Not a lot of people know this, but Edmonton is one of the best places to be a yo-yoer in the world. A lot of amazing yo-yo talent has come out of Edmonton, with a history that stretches back to the late 90s.
One of the biggest legends in the yo-yo industry is World YoYo Champion Jensen Kimmitt, who was born and raised here in Edmonton. The 2011 Canadian National Champion, Charles Haycock, currently lives in Edmonton. Plus CLYW (the company I own), is one of the top high end yo-yo companies in the world. There is even a yo-yo string manufacturer in Edmonton!
I’m not sure what happened along the way that turned Edmonton into such a hot spot for yo-yoing, but I like to think that it’s a result of our long winters, ‘City of Champions’ spirit, and affinity for large shopping malls. I fell into yo-yoing by accident while I was studying Mechanical Engineering at U of A. I was always into doing tricks (read: showing off), either on my bike, skateboard or snowboard, and once I saw a friend yo-yoing in between classes I was instantly hooked. Ever since then, wherever I go, I usually have a yo-yo with me. It makes waiting in lines fun, and is the perfect icebreaker for a shy guy like me. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t pull out my yo-yo on the first date with my wife.
There are so many great places to yo-yo in this city, but unfortunately this is the 4th day of #YEG and not the 10th day. So here we go.
#4 Tres Carnales
#3 My Kitchen
We have these really big north facing windows in our house. So the light is perfect for making up tricks in our kitchen. Here’s one trick that I’m working on. I haven’t named it yet, so if you have any suggestions let me know!
Come stop by anytime, I usually always have a great selection of craft beer in the fridge. Plus our kids are pretty darn cute.
#2 West Edmonton Mall
In 2013 the Canadian National Return Top Championship was held at West Edmonton Mall. Over 60 yo-yoers from across Canada showed up for a chance to be titled the Canadian National Champ, but thirteen year old Harrison Lee from Burnaby, BC, ended up going home with the top prize. Harrison is one of the hardest working yo-yoers in the community and uses his talent to help raise money for various charities in Vancouver. He actually played a small part in the movie The Interview, but with how things are going now, who knows if we will get to see it. Seriously, I’m not kidding.
#1 Iconoclast Coffee
If you’ve been to the 104st Farmers’ Market, you’ve probably spotted yo-yo prodigy Lake on the sidewalk busting out some very impressive mind bending tricks. Well this summer Lake and his parents organized a new spot for the Edmonton Yo-Yo Club. We used to hold meets at West Edmonton Mall, but you know how it is with parking there. So somehow they managed to convince the wonderful people at Iconoclast Coffee to let us hold our club meets at their coffee shop. We usually meet every second Saturday from 1-3pm. It’s such a fun way to spend an afternoon, plus they have one of the best lattes in town!
Photo by FO Photography as part of their instagram project
There you have it. The four best places to yo-yo in Edmonton. If you’re interested in getting into yo-yoing feel free to email me. I’d be happy to set you up with some resources to help get you started.