String and Looping Tricks Explained

So, there are two basic styles of yo-yo play, the traditional but difficult looping, and the current favorite, string tricks. There’s a pretty big distinction between the two.

String Tricks

Also known as string play, string tricks are usually performed with the yo-yo sleeping at the end of the string. Weaving intricate webs with the string, mounting the yo-yo on various parts of the strings, and long, complicated tricks are the hallmarks of string play.

>>String Trick (String Play) Demonstration

What kind of yo-yo is suited for string play?

Wide bodies and “butterfly” shapes are especially well suited for string play. Almost all yo-yos of this shape are considered “string play” yo-yos. Each yo-yo product page mentions the play style in the product details.

Looping Tricks

Loop, Loop Play, Looping, etc are all common names for looping style tricks. Instead of sleeping the yo-yo, looping requires the yo-yo to quickly return to the hand when it hits the end of the string, but instead of catching, you send the yo-yo back out, drawing a circle with the yo-yo’s trajectory.

>>Looping Trick (Loop Play) Demonstration

What kind of yo-yo is suited for looping play?

Far from the open shape of string trick yo-yos, narrow shapes and rounded sides are well suited for looping play. Making it easy for the string to touch sides of the yo-yo gives you great control over its movement, which is very important for looping play.

So, where do we draw the line?

So, these two styles of play are very distinct from each other, but sometimes we see looping style tricks during string play (like Reach for the Moon , and vice versa. Where do we draw the line? It’s really not as clear cut, since string play developed from looping style tricks, there is no clear line between the two.

The Saber Raider is a good example of a yo-yo straddling the line between 1A and 2A. While it’s a butterfly shape, its narrow body and gap make it well suited for looping play.