The latest release from Yonex (in March 2020) is the Yonex Astrox 100 ZZ. It boasts a hyper-slim shaft and a solid core which help to generate extremely swift snapback and swing speed. The fully recessed frame profile also assists the swing speed as it reduces drag from the frame.
The Yonex Astrox 100 ZZ was manufactured in Japan and is aimed at advanced players, especially those seeking immediate power for a strong attack. It is described as being the best choice for offensive-oriented players. I wanted to put this to the test. You can see my video below where I tested this racket:
Player Level: Advanced
Player Style: Power
Frame: HM Graphite/ NAMD/ Tungsten/ Black Micro Core/ Nanometric
Weight/Grip Size: 4U (83g)/ 5,6 and 3U (87g) / 4,5,6
Recommended String: For Control Players: AEROBITE BOOST. For Hard Hitters: BG66 FORCE
Stringing: 4U: 20-28 lbs. 3 U: 21-29 lbs
Racket Balance: Head Heavy
Flex: Extra Stiff
Head Shape: Isometric
NAMD- Revolutionary Graphite: NAMD is a new dimension graphite material. Usually nanomaterials are combined with resin that connects with graphite fibres, however in Namd the nanomaterials adhere directly to the graphite fibres. Due to such a massive improvement, the shaft stores energy and delivers explosive force when it connects with the shuttle.
Another advantage of this technology is that even if the speed increases, Namd doesn’t harden and it maintains its flex, as compared to conventional graphite which hardens with an increase in speed.
NANOMETRIC: NANOMETRIC material applies the NANOALLOY Technology. It reduces the amount of carbon in the shaft, making it thinner than a conventional racket but still retaining its stiffness. Due to its light weight, the racket has phenomenal head speed and control.
AERO+BOX FRAME: This cross section of the racket head combines aero plus box frame designs, leading to merging of solid hitting feel and quick swing.
ISOMETRIC HEAD SHAPE: The Isometric head shape optimises the intersection of the main and cross string, increasing the sweet spot by 7% (tested by Yonex).
GROMMET PATTERN: The single-pass Grommet pattern of this racket has more grommet holes, resulting in a high-performance stringing pattern.
ROTATIONAL GENERATOR SYSTEM: This system applies the counterbalance theory wherein the weight is distributed throughout the frame top, joint, and the grip end. This allows for maximum control and smoother transition to the next shot.
SOLID FEEL CORE: Due to the solid feel core, any harmful vibration is cut at impact.
HYPER SLIM SHAFT: The slim shaft is designed in such a way that it slices through air and generates speedy power. This is the slimmest shaft that Yonex has created to date.
ENERGY BOOST CAP: The redesigned shape of the cap maximises the shaft’s performance. The sides arch-shaped curve prevents the shaft from twisting and the front allows the shaft to flex.
BLACK MICRO CORE: This is a “stiff, high-density vibration-dampening material” which is present in the upper part of the frame. It allows the player to hit with solid feeling and power.
BUILT IN T-JOINT: The racket boasts a built-in T-joint which is lightweight. This increases the shuttle stability on the strings and maximises power and control.
MY YONEX ASTROX 100 ZZ REVIEW
Since Yonex have claimed that Atrox 100 ZZ has surpassed any technological aspects of previous rackets, I had to test it out. I bought the racket online for £160. The racket arrived with a case and a grip. The design and colour of the racket were pleasing to the eye.
I found the shaft to be stiff. I tend to go for a lighter version so I got the 4U range. The shaft has a solid interior as stated by Yonex. As it has a slightly smaller isometric head shape in comparison with other isometric shaped rackets, the sweet spot is also slightly smaller.
It appears that the racket is aimed at advanced level players and with this in mind I did find that the racket was particularly unforgiving if I mistimed the shot.
Testing the Astrox 100 ZZ on the Court
I took to the court to see how the Astrox ZZ performed in a game. I tested its accuracy, its control at the net, its power and its defensive skills.
Accuracy – To test its accuracy my friend and I laid out some cones on a court. My friend would feed me some shuttlecocks and I would try to hit the cones. I did not manage to hit any of the cones but I sometimes came close.
Overall, the accuracy was excellent. If you were using this racket in a game you would feel very confident that you would hit your target. However, the one drawback was that if you mistimed your shot the shuttle could go anywhere.
Net shots – The more I got used to playing with the racket, the more I was in control when playing shots at the net. The shuttle seemed to bounce delicately off the strings, and I was able to make tight net shots. This racket is aimed particularly at singles players. In singles one of the most important shots is the net shot, so this was an added bonus.
Power – Since it has a heavy and stiff frame, I was expecting considerable power to be generated. Although there was a noticeable difference in power compared to other rackets, it was not a huge difference. I could certainly hit the shuttle harder, with more power than when I play with my other rackets.
Defensive skills – Finally, we looked at the racket’s defensive skills. I was not expecting much from this racket on account of its heavy head frame. I was, however, pleasantly surprised! I found playing defensive shots so simple and easy that I would be confident playing against a big smasher if I were using this racket.
Overall, I achieved great control and accuracy, and despite it being a head heavy racket it was quick on defensive shots. When my friend and I played some games with this racket, I found backhand clears easy to play. With the smash it gave me more power, but if I didn’t strike the sweet spot the shuttle would hit the frame.