Jon Gates played the offstring play style by imitating the offstring wind. Previously, Duncan demonstrators in the old days of yo-yoing, such as Dale Oliver, would take the strings off the yo-yos and throw them into the air and onto the string. However, these demonstrators never figured out how to actually wind the yo-yo, so the complete foundational basis for offstring did not debut until Gates' innovation.<<many citations needed >>
The old demonstrators simply threw the yo-yos without strings as a sales mechanism. Yo-yo players watching the demonstrators would try to mimick the offstring throw, would miss thus breaking their yo-yos, and forcing them to buy new ones.