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Learn how to setup your 2A yoyo for optimal play.

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Choose and Setup the Perfect 2A Yoyo Yoyo Trick
In this video I am going to give you everything you need to know to make the perfect 2A style yoyo for you. When I say ‘make’, that is actually intentional, because with every other style of yoyo you get a good yoyo and pretty much it is going to play great. Every now and the you do need to change the string, you might need to change the response pads, you could always swap out the bearing for a little tweak. You could change the type of string you use. In general, the way a yoyo plays is very much dependent on the yoyo and then you can just tweak it to meet your needs by changing all those other things.

With 2A style yo-yoing, even if you have the best yoyo on the market, if you set it up even just a little bit wrong it is going to play terrible. That is what I want to do in this video. I want to help you find a good 2A yoyo for you, and then I also want to help you set it up so that it is going to play perfect so you can bring your 2A skills to the max and really enjoy the experience all the way through.

The first thing you want to think about when you are getting into Looping style tricks is the shape of the yoyo itself. Both of these yoyos are yoyos that we do recommend for people just getting into yo-yoing. This one is the Sage, and this one is the Oracle. You can see their shapes are very different. That is really crucial for two-handed style yo-yoing. You want to go with these yoyos with thinner shapes. This shape is actually borrowed from previous yoyos going all the back to 80s with the Yomega Brain. It was the first yoyo to have a shape like this. Even back to the 70s with the original ProYo, the shape was basically exactly like this, except the caps were not rounded, they were flat. It is one of those things where, when you land on something that is that good, even though people have tried to iterate on it and make better shapes, everybody keeps coming back to this shape because it works so good.

The question is ‘Why does it work so good?’ At least in part, the reason it works so well is because it is narrow which allows the yoyo to flip over very easily like this. What you might not be aware is when you loop with a yoyo every time the yoyo passes by your wrist it actually flips over one-half turn, just like that. 

The thing that makes wider yoyos so difficult for looping is they are design not to twist and lean because they are designed to play on the string, and you want it to be rock solid and spin, just like this without tilting or leaning at all. When it passes by your wrist it is much more difficult, even in terms of the physics, to get it to flip over in a dependable, reliable way. It just makes it a lot more difficult to get consistent with your tricks, which makes learning 2A a lot more difficult because 2A is all about consistency.

Now with so many yoyos on the market with this ideal shape, the natural question is, ‘Which one should I choose?’ We have 2 recommendations, because there are 2 yoyos we make that are in this shape: the Oracle and the Match. Now I say that we make them, but if I wanted to be technical, actually, YoYoFactory makes these yoyos for us, and for good reason. They have put more effort into perfecting the Looping Yoyo than anyone else in the history of yo-yoing, with really good results.

On one end, we have the Oracle, which is made out of a softer POM plastic. This one is quite a bit cheaper than other high-end looping yoyos, which is a good reason why it might be a good entry yoyo for you. The softer plastic means that when it hits you, and it will when you are learning to loop, it will hurt quite a bit less, which is good for getting into all your entry level tricks. It has a larger type A bearing, larger than almost any other looping yoyo on the market I am aware of. That helps it to sleep for a very long time, and to sleep very easily, which is nice for your Around the World style tricks. It also uses response pads, which is quite unusual in the market. What is nice about that is the response pads are so grippy that the response is very consistent once you have it setup properly, which I am going to get to later in the video.

I think the Oracle is an excellent way to go, it does have that rounded, that ideal shape, like we were talking about before.

The other one is relatively new. It is called the Match. The Match is actually built off of the body of the Loop 720, and the Loop 720 was a huge leap forward in looping yoyos. What YoYoFactory did is before the Loop 720 they kept coming out with adjustable gap yoyos, because they wanted players to be able to set the width of the yoyo themselves, in order to get it just right. With the Loop 720 they consulted players from all over the world to try to figure out was there just one perfect gap width? We will talk about this later, how there can be just one, but they really zeroed in on it. That wasn’t the only thing they did. The other thing they did is they really upped the level of quality of the yoyos. In particular they upped the tolerances on the yoyo. What that means is when you open up a Loop 720 and you put on the string it plays exactly the same as the one before it, as the one before it, and the one before that. With all previous yoyos it would drive me crazy. I would try out the first yoyo, and it seemed like it would work perfect. Then I would try out another one, and it would be great, but it didn’t always work exactly the same. With looping yoyos you do want that consistency. It seems like with the 720 they finally figured it out. They needed to make those tolerances super tight, and they actually achieved it.

With the Match we do have one small, or I guess you could say kind of a big change from the Loop 720. With the Loop 720 and previous YoYoFactory yoyos they used a very small bearing. The reasons for this is, that was kind of the tradition of looping yoyos before that going all the way back to the early 90s. With the Match what we did is we put in a larger, a type B, bearing. What this does is the larger bearing seems like it sleeps quite a bit longer, at least in my experience than the smaller bearings do. That being said, people who use the 720s and are very good don’t seem to have any problem getting them to sleep a long time. But for somebody who is still learning tricks like me, that seems to help quite a bit. Also, with the larger bearing it keeps the string closer to the starbursts. They seem to respond a little more evenly. One problem I was running into with a lot of smaller bearing yoyos is when I would get into the more advanced, especially wrap, tricks. Right when I would need the yoyo to respond because I am learning and I am not quite sure how the trick works, the yoyo would always stall, it would sleep at the end of the string before it came back and ruin the trick. It would make learning tricks a lot more difficult. The Match is the first yoyo that is setup in a similar way where that doesn’t happen. It has all the benefits of the Loop 720 plus that extra large bearing, which in my experience makes a pretty big difference. I think you can’t go wrong with either of those yoyos, but again, we wanted to bring this yoyo to our store because because we loved how it worked so much.

Once you have a yoyo that is the right shape, the next thing you want is you want to make sure you have it setup so that it is going to respond consistently. What I mean from that is, you do want a yoyo that sleeps, but when you pull it up you want it to come back immediately. That is because when you loop the yoyo is constantly getting to the end of the string and coming back. The whole thing that makes learning how to loop easier or harder is how consistent your yoyo is playing. If it sleeps and when you pull on it to get it to come back, if it hesitates a little bit, or it needs to kind of hang there a little bit while it gets the string wound up and then comes back, that is going to make your consistency go way down. Every single time the yoyo gets to the end of the string it is going to hold there for just a second while it builds up its response and then it is going to come back. That is going to make it super hard to learn tricks. Especially if you are going 2 yoyos at the same time – ugh, it just compounds. That’s what you want, your goal is a yoyo that comes back with just the slightest tug.

All modern looping yoyos are designed to do exactly this, but most of them come with ball bearings that are unlubricated. What you will probably need to do with just about any modern looping yoyo, including the Oracle, is you will need to lube the yoyo pretty much as soon as you get it if you want it to play as responsive as possible. Again, they will play responsive enough, but if you want it to be the perfect looping yoyo, this is what you need to do.

The other thing is you want to make sure that you match the lube with the yoyo. I know what you are thinking. You are thinking, well, it is a looping yoyo which is responsive. So I should use thick lube since that is for responsive yoyos. In general that is true, but some modern looping yoyos, like the Match, they are so perfectly tuned that thick lube is actually adding too much response. In those cases you will want to use thin lube. 

What I do to get the lube to work its way through the bearing, is I just do some Around the Worlds. Then I will bring it back. I will just keep doing this and what you will find is the response on the yoyo is going to keep changing until it evens out. Once it evens out it will respond the exact same way every time. If you have hit that perfect level of response where the yoyo comes back up with a slight tug you are ready to move on. If not you are going to have to open it back up and put a little more lube in. On our website we tell you which lube goes with each yoyo if you got the yoyos from us.

Once you have a yoyo that is the right shape, and you have set it up so that it responds the right way, the last thing you want to think about is how the yoyo loops. What I am talking about specifically is when you loop with the yoyo using normal technique, does the yoyo loop straight in front of you, or does it angle up, or does it angle down? The way that you control the direction the yoyo loops in is with the string. There are 2 ways you can control the loop: the first is how thick your string is, the second is how long your string is.

As a basic rule of thumb, when your string is thinner or shorter the yoyo is going to loop up more than it currently is. The opposite is also true. If your string is thicker or longer than it is going to cause the yoyo to loop down a little bit.

If you are new to looping, you can’t already loop, so you don’t already know how to judge how your yoyo is looping, so what I would recommend is using the setup that I use as a baseline, because the setup works with these yoyos. If you talk to 2A players there is a range of lengths that you will find that they like going all the way to 29 inches and getting as long as 36 inches. The setup that I prefer, that I am used to, is 32 inches which is right about in the middle. To achieve a 32 inch string length with the Oracle, the Oracle’s gap is on the wider side so I need a string that is on the fatter side in order to keep it at about 32 inches. Cage Free string happens to fit the bill to get it to work exactly the way I want. With the Match the gap width is on the narrow side. That means I can use a more narrow string to achieve exactly the same results. With the Match I can just use run of the mill 100% Polyester String which is thinner than Cage Free String. That allows me to have a loop that works exactly the same even though the string is a little bit thinner.

One thing that you can do is if you want to loop with your yoyos with a shorter string, all you need to do is get fatter string. So if I were to use the Match, but I want a loop that is maybe 29 inches so that I can do my tricks faster, all I need to do is switch from regular polyester to Cage Free String and then I can cut my strings shorter and it will loop exactly the same way, except the string is shorter so the tricks can move more quickly.

There are strings that are fatter than Cage Free String, there are strings that are in-between Cage Free and regular polyester strings. You can experiment with those, but ideally that us what you are looking for to get that perfect loop. That is kind of the last piece of the puzzle as far as how the yoyo plays that will get you to the perfect practice setup.

But there is one more thing to consider and that is that you need to find a way to protect your fingers and your arms while you are practicing tricks. That is because with 2A everything is about drilling the tricks. Just doing the same trick a hundred, a thousand, even ten-thousand times so that you can get that simple motion down absolutely perfect to nail that trick and then start to combine it with others. Even if you have the most monstrous callus you have ever seen on your finger, it simply cannot hold up under those types of conditions, so you definitely want to get some Yoyo Finger Wrap so that you can practice not just for 10 or 20 minutes at a time but for hours. Again, the nice thing about finger wrap is it allows you to build the callus underneath it while you use it, so you are kind of getting twice the protection on your finger so that you can continue to practice longer and longer and longer, which is what you want to do if you want to get great at 2A.

The other thing is, once you start to get into wrap tricks, then the string is going to cause some serious string burn on your arm, so you need something that is tight fitting on your arm that is not going to interfere with the string. We do sell Arm Wraps that are specifically made for 2A, so that is a great way to go. Really, anything that is going to cover from your hand all the way down your wrist will do the job, as long as it is tight fitting, it is not going to interfere with the string.

Once you have those two things in place, you now have everything you need for the perfect 2A yoyo setup. Now all you have to do is practice, so get to it.

There are no yoyo tricks you need to know before learning this trick with your yoyo.

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