Welcome to the review of the DoDo YoYo K1 here on Cyyclical. Read on to see what I think about this budget yo-yo out of Korea!
So a couple of months ago I received an email from Han Suep Kim over in Korea. Han Suep was writing on behalf of his friend that owns DoDo YoYo, a yo-yo company based in Korea. Basically they were curious if I would like to try out some of their designs and give them a review. That of course made me curious and so I said yes to all.
Thus I now have three yo-yos from DoDo YoYo, and today I am going to be reviewing just the first of the three, known as the K1. It is worth noting that DoDo YoYo is targeting the Korean market for now and these won’t be making an appearance across the pond for some time. If they do, the target price of the K1 is about $10-20 USD range, making this yo-yo a potentially attractive metal yo-yo for beginners.
OK let’s dive in and have a look at the DoDo YoYo K1.
The DoDo YoYo K1
As I intimated above, the DoDo YoYo market seems firmly focused on low-cost yo-yos. This mean that they are very cost-accessible to all, especially newer players looking for a low cost metal yo-yo to starting building up confidence. Han Suep was kind enough to send me the design goals for the K1:
“The basic point of the K1 design is stability and smoothness in playing yoyo tricks. It uses a simple design that is faithful to the basics. All yo-yo players including beginners are able to enjoy throwing easily in a cost effective manner. This was our goal with the K1 yoyo concept.”
So with that in mind, let’s move on to the review!
- Diameter: 54.0 mm
- Width: 40.5 mm
- Weight: 66.0 grams
- Bearing: Size C, concave centering
- Response: 19mm silicone pads
- Material: 6061 aluminum
Size and Weight
The specs of the K1 put into what is considered to be the “typical” range for yo-yos. It sports a normal relative width and typical weight for its size. The K1 also sits right on what most would consider to be the border between mid and full sized yo-yos. All in all, DoDo YoYo have made sure that the K1 is going to appeal to the widest possible audience. It certainly has specs that should work for newer players or those that like middle of the road yo-yos.
The K1 uses a W-type shape that, like the specs, is generally going to work for wide variety of throwers. And, again, this is a decent entry shape for newer players and those moving to a metal yo-yo. The outer wing region of the play side has two subtle angle cuts that are approximately mirrored by a couple of angle cuts on the cup side. The basin of the cup is a flat surface punctuated by the hub spike.
The rims are decently chunky but nothing over the top, and do not include any lip for thumb grinds. In general the shape is simple and pleasing. The K1 plays it safe in pretty much every aspect, which is a good thing for newer players.
Bearing and Response
The K1 ships with a generic concave centering bearing. The bearing in my K1 is performs as you might expect with smooth spin. Unless you really dislike centering bearings for some reason I can’t see how anyone will complain about it.
The silicone pads used for the response are probably some of the weakest pads in terms of binding that I have yet encountered. Personally I like this because I dislike more friction than necessary in the gap. However, it is something to keep in mind, especially for newer players. The lower friction will help with spin while trying to learn tricks. This can be a good thing since new players often pause during tricks to consider their next move. But, on the flip side, it also means learning binds will likely be more difficult. Like I said, keep that in mind.
Well, I suspect that by now all of you can guess what I am going to say. Indeed, the play of the K1 is typical and exactly what you might expect from a budget yo-yo aimed at mass appeal and newer players. For the target price, the spin is good and stability is good. It doesn’t stand out from the crowd in any particular way in terms of performance, but that is pretty much what you would expect for this type of yo-yo.
I can run through most of my standard combos without any issue whatsoever. The K1 is easy to push around but I wouldn’t necessarily call it floaty. You can feel it on the string well enough but nothing too much. It is also decently comfortable.
The lack of any inner grind ring means that thumb grinds are out. I also don’t find it great for horizontal finger spins unless I nail the hub spike exactly. Most of the time my finger crawls up the angle cuts and the K1 spins off. This probably isn’t the yo-yo to learn such things. But in my mind that isn’t an issue because newer players are probably working on other fundamentals. I imagine that they will likely have have purchased other yo-yos by the time they care about thumb grinds and finger spins.
I do need to make a note about the production quality. The K1 is fairly balanced overall although mine does have a touch of vibe. This small amount of vibe is nothing to worry about and it doesn’t impede play at all. Given the price it isn’t anything unusual. One thing that really bugged me was that it arrived screwed together exceptionally tightly. I was close to being unable to unscrew the two cups. In fact, one of the other two yo-yos I received from DoDo YoYo are completely stuck together, and I have not yet been able to unscrew it. Whoever is assembling these must have a titan grip and is really reefing on them when screwing them together. This is a big no-no in my book and could be causing damage. Plus, if you can’t unscrew it then you can’t change the bearing and axle. I have mentioned this to DoDo YoYo directly and I hope this isn’t an issue for anyone else.
So what do I think about the K1? It’s good, it’s decent, it’s fine. Given the budget price, this is definitely a viable option for newer players looking to get into metal yo-yos. It is also a good option if you just want a nice, low-cost, middle of the road yo-yo for everyday banging about. I have no idea what the yo-yo market is like in Korea, but DoDo YoYo seems like it is already offering some good low-cost options in general in that region. Over here in North America it will be entering a crowded budget market that provides plenty of other low-cost options. But, if it comes in at around $15 USD it will be worth the price for what you get.
Yay, Nay, Could-go-either-way Summary
Please keep in mind that these are purely subjective. One thrower’s negatives may be another thrower’s positives, and vice versa.
+ Price: The K1 is firmly aimed at the budget market and is a great yo-yo for the price.
+ Beginner Friendly: This yo-yo is a good option for newer players looking to try a metal unresponsive yo-yo.
+ Design: the shape and specs put the K1 in the middle of the road, making it a good low-cost all rounder for everyday use.
– Assembly: My K1 was screwed together really tightly and was very difficult to take apart. This may not be an issue with other K1s (although it was an issue with another DoDo YoYo that I received).
+/- Response: the response pads seem very weak. This means binds will be harder to learn, but there will be less friction during tricks.
+/- Spins and Grinds: There isn’t any inner grind ring and finger spins seem unfriendly. Normally I would ding the yo-yo for both of these, but given that this yo-yo is aimed at the budget and beginner market, I am less worried about this.