Final version Ovation (left) First Prototype Ovation (right) Photo by Alexander German.
This is a history lesson. Better yet, a history lesson chopped into parts. Today we learn about real change. Real change comes from inside (wait for it) the cup.
The first iteration of the Ovation featured a fingerspin-friendly dimple. Over the course of the initial testing period, I found that the center weight gave the yo-yo an airy but nimble feel. I liked it, but I felt that the design lacked stability.
My first thoughts were to opt for a broader dimple or a flat cup floor. This would, in theory, push weight away from the center and create a more stable design. I'd just run the risk of the yo-yo playing like a stone attached to a string. I'm not that brave.
When working on the final draft of the design earlier this spring, I came to the conclusion that some center-weight had to go. Most of it would end up staying though. I drew numerous versions with spikes, hubs, and axle nubs. None of them appealed to me visually. The hub present on the Ovation today was inspired by button-down shirts and Poké Balls.
The button-hub design is optically sleek. It preserves the play characteristics that I enjoyed most about the original prototype while also enhancing the design's play overall. Fun and practicality found balance in the end, and everyone lived happily ever after.