Caribou Lodge Yoyoworks Bear vs. Man (Ogopogo Ed.)
Few companies receive the amount of fanfare that Caribou Lodge Yoyoworks does when it releases a new yo-yo. They can be considered the rock stars of the yo-yo community with their loyal fan base virtually camping out at the doorstep of their internet retailer of choice, waiting for the webmaster to push the button launching the product on their site. But, for every groupie you have a skeptic who looks at CLYW’s line of two yo-yos and asks the important question, “What’s the big deal?” I can honestly say that I fell into the latter category. Sure, they look pretty and have fanciful names like Ogopogo, Wolverine, 28 Stories, and Shark vs. Zombie Beaver. After reading up on the company and the various versions of their yo-yos I decided to dive in an pick up one of their Bear vs. Man (BvM) line. Let’s see if it meet the high standard that the internet has placed on it.
Diameter: 52.76 mm
Width: 38.98 mm
Gap: 4.18 mm
Weight: 67.50 grams
Response: Flowable Silicone
Look and Feel
Before talking about the look of this particular yo yo there is something that should be noted. The nice thing about CLYW products is that there is a wide variety of colors to choose from. If the BvM sounds like the yo-yo for you but you do not like the color of the one I reviewed here, you are in luck. There are at least a half dozen other color combos out there to be had and I’ll CLYW is in their secret lair concocting a new combo as we speak.
The BvM that I received is the Ogopogo Edition, named after the Loch Ness like creature that lives in Okanagan Lake in Canada. This particular BvM has a vibrant green with a silver lined blue splash. This splash anodizing is the signature look of all CLYW yo-yos. Personally I like the looks of Ogopogo, it is an understated splash and the colors really complement each other well. The bead blast finish gives the yo-yo a unique shine to it that I have not seen on another yo-yo. When spinning, the Ogopogo’s colors melt into each other and give a nice teal effect to the areas with the splash.
The feel of the BvM is quite nice. It has a bead blasted finish to it that gives the BvM a soft, silky feel to it. When running a finger over the surface, it does not feel gummy or sticky at all. This is has the feel of a nice grinding surface.
Do not let that 67.5 gram weight fool you, this is not a heavy yo-yo. It floats through the air while performing tricks. Its weight allows the BvM to be very quick and nimble on the string and it never feels like a chunk of aluminum at the end of the string. I had read about the floaty nature of CLYW yo-yos and now I understand what people are talking about. Although it is floaty, those 67.5 grams are distributed quite nicely on the yo-yo. It has long spin times and it is stable, even at lower RPMs.
Response and Bearing
There is not much I can say about the response in the BvM. It has one of the most perfect silicone jobs I have ever seen on a yo-yo. It is superbly recessed and provided some of the snappiest binds I have ever felt. I thought I was good at siliconing a yo-yo, after seeing the BvM, I have come to realize I need to work at it some more.
The stock bearing that comes with the BvM is described by them as “Perfect for unresponsive play”. I can agree with that. It is a precleaned, dry bearing that gives long spin times. I tried it and a 10-Ball in the BvM and noticed very little difference in play. Where I did notice a difference is in noise. The CLYW stock bearing is quite loud. Personally, I prefer a quiet yo-yo so I kept in the 10-Ball. If you don’t mind a little noise from your throw, there is no need to replace what is shipped with the BvM.
When I first threw the BvM it felt great on the string. As I said above, it has a floaty quality to it and is zippy through the tricks. It handles my usual set of slacks, whips and various other string tricks. the gap is wide enough to handle quite a few wraps without getting snaggy, although I would suspect that the awesome recessed silicone response is helping in that department. The finish on this yo-yo gives it some fantastic spin times. It never grabbed in and shot up my arm during a grind and I always had complete control when holding it in my hand. The deep recessed IRG gives it some smooth thumb grinds, allowing me to transfer from thumb to thumb with ease. One thing I have read about on various forums is the CLYW vibe. While I am not dismissing it, I did not encounter it with this yo-yo.
Do not buy this yo-yo if you are expecting it to perform miracles. DO buy this yo-yo if you are looking for a solid yo-yo that performs quite well. It is a strong player that deserves to be thrown… a lot. It is a great throw that straddles that line between a full sized yo-yo and an undersized. You really can not go wrong having one in your collection.