Everyone's first diabolo trick, it is a good idea to practise this trick outdoors or in the middle of a large hall to minimise the amount of damage you may cause while learning.
While you can't actually practise catching a diabolo until after you've thrown the thing you need to at least know what to do when it starts to come back down.
Immediately after the diabolo has left the string you should be holding the handsticks with your arms wide apart so that the string is tight. Keeping the string tight lower your subordinate arm & raise your dominant, point the dominant handstick straight up at the diabolo. As the diabolo falls line the tip of the dominant handstick up with a point a little to the outside of the axle (it is much easier to focus on the handstick than to line up the string to the diabolo simply because it is easier to see). As the diabolo falls past the tip of the dominant handstick it will roll down the slope made by the string. As soon as the diabolo touches the string bring your dominant arm down to cushion the diabolo's fall.
Keeping the string tight throughout is the most important part of catching a diabolo; if your sticks are too close together the string will hang loose & flap around. If the string is moving about it becomes very hit & miss as to whether the diabolo lands on the string or not.
First of all get the diabolo spinning as fast as you can, the faster it spins the more stable it becomes. This is more important for higher throws; the longer a diabolo is in the air the more chance it has of running out of spin, if it runs out of spin it will start to wobble &/or tumble. Catching a wobbling diabolo is very difficult. Secondly correct the diabolo so that it is parallel to the ground.
When you are ready to throw the diabolo, stop whipping with you dominant handstick. Bring your hands together so that both of your sticks are level at chest height & are pointing forwards. If the diabolo is swinging on the end of the string like a pendulum wait until it stops.
To throw the diabolo simply pull your hands apart sideways until the string is tight. Don't try to jerk the diabolo into the air by yanking it upwards; just quickly pull both handsticks out to the side.
The diabolo should rise straight up in the air, if it went behind you then you were probably lifting your arms & pulling the diabolo towards you during the throw. If it went in front of you or to one side then it was either swaying before you started pulling your sticks apart or more likely you were pulling one stick harder than the other.
At first just work on making a nice clean throw, don't worry about height. Make sure that you pull both sticks with equal speed & force. Also try to pull the sticks apart at as precise to 90° to the axle as you can so that the string doesn't rub against one of the cups on release. You can add some more brute force once you've got the technique right.
Practise throwing the diabolo to different heights, pick a spot in the sky & aim for it. As your technique improves you will be able to throw higher & higher giving you time to perform all manner of tricks such as:
- One or more pirouettes
- One or more skips
- Sit down & stand up again
- Tell a joke
Although throwing & catching is a basic skill, the diabolo high toss is the most popular & common of the Diabolo Games.