Victor Auraspeed 90K Badminton Racket Review- The Underrated Gem
The Victor Auraspeed 90K is used by the top Danish men’s singles player, Anders Antonsen, and, honestly, it is rather rare for a men’s singles player to play with a head-light racket. Most men’s singles players prefer head-heavier rackets for better pace, weight and stability of their shots. In fact, a quick look at the current world top 10 badminton players and you’ll realize that everyone plays with a head-heavy racket, except Anders.
Personally, I prefer head-heavier rackets because I often struggle to generate enough power with head-light rackets, especially if they are whippy. Well, my technique, timing and physicality are far from excellent to begin with and I am not a pro who can just grab any racket and still produce amazing shots. For me, a suitable racket makes a huge difference to my game and I can tell you, the Auraspeed 90K is a good one.
Before I begin my review, I would like to thank Central Sports for loaning me their test racket for this review. Folks, remember to use my discount code “CKYEW” when you shop with Central Sports for an additional discount.
Now let’s get to business.
In terms of looks, the Auraspeed 90K is certainly not the fairest of them all in the world of badminton rackets. In fact, it looks pretty bland and basic. The racket looks quite dated and has an underwhelming shaft design that just has some holographic foil randomly plastered on. You won’t see any bright futuristic colour schemes, it doesn’t have any cool graphic designs (unlike the Thruster Ryuga or even the Thruster F Enhanced Edition), and it doesn’t even have my favourite classy matte finishings (perhaps matte wasn’t a thing when this racket first came out in 2019). If you are a sucker for cool-looking rackets, you will be disappointed. But hey, as the saying goes, you should never judge a book by its cover, because the Auraspeed 90K plays way better than it looks. More on playing performance later on.
Its racket frame design reminds me a lot of the Auraspeed 100X since they both share Victor’s Dynamic Sword frame design where the 3 and 9 o’clock regions are recessed on the inside. The Auraspeed 90K and Auraspeed 100X also both have the Nano Fortify TR and the Rebound Transition Construction (RTC) which means specific areas of the frame have different flex ratings so they recoil differently to help with the hitting feel. Like the Ryuga 1, the Auraspeed 90K adopts the Hard Core Technology and the Whipping Enhancement System (WES).
For measurements, the Auraspeed 90K has a 6.9mm shaft diameter, which is thinner than both the Ryuga 1 and the Auraspeed 100X, both of which measured in at 7.1mm. It has a similar shaft length compared with the Auraspeed 100X at 21cm. It also has a frame height of 24cm, frame width of 18.5cm and frame thickness of 9.9mm. Frame thickness of anything under 10mm is pretty thin and fast, I would say, and adding to its speed is its unique recessed areas. The Auraspeed 90K has 40% of its upper frame recessed on the outside, with the outer recessed area stopping at the 3 and 9 o’clock regions. At the 3 and 9 o’clock regions, the Dynamic Sword feature is adopted and the recessed areas are on the inside of the frame. Its wooden handle is 17cm in length, and finally, the racket I tested with was a 4UG5 model strung with my usual Aerobite string at 27lbs by 29lbs.
Now we get to the most important bit, its playing performance. In a nutshell, the Auraspeed 90K plays amazingly well! As I’ve mentioned before, I’m normally not a big fan of head-light rackets as they often lack punch. They are also usually made to be more flexible and thus they tend to feel spongy. The only other head-light racket I was very impressed with was the Yonex Nanoflare 800, and the Auraspeed 90K is certainly as impressive. The Nanoflare 800, in my opinion, is faster than the Auraspeed 90K as the Nanoflare 800 has a smaller head and slimmer frame. However, the Auraspeed 90K has a very crisp and easy-hitting feel, making it really user-friendly and fun to play with. In fact, I think it is more user-friendly that the Thruster F Enhanced Edition. Being head-lighter than the Thruster F, the Auraspeed 90K is faster and very responsive to almost all the shots I played.
The Auraspeed 90K has great control and any shots that are neutral from the front and mid-court can be easily dealt with. Switching over to defending and counterattacking is also very effortless. You won’t have to worry about clears and drops, even under pressure. However, overhead power shots might require a bit more patience, not forgetting that this is a head-light racket. Hence, for all-out smashing, you will have to adjust your technique a little to allow for more body weight transfer to add a bit more weight and bite into your shots. I can certainly understand why Anders Antonsen enjoys playing with this racket! I am guessing that he might be using the 3U model to compensate for more power. Sadly, 3U versions are not available in Europe. Anders, if you are reading this, I would be extremely grateful if you would please let us know what spec you are playing with.
Interestingly, I wasn’t the only one who found the Auraspeed 90K very pleasant to play with. One of my clubmates borrowed it for a couple of hits during one of our games, and he liked it so much that he immediately went and bought 2 of them! So if you are someone who likes a fast, responsive and crisp racket, I think you will enjoy playing with the Auraspeed 90K. For me, this racket has certainly gone up very highly as one of my favourite “off-day” rackets. It’s a shame that its paint job is so underwhelming, nonetheless, it is still an amazing racket!