So I mainly lurk on here and other boards, but my name is Jake Willis, and I live around Cleveland, Ohio and have been yo-yoing on and off for 28 years. I am fortunate enough to live close to Brett and Jake of G-Squared yo-yos, and was fortunate enough to be able to test one of the prototypes of their first yo-yo, the Albatross. I am not a part of G Squared, I am just geographically lucky to get my hands on one.
I have only had it for a couple of days, but here are my initial thoughts so far:
It's been hard to put into words how I feel about this yo-yo. All the traditional words like "Smooth" "Fast" "Floaty" etc. don't work. It's truly different than all my other throws. OK it IS smooth, but really it's more than smooth. It's a flowy yo-yo. When I play with general yo, for example, those things are SO smooth on the string. But it's like a dense, solid feeling smooth. The Albatross is smooth in the way it plays. It feels really good on a throw, doesn't thunk too hard at the bottom of the string and it's floaty without that hollow feeling I got from my Avalanche. Like I said, I am not normally a reviewer, so it's a big hard to explain. It does what you expect it to do, and my play looks smoother using it. I am normally kind of spastic when I throw, this thing smooths me out a bit. It's definitely one where people will ask me "is that still spinning?" a lot.
I keep wanting to say it's like a combination of company X and company Y, but there's really no frame of reference that fits. I feel like this isn't going to make sense, but here it goes. It seems to travel a smoother path in the air. It does what I expect it to do. It lands where I want it to. Bottom line is that it plays with a ton of flow. It's a really fun yo-yo.
The yo-yo itself is also beautiful to look at, and it feels GREAT in your hand. I usually like smaller throws, but this doesn't feel big, it just performs big. Easy to land hops, easy to hit the gap on whips. Love the curves and how the gap curves all the way in to the IRG. Love the raised response area. The IRG is better than average, but not the best I have had, and it's good at grinding, but not great. I thought the monkey snot would be just like flowable, but it's actually better than that. I am impressed with it. Right away it seems like it's more durable than flowable and not as plastic-like as red RTV. The bearing is a 10-ball, so that's kind of an automatic winner.
It's one of only 5 yo-yos I have ever had which kind of self-corrects a slightly bad throw (Avalanche, Wedgie, Burnside, and Battosai). Finally, I don't know if it's the shape or the design or that it just fits me better, but I have a lot less bad throws on this guy than I do on other yo-yos (especially the funkier shaped ones out now). It's really tremendous.
now for some semi-bad pics from my iPod touch
Size reference shot. FHZ, Albatross and Burnside
the last two are better examples of the color of the proto.
Specs are as follows from the Gsquared facebook site:
Flowable Silicone Response
One Drop 10 Ball Bearing
I am excited for these guys, this is a really good yo-yo. Thanks for reading.