Since the invention of Solid Spin Axle System YoYoJam has released a lot of new models and remakes of their classic throws. Dark Magic, New Breed, Atmosphere and Legacy got a new set of parts: new response, new bearings and a new axle system.
Surprisingly, there was no information on a redesign of one particularly popular model. This model used to be players’ choice for many years. It is still a “must” for a lot of collectors. Did YoYoJam forget about it? It seemed that a renewal of this yoyo was not going to happen…
Couple of weeks later I found out that a remake of it was in development. My curiosity started to build up. I was wondering if it would be a completely new model or the old one with some minor changes.
Development of this yoyo took more time than other remakes. Did it mean that YoYoJam was going to release a new model? Isn’t it too risky to change a design of one of the favorites of yoyoing community?
Well, by this point I think everybody will agree that result was worth the risk. Meet the Hitman Professional.
YoYoJam probably does not need an introduction. It is one of the most popular yoyo companies that always comes up with new original technologies. YoYoJam is known for their hybrid yoyos (plastic body with metal rims). Right now YYJ releases yoyos with their new technology Solid Spin Axle System instead of their traditional adjustable gap setting; they also switched O-ring/starburst response to silicone pads.
I am very happy to see that even though YYJ changed some details of their yoyos to meet modern standards, their designs still have “YoYoJam feel” to them. New YYJ throws became friendlier for new yoyoers but did not become “faceless” in the process. They have the same character as yoyos that were released by YYJ almost a decade ago; they feel completely different from the rest of products on the market.
YoYoJam Hitman Professional is a signature model of Johnnie Delvalle - famous player who won three big contests in one year (2003): BAC, US Nationals and WYYC. JD is known for his specific style involving grinds, stalls, freegens and long complex tricks. Because of him, popularity of unresponsive play, grind tricks and long complicated combos skyrocketed. Without his influence modern yoyoing probably would not be the same.
The original Hitman came in two different versions. Difference between them was in the response system: double O-ring or hybrid (starburst on one side and O-ring on other side), both versions had adjustable gap system. Hitman Professional has only one version - that utilizes silicone YYJ response system, two bearings for responsive and unresponsive play and Solid Spin Axle System.
Like most of other plastic YYJ models Hitman Professional comes in translucent and solid plastic versions. There is a great variety of colors you can choose - there are different colors of the body, different colors of the artwork, different caps (most of yoyos have carbon fiber caps and some have mirror caps). I will not even try to count how many colorways of Hitman Professional are out there.
Interesting details in construction
1)Aluminum rims. I think all yoyoers know what this technology is about. Metal rings grant longer sleep times, more stability, better weight distribution. They also provide better grinding surface.
2)Solid Spin Axle System. Some people had problems with usual plastic bearing seat because there was a high risk of damaging it. So guys from YoYoJam decided to prevent new yoyos from this problem. Now YoYoJam bi-metal yoyos (with Solid Spin Axle System) have one metal part (in each half) that includes bearing seat and thread/axle, it goes all the way from the gap to inner cup of the yoyo.
3)Caps. Nowadays YoYoJam is one of a few companies that put removable caps on their yoyos. Caps not only complete the design of their throws but also give you an opportunity to change weight of the yoyo according to your preferences (you can reduce weight by removing caps for approximately 2 grams).
Gap width: (with SPEED bearing) 4.18mm/ .16”
Response system: YoYoJam silicone O-rings
Bearing: YoYoJam Speed bearing/narrow bearing
Bearing size: C
Material: polycarbonate body, aluminum rims
Feel in the hand
Hitman Professional feels like it has a single-piece construction. When you throw it, even when you just hold it in your hand it does not feel like a bunch of details assembled together, it feels like a one single piece. A lot of YoYoJam yoyos have the same feel to them - not a “metal” or “plastic” feel, just a very solid “whole” feel.
The yoyo comes responsive, but you can easily switch it to unresponsive setup. When you take the yoyo out of the box it has silicone pads and thin responsive bearing installed in it, Speed bearing comes in a plastic bag in the box.
I do not think that there is much I can say about thin bearing: it is an 8-ball bearing with pretty good spin times, comes lubed, without shields.
Now to the YYJ Speed Bearing. In my opinion these bearings are great: good quality, long spin times, very quiet even without any lube. On top of that they come clean, ready for unresponsive play right out of the box.
The yoyo comes with YYJ silicone pads. What can I say about them? They are unresponsive, good for suicides and provide tight binds. Hitman Professional is also compatible with other pads and accepts flowable silicone.
I use Hitman Pro with standard setting (with silicone pads and Speed bearing) and have never felt a need to upgrade or mode it.
Hitman Professional is a very tough yoyo. Mine has experienced couple of pretty hard hits and did not get any changes in performance or vibe issues. Even though Hitman is very durable it will memorize every “kiss” of concrete because of big shiny aluminum rims - dings from rough surfaces will definitely damage appearance and grindability of the yoyo.
Play with Hitman Professional for couple of minutes. Then watch this video. At this point you will probably understand why “Johnnie Delvalle signature series” is written on the caps. This yoyo is made for his style: for fast play, for long complex tricks, for grinds and regens. When you play with it you feel a need for something complicated, something that for non-yoyoers will look like a bunch of giant knots waiting to happen. Also it makes you want to play fast, very fast. And do a sweet grind in the end.
Styles: 1A, 3A and 5A.
Hitman Professional can also be used for 4A (with thin bearing will be probably pretty good) but it is obviously not made for this style.
Hitman Professional is a very fast yoyo, but because of its shape and size you need to be a bit more careful and more precise than when you play with a V-shaped yoyo for example. Nonetheless it is definitely a fast model, especially when it comes to complicated tricks.
NOTE: There may be some tricks that are hard to do on this yoyo only because of its shape, other than that yoyo performs very well.
Hitman Professional is not made for horizontals. I am not saying horizontal tricks with Hitman are impossible but they are definitely much harder because of the high-walled profile of the yoyo.
I do not have any problems with any kind of hop tricks with this throw. It does not tend to tilt when you take faster, more “hardcore” approach.
Regens with Hitman Professional have great feel to them, especially from a front throw. Sometimes I find myself repeatedly doing regens for no reason other than how enjoyable and fun they are with this yoyo.
Hitman Professional is an incredibly agile. This yoyo is more than amazing for complex play, it does not care how complicated your tricks are - it jumps through them like they are nothing.
Sometimes chopsticks with undersized throws do not feel right for me. Surprisingly because of full-bodied round shape and pretty big width Hitman does not feel too small, it feels very “confident”, very consistent with where it is going to land.
With Hitman suicides are pretty easy to do; silicone pads open loops very well.
Smooth metal rims that take up most of the yoyo’s body and rounded shape make Hitman Professional a great grinder. In tricks where rims of the yoyo contact the surface (usual grinds, palm grinds) Hitman performs really well. When it comes to contact with the middle of the yoyo (finger grinds) because of the plastic part sleep loss is more significant.
Worth mentioning is the fact that you can perform thumb grinds without taking caps off the yoyo. Like most of YYJ throws Hitman’s inner rings are under the caps but if you tilt the yoyo to a certain angle you can do thumb grinds on the edge of the rims.
This yoyo offers a lot of customization options. I would like to start with simple reversible changes.
-Bearing. Hitman Professional comes with two bearings, you have two options: playing with or without response. Because this yoyo has a C-sized bearing seat it is really easy to find a compatible bearing that will fit your preferences.
-Response. Hitman comes with silicone pads. You have a lot of options when it comes to response replacement. Grooves on the yoyo are compatible with a lot of silicone pads and accept flowable silicone.
-Caps. You can adjust weight of the yoyo by removing caps.
When it comes to more serious changes, I would recommend to satin or apply some sort of finish to the rims of the yoyo. It will make Hitman Professional an outstanding grinder.
-Very fast and agile player
-Reasonable price (40$)
-Great appearance, big variety of colorways
-Suitable for beginners (with thin bearing) and advanced players (with Speed bearing)
-Not great for horizontal play and finger grinds
-Does not forgive sloppy play at fast speed
Do I think that complete remake of a classic yoyo was worth it?
Hitman Professional is a great performer that has a very unique solid feel. It has an eye-catching design and a very reliable construction. It is a completely new yoyo but it manages to stay true to the original. Everything from design to performance tells you that you are playing with a signature yoyo of Johnnie Delvalle,
that you are playing with Hitman.
Please leave comments and let me know if you like this review.