I started this in response to another review but figured I’d break it out on its own. Basically, I’ve played for a little while and have gone through phases of just digging angular and h-shaped rim-weighted throws, like what has been popularized with YYR’s line, YYF Superstar and Genesis, C3, CLYW Ava, Chief, Arctic Circle, etc… and now come back to rounded shapes.
So consider this a well-tempered review, informed by lots of time spent with different yoyo shapes and an appreciation for what the different designs have to offer.
Cutting to the chase: the Puffin is a great yoyo but yeah, the spin times are not as long as others. With the size/shape/weight distribution there’s no way to expect it would spin like a Dreadnought G. For a smaller diameter yoyo with a mid-rim weight distribution, I find the Puffin’s spin times very respectable. Does the performance equal the Puffin’s price tag? No… and yes… but when have yoyos really done that? Some really high-priced yoyos do not perform as well as yoyos that are a small fraction of their price. Let’s just see what the Puffin has to offer and if it does a good job in its “lane”…
If the Puffin is a yoyo that is favored by Palli and Yuuki then that should tell you something. But of course the pros know how to maximize the spin time on a combo to a level that mere mortals (like me) are incapable of. In the end, some of the qualities that make the Puffin great would be lost if it were turned into a spin monster. Put all the weight on the outer rim and give it a really low wall then it wouldn’t be like a Puffin - nimble, floaty and comfortable.
I like working on some chopsticks and I’ve done chopsticks on all types and shapes of yoyos. Some qualities of a yoyo that make it good for chopsticks is a smaller diameter (obviously) and a rounded shape. When doing chopsticks with speed, if an angular yoyo gets bumped with hand contact it goes off plane very easily (tilts). Another aspect of rounded yoyos that I like: visibility of the shape. Although very angular yoyos often enjoy very long spin times, when working with them close and fast I tend to lose where their very outer edge is. With round shapes, however, I see the yoyo as one chunky mass and it is easier for me to tell where the outer edge is so I don’t bump it. So… combine the Puffin’s smaller diameter, round shape, nice weight that makes it nimble but still sits solidly on the string, and you have a nice feeling yoyo for chopsticks and string-weaving tech.
The Peak comparison. I have two 2nd run Peaks of different weights and one 3rd run Peak. All three Peaks play differently from each other. Generally speaking, the Peak and Puffin share the same outer rim shape but the key difference is that the Puffin has less outer rim weight because it is distributed more towards the middle via the double rim and the Puffin has a larger gap and stepped inner wall and it is wider. The result is that the Puffin feels faster and more nimble than the Peak(s) but its spin time does not feel as powerful because the Peak has more outer rim weight. Also, the Puffin has a slightly smaller diameter than the Peak. In hand, the Puffin certainly feels noticeably smaller. Even though it is not that small, for my big hands, I consider the Puffin a “small” yoyo.
diameter: 54.7 mm
width: 42.5 mm
gap: 4.1 mm
weight: ~67 g
diameter: 53.4 mm
width: 44.5 mm
gap: 4.25 mm
weight: 65.7 g
The bottom line is that I really enjoy throwing the Puffin and I wrote this review to figure out why I liked it so much. Normally I don’t like doubles of yoyos but I have 2 Puffins now. Even though it is a very comfortable yoyo, I don’t get complacent while throwing the Puffin due to how nimble it is. I find it, like the Canvas, to be a cool way to update the classic Peak form and take it into different directions.