Diabolo

Imagine a yo-yo that can fly! That's the fun you can have with a diabolo. This ancient toy originated in China. Recommended for ages eight and up.

 

The Diabolo Book

 

Over sixty tricks, fully illustrated, and a great history chapter; folks seem to like it. 85 pages, $14.95

 

Todd Strong's "The Diabolo Book" should serve as a model for everyone interested in writing a juggling book...Strong's writing style is clear and to the point...

 

However, the thing that really sets this instruction book apart from others is Strong's extensive essay on the history of the diabolo. Juggler's World

 

Click here for full reviews

 

Currently out of stock of The Diabolo Book. Will update this page if new copies come in.

 

These durable diabolos consist of two rubber cups attached to a metal axle. Diabolos measure fourteen centimeters across with a diameter of eleven centimeters (aprrox. 5 1/2" X 4 3/8" ). Flexible plastic handsticks bend instead of breaking.

 

Diabolo set, $15.00

 

Please note: Only have few of the purple sets left in stock. When these are gone, I will no longer be sellling diabolos.

 
Ship to: Shipping charge
U.S.A.
Color

Total: $19.45

Airmail

two to three business days

$4.45

Canada

Color

Total: $21.25

Airmail

four to seven business days

$6.25

Europe Shipping this item to Europe is pretty expensive. You'd be better off finding a diabolo locally.
The Rest of the World

Oceania, Asia, Africa, South America

Shipping this item is pretty expensive. You'd be better off finding a diabolo locally.

Special Diabolo Deal: Order a diabolo set with The Diabolo Book and get a package price, $22 for both.

 

Currently out of stock of The Diabolo Book. Will update this page if new copies come in.

 

The Diabolo Book
Table of Contents

Page #

Acknowledgments

vii

Introduction

1

Chapter 1: Getting Started

5

Diabolo Terms

6

Two Methods to Start Spinning the Diabolo

7

Starting the Diabolo in the Air

7

Starting the Diabolo From the Ground

8

The Recovery Stroke

9

The Power Stroke

10

Variations on Loops of String Around the Axle

11

Smooth It Out

12

Correcting Tilts and Twists

12

The Tilting Diabolo

12

The Twisting Diabolo

14

The Diabolo Out of Balance

15

Chapter 2: Teaching Your Diabolo Some Tricks

17

Introduction to the Addvanced Moves

18

Throws and Catches

19

Jump Rope

20

Behind the Back Catch

20

Catch on the Handstick

21

Catch on the Crossed Handstick

21

Bounces

22

Continuous Throws

22

Roll Alongs

23

Snap Backs

23

String Around the Neck

23

Cat's Cradle

24

Cat's Cradle Variation#1

25

Double Cat's Cradle

26

Pirouettes

26

Around the Back

27

Around the Head

27

The Whip

28

Climbs

30

High Climbs

31

Cat's Cradle Climb

32

String Tricks

34

Spaghetti

34

Spaghetti Up

34

Winding the String

35

Around the World

36

Half-way Around the World

37

Around the World the Scary Way

38

Around the Diabolo

38

Hop Overs

39

Hop Over Thigh

40

Hop Over Waist

40

Hop Over Both Hips

41

Hop Over the Handstick

41

Hop Over the Arm

42

One Handed

43

Around the World Crossovers

44

Two Fisted Diabolos

44

Other Tricks

45

Rock the Baby

45

Butterflies

45

Loop Arounds

46

Dynamic Pirouettes

48

One-Wheeled Diabolos

50

Spinning Two Diabolos At Once

52

Correcting Tilts with Two Diabolos

55

Variations with Two Diabolos

55

Chapter 3: Diabolo Play With a Partner

59

Passing One Diabolo

60

Passing Two Diabolos

62

Steals

63

Pass Alongs

64

Diabolo Tennis

65

Chapter 4: History of the Diabolo

67

Afterword

81

Review originally appeared in the Spring 1995 issue of Juggler's World magazine. Reprinted with permission of the publisher.

 

Todd Strong's "The Diabolo Book" should serve as a model for everyone interested in writing a juggling book. The author combines a large helping of instructional material with a rich portion of prop history, and leavens the mix with just a tiny bit of psychology and philosophy.

 

It's overwhelmingly just the facts - the facts of how to learn diabolo manipulation from ground zero to complex tricks, and the fascinating facts of its fairly well documented history.

 

Strong's writing style is clear and to the point, splashed with enough appropriate humor and author's personal comments to give the book personality. Good writing rises or falls on the artwork that supports it, and this books stands tall because of its attractive line drawings, photos of contemporary artists doing diabolo, reproductions of turn-of-the-century diabolo post cards and four-color soft cover. The clean layout and ample illustrations make it fun to keep turning through its 90 pages.

 

The heart of the book, as the author states, is the "tricks" section. He presents about 45 tricks in the order that most people learn them, beginning with throws and catches and advancing all the way to two diabolos. Dozens of simple, realistic pen and ink drawings of the author performing the trick, or closeups of the stick and string arrangement, clarify the associated text.

 

A subsequent short section describes passing, steals and pass-alongs with a partner.

 

However, the thing that really sets this instruction book apart from others is Strong's extensive essay on the history of the diabolo. The author takes appropriate credit for helping popularize the diabolo with this generation of jugglers, but from the beginning of his involvement with the diabolo in 1980 it has been for him a scholarly pursuit as well as a physical one. The book originally began as Strong's master's thesis, and he lists more than a dozen libraries at which he conducted research during the course of its writing. His teaching credits include appointments at Die Etage school in Berlin and at the Centre National des Arts du Cirque in France. The weight of this academic research and Strong's years of experience as a teacher give the book an authority not found in most juggling books.

 

Though no skill or prop can be traced to an absolute beginning, Strong makes a good case for the origin of the diabolo in ancient China. His research uncovered interesting stories of its appearance in Europe in about 1790, brought back from the Orient by statesmen and traders. He digresses at that point into a discussion of the "diabolo" that should establish once and for all how the name came to be.

 

The history of the prop continues through its use as a rich person's toy in the early 1800s, then as a national passion in France in the early 1900s, complete with local clubs, tournaments and a team lawn game similar to tennis.

 

The diabolo's third Western renaissance has been spurred in the past decade by jugglers adding it to the inventory of their manipulative skills. The appearance of Strong's comprehensive and attractive book puts the art on a high pedestal this time around!

The following review originally appeared in the Winter 1994 issue of Kaskade, the European Juggling Magazine. Reprinted with permission of the author, Wolfgang Schebeczek, and the publisher.

 

The Diabolo Book

 

The Ultimate Step-by-step Guide to Mastering the Diabolo. Todd Strong, Brian Dubé, Inc., New York 1994, 85 pages, $14.95 ISBN 0-917643-10-0

 

It's taken two years for the English edition of Todd Strong's Diabolo - Spielend lernen to appear. But here it is at last, and despite the not entirely original title (see Jack Wiley's book on the same subject), it has been worth waiting for: the original book has been reworked and expanded. On the tricks and techniques, you can read all you need to know in the review of the German version (Kaskade No. 26, p. 35), because little has changed since then, content-wise. But a number of anomalies have been cleared up in the historical section. In particular, the references to other literature, which caused me problems in the past, have been licked into shape and are now useable. The most mentionable aspect of the English edition, though, are the new visuals. The historical photos documenting the diabolo boom around the turn of the century are especially interesting. Many of the pictures are taken from Todd Strong's private collection of vintage postcards.

 

The world of diabolo has moved on since the German edition first appeared. But to my mind, Todd Strong's book is still the best introduction for newcomers. Only Ralf Runde's Das grosse Diabolobuch comes close to it. And nothing compares with Todd Strong's survey of diabolo history. Which is one of the reasons why I predict that this book is destined to become a classic. If you're undecided about whether to choose the English or the German version, I suggest you get The Diabolo Book.

 

(the same review in German, auf Deutsch)

 

The Diabolo Book

 

Mehr als zwei Jahre hat die englische Ausgabe von Todd Strongs Diabolo - Spielend lernen auf sich warten lassen. Nun liegt sie unter dem nicht ganz originellen Titel (Jack Wileys Diabolobuch heißt auch so) The Diabolo Book vor. Das Warten hat sich aber gelohnt, da das Buch überarbeitet und ergänzt wurde. Zum Trick- und Technikteil findest du Wissenswertes in der Besprechung der deutschen Version (Kaskade Nr. 26, S 35), hier hat sich inhaltlich nicht viel verändert. Im historischen Teil sind einige Ungereimtheiten beseitigt worden. Insbesondere sind die Literaturhinweise, die mir manche Rätsel aufgegeben haben, nun brauchbar. Vor allem aber muß das neue Bildmaterial erwähnt werden. Besonders interessant: die historischen Fotos vom Diaboloboom um die Jahrhundertwende; vieles davon stammt aus Todd Strongs privater Sammlung antiker Postkarten.

 

Seit Erscheinen der deutschen Ausgabe hat sich einiges am Diabolobuchsektor getan. Aber meiner Meinung nach vermittelt Todd Strongs Buch Neulingen immer noch den besten Einstieg, höchstens Ralf Rundes Das große Diabolobuch kann sich da noch messen. Die kritische Aufarbeitung der Geschichte des Diabolospiels ist überhaupt einzigartig. Nicht zuletzt deswegen würde ich dem Buch prophezeien, ein Klassiker zu werden. Wer vor der Entscheidung steht, deutsche oder englische Ausgabe, soll sich besser gleich The Diabolo Book besorgen.

 

Wolfgang Schebeczek, Vienna, Austria

This short clip is an extract from Abel Gance's 1927 film, Napoléon. This scene shows Josephine's two children, Eugène and Hortense, waiting to meet Napoléon for the first time. Eugène is seen spinning a diabolo. The film appears to be historically accurate, as diabolos were a popular pastime during the time depicted in the movie.

Photo taken by David Aiken, The Checkerboard Guy, in of a street scene in Nanjing, China.

 

Above is a GIF animation of what may be the first recorded variation with two diabolos.

 

In 1986 or '87 Michael Genahr mailed me a series of photographs showing him demonstrating a reverse in the normal shower of two diabolos. He hand numbered the photos, drew in some arrows to show directions, and wrote a brief description of what he was doing on some of the images.

 

The descritptions are:

 

Image 5: the yellow goes under the blue almost by itself. The blue "jumps"

 

Image 6: to the left string and the "turning direction" (?)

 

Image 7: changes! This is the very moment were both D's stand still.

 

Image 8: to throw the blue without hitting the yellow is somewhat difficult

 

       
 

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The next batch of orders will go out on Monday, December 11, 2017.

  This web site was last updated on December 4, 2017