Yo-Yos Get Extreme Over At YoYoNation.com

Aw, come on guys, it’s so simple maybe you need a refresher course. It’s all ball bearings nowadays.Fletch

With all the Wii and PS3 excitement this week, I wanted to point out an old-timey, non-electronic toy that’s experiencing resurgence in popularity: the yo-yo. However, these are not the humble, string-and-spool types you had when you were a kid. Today’s yo-yos are pretty high-tech.

These skill toys are made from materials like magnesium and aluminum with strings that are 100-percent cotton, polyester or poly/cotton blends, and loaded with ball-bearing systems for long spin times. Sure you can still find your $3.99 molded-plastic Duncans, but one throw of these advanced models and you’ll realize why business is good for sites like YoYoNation.com.

Owned by world yo-yo champion Pat Cuartero, YoYoNation is a one-stop shop for everything to do with the skill toy. And one trip through his inventory will convince you that these people take this seriously. The shop is well organized, letting you choose your yo-yo by skill level, play style, price or brand. And while you can pick one up for less than $10, prices can shoot up well above $100. One of the more techie models available is the $80 YoYoFactory F.A.S.T. 401k (below) that has dials on each side to instantly adjust it for less response, less friction, or longer spins, as well as a ball-bearing set that’s capable of 10-minute spins.

Need more proof? Click over to the message boards and check out some of the chatting that’s going on in there. From modding how-tos and trick tips to avid collectors and newbies, the site’s more than 1,000 active members swarm the message boards to talk shop. If you’re interested in learning more about yo-yos, it should be your first stop. Oh and if you want to see some crazy, messed-up yo-yoing, check the video below from this year’s championship.