Obsidian Markmont. Next

Obsidian Markmont. Next

I’ve not done a review in quite some while. The impetus for this one is that I’ve been surprised by how much I’m liking this yoyo. Don’t get me wrong. I love me a One Drop. The Y-Factor and 54 are in my top 5 for unresponsive play (along with the Peak, Freehand Zero, and the HATrick). But flat rims generally aren’t my thing. I fashion myself a rather sloppy player, and I tend to look for yoyos with as much of the width used for catch zone as possible. But I’ve been playing my Obsidian Markmont. Next for days straight and have been surprised by how much I like this yoyo. There have been a few reviews of the regular nickel plated Markmont. Next, so I’ll try not rehash too much of what you can find in those reviews – the response and bearing are fantastic, and the player this was made for is incredible. Here are a couple of reviews for your reference:

The specs:

  • Gap: 4.4 mm
  • Diameter: 50.04 mm
  • Width: 40.2 mm
  • Weight: 67 Grams
  • Finish: Chemically tarnished nickel plating
  • Bearing: C-sized 10-Ball
  • Response system: Flow Groove in a high walled gap

What I loved about this yoyo before even touching it was the idea behind the finish. Nickel plating tarnishes a darker color over time as it interacts with the oils from your hand. The nickel plating on the Obsidian MMN has been put through a chemical process that darkened it to a rich black color that will tarnish lighter over time the more your hands come into contact with it. Right out of the box a quick rub across the finish with your finger will cause some rainbowy color to emerge on the surface of the nickel. After just a few days mine has already taken on somewhat of an antique brownish shade that just looks absolutely lovely, and I can tell that it will blossom further toward this color over time.

What I love about this whole concept is how antithetical it is to the shift toward disposability much of the world has undergone since World War II, which has also been a shift away from craftsmanship and away from owning things that you have some relationship with beyond a purely utilitarian one. This yoyo was made to be played and kept for a long time. And like the iridium on the tip of a fountain pen that will gradually mold to the angle and pressure of your writing – thereby physically embodying how you specifically use it in a way that is different from every other pen tip in the world – this finish will alter in a way that is specific to you and how much you use it. There’s something poetic to me about this, and about something being made in such a way as to have a unique relationship with its owner over a long period of time.

One of the problems I’ve found with a good number of undersized yoyos is that they often suffer from reduced spin times, compared to their full sized brethren, due to their being less rim weighted as a percentage of overall weight. The rims on this yoyo are massive as a percentage of overall size and weight. And the highwalling not only gives a distinct play feel, but also eliminates a bit of center weight, makes for ease of tilt adjustment, and adds to the no-nonsense aesthetic of the design. Overall the design really shines when it comes to spin and stability. But the most significant payoff I’m finding with this shape is the comfort. Not only does it fit wonderfully in the hand, but the flat rims spread out the impact of the yoyo when it hits the hand after a bind. Even when I bind while the yoyo is still spinning fast, it doesn’t bite at all that way angled rims do.

The last thing I’d like to note is the Project-style ridges in the gap, which also happen to be present in the cups of this yoyo. As I’m sure many of you have read, the ridges in the original Project were a result of the yoyo being created on a mill, rather than a lathe. A byproduct of this is that, at least in my experience, a non-blasted Project (and P2, and Y-Factor) outshines every other non-blasted aluminum yoyo out there when it comes to finger grinds. That finger grind capability is present on the Markmont. Next as well, and for someone like myself who enjoys finger grind to whip tricks, this is an awesome feature to have on a nickel-plated yoyo.

If you can get your hands on one of these super solid playing, uniquely finished, wonderfully comfortable yoyos, and I highly recommend doing so. Awesome job on these One Drop!