I have been using the Parlay nonstop for about a week now, and while
I realize that is a short time for a review, I feel I have gotten enough experience with it and my main focus is to help people make an informed decision on whether the Parlay is something they would want to add to their collection.
Specs (from One Drop website):
Base Weight: 58.7 grams
Weight: 62 grams (with aluminium Flat Cap Side Effects)
Width: 40.3 mm
Diameter: 53.6 mm
Stock Response: 19mm Slim Flow Groove
Gap Width: 4.32 mm
Bearing Size: Large © stainless steel (One Drop 10 Ball Bearing)
Finish: Pyramatte ™
Axle System: Side Effects ™
The Parlay is a mid-sized, organic-shape yoyo. It fits very nicely in the average size hand. I’m sure anyone will find this more comfortable than the steak knives that are some of the modern v-shaped yoyos. I have the clear version with grey side effects. It has a industrial look that I find very appealing. The solid silver is a nice detour from the crazy (albeit amazing) acid and splashes. The Parlay has very smooth edges wherever it comes into contact with the hand. I just recently noticed two distinct lines that go around the outside of the rims, and it looks like the rims might be flat from that point on, but it is such a small area that it still feels completely rounded to the touch. The inside of the rims have a slanted edge, and there is a large, smooth bump circling the side effect. It has a very simple looking design, but certainly appeals to those looking for a nostalgic feel or just simply a break from some of the rather elaborate shapes and edges from other modern throws.
I have been throwing for about 12 years, but I started getting into higher end yoyos when the v and h shapes were making there way to the spotlight. I have two Peak 2s. And so I will be comparing the feel of the Parlay to my experience with the Peak and mid-tier organics. On my first throw, it felt underwhelming. It had mediocre spin times, and it often tilted very quickly. I was expecting both of these problems to arise in some form, but not to this extent. I then changed the bearing from the stock flat bearing to a YYR NSK bearing. Everything changed after that. Spin times went up drastically, and I was very surprised to find how rarely it tilted. It is also very floaty. I have not tried heavier side effects but with the flat caps it is very light. While at extremely high speeds it tilts rather quickly, but it handles moderate to high speed very well for its shape. IRG are a breeze thanks to the rims being inverted on the inside, and thumb grinds are also very easy thanks to the smooth anodizing. It really feels like a high performance organic. It also works as a great trainer. The semi-thin, high walls make it difficult to land tricks, but also not so hard that the thrower is setting it down in frustration. I can’t stress enough how much this thing surprised me. I was expecting it to play average, but it blew me away. I find myself attempting some of the combos I used to only do on my Draupnir and Positron. While it obviously can’t quite keep up with most of the competition throws of today, it can certainly hold its own against any other organic and most other modern yoyos.
Compared to the Peak 2:
Just a short comparison for those like me who were looking at these two throws in a similar light. While they do share semi-similar shape and size, they play very differently. The Peak is a little less floaty and doesn’t have the spin times of the Parlay (which seems strange due to the Peak being larger and heavier). The Peak feels more like a throw you would take to a picnic just to slow down and relax, and while the Parlay can also do this very well compared to most of today’s competition inspired yoyos, it seems be ever so slightly geared towards longer combos and slightly faster styles. I still love the Peak, and it will always be one of my favorite CLYW throws, but it also has more history and nostalgia than the Parlay, and this is why I like the Peak so much. If you are looking for a strictly nostalgic and chill throw, go with the Peak 2, but if you want the nostalgia and a bit more performance for those combos and semi-fast play, you cannot do better, in my opinion, than the Parlay.
This is also my first review so any feedback is appreciated. I’m not trying to make a professional grade review but I want to help anyone considering a Parlay. Have a good one!