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Yonex Exbolt 68 vs Exbolt 65 vs Exbolt 63 - The BEST durable badminton string?

Updated: Feb 19

The Yonex Exbolt 68 badminton string is the third string within Yonex's Exbolt series. The first string of the series, the Yonex Exbolt 63, was only launched a few years ago in 2021, and the Yonex Exbolt 65 was then introduced in 2022. Almost 18 months after the birth of Exbolt 65, we now have the Exbolt 68 and I believe it's the new standard bearer for durable badminton strings. I believe the Yonex Exbolt 68 badminton string will be available in 3 colors on launch - white, yellow and black. Before we compare the Exbolt strings, I think we need to take a step back and zoom out a little to focus on the wider badminton string landscape.

Yonex Exbolt 68 durable badminton strings
Yonex Exbolt 68

Badminton strings are divided into different categories based on their characteristics, such as repulsion, control and durability. Thinner strings generally provide better repulsion and hitting sound but they don't have great durability. Control strings tend to have more texture or a stickier coating to help with biting the shuttle. Whilst they are usually not the thinnest strings, they tend to sit somewhere in between ultimate repulsion and great durability. Nowadays, thicker strings usually equate to better durability, but they also often sacrifice feel and repulsion.

The evergreen and classic Yonex BG65 and BG65Ti badminton strings were the benchmarks and flag bearers for durable badminton strings for a long time until the Nanogy 95 came along. The BG65 and BG65Ti both have string diameters of 0.7mm, and the Nanogy 95 is slightly thinner at 0.69mm. Each of these durable strings has a unique feel. The BG65 feels very soft and stretchy, whilst the BG65Ti produces amazing sharp sounds although it can often feel quite slippery or "dead" as some might call it. The Nanogy 95 is also incredible in terms of durability but it is certainly one of the most slippery and metallic-feeling string out there for Yonex.

And here’s the nice problem - with badminton progressing towards players wanting to have the ability to control the shuttle better to manage the rallies, equipment manufacturers like Yonex are developing rackets and strings that are helping players feel and control shuttles better. You have probably heard me mentioning how a racket has “a great hold time” in some of my videos, better hold time provides better control. That’s why we are seeing more strings with better control and feel properties being developed and launched in recent years. Strings such as the BG-80, Aerobite and Exbolt 65 are very popular with both pro and amateur players because of the added feel and control they provide. However, none of them are extremely durable and that’s the trade-off you would expect.

Additionally, whilst thinner strings provide better repulsion, thicker strings generally have a nicer feel when you’re unleashing big power shots, such as smashes, as they have more material to stretch when the shuttle hits the strings, creating a trampoline effect with longer hold time.

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When Yonex provided me with some Exbolt 68 strings to test, I immediately noticed the greater amount of texture and stiffness it has compared to the Exbolt 63 and Exbolt 65.

As a stringer, I love stiff strings as they don’t kink much during the stringing process. The Exbolt 68 has lots of texture and you can hear the friction it creates when you pull the strings through the grommets, especially when you are stringing the cross strings. Also, its texture feels dry and not sticky like the Aerobite or Aerobite Boost, and this is another plus point for stringers.

In comparison, the Exbolt 65 is super smooth and almost feels like there’s no texture on its surface. It also feels quite soft and kinks a lot easier when it’s pulled through blocked grommets. It also stretches more than the Exbolt 68. The Exbolt 63 feels very very similar to the Exbolt 65 during the stringing process. If you would like to check out my detailed review of the Exbolt 65 and Exbolt 63 individually, here are the links:

For testing, I strung each of my rackets at the same tension at 27 lbs on the mains and 29 lbs on the cross. As I only have three of my usual Astrox 88D Pro and I wanted to keep one with Aerobite as a reference, I decided to have the Exbolt 68 and Exbolt 65 on the 88D Pros and got my good old Arcsaber 10 out of retirement for the Exbolt 63.

So how does the Exbolt 68 play compared to the Exbolt 65 and Exbolt 63? If you are coming from a super thin string (I would classify strings that are 0.65mm and under as super thin strings), you will notice that, upon contact, the Exbolt 68 doesn't provide the immediate repulsion that makes a shuttle scream off the string bed instantly. This is not at all surprising for a thicker string like the Exbolt 68.

Nonetheless, if you are someone who values a string’s resistance to snapping from mishits, then the Exbolt 68 is very confidence-inspiring. At the time of writing, I have accumulated over 12 hours of on-court time with the Exbolt 68. I must say I have gone through quite a lot of mishits in the process and the Exbolt 68 held up really well. In fact, I think the Exbolt 68 is more durable than the Exbolt 65 as I did snap my Exbolt 65 in one of my games and when I went for a 50-50 shot and caught the top of the racket.

However, the repulsion, feel and sound of the Exbolt 65 and Exbolt 63 are better than the Exbolt 68. The Exbolt 68 doesn't have that same repulsion feeling as the Exbolt 63 and Exbolt 65 but it still has a nice and crisp feel when striking the shuttle. I would say that the Exbolt 68’s hitting feel is quite similar to Aerobite. They both have a medium to medium hard feel depending on how much tension they are strung at.

With the Exbolt 68, it feels like the shuttle sits on the strings for slightly longer compared to the thinner Exbolt 65 and Exbolt 63. Additionally, due to the texture on the Exbolt 68, the bite on the shuttle is pretty good too which sometimes makes me forget that this is a durability category string. If we compare the BG65, BG65Ti and the Nanogy 95 against the Exbolt 68, I prefer the feel and bite of the Exbolt 68 over the other strings.

I think Yonex is onto a winner with the Exbolt 68 and it will be popular with players who are looking for durable strings with a good feel and longevity. Its resistance to snapping from mis-hits gives me lots of confidence and I think lots of players will also value that greatly. If you are someone who loves thicker strings, I think you will love the Exbolt 68. If you are someone who finds yourself constantly breaking strings from mis-hits and you are getting frustrated from having to restring your rackets often or paying someone to restring for you, I would definitely recommend the Exbolt 68. However, if you are someone who loves thin strings, then the Exbolt 68 will feel very different to what you are used to.

So let me know what your thoughts are. I’m glad players now have an option to not have to sacrifice too much on feel and shuttle bite for awesome string durability with the launch of the Exbolt 68. I’ll see you in the next one!

Get the Yonex Exbolt 68 string here. Remember to use 'CKYEW' code to gain additional discounts at Central Sports too.

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