The YoYoFactory Supernova Lite: A Gambit Review
So first things first, lets be honest; 90% of modern aluminium YoYos are going to play well, feel good and look good. This is the least you expect from any throw that you pay your hard earned money for. If they didn’t meet these criteria then lets face it, they really wouldn’t sell at all. Due to this, rarely are you going to find a review where someone says “this throw isn’t very good”.
So… I’m not here to tell you whether the yoyos I review are good throws, because that’s the least I’d expect from one. Instead I’m going to address the questions “Should You buy this yoyo? Why should you spend your money on this product? Does this throw stand out from the hundreds of others?” Which means that I will try and be needlessly nit-picky and critical so you get the full scoop… I may come across as an a$$, but hopefully one that helps save your money being wasted.
So today we are reviewing the YoYoFactory Supernova Lite. Here are the stats:
Price: $84.99 (£59.00)
Diameter: 56.30 mm / 2.22 inches
Width: 44.20 mm / 1.74 inches
Weight: 63 grams
Aye, she’s a pretty lass! You be the judge for yourself, but I like the simplicity of this yoyo and love the colour way. Its the kind of yoyo you’d take to meet your parents… inoffensive, no obscure shapes or harsh angles, and the bespeckled acid wash just looks lovely. There isn’t much bad that you can say about the way that this thing looks, if it was a person, it’d probably be Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Smart, well groomed but with a bit of a cheeky side to it…
Well, first and foremost, this yoyo is incredibly comfortable. The lack of any kind of steps along with the smoothness/matt feel of the finish makes for a very comfortable throw, and I assume a good player for grinds, but I really don’t grind much so I have limited experience there. It’s the most comfortable yoyo to hold that I own though, even pegging the CLYW Arctic Circle at the post. Very ergonomic, I would happily just hold this thing, who cares about throwing it… mmm, comfy…
Size wise, its pretty middle of the road. The best way to put it in perspective is with a comparison shot or two:
As you can see its diameter is wider than that of the Arctic Circle, but slightly smaller than those of the Doomsday Genesis and Chief.
Width wise, it is wider than the AC and Genesis, and just skinnier than the Chief.
But let’s get down to where it really matters, on a throw.
How it plays:
The Supernova Lite is, at 63g, a light throw. Unsurprisingly then, in plays pretty light and fast. Whilst this is good, some people, me included, prefer a slightly heavier experience. I like to feel the momentum of the yoyo a bit more and have a bit more deliberateness in string hits and the like, however this is all personal preference. It isnt all that floaty either, my Chief plays a lot floatier despite being a few grams heavier, not that float is a selling point, I personally prefer throws that aren’t too floaty but I feel it’s worth mentioning.
Of course it’s sufficiently smooth. I’d be a bit upset if I paid for a mid/high end yoyo and it came with a tonne of vibe or wobble. Even with a lot of dings and wear (as you can see in the pictures), mine still plays nice and smooth.
Main Bad Point: The Supernova isn’t heavily rim weighted by design. Couple this with the less dense alloy of aluminium and lighter weight and unfortunately stability and spin times do suffer slightly. Now don’t get me wrong, this throw is pretty stable and spins for plenty long, however a lot of yoyos do, so without me being pedantic this wont be a very useful review.
You see, I’m a stability addict. I CRAVE stability. I want a yoyo to be so locked on a vertical access that attempting to do a gyroscopic flop will involve you breaking your 100% Kevlar string before you get so much as a single degree of tilt.
So yes, this is a stable yoyo, and spins sufficiently long. However compared to some of my other throws it just cant hold a candle.
Now I hear people saying
[i]“spin times are negligible, most yoyos spin long enough to pull off a long combo…”
“most yoyos are plenty stable to win championships with”[/i]
… etc etc… and this is 100% true. I’m sure Jensen Kimmit could pull off a 20 minute combo with this thing. HOWEVER. As a relative n00b trying to learn tricks and get his head around the tangled messes that are Yuuki Spencer’s combos, I DO notice the difference in spin times and stability. Sometimes 10 seconds more spin is the difference between me finishing a trick and getting a successful bind, and a long de-tangling job followed by “The Wind-up of Shame”. Sometimes a bit more stability is the difference between a successful pause and figure out what the heck I’m supposed to do next and an unintentional “gyroscopic-flop-alligator-death-roll-of-twisted-string”.
Warning: Positivity Alert!
This is a very fun yoyo though. Due to its comfortable shape and light weight, it’s an enjoyable playing experience.
You see my Doomsday Genesis scares me. That thing has done more damage to my body and hands over our time together than a round with Rocky Balboa. In fact, every time before I throw a breakaway I like to pause and think back to some happier memories… think about the good times and all the little things I’ll miss if the string snags and my head gets absolutely annihilated in a manner reminiscent of the cement truck explosion from that episode of Mythbusters…
I don’t tend to get these feelings with the Supernova Lite. It’s a less serious throw. I wouldn’t take it to a competition nor do I use it when I’m practicing much, but if I’m just relaxing in the sun or having a bit of a “put on headphones and imagine I’m standing on the worlds stage taking a clear victory with the worlds greatest freestyle” fantasy, then it makes for an enjoyable experience.
I’ll put it this way… play wise, if this yoyo was a person it would be Charles Haycock. Sure he loves his colourful shorts and funny faces and he’d probably be great fun at parties, but if you’re signing up to do a Team Tough Mudder Event or need someone to have your back in a bar-room brawl, you’re probably better off grabbing Vashek Kroutil instead.
Value for Money:
Edit: Thanks to Yuki for correction me on this matter, both the 2012 Supernova (67g) and the Supernova Lite (63g) are both made out of 6061 Aluminium. My mistake.
I got my Supernova Lite on a B/S board for £25 (roughly $40), and for that price, this thing was a steal. However I wouldn’t pay as much for it as is currently being asked. B/S boards are an absolute goldmine and I’ve even seen MIB CLYW Chiefs go (very quickly) for less than $100, which is only $15 more…
So, the Supernova Lite. Pros and Cons:
Doesn’t hurt as much when it hits you as some sharper, heavier throws
Less stability and spin time than I would like
Doesn’t make me feel like a bada$$ when I’m using it.
Relatively steep price tag for what you get.
If you have lots of money to throw around and you want a fun, well playing, light and fast throw for under $90, then go for it. It’s a great throw to add to your huge, room filling, solid-gold-display-cased collection.
However if you’re of the younger, less wealthy, school type age (which I assume a lot of you are) and you’re wondering whether this should be the one yoyo that you spend all your saved up money on, then I would pass. At $84.00 this is not “cheap” and there are a lot of other, well/better playing throws that you can get around this price range, ESPECIALLY if you’re hunting through the B/S boards.
If you’re thinking of this as your first good metal, your “Excalibur”, your partner in crime… I would wait. Save up a bit more money and grab a throw that gives you more bang for your buck. I only have the 7075 Doomsday Edition of the Genesis so perhaps it’s an unfair comparison, but if the regular Genesis plays anywhere close then it’s a much better throw for a similar price.
So, the YoYoFactory Supernova Lite. Should you buy it?
In a word, and in my opinion, no. At least not new anyway, search the B/S threads for a cheap one if you are dead set on getting one.
This is just how I feel and we know that in the end it’s all about personal preference with yoyos, but in my honest opinion this is nothing worth getting your wallet out for.