The modern diabolo was developed by the French engineer Gustave Phillippart 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 42 seconds by Pieter Slachmuylders.
Other people who have done 3 diabolos for over a minute:
- 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 (with time to do a 360 or jump rope with the string), a 1 is a pause with a diabolo on the string (with time to do a sun), and 2, 3, 4 etc. are increasingly high throws.
4 diabolosEditThe world record for 4 diabolos high is 2 minutes and 9 seconds by Pieter Slachmuylders (video), and the world record for 4 diabolos low is 3 minutes and 17 seconds by Robin Spinelli (video).
Other people who have done 4 diabolos for over 100 catches:
- Yu-Sung Chao (2:26 low, 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)
- Tony Frebourg (176 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)
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)
- High 534 (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, in 2007 (video). Tony broke the world record with 16 catches (video) and then 31 catches (video) in 2008, 44 catches in 2010 (video), and 47 catches in 2011 (video). Ofek Shilton set the current world record for 5 diabolos high in 2011 with 54 catches (video). Tony Frebourg claims to have done 5 high for 1 minute and 7 seconds. Pieter Slachmuylders (video) and Arata Urawa (video) can also juggle 5 diabolos high, and Lena Köhn claims to have qualified 5.
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 of the current world record for 5 diabolos low: 18 catches by Robin Spinelli.
Tricks that have been done with 5 diabolos:
- High 66661 to a qualify by Tony Frebourg (video)
- High 5 up 360 (not qualified) by Tony Frebourg (video) and Pieter Slachmuylders (video)
- Low 64 (not qualified) by Robin Spinelli