Reviewed by Chris Rhoads
November 12, 2011
General-Yo has been in the yo-yo game for almost three years now. It is hard to believe that when that first, overlooked Torrent from an unknown man from Riverside hit the shelves, Ernie and General-yo would become the international powerhouse that they are today. The funny thing is that I am not surprised in the least; Ernie just has that combination of brilliant design skills and friendly personality that just make you want to try his products. I have been a fan of General-Yo products since the days of the second run 5-Star. Since then I have had the good fortune to play all the other models, with the exception of the illusive OG Torrent. Today I am taking a look at Ernie’s 9th release, a radical departure in design from what we have come to expect from General-Yo simply called the Entheos. I can’t wait to dive in and see if this new direction that Ernie is taking General-Yo is up to par with what we have come to expect from him.
• Diameter: 50.3 mm
• Width: 41.35 mm
• Gap: 4.24 mm
• Weight: 67 grams
• Response: General-yo Thick Hat Pads
• Bearing: C-Sized AIGR Bearing
The Entheos arrives in the standard white cardboard box with a logo sticker prominently displayed on the front. When I opened the box I was greeted by the blue side cup staring back at me. Cool, little flat rim face action similar to the Hatrick. When I wrestled the yo-yo out of the box the similarities pretty much ended between the Entheos and… well anything else in Ernie’s stable. The profile shows off flat rims and an angled V-Shape catch zone. Gone are the flowing, rounded butterfly shape catch zone instead it is all very angular. Thing is even with this new direction there was a lot of thought put into the comfort of the design. In my hand I found the Entheos did not have any sharp angles that would cause the yo-yo to hit wrong during play. At rest it sat comfortably on my middle finger with the rims lying on the adjacent fingers. The cup displayed the trademark Gen-Yo spike that has been on almost all of Ernie’s designs since the original Torrent. The floor of the cup past the spike is flat and obstruction free leaving plenty of room to catch the IGR with your thumb. No General-Yo yo-yo would be complete without the custom bead blast finish that was introduced on the second run 5-Star. The velvety soft finish has always been a favorite among players due to its ability to give smooth grinds. Over all I am liking the new design, it is a refreshing change that still has that General-Yo feel while holding it in the hand. I think about the only issue I have with the design choice is more of a personal preference thing that anything else and that has to do with the color. I would have liked the colors to pop a little more. This is a minor nit pick and honestly completely subjective.
This is a heavier yo-yo that comes in at exactly 67 grams. Most of the weight is concentrated in the thick rims giving excellent spin times and a good amount of stability. The added bulk allows the yo-yo to play well with a slower free flowing play style. Now don’t get me wrong, give it a little push and the Entheos will zoom on the string just as well as any lightweight on the market. You just have the option of slowing it down if you would like.
Response and Bearing
Hat Pads have always been a favorite of mine for a number of reasons. They give tight binds and last forever. They are also the perfect fit for CLYW silicone grooves. If you stack two thick pads it will give you a flush response in your Peak, if you want a little recess use a thick and a thin pad. That versatility alone has been the reason why I always have some on hand.
The AIGR bearing is my close second favorite bearing. It is the smoothest 8-Ball bearing on the market and always comes pretty much whisper quiet. All of my large bearing yo-yos have a 10-Ball or an AIGR in them.
This is one smooth yo-yo, not surprising since General-Yo set the bar for smooth early on. On the first throw I found it hard to feel the spin while it was sleeping at the end of the string. During play testing I threw my standard battery of tricks at it and found nothing that it could not handle. Suicides were a snap thanks to the low cut V-shape keeping the sidewalls away from the loop. The spikes were difficult but not impossible to catch, allowing the Entheos to balance freely on my thumb. During play testing I decided to focus on grind tricks, this is a General-yo yo-yo after all. Arm grinds were easy to pull off and gave me a chance to do my best Johnny DelValle impression having it grind all the way up my arm and almost across my chest. Finger grinds were also east to do I would pop the yo-yo up and catch it on my right index finger and then pop it up and catch it with my left index finger. Same with thumb grinds where I was able to do multiple transfers between my thumbs. One grind trick that I decided to focus on is a finger grind to ninja vanish. The Entheos is a perfect choice for learning this trick thanks to the bead blast and long spin times. It gave me enough time to set up the trick, pop the yo-yo off the finger, and whip the string around to a proper ninja vanish. All in all the play of this yo-yo is exactly what you would expect from a General-Yo product.
One of the big questions I have been asked is if this “feels” like a General-Yo. The short answer is yes and then some. It does have that General-Yo feel to it while building upon it with the new shape. The open V-Shape catch zone and ability to play at a medium clip makes for a very forgiving yo-yo when you want to learn a new trick or practice every nuance of a competition set. It will be interesting to see how the public reacts to this design shift, I for one am extremely excited by this change in direction. The Entheos shows that change can be a very good thing and the Entheos is a great jumping on point for people new to the brand. I know the Entheos just came out but I am really looking forward to what Ernie brings out next.