Reviewed by Chris Rhoads
November 2, 2014
YoYofficer is back with their latest release, the Orbis. For this release YoYofficer went back to the people they trust most, their team, to come up with a new design that meets the needs of the yo-yo community. They also reached to the pros to gather feedback for the shape and overall design. In the end they believe “The specifications meets today‘s standards for competition throws, with almost full-size diameter and more width. We really focused on weight distribution, to achieve lower weight for better feel and faster play, while keeping good stability and spin time” Now it is time to see if this company that has dedicated itself to high performance, low cost yo-yos has come up with another hit.
• Diameter: 55.5mm
• Width: 46mm
• Gap: 4.25mm
• Weight: 64.3 grams
• Bearing: YoYofficer Premium Grooved Bearing
• Response: YoYofficer Silicone Response Pads
The Orbis profile shows off a slightly stepped V-Shaped design. The rims subtly flare out from the walls with a defined cut. After the cut, the walls scallop inwards opening up the catch zone for easier string landings. The gap, instead of following the step out trend, is cut inward to the response pad, leaving virtually no wall to come into contact with the string. The cup is a unique series of cuts reducing weight in some areas while shifting it to where it is needed most. The biggest benefactors of this shifting are the rims. They have a rounded underside that places quite a bit of weight at the edge of the yo-yo, and giving a decent IGR to boot. The floor of the cup appears flat at first but on further examination reveals an inverted hub designed for long horizontal finger spins. The finish of the Orbis uses the same smooth blast that was used on the Musket I reviewed earlier this year, which lends itself well to grinds. Overall, the Orbis is a striking design, reminiscent of yo-yos from yesteryear such as the Vs. Newton Skywalker.
On paper this is a light yo-yo that should be fast on the string. In practice, I found it to be slower in play, leaning more towards the floaty and chill side instead of speedy and tech oriented. It is rock solid stable on the string and I found that it could be pushed to higher speeds when needed but felt a little forced when doing so.
Response and Bearing
The response is the same black response pads that YoYofficer used in previous releases. The last time I used these pads I was not a big fan of them. I don’t know if it is the design of the Orbis or a variation in the batches used by YoYofficer, but the pads did not annoy me like they did in the past. They were grippy when needed and did not cause snags during play.
The bearing is a grooved, channel cut bearing. The best thing I can say is that it gets the job done. I found it to be loud during play and give funky string wraps. Throwing a flat bearing in the Orbis smoothed out the play and quieted the yo-yo.
When I first threw the Orbis I was not expecting what I got. Now I am not one to “judge a book by its cover” but I can usually get a small idea of how a yo-yo is going to play based on its specs. The Orbis clocks in at just over 64 grams, giving the impression that it was going to be zippy on the string. Instead, as I said in the weight section above, the Orbis is a slower playing yo-yo that can be pushed to the higher levels but feels best during relaxed play sessions. This is not a bad thing by any means and is my preferred style of play but may not be as fast as competition players would want it to be. Where it gains high marks is in the spin department. This yo-yo has, if you will pardon the hyperbole, spin for days. I was able to chain longer combos together with ease and still have enough spin left over to bind. Grinds are another strength of the Orbis. That smooth blast finish gives excellent control of the yo-yo when it comes in contact with the skin, including aiding in longer horizontal finger grinds when it is balanced on that inverted hub. Overall the play was unexpected but still quite enjoyable.
The Orbis hits pretty much all that it set out to do. It is a powerful and fun yo-yo to play and is a good yo-yo for those who like to relax and those looking for a good yo-yo to train on. The relaxed speed aids in learning new tricks and the low cost means you won’t feel so bad when you inevitably ding it.