The Breathe yoyo from Innovative YoYo Concepts is one of our most exciting introductions in a very long time. Why? Because it was designed by Ian Cole, who has done so many of our yoyo demonstration videos at Yoyoplay!
Ian is a top yoyo player, having placed as high as 2nd at the US Nationals and 9th at the World Yoyo Contest. But in his professional life, he is a designer. In fact, he’s working on his master’s degree in architecture right now.
One of the first things you notice about the Breathe is the cutouts. The Breathe is the first yoyo manufactured through cuts in the X, Y and Z dimensions. Other yoyos only use the X and Y dimensions. This technique is so innovative that Ian has a patent pending for the method of design.
With the manufacture of most yoyos, the CNC machine is run using a CAD (computer aided design) program. But CAD leads to a flat, X and Y only type of design. So Ian used a 3D modeling program called Rhino that is often used in architecture and jewelry design. Which gives you an idea of the complexity and beauty of this yoyo.
We asked Ian some questions about the Breathe.
Q: What’s up with the surface feel and the flat coloring of the Breathe? How did you get that, and what’s the significance?
A: “The finish of the Breathe is raw grit blasted aluminum with no anodizing or color treatment. The finish, even if it seems like a minor decision, has a lot to do with the yoyo and IYYC. (warning: this is the architect in me talking) One of the things that inspired me to start Innovative YoYo Concepts was the trend I was seeing in high end metal yoyos over the past few years.
Every new yoyo would be released and say “groundbreaking new design” but all I could see was a different color combination on the same yoyo. I wanted to design something that was truly groundbreaking and unique regardless of what colors are splashed on at the end. This is why the Breathe has no finish; in the eyes of IYYC the shape and design of the Breathe is so unique that any color or finish would be unnecessary and would distract from the intention of the yoyo.”
Q: Tell us the story behind the design.
A: The yoyo went through a number of prototypes, which was difficult because for most of the year I live about 6 hours from the manufacturer. Throughout the design and manufacturing I had to plan meeting with the manufacturer to check up when I was in town. We had an agreement that I would be there to supervise and collaborate throughout as much of the manufacturing as possible. When it came to the final production, I would go the machine shop at 6 am and spend the entire day problem solving and/or testing for quality.
I personally oversaw and packaged every yoyo in this limited edition series of just 80 Breathe yoyos that were made. I don’t know if there has ever been a production of yoyos as hands on as this one. I was particular on every detail, even things like the letters on the wax seal or the paper that goes into the packaging. I think this is what makes the Breathe so special; it is the love and attention to every detail that most people will never know about.