Ball bearing yo-yos have existed for over 30 years (incase you didn’t know!) and through the past 3 decades, they have seen a great deal of technological advances to cater to the demands of aggressive yo-yo play. BUT how do the high-performance yo-yos of yesteryear face up against our modern day demands in terms of yo-yo tricks?
We take a look at a few stunning players of the late 90s and early 2000s, and test them out to see if they can still keep up with today’s extreme styles of yo-yoing.
Praised as one of the best yo-yos before the millennium, the Superyo Renegade has gone through 3 generations, from the initial hexagon axle to the later star-shaped bolt versions, which went through minor but significant changes to improve performance.
The Superyo Renegade sports a unique system that allows it to be configured into an Imperial-shaped yo-yo, a Butterfly-shaped design, and a Pagoda shape, which did not really catch on with yo-yo players.
Sporting a starburst system and small bearing, the Renegade has a gap that allows players to explore new tricks unlike other yo-yos from it's age, accepting more string layers for complicated string tricks. Like another yo-yo classic, the Spintastics Tigershark, the Renegade sported weight rings to maximise sleep time with a better rim-weight ratio. However, unlike the Tigershark, the Renegade has a slightly larger bearing, which increases spin times as compared to the Tigershark.
This yo-yo may not be popular with today’s yo-yo players, but it’s still quite the performer. Let’s not forget, this yo-yo became popular around the time when slacks, grinds, whips, suicides and flops were being experimented with. Thus, this yo-yo can keep up with today’s modern day tricks.
Although its starburst system wears out after some time, it can still be easily solved with a piece of response pad (In this case, a Paul Yath Carbon Fibre Stricker) and can be retrieved with a simple bind, which is widely done by most players today.
The Renegade isn’t without its flaws. Produced during a time where players wanted both long sleep times and good responsiveness in a yo-yo, the Renegade’s starburst system wore out too fast for its own good, resulting in players who would save their good Renegades just for competition so as to not wear them out too soon. In contrast, todays yo-yos do not face such problems anymore.
A bigger problem that the Renegade faced was its issue with string-slippage, where the string would sometimes get caught between the bearing and its spacer. Although the 2nd and 3rd gen Renegades reduced this problem, it wasn’t completely resolved.
The Superyo Renegade is an awesome yo-yo that can probably still perform well on stage and take on almost all of todays tricks (except, of course, thumb grinds and perhaps horizontal tricks), the biggest drawback being its tendancies to string-slip.
This yo-yo may be an 'old dog', but over 10 years on, it can still handle new tricks.