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    When should I change my string... heh? 
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    YoCapo jhb8426's Avatar
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    (The long awaited dissertation on string care and feeding)

    "Before it breaks is a good rule of thumb." is the advice over at Dave's Yo-Yo Talk(*).

    Generally the advice is to change the string when it:
    1. shows signs of wear or fraying.
    2. looks dirty or grey.
    3. feels stiff or hard. (Looses it's spring)

    This is good advice from the experts in the field. However, some elucidation is in order to clarify things a bit. The FAQ at Dave's Yo-Yo Talk goes on to say that you should inspect the area around the slip knot. If you see any loose strands in this area ditch the string immediately. Look for a reduced diameter or constriction in the slip knot area. This is a prelude to a breakage there. Another place to look for wear or fraying is right at the outer edge of the yoyo. This is especially true for "imperial" style yoyos. I have had a few strings break due to wear here, but usually at the slip knot. Looping is especially hard on strings and causes wear in both areas.

    How about wear around the axle loop? In my own experience I have never broken a string due to wear at this point. It's always been at the outer rim or at the slip knot. Maybe I don't sleep my yoyos long enough or hard enough to cause wear in this area. This is generally a non-issue with bearing yoyos. YMMV

    Another factor in string wear is the coating on a yoyo. Anodization and other coating processes can cause the string to wear abnormally fast. The Anti-Yo Fluchs and Eetsit come to mind here. This can be alleviated to a very large degree by rubbing the yoyo body with a towel or piece of denim without marring the surface noticeably.

    OK, what about other signs? As noted above, a dirty or stiff string is a sign it needs replacing. A stiff string is close to breaking.

    What causes this? Oil on your hands is readily transferred to the string every time you handle it to wind the yoyo. This in turn attracts and collects dirt, again probably from your hands. A dirty string is usually a stiff, brittle string. How to avoid this? Keep your hands clean. For instance, don't eat PIZZA???? HMMMMMMMM PIZZA!!!! when you yo. Handle your string as little as possible. "Well then how am I supposed to wind the string then?", you might say. One way is to learn to do the thumb flip trick and wind it that way. Myself - I've never been able to do that very well (at all). What I do is to try to avoid sliding the string through my fingers when winding. Instead I grab the string 10-12 inces from the yoyo, wind that part, then grab it again a similar distance from the yoyo and wind, repeating until I get to the end, or at least far enough that I can do a gravity drop and pull it up wound to the finger loop.

    Other signs that your string needs to be replaced soon are if it has developed a noticeably permanent, tight twist, or has lost all of its stretch or springiness (it's stiff). If you throw it down and it thunks on the end of the string, it has lost it's spring. If the string won't unwind or "relax" satisfactorily it's worn and stiff, and needs to go.

    A worn string will be evident in the play of the yoyo. If various moves or tricks that you normally can do become hit or miss, that could be a sign that your string is bad. You may see this particularly in loops, even if you can normally do only say five to ten good loops, and all of a sudden you can't do any very well. As the string wears and becomes tighter or stiffer, the play of the string will deteriorate and have an effect on the moves you can do.

    Another sign is if you notice a distinct snap, crackle and pop during loops or a hard throw down. If you're not eating rice crispies at the time (remember, you shouldn't be eating anyway), replace the string immediately. That's the sound of strands snapping.

    What other factors affect the life of a string? Well, your skill level for one. Looping for instance is hard on strings, and if you are learning, your string will wear faster due to the inevitable rubbing of the string on the yoyo until you get pretty good at it.

    Colored string is another factor. Colored strings wear out faster than plain white strings. The dye in the colored strings makes them stiffer to begin with, and they tend to break down faster. I use colored string only as a last resort. They seem to last about half as long as plain white ones for me.
    - Note that this applies primarily to cotton string. Slick 6/8, 100% poly and other new strings do not exhibit this a lot. (**)

    Strings often need a break-in period, but a worn string will definitely affect the performance of your yoyo. Don't try to wring the last bit of useful life out of them. Change them often ("Before it breaks")!!

    p.s. - This is based on things I have read here, in other forums, and personal experience. I just thought it would be good to get it all down in one place.

    * Dave's Yo-Yo Talk FAQ:
    www.nmia.com/~whistler/ww...begfaq.htm
    (Link mostly defunct at this point in time)

    Update 11/11/03
    ** Note from Dale Oliver: "The poly/cotton blends (slick 6&8) wear much longer than 100% cotton. I have not noticed the dyed slicks wearing faster than the white although I agree with you about the dyed cotton strings."

    Edited by: jhb8426 2/14/03

    Update: jhb8426 10/15/o6

    Update: jhb8426 10/19/10
    Note: This was originally written in another time and place far, far away when cotton was king and slick 6/8 was starting to gain momentum. Be that as it may, the concepts and factors are still relevant with newer type strings.

    How to put a string on:
    For a very nice illustration, go here:
    http://www.yomega.com/help/support_bearing.htm
    (Courtesy of Yomega)

    Last edited by jhb8426; 10-19-2010 at 08:12 PM. Reason: Needed updates

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    asdf 
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    i change alot, like, depending on how much i play, but usually like every 20 mins if im hardcore yoyoing :P
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    #3

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    excellent info!!!!

    hey itchy!! put a sticky on this thread!
    From: the PSYLENT Mod
    You are talking to Floyd Pepper! The hippest of the hip! I mean I have a room for life at the home of the chronically groovy!
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    Re: When should I change my string... heh? [Digest] 
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    YoCapo jhb8426's Avatar
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    relevant replies from the old board forums.
    -jhb-

    Quote Originally Posted by brighto
    (7/13/03 3:41 pm)
    Re: When should I change my string...huh?
    I read somewhere that yo-yo string has been made from hemp. I don't know when this was done or how it worked out, but I'd try it if I could find it. The slick 6 and slick 8 strings use a cotton/synthetic blend which works very well on bearing yo-yo's and is a bit stronger and longer lasting than plain cotton. If you are using a wood fixed axle, cotton 8 is the way to go.
    Quote Originally Posted by taurbaby1313
    (7/14/03 9:34 am)
    Re: When should I change my string...huh?
    i tried a string out of mexico that was really springy and i believe it was un bleached.the problem was it was too thick for me. so if i had too many layers of string in the gap my yoyo would respond and mess up the trick.as in yoyos different people have different wants and needs(both real and assumed).your into looping so a thicker string would be the ticket for you,later when and if you get into other types of tricks you may find that a thinner string is better.i dont have anything to say as far as how long a string lasts some people change thiers constantly others take days or weeks.T1313
    Quote Originally Posted by jhb8426
    (7/14/03 11:20 am)
    Re: When should I change my string...huh?
    string from Mexico - I've had some from Mexico myself. Similar experience to some degree with my no-jives. With the strings that came with them they worked fine for looping. With the new batch they tend to dive, so it would seem the string is a bit thicker. It is also very springey. This was purchased locally. But then I ordered string from What's Next when I got my Lightening recently, and it came in a bag with the same markings. So it would appear that What's Next gets their string from the same supplier. I haven't used the new ones yet. Maybe it's variation between lots??
    Quote Originally Posted by jipman
    (8/29/03 6:29 am)
    Re: When should I change my string...huh?
    if your using ballbearing axels, it doesn't matter too much when you change your string. you could do a few months with one, and it still has a good response. I usually change strings when the current one breaks, and i hope for the yoyo to survive the impact with the floor :ex

    I once had a string that lasted 3 months of intensive yoing, haha
    Quote Originally Posted by Aoxmodeus
    (8/29/03 8:17 am)
    Re: When should I change my string...huh?
    Quote:"you could do a few months with one"

    Good lord, man!

    Do you yo much! I have to change strings after like an hour or two of hard playing. The string gets all frizzed, and loses springiness. Plus the tension changes throughout the string, and makes placement in the gap troublesome

    Three months.. yar...

    -Aox

    Quote Originally Posted by jhb8426
    (8/29/03 11:17 am)
    Re: When should I change my string...huh?
    I tend to agree Aox.

    1st - waiting for the string to break is not a good thing for the yoyo, as well as other people or things in the room.

    There comes a point when the string gets stiff and tricks do not work as well. It should changed at that point.

    "it's Like Daimler Says..."
    -jhb-

    Quote Originally Posted by chiefoyo
    (11/12/03 7:27 am)
    Re: When should I change my string...huh? I change mine after about 2 hours of play.
    steve
    Quote Originally Posted by phatnatikz
    (12/8/03 1:36 pm)
    Re: When should I change my string...huh?
    I suggest to change your string when it loses its "touch" and springiness. Touch - The feeling of the string, ability to let you feel whats going on and the way it glides over your fingers, also if you use a yo-yo with starbursts you should watch out more often
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    I replace my string every 2 hours at most w/ straight play.
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    #6
    ELiTe!
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    My renegade eats strings.. I change them when they start getting that frayed look off the bearing..
    JaY
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    #7

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    If the string frays at all, change it.

    My friend was playing with a renegade and the string around the bearing was completely frayed, there was only one strand holding the yo on the string...Usually a sign that a string change is in order
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    #8

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    I change it when it breaks or when it gets gritty.

    What do i mean by gritty?.... try doing a trapeze and sliding the yoyo back and forth by tugging the string on the right and left side alternating... you'll see what i mean.
    Eat, Sleep, BM!
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    #9

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    when u say stiff do u mean at the slipnot on ur finger?
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    #10
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    Anywhere. Any stale, hard, not-springiness.

    Necroposting makes us cranky.
    Quick! I need some whipped cream, a tape recording of any early Bee Gees song, and a votive candle. I gotta fix my flat tire before rush hour!
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    Re: asdf 
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    Quote Originally Posted by yuuki
    i change alot, like, depending on how much i play, but usually like every 20 mins if im hardcore yoyoing :P
    phew! im not the only one!
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    #12

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    yeah, that's my bad habit, not changing my string enough...but that's probably because mine were kind of expensive...I should probably change it right now becuase it is frayed all the way down.
    WHAT?!?! You did WHAT?!?! Hold on, let me get my noob poking stick
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    #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by bazmonkey
    Necroposting makes us cranky.
    Quick! I need some whipped cream, a tape recording of any early Bee Gees song, and a votive candle. I gotta fix my flat tire before rush hour!
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    #14

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    Since it's already necroposted...
    All of my breaks have been at the bearing. Maybe I throw too hard? Now that I have new string though, from Mike ;), I haven't had any breaks.
    -Kevin G.


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    like an eel thru seaweed mgodinez's Avatar
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    forgive me...i didn't read all of the original post, but good info. nonetheless.

    i don't know...i kinda like the feel of 'worn' strings. i do 1a stuff mostly (and front some 5a stuff).

    when the strings has lost most of its' buoyancy and gets that real thin look, i find that i can get a better feel for the yo. perhaps it's because the string isn't doin' that rubber band thang (though bootsy is quite funky), also it helps the yo become dead unresponsive...which is my gig. obviously, personal preference and i'd have to assume i'm in the minority.

    my strings break at the loop, bearin', middle, near the end...pretty much anywhere. but like i said, i use them until they look as 'torn and frayed' as that coat in exile on main street.

    mgodinez
    seattle, wa

    cloudy...
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    Quote Originally Posted by bazmonkey
    Quote Originally Posted by bazmonkey
    Necroposting makes us cranky.
    Heehee, I've been noticing crazy zombies lately, at other boards too...
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    #17

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    I replace strings so often anymore. I'll go through one about every 30 to 45 minutes of straight yo-ing. I can just feel when I need a new one, its hard to explain.

    I am trying Poly strings, so hopefully those will be longer lasting and feel a bit better than cotton.
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    I know its bad for my yoyo, but i just change strings whenever the curretn one breaks and the yoyo rockets towards something. I would change it more ofter but the stupid guy on ebay didnt ship out my strings for likie a week after i bought... Anyway, my yoyo is pretty crappy(fast 201 $9.99 at Toys r us)so i dont really care if it rockests towards the floor,
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    Re: When should I change my string... heh? 
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    He's yo daddy! apoplectic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jhb8426
    One way is to learn to do the thumb flip trick and wind it that way. Myself - I've never been able to do that very well (at all).
    its nearly impossible on low responce yos though.ever since i took one
    o-ring out of my lf i cant do that
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    Re: When should I change my string... heh? 
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    I'm weird... For 1A, I tend to change when the slipknot starts to fray or it breaks. So usually somewhere between one and two weeks for a string. I also don't throw as hard a breakaway as many people do and tend to wash my hands whenever I'm about to yo-yo, so that extends the life a bit.

    And you can use the thumbwind motion with an unresponsive yo-yo. As you do the thumb wind, shoot the yo-yo away from you and have the yo-yo come back into the string like from a boomerang and bind it.

    Shawn
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