Flying Saucer

(Also called: UFO, Sleeping Beauty)

Flying Saucer is a great looking trick which can be an excellent tool for adjusting string tension. Here's how the basic trick is done.

* Hold the yo-yo just as if you were preparing for a Throw Down.
* Instead of throwing the yo-yo straight down, toss it to the left at about a 45 degree angle, with your palm facing up and slightly to the right (Yes, this will feel like a very unnatural position for your wrist! If it feels wrong you're probably doing it right!).
* Flip your hand over quickly and freeze it. The yo-yo will sleep for a moment at an angle, then suddenly begin bouncing up and down and spinning counter clockwise horizontally as the string revolves around it.
* With your left hand, reach down and grab the string about three or four inches above the yo-yo and lift it up, as the yo-yo continues spinning below it like a flying saucer (Note - you can do this any number of ways. Rather than pinching it, you can simply lift it with your thumb, or even your whole arm etc.). Bring your two hands level with each other, keeping the remaining string outstretched between them.
* After a second or two, before the yo-yo has begun to lose its momentum , give it a gentle upward tug with your left hand so that it flies a little higher, and release it. The yo-yo should begin winding itself sideways, and return to your hand so you can catch it.

Whether the trick results in loosening your string tension or further tightening it, depends simply upon whether you initially throw the yo-yo to the left or to the right. If thrown to the left, as instructed above, you will loosen your string. If you need to tighten it, instead of throwing the yo-yo to your left, throw it to the right, once again at the same kind of 45 degree angle. The result is that your yo-yo's horizontal spin will be clockwise instead of counter clockwise, and therefore you will more tightly wind the string instead of loosen it.

Here's a little humorous sidenote for you: If you perform Flying Saucer to loosen your string, and accidentally let it spin below your hand a bit too long, the string will actually become so loose that your UFO will slip right out of the string and crash down to Earth. This has a name too. We call it, quite appropriately .... doing a "ROSWELL"! I don't recommend you pull this one intentionally, unless your string is well-worn and crying to be changed anyway, because this will kill your string permanently. It'll be so twisted and unevenly wound, you'll never get it back into shape.
© 1998 Ted Whitten

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For the animated version of this trick click here.