This page will be devoted to something which I have recently found an interest in. I am of course speaking of the Diabolo.


As with most of our modern toys and games, the diabolo traces back to China. Actually is goes back thousands of years, whence it was made from bamboo and had slits on the side that caused it to whistle when spinning. It was discovered by European explorers as usual and was very popular in the 17 and 18 hundreds in France and England - rivalling tennis in popularity. In the early 1900’s, the first diabolo of rubber and metal was created - the start towards the modern diabolo.

Unlike popular idea, the diabolo name has nothing to do with the devil, but is derived from diaballo which is from the Greek dia (through) and ballo (throw). This was the name given to it when it was brought back from China by the Europeans. Previously, the toy held more than one name in history such as: Kouen-gen during the Han dynasty in China.

Basically, a diabolo is like a large yo-yo which is not actually connected to the string. It uses basic gyroscopic principles to allow for a number of tosses and string manipulations to be performed.


  • Yellow & Purple Harlequin Swiss Diabolo (5”)
  • Wooden Handsticks (18.5” o 0.5”)
  • Modified Wooden Handsticks w/Nylon String (Dyed blue w/ Electrical tape handle)
  • Spintastic Spinbolo Jr.
  • Spintastic Diabolo Sling

The order has arrived and I have updated my equipment list accordingly.


Here are some tricks that I have been able to add into my routine.

  • Suns

    • Clockwise
    • Counterclockwise
  • Orbits

    • Arm Orbit
    • Leg Orbit
    • Foot Orbit
    • Regular Orbit
  • Grinds

    • Left Grind
    • Right Grind
    • Trapeze Grind
    • Twix Grind
    • Hop n’ Grind
    • Adam’s Grind
  • Suicides

    • Armicide
    • Suicide Attempt
    • Chinese Suicide
  • Knots

    • Square Knot
  • Catches

    • Whip Catch
    • Sighted Catch
  • Combos

    • Scoop Catch, Scoop Sun, and the Cross-Arm Toss

There are more tricks that I can do that don’t officially have names.


Correcting Twist (lateral rotation) - This is a problem that occurs when you are diaboloing and the diabolo starts to turn. The easiest solution is to turn your body to make sure one diabolo cup is facing you directly. The other, better solution (especially if you have an audience) is to learn to control this twist. In order to do this, you must have really good control over the tilt of the diabolo - if not - don’t even bother with this… because even then, you need to be careful. The tilt of the diabolo actually is the cause of the twist. If your diabolo tends to drift to the left (or counterclockwise) you can correct by tilting the diabolo forward (away from you) and maintaining a decent spin. This will rotate the diabolo to the right. If the diabolo rotates too far to the right (clockwise) then tilt the diabolo towards you and it should slowly turn back. So there you have it.


My first diabolo.

My first diabolo.

It is actually spinning.

It is actually spinning.

Over the right shoulder.

Over the right shoulder.

Off stick diabolo.

Off stick diabolo.