Updated: Oct 4, 2022
I've been getting questions about the differences between the Yonex Astrox 88 Pro Series compared to their previous generation siblings, the regular Astrox 88S and Astrox 88D. So let me explain that in this short blog today. I'll start with a quick recap of the measurements and specs of all 4 rackets.
All 4 rackets have similar frame sizes but the Pros have a fully recessed frame profile compared to only half for the previous generation. The Pros also have slightly thicker frames too, they are thicker by 0.1mm!
In terms of the rackets shafts, the newer Pros have slimmer but shorter shafts compared to the older generation rackets. As for the wooden handles, the newer models come with longer racket handles to help with handling. Finally, the Astrox 88S Pro does have a different stringing pattern compared to its older brother the Astrox 88S.
In terms of hitting experience, the Pros are a lot easier to play with compared to the older Astrox 88S and Astrox 88D. The previous generation rackets are a lot stiffer and demanding, whereas the newer rackets feel a lot more user friendly and I am able to play the shots I want to very easily. The newer Pros are also faster. If we take the Astrox 88S as an example, this racket is already very fast but the Pros are even faster so some of you may really enjoy that.
So if I split the S and D models here and quickly point out where I feel the differences are: the Astrox 88S and Astrox 88S Pro differ by the Pro model being faster, but has less power compared to the older Astrox 88S, perhaps due to slightly less head weight. The older Astrox 88S is also stiffer. So perhaps that's why many of the professionals who are playing with the older Astrox 88S don't switch to the newer Astrox 88S Pro.
If we look at the D models, the newer Pro model again does not feel as stiff as the previous generation but I don't think this one lacks the power the previous generation has. The Astrox 88D Pro is again certainly faster compared to the previous generation and is easier to play with too. That's why the Astrox 88D Pro is certainly my outright favourite out of the 4 rackets here. But if you are someone who really likes the feel of a stiff racket, go for the older Astrox 88D.
I hope this has cleared up any doubts you've had with the 4 rackets and I'll see you in the next one!