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Johnnie Delvalle

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Johnnie Delvalle’s Grindslave
Grindslave - Amzing Yoyo Video03:04

Grindslave - Amzing Yoyo Video

John Steel, better known as Johnnie Delvalle (JD for short), is a world champion yo-yo player. Delvalle is often characterized by wearing sleeveless black shirts. Before moving to become a part of Team YoYoJam, Delvalle was a member of Team Spintastics.

In 2002-2004 Delvalle set new 1A play standards, popularizing a style of knot-like complexity, as well as creating grinds, stalls, and freegens (Free Generation, also a term used to define 5A/Freehand Mid-Air Spin Regenerations). These tricks and styles were popularized in freestyles and clip videos made by Johnnie such as Remnant, Grindslave, Hitman: The Final Chapter, and X: The Movie.

He also designed a number of YoYoJam Signature Series yo-yos: the YoYoJam Hitman, the YoYoJam Lyn Fury, the YoYoJam X-Con, the YoYoJam X-ConVict, YoYoJam Eneme and later the YoYoJam Hitman Professional.

Johnnie retired from competition in 2003 after winning BAC, US Nationals and the 2003 World Yo-Yo Contest. However, at the 2007 Johnnie competed in 1A at the BAC and got 4th place. He is still very active in the scene, appearing as a judge and demonstrator at a variety of contests.

For a brief period in 2004-2005, Delvalle operated an online yo-yo store called Yo-yo Best Buy where customers had the option of getting the yo-yo they purchased 'pimped' (shims added and the bearing cleaned) by Johnnie himself.

In 2012, JD's store at reopened. In addition to a specialty selection of high end yo-yos, some yo-yos have been granted special deal bearing upgrades (though they are not formally described as having been pimped).

Johnnie also has used a couple of pseudonyms in the past, including Lionel Drake, first used in the video Lion-Flo. In 2006, Johnnie returned as Lionel at the Redondo Pier Contest, taking 1st place in the 1A division.

Johnnie was a judge at US Massachusetts State Contest in 2005 and 2006. He was scheduled to attend the 2007 contest, as a judge, but apparently his plane was delayed, and he was unable to make it.




  • California State - 1st Place


  • Bay Area Classic - 1st Place
  • California State - 1st Place
  • US Nationals - 4th Place



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