Reviewed by Chris Rhoads
November 16, 2014
So about a month ago a new yo-yo company named Efreet, based out of Bulgaria, contacted me about reviewing their new line of yo-yos. Martin Antonov formed the company in early 2014 after he sold his successful yo-yo retail store YoYoBulgaria. For Martin, it was only natural to transition from the retail business to the manufacture his own product. Now none of this is unusual for me, I have had new manufacturers in the past contact me to take a look at their yo-yos. What was unusual was how he got my attention. After the obligatory introduction sentence, Martin started off his e-mail with “We have created the first unresponsive, long spin yoyo that can be lit on fire*, where no special string is needed.” Ok, you have my attention. He let me know after that initial sentence that he also had two “normal” yo-yos, including the one being reviewed today, that he has also designed and wanted to send all three for review. Ok, now that the company has piqued my curiosity it is time to see what this new company brings to the table.
*emphasis is mine
• Diameter: 56mm
• Width: 45mm
• Gap: 4.6mm
• Weight: 63 grams
• Response: Clear Silicone Pads
• Bearing: KonKave 10-ball Bearing
So, I would be remiss if I did not start off talking about the packaging Efreet has chosen for their yo-yos. Each yo-yo comes in a solid wood box with a nice finish to it. The box has the name carved into the lid, and in this instance, my first name as well. The packaging is a nice touch that gets the buyer’s attention from the start.
Efreet has taken a page out of YYR’s playbook and created one shape that they then scaled to fit the desired specs they were shooting for. I chose to do the 56 first because in my opinion it is the most accessible of the three sent to me. The other two are 64mm in diameter and one can be set ablaze. The 56 profile is the elegantly simple fully organic shape with a curve that starts off at the well rounded rim and ends at a slight wall in the gap. The face of the yo-yo is a little more complex with a straight inner wall under the rims that stop at an angle cut before transitioning to a curve that ends at the flat floor. The center hub is an inverted dome that allows for long finger spins. The entire yo-yo is wrapped in an acid washed, bead blasted finish that looks great and feels soft to the touch. I think it was a wise choice to go with the more subdued acid wash instead of a more “in your face” splash. It matches the refined looks of the organic shape. The feel in the hand is exactly what you would expect from an organic, extremely comfortable with nothing causing pain during play.
This is not a heavy yo-yo. At 63 grams, even with its full size frame and denser 7075 alloy, this yo-yo definitely dips its toe in the featherweight category. Even with its light and nimble play on the string it was still quite stable during play. The larger rims, sans IGR, gave the 56 decent amounts of spin. It has a nice bit of float to it during tricks and never felt like it HAD to go fast, but with that organic shape I was never punished for doing so.
Response and Bearing
Efreet is using a clear silicone pad for the response that is decently grippy out of the box. I am not sure who manufactures the response pad but the groove looks like it would accommodate any of the 19mm stickers available on the market today.
The bearing is a KonKave 10 ball. It did its job well in the 56 and I had no major problems with it. I did notice I got more consistent binds with a flat bearing but it was by no means a deal breaker keeping the KonKave bearing in the yo-yo.
Out of the box, this was a smooth playing yo-yo. As I said above, I never felt rushed while throwing it and was never penalized with painful returns for seeing just how fast I could push it. Even though there is a wall near the response, the gap width and KonKave bearing kept the string wide open for slack and suicide tricks. One area that I need to talk about is binds. The same larger gap and the KonKave that is allowing for wide open loops also causes the binds to sometimes slip. Nothing major, just something to be aware of. I found that the problem resolved itself by either using a thicker format string or changing to a flat bearing; either one rendered the issue nonexistent. Grinds were impressive thanks to the blast finish. I ended up with full control while in contact with my hand or arm and the inverse dome hub made finger spins a breeze. It is large and easy to hit, especially useful when you throw a UFO style trick and pop it up to catch on the tip of your finger. Thumb grinds are a little tricky due to a lack of an IGR but the cup is deep enough that after a few throws I was catching it with ease without it slipping off.
It sounds like I had some issues with the Efreet 56 but honestly it was all minor things that as I said above, were easy fixes. Overall this is a great freshman effort from an up and coming company. People will ask why I chose the 56 first and the answer is simple. While the Fire and the 64 are going to grab attention for the company and bring the customers in the door, the 56 is the one that needs the press the most. It is beautifully designed and easy to use. Definitely a full size to keep your eyes on if you are looking for something comfortable and fun to throw around.