Hi everybody, this is my first review. For some background, i used to play about ten years ago, but didn’t keep it up.This last christmas, my wife got me a Duncan Butterfly and reignited a forgotten passion. I quickly upgraded to a Viper and then a DMII,but recently had to bite the bullet and upgrade again to a CLYW Chief, and the YYJ Theory is the yo-yo my wife picked to along learn with with me. Upon first throwing, I wanted to give this a less generous review than i will now, but I think I was too busy comparing it to my new Chief(which is beyond perfect, and will be reviewed another day :-)). That being said, I will try my best to review this yo-yo on it’s own merits while also trying to compare it to my similarly-costed Dark Magic II.
First, the stats straight from the store page.*
Diameter: 55.90 mm / 2.20 inches
Width: 40.35 mm / 1.58 inches
Gap Width: 4.5 mm / 0.17 inches
Weight: 68.9 grams
Bearing Size: YoYoJam Speed Bearing
Size C (.250 x .500 x .187)
Response: YoYoJam Silicone Response
also compatible with CBC “Slim Pad” Size 19mm OD
*As a quick aside on the stats before I get to the meat of this, although the gap is a generous 4.5mm, something about this throw just makes the gap feel more narrow than it should. It may just be lack of experience, but it just feels way more narrow than my DMII, but at 4.95mm I expected that. But this also feels more narrow than my Chief, which, at 4.22mm, sort of boggles me.
This thing just looks cool. In the same way that a muscle car with racing stripes looks fast standing still, this little guy looks and feels like it’s going to spin longer and straighter than it should. I say little guy even though I know it’s a full sized throw because, even though it’s full sized,it feels small in the hand due to it’s slimness. It has a unique profile that fits my finger and thumb nicely in the gap, though, and it’s quite comfortable to both throw and catch.
On the throw:
This is a very satisfying yo-yo to throw. It has a very solid feel during the throw, with a satisfying, effortless thunk at the end of the string. I’ve come to enjoy the hearty aluminum scream during sleeps, but it did take some getting used to. Honestly, this was the one off-putting thing I experienced reviewing this. I wish the celcon caps were removable so I could tell if they were the culprit, but i guess we’ll never know…
On the String:
This is where the gap width confuses me. It behaves well with multiple string layers, but even with the first layer the bearing starts to grab just slightly. At first I though that the YYJ speed bearing it shipped with was just a little grippy, but after a meticulous cleaning and swapping in a KonKave, a center-trac and a Twisted Trifecta, I’ve just come to terms with the fact that this is a grippy throw. This isn’t a bad thing. As I mentioned, this was for my wife, so lubing a YYJ speed bearing just right made for a perfectly semi-responsive yo-yo(one that’s unresponsive on the string, but, tugged just right, will return to the hand*). Overall, it handles 2-3 layers quite well, but if you don’t take caution you will bind things into your fingers.
*Quick aside: I tried using a slim bearing with both thick and thin YYJ spacers and neither work in this throw. The thick ones almost tighten down, but the string still slips into the gap. So this isn't quite the right yo-yo to transition from responsive to unresponsive in one package unless you're patient enough to learn how to set responsiveness with lube. I guess that's why they didn't include a slim bearing with this one.
The Theory isn’t really that grind-friendly for a beginner, even though it’s all-metal. The few grinds I can pull off with this, palm and finger grinds, die long before they feel like they should, and it seems like the main culprit is the record-style groove carved into it. To be honest, though, because this is so unforgiving on the grinds it is capable of, it will show you exactly why you’ve been missing your grinds, and what you need to do to fix them.
This is probably the one thing I wanted to hit on the most. Partially due to lack of research, and partially because the guys on the video showing this bad boy off rock it so freakin’ hard, it seems to the uninitiated that these caps, as well as YYJ’s lateral caps in general, function in a similar fashion to hubstacks. This, my friend, is just not so. After some playing around, I found I could pull-start the Theory, but I soon realized it was not just easier to pull-start my Chief, but it was on par with the difficulty of pull-starting my DMII, which I honestly hadn’t even though to try until now. Don’t get me wrong, the caps are cool and you can do some really cool things with them, but if you thought they’re just a crazy style of hubstacks, you should just look at actual hubstacks.
At $62, this thing is just sick. Personally, for 60 bucks, I expected some vibe I could live with and maybe some cap issues since this is YYJ’s first throw to come with them stock, but this is dead-smooth out of the box and, aside from possible additions to the overall noise, the caps work exactly as intended. This is an absurdly good value at $62.
Even reviewing my own review, I feel like I was too harsh. All together, this is an amazing throw. Aside from not being too friendly with the spacers, I think I would have preferred this as a first serious throw over my DMII due to superior smoothness, stability and spin time. If only it didn’t feel so grippy on the sting and during binds, this would be the perfect introduction to unresponsive play.
Out of 10
On the Throw: 9
On the String: 7
On the Grind: 5
I liked this guy, and I hope you find this review both helpful and enjoyable!