Updated: Oct 4, 2022
Are you ready for a comparison of three generations of Arcsaber? In this post, we will be comparing the latest Yonex Arcsaber 11 Pro against the previous two flagship Yonex Arcsabers, namely the Yonex Arcsaber 11 and the OG, the Yonex Arcsaber 10.
The Yonex Arcsaber 10 has been my favourite racket for about a decade now. I started using it when it launched in 2008 and I 100% remember the day when I broke my first Arcsaber --- honestly, I shed a tear for it. Those who follow my YouTube channel closely will know that I’ve only swapped over the Yonex Astrox 88D Pro in the second half of 2021, so it has been a while since I played with an Arcsaber.
As soon as I started warming up with my good old Yonex Arcsaber 10, everything that is familiar about the Arcsaber 10 just came back to me. Despite being a 3U racket, it is even-balance and produces steady shots whilst being pretty evenly stiff throughout the racket. It also has a comfortable and responsive hitting feeling. The Arcsaber 10 is back baby!
Noting that this hall that George and I were playing in was a big hall, hence the shuttles tend to be slow. But with the Arcsaber 10, I didn't have to make any adjustments to how I was hitting or moving and everything just naturally clicked. Yes, it is slightly slower than my Astrox 88D Pro due to the bigger head, and having only a top half recessed frame profile but it certainly has enough power for me.
As soon as I switch to the Yonex Arcsaber 11, I immediately felt the Yonex Arcsaber 11 is smoother than the Yonex Arcsaber 10. I believe this is due to the Yonex Arcsaber 11's frame being more rounded with a more aggressive curve compared to the Yonex Arcsaber 10's, which makes the Arcsaber 11 slightly faster when swinging against the wind. Remember the Arcsaber 11 was released in February 2013 so it's also a really old model itself. But I guess in this situation, old is gold.
The Arcsaber 11 certainly has a softer hitting feeling compared to the Arcsaber 10. This is actually down to the increased hold time of the Arcsaber 11 in comparison to the Arcsaber 10 which has more repulsion. Back when the Arcsaber 11 was released, something new back then which was called the T-anchor was incorporated into the racket then, which is still retained in the latest generation of Arcsaber 11 Pro nine years later. This shows how good an effect it had on the racket itself!
The Arcsaber 11 had all the same measurements and dimensions as the Arcsaber 10, from the head size, to the shaft and handle length, etc. As the Arcsaber 11 and Arcsaber 10 I had were both 3U rackets, the effect of switching from the Arcsaber 10 to Arcsaber 11 in this instance was minimal. As usual for an Arcsaber racket, the Arcsaber 11 does not lack power and I wouldn't say it has more power than the Arcsaber 10. Both had the same amount of power, just the Arcsaber 11 feels softer and smoother.
When I swapped to the Arcsaber 11 Pro, the only immediately noticeable difference between the Arcsaber 11 and the Arcsaber 11 Pro would be the new frame design. Whilst the Arcsaber 11 and the Arcsaber 10 have top half recessed frames, the Arcsaber 11 Pro has recesses at 4 different sections around the racket frame. The Arcsaber 11 Pro’s frame is also a touch thinner compared to the Arcsaber 11 and the Arcsaber 10 whilst having identical frame height and width. Here’s a fact, if you like the Arcsaber 11, you’ll like the Arcsaber 11 Pro.
In addition, the Arcsaber 11 Pro certainly has more hold time than the Arcsaber 11 and Arcsaber 10, and more hold time is certainly a Yonex racket trend. Even for example, the modern Astroxs, like the Astrox 99 Pro, have more hold time and bigger sweet spots. For the Arcsaber 11 Pro, having more hold time makes it feel slightly softer than the Arcsaber 11, so definitely softest of the three Arcsabers but not by much. With that said, the Arcsaber 11 Pro also has a slightly thinner and longer shaft compared to the Arcsaber 11 and Arcsaber 10.
If I were to rank the Arcsabers according to their repulsion, feel and hold time --- for repulsion, I would rank the Arcsaber 10 the highest, followed by the Arcsaber 11 and ending with the Arcsaber 11 Pro.
For feel, the Arcsaber 10 would be the crispiest, followed by the Arcsaber 11 and again ending with the Arcsaber 11 Pro. But when I say the Arcsaber 10 feels crispiest, it's not crispy like the Z Force 2 or the Astrox 100ZZ, or even the old school Nanospeed 900. It feels a couple of notches below those rackets I mentioned but only when you are comparing the Arcsabers among themselves, then the Arcsaber 10 is certainly the crispiest.
In terms of hold time, the Arcsaber 11 Pro absolutely comes on top, followed by the Arcsaber 11 before ending with the Arcsaber 10. You can see the results are the complete opposite in terms of repulsion and hold time, that's just physics. If you want something to sit in with that trampoline effect, it's going to absorb more energy before releasing it again hence feeling softer. With the hold time of the Arcsaber 11 Pro, you can certainly feel the shuttle biting onto the strings, especially if you’re an Aerobite lover like me. Additionally, I also feel that the more relaxed you are with the Arcsaber 11 Pro, the more you’ll get out of it. Don't force it, it’ll come to you.
I do have one thing to add, if we are only comparing the three Arcsaber rackets, under lots of pressure, the Arcsaber 11 Pro will be the easiest to play with, and it will get the shuttle to go where you want it to go due to the increased hold time. The Arcsaber 10 and Arcsaber 11 lag behind the Arcsaber 11 Pro in this department slightly, so the Arcsaber 11 Pro is 100% the ultimate off-day racket if you’re having a bad day. I was super excited for the Arcsaber 11 Pro and am definitely not disappointed at all after playing with it! I now have an even harder decision to make - should I swap to these Arcsaber 11 Pros?
I'll see you in the next post!