Courtenay man enjoying many happy returns

A 27-year-old Courtenay man's idea to make return tops brighter is now being sold around the world.

COURTENAY'S TYRONE LARSON demonstrates his creation

COURTENAY'S TYRONE LARSON demonstrates his creation

A 27-year-old Courtenay man’s idea to make return tops brighter is now being sold around the world.

Tyrone Larson created GlowMods, which make return tops — commonly known by the name brand Yo-yo — glow as they spin, and give off a circle of light to spectators.

“This outer rim here, I decided to pop a glow stick in it,” Larson said as he demonstrated on his return top, adding he first tried the idea at a competition in December. “So I popped a couple glow sticks… and threw it and everyone was just like — next thing I knew 150 people gathered around.”

Caribou Lodge return top company owner Chris Mikulin, who was there at the time, snapped a photo and posted it on his blog, and from there things grew — fast.

“It was getting extreme amounts of feedback, people were going bananas, and next thing I knew I was scrounging some money together and I purchased 60,000 glow sticks,” said Larson, adding that was the smallest order he could get from a factory. “It cost me just about $5,000. It took me a while to get the money together and everyone thought I was crazy.”

Initially, he sold GlowMods on eBay and was doing well, but after a suggestion from Mikulin, decided to sell them wholesale to return top stores. He started by calling YoYoExpert, which is based in the United States, and the store said yes.

“So I made some up, and I’m selling them in a store, and the buzz is starting to grow, and then I get contacted by more stores, a store in the U.K. and a store in Malaysia and a store in the Czech Republic, in Prague, and those are like the epicentres in Europe — yo-yoing’s way bigger in Europe than it is here,” explained Larson.

He made a Facebook page for GlowMods about three weeks ago, and since then he’s had nearly 4,000 ‘likes’ and was contacted by four more stores around the world.

Although Larson is happy with how business is going, he plans to keep GlowMods as a side venture, noting that return tops are his passion and a focus on money could ruin that.

Larson started playing with return tops only about a year-and-a-half ago after he watched his friend Jason Kirsch take it up.

“He came over, he was almost hitting himself in the face, and I’m like, ‘Get that away from my TV’ and like a month later he came and I saw his, just hand-eye co-ordination go through the roof so that’s what attracted me most of all,” explained Larson.

After Larson started, he was quickly hooked and he attends competitions, which he described as intense because there are literally thousands of possible tricks.

Right now, he’s looking forward to being a judge at the 2012 Canadian National Return Top Championship in Calgary in mid-August.

Although Larson laughed when asked how much of a return top community there is in the Comox Valley, and answered it’s likely just him and two of his friends, he wants to spread his love of return tops to people around here.

He just created a Facebook page called Comox Valley Return Top Club to make it easier for people interested in return tops to connect. Larson pointed out anyone can join, regardless of skill level, noting he’s taught kids in the past and, like Larson, they really seemed to enjoy it.

“It’s definitely one of the greatest things I’ve ever found,” said Larson. “It’s definitely going to be a part of my life forever — that’s for sure.”

For more information about GlowMods, search for GlowMod GlowThrows on Facebook.

writer@comoxvalleyrecord.com

Just Posted

Temperatures are expected to soar by the weekend, with potentially record-breaking heat in the low 30Cs. Those looking to beat the heat in the ocean are advised to pack plenty of sunscreen and water. Black Press file photo
Potential record-breaking heatwave heading to the Comox Valley

“It’s the start of the season and we’re not quite acclimatized to warm temperatures”

Vice-Admiral Bob Auchterlonie assumed leadership of the Canadian Joint Operations Command on June 18. File photo
Vice-Admiral Auchterlonie assumes leadership of Canadian Joint Operations Command

On June 18, Vice-Admiral Bob Auchterlonie returned to the Canadian Joint Operations… Continue reading

Bill Anglin (Comox Valley Healthcare Foundation president & 50/50 Sponsor), Robert Mulrooney (Comox Valley Healthcare Foundation board director & 50/50 sponsor), Jessica Aldred (Comox Valley Healthcare Foundation executive director), and Chris Morrison (Church St. Taphouse co-Owner and manager) in front of Church St. Taphouse in Comox. Photo submitted
Church St. tapping beer for Comox Valley Healthcare Foundation all week

With a heatwave hitting the Comox Valley this week, a beer on… Continue reading

FILE – Perry Bellegarde, National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations, takes part in an event on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Tuesday, July 7, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Indigenous Peoples Day must be a ‘call to action’, says Assembly of First Nations chief

Discovery of children at Kamloops residential school site must lead to change, Perry Bellegarde says

CSWM is working on engineering and design for the next landfill cell. Record file photo
CSWM makes budget change for new landfill cell

“It bears to note for the public, you’re paying for it one way or the other here.”

The border crossing into the United States is seen during the COVID-19 pandemic in Lacolle, Que. on February 12, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
VIDEO: Border quarantine to soon lift for fully vaccinated Canadians

Eligible travellers must still take multiple COVID-19 tests

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

FILE - In this Nov. 29, 2020, file photo, Las Vegas Raiders defensive end Carl Nassib leaves the field after an NFL football game against the Atlanta Falcons in Atlanta. Nassib on Monday, June 21, 2021, became the first active NFL player to come out as gay. Nassib announced the news on Instagram, saying he was not doing it for the attention but because “I just think that representation and visibility are so important.” (AP Photo/John Bazemore, File)
Nassib becomes first active NFL player to come out as gay

More than a dozen NFL players have come out as gay after their careers were over

Penticton Indian Band Chief Greg Gabriel speaks to the Sacred Hearts Catholic Church burning down early Monday morning, June 21, 2021. (Monique Tamminga Western News)
Penticton band chief condemns suspicious burning of 2 Catholic churches

Both Catholic church fires are deemed suspicious, says RCMP

COVID-19 daily cases reported to B.C. public health, seven-day moving average to June 17, 2021. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infections drop to 90 on Sunday, 45 Monday

Pandemic spread dwindles as 77% of adults receive vaccine

Emergency vehicles are parked outside of the Wintergreen Apartments on Fourth Avenue. (SUSAN QUINN / Alberni Valley News)
Port Alberni RCMP investigate stabbing on Fourth Avenue

Two men were found with ‘significant’ injuries near Wintergreen Apartments

By protesting uninvited in First Nations’ territories, conservationists are acting in a neocolonial or paternalistic manner, says Huu-ay-aht Chief Robert Dennis. Photo by Heather Thomson
A closer look: do Vancouver Island First Nations support the war in the woods?

First Nations/environmentalist old growth alliance uneasy, if it exists at all

Bernadette Jordan addresses the media following a swearing in ceremony at Rideau Hall in Ottawa on January 14, 2019. Jordan says the government will provide $2 million to allow First Nations to continue to strengthen the marine safety system across Canada. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
First Nations receive federal funds to purchase marine rescue boats

Quatsino, Heiltsuk, and Kitasoo First Nation’s among eight across Canada to receive funding

A blood drive in support of 1-year-old Rielynn Gormley of Agassiz is scheduled for Monday, June 28 at Tzeachten First Nation Community Hall in Chilliwack. Rielynn lives with type 3 von Willebrand disease, which makes it difficult for her to stop bleeding. (Screenshot/Canadian Blood Services)
Upcoming blood drive in honour of Fraser Valley toddler with rare blood condition

The Gormley family has organized a blood drive in Chilliwack on June 28

Most Read