G Squared AL7 Aftershock
Reviewed by Chris Rhoads
September 21, 2014
G Squared is at it again with their AL7 line. Like Old Faithful, you can count on them to release a 7075 version of their current release, usually within a few months of original’s release. This one is a little different for me. I have not hidden the fact that the Aftershock has been one of my all time favorite G Squared yo-yos. It played so close the feel that the AL7 Quake provided while fitting my gigantor paws a whole heck of a lot better. I am always apprehensive when companies tinker with a design I have grown attached to… I guess I have become the old “get of my lawn” thrower that does not like change. With this release we will see how two grams of additional weight changes an otherwise unchanged design.
• Diameter: 56.77 mm
• Width: 42.71 mm
• Gap: 4.34 mm
• Weight: 68.9 grams
• Bearing: C-Size BOSS Wrath and Rage
• Response: G-Grip Pads
As with the original Aftershock release, unless you set the Aftershock and the Quake side by side, it is hard to tell the difference between the two. The AL7 remains an oversized Quake in all aspects; in this case it is a scaled up AL7 Quake. The profile has the same scooped catch zone and H-Shape profile with a no-walled gap. The face shows off the stepped rim design that pulls weight in towards the center while still giving extended spin time. The floor design has the slightly raised hub that leaves the cup obstruction free so that you can use the small IGR under the weight ring. I still firmly believe the Aftershock just feels better during play. It hits in the hand quite a bit better than the smaller Quake and ends up giving my hand a break after extended play sessions. The blast has not changed one bit, still feeling silky smooth to the touch, which should make for some great grinds later on. Over all, the design still feels great since it is, dimensionally, the same Aftershock design from before.
Here is where it gets a little tricky for me. I thought that the Aftershock had pretty much the perfect weight. It was fast but not too much so. It could chill out and relax with the best of them while still being able to speed up when it needed to be. It was a great all around player. The addition of two extra grams of weight does affect play. The AL7 Aftershock loses a little bit of speed but gains an incredible amount of spin. The AL7 variant feels like it plays with enhanced purpose with every action being wel pronounced as you control the yo-yo. It has more float as well. While I consider the Aftershock to be a chilled out G Squared yo-yo, this is THE chilled out G Squared yo-yo.
Response and Bearing
The response is G Squared’s G Grip pads that break in nicely and last quite a while. These play similar to the blue Snow Tires from CLYW so they are quite grippy at the start.
The AL7 Aftershock comes with the same BOSS Rage and Wrath bearings that the original ships with. I only played it with the Wrath, as I am not a fan of grooved V-Cut bearings. The Wrath is an exceptional flat bearing that gives extended play without getting too loud.
The AL7 Aftershock took a little getting use to for me. The added weight changed the feel. At first I missed the faster speed that the original provided, but in due time I was able to ramp it up to nearly the same speed as the original. What I do love about the AL7 version is that more definitive play. It hits harder and you have a better sense of where the yo-yo is at all times during play. An area that is vastly increased is the stability of the yo-yo. The regular Aftershock was already quite stable but the AL7 variant is rock solid no matter what you do to it. The one sent to me had a long string on it, longer than I usually use, so this next part is my fault for not switching to my normal test string. I ended smacking it against my wooden deck during a regen. Not only was there no damage to the yo-yo, but I was still able to use it after the smack without having to bind and rethrow. Even though it has gained a higher degree of stability it is still easy to get off plain when you want it to, such as during Gyro Flops and Banana Turnovers. Grinds are just as they were with the Aftershock so there is no reason to rehash that here… just know that they are great.
Ok, I would be lying if I said when I started throwing the AL7 Aftershock I was missing the speed of the original. Soon, I was able to acclimate to the heavier AL7 and I don’t think I would go back now if I had the choice. The loss of a little bit of speed may be a deal breaker for some, but for me the enhancements to the rest of the play makes this the version of the Aftershock to get.