A couple months back I was sitting in a little restaurant with my apprentice discussing I don’t know what and as we sat there we looked out the window and saw, across the street at a bus stop, these two kids about 13 to 15 years old.
One of them was playing with something and we weren’t sure what. It looked like a Yo-Yo but he was handling it in ways neither of us had ever seen. At times it seemed he was doing what we both recognized as basic yo-yo tricks and at other times there was a second object on the other end of the string being flung around as a counter to the yo-yo which allowed for moves which were totally foreign to both of us.
Eventually my apprentice decided to get up and go speak to the kid and find out what the heck he was doing. I sat and watched from my seat as she walked out, engaged the kid who seemed to be extremely shy about what he was doing (he never seemed to look up once he realized he was being watched) despite the fact that I know she was extremely complimentary. After all we were intensely interested and he seemed to be really good at what he was doing.
When she returned she told me all about what he had said and shown her. Yes, it was a yo-yo but with a counterweight on the opposite end of the string which was a large plastic die drilled through the center and tied on.
We both wanted to find out more but like so many other things we forgot about it by the end of the meal and moved on to other topics of discussion.
Last night, after seeing the video of the astronaut doing Yo-Yo tricks in zero gravity I was reminded of this kid and his counterweighted yo-yo. So I looked up a few things and discovered, as I have been discovering pretty frequently of late, a whole realm of “circus skill” which I wasn’t even aware existed. So I collected some links and information together and created a new page here so I’d have something to remind me and come back to.
And below is a video of this style of yo-yoing, called Freehand, Counterweight or by it’s more technical term in Yo-Yo circles “5A”.
Editors Note: THe original video I had in place went off line so I’ve replaced it.