Welcome to the review of the Rambler yo-yo, the first yo-yo developed by the Traveling Throw project!
So about one or two months ago, I was approached by Justin Petty from the Traveling Throw project to see if I would be interested in reviewing the Traveling Throw Rambler that was making its way through the final stages of development and then giving it away to someone in the throwing community. Of course I said “hell yeah!” to that right away although I suspected going in to this that it might be hard to part with it. Make sure to watch the site for the giveaway in the very near future, although maybe I will get lucky and no one will enter…yeah, right.
The Traveling Throw project was started by Justin last year in March of 2015, and it is probably easier to let him tell you about it in the event you aren’t familiar:
“The Traveling Throw started as a project where we sent starter yo-yos to new throwers and asked them to share their progress with the community for a month before sending the yo-yo on to the next participant. It wasn’t long before we had a few requests to do a similar project with more experienced throwers; with that, the Seasoned Traveler project was born. We were given some awesome yo-yos from the guys at One Drop and MonkeyfingeR and sent them around the world for people to share their tricks with us. To help spread the word about the project, we decided to form the Traveling Throw Street Team. Members are people who we feel embrace the spirit of yo-yoing and help share their passion with the world.”
What an awesome project! It is stuff like this that makes the throwing community so incredibly great, but I digress. The main point here is that Traveling Throw project has evolved to the point where Justin and the team are now designing and selling their own brand of yo-yos, and that leads us to the Traveling Throw Rambler. Let’s move on and check it out!
The Traveling Throw Rambler
Justin did a great job in introducing the Traveling Throw project, so I will let him continue on to describe their vision for the Rambler:
“Team member Luke Trautwein has been tearing it up in the contest scene lately (just check out his finals performance at MAR this year!) and we wanted to give him something to compete with that fit his play style. When we sat down to design this yo-yo, we knew we needed something that was fast and nimble on the string but still super stable for his horizontal play. We also wanted to make something that fit easily in your hands and felt comfortable to catch. We’re confident that the Rambler hits all of these points, and we couldn’t be more proud to make these available for everyone.
While The Traveling Throw has grown and adapted over the last year our mission will never change: to spread the joy of throwing around the world.”
I really like that last part because the goal of this website it to also “spread the joy of throwing” as much as possible. Anyway, enough introduction…on with the show!
- Diameter: 55 mm
- Width: 43 mm
- Weight: 65 grams
- Bearing: Size C grooved concave (MonkeyfingeR Tasmanian Tornado ceramic hybrid bearing is also included)
- Response: MonkeyfingeR Monkey Snot flowable silicone
The Traveling Throw Rambler is machined from 6061, although there will be a special 7075 aluminum limited edition also available when the Rambler launches shortly in June. The review version that I have is made from 6061 aluminum.
Size and Shape
In terms of size and dimensions, the Rambler is fairly typical, although at first glance it seem a touch narrow for its corresponding diameter. Going back through my collection I did note that most of the throws tend to have a width of at least 44 mm for a diameter of 55 mm or greater. Not that there aren’t other throws out there with a slightly narrow profile, but it just struck me when I first unboxed the Rambler. The 65 grams of mass is a nice low-mid spot to sit, giving the Rambler a touch of heft but not enough to feel ponderous.
As many of you will know, I am a sucker for a O-type shapes and by extension any yo-yo that incorporates elements of O-type shape. The Rambler is not a pure O-type but rather an O/V-type hybrid which I am really digging because, strangely enough, I don’t have anything in my collection quite like it. It is a wonderful combination of shapes, providing the comfort of an O-type and the performance of a V-type. I am definitely sold on this.
One other thing to note is that the inner cups have a number of contours that really give the Rambler a unique look. I am not a horizontal player and I don’t really do finger spins much (i.e. I suck at them), so I can’t really say whether or not these contours would get in the way at all.
This is one place I can’t comment because my review Rambler was anodized by MonkeyfingeR Design, which will NOT be the case for the retail versions. As you might expect with anything anodized by MonkeyfingeR Ray, the colourway finish is top notch. Whoever wins this will be lucky indeed. The retail version will feature solid colours and bead blasting.
As a side note, the colours chosen for my custom review Rambler were based on the official colours for the Traveling Throw project (blue and orange) and Cyyclical (blue, green, and black).
Bearing and Response
The Rambler actually ships with two different centering bearings that you can swap out at your leisure. The stock bearing is a generic grooved concave bearing that plays really well and contributes to the excellent spin time of the Rambler. The Rambler also ships with a MonkeyfingeR Tasmanian Tornado bearing included in the box. I reviewed the Tasmanian bearing elsewhere so you can read about that in detail if you like. I threw in one of my own Tasmanian bearings just to try out with the Rambler and I can confirm that it plays really well with either bearing. If you prefer a flat bearing you will have to provide your own, but I can’t see why you wouldn’t be happy with either or both of the included bearings.
The response system uses MonkeyfingeR’s Monkey Snot flowable silicone. I am generally a big fan of flowable silicone that is poured to be recessed a bit into the groove as is the case with the Rambler. Plenty of binding power without too much friction during play.
And speaking of play…
First off, let me talk about comfort. The Rambler is a very comfortable yo-yo to both hold and catch. There is just something about the combination of the slightly narrow shape and the well rounded rims that just makes it feel great in the hand. Thumbs up for this!
Much of that comfort stems from the influence of the O-type side of things in the Rambler’s O/V-type hybrid shape. As I mentioned earlier, I don’t have anything in my collection quite like it and I think it was a great move for the Traveling Throw team to go that route. Pushing some V-type elements means that the mass of the yo-yo is pushed outwards more than in pure O-types. This in turn opens up the catch zone and adds more stability. In fact, the stability of the Rambler took me by surprise, although I am not sure why. I think my initial impression of it being narrow and more O-type caused me to make a visually-based judgement call that turned out to be unfounded. In any case, the Rambler is nicely stable. And while we are on the topic of stability, I did try to do some horizontal play with the Rambler but I am really terrible at it and so I can’t really report on that aspect (sorry…I admit my shortcomings!).
The Rambler also seems to handle speed fairly well, although I can’t really claim to be a speed demon type of player. My gut is that if you like the speedy side of things the Rambler should be able to keep up for the most part although perhaps not quite the same as throws designed for pure speed.It does seem agile though, and pushing it from string to string during tricks is a breeze thanks to its mass sitting more towards the lighter end of the spectrum. And, on the flip side, the Rambler is plenty happy with the relaxed play, and I have been having plenty of fun with mine for chilling out and focusing on fun rather than form. If you would like to see this yo-yo in action then I suggest you watch the Rambler video from Luke Trautwein that I posted down at the end of this review.
Well I do think that Justin and the Traveling Throw team should be very proud of the Rambler. It is an excellent yo-yo overall and an exceptional first effort by them. I myself am quite sad that I will have to give this one away, although my loss is going to be someone’s gain in the very near future. I will have to talk to Justin about picking one up for myself down the road. I think that the Rambler is worth owning, and buying one is made all the better by the fact that it goes to supporting the very awesome Traveling Throw project. The Rambler is slated to go on sale sometime in June with a retail price of $99 USD ($120 for the limited edition 7075).
Oh, and if you would like a second opinion on the Traveling Throw Rambler, check out the review video below from Mike Montgomery (and for the record, I didn’t watch it until I had already written my review).
As always, enjoy your throwing!