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A diabolo is a prop consisting of a "spool" or "two-headed top" that is manipulated using a string attached to two sticks, which are held in the hands.

The modern diabolo was developed and popularized by the French engineer Gustave Phillippart and the English athlete C. B. Fry in the early 20th century. An earlier form of this prop, the Chinese yo-yo, has existed at least since the 17th century.

1 diabolo[]


EJC2011 Arata Vertax

1 diabolo vertax routine by Arata Urawa

To manipulate a diabolo on a string, you need to keep it balanced by spinning it. As long as the diabolo is spinning fast enough, it will stay balanced on the string. The simplest way to increase the diabolo's speed of rotation is by repeatedly lifting one of the handsticks while providing slack with the other, making the diabolo roll across the string.

The IJA has had a 1 diabolo performance competition as part of the Individual Prop competitions since 2004. The first winner of that competition was Ryo Yabe.

2 diabolos[]


2diabolo 24 Arata

2 diabolo sequence by Arata Urawa

Two or more diabolos can be juggled on a single string, usually in a circular pattern. There are two kinds of basic patterns for juggling multiple diabolos: High patterns, where the diabolos are individually caught on the string and then thrown high, and low patterns (called shuffles), where there can be more than one diabolo on the string at once.

The unofficial world record for 2 diabolos low (video sped up too much to verify) is 1 hour by Jannis Kaske.

Other people who have done 2 diabolos low for over 10 minutes:

  • Ivan Carrasco - 43:27
  • Kristian Scharling Jørgensen - 32:04
  • Matias Auramo - 23:00
  • Austin Bruckner - 17:38
  • Emil Lamprecht - 16:32
  • Joshua Weiner - 15:54
  • mrjuggles - 14:28
  • Mark Douglass - 11:30

3 diabolos[]


3 Diabolo tricks by Ofek Shilton

3 diabolo tricks by Ofek Shilton

The world record for 3 diabolos high is 5 minutes and 43 seconds by Pieter Slachmuylders.(video) The unofficial record for 3 diabolos high is 30 minutes by Jose Concha.(video no longer available) The world record for 3 diabolos low is 1 hour, 5 minutes, and 48 seconds by Damian Kubitzki.(video) The unofficial record for 3 diabolos low is 1 hour, 29 minutes, and 20 seconds by Shunichi Kobayashi.(claim)

Other people who have done 3 diabolos for over a minute:

  • Yuki Kojima - 1:11:11 low(claim)
  • Sebastian Haushofer - 30:00 low(claim)
  • Ryo Yabe - 10:00+ low(claim)
  • Kimiaki Yamamoto - 8:07 low(claim)
  • Aaro Kontio - 5:30 high(claim)
  • Sylvestre Dewa - 5:30 low(claim)
  • Tony Frebourg - 3:20 high(claim)
  • Urawa Shin - 2:28 high(claim)
  • Yosuke Meguro - 2:02 high(claim)
  • Janion Nevill - 1:55 low(claim)
  • Austin Bruckner - 1:30 low(claim)
  • Martin Rolletmeheust - 1:15 low(video)
  • Tomohiro Morita - 1:10 high(claim)

Multiple diabolos can be juggled in siteswap patterns, where a 0 represents a pause with an empty string (making time to do a 360 or jump rope with the string), a 1 is a pause with a diabolo on the string (making time to do a sun), and 2, 3, 4 etc. are increasingly high throws.

4 diabolos[]


Tony Frebourg 5 Pirouettes in Row with 4 Diabolos May 2011

Five connected 4 diabolo 4 up 360s by Tony Frebourg

The world record for 4 diabolos high is 8 minutes and 59 seconds by Jose Concha.(video) The world record for 4 diabolos low is 8 minutes and 24 seconds by Ronnie Slowinski.(video)

Other people who have done 4 diabolos for over 100 catches:

Tricks that have been done with 4 diabolos include:

5 diabolos[]


Tony Frebourg 66661 and Pirouette with 5 Diabolos 2010-0

5 diabolo tricks by Tony Frebourg

Ryo Yabe was the first person to flash 5 diabolos high,(video) and Tony Frebourg was the first to qualify it, getting 14 catches in 2007.(video) Tony broke the world record with 20 catches(video) and then 35 catches(video) in 2008, 48 catches in 2010,(video) and 51 catches in 2011.(video) Ofek Shilton did 58 catches in 2011.(video) Guillaume Karpowicz did 80 catches in 2017,(video) 87 catches in 2018,(video) and set the current world record for 5 diabolos high later in 2018, with a run of 122 catches.(video) Tony Frebourg claims to have done 5 high for 1 minute and 7 seconds.

Other people who have juggled 5 diabolos high:

  • Stevie Caveagna - 60 catches(video)
  • Akira Fukagawa - 54 catches(video)
  • Jose Concha - 38 catches(video no longer available)
  • Pieter Slachmuylders - 30 catches(video)
  • Michael Zorzan - 24 catches(video)
  • Arata Urawa - 16 catches(video)
  • Kenta Hara - 13 catches(video)
  • Kaketo Tanioka - 10 catches(video)
  • Lena Köhn - 10 catches(claim)

Etienne Chauzy was the first person to flash 5 diabolos low, in 2010.(video) In 2011, Robin Spinelli also flashed 5 diabolos low,(video) and in 2013 Ronnie Slowinski broke the record with 6 catches.(video) Later in 2013, Robin Spinelli posted a video showing 13 catches, and in 2014, a video from 2011 was uploaded, showing Robin doing 18 catches. In 2015, Robin Spinelli did 20 catches on video, and two days later, Ronnie Slowinski did 31 catches.(video) Pen Zen did 47 catches in 2016.(video) Liao Wang did 82 catches in 2017,(video) and 130 catches later the same year,(video) but his videos are no longer available. Ronnie Slowinski set the current world record for 5 diabolos low with publicly available video evidence with a run of 106 catches in 2018.(video)

Other people who have juggled 5 diabolos low:

Tricks that have been done with 5 diabolos include:

6 diabolos[]


6 diabolos + New record

6 diabolos by Pieter Slachmuylders

Pieter Slachmuylders did 7 catches of 6 diabolos high in 2012,(video) and 9 catches in 2013.(video) In 2016, Guillaume Karpowicz tied Pieter's record for 6 diabolos high,(video) and also became the first person to flash 6 diabolos low.(video) In 2018, Robin Spinelli broke the world record for 6 low with 7 catches,(video) Guillaume Karpowicz broke the record for 6 high with 14 catches,(video, later video) and Pen Zen broke Robin's record for 6 low with 11 catches(video) and then 19 catches.(video)

Stevie Caveagna(video) and Michael Zorzan(video) have also flashed 6 diabolos high, Kenta Hara has done 6 high for 8 catches,(video) and Tony Frebourg has done 9 catches.(video) Ronnie Slowinski has qualified 6 diabolos low.(video)

(Note: For a catch to be counted in diabolo juggling, the diabolo may be thrown either from the string or from the diaboloist's hand, but it must be caught with the string.)

See also[]

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