Sometimes I wonder what is in the water up there in Eugene, Oregon. OneDrop continues to pump out win after win. I constantly check the OneDrop Shop Cam to see if they suddenly started making Rainbows and Unicorns. Honestly, it would not surprise me. Shawn and David always seem to aim big and without fail, hit the target. They may not be able to pump out as many new designs as some of the bigger yo-yo makers, but they have a great track record for fantastic throws. The 54 is a step out of the comfort zone, however. For the first time, OneDrop is releasing a full sized 54mm diameter throw, not to mention a new axle setup that could change the way all future OneDrop products are designed.
First Impressions:OneDrop has been working on the 54 for a while. They have been working on SideEffects for about two years now. Once they had that design down, they started working on their first full sized aluminum yo-yo using the side effects. They knew they wanted a 54 diameter yo-yo, and joking referred to the yo-yo as the 54 on the OneDrop Forum. Eventually the name stuck and that’s what they went with. OneDrop got the 54 to me at Nationals, but honestly I didn’t have time to try the model they gave me until I got home. I did, however, try the 54 Shawn had at Nationals.
When I got home, I opened up the OneDrop box to see that Shawn and David had sent me a gorgeous cherry red 54 with a Race Flag engraving. There was a pause, and then I remembered I told Shawn that I wanted to do a Muscle Car theme in the photos. Nice touch. The production 54’s have the number 54 with arrows pointing out to the diameter, and a white wall type ring on the cup wall right before the walls edge.
Comfort and Tech:
Weight – Variable
Stock Response: Flow Groove
Gap Width: 4.34mm
Bearing Size: Large (C) stainless steel (One Drop 10 Ball Bearing)
In the hand, the 54 seems to hit all the right spots. The slanted flat rims rest on the edges of the thumb pad and the open curved catch zone works especially well for a full sized yo-yo. The Catch zone curve slopes consistently from the slanted flat rims into the recess area where it flattens out right before the recess. OneDrop has the flow groove silicone pads in place here which means that users have the option between OneDrop silicone rings, YoYoJam type rings, or flowable silicone. The bearing sits on a small seat and uses the SideEffect as the bearing post. This setup is genius, but I wish the well around the bearing seat was a bit deeper. I worry about bearing gunk resting too close to the bearing wall.
Now we come to the side effects. I love these things. Let me demonstrate exactly how they work.
Full, complete weight customization. OneDrop’s plan is 0to make more and more SideEffects as designs come to them, which gives you more and more options. Right now, OneDrop has 6 Side Effects with more on the way. Without a doubt, this yo-yo was designed to grow with your play style.
On a Throw:
Honestly, this is the hardest part to judge the 54. Under which settings do I judge the 54? There is 5 gram difference between the heaviest setting with the brass spikes, and the lightest setting with the Lego side effects. This weight change at the core of the yo-yo gives every step a completely different feel to it. With the heaviest settings, the OneDrop 54 plays floaty and deliberate. With the lightest settings, the 54 plays fast and sturdy. Since the weight change is on the core, tilt and stability are greatly affected by how you set it up. Your choice in Side Effect has influence on the stability of the 54, along with the play characteristics and the feeling. The first time I threw the 54 was at Nationals when Shawn handed me the yo-yo with Brass Spikes. I thought it felt a bit too heavy. He swapped them for aluminum domes and it was an entirely different world.
Here is an Infogram describing what I found with the Side Effect options :
Now this is highly dependent on each person’s throw so I think it is important to note that this is what I found when I threw the 54. Because the 54 is so customizable, and each weight setup has such a completely different feel, I don’t really think I can describe how the yo-yo feels beyond that. Personally, I like the lite “Lego” setup, I am also a bit partial to the Stunt Pegs.
This is what I can tell you about the 54 that does not change with the side effects. The 40.9mm width catches hops and transitions with little to no grab. The 54 diameter, while making it a full size, is just small enough to work in and out ofchopsticks. The response system is a bit grabby at first, but once broken in provides tight binds.
The Pyromatte finish is very smooth. This gives the 54 a very grind-able surface. Arm grinds were great. The 54 stalled as desired on the finger and then climbed up my arm without vibration or wobble. The IRG groove was very accessible also. The finish lent itself very nicely to smooth nail grinds on the inner ring groove.
I can’t help but feel like putting on a parade for the OneDrop folks. Any reader of YoYoSkills knows that a yo-yo with options brings rainbow backed smiles to my face. The OneDrop 54 is a yo-yo with a great feel in the hand, and complete weight customization thanks to the Side Effects. Because of this, it will work with you whatever your play style may be. Personally, I prefer the lightest setting: the Lego Side Effects. At 61.9 grams it is one of the lightest yo-yos I own, but I can’t get enough of it. It’s a Win. This is a yo-yo to get, without a doubt.
Price ~ $99
Bird in Hand
Written by Chris “Dr. Yo-Yo” Allen who hopes to some day drink that magical Eugene, Oregon water
Edited by Dustin “Splugen” Gunter, who has like at least forty ideas for Side Effects.