Welcome to the very first in the Spotlight series here at Cyyclical. This is where I will highlight different companies and individuals in the yo-yo community that have made an impact on me as I continue my journey in the world of throwing. The list of names that I want to cover is fairly significant and I had a hard time choosing where to start because there are so many good choices. In fact, I literally flipped a coin to decide between my top two, and the winner was YoYo Workshop. Perhaps that is apropos since I am currently working on my review of their new yo-yo, the Halyard.
YoYo Workshop is a smaller yo-yo manufacturer, what I would classify as a “boutique yo-yo maker” in that they generally make only small runs of high quality throws. Thus far, YYWS makes some of my favourite throws, including the Armament and the soon to be launched Halyard. Actually, it was during one of the Armament restocks over on YoYoExpert that I first discovered YYWS, and they have really impressed me since then with both their yo-yo designs and their customer service.
YoYo Workshop is the brainchild of two friends, Wayne Ryan and David Albano. Wayne and David formed YYWS a couple of years ago after deciding to turn their passion for throwing into a business. The fact that Wayne has training in business and David has training as a mechanical engineer probably didn’t hurt either. Since launching their first yo-yos in 2014 (the Tornad-yo series) Wayne and David have learned some important lessons in designing yo-yos, which I think is quite apparent in their more mainstream yo-yos launched in 2015. I should also mention that Wayne’s background in the US Navy is used as inspiration for their later designs and names.
There are a couple of things I really like about YYWS besides just the great yo-yos that they make. The first thing is that they are quite interactive with the yo-yo community, and very responsive to questions. Good customer service is always a great thing. I have actually chatted quite a bit with Wayne via email and Instagram after posting my review of the Armament, and it is pretty clear to me that they really love what they do. Their motto is “Engineered for FUN” and that seems to apply to themselves as much as their customers.
The second thing I really appreciate about YYWS is that their yo-yos are 100% made in the US. I am a big believer in always buying local whenever possible in order to support local economy. Unfortunately I don’t have a yo-yo makers down the street from me, and so I have expanded that to mean anything made in North America. Luckily there is a good number of great manufacturers in both the US and Canada so staying “local” is possible. Please understand that I am not saying that yo-yos made outside of North America aren’t good, because they are plenty of yo-yos made elsewhere in the world that are of really high quality. Rather this is simply me stating my own preferences about where and what I buy, and I know a few other throwers that have a similar attitude. I really appreciate YYWS as a maker of high quality yo-yos that tries to keep everything within the local economy, and that is something I respect and like to support.
Given that Wayne and David are now really ramping up with some great yo-yo designs after only being in the yo-yo design business for a couple of years is a great sign, and I am expecting plenty more great stuff to come out of YYWS. As an example, the recently revealed collaboration with MonkeyfingeR Design should be very exciting (side note: hearing that my two favourite yo-yo makers were doing a co-lab almost made me pass out).
Keep an eye on YoYo Workshop going forward. I for one am a big fan!