The DriveX is one of Victor’s newer badminton racket series and is designated as an all-rounded racket series with the 9X being their flagship racket. Greysia Polli and Apriyani Rahayu play with this racket. It would be interesting to see if Siti Fadia Silva Ramadhanti, Apriyani Rahayu’s current partner who has recently moved to Victor, will also be playing with this racket.
In terms of looks, an obvious, unique feature is the twist in the frame at the 5 and 7 o'clock regions of the racket. I’ve not seen something like this for a while now, the last being Carlton's Razor 1.2 or 1.3. The Razors looked cool but, sadly, didn't play as well as they looked in my opinion.
In terms of colour, I noted that the racket appears to be in very dark navy or black in the photos of the rackets on Victor's official website. However, when I received the racket, I was pleasantly surprised that it was in a relatively lighter shade of navy blue and matched incredibly well with the blue Aerobite strings I had on it. I also like the holographic blue decals and pink streaks on the frame and shaft as they make the racket look futuristic and cool.
Next, let's look at the measurements. The DriveX 9 X has a shaft diameter of 6.8mm and a shaft length of 21.5cm. The shaft is connected to a Free Core handle which comes in at 17.5cm. For those new to my blog, a Free Core handle is Victor’s proprietary plastic molded handle which is designed to help the racket shaft flex a little bit better. In terms of length, the Drive X 9X is 675mm long.
In terms of its frame, it has a frame height of 24cm and a frame width of 18.5cm, coupled with a top-half recessed frame profile. However, because of the twist design in the racket frame, its frame thickness varies all around. The non-twisted sections of the frame are 9.9mm thick, pretty thin for a badminton racket. The twisted 5 and 7 o'clock regions, however, are even thinner at 8.8mm! That’s the thinnest frame I’ve ever measured on my YouTube channel or this blog.
If you have come across badminton racket frames thinner than 8.8mm, please do let me know in the comments section below. In the meantime, if you want to protect your precious badminton racket frames, go onto ckyew.com/shop and check out the invisible Premium Racket Protection Tapes!
The DriveX 9X I have for testing is in 4UG5 and strung with my usual setup of Aerobite strings at 27lbs by 29lbs. At 4U, the 9X is rated for 28lbs, which is slightly lower than other top-end Victor rackets such as the Thruster Ryuga, the Thruster F Enhanced, and even the Auraspeed 90K. The grip also felt bigger than an ordinary G5.
In terms of feel, the DriveX 9X is fast. I would consider it to be an even-balanced, leaning towards being a slightly head-light, racket. That's why it’s fast. It is also really steady, reliable and easy to play with. It is certainly a very pleasant doubles racket that would give you good lengths in your clears and lifts.
However, due to the racket's unique frame shape, its swings don't feel as smooth as the other head-light rackets, such as the Yonex Nanoflare 800. It also does not generate much raw power, as you would expect from a head-light racket, so you will definitely have to work a bit harder on strength and timing to generate power from this racket.
In many ways, the DriveX 9X reminds me a lot of the Yonex Arcsaber 7 Pro. Both are even-balanced to slightly head-light rackets, pretty pliable and fast. The difference is the Yonex Arcsaber 7 Pro feels smoother. If we compare the DriveX 9X to the Auraspeed 90K, the Auraspeed 90K feels stiffer and provides a sharper response which I personally prefer.
Overall, I do agree with Victor that the DriveX 9X is a great all-rounded racket. See you in the next post!