A couple of summers ago, the Vinyl was an idea. It was a joke. It was a silly idea brought up in an hour-long phone call. Somehow it became more than that. Even after the idea gained some steam, our machine shop told us that without significant changes it would not work. We had it made anyway.
The original Vinyl prototype was better than anything we could have expected. Almost. It was eye-catching. It played uniquely. That is a bit vain to say in today’s era of yoyo design, but it felt unique. It was a delrin/aluminum hybrid that didn’t play entirely like a plastic or a metal. We were beyond excited during initial testing, so much so, that we took it on the road with us to contests and let people give it a try for themselves. Feedback was nearly always positive.
Since then, the Vinyl has become our most asked about return top. Even with questions coming in weekly, we have remained eerily quiet on the project. What happened?
The machine shop was right. For the Vinyl to be good enough to hit the market, it would have to be changed. Although the original was fantastic in just about every way, it, unfortunately, shared more in common with Humpty Dumpty than we could have anticipated. If allowed to get even slightly warm, it would fall apart. The fit between the delrin and aluminum pieces were not nearly tight enough at room temperatures. Freezing it would fix the problem temporarily, but the project could not move forward without a permanent fix.
The decision to change materials for the Vinyl was a hard one. Machined Polycarbonate was uncharted territory for us. We explored other options with our machine shop that did not include changing the body material, but none of them would yield acceptable results. To say that we were nervous would be an understatement.
Fortunately for us, changing materials did not compromise the design in a way that would make it seem foreign to those that knew the original. The Polycarbonate Vinyl is a bit bigger. (not by much) It is a bit wider. (not by much) It is a bit heavier. (again not by much) It is not the original, but it is not far off.
If you were at PNWR, you have already had a chance to try it. If not, don’t worry. We’ll have them at SEYYC for people to try and are entertaining the idea of making a few of them available for purchase at our booth.
This current version is not the final draft; the Vinyl saga is not over. The focus of the project is not merely recreating the original but now making improvements on the current version. We have a clear road map of what we want to do and have some fun ideas in the meantime. Stay tuned.