Welcome to the review of the iYoYo 2 courtesy of throwing community member Darren Li!
[Note from JT: I wanted to say up front “thanks” to Darren for writing up this review and to Dave Geigle for providing the iYoYo 2 to us for review.]
This has been a long time awaited. Honestly, I have absolutely no excuse for delaying this. It was way back in March that I wrote this up – heck, the file said “March yo-yo reviews.docx” instead of “iyoyo2 review.docx” and I had the photos ready to go.
Before opening this box, I opened the Steel to play, because I knew that was a pretty solid pick. I was apprehensive about this one. What if I didn’t like it? Would I feel right condemning it because JT (and Dave, by proxy) gave me this for reviewing purposes? How seriously should I go into explaining how it plays?
And then I played it. And it was glorious.
For the record I did most of this review with the yo-yo being responsive.
iYoYo 2 Specs
- Diameter: 55.0 mm
- Width: 40.4 mm
- Weight: 66.3 grams
- Bearing: Flat Size C (for responsive play)
- Response: 19mm slim silicone pads
- Material: 6061 aluminum
Size, Weight, Shape, and Feel
This yo-yo was designed for beginners. It’s a little narrower than normal, even considering that it’s got a narrow bearing, at 40 mm and 42 mm with a wide bearing. Its profile is similar to a curvy H-type shape, with much of the weight pushed out to the sides and to the rims.
It’s a comfy shape. The width makes it a little more familiar to people who are coming from yo-yos like the Duncan Butterfly or Imperial. While a lot of designs are wide (43-46 mm seems to be the trend now), a wide weight distribution makes yo-yos more susceptible to sloppy throws. At the same time, it’s good enough to catch most everything you’d throw at it when you use a different yo-yo.
Weight-wise, this yo-yo is definitely heavy in the hand. Reassuring feel. We’ll see how it plays later.
Look at that finger spin dimple. iYoYo had finger spin dimples before the second coming of finger spins, and didn’t push the feature hard either. Again, more about that in play later, but this design is SLICK. Only thing I’d wish is that the engraving wasn’t so big and prominent.
Bearing and Response
The iYoYo 2 shipped with a flat half-size bearing installed as expected, and it comes with a nice concave unresponsive for you to swap in. Simple enough. As the half bearing is lubed, it’s quiet and responsive. Unlike most other responsive yo-yos though, it takes standard 19mm response, rather than a thicker pad that protrudes for additional responsiveness.
On binds, you don’t get the same snap as you get with an unresponsive yo-yo, but it’s a different kind of satisfying. I love the consistency of the response that I get, and you don’t see this in most cheap responsive string trick yo-yos. A better way to describe it would be how a nicely-tuned looper comes back predictably and with the same amount of force every time.
Honestly, there’s not a lot to say about its feel on the string. Part of the charm is that it’s a heavy yoyo that doesn’t feel clunky or overly slow on the string. In my opinion, iYoYo and Turning Point are the only two companies that have consistently nice 66+ g yo-yos.
It handles finger spins and thumb grinds fine, though if you’re used to a less stable yo-yo you might have a little trouble with its slower plane changing. Finger spins aren’t quite as “good” as yo-yos with the finger spin dimple, though from my experience a yo-yo with a flat/slightly curved dimple are easier to learn on than one with a deep groove.
The engraving takes up a lot of space in the cup, and add friction to the surface if you miss your finger spin. One workaround is to take denim and rub it over the engraved area, or use an ink eraser (or polishing-grit sandpaper) and rub over it.
One initial thought that popped into my mind was, “this is not a traditionally good responsive yo-yo.”
HOLD YOUR HORSES. Let me explain. When I originally started writing this review, the revival of responsive yo-yos had not happened. It’s still mainly limited to boutique brands, but I acknowledge that some readers own slimline yo-yos.
Most people’s experience with responsive throws is from cheap plastics, loopers, and fixed axles. Those tended to have protruding response pads. On the iYoYo 2, I can do Kamikaze, rejections, basically everything on the newbie list besides some whip tricks that require hefty tugs. And it was easy, and I’m not exactly good. If you do a sleeper and tug on it hard, it’ll come back, but other than that the responsive configuration is pretty versatile.
The iYoYo 2 is a beautiful yo-yo way ahead of its time – or maybe behind it? It occupies a space between standard, wide, unresponsive yo-yos and the responsive slim yo-yos that are being released recently. I can’t pin down what exactly makes me like this yo-yo so much. The nice shade of green that appears when it’s spinning, the slow-yet-not-sluggish feel in play, and the pleasantly quiet responsiveness all contribute.
My favorite part about this yo-yo is that the entire aesthetic is clean. Some of iYoYo’s other designs (iYoYo 2 Pro with its 7075 rings, Veritas Pro with its rings + plastic cup) have a much more busy look. This is simple and clean.
Yay, Nay, Could-go-either-way Summary
+ Finger spins: fingerspins are OK.
+ Price: the $50 price point is excellent.
+ Smooth Feel: the iYoYo 2 has a smooth and quiet responsive feel with unresponsive bearing.
– Engraving: I am not a fan of the big laser engraving.
+/- General performance: probably mediocre all-around but I like it nonetheless.
+/- Colorways: limited colorways available, although the Summer Fade and Color Explosion make up for it.