So, I just got my hands on a Cabal, and the first thing I did was swap out the stock flat bearing for a konkave.
I was really bumed by how snaggy the response was at first, but as with any new yoyo, I thought I just needed to get to know it’s unique ticks. It just was not getting better though, so I threw the stock flat being back in it.
And let me tell you, it was absolutely night and day. It went from average of 10% clean binds, to an average of 95% clean binds. And, it did not really affect the stability as bad as I thought it was going to.
Could be that only the pure concave is a bad fit in this case though, there’s also the “flat in the middle, but curved edges” type which is really more common and a bit more of a hybrid. I had to look up the name, CT or “center trac”.
I’ve spoken about what I feel is the main difference in play between flat and centering bearings before (excluding center groove). It boils down to I feel like centering bearings are a bit more stable, but flat bearings react more quickly to your adjustments. That doesn’t really speak to the binding part…
I feel that OD has designed around using a flat bearing for so long, that they have really gotten it down. By and large, I think their yo-yos play the way they were designed to play, with the flat bearing.
The only OD I have, that I prefer with a centering bearing is the Down Beat. For me, the centering bearing makes it more like what is advertised to be, which is more chill.
Contrast that with the Parlay. I tried it with a centering bearing, and I feel like it took the life right out of it. With the flat bearing and light SE, it’s feels so alive!
The flat bearings used to take all of the fun out of Yoyo for me, because I didn’t have a very good understanding of plane management. It is been second nature to swap out the stock flat bearing for a centering or concave type bearing for so long, that I hadn’t even considered keeping the flats. It’s crazy how noticeable the difference is. They’re really not all that bad.
Maybe in a couple of years after I’ve developed perfectly straight throwing technique, I’ll put flat bearings back into all my One Drops, but until then I’m sticking with Boss Rage bearings. At least with those bearings my yoyos don’t turn about the string like a slowly spinning top.
I agree. I only called out One Drop specifically because they are the only yoyos I have that come with flat bearings. I realize that the problem isn’t One Drop’s yoyo designs, but my throwing technique. However, while I work on cleaning up that technique (an excruciatingly slow process, mind you), I need something to tame the unwanted turning. Centering bearings to the rescue!
I think this is why I was surprised that the flat bearing put back into the cabal was actually pleasant to play. I have been instinctively swapping out my flat bearings for concave type bearings for almost 2 years, and I think I just realized that my plane management has developed quite nicely.
I think you may be making things easier on yourself in the present, but you’re probably delaying your progress over the long term. IMO, it would be good for you to spend at least some time practicing with a less forgiving yo-yo = put a flat bearing back in a one of your ODs. That will be a better training tool to help you discover and fix what’s wrong.
Plus, a flat bearing responds better (quicker anyway) to adjustments, so you can learn how to fix tilting after the throw, and during tricks. Just saying…
I’m super not convinced there is a meaningful “plane management” difference between CT bearings (flat in the middle, with slightly angled up sides) and totally flat. I mean CTs are flat, just not at the extreme edges, it’s a hybrid design. CT is the one on the far right in the below pic:
I am for sure convinced there’s a meaningful difference between 100% fully concave (KK) and similar strong groove / V shape bearings vs. flat though.
The very noticeable difference I experienced (with my VTWO) was when I swapped its flat bearing with a Buddha Ripple bearing. I tend to agree that swapping out with a typical Center Trac bearing would not have produced as dramatic a difference.