Updated: Oct 4, 2022
Yonex is finally launching their latest badminton string product for 2022, the Yonex Exbolt 65! It is scheduled for launch at the same time as the new Yonex Arcsaber 7 Pro on 19th August 2022 so make sure you guys subscribe to my YouTube Channel for the latest review of the Arcsaber 7 Pro, which I will be posting soon!
The first-ever string review I did over a year ago on my YouTube channel was its older sibling, the Yonex Exbolt 63, so I'm really excited to be reviewing the new Yonex Exbolt 65. I remember distinctly from that review that the sound and repulsion from the Exbolt 63 were absolutely outstanding, although it wasn't forgiving if you mistime or miss-hit your shots. As you would've probably worked out from the number "65" in its name, the new Exbolt 65 has a thickness of 0.65mm, slightly thicker than the 0.63mm Exbolt 63. But apart from thickness, what else has changed? Let's find out!
Yonex UK was very kind to send me a sample pack of the Exbolt 65 for testing (thank you, Yonex!). As soon as I opened the pack of strings, I was very surprised at how smooth it was. My favourite string is the Yonex Aerobite which has a very rough and grippy surface, and so far, I haven't found any other string that beats the Aerobite in terms of grip. The Exbolt 65 has a really smooth string surface, pretty similar to the Exbolt 63, but I would say the Exbolt 65 is a touch smoother. If you think the BG66 Ultimax is already a very smooth string, the Exbolt 65 is a lot smoother. In fact, the BG66 Ultimax has more texture than the Exbolt 65 when you feel your fingers through them. If you are not a fan of smooth strings, then the Exbolt 65 is not for you.
In terms of stringing, the Exbolt 65 was a dream to string because of its smooth texture. Weaving on the crosses was super easy and no fuss at all. The Exbolt 65 was also very easy to pull through the holes, although the string did kink a little when I pulled it across blocked holes, nothing major nonetheless. I just took my time to unwind them when they do and they turned out fine.
I also found the Exbolt 65 to be very steady under tension and I was not worried at all about putting tension on the string. I normally string my rackets at 27lbs by 29lbs in tension plus a 10% pre-stretch and the Exbolt 65 had no problems handling that tension. If you would like to listen to the sounds of the Exbolt 65 compared to the BG66 Ultimax when they are strung on identical Astrox 88D Pro rackets at the same tension of 27lbs by 29lbs, check out my YouTube video below!
Like its predecessor, the Exbolt 65 string uses Forged Fibre material for its outer casing. What's new is the additional Elasticity Outer coating, which is essentially an enhanced nylon coating, on top of the Forged Fibre layer. If you’re interested to see what badminton strings look like at a microscopic level, check this out.
Additionally, looking at the stats available on Yonex's website, the Exbolt 65 is a 10 out of 10 for quick repulsion and has increased durability and shock absorption compared to the Exbolt 63. The string is very reactive and feels crisp when you hold and squeeze the racket to make your shots, and the repulsion and power you get from the Exbolt 65 is certainly second to none. I would give it the same rating as the Exbolt 63 (11 out of 10!).
However, for the bigger swings such as clears and smashes, it appeared that the Exbolt 65 has inherited some of the flaws of the Exbolt 63. Whilst shots that are right on the sweet spot sound and feel like a million bucks, anything off the sweet spot of your racket would vibrate the racket and instead of “ping-y”, it becomes “zing-y”. When I was testing the strings, a lot of my mistimed and off-sweet-spot shots didn’t come off well at all. They were significantly shorter than usual and I wasn’t able to get out of jail as much when put in trouble during the games. I found letting the string "settle in" for a few days and reducing the string tension by 1lbs or 2 lbs improves its playability. In any event, the Exbolt 65 wasn't as harsh as the Exbolt 63. Perhaps the elastic nylon outer made the string that little bit more pliable and slightly more compliant compared to the Exbolt 63.
On the hitting sound category, it's one point lower than the Exbolt 63 but to me, it still sounds amazing! You can certainly hear the distinctive, slightly metallic-sounding, high-pitched “Ping” from the string when you make short and sharp hits. Drives and lifts sound amazing too!
For those of you who are worried about tension loss, the Exbolt 65 still sounded great two and a half weeks after it was initially strung. I thought this was pretty impressive considering the fact that I had used the same racket in a total of approximately 15 hours of training and games. The string coped with a large amount of mishits I’ve done and didn't lose too much tension in that process, certainly beyond my expectation in terms of durability.
The Exbolt 65 also retains its 10 out of 10 rating for control, although I’m not sure how Yonex rates its Control scale as the Aerobite shares the same 10 out of 10 rating but the Exbolt 65 comes nowhere close to Aerobite in terms of shuttle bite. With the Exbolt 65, the shuttle reacted to how I liked it to be on slices, pushes and nets. It's certainly no Aerobite but at least it didn't feel as slippery as the Nanogy 95 or Nanogy 98.
I certainly think the Exbolt 65 is a great product and I really enjoyed playing with it. I personally prefer the Exbolt 65 over the Exbolt 63 due to its better playability and durability. All that remains to be considered is pricing. Unfortunately, I have no information about its retail price at the time of writing and I do hope Yonex would price it competitively for the benefit of us players!