At last I've put enough hours into this racquet to made a final updated comprehensive review on this racquet. (Updated19th March 2011)
I played mostly doubles (and half court singles)
TOC (time on court) when making final review:
8 x Warm ups (Half court singles) + 28 x (21 point doubles games) = total 16 hours game play
Specs: 3UG5 SP version
Balance: Head heavy
Shuttles used: (speed 2) Yonex AS40
Strings: Yonex BG80 tension 27lbs
Grips: original + Karakal overgrip
Racquets Specs: please see manufacturer's website
Review and breakdown of shots tried:
Power: 10/10 (4U may be lesser)
Synopsis: Felt that the racquet is rather solid ala AT900P and packs an umph when clearing full court and smashing. I felt the head is rather heavy and lactic acid (owing to the weight on the head) builds up quickly on the wrist. Same class as AT900P and AT700 in terms of power. Smashes are sharp and crisp, during play the shaft doesn't feel that stiff , which allows steeper smashes. Clears are effortless and so is a forehand drive baseline to baseline. The 3U in this regard I believed should be for singles and the 4U (lighter) should be for doubles.
Clear: back-court to back-court and crosscourt full length clear to opponent's backhand side.
Smashes: Straight and crosscourt
Drives: hard straight and forehand/backhand to the corners
Control: 9.5/10 (4U version may be similar or lesser)
Synopsis: Felt that the racquet is rather solid and stable while cutting through the air, hence it's easy to control shots to the four corners of the court. The sweet spot is rather large (compared to a Z-Slash) and less likely to hit an off-centered shot. I include netshots here as the stability and aerodynamics of the racquets allows it to play deceptively fast and well at the net.
Drops: checked/slice/reversed to the 2 front net corners
Netshots: Crosscourt net
Netshots: hairpin/tumbling netshot
Clears: to the 2 back court corners
Smashes: down the line
Push: flat and low to half court
Defense: 7.5/10 (4U version may be better)
Synopsis: Surprisingly, despite the weight of the head, the racquet is easy to defend. I managed to backhand lift smashes to the backcourt a few times but drive return is a better option with a head heavy racquet. However, owing to the weight, lifting tires the wrist pretty fast, hence a slightly lower rating. The aerodynamics of the racquet somewhat compensates for the heaviness of the head(since the racquet head moves very fast to intercept the shuttle). Be sure to do some weight/resistance training on your wrist/fingers if you want to defend well with the backhand...in a long match.
Lifts: backhand and forehand full court
Drive: backhand and forehand drive return
Block: backhand and forehand straight
Maneuverability: 8/10 (4U version may be better)
Synopsis: This racquet is surprisingly agile, though not in the class of a top headlight racquet. The racquet head speed is very high and the the swing is fast. Possibly, if the handle was slightly longer, then it would be even more maneuverable...(It's no fault of the racquet but my preference). The (slim shaft & frame) aerodynamics improved the handling of the racquet. This is true when near the net, like doing a netkill. I also find that catching body smashes and doing last minute double action shots are pretty fast and comfortable.
Crosscourt net shot
Crosscourt smash return block and crosscourt whip
Defending body smashes: reflex block, between the leg/behind the back defensive block
Hold & flick shots
Feel: 9.5/10 (4U may be the same or lesser)
Synopsis: The racquet felt solid owing to the 'meatier' head compared to the more frail VT70. Felt close to AT900P hence I gave it a high rating. I guess the manufacturer fix the feel of the previous VT70. The stiffness of the racquet also helps to channel the bounce of the shuttle on the stringbed to my hand. No bad vibration...only good vibes. The audio provided by the manufacturer's sound filter makes for some nice 'music' to boot. (apologies for the sound filter joke, can't help myself)
Total rating: 8.9/10
Pros : Tremendous power, excellent control & feel with good defence and very good maneuverability. Smashing racquet par excellence.
Cons: cost and not suitable for beginner who are not used to a stiff and real head-heavy racquet. A bit tiring to use for a long but fast game.
Suitability : aggressive attacking or all-around players.
Need skill level of at least intermediate/advanced.
For singles 3U is better...(4U for doubles).
Not suitable for beginners or defensive players.
Footnote: this review was done as a hobby and as an interest to inform fellow badminton enthusiast. This is my personal opinion and in no form to promote this racquet.
Conflict of interest: None
Reference: Yonex website (accessed @ 01/03/11)
Badmintoncentral.com (accessed @ 01/03/11)
YONEX/Sunrise sports recommendation for player type:
For players looking for a stiff racquet with an ultra long shaft that delivers an explosion of power with every swing.
Yonex rating 1-5
(Ref: Yonex badminton chart)
Date: 30th November 2011
Racquet Type: Voltric 80 4UG5 SP
Strung with Yonex BG66 Ultimax @ 24lbs using Yonex ES5 PROTECH
Grip: Karakal Super PU
Shuttle used: Yonex AS40 speed 2
Very similar to the 3U version but notably faster and agile. The racquet still stings with its head heavy momentum but having better handling. Better suited to doubles game than 3U version but equally good for singles.