Diabolo Tricks

written for righties

All animations are of the performer's view.

Flash Movie Controls allow viewing larger animations with stop/step controls

Rolling Start after Whip Catch Oops!After missing the Whip Trick (wc & oops!), and then getting the

diabolo back on the string, the animation

performs the Rolling Start (su & rs).

Rolling Sun Start
(Here's a simple, but somewhat fancy start.)
see Flash Movie Controls

source: Within

1) This is a variation of the old rolling start where you set the diabolo to your right with the string under it so you can roll it in front of you to your left. Start with diabolo off to your right, ready to be rolled, each hand has a stick, and the string is under the axle.

See Animation label su = setup for Rolling Start. 

2) Now you need to do a little bit of setup. Lower your sticks a bit so the two strings to the axle are on the floor. The string needs to be laying left of the nearest cup. When the string is in place, pull with the handsticks to roll the diabolo left so it's near cup rolls completely over both strings.

See Animation label su = setup for Rolling Start.

3) Now remember, you are still in the setup. After the cup has cleared the strings, stop it, lift up on the strings so they no longer lay on the floor, and gently pull right with the handsticks so the diabolo rolls back to it's starting position off to the right.

See Animation label su = setup for Rolling Start.

4) Now finally you are about to do the trick. Start to roll the diabolo as if you're doing a rolling start. You'll need to add more energy for the diabolo is to Sun around clockwise (CW) after it is lifted off the floor.

See Animation label rs = the Rolling Start.

5) As the diabolo rolls left in front of you, keep your stick ends parallel and close together so you can direct the diabolo around in a 360 degree circle Sun. The stick ends will be in the center of that circle.

See Animation label rs = the Rolling Start.

6) After the diabolo's Sun, move your stick ends up a bit so the diabolo ends up above the floor and in the normal position. Note that the string is open on the axle and ready for your first trick.

See Animation label rs = the Rolling Start

Touch for animation selection:
Click for text clarification.
Quick Start
(a fast start from the floor, also good practice for the the Two Diabolo Quick Launch)
see Flash Movie Controls
source: Within


1) Start with the diabolo on the string, open, and on the floor.

2) With the Right stick lay the right string on the floor just left of the diabolo's near cup.

3) Roll the diabolo to your right so it rolls over the string. Now the axle should have a wrap around it.

4) With the diabolo still on the floor between the sticks, pull out to right with the right stick. This should pull the diabolo off the floor angling up to the right.

5) As the diabolo moves the the right, circle under the diabolo with the right stick's end. This movement unwraps the axle and adds spin to the diabolo.

6) After the right stick circles the diabolo, the stick should return to the normal position. The diabolo is on open string and should be spinning.
Toss Start
(a nice fast start)

1) I think an important way to learn to start is to put both sticks in left hand with the right stick ready to hand over to the right hand.

2) Diabolo is in the right hand 'wrist cocked' clockwise ready to release with counterclockwise spin. Two other methods of holding diabolo are center finger on axle or holding wall edge of cup with thumb and fingers.

3) Toss diabolo up (with back spin) at least head high on right side. Diabolo spins counter clockwise from the wrist movement on release.

4) Your right hand is now free, put you hands together and come apart with a stick in each hand, quickly snapping the string tight {important, very important string must be tight}

5) Try to catch diabolo low or waist high, after string tight, concentrate on looking at the axle and having the string directly under it. Remember your toss should allow you to catch near the right stick. {String needs to slack on catch.} Good practice is without diabolo, just grabbing the right stick and opening arms to tighten string. Also without sticks just tossing diabolo up so it has a good counter clockwise smooth spin.

NOTE: This is a good practice for starting two diabolos. Make your toss out to the right side each time. If you start your one diaboloing this way each time, the two diabolo throw in will be much easier to master.

Stop And Go
(nice way to end a combo or trick and then start again)

source: Jakob Schazmann (Galway, Ireland)

1: Start off with the diabolo spinning quite slow and the string not tangled in any way.

2: Throw the diabolo up a bit over your head.

3: While the diabolo is in the air, pass your right stick to your left hand.

4: With your right hand catch the diabolo.

NOTE: Hold the diabolo where it is easiest for you to toss it with back spin. One grip is to hold the diabolo from above with your middle finger wraping the axle. Another grip is from the near side, where the the thumb is holding the near cup at 12 o'clock and the fingers are at 4, 5, 6, and 7 o'clock.

5: Hold onto it for a while and then throw it up spinning a bit over your head in a Toss Start.

6: While the diabolo is in the air, Take your right stick from your left hand.

7: Catch the diabolo.


Animation by Nicolas of Paris, France

see Flash Movie Controls

Three Diabolo Rocket Start
(Based on the Two Diabolo Rocket Start)

inventor: Lars Hermelbracht Germany/France/Michigan USA
source: Dave Barnes & Terry Kipling

The Setup: The BLUE diabolo is put on the string, both sticks laid out to the right. Then, GREEN and RED are placed on top of both strings to the right of the BLUE (all touching). Then, the BLUE is lifted over the other two, and placed to the right of the RED. Then, the RED diabolo (now the middle one) is lifted slightly and the BLUE and the GREEN move in slightly so the RED is held off the ground an inch or so by them.

The Pull: Pull the sticks to the right like in a standard rocket start. More pull is of course required to launch the extra diabolo. The BLUE stays on the string spinning, and the GREEN and RED diabolo are thrown into the air to different heights.

The Hard Part: From here go to Three-In-The-Air or Three-On-The-String.


(Rotating the diabolo horizontally before you start.)

Source: Liam Cox, Burnham on sea

1) From a 'dead' start (no spin setting on the floor with the string under the axle), Pull upward with your right stick forward and your left stick backward slightly. NOTE: You need to do a sharp flick so the diabolo doesn't get caught up in the strings as it is tossed.

2) The diabolo should rise up in a slight toss and rotate horizontally (like a helicopter). Make sure not to toss it too high or it will be harder to catch. The toss can be just a bit over your head.

3) As the diabolo falls, carefully watch it so you can catch it at the right time so it lands normally on the string.

4) After the catch, pull up with your right to start it the diabolo spinning on the string.

5) Continue to pull with the right to add more spin so you are ready for another trick.

NOTE: A good toss is a 360 degree rotation, a great toss is a 720 or better degree rotation.

Variation: Toss the diabolo straight up with no spin, but then pull the left stick back when the diabolo is in the air, this will also flick the diabolo horizontally. You may find you can do this while the diabolo is still on the string.

Whip Catch Start

source: Jay Whythe, Alness, Scotland

1) Start with the toss of a Toss Start off to your right side with your left hand tossing the diabolo. Both sticks are in your right hand.

2) While the diabolo is in the air, get your sticks ready for a Right-hand Whip Catch. This is just making sure that both sticks in your right are in a 'V'.

3) Whip Catch the falling diabolo and begin with power pulls for a great beginning.

Behind the Back Whip Catch Start

source: Stuart Murray, Alness, Scotland

1) With your left hand do a Toss Start straight up a bit over your head. Both sticks are in your right hand.

2) When the diabolo is high enough step one step forward.

3) When the diabolo has fallen to about waist high do a Behind Back Whip Catch.

3) After the Whip Catch, begin with power pulls for a great beginning.


Fritz Start
(Nice, smooth, clever start)
see Flash Movie Controls

source: Andrew Hibberd, Blackpool, England

1) Start with the diabolo on the string as normal

2) With the diabolo setting on the floor, lay the string on the axle with the right stick, then bring the string down to the floor right of the diabolo, and the make the diabolo roll rightward over the string. This leaves the diabolo on crossed string on the floor.

NOTE: Steps 1 and 2 can also be done if you lLeave the diabolo on the floor so that it doesn't rotate. Put the right hand stick over the left hand stick and into your left hand. Take the stick
that was in your left hand and put it in your right hand. The string should
be crossed as it would be if you did a right backside catch and uncrossed
your arms.

3) Lower your left hand and raise your right hand, still leaving the diabolo on the floor, in front of you, and slightly off to your right. Now lift up the diabolo by slowly pulling straight up above the diabolo with your left handstick.

4) As the diabolo rises notice that it is begins to spin. When the diabolo is high enough, use your right stick to do one trapeze wrap around the right stick.

5) Now release the diabolo right of both the sticks in a toss, as with the Single Fritz Release.

6) Catch diabolo , it should be spinning for you and ready for your next trick.

NOTE: The Fritz Release can also be the ending for this trick, if two right trapeze wraps are done in step 4 and the diabolo is released between both sticks in step 5.

See Also 2 Diabolo Starts

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