Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Yonex Voltric Z-Force: 3U versus 4U

Before the review of the Voltric Z-Force, and inspired by a question by a visitor, I thought I'd put up the noticeable differences that I felt when using the 3U and 4U versions of the Yonex Voltric Z-Force.

This is probably the only racket that I've had the chance to try out both versions, thanks to the special characteristic of the racket that feels like a 80/20 head-heavy distribution. It makes one curious, that's what it does.

That is common with both versions. As expected from a 4U racket, the swings are slightly faster, but the raw power that comes with the 3U seems slightly faded. When wielding a 4U racket, the swings also seem more manageable and my shots more controllable.

The Yonex Voltric Z-Force has a slightly flexible shaft, and that translates great for wrist players. The 3U racket offers an AMAZING drive speed, and I really enjoyed performing those from the back of the court. The ease at which I can fire the shuttle is very remarkable.

That lack of work due to the head-heaviness was lacking in the 4U version, however, which performed weaker in drive speed and clearance distance.

Defense-wise it's hell on both accounts. The awkward weight distribution of both versions makes it a chore to defend with. However swift it is, I still can't compare this with my other head-heavy rackets although if you get there the weight of the head gives you a little boost to your blocks and clears.

One last point to make is the 3U version feels more tiring to use. A lot more. The weighted swings come down fast and hard, and takes a steady and resilient arm to utilize.

I'm not usually a heavy smasher, so I'm sticking with the 4U version. People with enough energy and want to smash a hole through your opponent's defense should try the 3U version. Put a little more wrist into it and you'll see the flex of the racket come into work to give you that awesome 19KGf marketing claim by Yonex.


Andrew said...

Hi again AW
Thanks - your findings are really interesting. Am still somewhat undecided (between 4U + 3U) as it sounds like there is some advantage with the 3U for drive speed which is tempting me, since I am more of a power player.

As a bit of background I used the Voltric 80 4U last year (upgraded from a Z-Slash 3U). While my opponents did say I was getting much more out of smashes and overall shuttle speed, I found I was getting too much vibration from the VT80 4U handle which caused me thumb (and to a lesser extent elbow) pain.

To cut a long story short I am back on the Z-Slash 3U, which just seems to suit me better, or maybe it is my technique!

Having tried the VT-ZF 3U for 10mins, it did not appear to cause the same level of vibration I remebered with the VT80 4U, and definitely felt faster to move around than the Z-Slash.

Did you have any comment on any noticable vibration differences, especially between the 3U & 4U VT-ZF? Or compared to the VT80 or Z-Slash?

Decisions... Decisions... Maybe I need to strengthen up/harden up and just go for the 3U.

AW said...

Hi Andrew!

I must admit that I've never been able to feel the vibrations that people talk so much about, so I'm not exactly the best person to ask on this subject matter.

If you notice I've never quite mentioned about it in my reviews.

However, I'm quite surprised the Z-Force moves faster than a Z-Slash, the latter being an even-balanced racket.

My experience with my 3U Z-Slash is quite positive, and if I were to choose between the 3U of the two I'd go for the Z-Slash in a heartbeat.

I also have a 3U VT80, which I adored from the start. The kind of satisfaction that the VT80 gave contributed largely to the disapproval I gave the Z-Force.

I guess the Z-Force takes more getting used to than most rackets.

If you're keen to test how it's unique combination of 80/20 weight balance and a flexible shaft can add to your game, then I suggest you give it more than 10 minutes on the court.

I personally chose the 4U because it gave me a lot more control and shot confidence than the 3U one.

One of the best things in the sport is trying out a new racket and letting it give you a better game. Do let me know about your decision between 3U and 4U!

Unknown said...

Hi guys, so I did get to try out both the 3U and 4U for quite some time before making a decision which one is better. My technique for smashing is proper, where I do weight transfer into the shuttle.

The 3U didn't seem too much heavier than the 4U just by holding it but when you swing, you will notice the 80/20 weight distribution right away..let's put it this way; the difference between the AT900T and AT900P.

When smashing, 3U for me didn't seem to generate more power than the 4U. My swing speed is rather quick, and with strings at 27lbs ultimax on both rackets..the 4U had more of a whipping punch. (Maybe since I used a NS9000X for almost 5 years.

When slowing down my swing, I noticed that the 4U used a little more effort than the 3U. The momentum in the 3U racket uses little to no effort for a clear, but after a while of swinging my shoulders tire.

Secondly, I play doubles 90% of the time where quick explosive swings are needed with control and placement; only the 4U was capable of demonstrating that. Net play was more of a power wall block. Net kills were like quick little smashes with no effort, drops were effortless because of the momentum carried by the head of the racket.

Using the 3U for doubles generated insanely powerful smashes from the back, but once returned and you enter a smashing rally...your smash speed doesn't intimidate the opponents anymore. Now with every swing I felt more tired, my shots slowed down a lot, and if they push an offensive drive down the line, making that saving clear shot is so difficult.

At this point if you're still reading my horribly organized comment.. I will conclude my opinion on which is better. The 3U generates a heavier smash maybe by a few km/h. Hardly noticeable in my opinion, but lacks the amount of control to place shots perfectly, efficiently and quickly. The 4U racket was lighter to maneuver, explosions kills, from half court, net play, and fastest smash I've ever had from back side. When entering a smash rally, the 4U was capable of executing continuous bombs. Also with the lighter weight in the 4U, placing shots in smashes was the clear winner. My smashes were insanely steep with the 4U. hitting maybe a foot behind the service line each time from the back court. Any smash, no matter how hard, should be placed at that spot on the court at all times. Overall, 4U takes my vote because it was able to increase my smash speed by quite a bit, generate insane power from any position, quick whipping affect that sends the shuttle at a steep angle; vs the 3U that only generated a smash that flew a few km/h faster, but not steeper(easier to defend).


Arthur Wong said...

Great review! I'm personally more for the 4U version myself.

Experienced the shoulder aches that come with the 3U and concluded that it's not the one for me if I had to use more energy to play my shots.

The racket should always complement the player and enhance their game without us having to adapt to it too much.

Anonymous said...

hi arthur wong

i agree on what u said on 3U and 4U..i also tried it, now i have 3U voltric 9 and 4U edgesaber z-slayer...

voltric 9 gives me more power to smash but it's hard for me when it comes to do fast reaction shot and placing shots(because i also play doubles most of the time). plus my defend became slower than usual so this racket makes me put more effort and it's tiring me faster...

but not with my z-slayer, i think it's easier to swing around and easier to defend and to make a fast shot...although i loss some power but i think the game is not won by smash only....

i think i will go for 4U until i gain some strengths to handle a 3U racket...i will sell my voltric 9 n i think i will get a voltric 70, 60 or 7,depends on my budget..


Arthur Wong said...

Hi Zarul, thanks for reading!

A 4U racket generally serves for better defensive play and faster straight shots, but compromises on the clears and smashes.

On the defense, you'll find that a 3U racket will allow you to play the harder defensive shots easier because of the added weight.

For example, if you want to block high off a smash, you'll find it easier with a 3U (or at least I have).

The Voltric 7 is a 4U-only racket, and offers a cheap alternative to the more costly VT60.

I've not used a VT7 extensively so I can't give a proper comparison between that and the VT60.

However, I've a VT70 3U and comparing that with the VT60, the VT70 comes with a more flexible shaft, and should help you with the longer shots that you'll have to make.

Between the two, I've grown to like the VT70 more because it offers a wider range of shots. I've yet to write a review on it though... maybe it's about time.

I believe I've answered your question about VT60 and VT70 comparison here, so I won't be replying on the VT60 thread.

Thanks again for reading! Do check back more often for racket reviews and gameplay strategy!

Anonymous said...

Hello Arthur Wong,

I'm currently using a low-end racket from yonex, Isometric delta 4. I'm really curious if the flagship models from yonex really do make a difference if compared to low end models simply because I always have this perspective that it all depends on the player not the racket.

Arthur Wong said...

Hello! The lower end models from Yonex don't use graphite for construction, which makes them very heavy and hard.

This will give you some problems when you're trying to up your technique and go for broke.

The flagships give you the quality assurance that you've got the racket out of the way, and all you have left is your personal training to do.

I won't say that it's all about the racket, but to a large extent, your racket can give you a very relaxing feel so that you can concentrate on the psychology and physical aspects of the game.

Give it a try. I don't think you'll be disappointed.

I would also like to state that this applies to most graphite rackets. Yonex rackets may not necessarily be the best for your game, and they're not exactly the cheapest either...

Anonymous said...

Hello again,

Thank you for your previous reply. Why does the lower end models (which is hard and heavy) actually cause problem when it comes to proving my technique? And what does it mean by hard? Is it the flexibility of the shaft?

Thank you. :-)

Arthur Wong said...

It's the overall stiffness of the racket, not just in the shaft. Being too heady and inflexible, it'll tax your muscles more.

I have a Carbonex 6000DF with a steel construction that I use for training, and that is hard to handle already.

Because the steel will not bend and flex, you basically have to rely completely on arm and wrist.

I like to think the racket should add to the ease of the player's game.

Anonymous said...


I finally got myself a Voltric 80. It really does make a difference. I am firing rocket smashes now which was impossible with my low end yonex racket. I always thought my smashing technique was incorrect simply because my previous racket was too stiff like what you mentioned.

Arthur Wong said...

I know the feeling. It felt like that to me when I got and used my first high-quality graphite racket too.


John Kang said...

hello a quick question. vt zf- 4u vs 3u vs lining n90, which has better smashing power???

Arthur Wong said...

For me, it's the N90.

Anonymous said...

Would the vtzf 4u still be a suitable racket for singles? Everybody says 3u for singles..So im in a bit of a dilemma

Arthur Wong said...

I use the 4U for singles.

The 3U is too heavy for me to handle effectively. I don't want to have to deal with putting more strength into my shots, so I settled for the 4U to make my game easier.

In the game of badminton, and also for life in general, I would like to think that it's more of what you think than what others say :)

Whatever works, works.

Anonymous said...

Well I tried the 3U and couldn't get a decent powered smash off at all... I'm thinking that it (the 3U) being too heavy is the problem, but I'm not entirely sure.

Arthur Wong said...

The 3U Z-Force is a very formidable racket when you consider smashing power. It's very stiff and heavy head heavy, which contributes to the explosion of power at the receiving end.

However, this extremity comes with a demand of high precision. The Z-Force comes with a smaller head frame, and thus a smaller sweet spot.

Missing the sweet spot with such specifications means you lose more power when compared to the more forgiving rackets like the VT80 or AS10.

The 4U racket gives me a better judge of the swing speed, and so reduces the chance of an off-centre hit for me.

That there's my attempt at explaining your situation :)

p.s. take it with a pinch of salt; I am no expert :)

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the advice, appreciate it!

Arthur Wong said...

You're welcome, and happy smashing!

Anonymous said...

Hi. Phil here. I have been playing with a voltrix 80 4u but have now broken the frame and need to replace. I like to think I'm a skilful player that likes tight drops , good placement and control and a hard smash when I feel like it. I can't decide whether to stick with replacing the voltrix 80 or whethe to switch to the z force and in reading e views here I think the 4u would sit be better. One questions
- does the z force 4u smash harder Han the voltrix 4u but still regain good control

Arthur Wong said...

Hi Phil, thanks for reading!

The Yonex Voltric Z-Force does indeed have a stronger smash than the VOltric 80, but it comes with a much stiffer shaft and higher head-weight ratio.

You'll need to get used to using it at first, but the racket should be a joy to use :)

Anonymous said...

Thanks for quick reply. Racket ordered ,!

Arthur Wong said...


Anonymous said...

is voltric 80 3u is the same feeling as vtz 4u, are they the same in term of feel and weight.

Anonymous said...

i am a singles player but now I'm playing double more often, thinking of getting the vtzf but still not sure the 3u or 4u, but one thing for sure im not used to light racket. i currently own voltric 80 3u and arc saber 11 3u. so which racket do recommend for me?

Arthur Wong said...

Why don't you stick to the same racket?

What could possibly be missing in your game to want a new racket?

Arthur Wong said...

No they are not the same feeling.

Anonymous said...

is there any different between the voltric z force and arcsaber z slash,personally which one do u prefer n why? which one is better

Anonymous said...

is there any different between the voltric z force and arcsaber z slash,personally which one do u prefer n why? which one is better

Arthur Wong said...

The Yonex Voltric Z-Force is head headed and more suited for a power game.

To me, the ArcSaber Z-Slash offers a better balance of offense and defense.

I also like the color more :)

Anonymous said...

do u think the arcsaber z slash is better then the voltric z slash 4 u? cause i been using the new arcsaber 11 lately, love it but then im also love to smash and like to control the game,n i noticed the acrsaber 11 is lacking of power. still confuse to buy z force 4u or the z slash,

pls give me your opinion . thanks!

Arthur Wong said...

Well if you've got the money and won't mind a really stiff racket, the Z-Force will give you a boost in the power department.

Might take awhile to tame though.

Anonymous said...

i want to buy new racket i m intermediate player i love to play offensive and attacking too much and i always play doubles and everyday and i play singles but two or thrice a week and i m a beginner player more than a intermediate player and i want to buy between voltric 80 and voltric z force and others also u can say so plzzz suggest me what should i buy and i m buying this type of racket first time and i am using voltric 3 right now. i started playing this game around 6 or 7 months only. i use drop shot but very very less but i want to buy racket having fast smashes and control and accuracy .

Arthur Wong said...

Hi thanks for reading you sound like you like to smash so I would suggest going the z-force since it's a very hard hitting racket and since you don't mention the word defense at all I don't think it's a factor at all in your games because you play more doubles than singles anyway hope this works thanks!

Anonymous said...

we paly with nylon shuttles mavis 350 and i use defence also but very less and i play 70 % smash and 20 % drop and 20 % defence and many times our rackets also get crash so tell which racket should i buy

Anonymous said...

i am a beginner i dont know hot to smash perfect and how to play backhand shots and but i play attacking too much so tell which should i buy all 3 comments are of me

Arthur Wong said...

Cheap rackets would be good since you clash a lot...

Arthur Wong said...

Coaching comes to mind instead of which racket to buy.

But if you're intent on going down the same path I'd suggest you try out a cheaper brand like Toalson or APACS.

Anything head heavy with a slightly flexible shaft will suffice.

Anonymous said...

our rackets not clash many times but some time so which racket will be good voltric 80 or zforce which is more stronger

Arthur Wong said...

From what I've heard, Z-Force.

Knock yourself out.

Anonymous said...

whose frame is bigger and by how much margin and i am not a good smasher and some times i miss it and which will give faster smashes and by how much difference
voltric 80 and zforce

Arthur Wong said...

The Voltric 80's frame is larger by about as much as you think when you head to a store and compare them for yourself.

But the Z-Force, when hit properly, will generate 19 kg per square foot of pressure if you're in a perfect setting and is Tan Boon Heong.

Anonymous said...

i have to order through online so i cant compare there frames so therefore i am asking you how much difference is there in both rackets frames and whose smash power is more tell in % and whose control and accuracy is best

Anonymous said...

reply please i have to order the racket

Anonymous said...

Hi Arthur,
I need help searching for an equivalent replacement of yonex AT700 second generation (bright red frame). It was the best racket I ever have. I am very sad that Yonex no longer make it anymore. I consider myself an intermediate level. I used to play single, but mostly double now. I am using AT900P now but it does not give me the same feeling like AT700, e.g., less maneuverability, slower in returning fast drive, and more fatigue-able in repetitive smashes. I am searching the web for perfect replace racket, and I finally bought a voltric z force. Do you think I make a good choice? And please recommend me one that most likely resemble of the AT700.

Arthur Wong said...

Hey there, I think there's little replacement for something that you like very much.

Instead you'll have to find something and get used to it again to make it your new favorite :)

But that said, the Z-Force is a pretty good comparison - it's stiff and great for smashing, without too much of a compromise on defense.

One thing you might need to get used to is the slightly smaller head frame of the Z-Force.

Take a few months to get used to the Z-Force and I'm sure you'll grow to love it.

Anonymous said...

Hi Arthur,

I read with great interest your input regarding the Z-Force. For the longest time I've been loyal to the one racket that I find most comfortable with for singles and doubles — Ti7 Head Light Balance "Long" edition @ 22 lbs tension (BG66 Ultimax).

Then recently I won a Voltric Z-Force from Yonex distributor Sunrise http://is.gd/oktcLg (that's me in the pic) and as you can understand, the transition from the Ti 7 to the Z-Force is a big one.

Going from medium flex to 'Extra Stiff' what string tension would you recommend I go with initially? I'm a hard smasher (I also backhand smash). With a stiff frame, should I reduce string tension?

Jan Shim

Arthur Wong said...

Hello Jam Shim! Thanks for reading! Always nice to hear that someone finds my writing useful.

I think you might want to stick with the 22lbs tension. That way you can feel the actual difference the racket makes to your game.

If you're not getting enough punch to the back court, you might want to reduce; if you don't get enough accuracy from the shots, then raise it.

Just some general guidelines to attune your gameplay to the spanky new racket you won yourself.

Nice photo! :)

Anonymous said...

Thank you :)

Elliot Ong said...

I've read your previous replies tio the commments on this page and I'm curious on 1 thing. You earlier stated that the 4U is more powerful in straight shots but the 3U is more powerful in smashes? Does that mean that clears were more powerful with the 4U?

And could you list down all the advantages with the 4U?

Elliot Ong said...

Is the power difference really distinguishable?

Arthur Wong said...

I don't understand what you mean with a powerful clear.

If you want a clear to move faster, hit it flatter. The racket should have nothing much to add to a shot like a clear.

The 3U gives you more raw force, but tires you out faster.

Elliot Ong said...

In straight shots, is the power difference really noticable?

Arthur Wong said...

Yes, as I have mentioned.