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Sunday, December 14, 2014

Yonex Nanoray900 Review

Review Date: 14 December 2014
Racquet Type: Yonex Nanoray900 SP version
Specs: 3UG5
Flex: Stiff+
Balance: 285mm (Head Light Balance)
Strings: Yonex BG66 Ultimax
Tension: 25lbs, pre-stretched using Yonex ES5PROTECH
Grip: Yonex cushion wrap + original grip + Toalson overgrip
Technology: Super HMG, Nanopreme & X-Fullerene etc.

First Impression:

This racquet made its debut early this year around May and is the main racquet of choice by Muhammad Ahsan and Hendra Setiawan. A successor to Nanoray 800 and arguably the Nanoray Z-Speed. It occupies the niche of a fast attacking doubles racquet. The colours and physical shape can be found in Yonex Website.

Final comprehensive review

I played mostly doubles (and half court singles)

TOC (time on court) when making review:

total of 20 hours of game play.

Warm Ups:
Warming involves baseline to baseline forehand clears.
Clears are long and far owing to the aerodynamics of the racquet and how fast the racquet swings.
If one word is to describe this racquet is 'sharp-shooting'. My reason is it's stiff yet fast owing to the repulsive nature of the frame, with a unique frame design, which claimed to create steeper angle of smash.

When contacted on the sweetspot, the force imparted on the shuttlecock can be felt acutely on your hands, i.e. the repulsion. Although, these could also be attributed to the strings you used.

Drives are pretty fast owing to the 'aerodynamic' slim frame and shaft. The racquet is very manoeuvrable and hence very good for fast reaction.
The racquet shaft is similar to Nanoray Z-Speed and felt that the stiffness is the same. However, Yonex claimed to make the frame of the Nanoray 900 different which will give the smash steeper angle. I do feel that the racquet cuts differently when slicing the shuttle or hitting downwards. Eventhough, Yonex specification gave me the hindsight, the frame definitely feels different when I perform an overhead stroke.
Perhaps it's the effort of the designers to improve the power of a headlight racquet. The 'kickpoint' is move higher up to the frame,

Game Time:
I won't go into detail each and every shot tried.
Generally since I am playing doubles, receiving of serve and serve are great as expected for a fast and light racquet.
The headlightness of the head of this racquet is apparent, as one can comfortably and easily whip the racquet to hit shuttle comfortably with the backhand strokes for fast jabs.
Owing to the head lightness, this racquet is very easy to handle, easy to go short handle grip to long handle grip.
Not much fatigue felt on my hands after an hour of game.

Front court: Aerodynamics of the racquet and the slim shaft of the racquet allow quick and fast reaction to perform netshots, netkills and crosscourt net shots. Racquet cuts very fast through the air.

Midcourt: This racquet plays good in the mid court range area as it is both good in attack and jabs. The fast handling and aerodynamics allows fast reaction. As for drive shots, this racquet can rival the best headlight racquets, that I have used particularly Nanospeed 9900. Backhand drive is excellent. A smash at midcourt is almost a guaranteed kill; especially when connected on the sweetspot, one can feel the repulsion and the focus of the impact on the racquet driving the shuttle to the floor.

Back court:
Basically smashes, drops and clears in backcourt. This racquet is great at the back, pumping smashes and full length clears. However, I feel a lack of momentum compared to headheavy racquets when doing the full swing. Extra pronation of the wrist needed to generate power.

Control is excellent, slicing (normal and reverse) and checked drops are precise, fast and relatively accurate. However if the pace is faster, control suffers owing to smaller sweetspot and mistiming issues (racquet swings too fast). This is a common issue among the latest model racquets with smaller frame.

An improvement to Nanoray 800 with more repulsion more aerodynamic slimmer frame. A head light racquet with a better handling compared to other models. Good for fast strokes, but control is sacrifice at a faster pace (owing to smaller head and timing issues: fast swing).

Feel: 9.0/10

Control: 9.0/10

Power: 9.5/10

Defence: 10/1

Maneuverability: 10/10

Pros: Maneuverability on the defence and very fast swing.

Cons: Hard to connect the sweetspot consistently (perhaps improve over time) and control is not as consistent with my other racquet owing to timing issues (racquet swings too fast).

Suitability: intermediate/advanced players 3U and 2U

Player type: Fast racquet for defence and counter-attacking.

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 @ 17/1/15)


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Peter Tang said...

Could be late for comment, but I'm wondering if a 2U nanoray900 racket will improve the performance? slowing the swing speed a little and add some power to the shots?