Is old meta still relevant for reviews?

Question 1: How much do we see thumb grinds and fingerspin tricks in today’s competition routines (“the meta”)?

Question 2: If the answer to the above is, “Not much anymore,” then I have to wonder why every single yoyo review talks about how easy it is to thumb grind and fingerspin when those tricks aren’t really “in” anymore.

Phrased in a more general way: Is it important to discuss out-of-date meta in yoyo reviews? And if so, why?


I think, as far as thumb grinds and fingerspins go, it’s just something design related make note of. It really just describes details of the yo-yo. Not all yo-yos have a fingerspin cup or a rim capable of thumb grinds, but it doesn’t hurt to mention the ones that do.


Yeah, but I have this picture in my head of people watching these reviews, hearing the reviewer say, “This is great for thumb grinds, but isn’t very good for fingerspins,” and, like, 99% of them thinking, so what? I mean, sure, it is detailed information related to the design, but is it useful (and relevant) information?


It’s a review so I don’t see where more information could be considered less. If a few people watching/reading the review fingerspin or grind then it’s useful to them. If you don’t do those things it really doesn’t harm anything being in the review.


Fingerspin is my favorite trick :raised_hand_with_fingers_splayed:


I hear ya.

I’m probably in the minority that is having increasing frustration with the low signal-to-noise ratio of information found on the Internet. The predominant culture is to fill a video/vlog with lots of useless nonsense, usually to pad the number of ads displayed, but often also because the content creator simply doesn’t know how to properly edit their material.

Also, I think that having old meta in every review gives the false impression that those things are still important or “in” at the time of the review. Maybe that doesn’t bother anyone else, but it makes reviews look really dated, even for yoyos that have an almost timeless quality to them and their design.


I can see your argument for thumb grinds (does anyone really do these anymore?), but people still fingerspin all the time. I kinda laugh when I see a reviewer talking about thumb grinds, and their technique is so sloppy when they demonstrate it that you can tell that they didn’t even do one since their last review. Still, people are doing these tricks, so yea, why not include it in a review?

I like to know everything a yoyo can or can’t do.

Just because the tricks are old doesn’t mean they aren’t relevant or not fun to do. Are fingerspins considered out of date?

Not really been fussed on grinds but if the mood hits me I’ll throw one in.

Personally, I think reviewers should inform us if the yoyo can walk the dog.


I think grinds(maybe not thumb grinds tho) and fingerspins are very satisfying to do so I don’t mind them being in a review.

A little off topic but One thing I will say is I never understood why there was such a huge boom in “fingerspin” yoyos. They were never a huge part of the competitive meta and the vast majority of throwers only do basic fingerspins anyway so idk why there were so many 20+ second fingerspin yoyos. Also for advanced fingerspin tricks I find that a good old, small blasted flat hub is much more consistent than the gimmicky bowl or dimple cups anyway.


Fingerspin tricks are still pretty impressive, this recent one comes to mind:


Fingerspins strike me as one those cases where I think anyone who is capable of doing them can easily determine if a yoyo will be good for fingerspins (or not) from just looking at the cup design. You don’t need a reviewer to tell you that. About the only time I think it helps/matters for a reviewer to comment on fingerspin capability is in those rare instances where a yoyo looks good (or bad) at fingerspins at first glance but then turns out to be the opposite in actual play.

Even then, fingerspins (and thumb grinds) seem to be three-sigma tricks, so I just don’t get why anyone–including designers/manufacturers–cares all that much.

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When people review a yo-yo they always talk about the shape, color, finish - All things that are visible to the eye. That’s what reviews are; People talking about a product. Why should they just gloss over or completely ignore a part of the yo-yo such as a fingerspin cup?


I think a lot of it has to do with the majority of yoyoers do not compete. Many still enjoy doing thumb grinds and fingerspins. So a lot of the reviewers either know this, or they are in the “do not compete” category to begin with.


Yeah, I don’t need a reviewer to tell me how “awesome” the colorway is. That’s so utterly subjective that it couldn’t be less relevant. Shape is a useful thing to talk about only if the reviewer talks about the performance/play implications of the shape; in other words, give me the information and then tell me why I should care about that information.

I think the standards for reviews (and not just yoyo reviews, but many other kinds of gear reviews, movie reviews, etc.) have declined along with our culture’s standards for journalism in general. We take such an undisciplined, unfocused approach to the information we dump onto the Internet that it becomes mostly entertainment and not much else.


This is incredibly frustrating to me as well. I feel like 10-15 years ago you could do a web search and get the information you’re looking for almost immediately. Now you have to sift through so much tangentially related or completely unrelated garbage to actually find what you’re looking for. Search algorithms are either trash or gamed to direct you to certain pages/videos.


Internet hug given


I find a lot of yo-yo reviews follow a very similar template. Video of person yoyoing with the yo-yo, discuss how they acquired the yo-yo, give specs and shape, fingerspin and grind coverage, two or three sentences of vague information about how the yo-yo plays, usually in comparison to another yo-yo or two. Everything is super positive so there’s a throwaway line about one minor negative aspect (not enough color ways, a little expensive).

What bugs me the most is reviewing from the perspective of whether or not the yo-yo is capable of modern play. This is why I joke so much about the “handles everything you can throw at it” line of TnB. Of course it does, it’s a modern non-gimmick 1A yo-yo.

This just shows that the reviewer is approaching the review in a way that isn’t going to be in depth. If you’re reviewing a mighty flea or 66% yo-yo sure, approach it that way. But I’m not watching a review to find out if I can do all my tricks on a ball bearing unresponsive 1A yo-yo made in 2019. I’m trying to find out what doing those tricks feels like.

How stable is it relative to other yo-yos? Just saying super stable doesn’t help me because I’m not sure what you’re basing that on. How heavy/light does it feel in play? Does it change direction easily? How does it handle speed? Do you feel like you need to force it through fast tricks, does it feel perfectly paced or does it feel a little uncontrollable?

/end rant


This is why I’ve come to appreciate @Mazdarx7FD’s reviews. I freely admit that I like that he looks at all yoyos through the lens of high-performance competitive play. At least the baseline for his comparisons and his assessments is focused and easy to discern. And he always explains why the characteristics he talks about are valuable in play.

Which is why I find it a little puzzling that he bothers with thumb grind and fingerspin capabilities when neither of those are terribly important to the current meta. It seems to me that he throws them in purely out of a sense of obligation to the expected yoyo review format. This seems pretty evident when you see how little time he spends talking about either of those two things compared with what we might call The Big Four: speed, stability, power, and control.


Yeah, the majority of yo-yo reviews are there for entertainment. I’ve heard people say many times that they don’t care about the review so much as the personality of the reviewer. Not saying there’s anything wrong with creating a review video for entertainment’s sake, but a review shouldn’t be 100% positive every single time. Good luck getting any reviewer to say anything negative about a new release.

I’ll take a good old fashioned pros/cons list from an experienced thrower over the standard “It’s really good” 10+ minute long video review any day of the week.


If I had to make a guess: probably because it takes all of 5 seconds to mention “good for fingerspins and thumb grinds,” and because not everyone is a competitive thrower, and so therefore not everyone cares about what’s META.