Gap width, sweet gap width

I’ve really learned lately how important the right gap width is for a yoyo.

I had a JT FiReal version 1 and I thought (and still do think) that it is an excellent yoyo. I just purchased a version 2 FiReal in which the only real difference is that the gap is narrower, and it has blown me away how much better it is. It feels like the handbrake had been taken off. It translates the power of your throw into spin far more easily, has a far better feel in play and, of course, binds much tighter.

Similarly, I have an original Werrd Tre which is an outstanding performer and has a narrow gap. The 2013 model has a much wider gap, and it was apparent quite quickly how a lot of the power and character has been sucked right out of the yoyo due to this change.

I used to look at the gap width of yoyos I buy to see if it was at least 4.5mm because I thought it would handle complex trick with multiple wraps better. Now I know that this doesn’t always mean it will perform better overall. Gap width is a very important thing to get balanced just right to get what is desired for performance and feel

Anyway, not sure what you are all meant to post here, I just wanted to share this. Lol.

I too have mostly disregarded gap width. (or at least I have never considered gap width when purchasing a yoyo)

But, it might be something I need to consider more.

Maybe that’s why people like Kitty Fat so much?

It would artificially decrease gap. Or at least, I think it would provide the effect of a smaller gap.

I know it(fatter string) does for my fixies anyway.

I thought I liked fat kitty, until I tried others brands.

Also, once i changed fro fat to thin strings i noticed MUCH tighter binds and longer sleep times with less hard throws, but that seems counter intuitive to the concept of gap width and string (thickness) relationship…

Curiouser and curiouser!

I’ve never felt that gap width was all that important. Just more of an easier thing, larger gap less the string rubs. But a narrower gap makes you have to be smoother and more accurate player.

I’m not sure that there is anything that can’t be done on a narrow gap yoyo that can be done on a wide gap yoyo.

Could this be skill based? Maybe your a better thrower later on, and that was a bigger factor than the string? Just throwing stuff out, I have no idea.

I think a lot of it is subjective and that makes things hard to quantify.

I spent a good 15 minutes playing with a friends throw once and it felt a little odd, but not too bad.
When I got a snag so bad I had to open it up, I discovered it didn’t even have response pads!

I’m not the best player, but I’m not THAT oblivious!

Are you talking about sub-mm differences?

what do you mean by sub-mm?

Differences of less than a mm.

No, I just think given the skill level that gap doesn’t matter. Freehands had less than a 3mm gap, and there are plenty of players that can pull off a lot of “modern” tricks on them. Renegades were a little smaller, same thing. Ed hit Spirit Bomb on a vintage Duncan O’ Boy, that gap has to be less than 1mm.

It’s been well established that modern tricks can be performed on yoyos with very thin gaps, its just a matter of how easily they can be performed.

The only point I was trying to make is that gap width is important for more than just allowing the string to wrap without much friction. It’s something that is a substantial contributor to overall performance.

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Yeah, I don’t really know anything about string gap, but,
Happy Birthday Glenacius K!

Hey, thanks man! :slight_smile:

If you make it to the NC yoyo meet tomorrow, I’ll buy some doughnuts :stuck_out_tongue:

would appreciate some comparison pictures. The official log before these new runs stated that they changed the overall width and adjusted the response separator but didnt mention the gap width itself. They did say those changes are for making throws and binds more solid, though.
I routinely add and subtract shims with my c3 and clyw all the time mainly to adjust for the strings i use. I normally stock thick strings on everything, but i have accumulated a lot of thin ones here and there and these <4.3mm gaps are the only ones that feel right in my hands with a thin string.

I contacted Japan Technology specifically asking for an outline of the differences between FiReal verson 1 and 2, and their answer was that the gap width had changed.

‘It is a slight difference of the gap width.
I FiReal like new feeling’

That is a direct quote from their response to my question.

This makes no sense to me at all. Thinner strings give slippier binds and less resposne. This is pretty much fact. If you use a mighty flea string on a modern yoyo you won’t be able to bind normally. If you use a string twice as thick as YYSL Ammo you’ll barely need to feed any string in for it to bind, and the yoyo might even become a little responsive. Kind of extreme ends and examples but its just easier to understand that way.

@Glenacius K I don’t know how I feel about gap width honestly. I like the tight binds and good response that comes with thin gap and/or thick strings but I like how wide gaps and/or thin strings rarely ever snag. I think I just like an average gap width like 4.5 to get a little of both.

I believe the gap is just as important or unimportant as any other yoyo specification. The fact that the specs are given down to the hundredth of a mm is indicative of how drastically even minute variations can effect the way a yoyo plays. This is speculation on my part, but I would not be surprised to learn that there have been numerous yoyos, where it was the gap that was the last thing to be ironed out via prototypes. I can imagine that choices were made about what characteristics were most important to the designer(s) for that particular yoyo.

Glenacius K’s post gives an intriguing account of this effect. I can imagine a player with a different style/preferences having the opposite preferences with the same two pairs of yoyos. He said that he felt he got stronger throws, and better binds. I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that he likes to do regens and riskier binds. A tech player might prefer the wider gapped versions of the same two pairs of yoyos. I might be totally off base with my assumptions, but I think my point is still valid regardless.

Anyway, of course the most important variable is the player, yet IMO the most important thing to most players, is the experience of the yoyoing. Sure masters like Ed can do Spirit Bomb on an ancient fixie. I can’t, won’t ever be able to, and can’t think of trying to, even being that much fun. That’s just me, personally. I don’t believe you can do anything on any yoyo regardless of the gap width. Even if you could, different gaps facilitate different play. When was the last time someone was competitive in a major contest with a FH? How many people are doing 2a with a wide gap?

Ultimately gap size matters because it effects to way a yoyo feels, and the play characteristics it exhibits. We all have our own tastes, and those tastes can vary with our mood and/or goals at the moment.

It’s true that gap width is just one factor among many that determines performance and feel. However, the yoyos I’ve mentioned that have a difference in gap width largely have only this as the change between versions of the same model, and the performance differences are obvious. I dont believe that is subjective, but certainly preference is, as you said.

I hadn’t thought of shimming an unresponsive metal thrown before.

Mind sharing a pic our two? Im curious. :slight_smile: