Back from the dead

(Levi Neal) #1

I am getting back into yoyos after many years off. I spent most of my time with yoyos from 2005-2009 and a short time around 2013. What has changed in that time? What makes the best yoyo the best today? My favorite yoyo is my ilyy wasabi. Seems there are far less undersized yoyos today. What is a good yoyo around that size? Oh and hello I am Levi. Happy to be getting back into the madness.

Oops should of put this in the introduce thread my bad mods.


Changes from 2009-now : yoyos are actually good now :joy:

Changes from 2013-now : yoyos are a lot cheaper since everyone is manufacturing in China now. Also almost every yoyo on the market nowadays is a good yoyo(better than 95% of the market in 2009) since understanding of good yoyo design has been developed, perfected, and become common knowledge.

YYJ is no longer a company. YYF and OD are still big names like in 2013, however CLYW has kind of fallen off a bit and doesn’t have quite the reputation it used to. SF and G2 have taken their place as very popular “small” companies. YYR Draupnir is still highly regarded but it’s not as clear cut “the best yoyo” like it was in 2013, other yoyos have caught up to it, but many still consider it the best yoyo even today. Other than the Draupnir and Sleipnir though, the company doesn’t have as much prestige as it did in the early ‘10s; their newer models since 2013 don’t have as much popularity or interest as their monometals pre-2013.

If there’s any other companies you remember and want to know about I can see if I can help. I don’t think ILYY makes yoyos anymore or if they do it’s not very frequent.

What’s your price range? Also I would recommend getting a full sized yoyo. There’s not too many undersized yoyos nowadays for a reason; we’ve discovered they don’t have the same stability or performance as full sized yoyos. Full sized and rim weighted = good yoyo

(Christopher Dougherty) #3

How under-sized are you talking about??? You have the YYF heist… that’s very small and slim


HOLY SMOKES! Levi like “painted the dopest Peaks around” Levi!?!?

My last deep dive into yo-yo was this same time period and I drooled over the painted Peaks and their beautiful eggshell texture.

One day I had the fortune to get my very own from someone who was selling theirs - a custom Batman-themed peak that is the ultimate pinnacle of my collection:

Assuming this is THE Levi, can you share anything about this job? Are you doing any yo-yo painting currently?

(Levi Neal) #5

Thank you for the detailed reply I really appreciate it. I looked up ilyy any they made a yoyo last year but always small runs.l was never a big fan of how yyf felt. It’s kinda a shame to see all the production has been moved overseas.

I would say ~150 is my price range. I would rather save for a great yoyo though. I prefer a standard rounded shape over and h or something of that nature. I would rather the yoyo feel dead smooth than be competitively better (bapezilla 2 is my other fave).

(Justin ) #6

I feel like A Return Tops is the company for you.

(Levi Neal) #7

I wish I could say that was me but it is not. I remember seeing his work though.


Luckily for you there’s $30 yoyos nowadays that are better than $100-$150 yoyos in 2009

Also, literally every yoyo is smooth nowadays so you don’t have to worry about that, machining has come a long way in the past 10 years.

If you prefer a classic rounded shape I would recommend the One Drop Markmont Classic. It’s one of the most loved organics on the market. OD has their own machine shop as well so they are basically the only company left still machining their yoyos in the US. It should also be a company you’re already familiar with

Maybe as a 2nd yoyo though I would recommend diving into a modern bimetal V or H shape design to see how you feel about them now that they’ve evolved so much. For this I would recommend the YoYoFriends Hummingbird or UNPRLD Flashback


Crazy coincidence! No worries. Wish I would come across painter Levi - he put out some great stuff.

There are some really great companies out there right now putting out amazing product. The difference I’ve noticed is that most everything made these days is very high quality. Most of them are dead smooth, maybe the tiniest fingernail vibe noticeable, so there’s a LOT of great stuff to choose from.

I still have a Wasabi! So awesome. I was just wondering if anybody remembered that one…

My current faves in the organic or rounded shape profile are the A-RT Grail, MonkeyFinger Designs Prime8 and the Reticulated Return Tops Boa. If you can get your hands on a Grail that is one truly amazing throw.

(Levi Neal) #10

Want to sell your wasabi one day lol. My has some road rash and vibe. I will look those up.

How is anodizing today because the finish is one of the most important aspects to me. I worry these cheaper throws will feel like yyfs do. I have an old California and I hate how it feels in the hand.


Anodization is amazing nowadays as well. Price doesn’t determine ano quality. Every yoyos ano quality will be amazing, $30 or $200.

Price determines material. Plastic is the cheapest, then 6061 Aluminum, then 7075/7068, then bimetals


Finshes are AMAZING. Most of the anodized finishes are blasted these days so grinding is super sweet. We’re getting finishes that were like the old CLYW BvM anno jobs - smooth and silky for grinding. For some of the best finishes in the game check out G Squared Yoyos. They really push the boundaries of finish and art. Bonus points for their Diamond Blast finish on some of his solids that are probably the smoothest grind finish ever.

(Justin ) #13

I would say quality control is a bigger determiner of price. Unparalleled can push out $45 7075 yoyos but sacrifice their quality compared to a company like g2.

(Levi Neal) #14

Glad to hear ano is better. I love the finish on my bvm.

It really sounds like I can’t go wrong because what I think is an amazing yoyo isn’t anymore. Just go with what the heart wants.


I agree to an extent. I think quality control varies more by company than by price. G2 and OD have insane quality control but that doesn’t mean other companies are slacking. Quality control is good for any yoyo you buy nowadays. Keep in mind the OP yoyo’d in the late ‘00s. You can’t even compare from back then to now, the level of quality has risen so much.

I disagree with the UNPRLD example. I believe the quality control is great for all of their yoyos. Their bimetals are more expensive for the fans of the company that are willing to pay a little extra to support the company and their sponsored players. They make the budget yoyos so they’re accessible to everyone. This is Tyler’s intention. It’s why his yoyos are really either $100+ or sub-$60/$50. His premium line “could” be cheaper and his budget line “could” be more expensive but by doing it this way it allows him the chance to put out stuff like the Corruption and Abduction for cheaper than they really should be. His budget metals are some of if not the best value on the market.

(Jacob Waugh) #16

The YoyoFriends Hummingbird has surpassed the Draupnir, The World yoyo contest goes to Europe and Asia now, there is a lot more yoyo activity on social media (Reddit, Instagram, Youtube.) Evan Nagao is currently World Champion, G2 has significantly grown. CLYW makes Bi-metals now, YYF has better pro models now, (SF is a company that is quite popular (don’t ask who runs it), people are using 7068 Aluminum in yoyos now, Andy569 already said that tho, I can’t think of anything else…

({RTD} alecto) #17

looks like im not the only one to make it back to the forum…

(Jacob Waugh) #18

Another thing is that, (you can probably already tell this) Is that people know what works and what doesn’t, everyone uses C size bearings and mostly 19mm pads, people know wall thicknesses, good widths, weights that work, yoyos are getting lighter and wider, but at least we have a good ballpark of what works and what doesn’t with design.


Welcome back sir!!

May I recommend some choice yo-yos of vintage twenty eighteen ish? If you want relatively “undersized” as we’d call it today…

  • Recess Snack
  • 888GT (or Confusion GT)
  • Duncan Raptor (updated)
  • Veritas Pro
  • TopYo Photon


Ehrm…pardon me good Sir, but we still do.