Yonex Astrox 100 ZZ Review

The Yonex Astrox 100 ZZ is the latest top of the line Yonex badminton racket. 

It was launched in March 2020, but the world has been slow to notice as it’s been too preoccupied with things like restrictions and lockdowns.

Luckily, things are slowly looking better for badminton players around the globe, so let’s have a look at this wonderful new racket.

Key Features

It’s safe to say that the Astrox 100 ZZ is a very stylish racket. There are three things to note that are different from most rackets in modern badminton:

  1. The head shape of the racket is slightly narrower than the standard isometric one, making the sweet spot a little bit bigger. This increases the likelihood of hitting high-quality shots. 
  2. The core of the shaft is solid, not hollow. This helps make the racket extra stiff. The shaft is also much thinner than most other rackets.
  3. There are four flat areas around the top of the grip for better control while serving and during netplay.

Let’s have a look at the specs.

Hard facts about the racket

BalanceHead Heavy
FlexExtra Stiff
ShaftHM Graphite / Namd
Weight4U / 83 grams OR 3U / 88 grams
Grip sizeG4 OR G5
ColorsBlack, Blue, and Orange
Stringing advice4U: 20-28 lbs, 3U: 21-29 lbs

Yonex Astrox 100 ZZ Review – Overall Rating: 9.5/10

I’m almost inclined to say that the Astrox 100 ZZ is perfect. At least in the sense that Yonex have achieved exactly what they wanted with this racket.

It’s the perfect choice for attacking singles players but still provides extraordinary of control and speed. 

It’s definitely not a double’s racket, but it’s also not trying to be.

I might have to re-think my scoring system because I don’t want any racket to score 10/10 on every single parameter.

Note: For this review, I am using the lighter 4U version of the racket.

Now let’s get into the specifics.

Power – 10/10

The Astrox 100 ZZ has excellent power. It’s easy to hit clears backline to backline and hard smashes.

It moved very well and smoothly through the air, and I didn’t feel any need to adapt my timing.

The slightly narrower racket head makes the swing of the racket faster and also provides more power as the shuttle hits the string bed.

According to Yonex themselves, the NANOMETRIC material used for the shaft increases the swing speed by up to 30 km/h for advanced players.

Is that actually the case…? I’m not sure. But it definitely deserves a 10/10 when it comes to power.

Speed – 9/10

AX100ZZ is a lot faster than you would think for a head-heavy racket. Many have said that this racket does not actually feel head-heavy. It definitely is, though.

The racket is light and moves very fast. It’s easy to change grips fast and then react to whatever shot is coming your way.

Overall the racket is very responsive.

Note again that I am reviewing the 4U version, the 3U might be more difficult to maneuver while defending and at the net.

Control – 10/10

You will have plenty of control because even though the racket is fast, it also feels soft to use. I’m not sure why, but perhaps it has something to do with that solid core in its shaft.

You will definitely feel in control, whether you’re defending, blocking to the net, or driving the shuttle around the court.

It’s very maneuverable around the net as well, so I can’t give the Astrox 100 ZZ many minus points here either.

The flat grip around the top of the grip really makes changing grips easier around the net.

Specific Shots Rated

  • Smash – 9.5/10
  • Drop – 9.5/10
  • Clear – 9.5/10
  • Drive – 10/10
  • Defensive block – 8/10
  • Net kill – 9/10
  • Defensive lift – 9/10

As you can see, I’ve given the Yonex Astrox 100 ZZ top marks in all categories!

My personal impression

In short: It’s an amazing singles player’s racket, in my opinion, the best one Yonex has ever come out with. 

Here are some of the pros and cons I found while reviewing this racket.

Pros

  • Very fast and easy to maneuver, making it easy to reach and hit every shuttle.
  • Lots of power, making clears and hard smashes simple to execute.
  • Excellent control; it’s very easy to hit accurately with this racket. You might have to be careful not to hit too long when first trying out the racket.
  • Feels soft, which gives a very good feeling when hitting the shuttle.
  • You have the option to choose between U4/G5 and U3/G4, which is great.
  • Even though the racket is head-heavy, it’s very easy to maneuver, even when defending or playing at the net.

Cons

  • Very steep price point as it’s a top of the range racket.
  • Might not be the best racket for beginners and low-intermediate players, especially because the shaft is extra stiff.
  • Not a racket made for doubles, though you can definitely still use it for it.

Are you a singles player who really wants to have the best available racket with the newest technologies out there? 

Then the Astrox 100 ZZ might be exactly what you’re been waiting for.

Two Alternatives to Yonex Astrox 100 ZZ

I have had a lot of good things to say about this racket so far, but is it really the right thing for just you?

If you’re still not sure, here are a couple of good alternatives to Astrox 100 ZZ.

Yonex Astrox 100 ZX – The Little Brother

The ZX is the little brother of the ZZ. It’s a fair bit cheaper but comes with a lot of the same benefits as its older sibling.

There are definitely more similarities than differences between the two, but it’s not completely unfair to say that the ZX is slightly worse than the ZZ in all its aspects. 

Not to say that the ZX is a bad racket, it’s certainly not. But there’s a reason why the pros are using ZZ and not ZX.

The ZX is still very fast, offers great power and control, so it’s definitely still a good choice for intermediate and advanced players.

…Wow, that was a lot of X’s and Z’s in the last few sentences – hopefully, I didn’t lose you there!

Now, let’s have a quick look at the key differences between the two rackets:

  • ZX has the classic hollow shaft core where the ZZ has a solid core, which means you might have to put a little bit more effort into your shots.
  • ZX feels a tad faster to move around with, which is a plus.
  • ZX is slightly more flexible, perhaps because of its hollow core.

Yonex Voltric Z Force II – Great Overall Racket For Singles

Voltric Z Force II is a favorite among many players. Being an older model, it is cheaper than the Astrox 100 ZZ, but it is still a high-quality racket. 

If you don’t want to pay top-dollar, but still want great smashing power and control, this could be the right choice for you.

The biggest drawback of the Voltric Z Force II is that it is a bit slower in fast flat exchanges and weaker in the netplay. 

Should you buy the Yonex Astrox 100 ZZ?

If you’re an advanced singles player, the Yonex Astrox 100 ZZ could serve you very well on court.

It’s an expensive racket, so you should make sure that it’s exactly what you need before buying it. 

It offers some very cool new features, such as the solid shaft core, a slightly larger sweet spot, and a flat top part of the grip.

Those things definitely make this racket unique and exciting.

If you’re a beginner or primarily play doubles, this might not be the right badminton racket for you.

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