Welcome to the joint review of the Yoyorecreation Sputnik, an undersized bimetal yo-yo that packs in a tonne of performance!
There is a bit of a story to how I came to purchase my Yoyorecreation Sputnik, but I will spare you the long version and give you the synopsis. Prior to the Sputnik my only experience with a bimetal yo-yo had been less than good and you might say that I was a bit gun shy on buying a second. However, Jordan Blofeld was having none of my excuses. He spent quite a bit of time pressur…er…encouraging me to get over it and buy another bimetal.
Anyway, fast forwarding to the end of the story, I somehow took notice of the Sputnik a few months ago. It looked compelling to me even though it was a bimetal and rather expensive. A luxury item to be sure. When I asked Jordan about his opinion of the Sputnik his response was simply “it’s lovely!”
And thus I find myself the proud owner of a YYR Sputnik, and it is indeed lovely. I suppose I could just say that and end the review, but that wouldn’t be doing it justice. Besides, since Jordan led me down this rabbit hole I that figured I should at least return the favour by “encouraging” him to review it with me.
Speaking of which, I am sad to say that this will be the last time Jordan reviews a yo-yo with me on Cyyclical. Since he just launched his own yo-yo company he felt it wouldn’t be right for him to review other yo-yos in the future. I will let him say more about that later on. For now, let’s get to it!
The Yoyorecreation Sputnik
Yoyorecreation have managed to place themselves at the top of the heap when it comes to yo-yo manufacturers. This is in no small part thanks to the Draupnir, a yo-yo that is widely hailed as the best throw out there. Thankfully, Yoyorecreation is not a one trick pony and their other yo-yos are also wonderful (I reviewed two of their plastic yo-yos recently), including the Sputnik. Here is the official blurb about the Sputnik cribbed from the Yoyorecreation site:
“Recently, relatively over-sized diameters of 55mm – to 57mm have become the standard in the yo-yo market. It is commonly thought that diameters any smaller in size suffer from short spin times, and simply can’t meet the demands of the modern-day yo-yo player. Because of this there has been a decline in the number of smaller options on the market.
The Yoyorecreation Sputnik contests the current trend as a contest-viable low diameter model. As well as being nimble and easy to move – characteristics of a smaller yo-yo – the Sputnik was designed to squeeze the the most spin-power possible out of a small sized yo-yo. As a result the Sputnik’s spin-power is far beyond what is imaginable for a 52mm diameter yo-yo.”
OK with that out of the way, let’s move on to the joint review. As with previous joint reviews, you will see opinions from both myself and Jordan Blofeld below. Bear in mind that neither of us saw the other wrote until I merged them into this review.
- Diameter: 52.0 mm
- Width: 44.0 mm
- Weight: 64.0 grams
- Bearing: Size C, NSK Micro DS Platinum 8-ball centering
- Response: YYR IrPads
- Material: 7075 aluminum, stainless steel weight rings
Size and Weight
JB: I very much like smaller yo-yos. Not all the time but there’s something very unique about the Sputnik. It’s rare that you find a high end bimetal with such a small diameter. Combine that with the organic shape and light weight and we have the makings of a very fun yo-yo that’s perfect for longer tricks with dense string configurations.
JT: There is no doubt that with a diameter of 52mm and a width of 42mm the Sputnik is an undersized throw. I have sort of been on a bit of an undersized bender for my own collection lately, and the Sputnik fits into that trend perfectly. What is brilliant about the Sputnik is that by using 7075 aluminum, Yoyorecreation was able to keep the body of the yo-yo quite thin, allowing the stainless steel inner weight rings to push most of the mass to the rims. This gives the Sputnik amazing stability and spins times for a yo-yo of this size.
JB: The Sputnik is an classic organic shape, The profile shape has been around for years in one form or another. Comfortable rims with a large, organic catch zone. One of the most stable shapes by default since there is less wall material and more rim material, that doesn’t mean all yo-yos of this shape are kings of stability, just that they have the most potential.
JT: Given the wonderful weight distribution and size of the Sputnik, the O-type shape of the Sputnik is simply gravy, providing a really comfortable feel. Actually, it might be more accurate to call it an O/V-type shape since the inner catch zone is a straight V-type shape. Regardless, the Sputnik is performance and comfort in a tiny package!
Bearing and Response
JB: The Sputnik comes with some of my favourite guts on the market. The bearing is a NSK x YYR DS Platinum bearing. I’m more into CT shaped bearings but the NSK variation of the DS bearing is one of the best on the market. Spins smoothly, quietly and without lube. It also comes with IrPads installed and they are very grippy at high and low RPM. They also wear out very, very slowly. So slowly, I have a yo-yo from 2013 which I’ve throw a lot and I haven’t changed the pads to this day.
JT: Those that know me from this site or the Thrower subreddit will already know that I am not a proponent of more expensive bearings because I don’t think they really make a difference. Having said that, I must admit that the NSK Double Straight bearing included with the Sputnik is utterly amazing. It is ridiculously smooth and quiet. I am not sure I would spend the $20 USD to buy one alone, but I am really glad that Yoyorecreation shipped one with the Sputnik. The IrPads are also impressive, and keep in mind that I am a staunch flow able silicone fan. They can sometimes bind up when I don’t want them to, but nothing that proper technique can’t overcome. Thumbs up all around.
JB: The Sputnik plays as you’d expect. Predictable, stable, fast, solid. It’s one thing to predict it but another thing entirely to actually wield it in person. It feels very powerful but the gap is on the smaller side so multiple wraps can cause friction to slow the spin. Very reactive which makes redirects and general direction changes very easy with the Sputnik.
JT: There really isn’t much to say about the Sputnik during play because it can all be summed up as “fantastic!” As I said above, the Sputnik is stable and has excellent spin times thanks to the stainless steel weight rings. Its small size allows it to be pushed around with ease. The yo-yo is dead smooth thanks to both the NSK DS bearing and the Japanese precision machining. If you like undersized throws then there is so much to love about the Sputnik. But, there is no getting around the fact that this is a smaller yo-yo so please keep that in mind before dropping the money on it.
JB: I’ve never felt anything quite like the Sputnik. The size, speed and comfort makes it extremely unique. Yoyorecreation did a fantastic job with the design, fit and finish of this high end bimetal yoyo. The price point isn’t for everyone, but if it’s for you the Sputnik is unique, powerful and very fun.
JT: Well, at $230 USD the Yoyorecreation Sputnik is most certainly a luxury purchase, and is probably the only yo-yo I own that falls into that category. I can’t say if that price is justified because that is more of a subjective opinion. I can say that the Sputnik is easily the best yo-yo I own in terms of play and feel, and you will notice that it now sits in my “Holy Grail” category of my Core Throws. If you have money to burn and you like undersized O-type yo-yos then I imagine you would be hard pressed to find something better.
One last thing from Jordan…
This is such a melancholic time for me. It’s sad because this will be my last yo-yo review and I’ve very much enjoyed my time doing it. It’s exciting because I’m moving on to a new project with The Smashing YoYo Company so it wouldn’t do anyone any good if I were to continue reviewing yo-yos. Thank you all for your kind (and not so kind) words, I’ve learned a lot and I hope I can put that knowledge to good use, supporting a community that has been very kind to me.
One last thing from JT…