Reviewed by Brett Grimes
August 12, 2011
The Stampede is the second offering from Xcube. Alexandre Valin or Xela as the community knows him, has been on a hot streak since he starting his France based yo-yo company. The Steamroller, his first yoyo, was a huge success throughout the community. Well now he is back with a new throw, and this one had some people curious from the get go. It has a different shape then the Steamroller yet was still wide. It is curvy, has simple engravings and is just plain different in almost everyway from his previous offering. Would it be as successful as the Steamroller? There is only one way to find out. Lets get cracking!
• Weight (g) 65.50
• Width (mm) 51.00
• Diameter (mm) 56.00
• Gap Width (mm) 4.50
• Bearing Size (Inside x Outside x Width) 6 x 13 x 5
Upon first look I was surprised by the width of this yoyo, this would be my first throw in the newer ultra wide design category. After getting over the width I was hit by the finish of this yoyo; it’s silky, almost feeling lubricated. This is a wonderful finish. The simple engravings were tastefully done and popped out against the vibrant anodizing. Each yoyo is numbered, which is a nice touch for collectors or people who have a favorite number that fits with in the range. The shape fits in with the rest of the extreme H-Shape category, which includes other members such as the Hspin NVx and the Vs. Newton Battosai. The shape lends itself well to huge spin times and easy catches during whips and slacks. The cup is large and obstruction free thanks to the minimal hub.
When taking apart the yoyo I noticed something, it was extremely tight and hard to loosen, there has been some issues with people having very tight bearing seats. Xela immediately addressed this issue, now having a tight bearing seat doesn’t necessarily mean its bad thing, it better then a loose one for sure. But you will need some simple tools to remove the bearing with out damaging it or the yoyo itself. Xela has made a video to illustrate how to safely remove the bearing from the Stampede. Overall the design is very well implemented and, depending on your stance about tight bearing seats, flaw free.
This yoyo is pretty fast for its size, the weight is evenly rim focused which provides a beautifully stable yoyo with incredible spin times. Xcube has definitely been doing their homework when it comes to designing yoyos. Some bigger yoyos often are plagued with weight issues and some newer designers are not sure where to trim the fat with out sacrificing the original design. This yoyo does not fall into that category. It was designed properly with the weight being considered through out the design process.
Response and Bearing
The stock bearing is quiet yet clean, it spins smoothly and efficiently. No issues with the bearing. One thing that must be mentioned, the bearing is a metric large bearing, while it looks very close to a C-Sized bearing they are not the same size. This is just something to be aware of if you decide you want to swap out the bearing.
The response is green pads that Xcube calls Cross Pads. These pads are quite thick and hard. I wasn’t sure if I was going to like these. My own experience with pads such as these has been that they often slip binds because they lose that grippy nature due to the firmness. Although I have slipped a couple binds with thinner strings, the Cross pads grip nicely and solidly with normal strings. I think some day I will try and silicone the Stampede I have just to see how it reacts with my response of choice. Until then I have no major issues with the Cross pads as long as I am using regular to thick string. They do their job look good against the purple finish, I have a thing for neon green.
As I stated earlier, this would be my first experience with a yoyo that falls into the ultra wide category. I initially didn’t know how I was going to like this. In the hand the Stampede feels comfortable; I was pleasantly surprised. I was almost certain that the width would hit my hand funny somewhere but it didn’t. It felt great. I knew this finish was special from the moment I touched it. I threw a hard break away and did a finger grind. Now let me say this first I am not the worlds best grinder. I can do some good grind tricks but it’s not my forte. This yoyo landed on my finger and stuck there, spinning effortlessly, spinning, spinning, spinning… Amazed at the time it sat there was like a moment of yoyo bliss, the General Yo finish once king of the grinding yoyos has been dethroned. I must have sat and threw grind after grind. Amazed each and every time. After my little grinding bliss wore down I began throwing the Stampede through a series of tricks, one word kept coming to mind, STABLE. This yoyo is incredibly stable, I kept envisioning thoughts of a tightrope walker and how the large pole helped them maintain balance on that tiny tightrope. That I think is the secret of the Stampede. Its width is not a deterrent but an aid to its ability to remain stable. The yoyo moves around smoothly and effortlessly. I really like this yoyo, after two weeks with it; it has become one of my go to yoyos.
Xcube has made a winner; the Stampede is an excellent yoyo, and worthy of being in anyone’s collection. If you have ever thought “Hey I wonder how those ultra wide yoyos play?” give yourself a Stampede, it is a perfect example of this new category. Not much more to be said other than “Well done Xela, Well Done!”