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
Strings: Yonex Nanogy 98 @ 28lbs
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.
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.
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.
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