I used to belong to the head heavy camp, where a good smash can come off so easily from one of the Voltrics or Armortecs. I've also admired the speed of the even balances, able to trade some of the power off for a little more agility and defense rating.
For the longest time I've not got any head light rackets. I've tried light weight, head heavy rackets, and they mostly don't work (with the exception of the Karakal SL-70). The has given me a sort of bad rep on the head lights.
Until my game evolved and I embraced the defense portion of badminton. I grew to like taking a stance, waiting for the big smash and then diverting it away where the opponent can't reach. It's a good trade-off. I use very little energy to counter and win over a big spend by the opponent.
That's when I sprung for the Yonex Nanoray 700RP. And that was a pretty good decision.
The Nanoray 700 series comes in two variations - RP (repulsion) and FX (flex). The two gives you a very nice choice between a stiff shaft for wrist movements and quick swings, and a slightly more flexible one for you long swingers out there.
Worth notice is the thick width of the head frame, a very different approach from the newer ranges that the badminton giant has to offer. This thick frame seems to be lending more power to the shots, allowing for better shot placement and power in both the rackets. At least for me anyway.
Note. This review is my opinion of the racket from using it in my games. Take this with a pinch of salt since we all play the game differently. I'm here to tell you, in as much accuracy as I can, hwo my games went with the racket. Comments welcome!
Ok here goes.
Yonex Nanoray 700RP
Est. Dry Weight: 86g (3U)
Grip Size: G5
Balance: Head Light
Strings: Yonex BG80 Power @ 23lbs
I recommend this racket for doubles play.
Head light rackets are amazing when it comes to defending. You get mad speed on demand, twisting and turning the racket to suit the shot that you want to pull off. The Yonex Nanoray 700RP will tempt you to take the net, and with due reason too.
Reflex is king when you're playing up front, and the NR700RP will definitely cause some worry for the opponent. Bringing the racket up from your hip is super fast, and you'll get one hell of a time blocking off the shots at the net.
Going along the lines of the fast lifting speed, the Nanoray 700RP's quickness also translates to when you're receiving smashes. The racket gives you enough speed to tackle even the hardest smashes.
The biggest problems I've faced with head light rackets is the lack of weight in the front, and that means that your defense will not usually go as far as you want to without a little more effort. However, the Yonex Nanoray 700RP doesn't seem to suffer from that problem. The stiff shaft of the racket gives you the added power to push the shuttle higher off a defensive stroke.
Add this to the already fast movement speed and supreme agility, and you've got a tough defense to match any would-be berserker.
If you've ever used a head heavy racket like the Voltrics or N90s, you'll find the attack in this racket slightly lacking. It's got a similar feel to the N90 when you come for a smash - there's a solid thump that accompanies each smash as the shaft tightens around the shuttle and transmits the power from your stroke onto the attacking shuttle.
I've heard of people giving up their Nanospeeds because they're not able to get distance with the rackets. it takes a little practice, but once you get the hang of the weight transfer, the Nanoray 700RP will become quite the attacking force.
I'm at 23lbs and I can feel the shuttle explode off the string bed already. Users of higher tension will most certainly get a more satisfying experience with this.
However fast the overhead shots, I find myself liking to drive with the NR700RP. The stiff shaft allows for very quick energy transfer from the wrist without losing too much to the flex, and this comes off really handy when you want to whip the head around a shuttle coming to you at net height.
The drives (defense and offense) are very fast, and the good thing is you recover quickly because of the weight of the racket head, ready to intercept any potential counter drive or push that your opponent might have.
Being light around the head also gives you a very good mobility rating. I would say that you'll be able to contact the shuttle ahead of your usual, especially if you're going up for the net kill.
Last but not least, the most important spec of a racket. To me, being powerful isn't really a good thing until you can aim it. The Yonex Nanoray 700RP gives you superb control, it's almost perfect.
I demand a really high percentage of the shots I hit. No mishits, no weaker shots, no shuttles going where I didn't intent them to; each shuttle has to leave the string bed and go exactly where I want them to. At least that's what I try for anyway.
The NR700RP cuts it pretty close, taking my shot making to new level with tight net shots, clinical drives and smashes along with very threatening counter defenses.
Fans of trick shots can also know that it's really easy to pull them off with this racket. It's speed and accuracy allows for a very tactical play.
Orange and brown and shiny alien white. This must be one of the more unorthodox color combinations that Yonex has come up with, successfully.
The Nanoray 700RP looks very streamline, very futuristic. It's like beams of light are flying off the racket. Matched it with orange strings and grip.
Yonex Nanoray 700RP