Yoyofficer have been working hard over the past months to be more creative in both the design and looks of their yoyos. For the Urban, Hong and Ma aspired to create something a little ‘tougher’ and ‘packing punch and power’, focusing less on light feeling and agility. Let’s see if they succeeded.
Diameter: 55 mm
Width: 46 mm
Weight: 66.1 g
Gap width: 4.6 mm
It is immediately evident that the blast finish on the Urban is much different than on all previous models. It is a very smooth matte finish that is similar to the one used on CLYW yoyos. The colours have also been improved and now have very attractive acid wash and splash combinations. They look stunning and this is a significant step up for Yoyofficer. Similar to the other recent releases, at 46 mm, the yoyo is quite wide. It’s a good kind of wide, the type that helps catch rates and doesn’t interfere with more intricate tricks. It’s an interesting design, as there doesn’t appear to be any significant thickening anywhere when you inspect the rims and cup which has a strong affect on the way it feels and plays.The organic H shape makes the Urban an extremely comfortable yoyo to hold which also increases its appeal.
Opening up the Urban, you will find Yoyofficer’s standard black pad and a string centering bearing. It’s basically a non-brand version of a Center Trac. Hong and Ma decided to use this bearing instead of the ten ball grooved bearing because they found quality consistency problems with them. The performance of the new generic cerntering bearing is just fine. Mine, however, sounded a little like there were tiny chipmunks in there having a fight. I cleaned it and dropped in a tiny bit of Terrapin dry lube, then it sounded like the chipmunks were playing a Chipmunk’s Christmas album while fighting. I just cleaned it again and gave it some thin lube, and it has quietened down since. I’ll say it again though, that during all this, the bearing was performing perfectly unresponsive, the problems were purely audile. I have asked the other team members whether they experienced the same thing, but it was just me. Around the response there is a small kick out which helps reduce the string’s wall contact.
An initial throw of the Urban will give you an interesting feeling. Usually, you get a fair impression on what kind a yoyo you’ve got instantly, even if your opinion shifts somewhat after more experience with it. You usually think something like ‘OK, this one is a solid one’ or ‘this one feels really light and fast’, but the Urban is a cagey one, it evades easy categorization initially. It gave a kind of spongey thud when it reached the bottom of the string and a slight neither-here-nor-there feeling in play. I haven’t used much that has given me this kind of first impression before and I wasn’t sure what to make of it, but it wasn’t appealing. Given a little more experience, the Urban does reveal a more committed personality than at first, but it does take time for it to shine through. Although soft feeling, it has a solid and consistent powerful feel. You certainly grow to like it with more use.
The Urban performs quite well. It’s stable enough and it’s even weight distribution means it will be more forgiving and adjustable throughout combos, including off-axis play. It’s a little surprising that it retains its spin quite well. We tend to believe that a yoyo needs a generous concentration of weight to the rims to be a powerful spinner, but a well designed yoyo can seemingly defy physics at times. The Japan Technology FiReal is another example of even weight distribution yet decent spin. The Urban can go quite fast for a wide organic yoyo; it will happily be put through the paces.
The Urban is certainly an interesting yet pleasant yoyo. It looks good, is very comfortable and is fun to use. Could it be described as ‘tougher’ and ‘packing punch and power’? It does display these characteristics and is a refreshing change in feel from other recent Yoyofficer releases. In time, I judge a yoyo by how often I will reach for it over others and this has been one of my most reached for yoyos lately.