Beginners : 8 and Under
For the 8 and unders, you can't possibly go wrong with the SpinStar by YoYoFactory. There is also a Light Up version too in the SpinStar LED for just a few £'s more.
What makes the the SpinStar so great for younger players?
Although the SpinStar can be used by someone of any age to learn how to yo-yo, it's specifically ideal for younger players due to it's transaxle system. The plastic bearing that the string attaches to makes it so the yo-yo will still spin when thrown, but has an increased amount of friction making the basic Gravity Pull and Throw Down tricks much easier to learn.
It also features a Winged shape (rather than the traditional, more narrow shape) this makes performing tricks like the Elevator much easier, as the gap is much wider for the string to land on. It also helps improve spin speed and balance.
The SpinStar is also very easy to wind - due to it's high response, you can gently wind the string around and it will wrap up tight. Rather than having to stick your finger over the gap to get it to wind without slipping like on some other yo-yos.
What Other Options Are There?
Although the SpinStar is our favourite for young, new players - there's lots of other options available too! So we wanted to highlight some of our favourite 'honorable mentions below:
BUTTERFLY XT - by Duncan
The Butterfly XT is an updated version of the Original (and still produced) Duncan Butterfly. However the XT features a take-apart design (which the original Butterfly did not) and also has a ball-bearing for extra long spin times!
What makes this great for younger players as well is that not only does it minimise small parts (there is just a ball bearing, no pesky spacers, etc) but also it's quite light. Making it much easier for smaller hands to throw.
The Brain - by Yomega
Featuring it's patented centrifugal clutch - aka 'The Brain', this is the yo-yo that helped fuel the WorldWide craze of the late 90's and is still a popular beginner choice today
The Brain mechanism (while engaged) will ensure the yo-yo can not spin at the end of the string, meaning new players can easily practise the basic up/down motion (aka 'Gravity Pull' or 'Dribble') without risk of the yo-yo spinning at the end of the string.
Once they are ready to progress into an over hand throw - putting power behind the throw will cause the Brain mechanism to disengage and allow the yo-yo to spin freely at the bottom of the string. As the yo-yo slows down, the brain will grab the axle causing it to stop, and return the yo-yo to the hand automatically. So it's a great option for people who are struggling with their co-ordination when first learning.