Tutorials

 

Basic Movements

Getting the Diabolo Started  起鈴 Video Tutorial  


The objective is to get the diabolo spinning while suspended from the string. 
There are several ways to get a diabolo started. Here is one way that is easy to learn and the diabolo gains speed easily.

  1. Pick up the handsticks, one in each hand. Pull the string straight and place it flat on the ground in front of you.
  2. Place the diabolo at the center of the string with one of the cups facing you. If you are using a Taibolo bearing diabolo, have the cup with black hub facing you.
  1. Pick up the handsticks while the diabol stays on the ground. Take your right hand and loop the string around the diabolo's axle once (using a counter-clockwise motion). There should now be a loop of string around the axle of the diabolo.
  2. Take your right hand and  pull upward.The diabolo should now leave the ground. Pull upwards with your right hands repeatedly. Your left hand should not use any force. The motion should be strong, yet smooth and relaxed.
  3. After the diabolo has enough speed to stay stable, undo the loop that is around the axle so that the diabolo is "free." You undo the loop by taking your right hand and moving it underneath the diabolo in a circle, clockwise around the diabolo.  Now that the diabolo is on an open string, you can perform a variety of tricks.

    Tips - The cup closer to you should face your body at all times.  Left hand should not use any force. Be patient!  It takes practices to master it.

 

Tilt Correction  (上下)調鈴  Video Tutorial

Once you know how to get the diabolo spinning, the next step is to keep it from tilting.

If the diabolo's near cup is tilted down toward you, put your right stick forward. You can keep pulling with your stick forward to keep your speed up as you correct.

If the diabolo's near cup is tilted up toward you, put your right stick back. You can keep pulling with your stick back to keep your speed up as you correct.

Once you get the hang of doing this, you will do it without even thinking about it.

 

Rotational/Turning Correction   (左右)調鈴  Video Tutorial

In order to turn the diabolo right, touch the cup that is farther from you with the tip of your right handstick.

To turn the diabolo to the left, touch the cup that is closer to you with the tip of your right handstick.

While doing rotation/turn corrections, keep pulling upwards with your right hand; it is the same motion as starting the diabolo.  When the right stick gets close to the diabolo, touch the correct cup to turn the diabolo.  If one touch isnt enough, touch again.

  

 

Fundamental Tricks

Tossing   直上青雲    Video Tutorial
The first trick is tossing, which is throwing the diabolo up and catching it.

1) Toss
the diabolo upwards by pulling your hands apart.  The motion for tossing is NOT up and down, but more horizontal

2) As the diabolo is coming downwards, aim the tip of your right handstick at the axle of the falling diabolo.  This will help you catch it on the string. 


 

Trapeze/Stopover   Video Tutorial

This trick creates a "trapeze" that the diabolo rests on, before exiting the trick

1) Get the diabolo spinning and swing the diabolo to the right in a counterclockwise circle, keeping your sticks parallel with each other.

2) Your Counterclockwise swing should be enough for the diabolo to go to the right, up and over the right stick. As it is swinging move your right stick straight ahead a little so the string begins to wrap around it as the diabolo swings around the stick.

3) After the diabolo begins to drop down between your sticks it needs to land on the string now between your sticks. The hardest part of this trick is getting the diabolo to land on the string. If your swing is even and your right stick is straight out, the diabolo should land there naturally. If something's a bit crooked you may need to catch the diabolo on the string by slightly moving your handsticks.

4) To exit, pull the right stick out to the right forcing the diabolo to swing clockwise until it returns to the starting position.

 

Stick Grind  金雞上架    Video Tutorial
The objective of this trick is to get the diabolo onto the stick and maintain it there while it is still spinning.

1) Turn 90 degrees to your left

2) Bring your left hand up and pop the diabolo onto the right handstick

3) The diabolo should land on the stick and spin in place

4) To keep the diabolo on the stick, tilt the right stick up so that it does not roll off

5) Exit by pointing the right handstick down so the diabolo slides back on the string.

 

Left Darkside  Video Tutorial
1) Toss the diabolo off to the left side

2) Recapture it by bringing the left string down over the axle.

3) Bring the left stick up after circling the diabolo (counter clockwise) so that the sticks are again in standard position. Now there is a string twist on the axle.

4) Exit by crossing your hands and getting the diabolo to open string.  Now simply pop it up and catch it as you would a regular toss.

 

X-Trick/Spider's Web  Video Tutorial
You form an "X" with the string while bouncing the diabolo on the "X"

1) Do a left darkside, but this time, do not exit it

2) Now, form an "X" with the string.
     Forming the "X"
     a)   Drop the Left stick a little lower than the right and angle it so it points more right than straight ahead.
     b)  Now the right stick does the work. Move the end of the right stick around the end of the left stick so the right string hangs behind the left stick. The right stick is still above the left.
     c)   Pull the right stick back toward you so that the right string is draped over the left stick.
     d)  You should see a hole formed.  Now poke your right stick under the left stick and through the hole.
     e)  Pulling both sticks apart, you should see the cradle form. Your sticks can be held straight out or you can angle them to begin to point upward. The diabolo hopefully is still spinning on the bottom string.

3) Now toss the diabolo up from the bottom string. Be careful to keep the top of the cradle strings out away from the rising diabolo.

4) As the diabolo rises, hold the sticks straight upward and apart to display the cradle.

5) Catch the diabolo on the "X" and hold or bounce it for the audience to see.

6) To exit, catch the diabolo on the "X" and drop everything by pointing the sticks downward and in towards each other.

 

Magic Knot   金蟬脫殼  Video Tutorial

This trick creates a seemingly gigantic tangle with the strings, but when thrown out, the strings are not tangled around the diabolo.

1) Accelerate the diabolo to a fast speed

2) Turn left and move your body so that you are facing the diabolo. Face left while keeping the left stick in the normal position; it should still be parallel to the axle and the floor.

3) Position your right stick so it is in line and pointing at the left stick's tip. Note: That your right stick will be wrapping two items; the diabolo's axle and the horizontally-held left stick.

4) Using only the right stick, wrap the string over the left stick and under the diabolo's axle. Your right stick moves (from the front) over the LEFT stick, down and (from the back) under the diabolo's AXLE, back to the front. Your right wrist may seem like a pivot point for this action.

5) Next, take the right stick to the FRONT of the LEFT stick, and wrap the string over the left handstick and then under the axle. Your right stick should be back to the beginning position before you started wrapping.

6) Now toss the diabolo towards your face and outwards.  (Do NOT really attempt to hit your face!)  The strings should become untangled

 

Elevator  螞蟻上樹    Video Tutorial

During this trick, the diabolo climbs up the string, mimicking the motion of an elevator going up.

1) Get the diabolo spinning as fast as you can

2) Lift your left arm up, making sure that it forms a straight line down to the ground

3) Take your right hand and loop it around the diabolo's axle once (using a counter-clockwise motion).  There should now be a loop of string around the axle of the diabolo.

4) Pull the string taunt in opposite directions, in this case, up and down.

5) The diabolo should climb the string.  When it reaches the top, loosen the tightness of the string, and the diabolo should fall back down

6) As it falls back down, take your right hand and move it underneath the diabolo in a circle, clockwise underneath the diabolo

 

Leg Orbits   Video Tutorial
Leg orbits are when the diabolo circles the leg in a clockwise direction.

1) Lift and place your right leg* over the string.  The diabolo should be on the left side of the string.

2) The left handstick guides the toss over the leg and back to the left side; the diabolo should hop over the leg in a small clockwise circle.  Note that the string will leave the bottom of your leg when the diabolo passes under the leg.

3) To exit, remove your leg just after the diabolo passes under it.

*It can be either the right leg or the left leg

 

Arm Orbits  Video Tutorial
Arm orbits are when the diabolo circles the right arm in a clockwise direction.

1) Face LEFT and point your right handstick to the right and behind you.  Correct stick position makes the string touch under the right arm, between the elbow and shoulder.  

2) The left handstick guides the toss over the arm and back to the right.

 

 

 
Mid Level Tricks

 

 

360 Turn  Video Tutorial
 
1) Toss the diabolo upwards by pulling your hands apart.  The motion for tossing is NOT up and down, but more horizontal

2) As the diabolo is in the air, do a full turn (a 360 turn of your whole body).

3) Catch the diabolo on the string as you would do a regular toss.

 

 

Jump Rope  Video Tutorial
 
1) Toss the diabolo upwards by pulling your hands apart.  The motion for tossing is NOT up and down, but more horizontal

2) As the diabolo is in the air, jump over the string so that it passes underneath your feet and over your head.

3) Catch the diabolo on the string as you would do a regular toss.

 

 

Suicide
1) Start with the diabolo spinning at normal speed and with the strings not tangled or crossed in any way

2) Imagine that you are facing a clock, where the top of your head is 12 o' clock, your feet 6 o'clock, and directly to your left is 9 o'clock.  Now swing the diabolo to your left in a circle

3) When the diabolo reaches about 9 o'clock or 10 o'clock, let go of your right stick

4) The stick will swing around in a huge circle and you should catch it around 3 o'clock.  You can catch either the string or the stick.

 

 

 

Around the Back  Video Tutorial
Around the back is when the diabolo circles the body/both legs in a clockwise direction.

1) Toss the diabolo high up and bring the string over your head and behind your back.

2) Catch the diabolo with the right side of your string and let the diabolo roll along the string and go to the left side.  Then the diabolo should hop over the body/both legs in a small clockwise circle.  Remember that the left handstick guides the toss over the body/both legs.

3) To exit, toss high up and take the string over your head and bring it back to the regular position.

 

 

Around the World
 
1) Swing the diabolo to your right side.

2) When the diabolo reaches 3 o'clock, make a loop around the axle using your right hand, and touch the tip of the stick to the axle.

3) Let go of the right hand stick.

4) Swing the whole thing (diabolo and hand stick) to your left, drawing a big circle clockwise.  Make sure that the string is taunt when you are swinging everything around.

5) When the diabolo is directly above you at 12 o'clock, you can let the string slack a bit so that it will fall down more, instead of drawing a full circle.

6) Let the diabolo come down and catch the right hand stick. 

7) This should end up with a loop on the axle of the diabolo, so to exit fully, you must unwrap the diabolo with your right hand.

 

 

Leg Orbits - 180 Turns
 
1) Begin by doing leg orbits (see fundamental tricks section). This is your starting position.

2) This time, instead of tossing the diabolo over your leg, pop it directly up. It should end up on the left side of your body.

3) While the diabolo is still in the air, turn 180 degrees to your left.

4) You should now be facing the opposite way, with the diabolo still in the air on your right side.

5) Do 1 leg orbit as you normally would, except this time, you're facing the opposite way that you started.

6) Repeat step 2.

7) Repeat step 3

8) You should now be facing the same direction as you started, doing regular leg orbits.

9) Exit as you normally would leg orbits, or you can keep doing 180 turns as long as the diabolo has enough speed.

 

 

Crazy Arm
This trick involves "hooking" the diabolo from an arm orbit position and swinging it in a 2 suns while turning your body.

 

 

Neck Bounce
This trick involves getting the string on both sides of your neck and bouncing the diabolo from one side to the other. 

 

 

Umbrella
This trick imitates the shape of an umbrella, as the diabolo goes from one side to the other above both handsticks.

 

 Advanced Tricks

Monorail
Like regular arm orbits but this time there is a loop of string around your arm so that it circles your arm faster on that loop of string. 

 

 

Genocide
The right stick is released, and the diabolo leaves the string.  It is then caught with the string still in a suicide

 

 

Infinite Suicide
In which the diabolo appears to be suspended in midair while one handstick orbits it.  This can be done with a wrap around the diabolo, or without.  
(wrapped version-by TimEllis)

 

 


Vertax/Excalibur
The diabolo is tilted vertical by Chinese accelerations ("whipping") and is continuously maintained in this state.
(Includes how to get in to vertax/excalibur and some tricks as well. By Tomer, Amit &Yonatan)

 

 

2 Diabolo Shuffle
Involves the continuous orbiting of 2 diabolos on one's string in a "shuffling" motion.
(by TimEllis)

 

 

Finger Grind
The diabolo is caught on a finger instead of on a handstick (stick grind)

 

 

Useful External Tutorial Links

Taibolo Classroom A playlist of tutorials in Mandarin, with over 20 lessons!

www.diabolotutorials.com A comprehensive site with many tutorials for beginner, intermediate, and advanced diabolo tricks! Animation is included as well so you can see what the trick is like from the performer's point of view.

www.diabolotricks.com Contains many animations of the diabolo tricks from your point of view so you can see what the trick is like from your perspective.

www.diabolo.ca/forum  An online forum where many great diabolists gather and share ideas. It is a friendly environment and by searching through the forum, one can usually find a topic pertaining to trick in question.

 

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