LedgerYoYo Review: CLYW Bonfire!


#1

LedgerYoYo Review: The Bonfire by Caribou Lodge YoYo Works (CLYW)

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Today’s review will be written out for you, I hope to film my future reviews and upload them to my YouTube channel.

String used: Chaos 422 (Pink/Yellow/Blue)

Background:
Caribou Lodge was started in 2006 by Chris (Caribou Chris) Mikulin. Caribou Lodge’s first release was the Peak, which started a wildfire of love for the now thriving brand in the yoyo industry. After the discontinuation of the Peak in 2010, CLYW fans continued to love the freshman work of CLYW. Peak values have since driven through the roof due to the desire for such a great playing, original yoyo. In 2009, CLYW released a great pocket sized yoyo called the Campfire. At the recent end of 2013, Chris released a new yoyo for the 2014 CLYW line called the Bonfire. Chris’ objective for the Bonfire was a great, full sized Campfire. It is with great happiness that I can review the Bonfire, a yoyo that I find to be a Campfire-shaped, more stable version of the legendary CLYW Peak.

Specifications:
(Direct from CLYW.ca)
Diameter: 2.169" / 55.1 mm
Width: 1.783" / 45.3 mm
Gap: 0.164" / 4.16 mm
Weight: 66.1 g
Bearing: CTX 10 Ball by Central Bearing Company
Response: Aqua Snow Tires
Made in USA by OneDropDesign
Artwork by: Jason Week

Out of the box:

The Bonfire comes in the classic brown CLYW cardboard box with all-new artwork from Jason Week. Included in the box is “green packing” for protecting the yoyo and a Kitty String. The first run of Bonfires comes equipped with CLYW aqua Snow Tires, a long CLYW axle and a Central Bearing Company Center Trac X size C 10 ball bearing. Chris also includes a CLYW sticker pack in your package!

Bearing and Response:

As the nature of pre-lubed bearings, the Center Trac X requires break-in time and comes responsive out of the box. After break-in the bearing spun healthy, giving the Bonfire phenomenal spin times. Binds are very snappy with the aqua Snow Tires. I love the feel of aqua over original, as aqua definitely perform better from a competitive aspect.

Aesthetics:
The Bonfire represents Chris’ skill in producing beautiful yoyos. The Gruntbull finish is smooth and perfect for grinds. The anodizing is absolutely stunning, as you can tell by the Black Bip Bop beauty! The shape clearly resembles the Campfire and is similar to the shape of the Peak mainly by the look of the cup. The cup sports the classic Peak style spike on the hub and a wide-open cup.

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Playability:
The Bonfire lives up to CLYW’s high standards and is dead smooth on the string and grinds, something that wasn’t so common on the Peak. Chris mentioned the axle system giving some troubles with tuning on some of the Bonfires, however I have yet to notice any issues with my unit. The Bonfire feels a bit hefty on the string, and plays like a great mid weight yoyo during play. The bonfire feels very similar to the peak in this sense, since it feels lighter than its weight. The Bonfire doesn’t have as much speed and float as the Peak. The Bonfire has a good amount of float to make it fun to play and enough speed for competitions. The Bonfire’s good amount of weight helps it since you can push out as much speed as you so desire. The less speed and float in comparison to the peak show in the biggest difference between the two yoyos: stability. The Bonfire is very stable and can handle just about any tricks you throw at it. As this was the biggest issue I found with the Peak, finding more stability in the Bonfire was a pleasant surprise. When I tell you the Bonfire can handle anything you throw at it, I wasn’t kidding. Grinds are fantastic and finger spins are up there too. The stability can handle any vigorous trick, and the shape is great for smaller chopstick styled play as well. The V shape catches the string and rejects it with ease, just as the organic shape did with the Peak. I am no professional when it comes to matador tricks, however I am sure the spike works well enough to pull them off.

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Conclusion:
The Bonfire is one HECK of a start for CLYW in 2014. Chris seems to be upping his standard for yoyos with every release, and the Bonfire truly shows. I am not sure how many from the first run are left, however I HIGHLY recommend you going out to purchase one. The play is awesome, and the only thing that wasn’t perfect (albeit good, and better than the Peak) was the stability. The Bonfire was apparently based off the Campfire. Judging by its play, I am afraid Chris used the Campfire shape with the Bonfire to cover up one scary, underlying truth. The truth is that Chris may as well have named the Bonfire the Peak 2. Putting the Peak’s label on the Bonfire truly frightens me, for I may never see these sell used for a reasonable price. The price doesn’t really matter to me, though, since I just can’t seem to put the Bonfire down. It is THAT good!

5 out of 5 stars!

Any questions, comments or concerns? Post them below!
More pictures soon to come!
Thanks for reading!


#2

I think you mean “thriving” instead of “striving” but great review. I never even noticed that the stock pads in the Bonfire were the aqua Snow Tires but I did notice that I absolutely love the way the yoyo binds. I’m right on board with your closing statement, of their 3 new releases, this is the one I have the hardest time putting down. It’s a great one and everything I hoped it would be.


#3

Fixed it! :wink:


#4

I’ve been waiting for someone to review the new CLYW stuff! Great job, I’d rather you stick to text over video in the future! I hate video reviews.

Have you played the AC2 or the Gnarwhal2? Would be curious how it compares. You mentioned that it broke in - roughly how many hours have you played it so far?

It’d be good if you came back to this in 2 weeks and updated us with your thoughts. Whenever I get a new yoyo its the best thing ever for a few weeks, and then the honeymoon effect wears off and I can be more objective about it.


#5

Great review! I’ve been loving my Bonfire, it’s pretty much the only thing that’s getting any playtime these days.


#6

I’ve given it about 3 hours or so of playtime. I have yet to try the AC2 or Gnarwhal 2, however I have a puffin 2 and I can definitely say the Bonfire is much better.
I also think the I like the yoyo the more and more I play it. :slight_smile:


#7

The only ones I tried were vibey :stuck_out_tongue:


#8

Awesome review. My Ash berry Bonfire should be here soon!!!


#9

I just ordered a gold one. Super excited.


#10

Just received my Bonfire today. Unfortunately, it’s quite sensitive to axle position and generally very vibey. I’ve contacted Chris to see if he can help me out, but clearly some of these are not quite up to par. Very disappointing.


#11

Mine is very smooth in any axle position


#12

Mine was extremely smooth. Great yoyo.


#13

My Bonfire is absolutely amazing. So smooth and awesome!!


#14

Bump.


#15

Thanks for the awesome review LedgerYoyo. After reading your thoughts I bought one myself directly from Chris who double checked it for smoothness. Mine has no vibe whatsoever. I absolutely love it, and it has enough edge weight and stability to carry through any trick or combo I try. It also feels great in the hand as opposed to sharp v shape yoyos.

I would love to hear more about how the bonfire compares to the puffin 2 or the Ac2. Those yoyos also seem to have a fair number of fans.


#16

I can compare it to the puffin2 or do a seperate review. Whichever you’d like. :wink:


#17

Bump for the new run!


#18

The Bonfire plays so much different than those 2 (and they also play quite differently from each other) that a direct comparison is difficult. I would personally rate them Bonfire>Puffin 2>AC2. Surely none is actually better than another, but those were my preferences. The Bonfire has a very unique and satisfying feel, the Puffin 2 (and imo very similar Gnarwhal 2) are fast and solid in a way that feels sort of new from CLYW in my opinion and the AC2 is a bit slower than the P2/G2, and less floaty and a bit faster than the Bonfire. It’s a phenomenal throw that actually feels like a true sequel to me, improving on both the AC and Summit in a way that surpasses both as far as my preferences go. The rest of the 2014 lineup throws are sequels in name, but they seem so much different than their predecessors that they are really their own unique throws in my opinion.

Long story short, buy a Bonfire before there’s none left.


#19

LedgerYoyo, your reviews are awesome so I would love to see a full puffin2 review. But if you have just a short amount of time a few quick thoughts about the differences between the bonfire and puffin2 would be great also.


#20

Thanks for the review!

This is an absolutely fantastic yo-yo. As good as anything I have thrown. Check out the yo-yonews review (http://yoyonews.com/2014/03/10/yoyo-review-clyw-bonfire/). It says everything I would like to say, but infinitely better.