Thursday, May 27, 2010

Yo-Yo Friends

One of my absolute favorite things about yo-yoing is the community. There are such solid people here that are always so forthcoming with their time and their advice and yo-yos. I’ve never heard of a story where someone wasn’t allowed to try someone’s throws at a contest. It’s as though we have a sort of unspoken agreement with each other that everything I have is yours, from my tricks to my advice to my throws, and you need only to ask to receive. I know that I wouldn’t be nearly as content without the knowledge that we have such kind folks in our midst.

I’d like to tell you about some of the specific people I’ve met in my relatively short time as a yo-yoer that have really influenced me.

Robert Kyte was the first person I ever bought from. It was pretty early in my yo-yoing career, and I knew right around nothing about anything, most of all the trading system. I happily sent him money (15 dollars here, 20 there) in the mail for various yo-yos, never once considering that he might be a scammer. If it wasn’t for his solid dealings, I would have been turned off the B/S/T entirely. And it wasn’t just a seller/buyer relationship. Mr. Kyte was free every day for me to IM and ask my little yo-yo questions to. He never, ever, asked me to just search for something. He taught me many things about general yo-yo stuff and maintenance. I must say that having someone to always come to for whatever petty little question I needed to ask was pivotal in my development as a yo-yoer. Since then, I have always tried to act as he did toward newer yo-yos, in the hopes that they might be as helped as I was.

I've known Andrew Moser since middle school. I got him into yo-yoing perhaps 6 months after I did. He comes over and we have “yo-yoing occasions,” a term he coined. We trade tricks and stories, try each other’s yo-yos and so forth. He’s taught me loads of tricks, such as kwijibo and Brent Stole. Really, he is the sole reason I’ve done some of the most fun yo-yo related things. He drove us to Nashville for the Tennessee State Yo-Yo Contest. He came out to the first meet I ever attended when Brandon Jackson came to Toy’s ‘R Us. Recently he came out to out local park with me to meet a new player who moved to town. If it weren’t for Moser, I would probably just sit around the house while a ton of awesome events pass me by. His goal is for us to attend at least two contests this summer that AREN’T TN States.

I met T.J. Van Baalen through a trade as well. Since then we’ve just sort of been online buds. We talk time to time about yo-yo’s, movies, talent shows, just whatever’s on our minds. He’ll IM me to tell me one thing or another, and it’ll always make me cool to be on his list of people to tell. He’s a cool guy that I’m glad to know.

Chris Allen runs another super-awesome yo-yo blog,, where one can find all the yo-yo news ever. It's amazing. In addition, he runs a club for young yo-yoers where they can learn tricks, buy yo-yos, and so forth. Recently he organized the wildly successful California State Yo-Yo Contest. Chris isn't the most innovative player out there - instead, he's more of a performer, doing shows under the persona of "Dr. Yo-Yo." Basically, the guy is everything I strive to become as yo-yoer. He always has time to advise my decisions on videos, moderating, and even this blog.

Frank Bradley is one of the only reasons that I am a yo-yoer. It started in 10th grade, when I got my Duncan Mosquito and brought it to school. Frank was quick to tell me about his younger days spent winning contests at a local Zainy Brainy. He told me about his 100 dollar yo-yo, the Eldridge. The price tag blew my mind at the time. He drew me a picture of it, and described how you could change out the halves for different shapes. I immediately went home and Google'd like mad for this mythical yo-yo. Through this research I found YoYoNation, and this community, and and really got started on this hobby. Later on, it turned out Frank had made the entire thing up, for reasons that were never quite clear to me. He recently got himself a Wedgie, and we throw together often.

I believe I started talking to Ed Haponik around the time the wood thread came about over at YYN. The first No-Jive video blew my mind, and that was before I even knew who Ed was. I really dug the fact that he has intensely developed beliefs on most all aspects of life. Also a sword. We talked sporadically over IM for a while, him sharing his philosophies and tips on wooden yo-yos, and me trying to somehow keep up. His blog came about, and that is one of the best things for yo-yoers to read. I finally met him at TN States ’09, and yes, he’s just as cool in person. He performed a trick that involved smacking himself in the head (accidently?), and put me in his little compilation video. I think he has a natural ability to make anyone feel welcome and awesome. Ed always has time for me to IM to ask about whatever, and for that I’m incredibly grateful.


  1. Another great entry!

    Hey, what were the results of the contest? I think I missed it :(

  2. That's rad, and one big thing I think I'm missing out on: contests! I gotta find my nearest one and make a point to attend. Sounds like a blast just to be around so many people who share the same passion for something.

  3. Mike; the contest. Basically, I received 3 entries. I went ahead and sent the yo-yo to the Clayton, seeing as how he was getting a package for something else anyway, and because his comic was COMPLETELY AWESOME. I draw comics myself, but because I can't actually draw, they're terrible. I'll let him post it, if he show chooses.

    Hopefully I'll get things together and have a better contest next time. In the mean time, I need to write more entries! Thanks for reading.

  4. Check it out through here, because I don't know how to post it right here:,76130.0.html

    It's the eighth post.

    And dude!... I got your package today! >!!!!!!< It's late though, I'll get a hold of you soon, but until then: THANK YOU!

  5. You guys are lucky. Where I live the yoyoing community is non existent. I only know of myself and a friend that yoyo. I wish I could go to some comps, not really to compete but to at least check out the talent. I don't think I would be good enough for comps haha