Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Why I don't make bearing-tip P213's

So, I finally made a bearing-tip P213 that met my satisfaction in late September 2009:


'tis a YYJ Matrix on top, YYJ NXG, and a YYJ Bulldog (aka Gates top) for the bottom with a bearing tip. I've wanted to build this one for years, thought I missed the boat on getting the parts. Bearing Kings (Duncan's bearing top) are pretty thick near the bottom adding too much weight, and the brass tips on Blizzards (Spintastics' bearing top) also add weight, but they wobble - not enough to notice during spin top play, but a P213 spins much faster from the start (I haven't proven this with a laser tachometer yet, but it's on the agenda), and anything that isn't "nailed down" will cause the whole thing to wobble erratically.

But this one works, and works well! Smooth, corkscrews great, very catchable. This was one of my many Mount Everest’s, and finally I can put this one to bed. Why? The reasons are many. Keep in mind my motive is to build… several.

AVAILABILITY: The only acceptable (IMO) arrangement requires YYJ parts no longer in production. I don’t even want to play with this thing for fear I’ll bust the tip and be unable to replace it. COST: Even if I could make the other models work, the cost is substantial compared to a Duncan Imperial spin top. DURABILITY: Forget it. Bearing tips are fickle, and the tricks suffer if it has to be babied. WEIGHT & BALANCE: ugh.

The biggest reason for me, however, is WHY? Solve all the problems above, and for what, exactly? This is a top you can RETURN. Out of spin? Return it and do another trick, sucka! All right, I’ll simma-down-naugh. I don’t deny that a bearing tip opens up an unknown chasm of potential tricks for spin tops and P213’s alike. It just seems that the effect of bearing technology on spin tops (like 10 years now?) hasn’t blown the sport wide open like it did to yo-yo’s. There are all kinds of arguments against this little mantra, but you just gotta let these opinionated statements out sometimes, ya know?

Look up Gerardo Montero on you tube. Fixed tip.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009


P213 = Project 213 = name of Doc Pop's yo-yo / spintop combination. He showed me one somewhere near the start of this millennium, and I've been building them ever since. I can go on and on about all the prototypes I’ve built, but here's a pic showing a range of them:

As soon as I figured out how to do an off-string boomerang with it and return it while spinning on hand, I quit looking at it as a yo-yo, and to me, it is the first true "return top." There have been, and will be, other yo-yo/spin top combinations, but this arrangement is the only type that I've seen that can perform as an off-string return top... like this (Please pardon the crude video. I'm a dad. Time is short.):

The one i'm using here has a bearing axle and a fixed tip. I have built many prototypes with various brands of yo-yos and tops, and I've built fixed tip, bearing tip, fixed axle and bearing axle types (by axle I mean the yo-yo axle). A bearing axle makes a flick wind-up much easier, and the fixed tip just makes more sense to me. For one, bearing tips increase weight disribution and balancing problems, but in my opinion there is already a product out there that provides a bearing tip experience - which I think lends itself to on-string yo-yo type tricks. Ed Haponik has a video illustrating this. The P213 offers something different - streaming fixed tip spin top play.

For a brief moment I thought this would revolutionize top play. It won't. I was anxious to elimate the need to learn regenerating top tricks like roller-coaster and drum-beat to be able to give a performance without pause for winding, or carrying a crapload of pre-wound tops around, but my real motive was; I could't do roller-coaster or drum-beat. Now I can, and it's friggin awesome. Still the P213 offers a different style of play, a combinations of top and offstring tricks not seen before, and new tricks all together. I want to see what today's yo-yo and top players can do with these things...