Reviewed by Chris Rhoads
July 16, 2014
The YoTricks Civility started off in an interesting way, the people behind the Civility approached the community in January of 2013 using a Kickstarter campaign with an initial goal of reaching $3,500 to make their design. By the end of the campaign they ended up $27 shy of $23,000. The reasoning for bringing the Civility to market was to give players a yo-yo that they can be assured would allow them to learn the tricks that are taught on the YoTricks website without having to worry if it is the yo-yo holding them back while learning YoTricks’ tutorials. As it seems to be the norm with higher profile Kickstarters, the Civility had some hiccups along the way including production delays and adjustments to the specs. After almost a year of being in production, the Civility was finally released in early 2014 at a retail price of $90. Now the question needs to be asked, is this THE yo-yo needed to learn YoTricks tutorials or are there other yo-yos in the same price bracket or lower that will allow you to learn just as easily?
• Diameter: 55 mm
• Width: 42 mm
• Weight: 69 grams
• Bearing: Center Trac
• Response: Clear Silicon Response Pads
Right off the bat, you will notice that it has a striking resemblance to the One Drop Project down to the rim engraved lettering. This is understandable since Colin Leland, who had a hand in designing the original Project, was tapped to design the Civility. It must be pointed out that One Drop had absolutely nothing to do with the design or production of this yo-yo. The profile shows off an H-Shape design with chunky flat rims and a decent sized catch zone which transitions directly to the no walled gap. The rim edge is pretty sharp with very little rounding on it to smooth out impacts during play. The cup is very much an homage to the Project complete with hex nut axle and slightly protruding central hub. It differs from the Project in the under rim design, the Civility has a slight IGR. The finish appears to be tumbled with a decent feel to it but does tend to get sticky in humid conditions. The feel of the yo-yo in the hand and during play is fair but a little harsh with the sharper edges. Over all the design is promising but I would have liked a little more thought put into comfort, especially since this is a yo-yo designed to aid players who are learning new tricks.
There are no bones about it; this is a heavier yo-yo weighing in at 69 grams. It is stable on the string with long spin times but it plays at a slower pace. The speed is great for learning tricks but anyone who wants to go faster might feel like they have to force it to go faster than it wants to play. I think that a reduction in weight by two to three grams would have allowed Yotricks to accomplish what they wanted while also giving a more well rounded player that meets various speed preferences of our diverse community.
Response and Bearing
The silicone pads used in the Civility are quite impressive, giving great binds while being dead unresponsive right out of the box. I don’t know who makes them but I like them nonetheless.
The Center Trac bearing is not one of my favorites. It gets the job done but it is loud and feels gritty during play even after I applied a little V4M lube.
While the Civility is stable during play it is not smooth. The one I borrowed for this review had a little vibe to it. Normally I do not care about vibe at all and the level of vibe the Civility has is far from a deal breaker for me… I have loved yo-yos that have more vibe. The reason I bring it up here is because the Civility is marketed as a yo-yo with the express purpose of learning tricks presented in the tutorials on YoTricks.com. With that in mind, the yo-yo should be smooth as can be so that the students don’t think they are doing something wrong. Other than the vibe I experienced, the Civility is a decent yo-yo for learning tricks. The catch zone is wide enough to hit with relative ease, although I could see how giving it an extra couple millimeters of width would allow for more consistent hits while learning more complex trick elements and combos. The finish does grind well but as I stated above it gets sticky in humid weather, something Ohio has experienced an abundance of this summer. A decent blast would solve this problem. Over all, I was able to use the Civility for its express purpose and could not find a trick within my skill level on their site that I could not learn while using it.
Ok, here is the thing. The Civility is a decent yo-yo but it is by no means needed to learn the tricks on the company’s website. I found the design and play to be sound but it felt dated since it appears to be based on a yo-yo that was released almost 7 years ago. If it were a $50 yo-yo I wouldn’t have a problem recommending it but there are many yo-yos that perform as well if not better and have specs that are more conducive to learning new tricks from the YoTricks website… quite a few of them come in at half or slightly over half the Civility’s retail price.