X La Goutte Review
Note: This review will be addressing the yoyo with the stock bearing and string being played.
The La Goutte yoyo from manufacturer X is Alexander Valin’s design of a high-performance competition yoyo. This yoyo seems much different from what we have seen from their previous yoyos the Stampede and Steamroller. “La Goutte” is French for “the drop”, which to me is a name suggesting that this yoyo isn’t just to be admired; it’s meant to be thrown!
Packaging: The yoyo comes in a black tube with the X logo on one side and warnings on the back. The typical warnings are there such as keeping away from breakable objects and people, but it also states: This is not a toy. Good to know. It made me laugh a little. In this canister the yoyo is wrapped up in plastic packaging material to protect it. Also included is a small plastic bag containing extra string, a sticker, and an X button. Once you take out the yoyo you will notice it is all ready to go throw with string on it and a knot already tied.
Yoyo: When I took out the La Goutte the shape stunned me. I had seen pictures online but in person it is really a beauty to behold. The gap of the yoyo is very distinct, kind of a modified angular shape that your middle finger fits into perfectly. On one half is the number of the yoyo, mine being 020, and on the other is the X logo. The face of the La Goutte is what is mesmerizing about this yoyo. It looks as if a drop of water hit the surface of a pond and then the image froze just before it rippled outward, and was transferred to the face of this yoyo. Now “La Goutte” makes sense, right? On one face is a small frog, the other frog being on the rim of the other side. The La Goutte is a very aesthetically pleasing yoyo.
Diameter: 53.95mm/2.12 in
Width: 42.8mm/1.68 in
Gap width: 4.45mm/0.17 in
Weight: 63.6 grams
Response: X Cubed Silicone Response
Bearing: Stainless Steel Size C
On a throw: The first time you throw a sleeper with this yoyo, having looked at the specs, you will be expecting a soft landing at the bottom of the string. However, the La Goutte rolls down the string and when it hits the bottom, feels like any other yoyo, even heavier ones. If I was blindfolded and had to tell the difference between the La Goutte and a ProtoStar based on throwing a sleeper, I would not be able to. This is the magic of this yoyo. Now, when throwing a breakaway and doing some tricks or a combo, you will notice that it is zippy and free, and will handle tricks with ease, begging you to push it faster, and it can definitely handle going faster. Being just less than 64 grams, the La Goutte plays light and fast on the string, but when it’s at the bottom it feels just like any other yoyo. These characteristics are what make it unique, along with the shape. The two strings included match this yoyo’s play perfectly. I tried other strings and binds were not tight at all, so good job picking these out to package with the yoyo. My La Goutte has a grind finish, (polished is the other option) and grinds are great! Finger, palm, arm, and thumb grinds (thanks to the nice lip) are all achievable and a breeze with this yoyo. Gyros are okay but not superb, because of the shape of this yoyo when it’s tilting it wants to tilt too much at once, which can make it spin out of control easily. It’s not bad at horizontal play due to the modified angular shape, but combining it with gyros is tricky. On a strong, straight throw the La Goutte is smooth and sometimes you can hardly tell it is spinning. On a lighter, poorer throw it vibrates a little bit (as most yoyos do) but this is what to expect with it. So if you want to play vibe-free, throw it like you mean it every time. Something I have to mention about this yoyo, being 63.6 grams, is that it will not spin as long as most yoyos that are heavier. Even though it is a high-end yoyo, since it does not have as much momentum (due to it being lighter) as other yoyos in the 65-70g range, it will not spin as long. To compensate for this, in this case lighter means more speedy, so if it won’t get through a trick more than once you have to push it faster to get through a trick multiple times. (Maybe switching from the stock flat bearing to a concave or ten ball would change this a bit). Spin time is not as important to me as other aspects of a yoyo because most yoyos produced today spin way longer than needed for tricks anyways. The weight seems to be pushed out toward the edges, making this a stable yoyo, too.
Binds: This yoyo has snappy binds. Not in a bad way, it’s very suiting to a lighter throw. Sometimes during a trick if you rub the response the wrong way it will bind right into your hand, or in my case if you are practicing triple-brent stoles (which I successfully landed a few times :D) and accidently get some excess string caught in the gap when whipping it will also snap back to your hand. This is the only annoying part of tighter binds. I have taken advantage of this and use it to practice midair binds. They look very cool and the La Goutte makes them shine!
Comfort: This yoyo is comfortable in the hand and when you bind it back up after a trick. But when it accidently binds itself and you’re not ready to catch it, it can hurt due to the edges. The grind finish on this yoyo is nice and silky, providing excellent grinds. When your hands get sweaty or sticky the yoyo feels a bit tackier to touch and this is a downside of playing without gloves in the heat. Again the edges are the only concern of hurting yourself by accident with this yoyo. (Although it’s pretty rare that I’ve actually gotten hurt, I just feel that it is worth mentioning).
The La Goutte by X is a great approach at a lighter yoyo still built to perform. It has almost all of the characteristics of a heavier yoyo and it is fast. It is unlike anything else I have played and will probably remain that way. The pros of this yoyo include that it is fast, stable, and looks amazing! Cons are: less spin time than other competition yoyos and gyros are hard to control. Being a competitive throw, this is a good one for a player looking for speed, balance, and good grinds (only with the grind-finish). If you are looking to try a lighter yoyo that will not sacrifice performance, make sure you try the X La Goutte!
Thanks for reading! Feel free to comment or ask questions!