You're at the science museum.  You walk up to the newest exhibit, "Wavelength."  Apparently it's the most popular exhibit at the museum yet.  You look at the featured piece, and you see a canvas that is purple.  It is written underneath:


Any guesses as to what 320 means?  

If you said the frequency as which purple's electromagnetic radiation is at, that's correct.  

Your friend walks up to the same exhibit.  You two are now looking at the same canvas.  He also sees 320nm.  In this situation, the only constant is the purple canvas.  Although both of you are looking at the same color, is the perception of the color really the same?  Is his perception of 320nm the same shade of purple as yours?

Now let's look at something a bit more abstract.  The winter Olympics are underway, and Chloe Kim placed 1st in the Woman's Superpipe division.  If you watch her third superpipe run, you'll notice a huge display of skill.  Her first trick, a flared method grab, was tweaked in style.  She then does a 1080, followed by a switch 1080.  The rest of her run is irrelevant in this case.

To the untrained eye, this was a perfect run.  She was the first woman to land back to back 10's.  So why was her coach unhappy?  Why didnt' she get a 100?  Although it's not 100% clear, it appears that she was attempting to actually do the 10's with a melon grab.  If you don't know, melon grabs make frontside spins much easier to control.  However, she missed both of them.  Would you now say that this run was lesser than it was before?  The judges did.

However, because we are untrained, we don't realize this.  What we saw was a display of amplitude, precision, power, and style.  She placed 1st, with a 98.5.

In another practice, in 2001, Bucky Lasek pulled off one of the cleanest vert skating runs in history.  With everyone's eyes now on Bob Burnquist, he skates the near perfect run, with so many tricks that no one had seen him do before.  He won with a score of 98.  Looking forward, Bob is now doing Lean 720's over the big gap in the Big Air division, and placing 2nd to Elliot Sloan.

So what am I trying to say here?  All I talked about was colors and some boards on wheels or snow.  Let's look back at the common factor in all three scenarios.

In the colors, we talked about how two people's perception of the same thing, in the same untrained eye, could be different.  In snowboarding, we talked about how trained eyes can spot mistakes in an otherwise flawless display.  Finally, we talked about how someone with great skill can be overcome by others within time.

Watching other people yoyo could be mesmerizing.  The amount of intricate tricks that someone else has can be exhilarating to watch.  Watch someone you like a lot.  A recent favorite of mine has been Arata Imai.  Watching the strings fly around, and his jerky movement that is also apparent in his 2A, is there.  However, to his eyes, I'm sure, every single movement is extremely precise, and he understands everything that's going on.  

Watch your own tricks.  It may be really easy to you, but for someone else, it could seem really impressive and really hard to them.  It's the same trick, technically, but to each person's perception, it is different.  It is easier to you, because all the concepts in the trick you do is considered learned to you.  However, to another person, who doesn't understand those elements, it would be considered hard.

Now, lets apply this to yoyo preferences.  One of my favorite yoyos, the sOMEThING Jetset EG, was released in 2014.  Even now it is still being used in contests.  However, to some people, they prefer another yoyo.  Although the qualities of the yoyo are the same due to the physical characteristics, each person's perception of the yoyo is different.  Some people may find it good, and some people may find it bad.  Are all the opinions presented by people valid?


Many times, I see people recommend a yoyo for someone else, when they have no fundamental understanding of why that yoyo should be recommended.  Many people suggest something, and then give no reason, or a reason like, "I just started, and this yoyo is great for me.  I haven't tried anything else though."  But is it really great for you?  Or do you just not know that the yoyo isn't good for you yet?

Lets tie this back now.  Recommending a yoyo to someone when you don't understand why the yoyo is good, is like me doing commentary on skateboarding.  Sure, I like it, and I think its cool, and have a little bit of an understanding, but I am nowhere near qualified to be able to tell anyone anything.  I can say I like Almost decks more than Element or Darkstar, but what do I really know?  I just like Daewon.  

Tyler Hsieh