First impressions here.
This being my first review in such a long time, I'd like to take the change to thank all the readers who still visit the blog and leave real great comments. Racket technology has really stagnated and I've not been motivated to take on new ones, but hopefully that'll change soon.
The Yonex Voltric Z-Force II Lee Chong Wei was the last racket I felt the urge to buy, given the reasons beforementioned. One of the first things that stuck me was the very eye-catching color scheme - the dark pink, blue and gold hues versus the previous matte black and blue streaks.
Now I've always been skeptical about 3U Voltrics. While the series has become the top-selling yonex rackets due to it's immense power and attacking potential, the 3U rackets are notoriously difficult to handle.
From the Voltric 70 to the 80 and the Z-Force , I've always found the lack of total control over my shots disturbing.
This was changed with the Yonex Voltric Z-Force II. I used the 4U version and it was perfect in every way. While I could probably use a little more power to my attacks, the racket offered very little to frown on. It quickly become one of my favorite rackets.
The lack of power quickly caught up, especially in my doubles games, and it made me wonder if the 3U Z-Force II would do any good. This coincided with the launch of the Voltric Z-Force II Lee Chong Wei, and I took it upon myself to give it a try.
It was a tough journey, and I know I still have a long way to go before I can tap on the potential of this beast.
Note: This is a review of my experience after using the racket for a few sessions. I am by no means a professional player, and so you should take my judgement with a pinch of salt. I welcome comments of any sorts.
Yonex Voltric Z-Force II Lee Chong Wei
Est. Dry Weight: 88g (3)
Grip Size: G5
Stiffness: Extra Stiff
Strings: Yonex Nanogy 98 @ 27lbs
The biggest issues I have with 3U rackets is how slow I can get on defense. Being a counter-attack player, I depend heavily on my defensive shots to turn the game around and move the opponent into trouble. Having a racket slow of defense can really mess up my game.
Rackets I've abhorred because of this include the Yonex Armortec 900 Power, Voltric Z-Force, Li Ning N70 and N90-II. When the shots come, I take that few moments more to defend and it all goes downhill.
The Voltric Z-Force II LCW continues the trend of 3U rackets to a certain extent. While the slim head frame and shaft design adds to the aerodynamics of the racket, there's no taking away the extra 4-5g of weight at the front, which considerably drags your wrist down.
Lifts to the back off a smash now become a little harder to execute; the wrist just doesn't have enough power to pull the shuttle higher.
Blocks and drives, however, are amazing. The weight and the stiffness allows me to turn the shuttle straight of close to the net from off the opponent's attack. It's fairly easy to get it right, but having the lifts being nerfed really puts down the array of shots.
I do notice that I make more unforced areas with the 3U than the 4U. The extra weight adds to the forehands and takes away from the backhand, and it's resulted in a few unfortunate misjudges in clears.
The boost to forehand shots means I can throw out drop shots and drives quickly. The stiffness and the heaviness of the Yonex Voltric Z-Force II LCW allows me to apply more slice to the shuttle and still getting it across. Off the net, the stiffness really helps me judge the tight net shots.
The tradeoff, as I have mentioned before, is the backhand. I've grown lazy and the lack of speed moving back court has made me a rather competent backhand user. However, the Z-Force II LCW, with it's super stiff shaft and no flex, takes the power of my backhand down a few notches. What used to be a back-to-back court straight clear would constantly end up in the third quarter of half of the court.
Add the smaller head frame into the mix, and you've got yourself a very technique-heavy racket. I've going to have to give this guy a lot more wrist time before I'm able to pull off the backhands.
The attacks that come off this racket blew my mind off. My doubt from the 3U racket was resolved with the Z-Force II LCW, and if not for the sweet paintjob I'd be using the in doubles more often.
The 3U racket gives me a great boost when it comes to attack. When given the chance to really boot it, the shuttles that come from the Voltric Z-Force II LCW are nearly unstoppable. When you hit that sweet spot and can feel the shuttle stretch the string bed and shaft before being thrown full-force onto your opponent's side, it's awesome.
Drives really shine as well. The straight shots carry a lot of speed and I can't stress enough how important the fast exchanges have become in tournament play. It forces the opponent into a defensive stance without much time to think of the next shot.
The Yonex Voltric Z-Force II Lee Chong Wei delivers very well on the offence, but one you might want to remember is the lack of speed in defense. Put too much momentum into a normal attack (as opposed to a winner) may result in your failure to recover well should the opponent mange to return it.
While not a manly color like navy blue or tough black, dark pink exerts a certain professionalism to the racket and its user. The loud color contrast of the Z-Force II LCW gives one the impression that the user knows his game. Made for the World Number One Lee Chong Wei, the royal combinations pays homage to his dominance of the number one spot in the game. Alluring, courageous, and downright asking to be seen.
Yonex Voltric Z-Force II Lee Chong Wei