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Getting started with two diabolos

Juggling two diabolos is a really hard thing to pick up. Practise, practise, practise, it can be quite frustrating to start but you will get there eventually.

One good piece of advice that might not seem so obvious is to have two of the same diabolo, this makes it easier as different diabolos have varying weight and balance issues.

First off is starting with two diabolos, there are various ways to start with two diabolos - see here.

We recommend good ones to start with are the Throw Start and Wrap Start. If you choose to start learning the throw start, you may want to consider practising getting one diabolo going first with a good throw then introduce the second diabolo into the mix when your throw has improved.

Throw Start

  1. Speed up the first diabolo. Put the right-hand stick into the left hand, so that the sticks are angled away from each other at a 45-degree angle.
  2. Take the second diabolo in your right hand with your middle finger on the axle and wrist slightly bent.
  3. Throw the diabolo in the air spinning it slightly as you throw it.
  4. Take the right-hand stick back and catch the diabolo on the right-hand side of the string then shuffle the diabolos.

Wrap Start

  1. Speed up the first diabolo. Put the right-hand stick into the left hand, so that the sticks are angled away from each other at a 45-degree angle.
  2. Take the second diabolo in your hand. Bring it towards the outer side of the string and wrap the string around the axle of the diabolo.
  3. Spin the diabolo slightly with your fingers and immediately take the right stick back into your right hand.
  4. Do a few short tugs (tightening and loosening the wrap on the diabolo) to speed up the diabolo and keep it from colliding with the other diabolo.
  5. Unwrap the diabolo and let it roll down the string. Meanwhile throw the other diabolo up slightly and continue shuffling the diabolos.

The Shuffle

The shuffle is when you have 2 or more diabolos orbiting around each other on the string. It is the basic pattern for keeping 2+ diabolos going. Your strong hand usually guides the diabolos down the string while your weaker hand tosses them back to the strong hand. The diabolos gather speed as they roll down the string, and the shuffle is kept big enough to avoid collisions. Don't worry about making corrections when you are learning the shuffle, as it will only complicate things further. Once you have gotten the hang of the shuffle and can get maybe 10-20 otts or circles, then you can start learning to correct.

Beginners Problems

Diabolos are missing the string - If this is happening, your hands probably aren't in line with each other. Make sure your hands are an equal distance from your body and not moving forward or backward at all. If this isn't your problem, you might be tossing the diabolos too far, so try lessening the movement of your weak hand.

Two diabolos collide or the shuffle starts getting too small - Your strong hand probably isn't moving enough to guide the diabolos down the string. Try making a bit of a clockwise circle with your strong hand to fix this.

The diabolos aren't aligned - This can happen for a number of reasons. As you get more comfortable with 2 diabolos it should happen less, but it will never go away completely. See below to learn how to correct the diabolos.

Correcting 2 Diabolos

Correcting two diabolos takes a very long time to master, maybe almost as long as it takes to learn to shuffle two in the first place. Don't worry though, once you can correct two diabolos you will be in complete control.

The first thing many people will want to do when correcting is fixing it the way you would fix one diabolo. This doesn't work however because the moment you move your sticks forward or backward a diabolo will fall off the string.

To get the hang of correcting with two diabolos, you will have to go back to one:

First, get the diabolo spinning. Then, put the right hand string around the left hand stick and pull downwards to pull the diabolo upwards. You can then try tapping the diabolo in different places such as the inside of the cups, the outsides, and right on the axle to see how it turns and tilts the diabolo. Tapping the top or bottom of the cups will turn the diabolo, and tapping the sides will tilt it. Play with this until you can correct any tilt or turn with one diabolo.

Another good trick that will help you when it comes to the shuffle is orbiting one diabolo around your leg and tapping the diabolo as it comes by on your strong hand side. This is very similar to what it will be like correcting in the shuffle, but you only have to focus on one diabolo.

Now, you can finally move onto the shuffle. Focus on one diabolo at a time and try hitting it to correct its tilt/turn. It helps to slow your shuffle down a little here by lifting your weak hand a little further out to send the diabolos higher. Once you can tap the diabolos as they come by, it shouldn't be too long before you can correct the diabolos and keep a steady shuffle going!