YoYo Workshop Armament
Reviewed by Chris Rhoads
Guest Photographer Victor Bazaz
November 14, 2015
The guys at YoYo Workshop hit the scene back in March of 2014 with an absolutely crazy design, The Tornad-Yo. To be honest, I was not interested in their first design. The rims looked too thin, add an almost 70 gram heft to it and it also looked quite painful. Their second release came out in August of the same year with the Tornad-Yo v2, which had a more conventional shape and began to get people talking. Fast forward one year from their freshman effort and we are now looking at their latest release, The Armament.
• Diameter: 55mm
• Width: 41.6mm
• Gap: 4.2mm
• Weight: 64.6g
• Bearing: String Centering C-Bearing
• Response: YYWS “Electric Blue” 21 mm
With the first two YoYo Workshop releases, their designs had some harsh edges that would cause some pain after long play sessions. The first thing that struck me about the Armament is that the design looked extremely comfortable to play. I know it is a small thing but I am a 39 year old player who prefers to chill out and relax with a yo-yo… also, I hate explaining yo-yo related injuries to my wife, kids, or students so rounded edges are a blessing. The profile of the Armament shows off a beautifully simple wing shape design with large rounded rims and edges, and a straight V-shape catch zone that travels right to the edge of the response groove. The cup gives us a thick rounded edge before curving in to a step down weight ring design that adds more spin. Due to the weight step there is no IGR to speak of. After the step it is a straight shot to the floor where you are greeted by a wide dome hub that takes up almost all of the center of the yo-yo. The finish is a heavy blast finish that feels great when spinning on the hand. I would have liked to see a little masking near the response, I noticed a little excess string wear that could be an issue after a few extended play sessions. Giving the catch zone a little bit of a rub down on a pair of denim pants should resolve the problem. Over all the design is simple yet elegant, something I appreciate in a yo-yo.
The Armament is a reasonably quick full size yo-yo thanks to the large diameter and featherweight heft. Even though it can be zippy on the string it is still quite stable during play. Even during the sloppiest of play while pushing it to the limit I was still able to hit the gap with little to no problems.
Response and Bearing
The bearing is a string centering Center Track style bearing. Not my favorite but of the string centering bearings these are the least worst option. They still give a little wiggle room for the string to move from side to side during multiple wraps. It also reduces string contact with the edge so loops stay open a little longer.
The response is YoYo Workshop’s Electric Blue pads. They remind me of CLYW’s Snow Tires in all the best ways. They are grippy when they need to be while not being so grippy that they cause the yo-yo to give an unexpected bind during play.
As I said, this can be a fast yo-yo, which is not a bad thing. While it is quick and well suited for tech tricks, it didn’t feel hindered when I slowed it down to a pace I preferred. It never felt like it was being held back, but it shines brightest when going fast. As with any wide open wing shaped yo-yo, the Armament is super easy to hit while bouncing from string to string during even the most intense of combos, and the svelte width allows it get in and out of the more cramped tricks in your arsenal. The finish gives the player excellent control of the yo-yo while it spins on your hand or arm. About the only grinds that it can’t do are thumb grinds, the cup design is just a little too cramped to pull them off.
Even though this is technically their third release, this will be the yo-yo that most associate with YoYo Workshop, and rightfully so. Their first two may have been good players but, in my opinion, they were a little too “out there” for the community. The Armament keeps the crazy to a minimum while giving excellent play, and at the end of the day I think that is what we are all looking for in a new yo-yo.