If you're looking for a fun and challenging toy that can provide hours of entertainment, then you might want to consider trying out a Diabolo. This unique juggling prop, also known as a Chinese yo-yo, is a great way to improve your coordination, dexterity, and creativity, while also impressing your friends and family with some amazing tricks and stunts.
Although I usually write articles about Kites, when I'm not out flying, I'm playing with my old Mr Babache Diabolo I picked up 10+ years ago. Not only has my Diabolo provided hours of fun, but as I don't need electricity / batteries to use it I felt it would be a great article for Professor Power.
If you've never heard of Diabolos, then this article is for you. In this article, I'll take a closer look at what diabolos are, what the best options are for beginners and advanced users, how they compare to yo-yos, what accessories are available, and how to maintain and care for your diabolo to ensure its always ready to pick up and play.
What is a Diabolo?
A Diabolo is classed as a juggling prop that consists of two cups or shells, made of plastic, rubber (original Diabolo's were made from wood), that are connected by an axle, and a string that runs through the axle.
The player holds the two sticks or handsticks, one in each hand, and manipulates the Diabolo by spinning it on the string, launching it into the air, and performing a variety of tricks, flips, and catches.
Diabolo vs Yo-yo - What's the difference?
Whilst Diabolo's and yo-yo are both juggling props that require skill and coordination, they are quite different in terms of their design and gameplay. Here are some of the key differences between diabolo and yo-yo:
- Diabolos have two cups or shells that are connected by an axle, whereas yo-yo has a single spool or reel that is wound and released with a string.
- Every Diabolo is played by spinning the toy on a string and performing a variety of tricks and stunts, while yo-yo is played by letting the toy unwind and rewinding it in a variety of patterns and tricks.
- Diabolos are often seen as a more advanced and challenging circus toy, requiring more skill and practice to master, while yo-yo is often seen as a more versatile and accessible toy, suitable for players of all ages and skill levels.
Ultimately, the choice between a Diabolo and Yo-Yo comes down to personal preference and interests. Some players may enjoy the complexity and creativity of Diabolos, while others may prefer the simplicity and versatility of yo-yo.
What's the Best Diabolo for Beginners?
If you're just starting out with Diabolo's, you'll want to choose a model that is lightweight, easy to handle, and durable enough to withstand some bumps and drops. Some of the best options for beginners include the following:
Juggle Dream Cyclone Quartz 2 Diabolo
The Dream Cyclone Diabolo features a bright, colourful design, a wide axle for improved stability, and a sturdy construction that can withstand frequent use and abuse. It also comes with a pair of aluminium handsticks that are comfortable to hold and easy to control.
Henrys Circus Diabolo
The Henrys Circus Diabolo is designed for both beginners and intermediate players, with a medium-sized profile that is easy to grip, and a smooth, predictable spin that makes it easier to learn new tricks. It is also available in a variety of colors and can be customized with different weights and sizes to suit your preferences.
Sundia Fly Diabolo
The Sundia Fly Diabolo is a great option for younger players or those with smaller hands, with a compact size and lightweight construction that make it easy to handle and transport. It is also available in a range of colors and designs, and can be customized with different axles, bearings, and hubs to enhance its performance.
Diabolo for Intermediate Users
Once you've mastered the basic diabolo tricks, it's probably time to move onto an intermediate Diabolo. These are a little more expensive, but allow give you much more control making more complex tricks easier to achieve. Some of the best Diabolos for intermediate users include the following:
Henrys Jazz Diabolo
The Henrys Jazz Diabolo is designed for intermediate and advanced players who want a high-performance toy that can handle a variety of tricks and styles. It features a medium-sized profile that is easy to hold and throw, as well as a smooth, reliable spin that allows for a wide range of manoeuvres. It also comes with a set of aluminium handsticks that are strong and durable.
Sundia Sun Diabolo
The Sundia Sun Diabolo is a great option for players who want a balance of affordability, performance, and style. It features a bright, eye-catching design that is sure to stand out on the juggling field, as well as a sturdy construction that can withstand frequent use and abuse. It also comes with a set of fiberglass handsticks that are lightweight and comfortable to hold.
Diabolo's for Advanced Users
As you become even more confident in using a Diabolo and feel like you want even more control, then it's time to move up the more "premium" toys. Generally the advanced Diabolos have much better balance and made from less forgiving materials (which is why you want to start with beginner Diabolos first)
Advanced Diabolos are more expensive, however with improved axles & bearings allows the Diabolos to spin at much higher speeds making longer tricks possible. Many of the advanced Diabolo sets come with modular features allowing the user to add/remove weights and replace certain parts as they become worn.
I've put together a few advanced Diabolos below.
Sundia Evo 5 Diabolo
The Sundia Evo 5 Diabolo features a high-speed triple bearing system that allows for faster and smoother spins, as well as a lightweight design that makes it easy to control and maneuver. It also has a modular construction that allows you to customize its weight and balance to suit your preferences.
Henrys Vision Diabolo
The Henrys Vision Diabolo is designed for professional and competitive players, with a low-walled profile that allows for greater precision and control, as well as a soft rubber material that provides a comfortable grip and reduces noise. It is also available in a range of colours and can be customized with different weights, hubs, and bearings.
Taibolo Super V2 Diabolo
The Taibolo Super V2 Diabolo is known for its durability, speed, and stability, with a reinforced plastic construction that can withstand high-impact drops and collisions, as well as a wide axle and bearing system that allows for longer and smoother spins. It also comes with a set of carbon fiber handsticks that are lightweight and sturdy.
What Diabolo Accessories are Available?
In addition to the Diabolo itself, there are many accessories that can enhance your juggling experience and help you perform better and more safely. Some of the most common Diabolo accessories include the following:
- Handsticks - these are the two sticks or wands that the player holds in their hands and uses to control the Diabolo. They can be made of a variety of materials, such as wood, aluminum, fiberglass, or carbon fibre, and can be customized with different grips, lengths, and weights.
- Upgraded String - this is the cord or line that runs through the diabolo's axle and connects to the handsticks. It can be made of nylon, polyester, or other materials, and can be adjusted for length and tension depending on the player's preferences.
- Diabolo Bags - these are small pouches or cases that can be used to store and transport the diabolo and its accessories. They can be made of fabric, leather, or other materials, and can be customized with different colours, patterns, and logos.
- Uprated Bearings - these are the small, round components that allow the diabolo's axle to spin smoothly and quickly. They can be made of plastic, metal, or ceramic, and can be upgraded or replaced to improve the diabolo's performance.
- Weighted Hubs - these are the caps or inserts that go on the ends of the diabolo's cups and provide additional weight and stability. They can be made of plastic, rubber, or other materials, and can be customized with different colours and designs.
- L.E.D Lighting - these are small LED or glow-in-the-dark attachments that can be added to the diabolo or handsticks to make them more visible and attractive in low-light conditions. They can be powered by batteries or rechargeable USB cables and can be programmed to display different colours and patterns.
How to Care for Your Diabolo
To keep your Diabolo in good condition and extend its lifespan, it's important to practice proper maintenance and care. Here are some tips to follow:
- Clean your Diabolo regularly with a soft cloth or sponge and mild soap and water. Avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasive materials that can damage the surface or bearings.
- Check the bearings, axles, and hubs periodically to make sure they are tight and secure. If they become loose or damaged, replace them as soon as possible to avoid further wear and tear.
- Store the diabolo in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight, heat, or moisture. Keep it in a protective bag or case to prevent scratches, dents, or other damage.
- Avoid dropping the diabolo on hard surfaces or exposing it to extreme temperatures or humidity. Handle it with care and respect to ensure it remains in good working order.
By following these simple maintenance and care tips, you can enjoy your diabolo for years to come and continue to improve your skills and confidence as a juggling enthusiast.
I had great fun researching this article over the past week and hope you enjoyed it. Diabolos are so much fun, and although some tricks you see over on YouTube seem difficult, just remember that every single Diabolo user started somewhere.