Diabolo Tricks

written for righties All animations are of the performer's view.
For viewing larger animations with stop/step controls; click Flash Movie Controls

See also Suns

Clockwise Sun with a Counter Clockwise return

Clockwise Sun
see Flash Movie Controls

1) Get the diabolo spinning in the normal position. Imagine you are facing a large clock face. Keeping your stick ends in the center of the clock swing the diabolo to your right so it reaches about 4 o'clock. This is your back swing.

2) As the diabolo begins to swing back left, give it some energy so it swings all the way up and around in a circle. Keep your stick ends side-by-side in the center of the clock all the way around. The normal position of the diabolo is at 6 o'clock, after a full circle or (Sun) it returns to 6 o'clock.

3) Notice that the string has a half knot in it. Also notice that right hand pulls still will add speed to the diabolo. In fact the diabolo will stay straighter than if it were on an open string. Many diabolist use the CW Sun position to add speed, because the half knot usually doesn't bind and it keeps the diabolo more stable through rigorous speed pulls. The Vertical Whip and the Chinese Whip are sometimes performed from this position.

4) The easiest way to get out of the half knot is to reverse the Clockwise Sun with a Counterclockwise Sun which is just swinging the diabolo in the opposite circle direction. There are other ways of getting out of the CW Sun like the Jump The Fence or the Side Hop.


Forced Sun
see Flash Movie Controls

Source:  Ms Mary Taylor, Oxford, England

1) Get good speed, and start with sticks neutral.

2) Keep the left stick facing forward and bring the right stick alongside
the left, parallel.

3) Imagine a clockface laying flat on the handstick. The stick ends (where
the string is tied to) are the center of the clock. Currently the clock
hands (the sticks) are both on 6 o'clock. Turn the right stick to 2 o'clock.

4) Now raise the right stick about 1 inch higher than the left and pull the
right stick quickly over the left stick to the left. This will create a
little loop over the left stick and force (at speed) the diabolo over the
left stick.

5) Just after the diabolo rises lift upward with the left stick. The diabolo should respond by quickly 'sunning' from between your arms and swinging left and below your sticks in a circle movement. Return your right stick to 6 o'clock and your sticks are again neutral. Note the diabolo is on open string, ready for your next trick.


Half Sun
(Over The Shoulder Sun)
(This may be the easiest first trick to learn)
see Flash Movie Controls

1) Toss the diabolo up so it will fall off to your right side.

2) After the toss quickly change your right stick to point behind you as you extend your right arm to the right. (Point upward with the right stick then back.) Make the string tight for the catch by bringing the left stick up to your chest, pointing right and pulling back left. The string should be nearly horizontal, possibly nearly under you chin, and your right elbow slightly bent.

3) Catch the falling diabolo on the string above your right elbow. Hold the spinning diabolo for a bit.

4) Swing the diabolo in a counterclockwise Sun to your left side. Use both sticks together to swing the diabolo up and over.
(For example: If the diabolo starts off to your right at 3 o'clock, at 12 o'clock both your sticks should be pointing at the diabolo. Keep your sticks together as the diabolo circles over to the left side about 9 o'clock.)

5) As the diabolo returns below your sticks (6 o'clock), open the sticks to the normal position. Note that the sting is not crossed and is ready for the next trick.

This is the beginning half of the Minetti Whip trick.

Jump The Fence
see Flash Movie Controls

source: Within

1) Do a Clockwise Sun.

2) Keep your sticks pointed straight in front of you, but raise your left and lower your right so your right is about half way between the left stick and the diabolo.

3) Using you right stick, draw a counterclockwise circle around the diabolo. Your stick should start above the diabolo and end up in about the same place. Notice that you now have a full wrap around the axle. Hurry to step 4 before the string binds on the axle.

4) Hold your left stick still; because it is the fence about to be jumped. Now pull with the right stick, straight up and to the left a bit. The correct pull allows the diabolo to shoot up and to the left, over your left stick, and around and back to a normal position. Note that the string is now open on the axle.


The Side Sun
(one then two clockwise Side Suns after facing left)
(Around-The-World or Open Sun Between The Arms)
see Flash Movie Controls

instructions: Jakob Schazmann (Galway, Ireland)

1: Start with the diabolo spinning at a medium speed and in the normal position.

2: Turn 90 degrees to the left.

3: Hold your sticks so that the ends of them point together. (Right stick pointing to the left. Left stick pointing to the right).

4: Swing the diabolo so it travels in a complete circle around the ends of your sticks. The common direction is swinging the diabolo away from you so it comes back at you from above, but the opposite direction works also.

5: Turn and face back to the front. (Your string should be back in the normal position).

Note: Since the diabolo ends on open string you can do more than one Side Sun at a time.

Some combination tricks that uses Side Suns are Five Suns, Diabogo-Round and Overhead Sun.

The Side Hop
see Flash Movie Controls

source: Within

1) Start with good spin in the normal position.

2) Now do a Clockwise Sun.

3) Lower the right stick, hanging the diabolo off to your right, and point your left stick rightward. Your Left hand and handstick should be about shoulder high and in front of your right shoulder. Now point your right handstick rightward also and hold it under the left handstick so both sticks are level with the ground/floor pointing rightward, one above the other.

4) Move your right hand and handstick clockwise around the 'left' string (this is the string from the left stick hanging down to the diabolo.) NOTE: you move your right hand and handstick from next to your right leg toward the audience and then rightward. This movement should 'untwist' the twisted string above the diabolo's axle. The right stick ends up almost pointing backwards so the string opens on the axle. ALSO NOTE: As you move the right handstick around diabolo be careful to no disturb or touch the cups or sides of the diabolo.

5) You are now in position for the Hop. Make the diabolo Hop by pulling on your left stick up and to the left. Your right stick should hold still at first then assist the toss by moving straight up with the rising diabolo. The tricky part is that the diabolo is rising from behind your wrist in a little triangular pocket. The movement of your right stick needs to keep that area open so the diabolo does not collide with your arm, stick, or the string around it.

6) The diabolo only needs to be tossed about head high. While the diabolo is in the air keep your right stick's end pointing down, but bring your right hand and handle back to your side of the tight angling string.

7) Now as the diabolo is falling, lower your left stick keeping the string tight. Your right stick can begin to point forward on the catch. Try to catch the diabolo with a horizontal string about waist high.


Leg Sun

source: Olle Nordesjö, Sweden

1) Hold the diabolo spinning with high speed.

2) Lift up your leg (you pick which leg) on the left side of the diabolo so it is about 12-15 inches (3-4 decimeters) higher than the diabolo.

3) Using both sticks swing the diabolo slowly right and then left, so the diabolo makes a clockwise sun around your leg. The diabolo should end up hanging off to the right of your leg. (Note: Your left stick may be touching the top of your raised leg and the right stick may be touching under that leg while the diabolo hangs swinging.)

4) To return pull the sticks to the right so the diabolo "suns" back (counterclockwise) to normal position.

5) Return your leg back to normal.

X - Sun
(pronounced X-un)
Similar to The Fisherman

source: Jack, USA

1) Get it spinning moderate to high speed.

2. Holding the sticks horizontal, put the left and right sticks facing each other in front of you, right closer to you.

3. Keeping your sticks horizontal. Hook the right over the left, and back towards you. As you pull back with the right stick just under the left stick, you'll pull the two strings hanging down from your left stick.

4. Repeat as many times as you want. As you learn this trick, you may want to do step 3 just once. Later (and depending on how long your string is) you'll see that you can repeat the 'wrap' of the string around the sticks.

5. In a 'opening scissor' motion, pull both sticks into an horizontal 'X.' Note that you should have a wrap of string (like a knot) in the center of the 'X.' The diabolo is hanging below the 'X.'

6.  Do a Clockwise Sun, so the diabolo comes up and goes around the 'X' with the string wraping around the knot in the center.

7. Now do a Counterclockwise Sun, just opposite of step 6. As the Counterclockwise Sun is almost finished (at 9 o'clock) begin to pull the X shaped sticks rightward and out of the 'X.' Note: This requires a 'closing scissor' motion allowing the knot to be freed.

8) Finish by returning sticks to normal positions as diabolo swings underneath them. Note that the diabolo should return to normal on 'open' string.

Climb The String
(with a Clockwise Sun intro)
see Flash Movie Controls

1) Get the diabolo spinning as fast as you can and do a CW Sun.

( Note: A nice way to get lots of spin and do a Clockwise Sun is the CW Sun Power Thrust.)

2) Point the left stick right and hang the diabolo off to your right.

3) Bending at the knees, Lift the left stick up as you lower the right stick. The right stick's end should be pointed at the diabolo axle. The string should now be vertical.

4) Hold the left stick high and still. Pull down with the right stick to tighten the string so the wrap on the axle causes the diabolo to 'climb.'

5) Keep the tension even so the diabolo climbs to the left stick. Too much tension will slow the diabolo and waste its spin.

6) After reaching the left stick the diabolo will come down the other side of the string if you circle under the diabolo with the left stick's end. This movement must be done quickly as a CC circle all the way around to above the diabolo.

7) Actually the diabolo now falls down the vertical string toward the right stick. The right stick needs to be moved right slightly to catch the diabolo. After catching, even the sticks out to the normal position, and the diabolo should be on open string.

see also more tricks like this on the Climb The String page.

Osiris' Sun

source: Kay Mennens, The Netherlands

1) Begin a Counterclockwise Sun, and begin to turn your body to the left.

2) While doing the sun try to make a 360 degree turn with your body and the diabolo. As the diabolo is at its highest point you should be facing backwards.

3) Continue turning as the diabolo finishes its Sun.

4) If you do it right, the Sun will just be finished when your turn is finished. You should have the diabolo back to the normal position (open string) and you are again facing front as you started. Repeat again if you have enough spin.


e-mail Jim

More Suns