Flight vs. Airwave Yoyo Review Yoyo Trick Core
A comparison of YoYoFactory’s two iconic offstring yoyos, the Airwave and the Flight.
Flight vs. Airwave Yoyo Review Yoyo TrickSo YoYoFactory just released their brand new offstring yoyo the Airwave, and it is their first offstring yoyo release in four years. And I know it’s on your mind, because it was the same that was on mind my when I first heard about it, how does it compare to the Flight? So that is what this video is all about.
So the Airwave, when you compare it to the Flight, there are four main difference that you’re going to notice. First, the shape is different, the Airwave is more of a star shape, which is built more for performance, so you’re going to notice that performance in that it plays a little bit faster, it’s going to be a little bit better for horizontal style tricks, in general it’s going to be a little bit better for tech as well, with strings kind of coming out of the gap at different angles, having those sharp angles coming out of the yoyo, that’s going to help just a little bit.
But the other changes are a little bit more significant in my opinion. So the first thing that you’re going to notice, is probably the biggest change, is that it’s wider than the flight. The second change that is a little less noticeable is that the diameter is just a little bit smaller, and then the third change is that it’s a little bit lighter than the Flight. And so I’m going to talk about each of these things, and kind of give you a feel for how each yoyo plays, and of course the big question which one should you get, since this is the new yoyo, has it replaced the Flight? Is there still room for the Flight? Should you get them both? So, I’m going to give you that summary at the end of this video, but let’s just tackle things one at a time.
So the first thing is width. Now the most obvious advantage of a wider yoyo is that when you’re doing really big tricks like open string binds and repeated elements where the yoyo is coming on and off the string, the width is going to make it a little bit easier to hit those tricks. Now, what I was surprised about is, and actually this is true of wider yoyos, I’m surprised how much a little extra width makes a huge difference when you’re doing tricks. And that is definitely true of the Airwave. I found my consistency go way, way up on tricks that I struggled with before that are in this category, and so I’m sure you’re going to notice the same thing.
Now, what I didn’t realize, is what difference a smaller diameter would make. Now first I’m going to talk about the Flight. So in general, with yoyo design, the larger diameter is, the more rim weight power that yoyo has. So having a larger diameter is going to give the Flight more rim weight. And you might also notice that the rims are thinner on the Airwave than the Flight, and so that’s kind of like two points in favor of the Flight as far as it having more power. It’s got that bigger diameter and the thicker rims. And the third thing that is going to give it more power is just in general it is heavier, if you look at all the offstring yoyos on the market, the Flight is definitely on the higher side in terms of weight, and the Airwave falls right into the middle. So how does that affect the way each of them plays?
Well, the Flight is, a, it’s just more powerful in its spins. If you go back and watch our original review, I remember first tried the Flight and I was still kinda struggling to get through certain tricks, I was able to do tricks longer and better and go further with the Flight because it’s got so much power. And so when you compare the two of them you will notice that the Airwave, it’s a little bit more nimble, it moves a little quicker, it doesn’t quite have the same power, but that’s not really a downside, the Flight is kind of over powered. If you compare it to other offstring yoyos, It’s like a super power kind of where the Airwave in that one respect in the middle of the pack. It’s going to give you pretty much what other offstring yoyos give you, in terms of power, the Flight is just a little bit overpowered. So again, if you’re kind of a newer player and your throw is still kind of weak or you’re just to figure out your tricks, you’re going to appreciate that advantage of the Flight, but if you’re starting to get into advanced tricks and you don’t find that string time is the limiting factor for you, then the Airwave does have a lot of other advantages for you.
Now, the first thing is with the smaller diameter that it has compared to most offstring yoyos, the most unexpected advantage is that when you’re doing recaptures, which is a very popular element in offstring yoyoing, it actually makes it quite a bit easier. I think it’s because you don’t have to move your arm around quite as much to get the string back in and out of the gap of the yoyo. The other thing is that when you’re doing tech tricks and things that are very small, you might think a wider yoyo is going to make it harder to do tech, but the way that offstring tech is built actually having the smaller diameter more than compensates for that, and so you’ll find that your tech tricks are quite a bit easier on this yoyo and again with it being lighter it’s more nimble, it can move faster, you can control it a little bit easier.
Now the same thing is true with your open string binds. What you’re going to find is with this yoyo is that open string binds, they grab easier than they do on the Flight, and that’s because it has less momentum, it’s less powerful, and so it’s easier to get the yoyo to bind and come back up. Now, when it’s it’s coming back to you, you need a little bit more finesse, which as a more experienced player you’re going to appreciate because the yoyo is going to respond to you a little bit quicker, the Flight of a powerhouse, it’s just going to power through it, when you’re newer at tricks, especially combining various open string elements, you’re going to appreciate that power, it’s going to kind of help you correct your mistakes, even if you’re not doing everything exactly right, but when you get a little more finesse, you might feel like the Flight is fighting against you a little bit, so it might be time to get a lighter yoyo.
Now another thing that you’re going to notice that these two yoyos have in common is they both have an area for finger spins, and or thumb grinds. And if you look the size of the bowl is about the same width on each yoyo, so it’s just about as easy to hit, the Flight was actually built for thumb grinds, and so I would say it’s still superior for those types of tricks, those are not quite as popular anymore as they used to be, where the Airwave was actually built with finger spins in mind, so it’s a little bit better for those, though both yoyos, if you’re going to be attempting these tricks, you will want to catch the yoyo at an angle, that will help it be a little more controlled, you’ll be able to get more spin time out of it, compared to one that levels out completely, and that’s just a little tip to help you master those particular tricks.
Now another nice advantage of the Airwave, because it has these thinner rims, is that it bounces quite a bit better than the Flight. That was always the one disappointing thing about the Flight, especially somebody who is going to use it in a contest or perform in front of people, even on a very ideal surface like a gym floor, it bounces ok, but not great. And that’s because the rims are thicker, that’s kind of the compromise you get with having extra power.
With the Airwave, the rims are thinner, and that allows it to bounce better. It’s better for recovery, it’s better for practice, it’s better in almost every scenario. Now both yoyos, if you’re using it on a surface like a carpet, they will run away from you, but on a flat surface, you know whether it’s tile or a gym floor, a wood floor, the Airwave is going to bounce really really well and that’s something you’re definitely going to appreciate.
Now, another thing that the Flight really knocked it out of the park, and even surprised us how durable this yoyo is. When we first got it, we spent six months punishing this yoyo. And we would play with it over concrete, we would throw it up as high as we possible could, we would have contests to see who could throw it higher, and just let it slam into the road. It never broke. And a lot of people online have noticed when they get these just how durable they are, you may notice some stress cracks along the inside of the yoyo, that never seems to affect play, It’s never read or heard of had any of my Flights have the plastic break on them. It’s just super durable. Now we haven’t had the Airwave quite as along, and so we tested it under what I think are legitimate conditions for testing a yoyo. We didn’t play with it on concrete and different things because nobody should really really be playing with their offstring yoyos that way unless you want to get it all scuffed up, and it’s just not nice. So what we did we took it to a gymnasium, we threw it all the way up to the ceiling, and just let it slam into the ground and bounce and go all over the play, we had shot a basket with it, just to, what the heck, and by the time we were done it still played exactly the same as it did when we went into the Gym. Now it’s not exactly the same, it’s testing it over the long run, but in general I would say there is no reason to feel like this yoyo won’t be durable, but until we get it into the hands of customers, you never really know for sure.
Now another thing that these yoyos have in common is that they’re both molded plastic. And one thing that that means is that they’re going to be lower cost. Now I’m not going to give you the cost in this video, because they’re subject to change, but if you on our website you’ll notice that most likely the Flight is a little bit cheaper than the Airwave, but both them are much, much less expensive than the mast majority of offstring yoyos on the market. And that’s because most offstring yoyos are machined plastic. And that drives the cost up but, machined plastic yoyos do have one major advantage, and that’s the precision that you can get in the machining is a little bit higher than you can get with molded plastic. And this really only has one noticeable affect, and that is in terms of what yoyo players like to call vibe. How much vibration you can feel when the yoyo is on the string, or if you touch it with your finger while you’re playing with it. It is a lot to ask for molded yoyos to have absolutely no vibration, and the bigger the yoyos get, the more difficult it is to get them to be completely vibe free.
And so what yoyo factory does is on a lot of their yoyos, and this is true on both of these, is they put these little markers on the yoyo. As long as those markers are lined up, the yoyo is going to spin as true as possible and vibe free as it is able to do. Now, with a lot of yoyos that use a nut and bolt system, the longer you play with it, the more those lines will get offset, which can add some vibration over time, now something about the Flight makes it so that the vibration really doesn’t matter over time, and so I don’t think I’ve heard too many people if anybody ever complained about the vibe on the Flight.
The vibe is more noticeable on the Airwave, if those arrows are not lined up, so what yoyo factory did, I think is really smart, this center hub where the yoyo screws together, isn’t just made out of regular aluminum, it’s made out of 7075 aluminum, which is quite a bit stronger. And so what you’ll notice as you’re taking it apart and putting it back together is that these arrows arrow ever stray from that perfectly centered point. And so it’s quite a bit easier to keep those arrows lined up, even as you’re playing in the long time, again we’ve been testing them for several weeks and I haven’t seen any drift whatsoever, the yoyo still plays the way they played when I first got them. Again, when customers use them, and try them in different circumstances, we’ll see if that plays out in the long run, but at least in our experience, that has not been a major issue.
So in general, who should be considering each of these yoyos? Well because the Flight has a little bit more spin power and it’s known to be as durable as possible, again, the Airwave may be prove just as durable, but it just hasn’t been tested quite as long yet, and because the price of the Flight is a little bit less, if you are a new player and you haven’t yoyos for very long, and you just want to try out offering because you think it might be really fun, and it is, I would probably lean toward recommending the Flight for you. That extra spin power gives you is going to help quite a bit at the beginning, it’s going to keep the yoyo from tilting a lot, as you’re working on your throw and your bind and things like that.
But, if you’re already kind of an experienced player in one or more styles, or if you’ve done some offstring yo-yoing before, and you’ve already got the basics down, I think that you’re really, really going to appreciate all the advantages that the Airwave has to offer. Not only push things further, with your open string ind, and multiple catches, and things like that, but also with your tech, you’re going to find that it’s just a little bit better and pretty much with all tricks, once you have a little bit more control, a little bit more finesse, you’re going to find it’s just more fun to play with this yoyo, just because it’s a little wider, it’s a little but lighter, I think the experience is going to be a little bit better.
Now there are a number of us who perform on a routine basis with offstring yoyos, for a long time I’ve been using the Flight exclusively, but ever since I got my first shot to use this yoyo, the Airwave, I’ve had it for a couple of weeks and I switches over immediately. Now these are the yoyos I practice with, They’re the ones I use in throws, I absolutely love them, and the other guys that I know that perform they also are switching over as well. It’s just a really great experience, again once you’ve reached a certain level of proficiency, I think that most players will appreciate the Airwave, It’s hard to say, you know the Flight also has its advantages, I feel that those are more for brand new players who haven’t quite got everything down with offstring yet, once you get better, the Airwave is kind of the wave of the future, if you will.
So, uh, yeah, I think that both have their place in the market. I think that both are excellent options, I don’t think the Flight is going to go anywhere, I think that it is still probably the best first option for most players, but again if you want to take things further, if you want to go as far as possible, the Airwave is an excellent choice. So yeah, take a look at them, see what you like, you could always get both, that is the Flight and the Airwave.
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