Sunday, September 09, 2012

Badminton Racket Review: Yonex Nanoray 700RP

Hands up those who prefer head heavy rackets. Hands up those who like to smash. Hands up those who think light rackets can't be used well for smashing.

I used to belong to the head heavy camp, where a good smash can come off so easily from one of the Voltrics or Armortecs. I've also admired the speed of the even balances, able to trade some of the power off for a little more agility and defense rating.

For the longest time I've not got any head light rackets. I've tried light weight, head heavy rackets, and they mostly don't work (with the exception of the Karakal SL-70). The has given me a sort of bad rep on the head lights.

Until my game evolved and I embraced the defense portion of badminton. I grew to like taking a stance, waiting for the big smash and then diverting it away where the opponent can't reach. It's a good trade-off. I use very little energy to counter and win over a big spend by the opponent.

That's when I sprung for the Yonex Nanoray 700RP. And that was a pretty good decision.

The Nanoray 700 series comes in two variations - RP (repulsion) and FX (flex). The two gives you a very nice choice between a stiff shaft for wrist movements and quick swings, and a slightly more flexible one for you long swingers out there.

Worth notice is the thick width of the head frame, a very different approach from the newer ranges that the badminton giant has to offer. This thick frame seems to be lending more power to the shots, allowing for better shot placement and power in both the rackets. At least for me anyway.

Note. This review is my opinion of the racket from using it in my games. Take this with a pinch of salt since we all play the game differently. I'm here to tell you, in as much accuracy as I can, hwo my games went with the racket. Comments welcome!

Ok here goes.

Yonex Nanoray 700RP
Est. Dry Weight: 86g (3U)
Grip Size: G5
Balance: Head Light
Flex: Stiff
Strings: Yonex BG80 Power @ 23lbs

I recommend this racket for doubles play.

Defense
Head light rackets are amazing when it comes to defending. You get mad speed on demand, twisting and turning the racket to suit the shot that you want to pull off. The Yonex Nanoray 700RP will tempt you to take the net, and with due reason too.

Reflex is king when you're playing up front, and the NR700RP will definitely cause some worry for the opponent. Bringing the racket up from your hip is super fast, and you'll get one hell of a time blocking off the shots at the net.

Going along the lines of the fast lifting speed, the Nanoray 700RP's quickness also translates to when you're receiving smashes. The racket gives you enough speed to tackle even the hardest smashes.

The biggest problems I've faced with head light rackets is the lack of weight in the front, and that means that your defense will not usually go as far as you want to without a little more effort. However, the Yonex Nanoray 700RP doesn't seem to suffer from that problem. The stiff shaft of the racket gives you the added power to push the shuttle higher off a defensive stroke.

Add this to the already fast movement speed and supreme agility, and you've got a tough defense to match any would-be berserker.

Attack
If you've ever used a head heavy racket like the Voltrics or N90s, you'll find the attack in this racket slightly lacking. It's got a similar feel to the N90 when you come for a smash - there's a solid thump that accompanies each smash as the shaft tightens around the shuttle and transmits the power from your stroke onto the attacking shuttle.

I've heard of people giving up their Nanospeeds because they're not able to get distance with the rackets. it takes a little practice, but once you get the hang of the weight transfer, the Nanoray 700RP will become quite the attacking force.

I'm at 23lbs and I can feel the shuttle explode off the string bed already. Users of higher tension will most certainly get a more satisfying experience with this.

However fast the overhead shots, I find myself liking to drive with the NR700RP. The stiff shaft allows for very quick energy transfer from the wrist without losing too much to the flex, and this comes off really handy when you want to whip the head around a shuttle coming to you at net height.

The drives (defense and offense) are very fast, and the good thing is you recover quickly because of the weight of the racket head, ready to intercept any potential counter drive or push that your opponent might have.

Being light around the head also gives you a very good mobility rating. I would say that you'll be able to contact the shuttle ahead of your usual, especially if you're going up for the net kill.

Control
Last but not least, the most important spec of a racket. To me, being powerful isn't really a good thing until you can aim it. The Yonex Nanoray 700RP gives you superb control, it's almost perfect.

I demand a really high percentage of the shots I hit. No mishits, no weaker shots, no shuttles going where I didn't intent them to; each shuttle has to leave the string bed and go exactly where I want them to. At least that's what I try for anyway.

The NR700RP cuts it pretty close, taking my shot making to new level with tight net shots, clinical drives and smashes along with very threatening counter defenses.

Fans of trick shots can also know that it's really easy to pull them off with this racket. It's speed and accuracy allows for a very tactical play.

Looks
Orange and brown and shiny alien white. This must be one of the more unorthodox color combinations that Yonex has come up with, successfully.

The Nanoray 700RP looks very streamline, very futuristic. It's like beams of light are flying off the racket. Matched it with orange strings and grip.


Yonex Nanoray 700RP
Defense: 10
Attack: 7
Control: 10
Looks: 9

25 comments:

Anonymous said...

will you do a nanoray 800 review soon? hope to see it

Arthur Wong said...

Hello, thanks for reading!

I had a look at the Nanoray 800 that day... and it's too ugly to own..

Apologies, but I don't think there's much chance of seeing the racket review here.

Even more since it's a slow-selling model. Though my stringer has told me that the one person he sold a NR800 to has told him that it's a very nice racket to use.

No more detail than that I'm afraid..

Anonymous said...

sad.. =)
I am thinking of 700FX, 800 or Voltric Z-slash, but really can't decide which to choose between them. I am not so pro that can feel the racket with frame only or without playing/using it. I would say I am an intermediate player with fast reaction, mainly play for doubles. Got a chance to read your blog and would like to listen your opinion.
Besides that, is there any big difference between 700FX and 800?

Arthur Wong said...

The Z-Slash is a very punishing racket, and I think a lot of people get suckered in by the marketing and the legend behind the racket.

Small frame, very fast swing speed, very small sweet spot. Unless you've had a lot of practice with the racket, you're going to have to get used to frame hits and mis-swings.

According to their website, the NR800 is stiffer and more head-heavy than the NR700FX.

For the 700 series, you'd want to choose the stiffer one (700RP) if you're a quick swinger that uses more wrist.

The Flex variation benefits the long swingers with big pull-backs on their strokes.

Hope this helps!

Anonymous said...

get ashaway viper xt 1000 , high tension 26-28lbs on nanogy 98, more repulsion.

similar spec with nanoray stiff and light racket

better string bed for mis-hit spot and plus more tension

suitable for attacking play
max tension 30lbs

Arthur Wong said...

Thanks for the suggestion! I've heard a bit about the racket, but unfortunately I've yet to chance upon one :)

Will surely try it out if I get a chance!

tcterence said...

I currently own this racquet and it is my number 1 racquet...

I play mainly doubles these days as I am no longer fit to play singles.

The speed on this racquet is next to none... ahem... I also have the Nanospeed 9900 and that one is quick too.

These are the only 2 racquets in my bag after I sold my long beloved Muscle Power 99 and Muscle Power 100.

I have recently decided to try out with Victor given that Yonex appears to be one of the most expensive racquets that one can own...

Arthur Wong said...

I'm feeling the speed from the NR700 too.. It's got the fastest swing of the head lights from Yonex's range.

If you're a fan of head light rackets, I'm not too sure if Victor will be a good alternative. Their rackets have a lot more emphasis on power and stiffness in the shaft.

I guess that's why the Asians love em so much.

Apart from the Bravesword series, you'll find a lack of speed from any Victor racket compared to the Nanoray.

tcterence said...

Hi Arthur,

I had a good swing with my newly acquired Victor Brave Sword 10.
It has a longer shaft that Yonex and it's stiff.

I have the 3U version so it is as heavy as my Nanospeed 9900 (3U).

I managed to get good backhand clears without much effort.

I also managed a couple of cross court net shots while retrieving a drop shot.

Yup... I will only stick with the Bravesword series as I have spent hours reading reviews about it.

I strongly agree with you that the NR700 has the fastest swing from any racquet that I have owned (from the Yonex Blacken series, Carbonex series, Carlton, Muscle Power and now the NanoSpeed and Nanoray).

Me thinks that if one enjoys doubles and likes to drive their shots, the NR700 is the way to go and if one likes to smash a lot can go with the Victor Bravesword series. I personally find that I get more power from the Bravesword than the NR700.

Arthur Wong said...

I've never had the chance to use a Victor Bravesword 10, so I can't share your experience with the fabled racket. :(

However, I do generally agree that head light rackets deliver faster drives and defense. The NR700RP has an amazing defense and agility rating.

Glad you're happy with the BRS10! I hope to be able to get my hands on one soon!

Anonymous said...

Looks like a lining n36 to me....

Anonymous said...

Hi Arthur,
Lovely review and I am convinced to pick this NR700RP but I prefer 4U weight. You think it will have negative effect in power? I am weak on muscle and currently using Voltric 7 and looking to up my game using a stiff racket. Also, how is NR700RP on backhand clears?

Arthur Wong said...

Hello, glad you liked the review!

I've had the chance to try out the NR700RP for a singles session sometime back, and was impressed by how much control and power the racket could give me.

I see a noticeable change in power when I switch between my 2U and 3U Nanospeed 9900, and I should think it would be the same for the NR700RP.

Weak hands can be trained, so give the 3U a shot. It's a headlight racket, quite a change from your 4U Voltric 7.

You will find that a headlight racket is backhand biased; forehands will require better technique and strength to pull off right.

All the best for your game!!

Anonymous said...

Hi Arthur,

Lots of things solve when jumpin ur site, despite review hi end product a bit confuse with 'PBSI' or something like that sticker attach at the most of the Yonex racket. What is related with Yonex Japan and as it sole in Malaysia.

Thanks sir..

Hoàng Mạnh Cầm said...

hi Arthur,
Thank you for your reviews. I would like to choose a new one racket for doubles game since my racket is too heavy for me in last games.
My style is balance ( quite more offensive ) and I play mostly in men's doubles. Now I'm use Lining Woods N90 II, it's very good in smashes but I feel it's really heavy when I'm tired. That's why my defence and reaction are very terrible. And I'm not good in backhand. So could you please recommend me some rackets that suite for me. I prefer yonex racket but in some cases, victor or li-ning is good as well.
Thank you very much!

Arthur Wong said...

Hey there, thanks for reading!

I hear the victor rackets can come off well on defense. Might want to give the bravesword series a try?

Otherwise the Yonex ArcSaber FB seems a fast swinger too.

Anonymous said...

Hi thanks for the review. Is the nanoray 700rp still good in singles and is good in attack. Does it have a better attacking force then the pro kennex nano x-thunder 6000. I know it is a different brand but I have that racket and I want to get something better and different

Anonymous said...

hi bro,
im actually a voltric series user.. still getting use with nanoray series as i own nrzspeed and nr700rp... thinking of getting nr800 to complete my high end nanoray series but since i havent tried it yet,i would like to get ur opinion on it... ive read ur review on nr700rp and it is intresting... may i know whats ur opinion on nr700rp vs nr800 overall performance?really appreciate ur opinion bro.. thanks..

Arthur Wong said...

Hey there, coming from a fellow collector, I'm thinking my opinion won't matter much on your decision to complete your set.

Besides, I have not used the NR800 enough to have written about it... Apologies but you'll have to get your comparison from another source.

The NR900 however, is another story. That racket is superior to the 700RP.

Anonymous said...

Wow.. Im intrested to get info on it... What are the differences between nr900 vs nr700rp?im not familiar with nr900... Wud like to get some info from u bro.. Many thanks:)

Arthur Wong said...

I've written a review for the NR900. You should read it :)

It adequately addresses the lapse of power presented in the NR700.

Anonymous said...

I think forecourt this racket is a monster because it is so manuverable. Rear court relies more on your technique because if you have bad technique, you will always clear short or smash weak. I can easily generate power with this racket after a few adjustments for clear and smash.

Arthur Wong said...

For me I'd rather use the NR900. Same speed at forecourt, no need to adjustment for anything and I get more power.

Good that you're able to utilise the NR700 that well :)

Anonymous said...

I agree with you too. If I really compete, I would definitely buy the NR900 for that extra performance. I only play recreational badminton. I just wanted to leave my comment for other viewers who are considering buying NR700RP or headlight rackets in general because I had trouble deciding when I was making purchase since there are so limited reviews on these rackets. I am an extreme type of thinker so I thought that when reviewers put that the racket is weak in certain areas, it would translate that I would perform worse with the racket. Most people just love head heavy rackets in general, but after switching from head heavy to headlight, I had to make some adjustments in terms of timing, but I like headlight more.

Arthur Wong said...

So do I! My go to is the ZSpeed.