Sunday, July 20, 2014

Badminton Racket Review: Yonex Nanoray Z-Speed

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.

Well, this is a long time coming hasn't it? I've gotten really busy at work and that practically wipes out my weekday games, so it's taken a lot longer for me to have a good enough idea of how to write this review.

Trust me, I've been meaning to get this out as soon as possible, lest I forget how good the Z-Speed felt. I have to admit though, that the first thought of giving this racket a good try was when Kenichi Tago kicked Chen Long's behind with it during the Thomas Cup.

I've been a fan of the youngster's and it's nice to know that he's still got a kick left in em. Was almost sure his time had come when he met with the losing streak last year.

But anyway, the racket turned out pretty darn well, and I can see how Tago chose this over the Voltric 80, Z-Force, and Z-Force II.

Note. This is a review of my experience after using the racket for a number of sessions. Take the findings with a pinch of salt. I'm not as good as some of you guys out there.

Yonex Nanoray Z-Speed
Est. Dry Weight: 85g (3U)
Grip Size: G5
Balance: Head-Light, but feels more even-balanced
Stiffness: Stiff
Strings: Yonex Nanogy 98 @ 28lbs

Defense:
Being touted as the fastest swinging racket out there, it's not surprising that this racket can pretty much block anything that comes its way. I find myself returning some seriously threatening attacks with the racket, and it's amazing.

The nanoray Z-Speed will pretty much react as fast as your eyes can see. Many times I didn't even turn my head and the racket somehow managed to land itself in the path of the shuttle. It's so quick I can't even believe that I got the shot back sometimes.

What's more about the defense is the amount of power and accuracy I manage to get into the returns. Any racket that allows me to do a backhand drive on a stretch pretty much takes the cake. Holding this racket gives me an awesome feeling at the front of the net, and for doubles that's a big plus.

If I were to say anything bad about the defense, which also holds true for the other sections to follow, is that the smaller size of the head frame (which comes with the Yonex 'Z' Series of rackets) will demand a good accuracy to hit home. A smaller sweet spot means harder, more accurate shots, but it also means more practice to be able to pull those off.

Control:
For one of my two-hour singles session, I tried using control sessions, which basically means I reduce my attacking shots to an absolute minimum and only hit the hard one on the kill.

The result was good. The Yonex Nanoray Z-Speed was able to hit all corners of the court without much trouble. I had good control of the situation and didn't have to be moved around a lot despite the amount of attacks my opponent was throwing at me.

Clears were effortless, the fast drop shots from the back were good, backhands were of passing grade (remember I don't play as much as I used to), and tight net shots turned out fine.

I distinctive remember being able to hit the hard flat shot to the back, throwing the opponent into thinking it was out. For a player of my calibre, that took some skills. Having the Z-Speed definitely helped.

Attack:
Pow.

This racket holds the world record for having the fastest smash. Well I'm no Tan Boon Heong, but I can feel the difference in speed of the shuttle coming off the string bed, and I like it.

Two things in particular for attacks when I use this racket. The first being the steepness of the shots that I'm able to pull off. As though being fast wasn't enough, my smashes with the Z-Speed seem to come off at a steeper angle than the other rackets, and  it had something to do with the racket being head-light.

I'm also able to execute some really good (and steep) smashes off the wrist. A simple twist and the shuttle goes whipping. Gives you a good feeling that you've got an extra surprise element to your shots.

However, I do feel that the Z-Force II is able to throw off a heavier smash than this one. Not that's it's an issue for me, but for those looking for explosive power in addition to speed, you might want to give the head-heavy series of rackets a try.

Looks:
I have to say it grows on you. And bright orange is a good color to be zipping through the air doesn't it?


Yonex Nanoray Z-Speed
"Speed Demon."
Defense: 10
Control: 10
Attack: 9
Looks: 9




57 comments:

Anonymous said...

Compare defence,drive,smash angle,smash speed with n90 iii n vtzf ii??

Anonymous said...

Stiffness n head heavyness compare to n90 ii,arc 10 n vtzf ii?

Arthur Wong said...

That's one whole article to write. Not for the moment.

Anonymous said...

Tried the z speed and love it over d n80 and vtzf2 lolz.more power n control and speed too!!!awesome

Arthur Wong said...

Makes the two of us!

I'm still a lot better overall on the court with the ZSpeed :)

Anonymous said...

Sir just wanna ask...is the z speed stiffer than the arcsaber 10 or the voltric 80?

Arthur Wong said...

They're all about the same stiffness actually.

Biswa Debnath said...

Sir m a intermediate player. Right now m using musclepower 22.... for the last 5 years..
M a bit confused between arcsaber 11 and z speed. Which 1 should I buy ? Plz help. ...

Arthur Wong said...

Hey Biswa, thanks for reading and for asking me to recommend a new racket!

There are loads of differences between the two listed rackets.

Can I check what your style of play is? Maybe then I can get a better idea of what to suggest.

Anonymous said...

hi, i need ur opnion..

which one more better.

zspeed or nanoray 900??

zspeed more better in defence than nr900??

i just afraid zpeed prob with small sweet spot.

Arthur Wong said...

Depends on whether you play well to a softer shaft.

The NR900 is much softer than the Z-Speed.

For me, the smaller head frame just takes some time to get used to.

But if you're used to stiff rackets, the soft shaft will be a big problem.

Sonali Kumar said...

Sir, I want your advice. I am a offensive n defensive player and usually smash, drop and block.
I am confused on if a should buy a Z Speed, Nanoray Glanz, Arcsaber or Voltric.
I am currently using a Nanoray 20 but I am thinking of buying a new racquet.
Please help me. Please reply as soon as possible.

Arthur Wong said...

Hey there Sonali, your current racket is a head light one.

If you want more power, go for a Voltric.
If you want more control, for for an ArcSaber.
If you want quicker defense, for for the ZSpeed.

Anything from the above in the high-end range will be good for you. The rest are china or taiwan-made, and not worth your money.

Anonymous said...

Hey Arthur,

I am currently using Z speed but I'm now contemplating as to either continuing with Z speed or go for Lin Dan Voltric Z force 2. My game is more of control than power but do like to hit those smashes off and on(which come off absolutely amazingly on the z speed). Need your advice on the same.

Arthur Wong said...

Hey there, I can't give much comments on the ZF2LD, but if you're confident in defense and have that spare cash to blow on another Yonex then by all means give the ZF2LD a try. Who knows, you might be surprised!

Anonymous said...

Thanks Arthur. Just wanted to check is there any difference between ZF2LD and ZF2 ? Came across 3 variants of ZF2 all differently priced!

Arthur Wong said...

I've posted on this before, but in summary the Lin Dan edition has a slightly thicker head frame.

Anonymous said...

Hi Arthur,
Im considering buying a new racket. Im using the nanoray80 right now.
Which would be a better racket (value for money) between the nanoray z-speed, arcsaber fb or nanoray glanz? Im more of an all rounder player, but more towards the offensive side.
Would you be able to give me a bit of advice on these rackets? or any other suggestions that you think will suit my play style.

Thank you!

Arthur Wong said...

Hey there, all the three rackets are about the same price point, so value for money is out I guess.

Offensive players will benefit from the Z-Speed. It's the heaviest of the lot and gives me a better experience on the court than the Flash Boost. I've not used the Glanz before, though any racket that won't let me play at my own string tension is a letdown.

raymee23 said...

Currently using Lining n90. Been thinking to change to nanoray z speed. Thank to your great review. I think I am gonna get this end of this month haha

Arthur Wong said...

Great! Glad I could help and enjoy your new racket!!

Shiren Tan said...

Hey Arthur Wong my z speed have no feel at all I recently changed the string to bg80 at 24 pounds. But is still the same so I am wanting to change to a voltric 70 e tune. Do you recommend that racket? Thanks

Arthur Wong said...

The BG80 is a thick string that I like to put it at high tension to get maximum power. Too long a tension tends to make the string too "bouncy" and loose.

My stand on the eTunes is that they're a marketing gimmick created amidst a period of technology lapse and fresh ideas. I'd rather put my money on a solidly built racket that doesn't rely on removable parts. Instability is the issue once the strings lose tension.

Also, you can also buy lead tape for your existing rackets. Cheaper and you don't have to cut your strings to "tune".

If you're going to get the VT70e, (i.e. a head-heavy racket with medium flex) then you might as well go for a VT80.

Shiren Tan said...

Ohh thanks dude

Shiren Tan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Shiren Tan said...

What string would you recommend for lower tension like 23 pound? I want to get the maximum feel of the shuttle and it must also be very replusive

Shiren Tan said...

Do you recommend bg66 force?

Anonymous said...

How does nanoray z speed actually feels ? , is it better than vzfii lin dan can u make a review of VZF2LD ? it would help anyway thanks :)

Arthur Wong said...

Hi Shiren,

It's pretty hard to get a good feel from your strings with 23lbs. I would go for something thinner like BG66 or the NBG98, though the strings will also lose tension faster.

My recommendation would actually be to try a tension like 25lbs and hopefully you'll get used to the tautness of the strings and the increased control it brings.

Might see yourself lose a little power in the beginning because of off-centered hits, but you'll get there.

Arthur Wong said...

I would think the ZFLD would pretty much be a slightly heavier version of the ZFLCW, so I'll give that a miss.

I love the ZSpeed. It's got the swing speed of a head-light with the power of a head-heavy. Once of Yonex's biggest successes in my opinion.

Shiren Tan said...

Ohh ok thanks

Steven Low said...

Hi Arthur,

I need some advice from you. Normally I'm playing doubles. After read the review of your yonex z speed, I feel that z speed is a very good racquet. But I'm looking to buy either z speed or Arcsaber 11. Currently I'm using Victor Bs12. Thank you from your precious advice.
-steven

Arthur Wong said...

Hey Steven, knowing what sort of style you like to play would help in my recommendation.

The Zspeed feels right for me because I have no need to smash really hard and favor control and defense over power. With your choice of the BRS12, it seems you're along the same lines as well.

I also have quite a decent backhand and would like to widen the repertoire of my shots with a head-light racket.

What works for me might not work for others. Those who favor an attacking disposition will get more out of head heady cannon like the Z-Force II.

Neel Akash said...

Hello Sir,

I am bit confused in buying between VZF2 and Z speed. I would like to inform you that I'm an intermediate player and like to attack more with accuracy. but also don't want to let behind in defense. I like the singles more but sometimes play in doubles. Could you please suggest me between these two racquets which will serve me well both in singles and doubles. I would also like to know which grip size is better for me ?? G4 or G5 ??

Thanks

Arthur Wong said...

Hey there Neel, I can't advise on the grip size unfortunately, though generally you can increase the size with thicker grip tape. G5 would be the way to go. I would compare it with your current rackets to get a sense.

Players with an intermediate understanding of the techniques tend to favor a certain playing style, and as a result will favor a certain type of weight distribution / stiffness.

For example, I am a control freak and prefer accuracy over power. The zSpeed or ZForce is my weapon of choice, the ZSpeed more so because of its versatility.

Defense is moot because the more time you spend with a racket the better it gets. You're just going to have to adjust your reaction and positioning according to the weight distribution.

So if I were to interpret your question again - you are using a racket you're unhappy with; you want a stronger attack (head heavier distribution) without compromising the accuracy (stiffness), and you don't want to lose points in defense (training, time spent). You play more singles than doubles (head heavy orientation), but you also want something that you can comfortably play doubles in (4U).

Totally based on the above, I would suggest a 4U ZForce 2.

Neel Akash said...

Hello Sir,

I am bit confused in buying between VZF2 and Z speed. I would like to inform you that I'm an intermediate player and like to attack more with accuracy. but also don't want to let behind in defense. I like the singles more but sometimes play in doubles. Could you please suggest me between these two racquets which will serve me well both in singles and doubles. I would also like to know which grip size is better for me ?? G4 or G5 ??

Thanks

Chris Nguyen said...

I'm considering between Voltric Z-Fore II and Nanoray Z-Speed, which one do you think is better in playing both single and double, and for more power?

Arthur Wong said...

Power = ZForce.

unixbugger said...

Dear Wong,

Can you please help me ?

For an intermediate to advanced player -
* Which one is more user friendly between VZF2 ( 4U ) and Z speed ( 4U ) ?
* Which one is more arm friendly or easy on arm ( to avoid elbow/shoulder pain )
* Which string maintains high play-ability and tension please give some names , I read that you suggested 25 LB to start with.

Regards
Raj

Arthur Wong said...

Hi there Raj,

I'm going to have to leave it to the intermediate / advanced player to make a sound judgement of their racket choice. At that level the player is well equipped to differentiate.

Generally, lighter rackets with softer shafts are easier on the arms.

The harder you hit, the less the tension retains. Thicker strings are more durable. You'll be better off with Yonex BG66 or BG80 if you're after a thicker string. Though most to all intermediate / advanced players will cut their strings once it becomes unplayable; durability is not a concern to them.

Your Buddy said...

Thanks Wong for the response, I live in US where its kinda difficult to try out these rackets.

You are obviously best to suggest what's better for an intermediate/advance player as we see how excellent you are and have vast experience behind you. Lots of learning from you here :)

From the user/arm friendliness and maneuverability stand point, is your experience which one is good all round racket for single and doubles between VZF2 ( 4U ) and Z speed ..

Kindly advise.

Arthur Wong said...

Hey there Raj, I'm going to go for the ZSpeed on this one. The racket is more forgiving for off-center hits and higher tensions.

Shiren Tan said...

Hey arthur which racket shld I go fori am a aggressive player and I love to smash I am considering which racket to buy z speed or z force

Arthur Wong said...

Hi Shiren, I believe I've advised you on the ZForce.

Anonymous said...

hi arthur. i have been using voltric 80etune for 2 months now and i think its heavy for me resulting in slow arm swing. do you think switching to zspeed is a good idea?

Arthur Wong said...

You'll never know until you try. But if you like the power delivered by the racket, you might be disappointed with the ZSpeed.

Also, the head frame of the ZSpeed is smaller, so your accuracy will likely take a hit.

Irv said...

Hi Arthur, my last racket was an Arcsaber Z-slash which unfortunately cracked during a doubles play. Despite people's complaints about mis-hits and hard to adjust to, I was eventually able to master it and it me to smash the hardest I've ever done and at the steepest angles among all the rackets I've tried. In looking to replace it with something equal or better, would you say the z-speed is the best option? I've read reviews on the Nanoray glanz, 900, arcsaber fb and the z force 2. I need a rackets that's easy on the arm so I can play longer. The head heavy rackets don't seem to fit that requirement.

Arthur Wong said...

Hey there Irv, I am under the impression that the ZSpeed is a good improvement over the ZSpeed. When I use the ZSpeed, I feel that it swings faster and I am also able to get harder smash out of it.

If you're adverse to head heavy rackets and don't want to invest in a older racket like the ZSlash, I might suggest giving the Yonex Nanoray Z-Speed a go.

Let me know how it pans out!

Chandrasekhar Reddy said...

Hi Arthur,

Please help me choose between Nanoray 900, Z Speed, Glanz
I tried medium range rackets
voltric 5
Nanoray L Plus 8
Duora 77 LCW

I liked Nanoray racquet and want to try the higher range racquet model
I like to play the clears, drops and positional play can't do much smashing... Hand pains after a few smashes... I think it is due to stiffness of the racquet but not sure (Now playing with Duora 77 LCW).

Which one I shall buy..?

And if possible could you please review Nanoray Glanz...

Arthur Wong said...

Hey there Reddy (I hope I got your name right),

Between the Nanoray 900 and the Z-Speed, I personally prefer the Z-Speed for it's slight edge in power at the loss of speed.

The Nanoray 900 does extremely well on defense, but back court clearing and smashes are a little lacking.

Never was into the Gantz, with its low tension frame. I think I'll give it a miss if you don't mind!

Let me know how it goes, and happy smashing!

Arthur Wong said...

Hey there Reddy (I hope I got your name right),

Between the Nanoray 900 and the Z-Speed, I personally prefer the Z-Speed for it's slight edge in power at the loss of speed.

The Nanoray 900 does extremely well on defense, but back court clearing and smashes are a little lacking.

Never was into the Gantz, with its low tension frame. I think I'll give it a miss if you don't mind!

Let me know how it goes, and happy smashing!

prithvi panesar said...

Hey Wong
I was using nanospeed 9900 for the past 5 years. I am an offensive player and i Smash alot. So i am confused which one should i buy between nanoray z speed, voltric 80e and arc saber 11 and arc saber z slash,

Chandrasekhar Reddy said...

Hi Arthur,

Thank you for the suggestion, I got my hands on Nanoray 900 since last 6 months. My game has improved a lot. I can play everyday n number of games without any pain & able to smash good. Although I feel that I have to put lot of effort to hit the clears & I am feeling little weak on the smashes.
I play doubles only
I am thinking of trying one other racket please suggest
1. Nanoray Z speed
2. Duora 10
3. Arcsaber 11
4. Victor Jet Speed

I am looking for following features
speed, attack, control, easy to hit clears

Thank you
- Chandra

Arthur Wong said...

Hey Prithvi,

What's wrong with the NS9900? That racket is a go-to for a lot of seasoned doubles players.

If you're after pure power, pick the Duora. The Z-Speed and Arcsaber will offer more control. I have not used the Jet Speed so I can't comment on that.

Either way, all three rackets are less stiff than the 9900, and if you're lacking in power from the racket I would think the two I suggested would suffice.

For more power you might also want to consider a Voltric 80 or the ZForce. They are both choice rackets.

Happy smashing!

Arthur Wong said...

Hey there Chandra,

Glad you like the racket. The NR900 is a very good doubles racket that offers speed and defensive capabilities without compromising too much on the back court.

Instead of getting a new racket, can I suggest you lower the string tension on your racket? That should help with the clears.

To get more speed, attack, control and clears out of your game, I would suggest training instead of a new racket.

Let me know how it goes if you do try out the strings!

Chandrasekhar Reddy said...

Thank you, Arthur

I almost forgot about the training and improving my game. I was just concentrating on buying the best racquet and following the best doubles international players.
I will start concentrating on improving my game. I am getting more confidence after putting a little more effort, I will stick to Nanoray 900 for a while now. My game style is changing slowly from defensive to attacking. I may try Duora 10 as you suggested if possible after some time ( I want pure power only now :) ).

- Chandra

Arthur Wong said...

Hey there Chandra, glad you'll willing to start working on improving your skills! I am a firm believer of going back to basics every once in awhile so we do not forget.

I've started a new series on that, inspired from my experiences training with a beginner friend of mine, and hope you will find it useful. I'll try and touch on increasing power of your shots in one of the articles.

When you start to notice a good improvement in the quality of your shots, a new racket will work even more wonders :)

Happy smashing!