Updated: Oct 4, 2022
Yonex has released two additional models of the Astrox 88S so besides the made in Japan Yonex Astrox 88S Pro, we now have the made in Taiwan Astrox 88S Tour and the Astrox 88S Game models. Quick recap for those who have not read my previous post: the Pro model is the top-tier model, the Tour is the second tier and the Game is the third tier. The higher the tier level, the higher the price point. Simple as that.
The Astrox 88S Pro, Astrox 88S Tour and Astrox 88S Game sample rackets I have are all in the 4UG5 configuration. Although I am not as big of a fan of the Astrox 88S Pro as I was with the Astrox 88D Pro, the Astrox 88S Pro was super fast, super smooth, big sweetspot and very easy to play with.
Looking at the Astrox 88S Tour racket, it retains the fully recessed frame profile of the Pro model rackets. But when I was playing with it, I felt this Astrox 88S Tour's head was significantly lighter and at the same time, significantly hollower compared to the Pro model racket. Nonetheless, the racket is fast. Perhaps because of how head-light the racket is, I feel that that it's so fast to the extent that it's slightly unstable sometimes.
Looking at the racket matrix, I'm really surprised that Yonex's classification for the Astrox 88S Tour is identical with the Astrox 88S Pro. It's a shame I am not able to test a 3U Tour model to verify if this is a one off production or design difference, or if this the intended design philosophy. The racket production quality is certainly excellent for a supposedly mid range Yonex badminton racket, but I just thought it felt like a completely differently series compared to the Pro models for this one.
On the other hand, the Astrox 88S Game feels very similar to the Astrox 88S Tour but it has a a more traditional frame design of a half recessed frame profile and a thicker shaft. Here's the stats for all three racket models which I measured:
I also want to add that Astrox 88S Game's head weight feels very similar compared to the Astrox 88S Tour, meaning it is very fast and agile but slightly stiffer. At the same time, the Astrox 88S Game racket feels like it's got slightly more drag than the Tour model. It's as if the Game model has a thicker frame, although from my measurements, all three rackets have almost identical frame thickness!
Overall, the Astrox 88S Tour and the Astrox 88S Game rackets feel very similar to me with subtle differences, whilst the Pro model feels significantly different to these two. Although the Game model was supposed to be the cheapest model, I prefer it compared to the Tour model for the Astrox 88S lineup.