CLYW Arctic Circle Review
Chris over at CLYW has unleashed what many believe to be yet another perfect throw. I must admit that the Arctic Circle is my first CLYW that I own and after playing it for three hours after unleashing it from its box today, I can definitely see where the hype comes from. It seems that manufacturing excellent, quality throws is something done quite well by our brothers in Canada. The Arctic Circle follows the release of the extremely popular - and if you check out the forums incredibly sought after - CLYW Chief. Again, after a few throws I can see why Chris’ throws are such a hot topic of discussion and considered such diamonds in the rough.
Arctic Circle Specs:
Size C bearing
CLYW Snow Tire response system
Like many offerings from CLYW the colorways offered are numerous and range in color and brilliance. The Arctic Circle is offered in 6 colorways: the Yogi edition in black and copper, Berry Berry in purple and pink, Blue with Red Speckle, Copper Pot, Gray with blue splash and Caribou Street in a minty green and orange speckle. I received the Gray with blue splash and was very happy to see that while the yoyo is in fact gray takes on a slightly different, nearly brown in different light. I like yo-yos that tend to offer surprise in terms of color in different lighting.
In the Box:
(Arctic Circle box, Arctic Circle yoyo with string and CLYW tag, CLYW logo sticker, and 2 Yeti stickers 1 round and the other a monster that is going on one of my cases asap!)
I love the extra’s that came with my Arctic Circle. I know that it really comes down to a quality yoyo but it is nice to see the extras a company will throw in not because they have to but because they want to. This type of care and attention really do show that a company is there for the customer. Although some may disagree with this when you think about the extras the same care and attention to detail and design of the yoyo can be seen upon opening the box and on the very first throw.
The Arctic Circle surprised me in so many ways. Once I opened the box and was able to contain myself long enough to pull away the cardboard CLYW circle that was attached to the string I was thrilled at how comfortable the yoyo was in my hand. The shape is a butterfly of course but the sloped catch zone is a 3-step slope that offers a well thought out design where the catch zone and outer rim are separated by a fine groove enough to be felt and noticed but definitely nothing that interferes with play. I like this small detail in the yoyo and it makes for a unique look among the many similar styles being released as of late. The cup side of each half contains the dual rim design of the Chief with no hub to be seen and instead a beautifully and delicately rounded area that is a breath of fresh air when compared to other yo-yos with a hub. During my play time with the Arctic Circle I attempted a few thumb grinds hoping that the central rim would provide enough rim space and the proper angle for grinding but not a single throw allowed for a proper grind. I don’t mind this all that much since I prefer fast play with precision and don’t do much thumb grinds really. The finish seems incredibly durable and grinds very well. I would place the grindability of the Arctic Circle somewhere between that of an Evil-Yo and a yoyo with a pyramite finsih such as the Omnicron X. The grinds are smooth and do not catch whatsoever but when I compared grinds between the Arctic Circle and my Evil-Yo the Evil-Yo won every time. Overall the build is solid, comfortable and the finish leaves nothing to desire.
On a Throw:
(yes, its spinning here but to get a sharp shot I had to up my shutter to 1/50s in order to save your eyes from a horribly blurred image since the finish made it a tad hard to focus without constant af searching)
The Arctic Circle has made a believer of me. It reminds me of the first time I actually gave in and tried sushi. I was so resistant but once I begrudgingly tried it I was hooked and many a bill after that fateful day will show my love for the Japanese finger food that is sushi. The Arctic Circle just works. And very well at that. I will say with no lack of honesty that this yoyo is one of the most stable players I’ve ever played on a flat bearing. The shape, weight and weight distribution are so precise that even a bad throw winds up being tolerable at the end of the string. Spin time is long, smooth and allows for multiple transitions and the design of the wall really does aid in keeping the string open on slacks and is one of the most pronounced walls I’ve seen lately. The wall is a slight step up from the catch zone which aids greatly in reducing friction between the string and the yoyo which of course helps to keep the spin long and free. On suicides, regular and green triangle, the string remained open when using the stock string, twisted poly and toxic bg strings so pretty much any string is a good fit. This yoyo feels like a fast player and can handle any speed you want to throw its way. No matter how hard I pushed it through a transition or a swift change in direction it kept pace and really did shine. I really can’t say enough for the playability of the Arctic Circle, I can only say that Chris has the reputation that he does because of throws like this. I’m sure similar comparisons have been made before but the difference between what CLYW produces and some other throws is like comparing a Mustang to a Lotus - both great sports cars and quite capable but while the Mustang is all muscle and no finesse the Lotus has all the speed of the Mustang but with that extra quality of just being a dead-sexy car that can kick butt.
Stock bearing and response:
The Arctic Circle comes with a standard C bearing that plays well once broken in and the bearing stops that ever-so-familiar whine and begins to just hum along as you put it through its paces. The included bearing plays well and seemed to be dry which I like. The response system was new to me and I had to inspect it to get a better look and idea of how I felt about it. The CLYW Snow Tire is only 1mm larger than the Flow Groove Pad in my Drop Bear and only a few tenths of a mm wider but the difference can be felt. The binds are tight, neat and after 3 hours of play today I haven’t noticed a bit of difference. While Flow Groove Pads are soft and springy the Snow Tires feel much more firm and remind me of my white art erasers I used to throw at my classmate in figure study class. Maybe the Snow Tires take a bit longer to break in and I will notice later on but with my Flow Groove Pad throws like my Drop Bear, Viszilla or Decapod they just seem to wear a bit after that much time while my Snow Tires in the Arctic Circle seem to be like new. I still like my Flow Groove Pads but the Snow Tires seem to be just as reliable and consistent. Like most of my yo-yos I do plan on attempting to silicone the response groove once the pads wear down but I can’t say that I think this will be anytime soon!
So for all those who have told me I would love a CLYW throw, you were right. Although it normally pains me a great deal to admit I was wrong I will gladly state at this moment I was so wrong to not try one of Chris’ yo-yos sooner. I must admit, I feel lucky to have been able to snag one and quite honestly believe that CLYW throws are definitely the type of yoyo that wants to be played and should be enjoyed by all. Another yoyo has made it into my daily throw box…I’m going to need a bigger box with the next offering from CLYW!