.

None of this would be possible without the YoYoSkills.com Staff, my Family, the yoyo companies who send review units and news, and most importantly the support of YOU the readers. YoYoSkills.com exists because of you.  Thank you for allowing me to serve you.

To celebrate, we are once again going to give away stickers.

The YoYoSkills.com Sticker - Designed by Colin Leland

The YoYoSkills.com Sticker – Designed by Colin Leland

You will get the YoYoSkills.com sticker and while supplies last, a random sticker from my giant box of yo-yo sticker. All you need to do is send me a self addressed, Postage Paid (stamped) envelope to the address below. One request per person. Please allow a few weeks for delivery as I stuff the envelopes. Supplies are limited and this is a one time offer.

Happy YoYoSkills.com Birthday to all the YoYoSkills.com readers.
It would make my day if you “Liked” the YoYoSkills.com Facebook page and left a Happy Birthday message there or maybe a tweet

For a YoYoSkills.com Sticker:

Send a Self Addressed and Postage Paid envelope to:

YoYoSkills.com Birthday
P.O. Box 81
Sheridan CA 95681

Yo-Yo Adventure Teaser ft. 8-bit Humphrey

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Yo-Yo Adventure Teaser ft. 8-bit Humphrey

This may not seem like a huge deal but I felt a real sense of accomplishment with how far it has come. I have been messing around with game creation for a while now and not really getting anywhere. I have always wanted to get into game design. I have dabbled a bit here and there but never really got serious. The last few days I dove deep again and started teaching myself the basics and this is the result. It is very very basic and just a teaser at this point, but someday I hope to make it an actual yo-yo themed adventure game.
Who better to be the Hero in our YoYoSkills adventure than 8-bit Humphrey the 2011 Cal States mascot!

Music by Doc Pop
Amazon link for Doc Pop’s Album

Crucial and YoYoSkills.com present – The 3(A)pril Video Contest – Last Day

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Want to win a pair of brand new, special edition Crucial A La Mode’s valued at $200? Do you throw 3A? YoYoSkills.com and Crucial have joined forces to promote the 3A playstyle. Shoot a video 1-3 minutes long, edited, set to music (PG rated please) and you could win! Upload to Youtube or Video with the tag #3(A)pril by Midnight April 30th and link to your video in the comment section below. The winner will be chosen and awarded a pair of awesome 3A yoyos.


  • Play Style – 3A Only
  • Yo-Yos Used – Any brand you want
  • Video Length – 1-3 minutes
  • Music – No Profanity or Explicit Language
  • Title – Your Full Name: #3(A)pril
  • Logos – Put this in your intro
  • Upload – to Youtube or Vimeo
  • Post – In the comment section below
  • By – Midnight April 30th
Spread the word!  Like and share this post!

YoYoSkills.com “Best Of” 2011 Results!

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First things first, THANK YOU all for your participation in this years Best Of Awards.  354 nomination emails and 4,615 votes.  You guys crashed the PollJunkie servers, twice.  Votes were registered from all over the world.  The people have spoken and the WINNERS for each category have been displayed below.

I present, the YoYoSkills.com Best Of 2011

I also want to mention that YoYoNews.jp is also holding a simular poll. I think it will be very interesting to see how different the results are. (Thanks to Spyy Steve for the heads up).

Continue reading

YoYoSkills x Vulto Art Contest Winner(s)

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Time to announce the winner!
From Mario:

We received a lot of submissions by e-mail and a couple of links here or at YoyoSkills. Thanks to all of you who submitted your illustrations!
We actually have a tie. 2 illustrations caught our attention and they are both outstanding.
The first one is from Jason Week, a very talented illustrator. Here is his submission:

We also love the illustration sent by Paul Sargent:

Awesome job guys

New Addition to the YoYoSkills.com Family

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One of my goals for 2010 was to start working on a way for manufacturers, pros, and readers could submit articles/news on YoYoSkills.com. I tried a few different things that never came to fruition. My big goal for 2011 was to move YoYoSkills.com to the next step. That is hard to do when there is not really a next step for a news aggregated blog like YoYoSkills. YoYoSkills is not affiliated with any store or manufacturer and since one of the main sections of my site is reviews I was not comfortable selling yoyos. What is the next step for a site like YoYoSkills? I think the answer might be community created content that rewards hard work with recognition. The model system that sites like Digg.com and Reddit.com use are a shining example. Users can submit anything from a link to another site to an original story to a “Ask me Anything” session and readers can vote up or vote down the content and leave comments on the thread itself. Votes are collected as Karma, and that Karma makes your content more powerful. This system rewards good content and since you can downvote spam and trolls, buries bad content. It puts responsibility and control in the hands of the member who hold the role of both the reader and the writer.

Community created content.

Follow friends, get feedback on anything, and vote for what you think deserves front page status.  Have a video you want people to see?  Post it up.  Are you a yo-yo maker that wants to get community feedback without needing actual comments?  Post it up.  Find some breaking news that you think needs attention?  Post it up.

See a post you like?  Vote it up.  Like a comment that someone said?  Vote it up.  Enough upvotes and the content will hit the front page.

See something you don’t like?  Vote it down.  See a comment you don’t like? Vote it down.  Enough down votes and the post or comment will vanish into shame filled exile… forever alone…

This could work, or be a horrible failure, but I will never know until I try it out and see what happens.

Here, have your very own YoYoSkills.com. Your content might end up over here on the main page.

>> My.YoYoSkills.com

New YYS Plans and Changes

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If I could purchase 5 more hours a day, I could accomplish so much….

YoYoSkills is run by 1 person (me) and I have the assistance of a number of friends that help me with news, tips, and edits (Dyslexia and exhaustion don’t mix). I lean on these guys more than I should and appreciate them more than they know. I get great help from freinds like Jayyo, Josh S, Xela, Fasano, and Zammy for tuts and x-product reviews.  Gunter is Insturmental and handles most of my edits and gets credit for them, and it is not uncommon for a handful of close friends to email me with a word change or a misplaced letter.
Where is this going….
I never want YoYoSkills to rest in one place. The goal is to grow, grow, grow. Starting in 2011, I am adding new features that I hope you guys will like.

  • A Weekly video blog 3–5 minutes that highlights YoYo news reported on YoYoSkills that week
  • A tutorial series done by me and occasional special guests aimed at beginners
  • More YoYoSkills produced talent videos (Spencer’s was the first)
  • More Interviews
  • More Articles
  • More YoYo Experiments
  • More Exclusive :Captured: Photoshoots by me and occasional special guests

Since I am increasing features, I am hoping to turn some features over to you, the readers.

  • New YoYo Drops: SO many yoyos dropping from SO many stores. New YoYo Drops will now be reported in a Twitter Feed on the right hand side of the page. If you see a new yo-yo drop somewhere, post it on Twitter using the #yoyodrop hashtag.
  • Contest Reports: I will be accepting submissions from readers like you who want to report on a YoYo Contest. Since I have a full time job and family, I am limited to two contests a year and can’t make it to all the cool events happening all over the world.

Also I am changing the name of “Video Round-Up” to “Videos After the Jump”

So that’s what I have planned.  YoYoSkills has become the most heavily trafficked yoyo news website in the world.  I want it to stay that way and not become stale.  News, reviews, and YOU are still my focus.

Comments and Feedback are very very much welcome.

Chris “Dr. Yo-Yo” Allen