Yo-yo world champions put on dazzling display in Hartlepool
A yo-yo world champion dazzled shoppers when he visited Hartlepool's Middleton Grange shopping centre.
Current world number one Gentry Stein, who hails from California, America, showed off his amazing skills in demonstrations and taught youngsters some of his tricks yesterday.
The 22-year-old was joined by another yo-yo master, former world champion Hans Van Dan Elzen – known as YoHans.
YoHans is the founder of YoYoFactory that designs and makes the yo-yos used by Gentry, 22.
Hartlepool was the first stop on a UK tour in association with toy retailer The Entertainer.
Gentry said: “We are basically touring the UK and doing demonstrations and teaching people how to yo-yo and have fun.
“We have had kids coming to learn. A lot had never tried to yo-yo before.
“They have been having fun and we have seen a lot of smiles today.”
Gentry has even helped to design some of the yo-yos made by YoYoFactory.
He added: “The tricks are unlimited, you can do pretty much anything you can think of.
“There are a set of standard tricks but after you learn those you can really take it anywhere you want and make up your own.”
Gentry, who comes from a small farming community in California, first took up the toy when he was eight years old.
His skills has taken him all over the world.
“I thought it was fun and just kept doing it,” he said.
“I didn’t leave California until I was 13 for a yo-yo contest.
“Now ten years later I have travelled all over the world and been to about 25 countries.”
He practices up to five hours a day on his moves and choreographing his routines to music.
Gentry is due to perform at the world yo-yo championships in Shanghai in two months time.
He also signed autographs and answered questions from the general public throughout the day.
Shoppers could also enter a prize draw to win a Gentry Stein Signature Yo-Yo.