SPYY Speed Freak
Reviewed by Chris Rhoads
November 7, 2010
When it comes to yo-yos, speed seems to be the name of the game. Serious players seem to be looking for faster throws that move through the tricks at a blinding pace. I would hazard to say that this growing trend is the by product of the competitions and the need that some players have to move as fast as you can while having as many string hits as possible. I find this need for speed to be a little troubling at times but I am one of those who find beauty in the flow of the tricks and the fluid movements of yo-yo and player. While I am not a fan of the speedy play styles of the more competition minded players I do find that I love the yo-yos that are coming out to accommodate them. The quick yo-yos of today are lighter on the string and at the same time they react quite a bit quicker to changes in direction than some of the heavier yo-yos on the market. Also, the reduction in weight means that I can play for extended periods of time without feeling fatigued. There is a reason why one of my favorite metals clocks in at only 49 grams. Today I am looking at SPYY’s entry into the field of quickness, their aptly named Speed Freak. SPYY is no stranger to the world of competition throws, having come out with one of the better competition grade yo-yos of 2010 the Pro. Today we get to see if this quick full sized yo-yo is more of a Bugatti on the string or if it is an Edsel.
Gap width: 4.25mm
Response: CBC slim pads – accepts flowable silicone
Bearing: C-Sized Dry Steel Bearing
SPYY has said that the Speed Freak is a reworking of their Addiction design. While I can see the inspiration in there, I can also see some of their earlier work in there with a little bit of Train Wreck influence in the shape. At the end of the day I would consider this a brand new design that is most definitely SPYY in nature. The profile is a slightly rounded v-shape with a super wide, and ultra low-walled catch zone. I know that last sentence could sound like the propaganda you would see in an advertisement but it is the best way I can describe it. If you look at the inner wall of the Speed Freak you will see a concave recess cut in where the wall would be. This recess reduces the contact of the string with the wall of the yo-yo and has a two-fold use. The lack of string friction helps maintain speed and keeps loops wide open for suicides. I find this to be a very smart design decision on SPYY’s part and a feature that will be used by other designers in the future. Moving to the cups of the yo-yo we find the traditional SPYY spike that has graced all of their designs save one. There is also a very shallow IGR cut into the inner rim. On the floor of the cup is an ornate laser etched filigree with Canadian undertones to it. The yo-yo comes in a two tone red and orange anodized colorway that is matte in looks thanks to SPYY’s bead blast finish.
The weight of the Speed Freak is svelte 63.5 grams. For a full sized almost 54 mm diameter design this translates into floaty floaty that is quick on the string. While I found that I could push the Speed Freak to go faster than other SPYYs in my collection I never felt as though the speed was too much. What I liked about the weighting and the design of the Speed Freak was how precise it felt while moving through tricks. Some yo-yos feel like they have a little lag between when you tell them to change direction and when they actually change. I never had that feeling of lag with the Speed Freak. It would change the instant you would tell it to. The Speed Freak is also very stable on the string thanks to the center weight added by the spiked center hubs.
Response and Bearing
The bearing used is SPYY’s standard dry steel bearing. I have always found it to be a competent but slightly loud bearing that gives great spin times.
The stock response pads in the Speed Freak are CBC slim pads. The CBC line of pads are growing on me. They give a good deal of grip for bind but stay unresponsive during play. They also have a decent amount of life in them. If pads are not your thing, the Speed Freak does accept flowable silicone with ease.
On the first throw I found that I really liked what the Speed Freak had to offer. I have become a huge fan of lighter throws as of late. They cause less arm fatigue during play and allow me to throw for longer periods of time. The Speed Freak was quick on the string but as I said above not too much so. Some lightweights are just blazing quick out of the gate but I found the Speed Freak to be more car like in nature. You can start off calm and moderate but if you mash on the accelerator you can push it to extremely high speeds. It is a yo-yo that works with you. Since the design of the Speed Freak has to ultra low walls I decided to focus on trying to catch a chopstick suicide during the play session, something that I have never been able to do in the past. Well, after much practice and patience I was able to do it once with this yo-yo and I think the low level of contact with the gap played a part in this accomplishment. It isn’t something I have been able to repeat but I did notice that even during my repeated misses the loops were staying open more than on other yo-yos in my collection. As far as the rest of the play is concerned this yo-yo is a suicide machine. Regular suicides, green triangle suicides, 1.5 mount suicides, and others were extremely easy to pull off with the loops staying wide open. As far as grinds are concerned arm, hand, and finger grinds were darn near perfect. Thumb grinds were a mixed bag. The shallow lip meant that the yo-yo would slip off more than the Addiction that the design is based on. I would have liked to see the IGR from Addiction make a return appearance in the Speed Freak. In the end the Speed Freak is a great design that has one small misstep in my opinion.
At the end of the day the Speed Freak is a very competent yo-yo that is slightly misnamed. If you are going to name a yo-yo Speed Freak then it needs to be a balls to the wall blazing fast player. What we have here is a yo-yo that works with the player and performs well at all speeds. I would recommend this yo-yo to anyone that is looking for a full sized yo-yo that works well with multiple styles of play.
To see what I am talking about when it comes to the speed of this yo-yo I am going to link to a video of Joey Fleshman putting the Speed Freak through its paces. In all honesty any time I have a chance to post a yo-yo video that uses Faith No More for the music I am going to take it. Enjoy.