Basic Suicide

In the diabolo world a suicide is any trick that involves letting go of & re-catching one or both handsticks. Suicides are always pretty impressive tricks because letting go of a stick is something your average spectator doesn't expect you to do. This is the first diabolo suicide to learn as the same technique applies to most of the other members of the suicide family. In a straight suicide you swing the diabolo so that it appears to 'drag' one of the handsticks in a circle around the other handstick.

Warning: If you miss a catch while practising a suicide the handstick will crash into the ground. If you practise on a hard surface such as concrete with brittle handsticks then you run the risk of snapping your sticks in half. It is best to practise this trick over soft ground.

First of all decide which stick you want to let go of, you can swing a suicide either way & it is a good idea to learn the trick on both sides. Spin the diabolo. Turn the handstick you want to let go of in & then point the tip down at the diabolo so that the back of your hand is on the inside & the palm is facing outwards. Swing the diabolo as if to do an Around the world in front of the body away from the stick you intend to let go of. So if you want to let go of your right handstick swing the diabolo in a clockwise direction to your left. If you want to let go of your left handstick swing the diabolo in an anticlockwise direction to your right.

As the diabolo swings upwards move the downward pointing stick underneath your other arm, turn the stick so that the tip is always pointing at the diabolo. At the same time bring your other hand inwards towards the centre of your body so that your arms cross over slightly. When the diabolo starts to rise above your handsticks let go of the trailing handstick.


The diabolo will pull the released handstick up & over the held handstick. Left to its own devices the diabolo will fall back down again without passing over the held handstick. Right at the start of the move while swinging the diabolo you (should have) pulled the held handstick inwards, after letting go of the other handstick pull the held handstick down then underneath the diabolo. This circling movement (clockwise with the left handstick anticlockwise with the right) is the key to controlling a suicide. By pulling the held handstick harder you can speed the suicide up (or slow the move down - see next paragraph). By changing the size of the circling motion you can change the size of circle that the released handstick makes. Drawing a small circle with the held stick will cause the released handstick to swing in a much larger arc than if you trace a large circle. Experiment to find which size circle works best for you.

Your first suicide attempts will usually see the released handstick swinging round at you almost uncontrollably fast. This is caused by a few things - swinging too hard in the first place or releasing too early or too late. The most likely reason is that you are pulling too hard with the held stick. To counter this you can 'absorb' the force of the diabolo using the held handstick. To slow the suicide down lift the held handstick in towards the diabolo (in reality lifting the stick will slow the suicide down too much, all you will need to do is pull more gently, this is just an example). This will slacken the string & reduce the pull of the diabolo on the handsticks. The held handstick will feel 'lighter' & the released handstick will slow down. Be careful not to slow the suicide down too much though, otherwise the released handstick will lag behind & get caught up on the held handstick. It will take time & practise to find the correct speed.

To catch the handstick hold your empty hand out with the palm open & facing the incoming handstick. Catch the handstick in a fist with the handle pointing out of the top & the tip poking out of the bottom. Depending on how fast you are pulling the diabolo with the held stick, the released handstick may smack into your empty hand pretty hard so be ready for it. Catch the stick in the palm of your hand, letting the stick whip your fingers will really sting. Re-adjust your grip to resume diaboloing.

A suicide is a good way to end a run of Suns or Circular throws.