Monday, February 09, 2015

Badminton Racket Review: Yonex Nanoray 900

Hey guys, found out some other site's been taking my article wholesale, so be a sport and bookmark the original site -


First impressions here.

The Asan / Setiawan pairing took the men's doubles circuit by storm back the mid of 2014. The pairing had an impressive technique, and was somehow able to turn the tide on their opponents and own the game both front court and back.

If the opponent tried to force the lift, the Indonesian pair would use cross court drives from their smashes and turn the rally into a battle of front court speed, which they easily win.

And if the opponent thinks the smaller Asian frames of the Indonesians weren't built for smashes and attempts to turn the game into a defensive slugfest, Asan's mad angles and power will put a stop to that.

Drive, and Setiawan will probably intercept. Lift, and Asan will put the shuttle beyond your defensive reach. The combination of front court speed and back court flexibility gave rise to the creation of what must be the perfect doubles racket for the pair - the Yonex Nanoray 900.

I've had the chance to take the racket to the court for both doubles and singles sessions, and I must say that I am tremendously impressed with Yonex's latest head light offering.

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 Nanoray 900
Est, Dry Weight: 85g (3U)
Grip Size: G5
Balance: Headlight
Stiffness: Flexible
Strings: Yonex Nanogy 98 @ 28lbs

Let's begin with the basics. The weight distribution of a racket dictates how fast one can swing the racket and change its direction. This agility in the racket head control lends greatly to the defensive flexibility of a racket.

While it might also mean that the racket can't get enough power into a hit, the speed of reaction and increased angle of reply balances that out. The player might want to choose their rackets based on that.

The headlight Nanoray 900 gives me a very comfortable defense. I find myself waiting for the smash just so that I can put the shuttle to somewhere I want the opponent to run to. I get more time to think about where to put the shot, and that gives me quite the confidence.

The lack of power in the reply does at times put me in trouble, but the quick response and agility of Yonex Nanoray 900 has helped more than hampered.

Another thing that I find happening a lot is the agility for me to followup to the net following a drive off an attack. The speed of the racket is nothing short of amazing, and turning defense into attack comes naturally.

While control isn't usually a flexible shaft thing, the NR900 is fast enough for you to time your shots better. This microsecond allowance allows me to give the racket a higher rating for control.

While I do find the backhands with the racket a little lacking in length, the forehands and smashes do not suffer from the same lack of control. Tight netshots are also quite easy to pull off, and I do have to emphasize that the very light weight of the racket head plays a key role in this.

Another wonderful thing that the Nanoray 900 allows me to do are trick shots! I'm quite the fan of the occasional showmanship, and the fast racket movement of the racket gives me plenty of time and confidence to pull off a few shots here and there.

I don't think anyone can destroy the shuttle like Asan with this racket, but one can try!

For me, the flexible shaft lends itself to an insane angle for attack, and I find myself hitting the service line on some of the back court jump smashes. While it took me awhile to get used to smashing with the wrist instead of the arm (full-on smashes kept going too low for me), the feeling of having the shuttle hit the floor in front of my opponents is one that I thoroughly enjoy.

Another thing I like about the Yonex Nanoray 900 is the power and creativity you can give your front court attacks. My buddy was telling me how my racket was literally right behind my back on one of my intercepts.

This is owing to the speed and flexibility of the racket, which translates to a very powerful hit when you're intercepting.

Not really something I would rave about. The grey and green color scheme isn't really eye catching. Perhaps that was why they had to release a black/white limited edition so quickly into the release of the racket.

Yonex Nanoray 900
"Greased Lightning"
Defense: 9
Control: 9
Attack: 9
Looks: 6


hannster said...

Great review. Keem 'em coming!

Arthur said...

Posts like yours make my day Hannster!

Thanks for reading!

Anonymous said...

Stiffness: Flexible

Arthur said...

Erm... Low?

Anonymous said...

In every website they say that is stiff. Are you sure that is flexible? Maybe is because you are used to HH racquets

Arthur said...

Well I did state that this is my experience with the racket. It just feels a little whippy to me.

Not that it's a bad problem, mind you.

Just had a go at the racket. The flex point is slightly lower than half the shaft.

Anonymous said...

can i know which one is better???
nanoray 800 vs nanoray 900

Unknown said...

Hello Arthur,
Love your reviews ! I've been intrigued lately about the Arcsaber 11 and Nanoray 900 ... How do the two compare ? I've been really wanting to try the Acr11 one day, besides your review on it, which I've literally read it so many times ^~^, What's your opinion on it ? And if I were to get a new racket would it be ok to jump the gun or wait a bit for Yonex to release something similar ?
Cheers ^~^

Arthur said...

@Anonymous - I prefer the Nanoray 900

Arthur said...

@Nathan - Thanks the reading. I'm glad I've been able to give useful information to players.

The ArcSabre 11 is a nicely even balanced racket that gives you a good mix of defense and attack, while offering a good weight on your hand. I've been able to get really good attacks out of it, and games with the AS11 were enjoyable.

The Nanoray 900 seems to be in a different league though, despite my speaking only from doubles games' experience. The NR900 is deadly fast both on defense and attack, which is a crucial factor in doubles play. It might not be as powerful as the AS11, but sometimes all you need is a little placement doesn't it?

Overall, I still enjoy the NR900 more than the AS11. They are both very good rackets in their own right. I'm just more used to either head heavy or head light rackets.

Yonex seems to have replaced the ArcSabre line with the Duora. Waiting for another even balanced seems to be a gamble I wouldn't recommend you take. Spring for one if you have the spare cash and enjoy the experience; there's always another new racket down the line and you might just end up waiting for the next best thing since Voltric...

Unknown said...

Can you tell me your opinion between NR900 and the ZSpeed. Im trying to decide which one to buy. Thanks

Arthur said...

Hey there Rei, that's a very vague questions you posed me. There are a lot of factors to base a buying decision.

Might want to me a little clearer in what you're trying to do with the new racket and what gaps you're hoping it will fill in your game play.

If your next answer is "I want to be a better player," then a new racket isn't the solution.

Anonymous said...

nice review Arthur.. thanx for sharing... well,im going to get nr900 rather than nr800:)

Arthur said...

You're most welcome. I think you made a good choice on the NR900.

Anonymous said...

How does the flex of nr900 compare with zslash ? i like the whip of zlash hehehe

Arthur said...

If you like it then stick with it?

The NR900 has a stiffer shaft in my opinion, and given it's head light orientation you'll want to keep it to the front of the court with short swings so the whipping part becomes out the equation.

Cploo said...

It sounds a bit like nr750..? I'm looking at this nr900 and nr750. Tried Nr900 and it feels pretty good, but I've never hv the chance to try nr750 :/ which do you recommend?

Arthur said...

I've not used the NR750, so I can't comment on that..

Anonymous said...

how would u compare the nanoray 900 and nanospeed 9900 based on power, speed, control....?

Arthur said...

I've received two queries about the Nanospeed 9900 in quick succession, so I'm going to assume they're from the same person.

@mr9900 that racket has been out of production for so long that the existing ones still available would be too old for use (like rubber soles not worn will literally break apart at first use).

Furthermore, technological advances in racket technology and material would render the 9900 obsolete in the modern game.

I've used the 9900 briefly a few years back, and found the racket lacking in power from the back court, rating high in defense (like all head light rackets would be).

For the sake of the industry I would recommend you attempt a swing at the Nanoray 900. Like the Voltric Z-Force II was to the Z-Force was to the 80 was to the 70 was to the Armortec, there is no reason to rely on an older racket unless it comes free.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Arthur for replying. i currently own zspeed, 9900, zforce2 and 1, voltric 80, and n90-2. imo, voltrics and n90-2 are very good in power and control where as 9900 is very good in defense, control and power is ok. but, there is a natural solid feeling i get from 9900 which i didn't get from any others. that's why i got zspeed to get hand on both world(power, control, defense). Still, i didn't get the solid feeling from this which is why i am wondering about nr900. rumor is that it's a replacement of 9900 with added power. So, i am thinking to give it a try, ofcourse with ur help. could u plz tell me is it worth it to get the nr900 over zspeed? and what would u choose between nr900 and nr-zspeed for singles and doubles together? i would appreciate ur kind advice.

Arthur said...

I wish everyone who asks me for racket advice explains it like you did! Now I know what you're going through and how best to advise :)

I just had a game with my trusty Z-Slash yesterday and boy did it feel good!

What I meant to say is that we all have a certain racket that we feel terribly for, and other rackets can't actually compare. The problem then comes when the rackets you are so used to have been replaced. Sigh.

In your case, it will be the NS9900. Though it wasn't my go-to I hear a lot of players swear by it, as did the NS7700 before it.

As far as a good soild feel goes, none in current time will beat the Z-Force 2. That guy is stiff and head heavy and delivers power with teh slightest touch.

THhe NR900 isn't too shabby either, but lacks a little in the power department.

With the Z-Speed you get more power, though that is made possible through a more flexible shaft for those long swings.

To address your last question, I only use the NR900 for doubles. The Z-Speed is used interchangeably.

Anonymous said...

Thanks much for ur kind advice, Arthur. btw, i played with the zspeed again yesterday to give it a try, it wasn't that bad. i think i gotta get more used it since i spent too much time with 9900. shots with zspeed feel very soft on touch, but it gets the job done perfectly. there are sometimes i was able to pull off some unbelievable shots which i didn't get with rest of the rackets. And in smash, when hitting the sweet spot, birdie lands on the court b4 my eyes see it. Drives are amazing, defensively this racket is lightning fast. So, i believe i have to stick with this and get more practice. Only concern is the soft touch and few frame hits. Again, thank u so much for replying and ur reviews on rackets r very helpful.

Arthur said...

You're most welcome! I wish you all the best in your badminton journey!

Anonymous said...

Such an informative article. Truly appreciate your passion to pen down your experience and helping out a lot of people like me to make a choice.


Kris said...

Thanks for a nice review!

Used to play with the old voltric 70 and I loved it. How is the voltric 70 vs nr900?

I play most dubbels and mixed but I do play singel now and then.

Would you recommend the nr900 to replace the voltric in my bag.

I play serveral times a week and alot of tournaments in my country, which is sweden by the way 😊

Thanks again

Arthur said...

You're most welcome Abu! Glad my experiences were able to be of help.

Arthur said...

Hey there Kris! Thanks for reading. Glad to know my sharing is being taken seriously a tournament level competitor :)

The VT70 in my opinion is a head heavy racket that offers a lot of offensive capabilities. The NR900 is truely defensive in nature, a lightning quick racket that excels in shot blocking and quick interceptions in the front court.

With someone like you who's been used to the VT70, the NR900 will immediately feel drastically fast in defense and front court, but be prepared for a lackluster performance attacking from the back. The NR900 is nowhere near as explosive as the VT70 in my experience.

Kris said...

Cheers A!

Used to play with headlight tackets before I switched to voltric 70. Used yonex, Wilson and Fukuda before, all of the. Medium flex and HL or even balance. Have to try the nr 900 then, I have a quite good smasch If I can say so myself.

My Playing styre is allt of defence and Quick turn around and attack, finding angels and pusch the shuttle where ever the court is empty.

I Will Also try the voltric 70 etune as well :)

Arthur said...

Have you tried Victor? I have found the Bravesword 10 deadly accurate when I'm looking for empty spaces on the court.

Unknown said...

Hello Arthur,

It's Nathan again. Thanks for your input, hopefully I can demo some rackets soon. I'm wondering what is your experience and thoughts between the Arc 11 (even thought I have a feeling the line is going to dead out soon) and the N Z-Speed (Any info about the new color coming out this year ? It looks really nice). Such as the shaft stiffness (I've seen the z-speed's shaft to be flexible and form what you said in your review), weight, feel of the racket, and all that jazz.

I'm debating between the two, and like I said before hopefully I can try them out to see for myself.

Also what are your thoughts on Yonex's upcoming releases ? And Do you think if there will be maybe one last resales for the Arc line or would it be replaces by the Duora series ?

Thanks so much, Keeping doing the great stuff you do !!

Arthur said...

Hey there Nathan, nice to hear from you.

I'm under the impression that the Duora series was set to replace the ArcSabers.

I've used the AS11TH and the ZSpeed, and I must say that both are really good rackets for both singles and doubles play.

They offer a great sense of control and speed, and allows the player to take a wide variety of playing styles to fit whatever situation they might have gotten themselves into.

I eventually settled on the ZSpeed because of the additional defense and power that the racket gives me. The ZSpeed is also better when it comes to backhand shots, courtesy of the head light orientation and the slightly more flexible shaft.

Also because of the shaft and the slightly smaller head frame, the ZSpeed is able to throw off quite a smash in my instance.

So for the seasoned player who'll be used to a small sweet spot and wants something quicker in the front court, the ZSpeed will be my recommendation.

Those who like something a little heavier and used to playing with really stiff shafts should opt for the AS11.

As for the new releases, I'm afraid I'm really out of the picture for now. I've not been playing as much, and a recent diagnosis of sciatica will probably take me out for a few months before I can attempt to play again.

In the mean time I'll just be happy with watching videos and returning mail to enthusiastic readers like yourself.

Thanks for reading and I do hope my experience with the rackets are of help.

Unknown said...

Dear Arthur,
I have been reading some of reviews and got some good advices from them.
I have Prince Blackpearl XP and NR900 now. As I got tendon injury on my right shoulder, I finally have been learning to use my left arm (I am an ambidex fyi) since last month.
Now I feel a bit awkward when I use my NR900 on my lefty side, and I'm thinking about buying between Arcsaber 11, Duora 10 and VTZF 2 4U for my new racket.
I believe I would be fine with an Even-balance racket since I'm learning down to the basic.
What do you have in mind for my problem, mate?

Arthur said...

Thanks for sharing your account Devin.

While I'm not heard of other similar instances, I would think back and try and figure out how you got to the shoulder injury in the first place, in order not to replicate it on the left side.

As always, starting with proper training is recommended if you want to play seriously or at long intervals. I often had knee pain when I started playing, and after I got a private coach to train me in the basics the pain never came back.

Often times it's not about equipment, but the way we use them. Having someone around for awhile lets you realize that and fix it as soon as possible so that you can improve your game and reduce chance of injury.

Unknown said...

Thanks for your kind reply Arthur.

After reading your advice, I finally got the idea. I probably will find myself a good coach in order to have a proper training afterwards.

Thanks a lot.

Arthur said...

You are most welcome Devin, glad to be of help.

I had about two months of weekly training. It helped me a lot in terms of basis skills and technique. At the end of it I was able to enjoy the sport, and new equipment much better.

Hope you're able to experience the same that I did.

Unknown said...

Heyyy.. Can you make the comparison between the nanoray 900 and arcsaber fb 5U?? I want to buy a fast respond racket but still good for smashing.. My smashing is good.. I played in many tournaments before,, but i realise that i was lack on my defence.. Can you please help me to decide?? Hehe.. Than you..

Arthur said...

Hey there Gabriel, don't think I'll be comparing those two rackets as I don't have them on hand at the moment. However, I increased my own defense by conscientiously playing less offensively.

This gave me more chances to defend against attacks, which in the long run led to a better defensive game.

If you think your racket is too heavy to give you faster reaction, you can switch to a lighter version of your head heavy racket or to a head light or even balance version of the same weight grade. Either ways, you have to be ready to accept that your attacking game will go down significantly.

Unknown said...

Hey Arthur, do you think the NR900 2u smashes will be more powerful compared to 3u, while not compromising much of its speed? Thanks.

Arthur said...

Hi Peter, if you're able to handle the swing weight of a 2U racket, yes. Being heavier will also mean that the defense might be a little slower though.