When most people think of yo-yo, they typically think of throwing a yo-yo down and then it coming back up, or good ol’ tricks like “walk the dog” or “rock the baby.”

But an east Valley boy is proving how modern day yo-yo is very different and competitive, as he prepares to compete in the 2017 World Yo-yo Contest in Iceland next week.

Hunter Feuerstein is only 12 years old, but he’s already the two-time yo-yo champion of Arizona, ranked second on the west coast. And in just a few days, he will be competing for the title of yo-yo champion of the world!

Not bad for a kid who didn’t even want to do this.

“My mom forced us to go to a free yo-yo class at the library,” Hunter said.

That was 4 years ago.

“Ended up getting hooked,” he said. “Creative and relaxing.”

He learned the basics and then started making up his own tricks.

“It takes a lot of practice obviously, but I yo-yo like pretty much all day,” Hunter said.

“Once I get on stage and everyone starts like cheering and stuff and then I start yo-yoing, I don’t really feel nervous at all,” he said.

The World Yo-yo Contest is next Thursday through Saturday in Iceland.

“He’s going to rate very high,” said Hans VanDanElzen, owner and co-founder of the YoYoFactory in Chandler. He’s confident in Hunter’s ability.

“This kid… if he doesn’t get it this year, he’s up and coming, he’s going to get the world champion one day,” he said.

The competition isn’t all about the tricks, the routines are choreographed and the moves are synched to music.

Hunter will admit not every move comes easy. He’s optimistic, but knows the competition will be tough.

“A realistic goal for me? I hope for making semi-finals,” Hunter said.

Everyone at 12 News wishes Hunter the best of luck next week as he travels to Iceland to compete and we can’t wait to hear how he finishes.

If you’d like to get involved, Hunter recently started a yo-yo club called the Chandler Yoyo Club.