This is my first review and I’m a beginner, so take it for what it’s worth, but I thought newbies to looping might find my thoughts helpful. Also, a lot of people have said these are basically the same yo-yo. While they have the same construction, they really play differently. I know most people who have been throwing a while would get the 808 because of Alex Garcia’s name alone, and $12 is nothing to most 1a throws. But… for the extreme budget conscious, or anyone else just curious on the difference, here’s my take.
YYF LOOP 808 - Champions Collection Stats:
Diameter: 57.75 mm / 2.27 inches
Width: 26.55 mm / 1.04 inches
Gap Width: 2.65 mm / .10 inches
Weight: 52.1 grams
Bearing Size: Size A
Response: CBC Small Bearing Silicone O-Ring
YYF LOOP 360 Stats:
Diameter: 57.25 mm / 2.25 inches
Width: 25.5 mm / 1 inches
Width: 1.7 mm / .06 inches
Weight: 50.5 grams
Bearing Size: Small Spec Bearing (Size A)
Response: Small CBC Pads
As you can see from the pictures, they look identical. From the specs, the 360 has a smaller gap and is a little lighter, which makes a big difference. And, I’m not sure, but it also seems that the 360 comes lubed, while the 808 comes dry.
I started looping with the 360, and with it I experimented a lot on string length, number of wraps around the axle (single, double, even triple), types of string (poly, cotton, slick 6), and eventually lubricant. My first real yo-yo was a Velocity, and after being so impressed with that, I decided to try the 360 out of YoYoFactory euphoria. Here’s my take:
The Loop 360
The Loop 360 feels, well, kind of cheap. It’s really light, and the side caps are kind of flimsy. It was kind of a disappointment after my Velocity. On the plus side, it’s pretty durable, and not so bad to get hit in the face when you’re learning loops (um, yeah, it happens). When thrown, it has a nice responsive feel when you tug back, making it really easy to know it reached the end of the string. I really like this positive feedback (I really hated my Duncan Imperial because it had absolutely none). The string gap is tight, and it comes out of the box pre-strung. You don’t have to do anything but check your string length and throw. That said, I couldn’t stand the white cotton string it came with, and tried swapping with yoyoexpert 100% cotton, 100% poly, and then slick 6 50/50. (You just can’t beat the slick 6, so just save yourself the trouble of wasting money on anything else; but we’ll get back to that. )
A few days into my playing, I noticed that sides of my yo-yo were crooked. On one side, the string gap was noticeably thinner than the other. I’m not sure if this happened from me banging it against the ground, or if it was a manufacturing flaw. With such a thin gap, I found this to bind on the string and cause problems. It would slow spinning speed, and seemed to roughen up the whole looping experience. The poly string seemed to catch less, so I used that for a while, but finally settled on slick 6 string. I had the best luck after unscrewing the sides just a little, but I felt a little paranoid that they would come apart. The bearing seemed a little rough, so I ended up cleaning it and running it dry. This combo helped it a lot, and with the right string tension, I eventually managed to get 46 consecutive inside loops. I learned a lot with this throw, but I finally came to the conclusion that the slightly larger gap and increased weight on the 808 looked really nice.
The Loop 808
My Loop 808 just came in the mail today, so I haven’t spent much time with it, but my first impressions tell me this is the one I was looking for. I had come to the conclusion that the 360 was too light, and my Duncan Pulse was a little too heavy. I was really worried that the bearing would be as rough as the 360, and that the differences wouldn’t be enough to justify buying the 808. But… other looping alternatives are the YYJ Unleashed ($18 and a heavy 54.5 grams), a Duncan Hornet (but $18, again), or modding a $15 Yomega Raider. I wanted to keep costs down, and frankly, I finally found a sweet spot with my 360 (accepting the flaws). For a while I was close on buying some Speed Beetles, but after figuring the cost of those stupid friction stickers, I figured it would be cheaper to buy an Unleashed. My Pulse burned through it’s set way too quickly.
The weight of the 808 feels like the perfect baby bear “just right”. The gap size allows the string to go in and out smoothly, and the bearing spins for days. I tried the YYF string that came with it, but quickly dropped it for some Slick 6. (Man, that stuff really makes a difference. It’s a good thickness, and the blend just magically grips the axle just right for good response.) The bearing was just a bit too unresponsive as it came, so I pried it open and added some oil, and then started in on some nice smooth loops. This throw is worlds away better than the 360. I’d like to try some more experimentation with some Slick 8 string, but since yoyoexpert doesn’t carry it, I’ve held off. As it is, it’s feeling pretty magical, and I need to spend some time with it as is. The weight… 1.6gr difference between the 360 doesn’t sound like much, but man it really is. It just moves smoother, and I think it’s a little more stable. The longer spin time helps give extra time to correct a bad throw, too.
Some conclusive thoughts:
There is only one pro to the 360: you can give it away to someone just starting out for really cheap, and the person won’t have to do anything to it. That’s kind of nice for someone not wanting to open up their bearing. Some might prefer the smaller gap, as long as it’s not crooked like mine is.
The 808: Toss the string it comes with, and add some God-fearing oil to the bearing for crying out loud. For the price difference between it and an Unleashed, you can buy a pack of Slick 6 strings. I grew tired of the 360 in about a week, and I should have just bought the 808 to start with. But… I probably would have had more frustration before figuring out about lubing the bearing and using the right string. If you accept that, then just buy a pair of 808s. 'Nuff said.