It’s been a while since I wrote a review, and though PinSquid already wrote a glowing review of the General-Yo Torrent 2 (http://yoyoexpert.com/forums/index.php/topic,28310.0.html), I have some different thoughts to share. PinSquid hit excellently on all the important points and since I agree with him, I’ll only gloss over those. But unlike him, I love grind tricks, and unlike him, I like it more than the Essence. As with most new yoyos I buy, I liked the Torrent 2 immediately, just as I expected I would. But after a month of daily play with it, I’m still every bit as excited as I was the day I got it. I hope what follows doesn’t come across as hype. Given how quickly and consistently Ernie’s yoyos sell out, the Torrent 2 really doesn’t need any. I’m sure this will sell out in minutes everywhere that it’s released.
Gap Width: 4.4mm
Bearing Size: Size C
Response: HAT pads (accepts flowable silicone)
Finish: Beadblasted anodized aluminum
Ernie came out with the original Torrent more than two years ago. It has been widely acclaimed as one of the smoothest yoyos ever. I’m a fan of the Torrent, and every other of Mr. Kaiser’s releases, but as awesome as the Torrent is, I never really dug the wider Gen Pads – I really only prefer wide pads with A and D sized bearing yoyos – and I’ve always wished it was beadblasted. The Torrent 2 delivers both of these with General-Yo HATpads, which last a very long time and give tight, consistent binds, and that oh so wonderful beadblast Ernie’s yoyos have become known for.
A buddy of mine wrote me in a message that he wasn’t sure it was a good idea to release the Torrent 2 as the next release after the Essence, given that both are 54mm in diameter. The difference between the play of these yoyos, however, is significant. The most immediate difference is in the shape of the rims. The Essence has the flat rims of the HATrick, whereas the Torrent is more angular. But the Torrent also feels more maneuverable and nimble to me, which has to do with it being 41mm in width compared with the Essence’s 43mm. I also find it to be more stable, especially on finger grind tricks, though I’m not sure why that would be the case. I like the Essence quite a bit and think it does exactly what Ernie set out to do with it (a blend of the HATrick, Torrent, and 5-Star), but if I had to take just one or the other, I’d go for the Torrent 2 without a second thought.
Comparison shot: Peak, Torrent 2, HATrick
The grinds are really where this yoyo blows me away. I’m a big fan of palm and finger grinds, especially Guy Wright style stuff, and the beadblast on the Torrent 2 simply couldn’t be better for this style of play. As PinSquid noted in his review, the blast feels soft and silky, and it results both in a pleasurable feel, but also in some of the best grind times of any yoyo I’ve ever thrown. I’m also floored with how stable it is on grind transfers and hops, which is the main reason I would take the Torrent 2 over the Essence. While the Essence is an excellent grinding yoyo in its own right, the T2 just feels like it wants to stay centered on my finger.
I’m a firm believer that there is no such thing as one best yoyo. But concepts, regardless of how great they may be on paper, do get executed to varying degrees of perfection. I have no reservations in saying that Ernie has executed this concept perfectly. And not without making great pains to do so. The reputation Mr. Kaiser has developed for creating some of the – if not the – smoothest yoyos around hasn’t been earned by happenstance. Ernie spends hours upon hours doing CNC testing, examining anodizations, and assembling halves until his A grades are as close to perfect as is humanly possible. Thus the limited runs he’s had with the Magnum, Essence, and now the Torrent. Awesome job on these Ernie!