The Yonex Voltric Z-Force is the badminton giant's latest attempt to tap on the Asian market's delight for fire power. Boasting a 19KGf smash force on your opponent's racket, the dedicated website for the VTZF even has testimonials from the Malaysian Nationals about how they couldn't resist its temptation.
I knew there was something about the new racket when I noticed World No. 1 Lee Chong Wei adopt an extremely offensive style of play leading to its release at the Yonex All England, and I was proven right when the 10 rackets my stringer got in disappeared in a matter of 4 hours.
Suddenly the badminton world is ablaze about the marvels of Yonex's new haymaker.
But I have other ideas. Not every foot fits in this Cinderella shoe, and this here is one of them.
This review is from my opinions of the racket and of the game of badminton. Take this with a pinch of salt, but feel free to ask me if you have any more questions that my review failed to answer.
Ok, here goes.
Yonex Voltric Z-Force
Est. Dry Weight: 84g (4U)
Grip Size: G5
Balance: Extremely Head-Heavy
Max String: 26lbs
Strings: Yonex BG66 Ultimax @ 24lbs
I use this racket for singles play.
As expected given its extreme weight distribution, the racket leaves much to be desired when it comes to defense. The slightly smaller head frame and the weight takes your defense down a notch off the get-go, but once you get used to it the extra weight down the front will end up giving you better returns.
But when it comes to defense, I'm not one to make a game of chance out of it. I'd rather be able to take a beating than give one, and the Yonex Voltric Z-Force doesn't give me a good defensive game.
Clearing from end to end is effortless given the balance, but the loss of control leaves more to be desired as I had to mentally calm myself into making safer shots.
The Yonex Voltric Z-Force feels like a VT80 on steroids. They didn't increase the weight of the racket much, but boy did they perform an overhaul on the weight distribution! Pushing most of the weight into the head frame made this racket extremely head-heavy.
I'd go as far as to say it's pretty much feels like an 80/20 balance.
The result being a very forceful downward stroke. People with a further downswing on the follow-through should watch their swing lest it starts to drill a hole into the net (or ground!).
With that domineering allocation of weight also comes, in a my opinion, a slightly flexible shaft. This gives drive shots and check smashes a whole lot of power as you which the racket to give you an added boost to speed.
This is one amazing racket to attack with, especially if you like to use the wrist to get it that surprise attack.
But all that speed and power comes at a price of control. You're going to need more concentration to keep that shuttle in play. Feedback from the strings feel lost because of the lower density coming down the shaft.
It didn't feel right hitting the shuttle and I couldn't feel the path of the shuttle as well after it leaves my string bed.
People who like that half smash-fast drop will also find that the shots are taken down a lot steeper than with previous rackets, another resultant effect of top-loading the Voltric Z-Force to hell. I'd push a little more forward than downwards with this racket.
Prepare to lose a few points to control till you get the hang of it.
Weird, is what I said when I first saw the racket. Yonex went off and removed the shiny coating from their rackets, replacing it with a smooth, matt layer that's often accompanied with shoddy finishing.
The distinctive tattoo markings on a Voltric was also diminished, overshadowed by sharp lines that perhaps reflected the company's focus on delivering a devastating downward stroke.
Green, white and black were primary colors of the Yonex Voltric Z-Force, which in my opinion was a good change away from the angrier colors employed in the VT70 and VT80.
Overall, it's pleasing to the eye if you can get past the inevitable bad finishing.
Yonex Voltric Z-Force