Starting up

These instructions are for right-handed people. For left handers, just reverse left and right.

To start the diabolo roll it along the floor on the string from right to left. After it has rolled approximately half a metre pick it up off the ground. It should be slowly spinning, and probably unsteady. Now keep pulling your right hand upwards then slowly lowering it; this action will cause the diabolo to go faster in an anti-clockwise direction. The faster the diabolo spins the more stable it will become. As the diabolo spins it will probably start to tilt towards or away from you. Correcting this problem is very easy; if it is leaning towards you (i.e. the near cup is down) push your right hand stick forward. If it is leaning away (i.e. the near cup is up) pull the right hand stick closer to you. When you’ve mastered that, go onto the straight forward tricks.

Throw and Catch

Start the diabolo up and keep it spinning, pull your hand sticks apart, lifting them up slightly so that the diabolo leaves the string. Now for the catch, depending on how high you have thrown the diabolo, you have different ways of trying to catch it. If the diabolo only goes up a small distance (1–2 metres) you will need to act quickly. Pull the string tight and try to line up the string with the diabolo’s axle (the middle bit). If you throw the diabolo high, you have time to hold the string tight, look at the diabolo along the string while pointing at the diabolo. As the diabolo comes back down follow it with the stick and you should be able to catch it.


Once you have mastered the art of throwing and catching, why not try to bounce the diabolo off the string instead of catching it. Keep the string tight when it lands, and throw it up again. Just be aware that the diabolo can slow down while in the air, so you may need to stop doing this trick and speed up the diabolo.

High Throw

You can throw a diabolo very high, so it is always best to do this trick in an open area so the diabolo does not get caught. Also make sure that there is no-one too near you that may get hurt. If your throw is off by a few degrees the diabolo could land anywhere. While the diabolo is in the air you have a good few seconds to do some tricks (use the hand sticks and string as a skipping rope, etc.). The only limit is your own imagination and skilfulness.

Over the foot

This is the easiest of body moves where the diabolo jumps part of your body. Start by putting your foot on the string and toss the diabolo from one side of your foot to the other. This can look impressive if repeated so that it goes over your foot then you slacken the string to go under your foot, then over again.

Whip Catch

This is a very exciting trick. You start by throwing the diabolo whilst having both hand sticks in one hand. Now for the catching bit – the reason for having both hand sticks in the one hand is that it forms a loop that hangs down. As the diabolo comes down you catch the diabolo using a whipping motion. One side of the loop has to hit the axle (middle part) and the other part has to miss and go past one of the two bowls (the end bits of the diabolo).

Rope Climb

All you need to do is get your diabolo spinning fast and wrap the string around the axle with your dominant hand’s stick. Then hold the string vertically making sure the string is pulled tight. The Diabolo will then climb the rope.