Are counterweights with bearings a gimmick?

So I’ve been wondering about this for awhile. Is there any real benefit to using a counterweight with a bearing and bead? I only know of two on the market but i wouldn’t be surprised if there were more. I have the little white cube from a site that shall not be named. But I’m also aware of a monkey barrel one with weights you can add.

From my experience the bearing doesn’t really help with string tension much at all. Cause wouldn’t the bearing only help if you weren’t touching the string at all and only holding the counterweight while the yoyo sleeps? Who does that? I’m almost never holding just the counterweight and have my hands on the string in front of it. I was thinking maybe the bearing does its job when you let go of the weight but i feel like that happens with normal weights too. I pretty much only play 5a these days and I never really have any string tension issues. Maybe its just my style or tricks but I don’t know.

So not much upside that I can see. Then there is the downside of having to string it a different way and having the bead come loose during play. Plus eventually another bearing to clean.

Let me be clear though, it’s fine if it’s a gimmick. I have whistling yoyos and, light up ones etc. Gimmicks are fine and fun. I have my bearing weight on my NineDragons just for the novelty of it btw. So no judging on how or what people want to play with.

But does anyone who plays 5a use bearing counterweights as their main weight? Is it anyone’s favorite? I kind of feel like even the guys who designed these barely use them. That’s just speculation though.

What are all your thoughts on counterweights with bearings in them?

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From my own personal experiences, the bearing CWs don’t really hold tension any better nor any less than let’s say a standard Duncan CW. I personally don’t think they’re worth it from that perspective. I do think the ones designed to add and reduce weight are absolutely worth it though, and the majority of them out nowadays no matter what their purpose are really cool designs either way

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In my experience, bearing CW’s don’t make any difference. I got a rain city skills bearing tear drop CW a few weeks ago. I run all my CWs with a bead. There’s no difference so far. They look cool though.

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From my understanding, bearings are mostly used for weight distribution within the counterweight itself.

If there was an inherent benefit to using a CW with a bearing, there’d be more 5A competitors using them. Porykon and Candy Dice both offer models with bearings, yet they’re not the most commonly used models.

Although I think it’s very interesting that almost all of the player signature CW models choose to have a weight distribution where the center of the CW is entirely hollow, instead of having the center being the heaviest part of the weight because of an added bearing.

Hiroyasu Ishihara was one of the few players who had a bearing in their signature CW, and they actually chose to remove the bearing entirely, hollow out the center, and add an O-ring to the exterior body of it for the new revision of it (Porykon Sumo → Yokozuna). A total 180 degree shift in weight distribution.

I’d love to hear some of these players elaborate on their design choice preferences. I’m not good enough at 5A to have much of an opinion beyond wanting it to be around 10g and comfortable/easy to catch and rebound with.

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Yeah adter you say all that, my bearing CW does feel very different as far as the weight distribution goes. I can feel the weight toward the end of the CW, indon’t know it just feels and swings differently. My smallest CW, feels heavy when it’s moving. But it weighs the same as a duncan die

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From my personal experience I really got into the whole porykon hype train when they first came out with a bearing cw. After playing 5a for a few years though, I tend to lean towards the simplest thing I can find now(dice). It’s definitely a gimmick, although I’m sure the right player could make some bearing cw-specific tricks.

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I have a porykon jupiter CW. No bearing, by far my fav CW. I got a simple topyo one i really love too

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I hadn’t thought the weight distribution as a feature of a bearing counterweight but I can see that making sense if you like a certain feel. I’ve definitely noticed how small/large or dense/hollow can affect play. But it seems I’m not crazy in thinking that the string tension part of it of little or no consequence.

It’s interesting to hear that example of Hiroyasu Ishihara. I too would like to hear more about counterweight design from the people making them. There seems to be a lot of variety with them these days so it would be good to get a bit more insight.

And I agree with Andrew, I tend to prefer simple. That’s why I like counterweights with grooves around them. Even if I’m not ever playing with the string looped around my finger, it makes it easy to change strings or lets someone try it 1a.

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Just for general awareness… ‘Beverchakas’ (Ty McClellan) has been throwing 5A since the invention of flight.

So for those that might not know this, his personal thoughts on this subject carry some ‘Weight’.

The guy is a 5A machine

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The string groove is my favorite cw feature tbh lol. Not good enough at all to tell the difference between weights/sizes yet

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I’m not so sure about counterweights, but I’ve noticed that bearings don’t make much of a difference at all in a tama when you are playing kendama, which is very similar. A simple bead instead works perfectly well.

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Now, here is a little more info>

Consider that I am ‘Not’ any kinda yo-yo Historian.

So this information may not be found in the Bible of True Story Documents…… but, for what it may be worth.

The pics I am including are of a Proto Yoyojam Destiny. It was sent to me directly from Dale waaaay back when. Takeshita Matsurra asked Dale to make it up for him because ‘he’ felt it could/would have various advantages over non bearing counterweights.

Takeshi is also ‘handy’ at 5A.

But I never heard Dale mention any feedback from Takeshi, telling him there actually was an advantage to having the bearing in the counterweight? I would think it would be very interesting to find out if Takeshi uses any counterweights with bearings in his up-to-date rigs? I think the answer to that would be most enlightening.

I do not have either 5A skills or enough experience at bearing counterweights to have an opinion.



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@yoyodoc That is absolutely amazing!!! If this was all takeshi’s idea, it’s gotta be worth something. It might be just for the feeling of the weight focused at the very end, takeshi’s swings the CW so fast i can see him liking how a bearing CW feels. Plus, the bearing just makes so much sense, we all got plenty laying around, it’s the perfect size. And in theory, it really should help with string tension. I have a hard time believing it is just a gimmick. But i haven’t noticed first hand, it being better. But it for sure doesn’t make it worse.

Also, thanks for the kind words. <3

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Takeshi actually still uses a bearing CW! His main weight that he uses now is just called the Takeshi Weight and produced through Turning Point.

Here’s a video of him playing with it if anybody else wants to watch a man be unreasonably good at yoyoing. Takeshi Weight - Turning Point - YouTube

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