Reviewed by Chris Rhoads
April 10, 2011
Evolution is everywhere. It does not matter if it is Darwin’s finches on the Galapagos Islands or in the yo-yo world; the evidence is always there. No more is it apparent in our community than with the Sasquatch, the missing link between the Gnarwhal and the Avalanche. This is Alex Berenguel’s signature yo-yo. Yes, the same Alex Berenguel who is responsible for getting Chris Mikulin interested in throwing way back in the day. Not to be content with just having an awesome colorway on the retired Peak, Alex stepped it up a notch with this latest yo-yo. There is slight controversy with the Sasquatch though. Some have come out on the forums and said that it was not needed, that the Avalanche was what the Sasquatch should have been. Some have even said that there just is not enough to distinguish the Avalanche and the Sasquatch, that they are essentially the same yo-yo. I almost fell into that last category, but after playing HSYY team member Jake Gross’ Sasquatch for a little over a week I have begun to form a different opinion. Continue reading the review and see for yourself if these two yo-yos are different enough to warrant separate purchases. I’ll give you my thoughts on that at the end.
• Diameter: 55.6 mm
• Width: 43 mm
• Gap: 4.14 mm
• Weight: 68 grams
• Bearing: C-Sized Steel Bearing
• Response: Flowable Silicone
The design of the Sasquatch is going to be very familiar to those of you rocking a Gnarwhal in your collection. Essentially the Sasquatch is almost an enlarged version of the Gnarwhal. The main difference between the two, besides the size, is in the rims. There is quite a bit more rim weight on the Gnarwhal; in the pictures you can see that the Gnarwhal rims are quite a bit thicker. The thinner rims on the Sasquatch change up the cup design a little as well, giving a little more curve to the inner wall. The profile of the Sasquatch shows the biggest change between it and the Avalanche. The rims on the Avalanche are significantly larger than those of the Sasquatch and there is no channel cut into the transition from the inner rim to the catch zone. That channel would account for the 0.80 gram difference these two siblings, giving the Sasquatch the extra mass. Other than those two changes there are no big differences between these three yo-yos. They all sport the same hub design, the same friction reducing bump near the guts, the same lack of IGR, and the same overall shape. While they may all look similar we all know that does not translate into similar play. As far as the design is concerned, I have already stated that I love the designs of the Gnarwhal and the Avalanche so it goes without saying that I am a fan of the Sasquatch’s looks and feel.
There is only a 0.80-gram difference between this and the Avalanche. While that does not seem like a lot there is a definite change in the feel of these two on the string. The Sasquatch plays a little a hair slower and a little heavier on the string. It also feels slightly more stable as well. That is saying something because I thought the Avalanche was very stable. There is also slightly less float as well. All of these may be small differences but they up to enough and give you a different feel while moving it around.
Response and Bearing
Not much to say on this. The response is Chris’ phenomenal silicone job. Rumor has it that he has the application of flowable down to such an art that he can do it in a single pour without having to do any touch ups.
The bearing is the standard steel 8-Ball that comes with all CLYW yo-yos. It works well and as I have said in the past, I have never had one die on me.
On first throw, I noticed a distinct difference in feel between the Sasquatch and the Avalanche. The best way to describe the two is that the Sasquatch is slightly tamer and a little more reserved while the Avalanche wants to get a little wild. It has a little more thunk when it hits the end of the string and moves with a little more purpose while in the air, tending not to float as much when popped up. I ended up focusing on throwing the Sasquatch and Avalanche using the tricks I already know in order to truly see the differences between the two. What I found is exactly what I mentioned above. The Avalanche is a little faster and floatier. One thing that did kind of surprise me is that I found the Sasquatch to be slightly more precise. It didn’t move out of place when popped off the string so I ended up landing tricks like Eli Hops and Kwijibo a little bit more often than with my Avalanche. It was a minor change but enough to make me notice. As far as grinds are concerned it is exactly like the Avalanche. The CLYW finish allows perfect finger, arm, and palm grinds. Like the Gnarwhal and the Avalanche, there is no IGR to speak of making it a weak thumb grinder. As far as the play is concerned, it is similar to the feel of the Gnarwhal and the Avalanche while still being unique. You can feel the difference while knowing that it comes from the same family.
And now for the 800-pound gorilla in the room, is this worth the purchase if you already have an Avalanche? I think so. While the looks are similar, the play is different enough that you will notice it. While I still prefer my Avalanche to the Sasquatch I do find that the play mechanics of the Sasquatch have their advantages. If you are looking for a very precise yo-yo that plays at a good speed while never feeling like it is going to lose control, this is the yo-yo for you. I think the best way to sum this yo-yo up is that it is Alex’s yo-yo. The precision of his tricks requires a yo-yo that will work on the same level as his play. The Sasquatch gives him exactly what he needs and in the end everyone else wins with this design. Great job Chris and Alex, you guys have designed a yo-yo that is sure to be a hit for years to come.
Bonus Evolution Gallery
Left to Right: Gnarwhal, Sasquatch, Avalanche
Left to Right: Gnarwhal, Sasquatch, Avalanche
Left to Right: Sasquatch, Avalanche. You can really see the difference in the rims in this shot.