Vs. Newton Septopus (Leg 2 Preproduction)
Reviewed by Chris Rhoads
July 12, 2011
The Septopus has been in development for quite some time, longer than anyone really knows. This yo-yo was actually intended to be Heath’s second release after the Sky Walker but constant tinkering and tweaking made Heath push back the release until he thought it was ready. Well, it is mid 2011 and the yo-yo is still not quite done yet. Heath is still tweaking it ever so slightly but he is proud of this latest revision, so much so that he is selling a limited number of them as a Leg 2 preproduction model through his company site. Never being one to shy away from trying new stuff I eagerly picked one up. Now I need to mention that whenever a company asks me to post a preproduction or a prototype review I tend to take it a little easier on that product than I would a production run model. These yo-yos are not final releases and have a chance to make changes to problem areas. These are actually my favorite type of review to write because I feel like I am giving back to the manufacturers that keep this industry going. Now lets take a look at the latest from VsNYYC and see if this preproduction needs anything tweaked or if all of Heath’s hard work is ready to hit the shelves.
• Diameter: 53.6mm
• Width: 41.6mm
• Gap: 4.1mm
• Weight: 64g
• Bearing: C-Sized Steel bearing
• Response: Silicone Groove
At first glance this almost looks like a pure v-shaped yo-yo, but on closer inspection, there is a small step about half way down the wall of the catch zone. This small step gives the Septopus a large set of defined rims that end a sharp ninety degree angle. In the gap of the Septopus there is another step, sort of the inverse of what is seen in the CLYW Gnarwhal. It has the same purpose as the Gnarwhal bump, to reduce spin killing string contact with the walls. The cup of the Septopus has an extremely interesting look to it. The rim face is completely flat with two small channels cut into them. These channels serve two purposes, to reduce weight and to reduce drag. I don’t know if they actually do reduce drag while the yo-yo is in use but they sure do look cool. In the cup there is a very slight IGR lip that is still usable but can occasionally be slippy. The spike in the cup is VsNYYC’s new signature spike. This new spike has sloping sides that come to an aggressive point. I am very impressed with the new spike, it may look small but I found it easy to catch and to use for ripcord starts. The finish on the Septopus is the standard Gruntbull blasted finish. Heath takes the time to rub the gap with a green Scotch Brite pad in order to stop any string snapping issues so no worries there. The feel of the blast is silky to the touch. The colorway is something else entirely. It is very steampunk looking, consisting of a clear splash over a copper and black acid wash. All in all this is a very comfortable design in the hand. The rims could use a slight rounding near the outer edge and the IGR could be a tad deeper but these are just very small issues with an otherwise stellar design.
The weight on this yo-yo is spot on. It is distributed perfectly so that the yo-yo does not go off axis unintentionally during tricks. It is light and fast on the string while remaining floaty during play. I think one of the reasons I am not being as harsh on the rim and IGR issue stated above is that changing those would change the weight distribution on the yo-yo and effect the spot on feel on the string.
Response and Bearing
Heath has gotten quite a bit better at his silicone installation on his yo-yos. I remember the first Sky Walker review I did, where the silicone was hastily poured in due to having a little over 36 hours to get them all ready for that year’s Bay Area Classic YoYo Contest. Now I look at the response in the Septopus and it is perfectly poured with a slight concave to it. I couldn’t do it better myself.
The bearing used was a generic steel c-sized bearing. It got the job done and spun true, although it was a little loud. In the end I tossed it aside and put in a spare 10-Ball I had lying around. Heath has said he is switching back to higher quality bearings when it comes time to drop the retail release.
Pure joy; that is the best way to describe the play of this yo-yo. It moves with precision on the string. It floats in the air while popping it up for Black Hops and Kwijibo. Suicides are easy to perform thanks to the step in the gap helping to keep the loops open. The catch zone is easy to hit thanks to the hybrid v/h-shape. During play testing I decided to try and learn a trick my friend Nhi sent me called Téléphérique which was filmed by Lapin of Team X3. It is this crazy wrist mount Gondola variation. I am not even going to try and describe it, just watch the linked video. Needles to say there are many elements to this trick that can cause hiccups but I found no issue with them while learning it. When it comes to the grinds on this yo-yo they are exactly what you would expect from a Gruntbull anodized throw. If you have played any CLYW yo-yo but never played a Vs. Newton then you will have a good idea of the Septopus’ capabilities. Palm, arm, and finger grinds are all very easy to pull off. With it being only 64 grams, it only takes just a slight change in the angle of your arm to get it to climb up towards your shoulder. I found it extremely easy to control the accent during play. The one slight weak link is the IGR. The small lip doesn’t always catch the thumb so the yo-yo can slip off if you are not paying attention. You may find it easier to throw the Septopus at a slight angle if you want to thumb grind. Where this yo-yo truly excels is during matador play. Those spikes are super easy to catch in the air and the pin point tip leaves very little in contact with the finger or thumb allowing for extra long spin times.
Ok, the question that a lot of you probably are asking, is it a good preproduction model… no, it really is not. This is a great retail release. You can tell Heath has put a lot of effort into making this one of the best in his stable. Yes I mentioned it has a slightly sharp rim, but no more so than they ILYY Noctu or the MadHouse UnKnown (which I still have the scar on my left leg from). I also mentioned the IGR, but honestly it is still usable, more so than the nonexistent IGR on the Sky Walker. All told, I would not change a thing on this yo-yo. It is an excellent player. At this point I think I need to just say this, Heath stop babying this design and just release it to the public as is, currently you have another hit on your hands.