I’m into yoyos that are round shapes that are comfortable in hand, a standard to large size, and that are sensitive to sloppy play (but not too sensitive) so they make me pay attention and be a better yoyoer. In other words, I play a Peak a lot
So it has been nice to see some recent yoyos that fit this vibe - the A-RT Grail, Heaven Sent Creep, and CLYW Peak 2. All are lovely yoyos but the A-RT Grail is my favorite, and here is why…
A-RT Grail Specs:
weight 63.5 g
width 44.8 mm
diameter 56.6 mm
Aesthetics: I love a minimal yoyo design with no or barely-there branding, like how Yoyorecreation used to do things. Flat cups with nothing in/on them are my favorite. The A-RT Grail is unbranded and a super nice shape with a slightly convex cup, all clean lines and just very pleasing to the eye. Perfect, the best aesthetics I’ve seen in a yoyo in a long time. Only downside is that the pyramatte finish gives a bit of a “scratchy” and non-uniform look to the yoyo surface…but this is a relatively minor thing because the finish is very functional and does feel great in hand (the Grail is actually manufactured by One Drop, and their work is always top-notch and consistent).
Play: The Grail is a super comfy shape in-hand, as I have big hands and this size yoyo is perfect. On a throw it rolls out comfortably and is very playable for long periods because of the comfortable gap (not too big, but with nice v-cuts to help keep the string from rubbing or snagging too much) and relatively light weight for its size. Spin times are respectable but this is not the throw you would reach for for infinite spins anyways. As with yoyos that have more even weight distribution like this one, attention should be paid to the spin through the course of long trick sequences because you will always want to reserve a bit of spin for the bind return. In play it is a nimble and “floaty” yoyo that can be pushed fast or played slower if you want, in other words I’d say it is “medium” when it comes to speed in doing direction changes and so on. Some yoyos like to play more fast most of the time (like the Peak 2, for example), others slower (like the Canvas), and others yet in the middle, where the Grail sits. The middle is a good place to be because it means more flexibility. The Grail feels like you can push it how you want to go - slower or faster - and thus it’s very comfortable. The feeling on the string is relatively light because the Grail is light for its size and with evenly-distributed weight. The bottom line is that the A-RT Grail is a super-playable yoyo that I will reach for all the time.
Quick comparison: Compared to the 3rd run Peak, Peak 2, and the Creep, the Grail is similar in size and shape and comfort in hand. However, the Grail is most comfortable on a throw and in play, feeling light like the Peak 2 but with a less aggressive feeling (and not as fast) in play. The Grail feels lighter on the string than the Creep and maybe a bit faster and nimble than the Creep as well. Compared to the Peaks, the Grail has less momentum due to lower rim-weighting. While the Grail is floaty, by far the 3rd run Peak has the most “floaty” feeling because its heavier weight and rim-weighting give the impression that it is lighter in play (good momentum and fast but not too fast) than it really is in hand and during the roll-out on a throw (and to me this is “floaty”… that a yoyo seems to play lighter than it really is, so being a lightweight yoyo is not enough to automatically be “floaty”… and yes I know “floaty” is a problem term, but whatever ). Overall, the Grail is the most comfortable and playable of these, and of most yoyos that I have played.
I like the Grail. I like it a lot. It just might be my ideal yoyo. Well done, messieurs Jensen and Charles.
(if I’m not too lazy I’ll update this post with pics sometime soon update: i’m not too lazy after all)