First, I need to give a little background before I dive into the review proper. During a family trip to Orlando early last December, Sean Perez told me that he had just spent a day doing a photo shoot for a new yoyo, and that I should get excited for a new Haymaker. I'd never thrown the previous version of the Haymaker, so I took his word for it and filed it away as something to look at down the road. When Duncan started releasing information about it the next month I was instantly intrigued, but again let it escape my mind that I was supposed to be excited about it.
The iCEBERG is something that has been on my radar since release, but for some reason whenever I went to buy a yoyo it just didn't end up in my cart. My 4A throw of the choice is the iYoYo Dive and I really enjoyed the iYoYo Veritas, but for some reason I just kept forgetting to grab the iCEBERG. I finally rectified the situation when I found an iCEBERG on the r/throwers BST on the cheap, and boy am I glad I did.
The goal with this design is obvious; create a polycarbonate body with a steel rim. You can't do something this extreme without making it your singular goal. Polycarbonate is a fairly durable and easily machined plastic. However, polycarb will never be as durable as an aluminum alloy.
If we look at the iCEBERG's profile, you can make out the design intentions pretty easily. There are 4 primary curves in the profile:
- A steep angle from the response to push the design wide
- The majority of the diameter comes from the second straight angle
- The steep arc at the rim to set up the interface for the rim
- From the arc the polycarb will cut in, but the steel ring gives it a flat appearance
From the profile, the H-shape is fairly obvious. This means that it pushes an even more extreme amount of weight to the outer diameter due to the steel ring. This really shows on the throw as well; it plays very over-stable. Once it has established its axis, it does not want to change it. It is very difficult to tilt, which is even more evident by how well it fingerspins. Once you get it to level out it will fight to stay in that plane on your finger, which means you'll want to spin it with a soft finger and just ride the waves.
Two superficial things stand out with the iCEBERG that make it something special: The sound, and the temperature.
My first throw I was surprised by the sound, to the point that I thought the bearing might be dirty. When it is moving, it squeals. When you have it sitting in a fingerspin, it hums. It has to be a combination of the steel ring, polycarb, and the bearing, but mine just screams. I won't play with it when there is a baby sleeping nearby, but it really makes me feel like I'm just flying when I throw it.
Second, the temperature of the rings was kind of a shock. When it came in I played for about two hours straight, and every time it returned to my hand the steel was still cool. My guess is that the polycarb doesn't transfer the heat from the catch to the rims, and what little heat it does have is cooled while it's spinning. The effect make me think they threw the first prototype and thought "We have to name this ice something!"
From the design, you can pretty well see what the iCEBERG is going to excel at. It has a wide catch and the weight distribution makes it want to stay on the plane it is thrown. I'm admittedly terrible at horizontal play, but the iCERBERG handled what I threw at it exceedingly well. It fingerspins like an absolute dream, rivaling anything else I've thrown on ease of landing a spin.
I've noticed it binds a little strange at times. I'm not sure if it's my response pads, or the wide gap making it a little less responsive. It does mean it plays well with a little thicker or more grippy string. I was noticing weird responses with kitty fat, but it plays pretty great with my NYLON.nylon Spoolthread, which is a little too grippy in other throws. The binds can also hurt at times. It's kind of hard to explain how it can loosely bind but still snap back sharp on the catch.
I may be a little off base, but the wide catch and rim weight reminds me of a supped up Horizon. The weight distribution also makes it feel like a W-Shape on the string, but with the more comfortable profile of an H-Shape. If you're someone that loves to show off with fingerspins, this easily outperforms any variant of the Skyva I've played at ease of landing, and has the weight distribution to be more fun to play in other styles. At $65, and still in stock on YoYoExpert, it is definitely worth trying next time you're itching for a new throw.
Corrections: A previous version of this review referred to the plastic of the iCEBERG as Delrin instead of Polycarbonate. My forehead met palm multiple times.