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The Ultimate Power Racket:Yonex Astrox 100ZZ vs Astrox 88D Pro vs Astrox 99 Pro vs Voltric Z Force 2

I get asked this a lot. Like, really a lot. Is the Astrox 100ZZ more powerful than the Astrox 88D Pro?


So I’m going to break it all down for you and, at the same time, talk about two other rackets that also features very highly on the power list - the Astrox 99 Pro and last generation’s ultimate OG Yonex power racket, the Voltric Z Force 2.

CKYEW Yonex Head Heavy Racket Matrix
Yonex Head Heavy Racket Matrix


To explain and discuss the overall dynamics behind the best and most powerful racket, I’m going to compare the rackets based on their handling or manoeuvrability, user-friendliness, feel and lastly, power.


Handling or Manoeuvrability:

  1. Astrox 88D Pro

  2. Astrox 100ZZ

  3. Astrox 99 Pro

  4. Voltric Z Force 2

CKYEW Yonex Voltric Z Force 2
Yonex Voltric Z Force 2

In terms of handling, I would consider all four rackets, including the Voltric Z Force 2 to be quick and nimble, considering they are all head heavy rackets. All four rackets have fully recessed frame profiles which makes them really quick. If I had to rank them, I would put the Astrox 88D Pro as the fastest in terms of handling, followed by the Astrox 100ZZ! Controversial huh?! Third on my list would be the Astrox 99 Pro before ending with the Voltric Z Force 2.


If you are confused, let me explain. Out of the four rackets, the Astrox 88D Pro is the one with the lightest head alongside the most pliable shaft and frame stiffness compared to the other three so it's clear why it’s the fastest. The Astrox 100ZZ, for some reason, feels solid but nimble. Perhaps the skinniest head alongside the solid hyper slim shaft here is the magic secret sauce getting it to glide through the air.



CKYEW Yonex Astrox 100ZZ
Yonex Astrox 100ZZ

The Astrox 99 Pro for me just felt smoother compared to the Voltric Z Force 2 so that's why it's ahead. I remember playing with the Voltric Z Force 2 when it first came out and was just amazed at how much faster it was compared to the Armortecs, and I have the same feeling with the Astrox rackets. The Voltric Z Force 2 isn't slow at all, it's just the Astrox are faster.



User-friendliness:

  1. Astrox 88D Pro

  2. Astrox 100ZZ

  3. Astrox 99 Pro

  4. Voltric Z Force 2

CKYEW Yonex Astrox 88D Pro
Yonex Astrox 88D Pro

If we then move onto the user-friendliness category, in other words, determining how demanding the racket is to play with. For this category, I would repeat the same rankings I have for handling and manoeuvrability. The Astrox 88D Pro, in my view, is the easiest to play with, then comes the Astrox 100ZZ before ending with the Astrox 99 Pro and the Voltric Z Force 2.



When I played with the Voltric Z Force 2 again recently, I was just shocked at how everything felt so stiff, even though I used to love the Voltric Z Force 2 and had four of them, in 3U too! It's not just the shaft that’s stiff but the racket face too. The level of demand to produce well-timed shots under pressure was incredible. If your technique doesn't hold up under pressure then you’re going to struggle to produce good shots. If you’re on a bad day, you’re not going to find much pace with the Voltric Z Force 2 so if you’re late to a shuttle, forget it.



CKYEW Yonex Astrox 99 Pro
Yonex Astrox 99 Pro

On the other hand, I find the Astrox 100ZZ surprisingly easy to play with compared to the other three rackets. It somehow feels similar to the Voltric Z Force 2 but isn't! It’s certainly stiff, but it's the nice kind of stiff where the shuttle listens to you and goes where you need it to go. No matter how and at what angle or stroke you hit the shuttle, it has that consistent solid feel to it.


When it comes to the Astrox 99 Pro, it certainly has the biggest sweetspot out of the four rackets so that’s why it came in front of the Voltric Z Force 2. However, due to its head being the heaviest, it stays in third place for me.


Feel:

  1. Astrox 100ZZ

  2. Voltric Z Force 2

  3. Astrox 88D Pro

  4. Astrox 99 Pro

CKYEW Yonex Astrox 88D Pro
Yonex Astrox 88D Pro

In terms of feel, the Astrox 100ZZ wins it for me. It used to be the Voltric Z Force 2 for me but after spending a lot of time testing the rackets again recently, the Astrox 100ZZ emerged as the new winner. Third on the list would be the Astrox 88D Pro, and the Astrox 99 Pro feels the worst for me by being the softest of the bunch. Of course, we won’t be doing the Astrox 99 Pro any justice by saying it’s soft. It's only soft when compared in this group.


With the Voltric Z Force 2, the bigger the power stroke, the better it feels. In terms of power smashing, there is nothing that comes close to that signature solid feeling that the Voltric Z Force 2 brings. But outside of that, everything feels a bit "meh", especially if you don't get good contact with the shuttle.


The Astrox 88D Pro comes third due to it being a steady performer and feeling consistent. It certainly doesn't feel as stiff as the Astrox 100ZZ or the Voltric Z Force 2 but just a step down below them. I certainly believe the bigger gaps of the strings in the centre of the racket face contributes to this but the end result certainly gives you the biggest sweetspot! So if you want a more solid feeling, go with a stiffer than usual string such as the BG80.



Ultimate Power:

  1. Voltric Z Force 2

  2. Astrox 100ZZ

  3. Astrox 99 Pro

  4. Astrox 88D Pro

We now move into the crucial point of discussion, power, and I’m going to discuss this in terms of their ultimate raw power as well as their effective power. Why is this relevant? This is because a lot of players look at racket specs and think that super stiff and head-heavy rackets will definitely have lots of power. All things being equal, you’re probably right. But super stiff and super head-heavy rackets generally don't have very good playability or user-friendliness.

CKYEW Yonex Voltric Z Force 2
Yonex Voltric Z Force 2

For ultimate power, nothing beats the Voltric Z Force 2. Pure and simple. So much raw power with crispy feeling. An extremely close second in my opinion is the Astrox 100ZZ which some might say possess the ultimate power. Third on the list for me is the Astrox 99 Pro. It might have the heaviest head of them all but its shaft certainly isn't as stiff as the Voltric Z Force 2 and lastly, it’ll be the Astrox 88D Pro. On most comparisons, the Astrox 88D Pro would certainly feature highly as a power racket but not on this power-laden list.


Effective Power:

  1. Astrox 100ZZ

  2. Astrox 88D Pro

  3. Astrox 99 Pro

  4. Voltric Z Force 2

CKYEW Yonex Astrox 100ZZ
Yonex Astrox 100ZZ

We now swap our viewing angles and here I list the effective power rackets and surprise surprise, the Astrox 100ZZ comes out on top. There’s just something with that Astrox 100ZZ which just oozes power and the ability to transfer all that onto the shuttle. If you’re out of position, the Astrox 100ZZ would still be able to respond with enough playability to get you out of jail. I believe this is also the reason why so many pros play with the Astrox 100ZZ. It does have that distinct solid feeling which is only beaten by the Voltric Z Force 2 whilst possessing so much more playability with so much power. An outright win for the ultimate best power Yonex badminton racket.



CKYEW Yonex Astrox 88D Series
Yonex Astrox 88D Series

Second on my effective power list is the Astrox 88D Pro for me. This thing is so fast because it's not extremely head heavy and this speed is transferred onto the shuttle during power shots. The Astrox 88D Pro perhaps works better on players who don't play a purely aggressive power game. The Astrox 88D Pro wins on effective easy power with amazing amounts of playability and certainly my racket of choice too.


We then look at the Astrox 99 Pro and Voltric Z Force 2 and why I had listed them third and last on my effective power list. The Astrox 99 Pro certainly has a big sweet spot but because of how head heavy it is, you are limited by the number of places which you can utilise its head weight. Anything that is not an overhead power shot will be somewhat a liability in this regard and to the general player, it might just limit or wreck your game. Perhaps why so few pros use the Astrox 99 Pro on the circuit too.


CKYEW Yonex Astrox 99 Pro
Yonex Astrox 99 Pro

The same can be said for the Voltric Z Force 2. Sure if you had all the time in the world to prep for your big smash for a half-court lift, you can unleash all that power. But that doesn't happen very often in a game. Most of the time in good close games, we are forced under pressure from our opponents and the Voltric Z Force 2 does you no favours at all aside from power shots. It might be the racket with the ultimate raw power but if you’re in no position to unleash it, it's pretty much useless.


Thinking back on the days I was playing with the 3U Voltric Z Force 2, I now realise how restrictive that was to my game and development. I actually hit harder now with a lighter racket which is more forgiving, and it makes badminton more enjoyable to play.


Overall, the Astrox 100ZZ is certainly the ultimate power Yonex badminton racket. I would recommend starting with the 4U model, and you might be pleasantly surprised.


If you are interested to know more about each of the rackets mentioned above, feel free to check out my other blog posts!