Meet Gentry Stein, the 18-year-old Californian superstar of the yo-yoing world. He hopes to be the Tiger Woods of yo-yoing, creating a young, ahem, spin on the sport that he thinks can attract new fans and new respect. His championship routine has gone viral this week., its combination of electronic music and X-Games showmanship winning over the Internet.
But is it about more than that? Is it about watching America succeed, if only in an activity somewhere slightly above hacky sack and slightly below bowling? Take heart, fellow Americans.
I don’t think yo-yoing’s my thing, still, but it is pretty impressive. He’s almost so fluid you forget that thing has a string, but if you try to remember that and that he’s not getting it tangled—whoa. According to Stein, a lot of this is made possible by a relatively recent switch in the yo-yo industry from “fixed-axle” to ball bearings as the spinning mechanism. The ball bearing, according to Wikipedia (and common sense) allows for longer spins and more tricks.
Unclear whether he has groupies. MTV asked him, but he was sitting next to his girlfriend at the time.