Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Cones To Balls: Introduction

Back in the "glory days" of yo-yo play, pre-twisted string was something of a luxury. The original yo-yo demonstrators simply had large cones of untwisted string, and would make their own as they needed them. 

These are cones of untwisted yo-yo string:

Back in 1999 on the Vans Warped Tour, Mark McBride & Steve Brown decided to collect up all the used string from the tour and wind it into one giant, stinky ball. 

This is a ball of used yo-yo strings:

One of these cones is being shipped off to Ed Haponik in North Carolina. The other will remain in Ohio with Steve Brown. Once Ed acknowledges receipt of his cone, Project Cones To Balls will begin.

Both Ed and Steve will ONLY use yo-yo strings they hand-twist themselves from their cones for a period of one year or until their cone runs out....whichever comes first.

Both players will be allowed to pre-twist strings for themselves to use later, but no more than 15 at a time.

The purpose of this:

We are a disposable culture. We use things and throw them away and never think twice about them. We rarely use anything to it's fullest potential or to the true end of its life-span because it's cheap and easy to just toss it and get something newer or fresher. Yo-Yo string is an object which, by it's nature, must be replaced often. They are used and thrown away without any thought given other than "Oh, time for a new string" and off they go. But if the act of replacing a string becomes tedious, and the act of throwing away a string becomes important, then it forces the player to make every throw count. If every time you throw your yo-yo it places you one step closer to having to sit down and twist, measure, cut, and tie-off a new string for yourself then you are far more likely to place greater value on each throw and try a lot harder to make each throw count.

So, for one year or until they run out, Ed & Steve are going to make every single throw count. This blog will serve as their running journal of the process, the pitfalls, the insights, and general musings on the state of yo-yo play as they attempt to do it the hard way for a very long time.


  1. Nice, I want to see some seriously dirty balls.

  2. Haha, I love this idea; I've personally ran out of pretwisted string. Right now I'm using sewing thread, wrapping it around two hooks at an eight foot distance, twisting those strings together, then I fold it in half over a yo-yo's axle and the string tension makes the string twist over itself. A very time intensive process, but the strings last so much longer than the bulk amounts of string I've bought in the past. Probably because I bought expensive sewing thread...

    At any rate, great idea! I'll be following this as it develops :) I'll have to post something on my blog about it :)

  3. Dang, every yoyo'er should make one of these balls. To like, show your seniority, haha.