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
Strings: Yonex Nanogy 98 @ 28lbs
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.
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.
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.
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.
Yonex Voltric Z-Force II