I am writing this to you in my grandfathers apartment located in Hong Kong. Unfortunately he isn't here today, he passed away about 7 months ago. He flew back and fourth from Canada to Hong Kong pretty frequently. He was kind enough to leave this apartment behind - a place to stay free of charge for any family members who want to visit HK. Its been a crazy up and down (no pun intended) of traveling and trying to get this new run of yoyos done. Somehow I convince myself this is actually sustainable.
This is my first time in HK, and I came to check out HK nationals which is coming up this weekend. I brought 4 Evora R-SP to promote or sell at the contest. The bad news is I don't think I can make it. I had planned earlier to go on a hike with a friend of mine that I met in Berlin, and embarrassingly I mixed up the dates. Not wanting to ditch her, I will likely miss the contest. The good news is this means there will be 4 Evora R-SP up for grab on the Luftverk site. I will offer 4 day shipping from Hong Kong, world wide tracked for 20USD. I think it will be cool to have a few out in the open early on before the rest are official release, which will for the first time be retailed.
Now what you're probably here for. What is the Evora R-SP, and what has changed? Here is the run down. Its the same shape, essentially the same yoyo as the standard Glass Dusted/AMS2488 version. It does play slightly different. The "nub" now has a small chamfer that the Glass Dusted one didn't. You can likely see this in the pictures. R-SP. "R" stands for Raw. Uncoated titanium as you probably guessed. SP stands for "Slow Pass". This is where it gets interesting.
Titanium comes in many different grades. Most Titanium yoyos are made from Grade 3 or Grade 5 (Ti-6Al-4V). It usually has a dull yellowish grey color that looks almost brushed. The hardness of this material is generally pretty tough, but still machines really nicely. The R-SP isn't made from either Grade 5 or Grade 3. It is made from Ti-6Al-2Nb-1Ta, a titanium that is only available from the USA. The look of it is more bright and shiny silver. Most articles I have read on this material generally states that it is more commonly used in medical implants. Vandium (The V in Ti-6Al-4V) leaches into the body over time, making titanium implants without it more desirable. But with a yoyo, this doesn't really matter.
What does matter though, is strength. And this stuff is stronger then run of the mill Grade 3 or Grade 5. The plus side of this (besides durability) is the sparks it throws are slightly brighter - those who sparked mine at Worlds can testify. Like I said, SP stands for "Slow pass" or Slow finishing pass. It is the last step in manufacturing a yoyo, when the cutting tool goes over the whole yoyo one more time and gives it its final finish. For yoyos that are being anodized, beadblasted, or satin finished, this can be pretty quick because it doesn't matter. For yoyos like the Evora R-SP, this is excruciatingly slow. The SP adds an extra 30 minutes to each half. The regular Evora already takes 1 hour at normal speeds without this pass. to put it in perspective, It takes about 2-4 minutes to machine an average Aluminum Yoyo.
This final pass is the key to battling chatter - which is difficult to avoid with hard materials like titanium, let alone this mutant grade. On the R-SP, the final pass is so slow, it looks polished - but isn't. In fact, there are micro grooves that make it have an iridescent rainbow effect. You can kind of see it in the pictures. These are also the highest quality, and smoothest Evoras ever made. I would know, I hand tested and packaged every single one. Just like last time.
The price is still being determined, With the extra time and material costs, I have made efforts in reducing costs elsewhere such as a simpler minimalist packaging. Things like the full ceramic bearing have gone to a ceramic ball bearing (stainless inner and outer races). So hopefully the cost will be reasonable. This will be the first time a Luftverk yoyo will be retailed - which means I need to think about that and be fair to the retailer too. The first run was all me from the beginning to the end, so this change is actually a bit stressful!
Anyway that's the full rundown. Hopefully that clears up everyone's speculation on what is what. Traveling and (attempting to) releasing a yoyo, that's what I call multitasking! Fingers crossed, help me make it a smooth sail!