As probably every single person readings this knows, if you type in “yo-yo tutorial” into Google or YouTube then you will get a ridiculous number of hits for sites and videos aimed at helping you learn any number of tricks. However, if you were to strip away all the amateur videos (of which many are very good) and focus on the true professional videos, the list of video sources gets much much smaller. And if you were to rank those remaining sources in terms of production and instructional quality, there would be one name that would rise to the top: YoYoTricks.com. In my opinion they produce the best yo-yo tutorial videos out there and thus I wanted to write up a YoYoTricks.com Spotlight article to highlight them.
YoYoTricks.com (or YYT hereafter) was one of the first places I stumbled upon a couple of years ago when I got back into throwing, and they have since been one of my primary sources of tutorials since then. Their online store was also heavily frequented by me early on when I was buying yo-yos. I have since moved to buying directly from yo-yo manufacturers for purchasing my throws, but I still keep a close eye on the YYT site because it is such a fantastic resource. I would even go so far as to say that YYT is one of the big reasons I jumped back into throwing so easily since it is a great place to both learn and buy.
YYT was founded by Adam Bottiglia back in 2009 as YoTricks.com,with some family and friends (notably his wife, Chrissy, his brother, Roland, and friends, Brian Duncan and Lucas Blackburn), helping out along the way. YYT was originally formed as part of a marketing campaign for Peter Fish yo-yos with Adam being featured in a Peter Fish commercial. I don’t believe that Peter Fish yo-yos are made any longer, and after the campaign ended Adam retained ownership of the website. Since that time, the site has re-branded itself as YoYoTricks.com and moved on to promoting a wider variety of yo-yos. As YYT has grown Adam has added other excellent throwers to the YYT team and both Connor Scholten and Jake Elliot (yes, world champion Jake Elliot) are now employees of YYT. Together with Adam and Brian they help to produce all of the high quality video tutorials available on the YYT site.
One of the things I really like about YYT is that they prefer to remain focused on learning to throw and on providing a small selection of high quality yo-yos. Instead of trying to carry every yo-yo available, Adam and crew work hard to test out many of the available yo-yos and select only those that they think are worth selling. From newbie to expert, YYT carries yo-yos that will cater to your level of play. They also put together a lot of really great kits that provide everything a thrower will need (a yo-yo, extra string, lube, etc.) in order to keep throwing for some time to come. In fact, it was the DV888 starter kit from YYT that got me back into throwing and up to speed.
Returning to videos for a moment, it is also worth mentioning that YYT is now adding tutorial video series that feature other professional players. The Tessa Piccillo video series was recently published by YYT featuring Tessa herself walking through some of her excellent tricks using her signature Transcend yo-yo. Adam was kind enough to let me know that they have video series in the works that will feature Paul Kerbel with the Horizon and Gentry Stein with the Shutter, so watch for those in the future.
Finally, I want to make special mention about the YYT Civility. A few years ago Adam and his team really wanted to design their own yo-yo that was specifically good for learning new tricks, and the YYT Civility was born. Now, I am not going to debate the merits or shortcomings of the Civility here, although I bought one of the original Civilities and have really enjoyed mine. Rather I want to mention it to again highlight YYT’s commitment to teaching yo-yo throwing and providing the best tools necessary to both learn and enjoy throwing. The Civility recently underwent a redesign and I am looking forward to seeing how the new version performs.
And there we have it, a whirlwind tour of my thoughts regarding YoYoTricks.com. Adam and his team put in a tonne (actually a ton since they are American) of effort to spread the joy of throwing and support the yo-yo community, even for those that never purchase anything from their store. They can consider this to be my “thank you” for everything they do and for being directly involved in getting me deep into throwing, even if they didn’t know it at the time. Oh, and I should also mention that there is a YYT app available for both iOS and Android that will pipe their tutorials directly to your mobile device so that you can learn on the go. They also recently branched out into kendama instruction, which might be of interest to some of you.
So if you haven’t yet done so, check out YoYoTricks.com, especially if you are newer to throwing. And just for fun, here is the latest video from YoYoTricks.com that was uploaded only a few days ago. It is meant for pure beginners, but it helps highlight the quality of their videos and how they work hard to make new throwers quickly succeed. Enjoy!