One Drop Dietz
Reviewed by Chris Rhoads
August 3, 2011
Signature yo-yos are a pretty cool way to get to know the players that you enjoy watching. If a company is doing it correctly, they are going to collaborate hand in hand with the player to create the best yo-yo to meet his or her needs. So, as long as you don’t have a company just churning out yo-yos and then telling the a player on their team “this is your new signature yo-yo” you will get a glimpse at how a player thinks and what they look for in the yo-yos they will eventually perform with and possibly even compete with. Case in point, the new signature yo-yo from One Drop, the Dietz for East Coast player Daniel Dietz. This yo-yo was a complete collaboration between Daniel and the guys at One Drop, with Daniel giving input into what needed changing in order to meet his style. For those of you that don’t know him, Daniel has been around for years but has mostly flown under the community radar. It is funny to say that because in the fund raising community he is larger than life, using his yo-yo skills to raise close to $40,000 for his charity of choice, Smile Train International. Well, enough with the introduction. As I said above, there is no better way to get to know the player than to dig into his signature yo-yo.
• Width: 41.5mm
• Diameter: 50.4mm
• Gap: 4.34mm
• Base Weight (two halves, response pad, bearing): 59.9 grams
• Weight with aluminum Dietz Side Effects: 62.96 grams
• Response: Flow Groove
• Bearing: One Drop 10 Ball Bearing
One thing that I should probably clear up before we go any further is the name. You may hear this yo-yo referred to as the Halifax. That was the internal name given before all the specs were finalized between Daniel and the guys at One Drop. As I said in the intro, there were many revisions of this yo-yo and one of them had Halifax laser etched on the rims. After the design was completely fleshed out they retired the Halifax name for a future design and started calling the Dietz by its proper name.
The Dietz is an undersized, angular, Side Effect compatible yo-yo. The profile shows an extreme H-Shape with thick rims and a deep step into the catch zone. With so many angles, the Dietz gives off the appearance of being very uncomfortable to hold but looks are quite deceiving. Every edge has an ever so slight curve to it, giving the Dietz a great feel in the hand while holding it and when hitting the palm after performing tricks. Not to be upstaged by the catch zone, the cup is equally elaborate in design. There is a deep IGR cut under the rim and a step down to the inner wall leading to a flat floor around the hub. The stock Side Effect is a two-tiered conical design that ends in a flat nub on the top. The Dietz is wrapped in One Drop’s tumbled, Pyramatte finish, giving the yo-yo a smooth feel in the hand while retaining the ability to grind. This design is a radical departure from what we have come to expect from our friends in Eugene, OR. It feels like it has been influenced more by the military’s stealth program than by the yo-yo world… and that refreshing change suits me just fine. This design shows that that while One Drop is willing to shake things up a bit, they are not compromising where it counts the most, comfort.
Side Effect yo-yos are very tricky to talk about when it comes to weight. They all ship with a stock set of Side Effects and that is how I review them. The tricky part is that since you can change them out, talking about how the yo-yo feels at a particular weight is kind of a moot point. This is especially true for the Dietz, which is a lightweight in its stock form. When I first got it One Drop had not machined enough of the stock Side Effects so they shipped it with what they had on hand. I ended up plugging in aluminum Ultra Lights and leaving them in there until the stock Dietz Side Effects showed up at my door. In that configuration the Dietz plays super fast, almost to the point of being out of control. While it may not be for everyone, I loved how that played. Using the stock Side Effects slowed the Dietz down a hair making it move quickly but not insanely so. No matter what setup you decide to go with you will be greeted with a very stable, long spinning yo-yo.
Response and Bearing
The flow groove pad makes its return in the Dietz. These pads come pretty grippy out of the box but break in fast. Once broken in, you will be greeted with tight binds and a set of pads that will last you quite a long time.
The Dietz ships stock with the One Drop 10-Ball. This is one of the highest quality bearings on the market as evident by the fact that other companies have started shipping it with their yo-yos. The smooth feel and low noise level make them a fan favorite as well.
On the first throw with the stock side effects I was very impressed with the feel on the string. The best way to describe this yo-yo is zippy. It moves quickly between tricks and flows from string to string when hopping it about. The wide open catch zone makes it easy to land no matter what trick you are trying to pull off. To put this to the ultimate test I decided to work outside my comfort zone during play testing. I have heard that the Dietz excels at horizontal play, something I have never been good at and to be honest, I have also been a little intimidated by it as well. It didn’t help that the week before I started play testing this yo-yo Brett posted a video of himself getting cracked in the skull while learning the same trick, Banana Turnover to Trapeze, that I was going to attempt to teach myself. What I found with this yo-yo that helped learn the trick was that it was light while still being stable in the horizontal position. It didn’t drop out of alignment as much as a heavier yo-yo making it easier to line up with the string. Also that wide catch zone helped when it came to catching the string. With some of my other yo-yos it would hit the sidewall and bounce off more times than it would actually move into the gap. On the Dietz I found that once the string was in the catch zone it would guide itself easily to the gap. As far as the rest of the play is concerned it has all the strengths that come with an H-Shaped yo-yo; better suicides due to low friction, high spin times for long combos, and easy to catch on whips and lacerations. Finally, a quick word about the grinds. The Pyramatte finish is deceptive because it feels like a straight, non-blasted finish but it grinds almost as well as One Drop’s Soda Blast finish. The only issue I have ever had with it is that in high humidity it will get a tad sticky, but that is a minor issue. I found that rim design gave longer arm and palm grinds since it was always riding on just an edge instead of a flat surface, keeping skin contact to a minimum. Thumb grinds were easy to accomplish thanks to the deep IGR.
With the Dietz One Drop has shown that they are ready to move in a different direction. Gone are the grooves, flat rims, and simple yet elegant shapes that have defined them for quite some time. The Dietz’ unique design gives a high level of performance and precision, fitting perfectly with Daniel’s highly technical style of play. Now that One Drop is giving their competition team a means to create their perfect yo-yo I can’t wait to see what the company and the rest of their players come up with next.
If you would like more information on Daniel’d chosen charity, Smile Train International, and how you can join in helping out with this worthy cause please click on the link below.