YOYOZEEKIO BERN: A REVIEW BY WAYLON CRASE
When photos of YoyoZeekio’s latest offering surfaced on Facebook, some small amount of controversy ensued regarding the name of the yoyo and the image YoyoZeekio elected to display on the hub. I will not address that issue any further in this review. Anyone who wanted to discuss it has probably already done so. If you’re curious to read about it, you may do so here: http://www.yoyoskills.com/?p=19388.
Before I begin the review, I feel it’s important to be clear on a few points.
I am a member of the YoyoZeekio team. This does not mean I will automatically love every yoyo the company brings to market just because I get one for free. If anything, I am more critical of the product because as a team member I am expected to share these yoyos around at club and contests, participate in the marketing of them, and have my name associated with them. My job is a lot easier if the yoyos are ones I genuinely enjoy.
I am aware of, and totally comfortable with, the partnership YoyoZeekio has with YoyoEmpire. Some YoyoZeekio models are designed in-house and are exclusive to YoyoZeekio. Some are collaborative efforts and sold in different markets under different names by both companies. This type of business model is not new in yoyoing. YoyoZeekio intends to maintain transparency in this matter. The Bern is a product of one of those collaborative efforts.
On to the review…
Bearing: Standard C
OUT OF THE BOX:
The Bern ships in the standard black and yellow box. The packaging is sufficient without being exceptional in any way. My initial impression of the yoyo is a bit of awe. Of the four colors available, I chose the Acid Green. This particular shade of light green coupled with the steel rims plated in a deep purple provides a dramatic contrast between the body and rims. There’s an additional ring of purple plastic between the rim and the hub. While this provides no clear function, the decorative effect is nice. The build is high-quality with no blemishes or machine marks. The body has a silky blast finish and the rims are glossy and boldly colored. The H-ish shape is comfortable in the hand. All in all, it’s a very attractive yo-yo.
ON THE STRING:
I like the feel of the Bern. It fits my short but wide hands well. It moves easily through all my favorite combos with plenty of spin left over. It’s powerful without feeling heavy on the throw. The silky finish grinds well. I detected a minimal vibe on grinds that is unnoticeable on the string. As should be expected of any bimetal yoyo, the Bern is very stable and forgiving. I’ve been working on quite a few new things lately and the added stability has been convenient while I hunt and peck my way through tricks. I’m not much of a fingerspin guy, but the Bern will perform them fine. The hub is not specifically designed to accommodate fingerspins but it is flat and will perform them just fine with a little practice. The gloss finish on the rims can make tight tricks like chopsticks a bit of a challenge if you happen to touch one of your fingers with the rim. The flat bearing it ships with is smooth and quiet and the standard response pads give nice, tight binds. Overall, I love the way this yoyo plays.
TO BUY OR NOT TO BUY:
Buy. Definitely. The Bern is an excellent value. A well-crafted, high performance, bimetal yoyo with a luxurious appearance stands out in this price range. Models offering similar performance sell for twice the price and more. Bear in mind, this is a limited run of 100 pieces.