Reviewed by Chris Rhoads
January 20, 2014
Finally!!! Finally I get to talk about this yo-yo. I have had this thing in my collection since August and have kept it under wraps until recently. The guys at Monkeyfinger have had this yo-yo for quite some time and it was actually sent to me with the Forte in late August with instructions to play the heck out of it but keep it out of the limelight until they were ready to announce it. Well, that is right and now it is time to get to the Ape-X review.
• Diameter: 55.21 mm
• Width: 41.6 mm
• Gap: 4.0 mm
• Weight: 67.9 grams
• Bearing: Size C 10-Ball
• Response: Monkey Snot
The Ape-X profile is almost a rounded organic shape but on closer inspection you can see a slight H-Shape come into focus as well. The rims start off with a natural curve before halting at an ever so slight step down before continuing the curve towards the gap. Near the gap there is the step out that is becoming common in most modern designs. The cup is completely open with only a wide, slightly protruding hub to break up the floor. There is an IGR under the rim, which I would guess is one of the reasons for the slight step in the profile. Without the step, the IGR would have taken too much weight away from the rims. The finish on the Ape-X is a combination of blasted and polished. The profile has a fine blast to it that feels great in the hand. If you look closely you can find the Monkeyfinger logo masked into the walls of the catch zone. The cups are completely polished and show off the crazy colorways that Monkeyfinger is known for. The colorway on this review unit is the Team Edition colorway and probably will not see retail release. The Ape-X feels great during play and in the hand thanks to the rounded edges.
On paper the weight of the Ape-X would be on the high side of comfortable for me. That being said, the Ape-X is speedy on the string but doesn’t feel out of place when you want to play slower… a welcome contrast from some speed demons that feel cumbersome and loose stability when you slow them down. The Ape-X retains its rock solid stability even when you want to chill out.
Response and Bearing
Monkeyfinger is one of the few companies that still pour their own silicone response. In this case it is an expertly poured recessed silicone response using Monkeyfinger’s Monkey Snot brand of colored silicone. The response is out of the way for dead unresponsive play out of the box and very little break in time.
The bearing is a steel 10-Ball. I am not sure if it is a One Drop 10-Ball but it plays darn near identical to one. It is smooth and quiet with long spin times and that is really all I look for in a bearing.
On the first throw the two words that come to mind are smooth and stable. Its movements feel fluid during play even at higher speeds. I never felt rushed to catch up with the yo-yo during tricks. While it does not look like it, the rims pack enough weight to give long spins for extended combos. Off plane tricks like Gyro Flops are the only area where I felt I had to force the Ape-X to perform. It just did not want to tilt at all. This is not necessarily a bad thing considering you don’t want tilting during most 1A play. Grinds are a thing of beauty on the Ape-X. The blasted finish gives long spin times when it comes into contact with the skin of your palm, finger, or arm. Even thumb grinds on the polished IGR are a breeze.
Monkeyfinger may have gotten a reputation for their crazy looking designs and eye-popping colorways but their “tame” designs are where they truly shine. The Ape-X is a smooth, all around player that will fit in well with a wide range of players and play styles. While there is no “jack of all trades” yo-yo that will fit everyone, the Ape-X comes close and is easy to recommend to players from the high end of intermediate on up.