Monkeyfinger Design Gelada 2
Reviewed by Chris Rhoads
September 7, 2014
Dear lord, has it really been over two years since the original Gelada hit the yo-yo community? In that time there have been many great yo-yos to come out of MFD that I have enjoyed quite a bit, but the Gelada was always my standard when comparing their releases. In my original review I said I had a feeling that the Gelada was going to be the yo-yo that the company was known for, and for the most part I was correct. In that time though, there have been some changes to the company including some high profile additions to the team. One such new addition is former yo-yo reviewer, and owner of YoYoSkills, Chris Allen. He is not only a team member, but the brand manager for the company as well. I have been following Chris for years and people always thought he was my rival. That could not have been farther from the truth, it was his site and more to the point his reviews that inspired me to start writing them myself. Yes, without Mr. Allen and YYS High Speed YoYo would not be the site it is today. These days Chris is a blessed father and husband with a growing family, who is still leaving his mark on the yo-yo community through the Monkeyfinger brand. Today I am taking a look at the Gelada 2, a yo-yo that Chris not only had quite a bit of input on with the redesign but also was so passionate about it that he convinced MFD to go against their policy of not revisiting their previous releases. He and I had differing views on the original, I loved it while he thought it was lacking in certain areas; most notably the rim weight. The two reviews were a perfect example of how different players at differing skill levels perceive the same yo-yo. It is going to be interesting to see how I feel about the revised Gelada; the version that I believe Chris feels is the best representation of the design.
• Diameter: 57mm
• Width: 44mm
• Gap: 4.25mm
• Weight: 66 grams
• Bearing: Flat C-Size
• Response: Monkey SNOT
Pulling the Gelada 2 from Monkeyfinger’s, now standard, triangular box shows a refresh that at first glance looks just like the old one. It didn’t help that I am reviewing the same colorway as the original Gelada. First thing I noticed was that there was no monkey logo ghosted into the catch zone. On further inspection though, quite a bit has changed from the original. To keep the width of the original they slightly tweaked the curve of the profile while adding a small step out near the gap. This allows for some serious string wraps and keeps the string isolated from the walls. They resisted the urge to make major changes to the over all shape which allowed the Gelada 2 to retain the comfort and feel of the original. An added benefit of that step out and slight tweaking of the angle is that it gives this organic yo-yo the stability and play of a V-Shaped design while keeping the above-mentioned comfort… a best of both worlds approach. While the outer walls and catch zone, down to the step out, have a blasted finish the cup is still polished and allows the ano finish to shine like crazy. In the cup we can see the IGR was tweaked to make it smaller and shallower, bringing a thicker rim with more weight that in turn increases the stability and spin times. At the center of the cup you still have the dimpled hub. Overall, I am glad to see that the areas of change didn’t have a detrimental effect on the feel of the yo-yo in the hand.
Now, I was one that thought the original Gelada was smooth and stable on the string during play with decent spin times. It caught my eye when Chris, in his review, said the opposite. Keep in mind that we are two different players with vastly different levels of skill… that is my polite way of saying he is older and has been doing it longer than I have. That being said, the Gelada 2 is vastly improved in both spin times and stability. That is, in no small part, due to the design tweaks and the addition of 2.3 grams of additional weight. Everything feels better during play on the revised model. One area that might have some people concerned is the speed. The original was one that could be played at a relaxed pace but at the same time be easily pushed into higher speeds. The Gelada 2 keeps this ability, and easily matches the stride of its older sibling no matter what your preferred speed may be.
Response and Bearing
The Gelada 2 uses Monkeyfinger’s special silicone blend, Monkey SNOT. It pours like flowable, is grippy and long lasting like ILYY sILYYcone, and comes in an array of colors. It is rare to have a company that still pours their own response. The Monkey SNOT plays great right out of the box. While it is long lasting I would like to know if there is a pad that fits the response groove in the event of an emergency blow out.
Monkeyfinger dropped the Centertrack bearing from the original for a standard flat C-Size bearing. The stock bearing was smooth on the string and stayed relatively quiet during play.
I already let the cat out of the bag a bit in the weight section when I said the play is vastly improved. The Gelada 2 has a little more float during play and is more forgiving when you fumble with a new trick. It is still easy to get off axis when you want it to but stays on plane quite a bit more when it is supposed to. Adding to what I said in the design section, the added step to the gap allows for more string wraps in the gap before losing some of the spin. It is also quite a bit better at suicides since the string is isolated from the walls of the catch zone. Grinds are still incredible thanks to Monkeyfinger’s blast finish. One area of concern for me was thumb grinds since they tinkered with what I considered to be a perfectly implemented IGR. While you have to be a tad bit more precise with catching it on your thumb from a pop up, the grinds themselves are identical to the original. There is no need to alter your play to pull one off. This is what I like to see in a rehash of an older design, enhanced play where it is needed while leaving the best parts from the original intact.
The Gelada 2 earns its name; it is a true sequel to the original. Quite a few companies release a yo-yo as a follow up to an older design and the only thing they have in common is the name. Here is a yo-yo that was obviously a fan favorite but needed a little TLC to bring it to its full potential. In my conclusion for the original Gelada I said it was a great all around yo-yo that I had no problem recommending to anyone, well that is even more true for the Gelada 2. If this is what happens when Chris and MFD tinker with an existing design I cannot wait to see what they come up with for his signature yo-yo.
Normally I do not include the company’s official promo video, it makes the review feel too much like a commercial. I am making an exception for the Gelada 2 just because this one is too funny not to be included.