Welcome to the review of the One Drop Rebirth, submitted to Cyyclical by throwing community member Mat B!
The Project line is one that is looked upon quite fondly by many One Drop fans. The original Project included styling and features that are now staples of the brand. The latest addition to this line is Ryosuke Kawamura’s signature model, the Rebirth. The Rebirth is a celebration of the Project line that melds the old with the new – the now classic catch zone grooves and flat rims are joined by a response zone bump and the side effect system. In play, the Rebirth mixes the fast and solid feeling of the original Project with the control and performance that are expected of a modern design. This conjoining of old and new ideas is not just a haphazard mashup – the Rebirth truly comes into its own as a solid addition to the current One Drop line.
The Rebirth Specs
- Base Weight: 63.7 grams
- Weight: 66.2 grams (with aluminum Ultra Light Side Effects)
- Width: 43 mm
- Diameter: 53 mm
- Gap Width: 4.3 mm
- Stock Response: One Drop Flow Groove
- Bearing: One Drop Size C 10-ball
- Finish: Pyramatte™
- Axle System: Side Effects™
The Rebirth shares a few design elements with its predecessors in the Project line. The biggest similarity is the profile. Even though the Rebirth has a slightly larger diameter than its relatives, it still has the classic flat rims from the Project family that transition smoothly to the comfortable, organic catch zone. This area is accented with the “projection profile” grooves that reduce friction during grinds and provide pleasurable tactile feedback. The catch zone meets the response area with a slight bump that is intended to reduce string friction on the walls – this, along with the Side Effects system, are two of the modern design elements that set the Rebirth apart from the rest of the Project series.
The inclusion of the Side Effects is one of the biggest changes to the cup – the other is the rim face. On the old Projects, the rims were flat faced and industrial looking. The Rebirth’s rims have a rounded top edge with a cut that goes back in towards the cup – this gives the rims a very comfortable feeling in the hand. The rims still have a flat underside and there is no IRG. The rest of the cup is mostly unchanged. There are a couple of cuts that give the throw a simple and clean look that keeps pace with the rest of the Project family.
As I noted previously, the projection profile grooves and rounded rims give a very satisfying feel in the hand. I enjoy that the whole body feels substantial – I don’t notice that the wall is significantly thinner in any one spot. The weight feels pretty evenly distributed throughout the body, although this balance can be altered by swapping out the side effects.
I did most of my play testing with the stock ultra-light Side Effects. In this configuration, the Rebirth felt fast, solid, and easy to maneuver. On a throw, the Rebirth meets the end of the string with little to no *thump” and spins so smoothly that sometimes it can be difficult to tell if is spinning at all! It lands on the string with a fairly solid presence – it was always easy to tell where yoyo was during play but it never felt heavy or obnoxious. Spin times are good for a throw of this size and weight – they were not outstanding but still more than capable of handling all my tricks and still returning with force. Binds caught easily on the flow groove pads and the throw always returned when I wanted it to. The gap has a healthy width and I did not have any problems with unexpected snags.
The Rebirth feels quick by nature, but I was happy to find that it easily handles play at any speed. I typically play at a slow to medium clip and I had no problems keeping the play speed in my comfort zone. The Rebirth was certainly capable of faster speeds, however I am not a talented speed or horizontal player so I was not able to test it to the limits of its abilities. I found the Rebirth stays on plane fairly well especially during tricks that I was familiar with. When I started moving out of my comfort zone and experimenting with new elements or pushing myself to faster speeds, I would knock the throw off plane with just a few consecutive bad string hits or sloppy maneuvers.
I eventually came around to the conclusion that the Rebirth is not as well suited to learning tricks as some more stable and powerful throws, but it does feel much more fun to play with than a competition oriented powerhouse design. The finish on the Project is One Drop’s Pyramatte finish which lends itself well to grinds in dry weather. Finger and palm grinds are easy to pull off as well as talon grinds. The underside of the rim is flat so I found that I had to throw at an angle to perform thumb grinds.
I tried a few pairs of Side Effects on the Rebirth during my testing – aluminum domes, Code 1 SE’s, and brass ultra-lights. Adding weight gave the Rebirth more presence on the throw and on the string and slowed the play down a little bit. I enjoyed the small bump in weight that the domes provided, but I felt that adding any more weight than that made the Rebirth uncomfortable on the throw. I would encourage experimenting with different weights and finding what fits your preferences.
The Rebirth strikes a fantastic balance in design and play. The melding of old and new design elements creates a throw with a fresh but recognizable look that has excellent play properties. If you enjoy One Drop’s older designs or their modern designs that pay homage to the old, you will absolutely love the Rebirth. Even if you remove the nostalgia from the equation, the Rebirth is still a capable and extremely fun design that will keep you coming back to it frequently.