Alex Kim is really carving out a nice niche for himself. The third base-priced yo-yo from RecRev is the No.9, a unique looking throw with full tilt design specs. Alex caught up with me at the Bay Area Classics and popped an unlabeled plastic container into my hands. It had “No.9” scrawled on top. I had seem pictures of the No.9 on theglasslab.com and was really intrigued by the design. The RecRev No.9 comes in a rainbow of colors, and much like the “i”, each color has a different pattern. Alex must know I like bright yo-yos, because he handed me the brightest color he carried. Neon pink.
High five for bright yoyos! The RecRev No.9 Alex handed me is bright pink with a plaid pattern on the inner wall. I love the art on the inner wall of RecRev’s latest designs. Every color has a different design that complements that color. There is a style for everyone. Without a bearing post the No.9 has a very sleek look to it. The bulbous rims are a bit odd but not unheard of. YoYoFactory redesigned the G5 in 2009 with bubbly rims but it was not well received (shame, that yo-yo rocked). The No.9 also feels pretty heavy. When I looked up the specs and saw that the No.9 was just shy of 70 grams I honestly wasn’t surprised. It’s a big, curvy, pink plaid beast and I can’t wait to give it a throw.
Comfort and Tech:
Weight 69.3 grams
Diameter 54.6 mm
Width 38.77 mm
Gap 4.5 mm
Bearing C Size .250 x .500 x .180 inches
Response General-Yo Hat Pads
The rims curve evenly from the inner cup all the way to the catch zone. The No.9 has a straight walled catch zone after the rims. At 54.6mm in diameter, the No.9 boasts a full size profile. The shape is a bit different which I think is a good thing. The No.9 is definitely not the first yo-yo to use the round ring rims but with this catch zone and diameter, but the No.9 still feels fairly unique. Despite the offbeat appearance, the No. 9 is surprisingly comfortable in the hand. The round rims rest in the hand at the sides of your thumb pad. The No. 9 is slightly thinner (38.7mm) than the average yo-yo, so there is not a ton of room on the rims. Your middle finger rests easily in the straight walled catch zone but also leaves your finger to rest directly on the string wrap. Inside the gap is a nice, deep bearing seat well to keep crud off the bearing wall, a c sized bearing, and a response groove set to take silicone and General-Yo response pads.
The axle is pretty short. The threaded axle hole does not go that deep either. I understand that the reason for a short axle was to keep the aesthetics of the yo-yo but I worry about two things. #1: Stripping the axle, #2: The yo-yo coming apart mid play…
The finish that RecRev No.9 is very smooth. I can’t tell if it has been beadblasted. I think it has, but I can’t rule out that it has but you can tell it has been treated somehow. On YoYoRewind.com, it says that the No. 9 was smooth processed but does not describe the method used.
On a Throw:
At almost 70 grams I really expected the No.9 feel clunky, but instead I found that the No.9 was very smooth and seemed to prefer slow deliberate movements. Because the majority of the weight is in the rims, the No.9 has a very long and fast spin. Unlike other heavy rim weighted yo-yos, the No.9 is slightly thinner which seems to prevent unwanted tilt. The catch zone on the No.9 is approximately 31mm which is an decent target. I found it hard to land hops and whips at first, but once I adjusted my throw it was not longer a problem.
The No.9 spins without any hint of wobble or vibe. I prefer a completely dry bearing, which is what the No.9 is setup with out of package. The General-Yo Hat Pads do a great job delivering tight binds in the 4.5mm gap. One thing I did notice is that unless my binds were deliberate, you ran the risk of a bad bind. I learned the hard way once the full 69.11 grams of No.9(onium) smashed into my right eye, effectively knocking me to my knees and blurring my vision for 2 days. I was not sure if the binds were just me, so I lent it to a buddy for about an hour and he noticed the same thing I did. Make your binds deliberate and clean or at least throw a check before starting your Hyper Combo finish.
Above, I mentioned one of the things I was worried about was the No.9 coming part easily due to the really short axle. An arm grind confirmed my fear. Three times this week, once in a mall during a demo, the No.9 opened up and did a “Full Monty” and flying in three directions. I think that the problem is not sourced from the short axle exclusively, but with the combination of the short axle and the construction of the rims and catch zone. When you arm grind, ideally you want both halves of the yo-yo to have the same surface to skin area to get a nice steady throw. With the No.9, I found that most of the time only one rim was holding the grind while the other one rode along. I think that this was contributing to the “TRANSFORM” action I was seeing.
One thing I did notice that the No.9 did exceptionally well is string rejection tricks. This pink lady spits out more rejections than a cheerleader a week before homecoming. Magic drops, fold rejections, pretty much anything. I wondered out loud a few times if it was the shape and outer rims.
Despite having to yo-yo come apart on me, and having a snag result in an eye smash, the RecRev No.9 is a fairly solid throw. It has a very pleasing look, and is comfortable to hold and catch. The weight is a bit on the high end for me but that is just a personal preference. Honestly, the No.9 feels like it should retail in the low $90’s but is available in the mid $60’s which makes it a fantastic deal.
Written by Chris “Dr. Yo-Yo” Allen who knows that: Real men throw pink
Edited by Dustin “Splugen” Gunter who knows that: No… no they don’t