Monday, September 28, 2009

ed's first dead string

"it's so haaaaaaard... to say goodbyyyyyyyye... to YESTerdaaaaaaaayy..."
when i was 12, i went to see jodeci, boyz 2 men, and mc hammer live in concert.

so i killed my first string. it didn't break; i just played it into total ickiness... i'm not squeamish, but when a string is so gross and frayed that it starts to impact play, i have to switch out. that first one was good though, and it now forms the core of the ball which will, in time, come to envelop it.

the stuff plays great at first... after i twist it, the string settles into a level of tension that is just TOO low. i have to throw a 5 second ufo to get the consistency that i like. but then, obviously it kinks up all crazy until it's broken in. the trials of figuring out the tension has led me through every imaginable response setup on my flying v's. it's hard to be 'ok' with the idea that this string is harder to play than slick-6 or poly, or even pre-twisted cotton. i'm just not consistent with it yet. my yo-yoing isn't anything special, but some of my 'harder' tricks are all but impossible with this stuff (at least insofar as i've tried). it's difficult to temper yourself and say "that's not the kind of yo-yoing that's appropriate for me right now." we kind of train ourselves to hold onto the mindset that the longest, most kinked and complicated combos have the greatest value. playing old, thick, rope-like cotton starts to dissolve those assumptions away, and it's a little scary (because why did i even LEARN that hard stuff?) i'm led now to do simpler, shorter tricks, and as it turns out... yo-yoing is just as fun and just as meaningful that way.

it's gratifying to recognize that string is not 'just' string. it's kind of like when your power is out and you realize for a few hours how pathetic and useless we've become as a race. i'm used to treating the string as if it's 'extra', as in 'not really part of the yo-yo'; just an expendable little doohickey that, though it enables play in the first place, has no real value. having to twist it and fight it and maintain it in order to play, however, has already made me realize that it's pretty important, and easy to take for granted.

i have a closetfull of string; all sorts. i've put it all into a big box and i've moved that to a very high, very inconvenient spot in the attic, just so i won't be tempted. i'm not actually afraid that i will be, but this is a project i mean to really commit to, and i felt that putting my string away was a nice ritualistic gesture.

i've also started a log. within, i'm just going to keep track of how many strings i wind, and which yo-yo's they go on. i have a lot of yo-yo's, and a lot of cotton string. even though THIS cotton feels rougher and stiffer than most, i don't want to 'accidentally' cheat, so i want to know which yo-yo's have this string. i'm also curious as to how many strings the cone will produce. so far i've twisted 7.


  1. I can't wait to borrow a string from you next time I see you.

    If the plan is not to use any string you didn't twist, perhaps you should remove all the string from your current yo-yos. Leaving string often causes rusting anyways.

  2. Way to go! Keep twisting 'em up.
    I appreciate what you said about yo-yoing being fun and meaningful even when doing "easier" tricks. Easy tricks is all I'm good for, but I dig it just the same.