Diabolo Tricks
written for righties
Flash Movie Controls allow viewing larger animations with stop/step controls

Several Over-The-Arm Tricks
All animations are of the performer's view.
  Click to go see this trick in a combo animation.
Open Orbits (oo) & Overarm Orbits (oa)
see Flash Movie Controls

oo = Open Orbits are clockwise circles where the bottom half of the diabolo's path is on the string; while the top half is an arched left to right toss. After the diabolo moves across the string from right to left, toss the diabolo toward the right with a bit of an arch.

oa = Overarm Orbits are clockwise circles where an arm is circled.  To circle the right arm, you need to 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.  The left handstick guides the toss over the arm and back to the right.
All animations are of the performer's view.
  Click to go see this trick in a combo animation.
Overarm String Bounces
see Flash Movie Controls

sb = String Bounces can be done after a Scoop Catch.  Note that the Scoop Catch position has two strings horizontal and next to each other, the diabolo sets on the right string (the string off the right stick). The left string is the string off the left stick.  Start with a small toss from the Right string, hold string tight while diabolo is in the air, then allow the diabolo to land on either the Left or Right string and bounce straight up.
All animations are of the performer's view.
  Click to go see this trick in a combo animation.
Scoop Catch, Scoop Sun, and the Cross-Arm Toss
see Flash Movie Controls

sc = Scoop Catch is the action of tossing upward with the left toss, swinging the right arm and handstick counter clockwise, and then 'scooping' up to catch the diabolo.  'Scooping' is done by rotating the right stick and arm at the right elbow to the left (CC), so the string off the right handstick is below the falling diabolo.  The end of the right handstick moves from 3 o'clock to 9 o'clock for the catch and the string for the catch is horizontal.

ss = Scoop Sun is a sun created when the right stick is swung clockwise and the diabolo follows it on the string.  The swing needs to be forceful enough to create a nice clockwise circle to return the diabolo to the a position below the handsticks. The diabolo moves from 9 o'clock clockwise to 6 o'clock, not to fast, not to slow. 

ct = Cross-arm Toss is a way to get out of the backside created by the Scoop Sun and other Backside movements. Holding your right handstick higher than your left; move your right stick to the left and your left stick to the right. The left stick needs to move under and closer to you as you cross your arms. This action should toss the diabolo upward. As the diabolo begins to fall, uncross your arms and bring you sticks apart to tighten the string for the catch.
All animations are of the performer's view.
  Click to go see this trick in a combo animation.

Overarm Trapeze
see Flash Movie Controls

ot = Overarm Trapeze is a left trapeze performed as the overarm orbit reaches 9 o'clock. To get out of the trapeze, swing the diabolo counter clockwise.  Make sure not to swing too strongly, for diabolo needs to stop on the string so it can then be tossed back to the right, to begin overarm orbits again.
All animations are of the performer's view.
  Click to go see this trick in a combo animation.
Overarm Rubberarm
see Flash Movie Controls

source: Jason Frost (USA)

or = Overarm Rubberarm is where you allow the diabolo to be missed on the right, but then caught at the last moment with a behind the back type catch.  Toss the diabolo from the left as you might normally during Over-Ther-Arm Orbits. Bring your right stick down a bit so as to not make a normal overarm catch. As soon as the diabolo is out of the way, swing the right arm and handstick counter clockwise. Here your right stick's end makes almost a complete circle, starting at 3 o'clock and ending at 4 o'clock.  If the righthand stick is point ing down and to the right, the right string should be near where the falling diabolo is. Note that the string should be completely wrapped around your arm.  After the catch reverse the right arm's move to clockwise, this brings diabolo into a Scoop Sun all the way around.  The diabolo was caught rubberarm stle at 4 o'clock and the scoop sun swings it all the way around and to 6 o'clock to go back to overarms.
All animations are of the performer's view.
  Click to go see this trick in a combo animation.

og = Overarm Grind is an action of actually catching the diabolo on the right handstick and allowing it to spin on the stick for a grind.  During Over-The-Arm Orbits, toss the diabolo from the left a bit softer, bring the right arm and handstick to the left so the right handstick is inline with the oncoming diabolo's axle.  Upon impact the right handstick needs to be at a 45 deg angle so the diabolo can gently land and spin without getting away.  The stick needs to slope up to the right, for the spinning diabolo will try to  climb up and right. Beginners might practice just taping or pushing the diabolo back to the left before allowing it to grind.  Care must be given to holding the stick so it only touches the axle area, if the stick sits at a different angle from the diabolo the diabolo will turn as it strikes the stick.  After the grind, push the diabolo to the left so it lands back near the left handstick, as it lands, tighten the string so the diabolo is tossed back to the right where you can continue Overarm Orbits.

All animations are of the performer's view.
  Click to go see this trick in a combo animation.
Arm-Orbit-Grind (AOG)
see Flash Movie Controls

source: Brett Walach (USA)

1) Start with one diabolo doing Overarm Orbits.

2) Pop the diabolo slightly higher so you can do an overhead stick grind with the handstick pointing outward and the diabolo climbing the stick towards your hand.

3) Then pop it up and catch it on the outside of your right arm. You may need to move your right stick to the right a bit so the string is there for the catch.

4) The catch should return the diabolo to Over-The-Arm Orbits.

NOTE: The overhead stick grind is really not overhead. It's more in front of your face, so the handstick points to your right, perpendicular to where you are facing. The stick grind isn't much higher than the highest point in the orbit around your arm. Try to make a smooth transition from orbiting your arm to the stick grind and back to orbiting. Hold the grind for a second or two, for best results.


El Fonce
see Flash Movie Controls

1) Start by doing Overarm Orbits.

2) As the diabolo reaches the left stick, allow it to shoot straight up rather than over to the right.

3) As the diabolo comes back down, lift your left stick and swing down over the top of the diabolo. This is like a release and recapture.

4) After capturing the diabolo swing the diabolo down and to the right. As the diabolo swings to the right it is beginning a Counterlockwise Sun around your right arm.

5) As the diabolo swings upward on your right, your left stick should tuck behind your right arm and point upward.

6) As the diabolo continues in the Sun, move your right stick ahead of the diabolo until your right arm moves all the way to the left. Your right arm is horizontal with the handstick still pointing backward.

7) The diabolos will stop just below your right stick. Pause here for persentation.

8) To get out, toss the diabolo upward by pulling the left stick to the right and lifting upward with the right stick.

9) While the diabolo is in the air, quickly move your right handstick back to the right and your left handstick back to the left.

10) While moving your right stick right point it back to the front, tighten string, and get ready for the catch.

11) Catch diabolo.


Overarm Puppet Master

(Doing Overarm Orbits with both sticks in one hand.)
see Flash Movie Controls

source: Pablo, from Huaja Malabares, Guadalajara, Spain

1) Start by doing Overarm Orbits.

2) After the diabolo hops over your Right arm, pass your left stick to your right hand.

3) Now you have both sticks in the same hand. Move your right hand and sticks with the diabolo as it goes under your arm and then pull back as it moves left so it jumps back over the arm.

4) Keep the Overarms going as long as your dare with one hand. To return to two hands, wait until the diabolo jumps your arm and then pass the left stick back to your left hand to continue Overarm Orbits with both hands.

TIP: It may be better for the right hand and stick to reach toward the tossed diabolo from the left. If the right stick is closer to the diabolo, there is a better chance for the diabolo to land on the right stick's string. So the right stick needs to come forward and meet the left stick as it is handed off.

See Also Around The Foot Puppet Master


Bicep Hops

(Doing trampolines over both arms.)

source: "Beanster" Richard Cunliffe - Cambridgeshire, UK

1) From open string, turn both sticks outward 180 degrees so that you end up with the string end of the sticks pointing at your shoulders and the diabolo between your elbows. The string is below your elbows.

2) Next pull the string taught between your elbows by lifting the end of the sticks. This jumps the diabolo up between your elbows. Keeping the string taught you should end up with a string from each upper arm to the end of the stick.

3) Now the diabolo is coming back down. By simply turning your upper body you can use the tight strings as trampolines. You can also bounce it from one side to the other.

4)To finish just bounce it back to the string across your chest.

The whole thing takes a bit getting used to since the diabolo is so close to you, but it is possible.




oo = Open Orbits, oa = Overarm Orbits, sb = String Bounce, sc = Scoop Catch, ss = Scoop Sun to the Left Backside, cgCoffee Grinder, ccCat's Cradle, ct = Cross-arm Toss, ot = Overarm  Trapeze,  og = Overarm Grind, and or = Overarm Rubberarm.

also check out . . .

Orbits, Over-The-Arm Extras, Around-The-Foot Orbits, and Under-The-Leg Orbits

e-mail Jim