Yonex badminton rackets are the most popular badminton rackets in the world, used by the most people, and used by most of the top professional badminton players. The reason why i am writing this post is simple, most of you will be buying one, or perhaps thinking of it. To put it simply, Yonex is badminton. They sponsor all the top tournaments, they supply all the equipment like the courts, nets, shuttles and so on. They sponsor the top players with rackets, shoes, clothing and badminton bags and luggage. Yonex are also the official equipment suppliers of the olympic games. Badminton needs Yonex, without them we would struggle to find someone to sponsor all the tournaments, and pay the prize money.
Because of this i am now going to list every yonex badminton racket from their current 2008 ranges, and i will try to find out how much you will expect to pay for them, with a little digging around from the various badminton equipment retailers on the internet. I will start with the cheapest to the most expensive, so here goes.
YONEX BASIC SERIES
We have two rackets in this range which are the
B600 DF BASIC
The B500 BASIC has a steel head and a steel frame. This is the bottom of the range. Being made from steel it will be very heavy, and it will not do your wrist, arm and shoulder much good if you play with this for any amount of time. I could not find any badminton store that actually sells this racket!!
The B600 DF BASIC has a little bit more going for it. It has a steel shaft, but has an aluminium frame with dura-frame technology. I do not have a clue what dura frame technology is, but this yonex badminton racket is for a complete beginner, or social player. I have managed to find a price for this racquet: £7.50, though this was a special offer, the usual price is £15 plus p+p. There is no reference as to what weight these two rackets are,or the flex of the racket, even from the Yonex website, my guess is they are around 95-100g.
YONEX ISOMETRIC SREIES
We have two rackets in this range which are the
ISOMETRIC 22 JUNIOR
ISOMETRIC 24 VF
The Isometric 22 Junior has a steel shaft and an aluminium head, however we now get a little more information. The flex is medium and the weight is 2U (90-94.9g)Remember the Yonex weight system from the earlier post?
The Isometric 24 VF has a graphite shaft and an aluminium head. The flex is medium and the weight is also 90-94.9g. We now have graphite introduced in this badminton racket, which should make it lighter than the steel shaft of the Isometric 22 Junior. My guess is that it will be towards the 90g mark. Both of these rackets are Isometric, which means the head has a more squared shape, which will give a larger sweet spot and compensate for mis hit shots, which is ideal for a beginner.
The best price for the Yonex Isometric Junior is £7.87 and the best price for the Isometric 24 VF is £8.99. I have yet to find out what the VF stands for
YONEX MUSCLE POWER SERIES
We have five rackets in this range which are the
MUSCLE POWER 7
MUSCLE POWER 10
MUSCLE POWER 19 LT
MUSCLE POWER 22 LT
MUSCLE POWER 99
The Muscle Power 7 has a graphite shaft and aluminium head. It has a medium flex and weighs 90-94g. It also has an isometric head shape. This is the same spec as the Isometric 24 VF, so not too sure what the difference is between these two rackets. Best price i have seen is £12.37.
The Muscle Power 10 has a graphite shaft and head. We have moved up in technology now. As a result the weight is 85-89.9g, but the flex is now "flexible" as opposed to the "medium" flex of the lower priced yonex badminton rackets. This extra flex will give you a little bit more power, but a bit less control in your shots if you are a beginner. Best price for this is £12.36.
The Muscle Power 19 LT has all graphite shaft and head, weighs 85-89g and now has a medium flex. This is slightly stiffer than the 10, so it will be less forgiving in terms of power, but you get a tiny bit more control as a trade off. Best price for this racket is £24.99.
The Muscle Power 22 LT has all graphite shaft and frame, weighs 85-89.9g but has a "flexible" flex rating, so we are back to a bit more power in your shots. Best price is £32.00. The badminton stores now decide that this racket is good enough to give a product description, which states the it is aimed at the improving club/league player and is well balanced for ease of use. I can't argue with this description, but i am not so sure about the balance being even, as there is no mention of this in the Yonex spec on their website.
The Muscle Power 99 has an all graphite shaft and head, but we also have a new technology called HM Ultimum Ti in the shaft, and UHM Ultimum Ti in the frame. In case your wondering, HM stands for high modulus and UHM stands for ultra high modulus. The marketing crap states that the head is meshed with ultimum titanium and the shaft has high modulus graphite overlaid with ultimum fibres, the result is an extra hard hitter's racket which gives maximum power and at the same time refinement in control.
The weight is still 85-89.9g but the shaft now has an "extra stiff" rating, which means this yonex badminton racket is about as unforgiving as you can get. If you do not have a quick enough swing speed you will lose a bit of power, so this is for advanced level players only, who have good technique. This extra stiffness will send vibration down your arm into your shoulder, even if you do have a good techique, so beware of this. The recommended stringing tension is 24lbs. To get the most out of this yonex badminton racket i would suggest at least this tension, a lower string tension will take away any slight advantage the stiffness will give you.
There is a big difference in price with the Muscle Power 99 compared to the other rackets in this range. The best price i found was £79.00. To find this out i had to click on the "checkout price" again, which makes me laugh. I had a little snoop around the badminton stores and guess what? Yep, they all sell it at the same price, and they all make you click the checkout price button to find this out. Smells a bit funny don't you think? All the rackets in the Muscle Power range are isometric.
YONEX ARMORTEC SERIES
We have five rackets in this range which are the
AMRMORTEC 900 TECHNIQUE
AMRMORTEC 900 POWER
The Muscle Power 150 has a graphite shaft and a graphite super alloy frame, the weight is 85-89.9g and it has a medium flex, so it is quite forgiving. The advertising says it is a good all round badminton racket with a slightly head heavy balance which will give you more power. Aimed at improving club players. As the entry level racket it offers a bit of everything. Best price is £39.99.
The Yonex Armortec 250 has a high modulus graphite shaft and a graphite gForce Ti frame. Not sure what gForce Ti is all about, but it must mean there is a bit of titanium in the head. The flex is medium and the weight is 85-89.9g. This racket apparently has the new Yonex Delta Power frame which creates a more aerodynamic shape and a solid hitting surface. I can guarantee you will not notice the decrease in air resistance. Best price for this yonex badminton racket is £59.99.
The Yonex Armortec 700 has a UHM graphite/ ultimum Ti shaft and a UHM graphite/ gForce Ti head. We have moved on in technology again, and the result is an extra stiff flex, so it's as unforgiving as the Muscle Power 99. The weight is 85g. The product description says that this badminton racket is used by more top players than any other. It is aimed at the serious player with a medium to fast overhead hitting action who prefers a head heavy balanced racquet. The ultimum and titanium offer more stability when you hit the shuttle. This yonex badminton racquet is also for good singles players and players who like to smash in doubles play.
Jesus, i think i need to go out and see if i am suitable for this racket. The spec is the same as the Muscle Power 99, so it will have the same charcteristics. In case you are interested, Lin Dan uses this racket according to the website i got this info from, yet the official yonex wesite says that Lin Dan uses the Armortec 900 Power, so someone is lying here. It doesn't really make any difference though, you will not play like him if you use this racket, no-one will. This is just a marketing ploy to get you to buy the racket, after all, if it's good enough for Lin Dan it must be good enough for you right? The best price is hidden again, but it turns out it costs a whopping £95.99. Guess what? yep, it's the same price at all the badminton stores i looked at.
The yonex Armortec 900 Technique has a high modulus graphite/Elastic Ti shaft and a ultra high modulus graphite/Micro Ti/Elastic Ti head. How do they fit all this into one racket? It must be to justify the cost. The flex is stiff, and the weight is 85g. It says is designed for control players, probably because it is less stiff than the Armortec 700 and Muscle Power 99, and so they are assuming that control players have slower swings and will benefit from the extra flex. The diffence will hardly be noticable however. The price is £119.99. Good grief, how can you justify that price? We are reliable informed on the yonex website that Taufik Hidayat uses this badminton racket, so perhaps this will justify the cost when you tell your friends how much you paid for it.
The Yonex Armortec 900 Power has the same spec as the Armortec 900 technique as far as i can see, so how in the hell is it any different. The weight is the same, it uses the same technology in the shaft and frame and the flex rating is the same, ie, stiff. The head shape is the same on the yonex site, ie i would have perhaps expected to see the isometric head shape on the power version, and an oval head shape on the technique, but it appears there is no difference. This must mean they are the exact same racket but with different paint. My guess is that the power has a heavier head than the technique. The price is also £119.99.
YONEX NANOSPEED SERIES
We have seven rackets in this range which are the
The yonex nanospeed 500 has a carbon nanotube graphite shaft and a graphite head. The flex is medium and the weight is 85-89.9g. This nanotube technology uses tiny particles of fullerene and carbon which gives a high performance molecular bond, creating very fast head speed and maximum power. It is aimed at a club player with a medium speed overhead action who prefers a head light balanced badminton racket. You got that? The price is around £44.99 and this is the entry level.
The yonex nanospeed has a carbon nanotube graphite shaft and a high modulus graphite head. the flex is stiff so it is less forgiving than the 500, and has a bit more technology in the head of the racket. The marketing woffle says you will get 5% more power, 10% more durability, and it is 30% more impact resistant. wtf? What does 10% more durability mean? Does it mean that it will last 10% longer than the other yonex badminton rackets? 5% more power? Only you will produce 5% more power if you improve your technique.
Will you be able to notice the extra power? will it make the difference between winning and losing? will your opponent notice you are hitting 5% harder? will they come up to you and say "wow, your hitting the shuttle about 5% harder than last time we played, you must have a new yonex nanospeed racket. Ok, perhaps i am being a little bit cynical here, but you get the message.
The yonex nanospeed 4500 has a high modulus graphite/fullerene shaft and a graphite head. The flex is medium and the weight is the same as the others. This is for good standard/county players with a high speed hitting action and prefer a head heavy balanced badminton racket for all round power. Wait a minute, i thought a medium flex rating was for players with a slower speed swing? I guess that the head heavy balance must compensate for this, and slow the swing speed down to match the flex. So,the head heavy balance and the medium flex will give you optimum power. This is getting complicated now! The price is £69.99. I am wondering why this racket is called the 4500, it just doesn't seem to fit in with the rest of the series. I guess we will never know.
The yonex nanospeed 7000 has high modulus graphite and fullerene in the shaft and head, has a sfiff flex rating and weighs 85g. It is basically the same as the 4500 but with a slightly stiffer frame and a bit more technology. The marketing states this is aimed at high standard club players with a medium fast hitting action. This does not make sense, the 4500, which is the next racket down from this is designed for county standard players, yet the 7000 is not aimed at such high a level. Anyway, the price is £103.99.
The yonex nanospeed 8000 is the same as the 7000 but with an extra stiff rating, so even without looking at the product description i can tell that this badminton racket is designed for fast swing players, and is similar to to muscle power 99, and the armortec 700. However, the badminton store i am looking at says that no, it's head light so it's aimed at players who want more control and manoeuvrability. Ok let's sort this out. I assume that control players have a slower swing speed so the extra stiff flex will not suit them, but because this badminton racket is head light it will compensate for the slower swing speed and in theory you should still be reaching optimum power on impact. This makes the nanospeed 8000 the exact opposite of the nanospeed 4500, yet you will still achieve the same power. This marketing bullshit is getting worse. It costs £111.99.
The yonex nanospeed 9000X has the same technology as the others except that it also has Elastic Ti in the head. It is the same weight, and is extra stiff. It is head light so it is basically the same as the 8000, except that it costs £127.99. so i can guess that the "Elastic Ti" costs about £16.
YONEX ARCSABER SERIES
There are two rackets in this range which are the
The ArcSaber 7 has a high modulus graphite shaft and a high modulus graphite/CS carbon nanotube head. The CS stands for "cup stack" which stores energy and this creates the power and control. The flex is medium, so it is more forgiving than the stiffer rackets. Medium flex racquets are usually aimed at club level players according to the marketing because they cannot swing the racket fast enough. I do like the added bit of crap at the end of the description which says "we have tested the arcsaber and it really is truly amazing! with awesome power and superb control" No shit. Do you really think they would say anything less? Of course not, they just want you to but one. The price is £111.99. gulp.
The Yonex ArcSaber 10 has a bit more technology such as super high modulus graphite and ultra PEF high modulus graphite, whatever that is. It has a stiff flex, weighs 85-89.9g and costs £127.99 so it is the most expensive racket in the yonex badminton range along with the nanospeed 9000X. There will no doubt be more from the ArcSaber range in due course, and my guess is that there will be stiffer flex one's.
So there you have it, the entire Yonex badminton racket range. Now that you know something about every racket you need to decide which one suits your game, but probably more importantly, which one suits your budget, because there is no fun in spending a fortune on a racquet, only to see it snap on your partners tatty old racket.
I will keep on saying this, but the difference between the top end bats and the starter one's is about 5%. Yes, you will certainly notice the difference between a steel racket and the latest arcsaber, the price will be the main difference! but good technique is the be all and end all. All the other badminton rackets in between these will give a tiny little difference if any at all.