It makes sense, that we think of string so much. Really in yoyoing there are 3, ... well 4... there are 4 major ways we can change the feel and look of our spinny little friends.
Bearings can often be switched out for a variety of treatments, materials and shape, if your Yoyo incorporates the OneDrop SideEffects system, the hubs can be switched easily with different styles and weights, now with the Monkeyfinger 'snot' we have a user serviceable, flowable response material in different colors. If you play the Canvas you may have painted it, as was one intention behind the cup design. There's certainly no lack of creativity in the options we have to modify our throws.
However one of the things (there are 5) that's inexpensive, easy to change, and can completely redirect the yoyo experience is string, and as yoyo'ers playing at this point in history we're very lucky to have a huge spectrum of crazy people making string in different materials, many colors, styles, weights and types.
Regular visitors to this blog probably know I like to drone on about string in my reviews, and particularly the string I've matched with the specific yoyo I'm reviewing at the moment. I've found different throws will let a player know what string they like. If a string is too tense, thick, slippy and the rest of it, for a particular Yoyo, it won't feel like it's reaching its full potential. It may spin out with a string that holds too much tension for its weight, may not bind well if a string is too slippy for its response system or too thin for its gap, it may not wrap as well as you'd expected if the string has too much body to stay out of the way of the response area.
On the other side, once you hit the sweetspot of a string + yoyo combo, you can find play to suddenly reach a level of ease, response and momentum different from another string not as well matched with the throw. Of course above the yoyo/string match the key element in this is the player, how you like to play, what type of tricks you're into, what type of feel you like.
I guess what I'm saying here is I think string is sometimes overlooked as a key element in how a yoyo will play and how we develop our routines as players.
Over the last few months I've found myself going to two particular brands of string, Toxic and Graou. More recently I've enjoyed the YoyoExpert Brazilian 'Expert Strings' which should be available pretty soon. I'll be adding each of these brands to this post as well over the next few weeks.
The first manufacturer I'll be discussing is a new little company called Yoyo String Lab.
Yoyo String Lab
Yoyo StringLab Strings are available on Matt's site, and will soon be available at YoyoExpert
I initially discovered the Yoyo String Lab in a post by Chris on YoyoSkills and decided to order some. I've been playing both their Type 1 and Type 2's for a while now and they really are something unique. They make an excellent product in the form of two types of string, both in many colors, at a reasonable price of 4.50 for 10, with cheap and immediate two day shipping.
|On left: Type 1 is the yellow and Type 2 the red. |
(click the image to embiggen it).
The Type 2's have quite a bit of body, they break in very smooth and stay nice and thick after break in without getting overly fuzzy, gummy, and eventually knotty like some other heavy strings which similarly maintain their body. They finish nice and slick, but not slippy on a bind, and react very nicely to regens. I found them to have too much persistent heaviness for the light Dang, however they really hit the sweetspot for the Code 1. If you like a string that's nice and thick, a bit but not overly stiff, and very smooth on the hand, I'd definitely recommend this one.
The Type-X is a new format for Yoyo StringLab. They feel like they have a slightly looser twist than the other types, which gives them the sense of a fairly thick string with a lot of body. Although they feel thick, they don't get in the way of sleep time, particularly in a heavier throw with good momentum, like the CLYW Canvas, which at this point I'm almost exclusively throwing with the Type-X. Also, even though they seem to have a looser initial twist, they break in nice and tight so they don't get gummed up like many thick strings can. They also deal with tension nicely; many revs before having to release the tension.
I would definitely recommend this string to anyone who likes a heavy string without the weight that comes with a string that increases its body with multiple strands. I guess in that sense this is a flexible string, giving body without adding absolute thickness.
The Type-X come in Neon Yellow and Lemon Lime
Like I mentioned in the title, these strings all have the fantastic quality of being really flexible, and even after break-in it takes forever to notice any type of clunk. Longer than any string I've tried. They achieve this quality without being too bouncy, very easy strings to control. If you like your strings to maintain their flexibility over a long period of play, I definitely recommend checking these out.
I asked Matt at Yoyo StringLab to send me a bit of text about the company. Here's what he sent me:
"I have a passion for building and creating. It all began for me as a young kid with my mom taking my brother and me to the local lumber yard. They would let us climb through the bin of end cuts and fill up a grocery bag. Then my mom would buy some nails and set us loose to build whatever we wanted.From there it just kept growing. Now it’s an obsession;
I have to build, design, or create to keep busy. So, I have turned this passion on my yoyo addiction.I started twisting my own string about four years ago, just for curiosity’s sake. The results were less than ideal, but even so, it was like a challenge to make something better. I kept at it and eventually had a shiny, super-whipping, poly string which I really liked. After sending it out for a little testing, I had some positive responses and interest in getting a supply. However, there was still the problem of how to make enough in the time I had available.
To do it right, I knew things would have to wait for a better way.The itch to work everything out was always there, as I really wanted to focus my drive on making a contribution. Finally, this summer I got a good chance to scratch at the issues as well as work on different string formats. I knew that if I were going to do this, I wanted to go above and beyond to offer a great string that people really enjoyed.
It was also important to me as I set up my process that everything was focused on making the results consistent for each string. The “Lab” theme really reflects my drive for fine tuning and getting things right.I am psyched to share my enthusiasm with the yoyo community and have YoYoStringLab string in the hands of people all over."
Ok. So there's my thoughts about Yoyo StringLab.
I just added Part 2 of the series, on string by Toxic Yoyos here.