The HandQuake was a series of yo-yos designed and developed by Chris Kayatz.
The HandQuake 1.3 was designed by Kayatz, prior to starting up HSpin. At the time, he had an internship at ABB, where he was exposed to AutoCAD, which he taught himself. ABB also had a CNC machining lab, where he had gotten a tip for a few machining workshops that he could go to in order to develop his metal yo-yo. He had sent letters to no less than thirty CNC machining workships asking for a quote on the prototype aluminum yo-yo. Very few of those workshops had taken Kayatz' concept seriously, and he eventually decided to work with one of them. Later on, that company developed the HandQuake 1.3.
HandQuake 1.4 series
The HandQuake 1.4, the first yo-yo introduced in November 1998 by HSpin, was also the very first yo-yo to feature bi-metallic composition, consisting of an aluminum body with embedded steel weight rings on the inner lips of the rims. The serial-numbered body was anodized in black with silver-colored weight rings. A pilot batch of only fifty yo-yos were made, and were quickly sold out within a few days.
The 1.4 was followed up in 1999 by the HandQuake 1.4b, which was also aluminum, but now with heavier bronze weight rings. When pre-orders were being taken, one could reserve a desired serial number. The original color choices were finalized as either black or blue and as the pieces went to production, the serial numbers were split evenly between the black and the blue halves. Because of this, it was realized that it might not be possible to fulfill both the customer's chosen serial number and their chosen color, so the two different halves were mixed to make a half black and half blue yo-yo, one of the first two-colored aluminum yo-yos commercially offered. Four hundred of these yo-yos were produced.
Both models are string trick yo-yos with a string gap that can be adjusted using shims of thicknesses from 0.1mm to 0.5mm, a ball bearing axle, and a slimline Butterfly profile.
In the late 1990's, a Kansas City, MO businessman named Robert Bukaty, who was an avid yo-yoer at the Wind Wizards Kite and Yo-Yo shop, formed a small company, Midwest Yo-Yo, to distribute the HandQuakes. It was very difficult for Robert and Chris Kayatz to get enough interest generated and by the time that Midwest Yo-Yo reached its first year in business, the yo-yo boom died out, as well as people interested in $125 USD bi-metal yo-yos.
HSpin has improved upon its designs significantly since the release of the HandQuake, but had abandoned the elegant slimline design in favor of newer, wide-bodied Butterfly-shaped yo-yos. The HandQuake 1.4b and the much rarer original HandQuake 1.4 are still two of the slimmest, most elegant-looking yo-yos ever made and both are collector's items nowadays.
Also developed in 1999 was the prototype HandQuake 1.5, which was made of carbon fiber with brass weight rings on the rims. The brass weight rings are also protected by thin rubber O-rings. Only three of these prototypes were ever produced.
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