Spartanik Rage of Achill
Reviewed by Chris Rhoads
April 7, 2012
Spartanik is a new yo-yo company out of Europe. What started out as a small joke design ended up being latched on to by quite a few players in the German and Italian yo-yo communities. As the company owner, who only goes by Sparta, explains he continued on with the manufacturing for two reasons:
- He likes to finish what he started.
- He was eager to give people an alternative to the big company and Chinese yo-yos flooding the European market.
I first took notice of the Rage of Achill design on the One Drop forums where he posted the initial CAD schematics that sparked quite a bit of discussion. From there, people talked about the whole design and I watched as it went from computer drawing to fully functioning yo-yo. Now we get to see if the Rage of Achill ready for prime time or if it is just an off color joke best forgotten.
• Diameter: 52mm
• Width: 42mm
• Gap: 4.3mm
• Weight: 66 grams
• Bearing: 6x13x5mm ILYY KMK Bearing
• Response: flowable silicone
One thing I should mention right off the bat is that this is a prototype. After having this run blasted and anodized a flaw was discovered. In order to achieve the desired weight while switching aluminum alloys the machinist used to make the run removed too much material at the angle where the rim meets the catch zone. The flaw causes the yo-yo to crack if it takes a hard hit. Spartanik has already begun correcting the problem by shifting a little extra weight to the area in question. I have been told that the newer prototype plays just like this one even with the shift so all play discussion in this review should reflect the final release. The only difference is that there might be some slight visual changes.
The first thing I noticed when I took the Rage of Achill (aka the RoA) out of its packaging is just how crazy it looks. There are subtle H-Shapes, there are crazy H-Shapes, and then there is this. Some will compare this to the H-Spin Envy and I can see that but this corrects the Envy’s biggest flaw, the catch zone. On the RoA the catch zone is more angled to help guide the string into the gap, on the Envies that I have played in the past the catch zone is almost horizontal and the string would stay on the inner wall during play. This would result in tilting and decreased spin times. As can be seen on the RoA’s profile the yo-yo is all rims connected to an angled inner hub leading towards the catch zone. The gap of the yo-yo is ultra low walled, almost completely eliminating string contact with the inner wall. Turning to the cup of the yo-yo we can see a spiked hub in the center and an IGR cut into the underside of those enormous rims. The yo-yo is bead blasted and anodized a pewter color. The blasting feels quite smooth to the touch and I did not notice it being to aggressive where it came in contact with the string. Over all comfort is decent but this yo-yo can be harsh during play. All the mass is concentrated in those flattened rims, which can be painful on a fast return to the hand. In the end I am a fan of the design, it is just what the community needs, an extremely unique and unorthodox design.
At 66 grams this yo-yo just screams on the string. It is a fast and stable player. The rims keep it from processing during play. You can slow it down a bit and still enjoy the play of the RoA but it is one of those yo-yos that seem happiest when it is speeding around on the string.
Response and Bearing
The response on the Rage of Achill is flowable silicone. It almost looks like Red Hot sILYYcone but it could just be red gasket maker. Either way it is perfectly poured in the groove and gives consistent binds during play.
The Rage of Achill actually has two options for the bearing, a standard large KMK bearing or a B!ST V-Cave bearing which is similar to a KonKave. I did try the V-Cave and it was decent but I found it had similar problems to other specialty bearing; specifically it bunched the string in the middle of the yo-yo hindering play. For all my play tests I went with the flat KMK. I found the play to be superior and I have always considered the KMK to be the best metric bearing on the market.
As I said above, this yo-yo screams on the string. It is quite fast while also remaining incredibly stable. Even though it is a fast player I did not feel like I had to rush to keep up with it, but that could just be because I am use to light and fast playing yo-yos. During play I was able to hit any and all suicide tricks I threw at it thanks to the ultra low inner wall. One trick I was also able to hit is the jade whip where you twirl the loop around a couple times before hooking the yo-yo. I do not remember the name of the exact trick, but it is one that has eluded me in the past. Hops where also quite easy to hit thanks to the super wide catch zone. I did notice that the angled catch zone guided string quickly into the gap but still gave a slight tilt if I brought the string up to fast and hit the catch zone. This is just an issue with these extreme H-Shape designs. Grinds where excellent due to the blasted finish. It is silky smooth to the touch while spinning on the hand, arm, or finger. I was especially impressed with finger grinds. I thought it would die out due to the increased skin contact afforded by the design but it gave stellar spin times when balanced on my index finger. Thumb grinds were well implemented but the opening is a little too small for my bulbous thumb. I sometimes got a rejection while catching the yo-yo on my thumb from a sleeper. I would end up hitting the spike dead on. This is not so much a design flaw as it is an “I have fat thumbs” flaw. The spikes were easy to catch during play and while balancing on my thumb or finger. Over all the play is impressive for such an unorthodox design.
Spartanik set out to give an alternative to the big name and Chinese companies flooding the market and I think they succeeded. The Rage of Achill is just one of those yo-yos that is a blast to play. You have no idea what to make of it when you first pull it out of the box but after a few throws you will be grinning from ear to ear. While it may have started out as a joke, it ended up being the best kind of joke. One that makes you laugh and smile while playing it. I honestly do not know if Spartanik has any further designs to bring to market after this, if so you have caught my attention with this one and I would love to see what comes next.