Disclaimer I am directly associated with this project. Jeff has graciously sought my blessing for it. With that said, it would still be terrible for the legacy of what is easily regarded as my most well received design to be anything but honest in this review.
Sometimes life takes you places you never thought you would go. On even rarer occasions life takes you back to those places.
For a lot of the community, the Ti Walker Is rather similar. It was a rare throw that not many could experience even back in the days of VsNYYC. Those that had/have one rarely let them go. Many have accepted the reality of never attaining one and have moved on.
Jeff Atwood is attempting to change that, and has gone to great lengths to replicate the original Ti Walker design while making very minor changes to modernize the 2011 design. The question is, did he replicate it well enough to truly continue the Legacy of what many consider one of the most well received yo-yos of this decade?
Aesthetics, Shape, and Size:
The Ti-Vayder is definitely machined well. Differences are visible to those willing to look for them, but are mostly simply the reality of the yo-yos coming from different machine shops nearly a decade apart.
Size is identical with the only exception being the Ti-Vayder being 0.5mm wider solely by the modern gap (4.5mm vs 4.0mm). Weight is within a gram.
No issues here. It’s machined beautifully, and matches the Ti Walker in all aspects but width (an intentional change).
I made this it’s own category, because I have a lot to say about it. Nothing too bad, but to me the yoyo looks much better with the Hat Pad/silicone response. The design works just as well with the new 19mm pad response, but it is taking some getting used to aesthetics wise. I know that sounds weird, but ive seen my daily carry Ti Walker yoyo for 8 years, and I see it. Again, no issue, but it’s a clear difference.
Likely what you’re all here for. How does this play compared to an OG Ti Walker?
Well, the immediate answer is rather simple. The Ti-Vayder plays virtually exactly like an end of the decade modern Ti Walker. The gap change is welcomed and accommodating. The feel is so similar to a Ti Walker on the string that I opened the vaults to compare it to all of the ones that I had to assure myself before writing this. It without a doubt has that balance of light and heavy, competition and fun, and overall performance that the Ti Walker is so well known for. I’m thoroughly impressed here. Technology is scary.
The Ti-Vayder accurately and admirably continues the legacy of the Ti Walker while making the necessary minor tweaks to make it more viable in the modern yoyo scene.
When Jeff initially reached out to me (when I finally got to seeing his sent messages) with a request to green light this project I was receptive, but understandably hesitant. The Ti Walker is revered as such a pillar in titanium yo-yos that anything short of a modernized equivalent simply would not do.
After this afternoon and late evening of testing, I can safely say that the Ti-Vayder in my possession meets those goals.
This release is a green light for me. I hope that those of you fortunate enough to get one enjoy it as much as I do, and I am really looking forward to working with Jeff on getting these in everyone’s hands.