Sunday, March 30, 2014

Badminton Racket Review: Yonex Voltric Z-Force II

Hey guys, found out some other site's been taking my article wholesale, so be a sport and bookmark the original site - http://everythinggoeshere.blogspot.sg

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First impressions here.

I only recently got a chance to watch the All England 2014 finals between Lee Chong Wei and Chen Long. I heard it was a really good match where the world number one came out and outright dominated the Chinese youngster.

Had to admit that it was a little hard to believe, seeing how Chen Long has one of the best impressive winning records against Chong Wei, next to badminton legend Lin Dan. I pegged it down to Chen Long being a little off form.

That was until I finally watched the match.

Lee Chong Wei was playing with a whole new level of confidence, and the shots that he pulled off were none like the ones I'm used to see him playing. There seemed to be a heavy emphasis on the fast drive to the right-hand side of Chen Long; Lee was certainly prepared for the fast straight rally - something that he's not used against his Chinese foes.

And I think it's got something to do with the racket. It's got something to do with the Yonex Voltric Z-Force II.

So I went for a few rounds with the racket, in singles play. And I was right.

Note. This is a review of my experience after using the racket. Take this with a pinch of salt, enjoy the read, and let me know what you think!

Yonex Voltric Z-Force II
Est. Dry Weight: 85g (was listed as 4U)
Grip Size: G5
Balance: Head Heavy
Stiffness: Stiff
Strings: Yonex Nanogy 98 @ 28lbs

Defense:
Blazing. I hadn't expected something from the Voltric line to be this fast, but the speed I had on the Z-Force II was shocking. Not only was I able to respond to the smashes coming at me, I found it easier to perform a high lift should I need to.

Drive defense was also remarkable, as proven by our world number 1 against Chen Long. I could actually feel confident taking on the opponent at drives, able to turn from a hard push to a soft block when the occasion calls for it.

But in time you will find out that it's not only the defense that remarkable; the control and offense for the racket really adds to the experience, making the Yonex Voltric Z-Force II one of the best rackets I've ever used.

Control:
If you watch the match between Chen Long and Lee Chong Wei, you'll find that Lee had a very small number of unforced errors. Close to all his shots were spot-on accurate - his lifts were high and long, his clears were so close to the backline that Chen usually decides to hit them instead, his attacks at the tramline were so deadly.

Take a hold at the Z-Force II and you'll know how that feels like. I was able to guide the shuttle to all corners of the court without much difficulty, and it felt so good in my hands. The level of confidence you have knowing that you could set up shots to most any corner of the court is staggering.

And even if it's at the net, the amount of control that you get from the Z-Force II takes your breath away. Each tumble a dance, each slide a crisp cut at the shuttle. Wow.

Attack:
It's a Voltric, so need I say more?

But I shall, because this was probably what amazed me most about the racket. Even a small-armed played like myself could pull off some powerful shots with this.

Once again I digress to the Lee / Chen All England singles final. This game has got to be the best testament for the Voltric Z-Force II.

Take a listen to all of Chong Wei's smashes. Notice how the racket came down with such a perfect, sharp, resounding whip? It was almost like he was breaking the sound barrier with the racket, so powerful yet delicate.

From experience the racket is capable of delivering one heck of a smash. I personally remember a cross court over head smash, which isn't really one of my strong suits. The hit was powerful, with a sound that usually doesn't come from one of my attacks. I was able to follow that up with a cross court finisher ala Peter Gade.

That kind of thing usually doesn't happen. The speed and the power of the shot is crucial, and the Z-Force II gave me that confidence.

And the best thing about it? The attack comes off fast. It is dead accurate. And you can recover fast enough to kill the rally if your opponent manage to block the initial attack.

Tri-Perfecto.

Looks:
It comes in a cool matte black, marked with luminous blue streaks. Very Tron. Not the best of designs, but at least chips and scratches won't be as easily visible.

photo: yonex.com

Yonex Voltric Z-Force II
"Tri-Perfecto."
Defense: 10
Control: 10
Attack: 10
Looks: 7



100 comments:

annyn matheson said...

Woot, I totally agree with your review, minus the looks part. Its a beauty to handle.

Thanks for the review! and if you have time, would you be able to test the nanoray 750?

Anonymous said...

Is it more head heavy than n90 II ? Is it easier to us ZF II than n90 II ?

Anonymous said...

how is this racquet compare with n9 lining ? hehehe. Is the head weight is same ?

Nhan Hoang said...

Eager to see the comparison with the n90iii and vtzf balance and stiffness wise. HH racket is not my cup of tea nowaday but this had taken my breath away. Thanks for the review mate :)

Arthur Wong said...

Hey there Annyn! Still not that big on midnight black, but I have to say the racket totally rocks!

Not that keen on the Nanoray though, head-light and all..

Arthur Wong said...

@Nhan Hoang, The N90III is probably more head heavy, but the VTZFII is way stiffer.

Bear in mind that I am comparing using the 4U VTZFII.

Arthur Wong said...

@Anonymous The VTZFII feels less head heavy (bear in mind the N9 has a shaft-heavy distribution and the VTZFII I am comparing with is 4U)

It is less heavy than N90II, and easier to handle.

Anonymous said...

Another question for Mr.Wong. How is the head shape ? Because yonex "Z" type all have a very small head compare to others. Is it smaller than n90ii and Arc10 ?

Anonymous said...

Which is better the N90iii or the voltric z force 2

John Kang said...

zforce 1 4u vs zforce 2 3u?? is the zforce 2 that hard to handle??? coz zforce 1 3u was hard to handle and i was wandering if i should stick with zforce 2 4u or 3u??

Arthur Wong said...

The head shape is like you observed, smaller than the others.

Seemed no problem to me though. The ZF2 was a pleasure to wield!

Arthur Wong said...

The N90III and the VTZF2 are two really good rackets.

I had a better feel with the VTZF2 though, but only slightly.

Arthur Wong said...

Can't help you there John, I've not used a 3U ZF2 before...

John Kang said...

if you compare vtzf 1 4u and vtzf 2 4u which has a better smash???? do u think its an upgrade of a diff racket??

Arthur Wong said...

Let me try that at singles tomorrow and find out :)

John Kang said...

how was it???

John Kang said...

how was it???

Arthur Wong said...

Hey John, I've written an entry about it. Check it out.

http://everythinggoeshere.blogspot.sg/2014/04/badminton-racket-comparison-yonex.html

Muhammad Hariz said...

Sir, i already try Voltric Z force 2. Very impressive. I juz want to ask whether i need to string it with nanogy 98 or 66 ultimax? I am intermediate level player.

Arthur Wong said...

Hey Haziz,

Strings are a very personal choice. I suggest you go with what you normally use, and if that's still not good enough, adjust tension or string type if necessary.

Not much help here, but it's kinda the truth when it comes to strings.

Anonymous said...

Can you make a review of the RSL Millenium Attack Ti 3200?

Arthur Wong said...

Hey Hariz, realised I got your name wrong. Apologies!

Arthur Wong said...

I can't get that racket here dude, so doubt there'll be a review.

Dz said...

thanks arthur! btw i just go back on your first impression on this racket. is it 4u to you gives much less power compared to a 3u? cause im intending to use in doubles, im concern that 3u might be a tad heavier for me, but 4u can still delivers an admirable smash right??

Dz said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dz said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Arthur Wong said...

Never used a 3U before, but the 4U is good!

m0i_loves_tedibur said...

Hey there, thanks for the review as always. I'm just wondering if you could compare the head heaviness and stiffness between the VTZFII and the N90 briefly for me. Thanks very much! -- Reimon

Arthur Wong said...

Sure! The ZFII wins on stiffness, and the N90 wins on head heaviness.

Anonymous said...

Is this the best racket that you have ever used?

Arthur Wong said...

I would have to say yes to that. It's pretty much perfect when it comes to control, power and defense.

Redisluv said...

Looking forward to this beast! Nice found! ��

Redisluv said...

Hey Arthur, can armortec 900 technique do well like vtzf2 did? Because your review about at900t pretty solid too. 9/10 for defence, power, and control. Thx for your opinion.

Arthur Wong said...

Well I used the rackets very far apart so the views might have changed a little.

The AT900T is a very all-round racket, not too heavy to handle and able to whip up a good defensive or attacking play when you need it.

But with the ZFii it just feels like all that just comes a little bit easier.

Plus, I used a 4U ZFii while the AT900T was 3U. That the power wasn't very much compromised is pretty sweet.

narendran said...

Hi
Can anybody help me choose between the voltric zf 2 3u version and 4u version . Is there a huge loss in power? Does the increase in speed compensate for it? Will the victor powerizer help making a 4u version feel like a 3u version in terms of power? Does the 3u zf have more power than 4u zf 2 ?
Thank you

narendran said...

Hi
Why is the recommend tension on the voltric zf 2 3u version 28lbs compared to 27 on the 4u version? Can I use led tape or powerizer on 4u and increase the tension safely
Thank You

narendran said...

Hi Alex
Which among the following do you prefer? For what reasons? Yonex vt zf2 , li ning n 90 3 , lining n90 2 ?
Thank you

narendran said...

Hi Alex
Which among the following do you prefer? For what reasons? Yonex vt zf2 , li ning n 90 3 , lining n90 2 ?
Thank you

narendran said...

What are the differences between the li nining n90 ii and n 90 iii? Which is better
Thank you

Arthur Wong said...

Hi Nerendran,

It's Arthur.

Now let's get to some of your queries.

1. If you want to stick lead on your 4U, get a 3U.

2. Li Ning N90-III. It's got a bigger head. Less likely to throw off crappy shots, in my current form.

3. Color, weight, shape. All different. I can't say which is better because you didn't give me anything to gauge on.

narendran said...

Hi Arthur
Lee chong wei uses only a customised yonex voltric z force 2 .do you think it will have any similarity to the version available for sale?
Thank You

Arthur Wong said...

That, I can't be sure of.

What I'm sure of is that even with a $5 racket he'd be able to kick my ass.

TS said...

Hi Authur, I've just found your blog today and I'm enjoying it so far. I love your way of describing your experience with the racquets. Have you tried the Yonex Flash Boost? I heard of it being the lightest racquet but not so sure how well it fares.

Arthur Wong said...

Hey there TS, thanks for reading and glad ya like it!

Yes I have tried the Yonex Flash Boost. It's a really good racket if you play a lot of doubles and up front - the speed you get at the net is amazing.

However it does fall short when you want a little more power in your shots from the back.

Also, the softer frame can't really take the higher tension. Some people I know jokingly call it the Yonex Fast Break, looking at how often the rackets crack from higher tension stringing.

TS said...

Wow, thanks for the insight. Yeah, I might have to consider another racket.
Would the nano ray 900 or z-speed be better? I usually don't play high tension as my arm size is also small, playing at a low-intermediate level. So i usually play around 25lbs.

Also currently there is a sale for Yonex SHB 01 LTD and SHB F1 MX. I've read your review on the 01ltd, and I've tried on the shoe, it seems rather comfy but I notice there's not much ventilation.
Personally I like the F1mx's unique blue design, but I'm not really sure how well it would be in comparison to the 01ltd. How would you suggest?

Arthur Wong said...

I personally love the Z-Speed, and have never used the NR900, so I'll have to go with the ZS on this one.

As for the shoe, I've been waiting for my blue shoes (Babolat Shadow) to run out so I can get myself the F1MX.

Less time on the court basically means I can't buy another blue pair for quite some time.

Hari said...

Hello Arthur,

Very insightful blog. I am in the process of replacing my beloved hairline cracked Nanoray 80 4U which I use exclusively for doubles with a preference for power play from the back. Have whittled it down to AT 900 4U or VZF II 4U and tested the AP 900 3U - an excellent racket, but guessing the 4U has better maneuverability? Which do you think is best suited for doubles play in terms of nice repulsion on backhand shots / swift defensive response without compromising good old smashing from the back?

Arthur Wong said...

Hello Hari, glad you like the read.

I've tried both the 3U AT900T and ZFII for doubles and they both perform well in defense and offense.

I have got more experience with the AT900T, and because it's a cheaper racket, I would sway towards that one.

Hari said...

Arthur,

Thanks for that. Know that you used the 3u but will the inclination towards a 4u like my NR80 sap the smashes... and what strings did you use? Lastly, is it true the frame size of the AT is a tad larger than the ZF II making the sweet spot easier to hit?

Arthur Wong said...

The difference between the 3U and 4U power is quite substantial. I'm on NBG98 @ 27lbs.

The Yonex "Z" series of rackets tend to have smaller head frames. Yes, that makes sweet spots a whole lot harder to hit.

Hari said...


Thank you again Arthur. Keep this smashing blog going strong...

Anonymous said...

Great review and I enjoyed every bit of it. Have been using ZFII 3U for about 4 months now and am in love with this raq. Must agree, it was difficult to tame this one for a while but, once you get the knack , nothing' like it. Am going for 4U version as well for doubles play. I totally disagree on the color scores. Am a sucker for black and this one is just awesome. Understand it's personal though. Great work :)

Arthur Wong said...

Thanks for the compliment! I enjoyed writing about the Z-Force II. It's one of those really exceptional rackets that gives you a magical feeling on court.

Got my hands on the 3U version lately and totally love it over the 4U. The amount of power you get with the 3U version is on a whole new level.

And it's not slow at all for doubles either. Totally enjoyed it.

Plus, I got my hands on the flashy pink one :)

Raymond Sim said...

Current I'm using ZF2 and recently I bought one more Zspeed. I found that, ZF2 is more friendly to use than Zspeed. the stiffness of Zspeed is not that easy to handle the racket.Between, the sweet spot of compact flame need longer time to adapt.

Arthur Wong said...

You have the opposite experience to me :)

Anonymous said...

i am currently using a zf2, love the extra ommph/power it gives me when i smash, but the smaller head frame isn't suitable for me currently as i've just started playing for a month after a 15 year hiatus.

Am wondering if the n90-3 will suit me more, i love to attack but am generally weak (lack of power/proper technique/timing) as i've only just started playing.

Currently just manage to get used to the zf2, winning easily but smashes are still a little off.

Could the n90-3 be more suitable for me?

Arthur Wong said...

Hey there, thanks for reading.

The N90-III offers more control and consistency because of the larger head frame size, but it loses out to the ZF2 in terms of power.

This is owning to the more flexible shaft.

Your pick, but my suggestion is to stick with the ZF2. It'll get better, and you will enjoy the game more. :)

Anonymous said...

which one is similar to arcsaber z slash ? ZF2 or Zspeed? thank you

Arthur Wong said...

ZSpeed.

Brendo said...

for newbie, which is better?
vtzf2 or n90iii or n55iii?

Arthur Wong said...

Hey Brendo,

I'll have to go for the N90III. It's not as heavy or stiff.

Anonymous said...

Hello Arthur,

Very nice blog. I'm looking for a great all-round racket mainly for high intermediate doubles games and the occasional singles game. It needs to have good power, good control, fast handling, and preferably a large sweet spot. I'm 27, 5'6" and about 130 lbs. I have good stamina and a fast swing. I have a Z-Slash but I've read that it doesn't have a good sweet spot. Can you please tell me which of the following have the biggest sweet spots: VT80, ZF2, N7, N9, N50-2, N50-3, N55-3, N80, N90-3, and the N90-3 S-Type. Are these ideal doubles rackets for someone of my size and skill level? And which do you feel are easier to wield...the 4U versions of VT80 and ZF2 or the 3U Li-Nings?

-Grant

Arthur Wong said...

Thanks for reading, Grant. And glad you like it!

The biggest sweet spot probably belongs to the N80 and N90-III. The two of them sort of share a same head frame shape and size.

I would go for the N90-III if you're looking for an overall racket. The N80 can be a little heavy for doubles play.

As for 3U or 4U, I used to think 4U would be better for doubles, but the lack of power doesn't really make up for it. What speed you get from the lighter racket is only good when you're defending, and I don't think you want to be on the receiving end of a rally anyway.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the advice, Arthur. :)

-Grant

Arthur Wong said...

Most welcome Grant! Happy smashing!

Anonymous said...

Hi Arthur,
I enjoyed reading your site and would say that your comments are accurate.
I need some advice on whether to consider VTZF2 3U or 4U.
I am mainly a doubles player and using Arcsaber11 3UG5 and had good fortunate to try VTZF2 4U Version, and I enjoyed it however I found that there is lack of power on smashes and some defensive returns
when compared to my Arcsaber11 3UG5. I am a player mostly play using
wrist and fingers actions.Most of my rackets are all 3U Series.
From your reviews you said that you have tried both 3U and 4U version
and there is Trade off in power and manoeuvrability between the two.
Will be a much difference for someone like me who uses mostly 3U rackets to adapt easily to the 3U version of VTZF2 in-terms the speed of defence compared to my Arcsabre11 3U.

Arthur Wong said...

Hey there, thanks for reading and glad you like the blog!

The problem with the ZForce-II isn't just the weight, but also the stiffness. While the AS11 might be as heavy as the ZFII on scale, the head heaviness and stiffness of the latter might be a little too much for someone who's used to playing with even balanced rackets.

I suggest you give the ZFII a trial before you get it, because it can quite the game changer power-wise should you master the stiffness. Ask a friend?

Anonymous said...

Horrible Racket Dont even know can move at all or not.Really lousy nuuuubby racket why you give a so higgggghhhhhh rating?

Anonymous said...

I agree with the one who said it is a bad racket. I bought the 1u version and it turned out to be horrible.Why does people like it I have another friend who had it. Fast but not as good as the yonex b500i.

Anonymous said...

God loves it. Does he horrible racket although nice design you gave a wtong one. Control 0 Attack 1 Defence 0 Design 10 this is much better. By the way i bought the 1000000u version

Anonymous said...

Who are you . How DARE YOU OFFEND THE LOUSIEST RACKET IN THE WORLD!

Thomas J said...

Hi Arthur,
My current racquet is 4U VT70. Kindly help/advice on the below:
1. Is ZF2 better/faster in defence compared to VT70?
2. Which is better for clears from the back court; ZF2 or N90-III?
3. Which is the racquet that first comes to your mind for clears from the back court?

Thanks for your time. I tried Victor BS12 recently but it didnt work for me as I struggled with the clears from back court.

Arthur Wong said...

Hey there Thomas. Would you have any idea why you are struggling with the back court clear?

Or have you placed the issue on the racket and think that getting another racket will help you?

If it's purely a racket problem, then go for the Z-Force II. If you still can't hit the back of the court, perhaps it's the shuttle.

Thomas J said...

Hi Arthur,
Thanks for the response. I struggled with BS 12 but not with VT70.
Could you please advise whether ZF2 is faster in defence compared to VT70.

Arthur Wong said...

Sounds like a head heavier racket would be advisable, though a flexible shaft racket like the BRS12 should have no problem hitting the back of the court.

The ZF2 potentially is better in defense given the stiffer shaft, but the head frame is smaller so you might have a bit of difficulty with it until you're used to the smaller size.

Senjaya Xiera said...

Hi Arthur,

I currently owned Z-Force 2 LCW 3U and Nanoray 900 3U as my primary racquet. I Often play double game. I found out that my Z-Force II LCW delivers so much power but it lacks on defense where the nanoray was the opposite.

I am thinking to sell one of my racquet and grab a 4U Z-Force 2 if it has the combination of power and defence. Will it do any differences? What are you suggestion?

Thank you

Arthur Wong said...

Hey Senjaya, I think you'll be disappointed with the lack of power in the 4U Z-Force 2.

You're experiencing the large drop in defensive quality because you're comparing a Z-Force with a Nanoray.

If you want to increase defensive qualities using the Z-Force, you just have to stick with it no matter how bad it seems at first. You'll get better if you persevere.

Senjaya Xiera said...

Hey Arthur thanks for the answer,

My situation now is that I became accustomed with nanoray 900, whenever I use the z force 3u, I feel my arms quickly became fatigue and hurt a little bit after few smashes. Is it better to stick with 3u or instead I just use the nanoray which my arm accustom to?

Is there much weight different between 3u z force II and the 4U? Do you think my arm will accustom to 3U if I keep my practice using 3U?

Arthur Wong said...

Hey there Senjaya,

I used to use a lot of 4U rackets too, and then I started to play a lot more singles and before I knew it, the 4U rackets doesn't give the amount of power that I want anymore.

Over the span of a year I started to switch to 3U rackets, which was a good thing. Now even when I play doubles I get the power that I need from the back court and still manage to pull off a couple of good defensive shots.

There isn't much weight difference between a 3U Nanoray and Z-Force 2. The decision maker is in the weight distribution. While you might be used to a head light racket, the Z-Force will be able to get your attacks in more.

The last time I checked, smashes win more points than defenses.

Chris Nguyen said...

Hi Arthur,
What a review... I'm really impressed. I just recently get ZF2 strung with NBG98 24lbs. However, some of my friends said higher tension will give more power, but some said lower tension gives more power. Can you help me clarify this? And which tension do you think will give decent amount of power in single matches? Thank you very much in advance.

Chris

Arthur Wong said...

Hey there Chris, your friends are both right. Here's my take on the issue.

Depending on how accurately you hit the sweet spot of the string bed, your shot power will vary, and generally the tighter the strings can be pulled back on a hit, the stronger the repulsion.

That means, to gain maximum repulsion you will need to get maximum pull-back.

The amount of pullback a player gets on a hit will also depend largely on his hit strength. The harder the player can hit, the longer the potential pullback.

So, combining both points together, you need to hit both hard and accurately.

Which is where the string tension comes in. Players who can hit accurately will get more powerful shots on average. For those players, they'll just need to gradually increase their string tension to generate a greater repulsion.

Conversely, if you hit hard but not accurately, lowering your tension will give you harder hits on average, since hitting off-center with high tension basically means snapped strings.

I have grown used to 27lbs on my strings, and that's through a few years of playing on the same tension. I'm sure you will discover your limits too, and I hope my spiel here will help you go towards that discovery.

Chris Nguyen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Chris Nguyen said...

Hi Arthur,
Thank you for your response. One more question, I also just discover that there is 3U version for VZF2 as well. I also read some of the comments above about 3U, and some said 3U coud give you a better feeling depending on each type of player. Somehow, I feel that 3U could give more power (I used to use 3U on different racket), but it's pretty heavy and takes time to get well on handling it, especially on defense. I also read VZF2 LCW review and saw some lower scores on that than regular 4U VZF2. But I'm still a bit confused T_T. If you were to compare VZF2 3U vs 4U, how would you compare those two on these points:
1/Better on attack
2/Better on control
3/Better on defense
4/Better on power
5/Useful for both singles and doubles
P/S: I'm owning a VZF2 4U and I'm pretty happy with that. Maybe I should try a higher tension, like 26/27 as you use, to see the difference.

When I'm taking lessons, my coach told me that it is not a big matter of which racket I'm using, it is a matter of I hit correct strokes and using right technique and footwork or not. Is this right?

Thank you very much again.
Merry Christmas and Happy 2016!!!

Chris

Arthur Wong said...

Hey there Chris. I'll start off by saying your coach is absolutely right. The more skilled you are, the less your racket matters. You'll also get used to new rackets faster, and be able to understand how they affect your game play.

Next on, the reviews were based on my experience during that time, so it may vary :)

Not withstanding skill level of the player, a 3U racket will be higher in attack and control than a 4U one, given how it'll be easier to place shots given the added weight. It's like how a solid paper ball will fly easier than a loosely crumpled one.

That said, a 4U racket posses a higher defense rating because of its higher maneuverability.

Power is based on the player and his technique. Strings play a part too, but proper technique will add tremendously to the amount of power and control you can get out of your shots.

Away from the rackets, the more training you received and the more you play with a certain racket, the better you will be with it.

And since you have yourself a great coach, you can bounce ideas off on the areas you want to improve and he'll probably find a way :)

If you're hitting well with the 4U racket (good distance, good control, good angles), then the tension will be fine. If you can afford it, raise it by 2lbs from current and record down the differences. Then you can make a sound decision on the string tension suitable for you.

Hope that helped!

Blessed Christmas and Happy 2016 to you too!
Here's to more smashing good times!

Chris Nguyen said...

Hi Arthur,
It's me again. :) I hope you are doing well. I'm getting better with ZF II 4U now. I'm thinking about ZF II LCW edition. How would you compare these two rackets in terms of attack-control-denfense? For an aggressive player, mostly attacking, which one do you think would fit best?

Thank you.

Regard,
Chris Nguyen

Arthur Wong said...

Hi Chris, nice to hear from you again!

As far as I know, the LCW edition is but a cosmetic change to the ZFII. The LD one has a slightly thicker head frame, but is otherwise similar.

If you want more attack, going 3U might help, regardless of the racket you're using.

Anonymous said...

great site!

philip said...

Great insight on all the high end rackets ! Would you happen to know how this one differs from the Lindan version (white) ?

Thanks,
Philip

Anonymous said...

Heyy :) i'm thinking of picking up a new badminton racket and I've been reading all your reviews ever since. :) What racket would be recommend for me? I've been keeping an eye on VZF2 and the N90 III. I like to smash a lot and would love to be a better over all player whether in singles or doubles. I'm afraid my Li-Ning 3D Breakfree 80 Speed wont just cut it. :)

Arthur Wong said...

Hey there, thanks for reading and I hope you have found the reviews useful.

Your current rackets has a very stiff shaft, and not enough weight to back i up. This results in a lot of "hopeful swings" that seem to lose a lot of power once the shuttle connects. For this instance, lowering the tension on the strings might help give that little boost of power.

Between the two rackets you've posted, the ZF2 offers a better attacking experience. The N90III gives a better overall experience fromteh get-go, but I'm under then impression that over time, the ZF2 will be the better racket.

For this to happen you will need to spend a lot of time with the ZF2 to get used to the smaller head frame and the enormous mass. The shaft of the ZF2 is as stiff as your current so the head frame and weight will probably by your only problem.

Hope this helps, and happy smashing!

Finni said...

Hello Arthur!
I have the opportunity to buy a second hand VZF2 LCW (3UG5) for a good price but I already have a Voltric force(4UG4). Is there a big difference? With my current VF I often play in doubles. I like to controle the game and jump smash the shit out of the birdy ^^. But I prefer to play singles! The probleme I have is, that I can't move my VF quick enough to handle quick shots exchanges in a short distance/time(Hope it's understandable lol) => maneuver able? Backhand with this racket is difficult too. Slowly and my hand wrist hurts sometimes. But maybe I'm doing backhand wrong. I commonly run to the right position to hit the shuttle with my forehand.
I want more power on attack, but the controle shouldn't get worse in singles. Is this racket good for me?
I hope for your help :)

Arthur Wong said...

Hey there Finni,

Always a good feeling to own a new racket ay? :) Congrats on the purchase!

I've written a comparison between the two rackets before, so you might want to take a look at my entry for a more comprehensive account.

The ZF2 is an awesome racket, but will take a bit of getting used to since it's really stiff, really heavy and has a really small head frame. You already use a ZF2 4U, so the head frame shouldn't be a problem.

My advise to you would be to take some time to get used to the weight of the 3U. Flat exchanges will be bad for you in the mean time, so you might want to play to the strength of the racket and go for long rallies and hard smashes.

Once you get used to the weight of the racket, you'll be in control a lot more.

Also, I'd try not to use any backhands in singles play. It's slower to recover and you don't have sight of the opponent until you turn. That means slower recovery and shorter time to make decisions. Not very wise for a high level game.

Hope that helped!

Finni said...

Hello Arthur!
Thank you very much for your reply! Btw, I don't own a VZF2 4U. It was just a "Voltric Force (4UG4)" without the "Z" and the "2". :D
But I got my VZF2 LCW(3U, 12kg strung with bg66 force) finally. Yesterday I tested it for the first time in a double. First I was skeptical about the weight, grip size(G5), smaller head, string tension etc.
The smaller grip size was not a problem(factory grip + overgrip).
About the weigh, I believe, that it was a tick lighter than the VF! I had no problems to fast maneuver the VZF2. When I play with my backhand I didn't hurt my wrist and my arm doesn't get tired quickly. Everything combined, it was much easier to handle than the VF. But maybe it's just the placebo effect. lol

Well, I will practice more with this beast... with pleasure. :D

UCI Badminton said...

Hi Arthur,
It's me again. One thing I just notice but never pay attention before is that on every single racket, there is a sign say 4U(=< 27/28/29lbs depending on which rackets) and same thing for 3U. Let's say a racket (ZF2) indicate 4U equal or less than 27lbs, does that mean the racket can handle maximum 27lbs or actually handle higher 27lbs?

Thanks,
Chris

Arthur Wong said...

Hey there Chris,

That there's just the recommended highest tension for the racket. They are saying that at higher tension there might be a risk of cracking or breaking the frame.

Chee Wei Wong said...

Hi Arthur

It's a very good review! Impressive!

Would appreciate if you could advise:

I'm currently using Li Ning Woods N90-II and this is the best racket I have used so far for my past 10 years of playing experience. I like the solid feel of the racket, head heavy but not too much, not difficult to handle.

I play mostly single, very seldom double. Intermediate level.

My playing style is control + smashing (I smash only when there is good opportunity). I do not have problem using N90ii for single game.

If I were to choose ZF2, do you think I could handle a 3U? Or 4U is actually good enough for me?

Thanks in advance, and look forward to hearing from you!

Arthur Wong said...

Hey there Lee, you're well equipped to take on the ZF2. The racket is less head heavy then the N90-II but is hellava lot stiffer.

What I would caution about is the smaller head frame of the Yonex racket. You might take a little time to get used to it, coming from a large headed Li Ning.

3U please. 4U has no place in singles play...

Have fun with the new experience and do let me know how it goes!!

Murali Krishna said...

Hi Arthur

I just found your blog. I need some advice from you. I usually play doubles (95% doubles) from back of the court. I wont be able to demo any rackets as none of the sports shops in my place have high end ones. I can only order them online.

I currently have a nanospeed 6600 which is a head light one I suppose. My smashing technique is good. I am the person who mostly executes the smash in my team. Also I need cover the back of the court. After 3 years of using the NS6600, I recently I got a small pain on my shoulder which is my reason to consider changing the racket. Regarding my physique, I am 5'8" with good wrist and arm power. I need your help in choosing one from Voltric Z Force 2 4U, NR900, NRZ-Speed. Thanks

Murali Krishna said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Arthur Wong said...

Hey there Murali,

Thanks for contacting me, and I'm sorry to hear about the shoulder. I can maybe say the shoulder is due to many sessions of trying to get more power from a headlight NS6600.

With that in mind, I would think the rackets that you listed would not be suitable. The ZF2 is incredibly stiff, and the Nanorays are just too head light.

Between the three, I will settle on the Z-Speed. The racket has a little more weight in the head than the NR900, and that contributes to a little more punch in your shots to ease up the shoulder a little.

IF you're looking for even more ease in your shots, you might also want to consider a Voltric 80. Those have more flexible shafts that aid back court shot making, though the head heaviness might make defending a little hard at first.

Last but not least, I do hope you will see a physiotherapist if the shoulder pain gets too bad. Rather a moment of rest than a lifetime of regret.

Happy smashing!