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 diaboloEditTo 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.
2 diabolosEditTwo 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 (not validated by any world record organizations; no publicly available video) is 32 minutes and 4 seconds by Kristian Scharling Jørgensen (record from IJDb).
Other people who have done 2 diabolos low for over 10 minutes:
- Matias Auramo - 23:00
- Austin Bruckner - 17:38
- Emil Lamprecht - 16:32
- Joshua Weiner - 15:54
- Mark Douglass - 11:30
3 diabolosEditThe world record for the longest run of 3 diabolos high with publicly available video evidence is 5 minutes and 43 seconds by Pieter Slachmuylders.
Other people who have done 3 diabolos for over a minute:
- Sebastian Haushofer - 30:00 low(claim)
- Ryo Yabe - 10:00+ low(claim)
- Yuki Kojima - 8:40 low(claim)
- Aaro Kontio - 5:30 high(claim)
- Sylvestre Dewa - 5:30 low(claim)
- Tony Frebourg - 3:20 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)
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 diabolosEditThe world record for 4 diabolos high is 8 minutes and 59 seconds by Jose Concha.(video) The world record for 4 diabolos low is 6 minutes and 17 seconds by Ronnie Slowinski.(video)
Other people who have done 4 diabolos for over 100 catches:
- Guillaume Karpowicz - 7:32 high(video)
- Stevie Caveagna - 3:45 high(video)
- Robin Spinelli - 3:17 low,(video)
- Yu-Sung Chao - 2:26 low(video)
- Pieter Slachmuylders - 2:11 high(video)
- Jack Chen - 1:51 low(video)
- Kubo Yuichiro - 1:36 low(video)
- Sean Leow - 1:04 low(video)
- Yliang Chen - 204 catches low(video)
- Ryoto Mitani - 204 catches low(video)
- Tony Frebourg - 179 catches high;(video) 4:17 high(claim)
- Lena Köhn - 161 catches(claim)
- Ofek Shilton - 152 catches low(video)
- Valerian Kapeller - about 120 catches high(claim)
- Arata Urawa - 113 catches high(video)
Tricks that have been done with 4 diabolos include:
- Transition from high to low and back (video)
- Mini columns (video)
- Low 534 and 642 (video)
- Low 62 (video)
- Low around the leg 7333 (video)
- Fountain (video)
- High 5551 (video)
- High 7531 (video)
- 3 up 360 (video)
- 4 up 720 (video)
5 diabolosEditRyo 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)
- Pieter Slachmuylders - 30 catches(video)
- Arata Urawa - 16 catches(video)
- Michael Zorzan - 12 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) Guillaume Karpowicz(video) and Soon Yong Wei(video) can also do 5 diabolos low.
Tricks that have been done with 5 diabolos:
- High 66661 to a qualify by Tony Frebourg(video)
- High 645 for 3 rounds by Guillaume Karpowicz(video)
- High 5 up 360 (not qualified) by Tony Frebourg(video) and Pieter Slachmuylders(video)
- Low 64 (to a qualify) by Ronnie Slowinski(video) and Liao Wang(video)
- Low 645 for 2 rounds by Liao Wang(video)
- Low 753 by Pen Zen(video)
- Low around the leg by Liao Wang(video)
6 diabolosEditPieter 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) and Pen Zen broke Robin's record for 6 low with 11 catches.(video) Tony Frebourg is the only other person who has done 6 diabolos. He did 7 catches of 6 diabolos high on video in 2015.
(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.)