Hey guys and gals, this is my first review. I figure I should explain a little about myself to give you perspective. I started throwing about 18 months ago with some Duncans, moved up to a DM2, then to a OneDrop Burnside as my first real metal throw. In a typical day, I’ll throw my Burnside, G2 Albatross, and Ten Yoyo Drop Bear. I throw 1A only and I’m not that good, but I still love it. Since I began, I have been overwhelmed by this wonderful community. This review is one way I hope to contribute something of value back to this community. I appreciate any feedback, especially ways to improve future reviews.
Well with that out of the way, let’s move on to the review of the Ten Yoyo Decapod.
Edition/Run: Ghost Crab
Material: 7075 Aluminum
Diameter: 54 mm
Width: 38 mm
Gap: 4.6 mm
Weight: 64.5 grams
Response: Flowable Silicone
I’ve been excited to try this yoyo for a while. I originally considered buying one of the first run (decided on the Burnside instead). Something about the extreme shape, raw finish, grooves, and 7075 aluminum got me interested from the first time I saw it online. The Decapod comes in the now famous meat tray packaging with the creative labeling. Listing the vital stats on the label in the form of Nutrition Facts is genius. Also, like TenYoyo’s other throws, the Decapod comes with a “Throw it Forward’” yoyo. The idea is to pass this plastic C-bearing yoyo on to a friend to introduce them to the sport. It is a fun little throw in its own right.
The first thing I notice about this Decapod is that the finish is stunning. As soon as I got it out of the packaging, I just kept looking at this spectacular work of machined art. The Decapod’s shape is so extreme and complex that you can’t really see everything just by looking at it. The bright, raw finish serves to reflect the light and hide the curves and edges. I kept turning this thing over in my hand, feeling out all of the subtleties of the design. I bought the “Ghost Crab” edition. I’m not actually sure everything that makes it a Ghost Crab, but I know that this edition is only available in raw 7075 aluminum and lacks any markings. I do miss the Ten Yoyo “X” logo that was on the hub on the first edition Decapods, however the completely raw finish allows the design to stand on its own. Plus, no one is going to mistake the Decapod for any other yoyo. It is that unique.
The “Ghost Crab” Decapod also comes with the new Twisted Stringz Trifecta bearing and Twisted Stringz “Gray Matter” strings. This is my first time using these new strings, but I have been a big fan of Twisted since I first gave them a try. Jen (at Twisted) shares the same passion and commitment to this great community as Wabbit and Roo at Ten Yoyo, which makes for a perfect combination. I also really like the Trifecta and have several in some of my favorite throws. However, the centering effect of the bearing combined with the wide gap of the Decapod can make the yoyo tricky to bind. Not impossible to bind or too slippery, it just required an adjustment and became a non-issue. The flipside of this issue is that the wide gap and centering bearing keeps the string away from the response pads on all but the worst throws making for longer spin times.
The profile is an extreme H-Shape. The edge of the rims slope into the catch area. The wide catch area then drops sharply, but sloped, into the the response area. Despite being a fairly narrow yoyo, the wide concave area of the Decapod makes it feel a lot wider than it is and makes string catches a breeze. Inside the catch area, there are very fine grooves. Another reviewer (highspeedyoyo.com) described these grooves as like the grooves on an LP record and I can’t think of a better description. Inside the cup, I found another surprise. The IGR is actually grooved as well. I wasn’t sure at first, but after breaking out the magnifying glass and a flashlight, I was able to see some very fine grooves underneath. I can’t tell if these grooves are intentional or just unpolished machining marks. Nonetheless, these grooves make for an easy and fun yoyo to grind. I like to pop into a finger grind, and I can get decent grinds even with my weak throws. I am still learning thumb grinds, but with the grooves and larger area inside the rim it is like having thumb-grinding training wheels on this yoyo.
On size, the Decapod looks small and feels big. I am used to throwing full-sized yoyos like the Burnside or Albatross which aren’t really that much larger but they feel bigger. Compared to those throws, the Decapod is slightly smaller and a bit narrower. I would describe play as predictable. At 64.5 grams and a bit undersized, I expected faster play, but it is not as quick on the string as a true undersize like a Di Base or Cafe Racer. That said, the Decapod is not slow by any means. It is still light for its size and will happily bounce between strings on command more so than a true fullsize. As other H-Shape yoyos, when you throw it straight all of that rim weight stability rewards you with fantastic spin times longer than traditional shapes. That could be a reason I tend to be drawn toward the H-Shapes. With such long spin times, you can make multiple attempts at a trick on a single throw without having to bind and re-throw. I’ll readily admit, I don’t have a great throw, but the Decapod is one of the smoothest and longest spinning yoyos I have in my collection. The Decapod’s stability is more comparable to a Burnside than it’s Ten Yoyo stablemate, the Drop Bear. In summary, despite the extreme shape of the Decapod the play is not so different than any other throw except for the added stability and spin times. Who wouldn’t want more stability and spin time?
In summary, the Decapod is a fantastic yoyo. It is a showpiece of engineering beauty and functional design. The play of the Decapod is fun and rewarding. At the price point (I bought it new for $85, although few if any stores have them in stock at this time), the Decapod will outperform anything I’ve had the fortune to play. I can’t think of another yoyo that is as underrated as the Decapod. Before I got mine, I wondered why no one was talking about the Decapod. Now that I have mine, I am only more puzzled. The TenYoyo Decapod is an exceptional yoyo that deserves a prominent place in everyone’s collection.