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Equipment Guide (v0.5)

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Recently a lot of people had been speaking to me on MSN and asking about equipment. I made a guide a while ago which I used to send people when they needed to find information on a particular product and a couple of weeks ago I realised that some of the information in the guide was out of date or needed updating so I decided to add to it. Seeing as I've sent this guide to about 15 people so far I thought some other people might find it of some use, so here it is in all it's glory.

The guide is now quite long so if you're looking for something in particular then I suggest using the thread search at the top of the page or hitting Ctrl+F on your browser.

I'll do my best to update it every so often aswell :)

*Please note that some of the pictures have come out a bit strange from when they were copied from the original .doc file, but they are still visible. You can tell what they are, so don't be picky! ;)

If you’re new to the world of diabolo your head is probably filled with questions about the equipment that diaboloers use. This guide will hopefully answer some of the questions you may have.


If you ask any serious diaboloist what kind of diabolo they recommend you would probably be advised to buy a 5 inch diabolo such as the Mr Babache Finesse, Henry’s Circus, Fly diabolo, Tiabolo Grand Continental or a Bandai/Yoho Diabig. These are the only five a serious diaboloer should really consider buying.

Mr Babache Finesse
The Mr Babache Finesse is a 5 inch diabolo that is very light for its size. It has cups that are shaped to be heavier around the edges to increase stability. This means that the diabolo remains very stable at low speeds. Because this diabolo is so light it doesn’t retain its spin as well as some of the other five inch diabolos however it does make long periods of continuous play easier.

This diabolo is considered by many to be one of the best diabolos for beginners to use because of its weight and the fact that it plays very well when being used for one diabolo tricks. This diabolo is also good for playing with multiple diabolos, although corrections can be made hard for beginners by the ‘grippyness’ of the cups.

Modifications can be made via ‘Evolution Kits’ that are available for this diabolo. These kits enable the diabolo to be given a wider axel, lights and weights. There have been promises of a ball bearing axel for this diabolo but it has yet to be released. Some people have used ball bearing axels from a spinabolo to achieve this modification.

Diabolo vital statistics: diameter: 133mm, width: 136mm, weight: 254g
Available Colours: Red, Yellow, Blue, Orange, Green, White, Pink and luminous.
This diabolo is available from most good juggling shops and many online juggling stores.
Price: £20/$39

Henrys Circus
This diabolo is one of the heavier 5 inch diabolos. It has cups made of Rextan, with some aluminium hubs and an axel. Because of this diabolos weight it has a very long spin time and is very stable once spinning. It is very good for multiple diabolos because of its stability.

Many people recommend upgrading the original circus hubs with the ‘Ultra Leicht Kits’ produced by JC available at www.diabolonet.de . There are also many other aftermarket modifications available for the Henry’s circus diabolo available on the internet. These include Wide axels and light kits.

The Henrys Circus diabolo is widely considered to be the best all-around diabolo.

Diabolo vital statistics: diameter: 130mm, width: 140mm, weight: 300g

Available Colours: Purple, Blue, White, Green, Orange, Turquoise, Yellow, Red, Black and Luminous


This diabolo is available from most good juggling shops and many online juggling stores.
Price: £24/$47

Fly Diabolos
Fly diabolos are a one way bearing diabolo available in either short or wide axle.  You can also "fix" the axle for normal play by changing the bolt part.  In the fixed mode they play very much like a Diabig only lighter (Ryo Yabe now uses these diabolos for this reason).  In bearing mode they play much like other bearing diabolos only MUCH more stable (they stay perfectly in line).

Diabolo vital statistics: diameter: 125mm, width: ???, weight: short axel Flys: 266g, wide axel Flys 276g.

Available Colours: White, Black, Light Pink (glitter), Pink, Yellow, Orange, Turquoise, Blue, Purple, Green, Glow in the Dark (light kits also available)

All the colours (except black) are translucent (so a light kit will shine through)


For now the most reliable way of getting them is to speak to Nev on the Diabolo.ca forum. Drop him an email diabolosales ‘at’ talktalk.net

Prices are :
Short Axle - £18.00/$36.50
Wide Axle - £20.00/$40.50
Fixed Axle Kit (short or wide) £2.00/$4.00
Glow in the Dark - Short £20.00/$40.50 - Wide £22.00/$44.50
Light Kits – Speak to Nev
(all prices are without P&P)

Tiabolo Grand Continental
The Tiabolo cups are like the Diabig cups, softer than the Flys, but very shiny and better manufactured - you can see you're reflection in the cups as you shuffle. The hubs are like the circus POM curved and the axles are like a slightly wider Diabig / Yoho / Circus hybrid. The axel of these diabolos is fixed (not a bearing.)

Diabolo Vital Statistics: diameter: 130mm, width: 146mm: weight: 260g

Available colours: Purple - with a pearl effect, White, Black, Dark Orange and a new colour is coming out soon to replace the old apple Green colour.


For now the most reliable way of getting them is to speak to Nev on the Diabolo.ca forum. Drop him an email diabolosales ‘at’ talktalk.net

Price: £22.00/$44.50 + P&P

Bandai/Yoho Diabig
This diabolo has become increasingly popular over the past couple of years and is one of the most commonly used diabolos in the Far East. It has slippery plastic cups plastic hubs and a metal axel. The plastic cups make this diabolo very good for correcting multiple diabolos when they are unbalanced/out of line. This diabolo is considered to be one of the best all-around diabolos and is particularly good for vertex/Excalibur. There is a ball bearing version of this diabolo available, although the solid axel version is the one to get.

Diabolo vital statistics: diameter: 130mm, width: 145mm, weight: 295g
Available Colours: Red, Blue, Yellow, Orange, Green, Purple, Black, and White

This diabolo isn’t as easily available as the others to however; if you e-mail www.naranja.co.jp they can help you out with prices. (There are based in Japan)
Price: £18/$35

Single Sided Diabolos and Monobolos

These have been around for a long time but until now it's been hard to find a vendor that sells a mass-produced model. However, Jürgen (JC on the forum) has begun to produce some. They are based on the Henrys Circus but only have one cup!

Circus Monobolo
These are available with both a white and a black axle kit.

Weight: 255g
A complete monobolo is $58/£31/€39
Just the axle is $44/£24/€30
For ordering information see Diabolonet.de


What are the best handsticks? This is tricky because everyone has their own personal idea of what a good handstick is. Here are the handsticks that most people would recommend:

Henrys Handsticks
Henry's Carbon Fibre Sticks - £14/£15 ($27/$29).
Pros - No bending, good for grinds, light.
Cons - Breakable, wastes string.
Henry's Fibreglass Sticks - £14/£15 ($27/$29).
Pros - Flexible, light, good for grinds.
Cons - Breakable, wastes string.

Henry's carbon fibre and Henry's fibreglass sticks are almost the same apart from flexibility and maybe breakability.

Henry's Aluminium - £9 or so ($17).
Pros - Strong, good for grinds.
Cons - Bend easily, may break string.

Mr Babache Handsticks
Mr. Babache Extreme G3 - About £12 ($23).
Pros - Almost no wasted string, strong.
Cons - Handles slip around.

Mr. Babache Energy - £11/£12 ($22/$23).
Pros - Flexible.
Cons - Tips break.

Mr. Babache Energy Luminous - £19/20 ($39/$40)
Pros - They do light up, available in 3 colours (red, green and blue)
Cons - Heavy, break easily, awful for suicides and stick releases

*These sticks are powered by the same 9V chargers that are used for the MB light-kits.

Mr Babache Grips- There are currently two different grips available for the Mr Babache handsticks:
Foam- These are thicker than the silicon grips that are available and tend to be more durable than the other grips available, although they have been know to slide off the stick.

Silicon- These are the newest grips that Mr Babache have produced. Most people agree that they feel a lot nicer to use than the foam grips, however they tend to ‘chew’ up when the stick is scraped on the ground.

Wood - Around £2 ($3), £4-£6 ($7-$11) with grips.
Pros – Cheap, strong.
Cons - Bad for grinds, string doesn't slip of ends so easily because of knots, can give blisters if they don't have grips.

Peter's (OLOBAID's) Handsticks

Illuminated Diabolo Handsticks - Gold Edition
These sticks come with string, batteries and Free Engraving.
Pros: Nice weight distribution, best light sticks
Cons: None...yet

Prices: €50/£34/$69
Shipping: €4.50/£3/$6.20
Replacement Batteries: €3/£2/$4.20

Diamond Handsticks
These handsticks come with string.
Pros: Nice weight distribution, smooth stick releases, soft catches, good for knots, look nice
Cons: None...yet

Prices: €25/£17/$34.50
Worldwide shipping is free!

*A set of Gold Editions & Diamonds(batteries & string included +1 extra set of batteries +free engraving on the Gold Editions)
Prices: €70/£47.50/$96.50
Worldwide shipping is free!

These sticks are made by Peter (OLOBAID) to order; email him at hiwatt 'at' gmx.at

Stick Length
Long sticks
Pros - Whipping/webs made easier, easier grinds, more power when speeding up?
Cons - Use up more string, break string quicker, suicides are harder.

Short Sticks
Pros - Suicides made easy, use less string.
Cons - Harder grinds and webs/whips.

Handsticks are available from www.firetoys.com

You can get some sticks in short or long, others are one size only. I base this on Henry's fibreglass/carbon fibre measurements.

*The whipping motion for certain tricks puts stress on wrists, especially with long or flexible sticks so this should be taken into account for anyone with wrist problems or people who don't like aching

String is a very important aspect of diabolo equipment; it’s a good idea to use special diabolo string.

There are two main types of string; Henry’s (which has a core) and Mr Babache (which is coreless.) The vast majority of diaboloers prefer string with a core. For the most part Henry’s yellow string is considered to be the best diabolo string, although it does need to have dry soap rubbed on it when it is new to take away the ‘slippy’ feeling it has.

Many modifications can be made to diabolos to improve the way that they play and to improve their appearance.

Mr Babache Evolution Kits
These kits are designed to for the Mr Babache Finesse diabolo to improve the way that they play.

Evolution 1
The Evolution 1 kit is a wider axel which enables longer grinds and finger grinds. This kit does what it’s designed for but at a cost: the diabolo isn’t as stable and it makes corrections with multiple diabolos harder.

Evolution 2
This kit is the bearing axle that Babache promised to come out years ago, although it still hasn't materialised. Currently the only way to have a Finesse with a bearing axle is to mod it with the guts from a Spinabolo or a Fly. Information on this can be found here.

Evolution 3
This kit is comes in two versions:

One increases the diabolos weight by 12 grams which makes it more stable and increases spin time. Multiple weight kits can be put on the diabolo, but it’s not really worth it because you could buy a circus or a diabig which weighs the same amount for cheaper.

The other is the same except it weighs 20 grams rather than 12.

Evolution 4
The evolution 4 is a light kit that enables the diabolo to be used in the dark. It also creates very good visual effects for live performances.
It is available in: Green, Red, Yellow, Blue and ‘rainbow’ (multi-coloured)
These are all powered via 9V chargers.

Other Finesse mods
These are some axle kits, again produce by Jürgen for the Babache Finesse. They are available in both black with a white 'ring' and all-white.

diameter: 133mm, width: 143mm, weight: 256g
A Finesse with a kit is $62/£33.50/€42
The kits are $22/£12/€15
For ordering information see Diabolonet.de

Henrys Circus Mods
There are quite a few Henrys circus mods available, mainly because the original axels are damaged when they come into contact with metal sticks.  Some of the mods and tuning kits available make the circus lighter, or have a wide axel- similar to the Babache Evolution 1 kit.

POM Hubs
These are diabolo hubs that improve the ‘feel’ of the Circus diabolo, stop string ‘snarl ups’ and make it lighter. Probably the most popular Circus upgrade.

All Round Kit
This kit has a slightly wider stepped design and the advantages of the pom with improved finger grind capabilities. One of the most popular Circus mods.

This kit is huge! It can aid people in catching the diabolo and is decent for finger grinds.

This kit is solely designed for finger grinds. Very similar to the Babache Evolution 1 kit.

JC's Circus Mods
Jürgen (JC) on the forum makes a lot of brilliant circus mods that come highly recommended from other forum users.

Standard Leicht Kits
This kit lowers the Circus weight to 250g while keeping the axle exactly the same as the standard Circus axel. This kit is available in both black and white (hubs/axle)
Price: £9/€13.50/£18.50

Ultra Leicht Kits
This kit lowers the Circus weight to 248g and extends the axle of the Circus. This kit is available in both black and white (hubs/axle)
Price: £10/€14.50/£20

I thought a good way of comparison between the mods would be to try a slideshow type thing, three of the pictures are repeated to make the full square which is a bit of a pain, but I still think it could be useful. -Let me know what you think!

Anyway starting from the top, left (and bottom, left):
Mixed cups and a Standard black Leicht Kit

Top, center (and bottom, center):
Ultra Leicht Kit, mixed cups and a Mixed Axle Kit

Top, right (and bottom, right):
Orange cups and Standard white Leicht Kit

Middle, left:
Red cups and Standard black Ultra Leicht Kit

A black Circus with a black Ultra Leicht kit (all black, even the washers!)

Center, right:
A red Circus with a white Standard Leicht Kit
(click on the image below for the slideshow thing)

Babache Light kit Adapter
Another one of JC's mods is his adapter which enables the Babache light kits to be used on a lot of different diabolos including; Babache Harlequin & Rubberking, Radiant medium and Jumbo, Henrys Circus and Jazz. (I included it in this section of the guide as I imagine the majority of people would want one to use on a circus.

Price: £8/€12/$17

Setting Up String and Sticks
Most diaboloers string length is to about nipple height from the floor, however this varies a lot. Experiment to find the type and length of string that suits you best.

For wooden sticks the knot below is recommended to ensure that the string stays attached to the sticks.

For Henrys Aluminium sticks the knot below is recommended. 
Once this knot is tied it is a good idea that you melt the excess string and the knot into a ball to prevent the string from fraying.

Most other sticks will be fine with a single or double knot.

I hope that this guide has been useful. Remember use equipment that you prefer, although you’d do well to listen to experienced diabolists opinions.

Feel free to spread this guide around as much as you want, however please keep the credits intact.

Costs include VAT (%17) and may not be totally accurate. Currencies are British Pound Sterling and U.S. Dollar.

If you have any way to improve this guide email me guppygould ‘at’ gmail.com

If you wish to have part of this guide edited because it’s your information, or pictures use the email address above.

Also this was originally compiled a couple of months ago so I’m unsure of some of the locations which I obtained the pictures from. Any info on this would be appreciated.

Put together and written by Leo Gould (guppygould)

With thanks to:
- Forum users of www.diabolo.ca
- Beni for most of the stick section of this guide
- Olobaid for his sticks and the Henrys Aluminium knot picture
- Seán_ picture of the wooden stick knot, original proof reading and editing
- Firetoys for some of the pictures and info
- Naranja for the Diabig pictures
- JC for the Circus mods
- Henrys-Online for the Henrys tuning kit pictures
- Nev for the Fly and Tiabolo information and pictures


PS If anyone is interested I am willing to put a .pdf version of this guide on the net.

Version History
I will add a new version everytime I add something to the guide. I'll list any changes  made here but I'll only add a new version number when I actually add something new to it. :)

v0.2 -OLOBAID's Handsticks added 12.7.'07
v0.3 -MB Energy Luminous added, guide revised for easy reference 26.8.'07
v0.4 -JC's Cricus mods added 2.9.'07
v0.5 -JC's Monobolo's and Finesse mods added

haha, nice! my knot pic - handpainted!!! ;D

a superb report! surley of great help for the new diabolists out there!

Hold the phone. I just realised that I haven't included any of your handsticks!

If you have some good pictures and info could you PM or email them to me :)

Looks like it might reach v0.2 soon enough haha.

Excellent stuff there man! I really enjoyed reading this! I am sure it'll help many beginners to find their way through this big world of diabolos and accessories. Keep up the good work and adding OLOBAID`s sticks to the list is very important. ;D

Yeah - excellent work Leo, I'm sure it will be of much use.

One point though

--- Quote ---These diabolos have been known to crack when droped in temperatures below 10C because they become brittle.
--- End quote ---

My post actually said "MINUS 25˚C" It was actually -28˚C when mine broke (In Finland) and it had been left out overnight in -35 or colder.  Thats still the only case of this happening as well.


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