Gap Width and You

Gap is a yo-yo term to describe the distance between the two sides of the yo-yo. The wider the gap, the more “slippage,” longer the sleep and “smoother” play.


So what is slippage?

Slippage or “smoothness” refers to low responsiveness in a yo-yo. Especially for string tricks, the less responsive it is, the better.

This is an example of a yo-yo with a narrow gap. Yo-yos with narrow gaps aren’t well suited for string tricks, because when you mount the yo-yo on the string, the spinning yo-yo will rub against the string, causing it to slow down and die. So, for responsive tricks like looping this is good, but for complicated string tricks, you want a wider gap.

This is an example of a yo-yo with a wide gap. This yo-yo is well suited for string tricks, and you can mount the yo-yo on the string multiple times without worrying about sleep loss. The downside to using this kind of yo-yo is that you will need to use a Binding technique to return the yo-yo to your hand.

So is wider always better?

You might think so from the tone we’ve taken up until now, but that’s not necessarily true. More responsive settings require a narrower gap, so tug-response yo-yos and looping yo-yos must have narrow gaps. For players aiming for string trick glory, narrow gaps are for beginners, but there’s no shame in it; narrow gaps just change the range of tricks the yo-yo is capable of.

Ways to get smoother play

· Wide gap
· Wide bearing, KonKave, Center Trac, or V-cave bearings
· Hard response pads
· Recessed response area
· Thin string
· Neutral to weak twist in the string. (Click here for more info on string twist)

Ways to get more responsive play

· Narrow gap
· Protruding response area
· Soft response pads
· Double-wrapping the string around the axle/bearing
· Dirty string
· Tighter twist in the string.