Learning Off String (4A)


So you’re interested in learninjg how to play off string? Well, you’re in the right place! At first glance, it may look a lot like Diabolo (also known as Chinese yo-yo), but off string has a whole world of tricks unique to it. Your first challenge is to master the forward pass mount, which is the basis for many off string tricks, but it’s startling how difficult it is to master this basic move. Once you land that first trick, you’ll develop a new appreciation for the other yo-yo styles; and how you’ve taken it for granted that the string was attached to the yo-yo!


Ashiru Kamui

The basics

Off string’s special point is its sense of freedom. You can use your entire body, turning yo-yo into a whole new level of performance.

>>Catch Turn

No matter how much you enjoy the freedom of releasing the yo-yo from the bonds of stringdom, you must eventually return it to your hand! It is a yo-yo, after all. In off string, there are many diffferent ways to get the yo-yo to come back

>>Open Whip

Definitely worth checking out the contest videos. One drop can be fatal to a freestyle, as it costs both time and points. Even watching it is a thrill!

>>2010 Japan National Champion – Naoto Okada

Well then, let’s get started! You’ll need an off string yo-yo, specially designed to be resiliant in case it’s dropped. You’ll want to practice in a large open space; off string takes up a lot more space than any other style, especially when you drop the yo-yo. A softer ground is usually nicer on the yo-yo, and you want to be careful about breakable things; a loose off string yo-yo can do a lot of damage!

How to wind the string

It’s just like a regular yo-yo, just hold the end of the string against a side of the yo-yo and wind away.

>>Winding an off string yo-yo – part 1

>>Winding an off string yo-yo – part 2

Getting the mount!

First, you should practice a basic 1A trick to get the motion down for the off string mount:

>>Forward Pass Pinwheel

Using this trick, you can quickly learn the motion for the forward pass mount, and switch over to the off string yo-yo for the next step:

>>Forward Pass Release

How simple, just catch the yo-yo! This trick will help teach you the motion necessary to get the yo-yo right where you want it. After about 20 or 30 successful tries, you’re ready for the mount:

>>Forward Pass Mount

You can use your hand to catch and stop the yo-yo, then wind it up and try again. Another 10 or 20 times, and you’ll start improving your batting average for mounting the yo-yo. Next, let the yo-yo sleep a bit:

>>Forward Pass Mount & Sleep

Give it 10 seconds each shot, then bounce and catch again. Next you’re ready for the first complete trick:

>>Forward Pass Mount & Catch

Using a simple bind technique, you can make the yo-yo return to your hand. This one will take a bit of practice to get a feel for things; the yo-yo has a tendency to get away from you, especially when you want it to come back!

So put it all together and you have the foundation for all future off string tricks:

>>Forward Pass Mount & Sleep & Catch

Want to learn more?

So you’ve mastered the basics and want to learn more? Check out the trick list to find more. Of course, youtube is your best friend when learning and sharing new moves!

Off String Trick List