Yo-yo experts Daniel Dietz and Nick Gumlaw reunite as co-owners of Spin Dynamics

Last modified: Wednesday, November 04, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — Two yo-yo experts who first met a decade ago at a Northampton science store have reunited as co-owners of Spin Dynamics, a local company that designs and produces the disks.

Spin Dynamics began in 2011 when teacher and contest judge Nick Gumlaw, 28, of Northampton, set out to design and produce high-quality yo-yos.

Now, yo-yo master Daniel Dietz, 21, also of Northampton, has joined as a co-owner. The two have known each other for 10 years when Dietz started to take yo-yo lessons at A2Z Science & Learning Store at 57 King St. where Gumlaw had learned and taught the skill.

“Yo-yo was a big craze when I was in elementary school,” Dietz said. “Everyone would go hang out (at A2Z) after school. (Gumlaw) was one of the teachers at the yo-yo school — I’ve always looked up to him. He was very much a mentor to me.”

Dietz started teaching at A2Z at age 14 and continued to work there through high school.

“When I started working at A2Z, (Gumlaw) showed me the ropes and always had my back. He looked out for me no matter what,” Dietz said.

“I’m just thrilled about (the business partnership) because to me they’re still young people who came as yo-yo players in their teens and now everyone in the international yo-yo community knows about them,” said former A2Z owner Jack Finn.

Current A2Z owner André Boulay added, “I think they’re a good balance to each other. Nick is kind of more the planner and designer, and Dan is kind of the spokesperson and the tester and player.”

Isenberg graduate

Dietz, who graduated from the Isenberg School of Management at the University of Massachusetts Amherst in May, already has acquired plenty of experience designing and marketing yo-yos.

Consistently ranked in the top 30 in the world for his talents, Dietz has been a sponsored player for One Drop Yo-Yos based in Eugene, Oregon, and was a spokesman and intern for Yomega Corp. in Seekonk, which also creates yo-yos.

As a sponsored player for One Drops, Dietz designed his own line of yo-yo’s. The “Dietz” design was ranked yo-yo of the year in 2011 by the website YoYoSkills.com.

At Yomega, “I learned a lot about the workings of the yo-yo industry and just how to run a business in general,” Dietz said, adding, “When I graduated college, it was a natural progression for me to” join Spin Dynamics.

Gumlaw, an engineer by training, handles most of the technical aspects of design, while Dietz oversees the marketing and managing of the company.

“He’s the front face — I’m the behind-the-scenes engineer,” said Gumlaw.

“It’s the combination of their skills is what is going to bring them success,” Finn said.

The company slowed considerably as Gumlaw studied mechanical engineering technology at Springfield Technical Community College. He plans to finish there in December.

Dietz’s “enthusiasm coming in has injected a new aspect” to the company, Gumlaw said.

High-end yo-yos

Rather than selling on the mass market, Spin Dynamics produces 1,800 to 2,400 yo-yos per year, with some new prototypes being drafted. The yo-yos sell for about $100 and are marketed primarily through social media and retail outlets.

“For our product, we try to push high-end. The engineering and quality is what makes us different from everyone else,” said Dietz.

Spin Dynamics uses a local machine shop, J&E Precision Tool Inc. of Southampton, to produce their designs.

Gumlaw declined to disclose Spin Dynamics’ annual expenses and revenue.

Dietz and Gumlaw debuted their first joint design, Ultra-Ego, at a prerelease party at A2Z last Tuesday before it officially hit the market on Thursday on the website YoYoExpert.com.

Dietz said Ultra-Ego has a longer spin-time than the average competition yo-yo. “It’s not just a yo-yo but a piece of art,” he added.

Gumlaw “has a very critical eye — (the product) has to be something that functions very well and is very long-spinning and smooth,” said Finn. Referring to Ultra-Ego, he added, “The two halves are hand-matched so that they balance very well and everything is tested before they go into the box.”

Dietz said he and Gumlaw also hope to “spread the knowledge of yo-yoing.”

Gumlaw added, “There’s a lot more to yo-yoing than what people think. It’s a lifestyle, an ageless hobby. It brings people together in a way that I haven’t seen.”

Spin Dynamics sponsors a competition team consisting of six members, with five local and the other in the Czech Republic.

“I can’t imagine being able to (run a yo-yo company) in a different area,” Gumlaw said, adding, “There is such an appreciation for the performing arts in Northampton … It’s incredible to have a yo-yo based company in a town like this.”

In the next few years, Gumlaw hopes that Spin Dynamics will have products in the mass market.

“I think it has a really great future,” Gumlaw said of his company. “I’m excited.”


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