What’s interesting about both companies is that none of the founders started out as yo-yo enthusiasts. Instead, both companies are led by expert machinists who know all about precision engineering and the nuances of spinning parts. That attention to detail and performance yields incredibly smooth running yo-yos that elevate modern yo-yoing from child’s play into a genuine art form. (You can see some of the incredible tricks the pros can do in our video.)
One Drop Design is led by David Metz and Shawn Nelson, who design and manufacture yo-yos in their own factory in Eugene, Ore. Dale Bell and Valerie Aaron are the father-daughter duo behind YoYoJam, which makes its yo-yos in Florida and Georgia. A friend challenged Dale to put his engineering expertise to work creating a yoyo that wouldn’t wobble, and the rest is history.
Both One Drop Design and YoYoJam work with professional yo-yoers, but you don’t have to be a pro to take one of their beginner or intermediate yo-yos for a spin. There’s a hint of nostalgia in the designs -- but just a hint. As soon as you start playing with high-tech yo-yos, it’s immediately clear these are not your grandfather’s yo-yos!