Yonex Astrox 77 Pro Badminton Racket Review
It's been quite a while since I last published my review and video on the Yonex Astrox 77 in May 2021. The new Astrox 77 Pro is the latest iteration of the ever-popular Astrox 77 that many players, even the pros’ love! In this post, I will discuss what has changed with this updated Yonex Astrox 77 Pro.
In one of my previous posts, I reviewed an Astrox 77 in yellow. Back there were only two colours available to choose from, bright yellow or metallic blue. Now the Astrox 77 also comes in red, Yonex calls this the 'Shine Red'. To me, it looks a lot more like neon orange rather than red, but it's bright, matte and it's got gold foil on, so I love it!
For the Astrox 77 Pro, it's in 'High Orange' colour and back to having a glossy finish. Am I disappointed? No, not really, as I think the purple patches and patterned details on the decals match the design aesthetics really well and over time, it grew on me.
Another visually noticeable difference would be the control support cap from the previous generation Astrox 77 being upgraded to the Energy Boost Cap Plus, which is seen on all current Yonex high-end rackets. However, there is a slight difference. The older generation Energy Boost Cap Plus, which is seen on the Astrox 88S Pro, Astrox 88D Pro, Astrox 99 Pro and the Astrox 100ZZ all have double indentation on the flat side of their Energy Boost Cap Plus.
The Energy Boost Cap Plus on the Astrox 77 Pro, however, has a flatter profile like the one used in the more recently released Yonex Arcsaber 11 Pro. Does this change affect me? Not at all, as I usually grip my rackets all the way to the cone support cap anyway, but I do think it gives the racket a cleaner look.
An update that isn't visually noticeable is the use of Flex Fuse in the Astrox 77 Pro. It is a shock-absorbing resin used in the T joint of the racket, which Yonex says helps to provide a more comfortable hitting feeling. I'll elaborate more on that below.
In terms of specs, both the Astrox 77 Pro and Astox 77 that I have are in 4UG5 and everything on the Astrox 77 Pro measured exactly the same as the previous generation Astrox 77. Shaft length of 22cm, handle length of 16.5cm, frame height of 23.7cm and frame width at 18.7cm. Even their frame thickness is the same at 9.9mm, and both rackets featured a half-recessed frame profile.
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The only minute measurable difference I found between the Astrox 77 and the Astrox 77 Pro is the shaft diametre increasing from 7mm to 7.1mm, fairly negligible difference in my opinion.
I also noticed that Yonex didn't add any larger grommets to the new Astrox 77 Pro like they did with the Astrox 88S Pro, Astrox 88D Pro, Atrox 99 Pro, and even the recently launched Astrox Nextage. I am a big fan of the larger grommets as I genuinely feel it enhances the playability of rackets with slightly more string movement. I think it gives rackets a slightly larger sweet spot and a slightly longer shuttle hold.
Both rackets had no issues when it comes to stringing and I strung the Astrox 77 Pro with my usual setup of Yonex Aerobite strings at 27 by 29 lbs.
Many of you may know that my usual racket is the Yonex Astrox 88D Pro. Being used to playing with the Astrox 88D Pro, it is pretty obvious to me that the Astrox 77 is faster than the Astrox 88D Pro since it has less head weight. The Astrox 77 also feels softer than my Astrox 88D Pro because it's more flexible. For me, the Astrox 77 is kind of the perfect racket to introduce to anyone who likes just a little bit of head weight. It's really an even-balanced racket with a medium-hitting feel.
I remember saying in my previous post that the key strength for the Astrox 77 is its all-rounded characteristic. Nothing spectacular in any single department, but above average for all. It is pliable and an easy racket to play with, one that I’d be more than happy to recommend to anyone!
So what's better with the Astrox 77 Pro? From my testing, I feel that the Astrox 77 Pro is marginally faster than the Astrox 77. It also feels a touch softer than the Astrox 77, and I think this perhaps is due to the new Flex Fuse material that is being applied to the Astrox 77 Pro. If you are someone who likes the feel of the Astrox 77, you will have no issues with the Astrox 77 Pro and I think you will love it.
In terms of power, it is easy enough to generate good power, especially if you master your finger grip timing well. I had to change my timing a little when I played with the Astrox 77 Pro, but I think that’s because I prefer a stiffer racket and it was no fault of the Astrox 77 Pro. The Astrox 77 Pro also feels very smooth to play with.
I also find the Astrox 77 Pro to be slightly easier to play with compared to the previous generation Astrox 77. As it is slightly faster, I felt it had an edge over its older siblings.
Nowadays, I value the playability of a racket very highly as I sometimes have off days on court when my physicality and performance just aren't there. In these situations, having a racket that can get me out of jail feels pretty nice and reassuring. The Yonex Astrox 77 Pro is this type of racket and it allows me to enjoy my badminton even on those off days.
Yes, it's certainly nice to have a racket that can generate absolute raw power like the old-school Voltric Z Force 2 but it's also super demanding at the same time and I can't keep up with it sometimes. As an amateur who doesn't get as many opportunities to train as I would like, I find swallowing my ego and going for something easier to play with is a better choice ultimately.
Ultimately, I think Yonex did a great job on the Astrox 77 Pro. It is an almost perfect all-rounder racket, with slight improvements to the already good Astrox 77. If you are someone who is looking for a fast, smooth, and reliable racket, this Astrox 77 Pro is for you.
However, if you already own an Astrox 77 and wondering if it's worth the upgrade? I would say skip this and stick to your current Astrox 77. The gap in performance between the Astrox 77 and the Astrox 77 Pro isn't that big at all, unlike the second-generation Astrox 88D and the Astrox 88D Pro which was a huge improvement.
If you already own an Astrox 77 Pro, let me know what you think about the racket in the comments section below. I’ll see you in the next post!