CLYW Sasquatch 2014
Reviewed by Chris Rhoads
August 5, 2014
I love it when you can look at a company and see where they have gone through a shift in order to continue to remain relevant. These shifts are crazy in how they fundamentally change the company’s DNA almost and how we on the outside perceive their products. A great example of a company that went through a shift like the one I described is Apple. Love them or hate them, they are a force to be reckoned with in their industry and it is all because of a drastic change or “shift”. The cool thing about these shifts is that usually you can see the one product that defines the break with the old; in Apple’s case it was the iMac and its crazy new way of doing things. CLYW went through one of these shifts back in 2010 when the original Sasquatch, Gnarwhal, and Avalanche design came into being. This new design with its renewed focus on competition play changed not only the way CLYW approached yo-yo design but how they were perceived by the community. Today I am looking at the 2014 update to the Sasquatch. CLYW has done quite a few yo-yos since the original came out, some of them being extremely unique in design. I am curious if the Sasquatch design is still relevant after four and a half years.
• Diameter: 55.6mm
• Width: 43mm
• Gap: 4.35mm
• Weight: 68 grams
• Bearing: Size C generic 10-ball
• Response: White Snow Tires
At first blush the new 2014 Sasquatch and the original are pretty much identical and could pass for one another if you don’t know where to look. In fact, the only real distinguishing feature that allows you to tell them apart is the response groove. The new one has a Snow tire response, which required the groove to be widened to accommodate these new pads. The gap has also been widened while retaining the width of the original Sasquatch; I’ll go into what that has done to the play in the weight section. As you can guess, all the changes to the Sasquatch are under the hood so if you were expecting a ground up redesign you are in for some bad news… lucky for me I am a fan of the original and its baby brother, the Gnarwhal, and am glad they left the design alone. It has the same large rounded edges and V-Shape catch zone with the slight step out near the gap from the original. The cup is wide open with a flat floor and squat hub in the center. There is also still no IGR to speak of. To top it off, it is wrapped in a Gruntbull blast with a multitude of crazy splashes to choose from. While this all boils down to is a competition design that is extremely comfortable to play and will not kill your hands during extended throw sessions.
Ok, here is where the 2014 Sasquatch sets itself apart from the original. As Chris explained it to me, the first prototypes from back in the day had a heavy feel so he shaved the weight from the outer diameter before releasing the original run. The new 2014 run left the outer diameter from that first prototype and shaved the weight from the hub instead. The larger gap and the increased size of the response groove combined with the new distribution have helped to push the weight even more towards the edges of the yo-yo giving it even longer spin times while increasing the already rock solid stability of the yo-yo.
Response and Bearing
The Snow Tire response is CLYW’s new standard for their line. It offers the same feel as the flowable silicone from yesteryear while cutting down on the assembly time quite a bit. Snow Tires start off a tiny bit grabby but after a couple throws they settle down and play perfectly. They also seem to last forever; I have yet to replace a pair.
For the 2014 Sasquatch, CLYW has ditched the Center Track bearings and went with a generic, flat 10-ball. In my opinion it is quite a bit smoother and quieter than the Center Tracks. I am not sure if they are provided by the same company that distributes the One Drop 10-ball but visually and play wise they are indistinguishable.
A friend of mine said it best when he called the 2014 Sasquatch a more refined version of the original. I cannot think of a better way to describe it actually. On the string it doesn’t feel like it has more power it just feels like that power has finally been placed where it needs to be. The newer model retains everything I loved about the play of the original while giving me better control on the string and an overall more enjoyable play experience. One change I will gladly praise is the slightly wider gap in the newer model; it is giving better unresponsive play. I am sure it is also that I have grown as a player but the older models gap caused a couple unexpected binds and knots in the gap, which in turn caused several rounds of intense swearing on my part as the yo-yo came back to crack me in the elbow, knee, and so on. Finish and play wise it is pretty much what you would expect from a modern CLYW product… an easy to hit yo-yo with a grind finish that allows for near complete control while in contact with your skin. It is also a yo-yo that is suitable for numerous play styles thanks to its ability to gracefully match the speed of the player using it, whether they prefer chilled out elegance or a frantic, fast pace.
It has been four and a half years and the Sasquatch is as relevant today as it was when it first came out. This is the yo-yo that started it all for modern CLYW and it did it without any crazy double rims or undercut catch zones. As with its smaller sibling, the 2014 Gnarwhal, this newer Sasquatch isn’t so much a redesign but instead feels like it is being reissued the way the company originally intended it to be. For me, the Sasquatch’s return is a welcome sight since I have always considered the design to be one of CLYW’s best and I am happy to see it return for newer throwers to get to know.