Following the great experience using the Yonex Astrox 88 Skill, a buddy of mine decided to have a go at its twin, the Astrox 88 Dominate.
The racket comes with a premise of harder smashes in a lethal combination of power and angle, endorsed by the second half of the world number pair - Marcus Fernaldi Gideon.
I also decided to suggest a string pairing with the racket, and we got it strung with the Yonex BG66 Ultimax at 31lbs tension. Part of the experiment was also to test if attacking rackets should be strung at much higher tension than normal (I usually get mine strung at 27lbs).
What we got was a very nice sound when smashing. The higher tension was very forceful on the attack, especially on my jump smashes. What suffered was the backhands however, as the tighter strings couldn't supplement my weaker swing. It also took me awhile to get used to the tight net shots since the shuttle didn't bounce off the string bed as well.
But on to the racket!
While the AS88S excelled at defense and intercepting, the AS88D presented a good downward push and forceful drives. While the two rackets performed comparatively in speed, I immediately noticed that the Yonex Astrox 88 Dominate felt a little heavier on the defense. It took a little more effort to lift the racket head following a smash defense.
Compensating for that is an extremely heavy downward swing. Long swingers will be very happy with this racket, its weight transferring very well from overhead to the hips.
Overall I was as satisfied with the Dominate as I was with the Skill - the two rackets offer very high rates of defense and offence, differing very slightly for those players with higher technical expertise.
The racket used for the testing as a 4UG5 Yonex Astrox 88 Dominate with overgrip wrapped over the cone. This reduced the head heaviness and made it considerably quicker to handle. When we removed the grip over the cone, the racket gained significant head weight, and we're looking to have that tested next week.
Stay tuned for the review!