Yonex Astrox 99 Badminton Racket Review – For The Elite

yonex astrox 99 badminton racket

The Yonex Astrox 99 badminton racket. Many have called it the best racket for singles players ever. It is known for its huge power or as Yonex likes to market it, its “relentless attack.” But there are a few drawbacks of this racket that you may or may not know that I found after spending some time with. Let’s get into my review of the Yonex Astrox 99 badminton racket.

The Yonex Astrox 99 is a racket that I disliked when I started playing with it but slowly loved it more the more I played with it. Like many rackets, it has its ups and downs. This racket, however, is a racket that I took an extremely long time to review.

There are so many things that make this racket good, but it also takes quite a long time to get used to, at least in my case. First, I’ll summarize some stats and my ratings on this racket, and then I’ll get into each individual aspect I review.

Summaryyonex astrox 99 badminton racket

Power: 9/10

Speed: 8/10

Overall Rating: 8.5/10

Average Price: $270 CAD

Recommended For: Advanced Players

Extras: Stiff Shaft, Head Heavy, Graphite/Namd Shaft, Astrox Steep Smash Technology

Where To Buy: Amazon.com

Review Model: 4U G5, Tried with both factory grip, Yonex AC402EX Towel Grip, and Yonex AC102EX Super Grap, Tried both Yonex Aerobite @28lbs and Yonex BG65 @24lbs

Power

This racket generates some of the best power out of all the rackets I have tested… if you have the strength and proper swing technique.

When I first started using the Yonex Astrox 99, it was inconvenient to use. Yonex’s acclaimed steep attack on the Astrox series was working with all my smashes initially hitting the net. Smashes and clears did not have the satisfying power feeling either.

And it kept getting worse as I kept adding more strength into my swings (if you’re an experienced badminton player you’ll know what happens), which ended up in broken strings and sore arms.

Then I restrung my Astrox 99 with a more durable string at a lower tension; the Yonex BG65.

But the same thing was to happen again, and the strings broke within two weeks.

I was not very happy, so I ultimately gave up on the Astrox for a little bit and went back to using the Yonex Duora Z Strike and Voltric Z Force II.

For that “little time” I spent not using the Yonex Astrox 99 I was refining technique and building strength. I was reading other people’s reviews and opinions on the badminton racket, and it all seemed like they have the same response.

“You need to be an advanced player to be able to use the Yonex Astrox 99, and it will take time to get used to.”

So when I came back and restrung my Astrox 99 with my original Aerobite strings at 28 pounds idea, I loosened up and played with as much patience as possible. And it worked! Over time, I finally got used to the racket, and now it is my main racket that I use.

Note: When I tried it with the Yonex AC402EX Towel Grip, it had a terrible impact on my ability to play. While it may not affect you or it may even benefit you, I am just noting that the towel grip is not the ultimate reason for more power. I will discuss it more in my review of the Yonex AC402EX Towel Grip. I will also discuss my thoughts on the Yonex Aerobite strings in another post as well.

yonex astrox 99 badminton racket

The main reason why the Yonex Astrox 99 takes so much time to get used to and proper technique to use is because of its weight. I’m running the 4U G5 variant which is the lighter one, and yet, it weighs a lot more than a 3U Yonex Duora 10 badminton racket.

See what 4U, 3U, G4, and G5 all mean here.

A few players at a club I played at also tried my Yonex Astrox 99 badminton racket and compared it to their Astrox 88D rackets. All the players noticeably saw themselves having trouble playing with the Yonex Astrox 99 and generating power with it.

One player even mentioned that my 4U Astrox 99 felt heavier than his 3U Astrox 88D, which is quite surprising!

But I’m only going to take off 1 point for being challenging to handle initially just because of how strong the racket gets after getting used to it.

Once you get used to the Astrox 99, the power rating becomes a 10/10; higher than the Yonex Duora Z Strike which currently holds the top score for me at 9.5/10.

This racket lives up to its name of relentless attack.

My smashes have been the strongest they have ever been in my life, and it’s super satisfying hearing and feeling the thundering shock every time I hit a jump smash.

Clears are also super easy with this racket as soon as you loosen up and swing correctly.

The Yonex Astrox Steep Smash and Namd technology also play a role as well, and it’s about the only time I’m ever going to say this. When I play with this racket, my smashes are also notably steeper than playing with other rackets, especially when paired the Aerobite strings.

In summary, the Yonex Astrox 99 receives a 9/10 for power because of how strong it is once you get used to it but loses one point due to how difficult it is to manage.

Speed

Speed on this racket is pretty good too. Better than lower end rackets, but it would only be average or a little bit above average for a high-end racket.

The leading quality that makes the Astrox 99 lose points in speed is its weight. As a heavier racket, it is more difficult to swing the racket and switch directions as fast as some lighter rackets can.

The speed isn’t all that bad despite the weight of the racket. It performs more than well enough for singles, and sometimes it can work for doubles too.

Granted I am using the 4U version, which is a bit lighter, but when I play doubles, I use this racket, and it performs reasonably well. However, I do notice that it is a little more clunky than playing with some other rackets like the Duora 10 or Duora Z Strike.

Bringing the racket up is sometimes slow, and I can’t kill the shuttle as fast as I want to around the front. The shuttle often hits the side of the frame when I try to play shots a little outside of my limit.

Defense is also a little slower too, and I noticed more mishits on the side of my racket from not being able to move the racket fast enough.

One of the things that make the Yonex Astrox 99 slower other than its weight is also the size of its head. It’s a little smaller than the Duora 10 but larger than the Duora Z Strike, Voltric Z Force II, and the yonex astrox 99Nanoray Z Speed.

Another factor that makes this racket slower is its head heaviness. Although it isn’t the most head heavy racket I have played with, it still certainly contributes to making the racket a little slow when it comes to drives and quick shots.

Price and Extras

Now for the price. Being one of the newest and most hyped rackets from Yonex, it is quite expensive. At $270 CAD or about $245 USD, its price is definitely something to consider.

If you’re an advanced player with aggressive play, proper technique, and a bit of strength as well, this racket is a fit for you. Once you get used to this racket, it will undoubtedly pay dividends.

If you’re a beginner or intermediate player, however, this racket may be a little too hard to use and expensive for your purposes, and thus, different rackets should be considered.

You can buy a Yonex Astrox 99 badminton racket at Amazon.com here!

There are also a few extra specs on the racket that I would like to talk about a little.

One of the important things to consider on the Astrox 99 is its stiff shaft. A stiff shaft is often associated with rackets that are meant for advanced players because of its benefit to control and power with the right technique, but unforgivingness of mishits. The Yonex Astrox 99 racket’s stiff shaft is another reason why this racket is better for advanced players.

The Astrox 99 is also the first racket where Yonex implemented Namd into the entire racket to supposedly generate more power with its unique “rotation” flex. This is a bonus along with the Astrox Steep Smash if you’re into racket technology.

Like mentioned above, the racket I’m reviewing is the 4U, G5 variant but it also comes in a heavier and thicker grip variant, the 3U, G4.

Conclusion

The Yonex Astrox 99 badminton racket is definitely one of the best rackets I have ever played with. Its power is unrivaled, and its speed is decent too. However, it takes time, proper technique, and strength to play well with this racket making it a choice that is more suited to advanced players.

You can buy the Yonex Astrox 99 badminton racket here at Amazon.com!

That’s it for my review! If you have any questions or comments, please leave them down below. I would love to hear what you have to say. As always, good luck in your games and have a great day!

Yonex Isometric TR0 Badminton Training Racket Review – The Best Training Racket?

I hinted at a review of the Yonex Isometric TR0 badminton training racket in my last post, Should I Get A Badminton Training Racket. The Yonex Isometric TR0 badminton training racket is definitely one of the best training rackets out there.

This review won’t encompass using a training racket, and I will also talk about this racket in terms of a training racket and not a regular racket. Without further ado, let’s get started.

Summary

Overall Rating: 9/10

Price: ~$60-90 USD

Strings: Pre-Strung

Weight: 150 grams

Flex: Medium

Material: Graphite

Grip Sizes: G4, G5

Buy it here at Amazon.com!

Quality and Specifications

The Yonex Isometric TR0 badminton training racket quality is quite good. It won’t break that, and it certainly can last you a long time with its graphite shaft and frame.

The racket comes with pre-strung strings that are relatively low quality and strung at low tension. However, you won’t, or at least shouldn’t be playing games with this training racket, so the problems with string aren’t too bad.

What’s also cool about this training racket is that while it doesn’t come with a full cover, it does come with a semi-cover that has holes in it to let some air pass. This is great if you’re going to practice footwork with the training racket and won’t be hitting the shuttle since the drag the cover creates will give you some more strength in your swings.

This racket is 150 grams which are in the middle of weight for most training rackets. For me, I find this weight pretty good for training, but other people might like more weight or less. It all depends on your personal fitness levels.

The racket also comes in G4 and G5 grips which is on the thinner side, but they’ll work for most people.

Feel

This racket definitely feels like a training racket with its weight, but it certainly isn’t as clunky as some of the other ones unless you put the cover on. Playing with it a lot can make it feel a lot like a regular racket. But if it’s at the point that it’s feeling like a regular racket, go back to your actual racket, and you’ll feel extremely lightweight.

Of course, as with all training rackets, your swings will definitely be slower. It’s especially noticeable in drives where you can’t move the racket fast enough to react.

Hitting shots also require you to use more power than you would on a normal racket so you’re definitely going to miss a lot of shots like drops and net shots but also not have as powerful clears and smashes as you would typically have.

But since it has all these qualities and feeling, it does mean that the Yonex Isometric TR0 is doing its job and I can certainly see why it’s one of the most popular training rackets out there.

Price

The Yonex Isometric TR0 comes in at around $60-$90 USD. This price is decent for the value it offers, but it isn’t one of the cheapest out there. You can certainly find other badminton training rackets at more affordable prices.

But even at this price, I still recommend the Yonex Isometric TR0. Practicing with it has certainly made me stronger and have more stamina as well, and the improvement has been significant.

Do you really need a training racket though? You should check out this post first before buying any training racket.

Conclusion

At around $60-90, the Yonex Isometric TR0 badminton training racket may not be one of the cheapest out there, but it’s undoubtedly one of the best training rackets out there in terms of quality.

Its weight is 150 grams, and it comes in the grip sizes G4 and G5. The flex on the racket is medium as well.

I’ve been using the Yonex Isometric TR0 for some time and have seen significant improvements to my play, so I definitely recommend this training racket.

Get it here at Amazon.com!

As always, if you have any comments, questions, or experiences you would like to share, please leave them down below! Have a great day!

Yonex Duora 10 Badminton Racket Review – Overrated Racket?

The Yonex Duora 10 is one of the most popular rackets ever created. Every tournament I play in, there are at least 5-10 people using the Duora 10. This racket is no doubt a very good racket but is it overrated?

Many sites and videos have listed the Duora 10 as the number racket in 2017 but I just didn’t get that feel from it. Remember that how good a racket performs is based on the player so it’s highly likely that anything I say may not apply to you at all. But nonetheless let’s get into the Yonex Duora 10 review.

Summary

Power: 7/10

Speed: 9/10

Overall Rating: 8/10

Average Price: $250 CAD

Recommended for: Everyone!

Extras: Medium Flex Shaft, Even Balance, Duora Dual Optium Frame

Where to Buy: Amazon.com

Review Model: 4U G5, Yonex Supergrap Overgrip on top of factory grip, Yonex NBG99 String at 24lbs

Power

The first feeling that came to me when I first played with this racket was its power was really lacking. All my smashes and clears took especially more effort. The medium flex of the shaft and larger head just didn’t feel right to me. I personally prefer stiff rackets with average or smaller heads because I feel they offer a lot more power.

A lot of power comes from how fast you swing the racket. The larger head on the Duora 10 makes it a bit slower for me to swing in which my power is reduced. Although what the Duora 10 lacks in power, it makes up for speed.

Speed

The Duora 10’s weight plays a heavy factor into the speed of the racket. Among other 3U rackets, the Duora 10 is one of the lightest. The Duora 10’s speed allows for me to move quicker on the court than other rackets allow me to and I fatigue much slower. It’s great for defending and playing slice drop shots.

The larger head on the Duora 10 does make the speed feel a little worse but overall it’s still a 9/10.

Head Comparison With The Duora Z Strike

Price and Extras

As one of Yonex’s premium rackets, the Duora 10 goes for around $250 CAD. It has a medium flex shaft, is even balance, and comes in 3U most of the time. As a Duora racket, it comes with the dual optium frame technology in which one side is more optimized for backhands and the other side for forehands. When swinging forehand with the Duora 10, you should see orange if you’re right-handed and green if you’re left-handed and vice versa for backhand.

This racket is great for everyone because of its weight. It’s light enough for quick drives and defense when playing doubles and offers enough power for singles. The larger head of the Duora 10 also makes it good for beginners, intermediate, and advanced players alike. This is because it offers a larger sweet spot making it more difficult to mis hit.

Conclusion

Overall, the Duora 10 is a great racket with top notch speed and decent power. You can buy it here at Amazon.com. The great thing about the Duora 10 is that everyone can use it! Whether you’re advanced, intermediate, or beginner; singles, doubles, or mixed doubles, it is a great racket for all!

Although for me, the Duora 10 isn’t as good as other people list it to be. When I play with it, the power really does lack compared to other high end rackets and the larger head feels awkward for me. But nonetheless the Yonex Duora 10 is still a great racket, it’s just not for me.

Let me know in the comments what your experience is with the Duora 10 and if you have any questions or other comments, please leave them below! As always, good luck in your games and have a great day!

 

 

 

 

Yonex Duora Z Strike Badminton Racket Review – Best Duora Racket?

The Yonex Duora Z Strike was 2017’s flagship racket from Yonex. In the 2017 BWF World Championship in Glasgow, Scotland, Viktor Axelsen became the world champion after beating Lin Dan in the finals with this racket.

This racket has been my main racket and a favorite for quite some time. It offers extremely great power without compromising much speed and has a great feel when playing. Here is my Yonex Duora Z Strike Review.

Summary

Power: 9.5/10

Speed: 7/10

Overall Rating: 8.5/10

Average Price: $270 CAD

Recommended for: Singles, Mixed Doubles’ Men

Extras: Extra Stiff Shaft, Even Balance that’s Slightly Head Heavy

Where to Buy: Amazon.com

Review Model: 3U G4, Factory grip, Yonex BG66 Ultimax string at 29lbs

Power

I gave this racket an extremely high rating at 9.5/10 and I mean it. Overhead shots feel extremely nice on this racket. The Duora Z Strike is also at a very nice weight for me. I have the 3U, G4 edition. Making powerful swings on this racket does not fatigue me at all but it can still produce shots that make a thunderous clap.

I believe the design of the shaft and head weight is what allows for this power without much compromise in speed to happen. This racket is extremely stiff like the Voltric Z Force II but even balance like the Nanoray Z Speed. But what’s different about this racket is that it feels slightly head heavy but not to the point in which it’s harder to react on the defensive. When you combine the even balance and stiff shaft of the Duora Z Strike with the weight of the racket, you get a powerful monster that’s still fast.

Speed

With a speed rating of 7/10, I wouldn’t say the Duora Z Strike is the fastest racket, but it’s quite solid. The racket is quick in defense and driving and isn’t a hassle to drag around in singles. The even balance of this racket is what allows for this.

But the weight is just a little too heavy for most effective use in doubles and mixed doubles women players although I do recommend it for singles players and mixed doubles men players because you will be smashing constantly and it’s not bad for defense.

Price and Extras

But the Yonex Duora Z Strike doesn’t come with all this cheaply. At an average price of $270 CAD, it’s one of the most expensive rackets from Yonex! Though I firmly believe this racket is worth it especially if you’re a singles badminton player because you get so much without much compromise. The Duora Z Strike usually comes in 3U variants and is an even balance (that’s slightly head heavy) racket with an extra stiff shaft.

As a Duora series racket, you probably wondered about its dual frame system. If you haven’t heard about Duora’s dual frame system, I’ll give a quick overview. Basically what it does is that it makes one side optimized to play forehands and the other side optimized to play backhands. It’s a little less obvious than the Duora 10 which side is for which so I’ll explain it right here. When you play forehands you should see black facing you if you’re right-handed and white if you’re left-handed and then the exact opposite for backhands. It’s as simple as that.

Conclusion

You can buy the Yonex Duora Z Strike here at Amazon.com. This racket has been one of my favorites and the main racket I played with for quite some time. The extra stiff shaft and even balance frame that’s slightly head heavy appeals a lot to my feel. This racket’s power is unbelievable and it doesn’t even lose much speed either. I truly believe that it’s one of the best rackets for singles players.

If you want to tell me and others about your own experience or have any questions about this racket, please leave a comment below! As always, good luck in your games and have a great day!

Yonex Nanoray Z Speed Badminton Racket Review – Fast and Powerful

The Yonex Nanoray Z Speed holds the smash record of 491km/h. The lightweight design and theoretical power makes it a very popular racket in my club.

But there’s something about this racket that makes it hard for me to play with. Here’s my Yonex Nanoray Z Speed review.

Summary

Power: 7/10

Speed: 8/10

Overall Rating: 7.5/10

Average Price: $230 CAD

Recommended for: Everyone!

Extras: Smash record, Stiff Shaft, Even balance, 3U

Where to Buy: Amazon.com

Review Model: 3U G4, Factory grip, Yonex BG66 Ultimax at 28lbs

Power – Theoretical?

Although the Yonex Nanoray Z Speed holds the smashing record of 491km/h, I just can’t seem to bring out that power. Compared to something like the Voltric Z Force II, smashes and clears just don’t feel as satisfying. I personally like heavier rackets with a combination of a very stiff shaft for power.

I have the 2017 3U, G4 edition of the Nanoray Z Speed. This racket’s power may not be the best for me, but it’s still very strong. I love the even balance with the stiff shaft. Stiff shafts always give the racket a solid feel especially when combined with weight for me. But unfortunately, the Nanoray Z Speed does not have this weight so does not feel as good for me.

Speed – Very Fast But Clunky

But what the Nanoray Z Speed does have, is speed. The even balance and weight allows for you to make quick shots with this racket. Drives feel really good and overall I move very fast with this racket. But there’s something wrong for me when I play with this racket.

When I play with this racket, I would often hit the edges. Shots I play are also less accurate, especially net shots. At least for me there’s some clunkiness when I play with this racket. Usually it happens with softer shots so drives, smashes, and clears are still relatively accurate and powerful.

Price and Extras

The average price of the Yonex Nanoray Z Speed in Canada is around $230 CAD unstrung. You can buy it here at Amazon.com. Some specifications of this racket is that it comes in 3U, G4 and 3U, G5. It’s a light, even balance racket with a stiff shaft.

The weight and the stiffness of this racket makes it a pretty good racket for intermediate and advanced players and it is great for all types of games. I see this racket being used in singles, doubles, and mixed doubles pro play all the time. The speed and power of this racket are great! This one is especially good for doubles because of its lightweight and even balance for defending against barrages of smashes but the power is also there for you to turn it around and unleash your own barrage.

For singles play, the speed and power is still great but I just couldn’t replicate the power that’s supposed to be there. Some of our strongest smashers in our club use this racket so the power definitely should be there but unfortunately I just couldn’t get the feel. Let me know if you have a similar or different experience with this racket!

Conclusion

The Yonex Nanoray Z Speed is definitely one of Yonex’s premium rackets. Priced at around $230 CAD, it’s a great racket with a good combination of speed and power. I gave it a 7/10 for power and 8/10 for speed and I recommend this racket for all types of advanced and intermediate players. The stiff shaft and even balance of this racket is great for singles, doubles, and mixed doubles. You can buy it here at Amazon.com.

So this is my review of the Yonex Nanoray Z Speed and as always, if you have any questions or comments feel free to leave it below. Good luck in your games and have a great day!

 

 

 

 

Yonex Voltric Z Force II Badminton Racket Review – Swift Powerhouse

The Voltric Z Force II was my second ever racket and I loved it. I was smashing much faster and playing shots effortlessly. Honestly this racket was my first time ever playing with a premium racket and since then I have learned much about rackets and how to choose them. I have a post on how to choose badminton rackets but nevertheless let’s jump into the Yonex Voltric Z Force II review.

Summary

Power: 9/10

Speed: 6/10

Overall Rating: 7.5/10

Average Price: $240 CAD

Recommended For: Singles, Backcourt Mixed Doubles

Extras: Thinnest Shaft, Smaller Head, 3U and 4U

Where To Buy: Amazon.com

Review Model: 4U G5, Factory grip, Yonex NBG99 at 24lbs

Power- Best In Class?

Arguably the best thing about the Voltric Z Force II is its power. The Yonex Voltric series is one dedicated to head heaviness and power and the Voltric Z Force II embodies that completely. Clears and smashes are made effortless and they feel really good. This is because of its head heaviness, weight, and extra stiff shaft.

My Voltric Z Force II is the 3U, G4 edition. The weight is about 88g and it is one of the most head heavy rackets Yonex has made. I absolutely love the stiff shift on the Voltric Z Force II as well. I’m a personal fan of stiff shafts because they just seem to make your shots stronger and more accurate and that’s what the Voltric Z Force II does!

But at what compromise?

Speed- The Compromise

Due to the racket’s head heaviness, the Voltric Z Force II is slower in terms of moving it around. This makes it harder to defend. Another thing I have noticed with this racket is that my backhands are just not as strong despite it being a power racket so definitely beware if your backhand is especially weak.

Although the heaviness of this racket is a benefit to power, it brings down the speed category.

Another thing to note is that carrying a heavy racket brings down your stamina as well. Running around on the court and smashing will tire you out fast with this racket so it’s a good idea to build strength for this racket.

But even after bashing the racket’s speed, it still has some good qualities in this category. The thin and stiff shaft allows for the racket to cut through the air fast and allow you to bring your racket up at an above average speed so it’s all about getting used to it.

Price and Extras

You usually find the Yonex Voltric Z Force II for around $240 CAD and comes in 3U, G4 and 4U, G5. Some other features of the Voltric Z Force II is that it has the thinnest and stiffest shaft on the market. The head of the racket is also slightly smaller than other rackets making the sweet spot to hit shuttles smaller. The combination of the stiffness and the slightly smaller head makes this racket rated for advanced players. It will take a little time to get used to.

I recommend this racket for singles players and mixed doubles mens players, though not as much. Because singles usually has less smashes than a doubles game, this is racket is great because quickly switching to do quick blocks is uncommon.

As for mixed doubles mens players, I recommend it a bit less but it’s still okay. Mixed doubles is a bit slower paced than regular doubles and consists of a lot more net play and drop shots. As a guy, you will defend against less smashes too since mixed doubles players like to smash towards the girl. But since it’s doubles, it’s still faster paced than singles so the Voltric Z Force II may be harder to use.

Conclusion

With an average price of $240 CAD without the strings, the Voltric Z Force II is by no means cheap, but it is definitely worth it for its price. You can buy this racket on Amazon.com. As one of Yonex’s premium rackets, its ratings are exceptional. A 9/10 in power and a 6/10 in speed gives it a recommendation for singles players and mens mixed doubles players. The thin and stiff shaft also gives this racket a great feel. The Voltric Z Force II has been a favorite for some time. It’s like an old classic.

This is my review on the Voltric Z Force II and if you have any questions or comments, please leave them below. I am always open to review suggestions and I hope to give you as much information as possible. Good luck in your games!