The Yonex Astrox 99 is a good looking badminton racket that was first revealed at the Japan Open in 2018 with Kento Momota and Lee Chong Wei as its main ambassadors.

If you’re an advanced player who wants more smashing power without sacrificing control, this could be the racket for you.

Key Features

The half orange and black Yonex Astrox 99 looks great. It’s definitely a stylish racket. The U4 version feels light and easy to maneuver but definitely stiff. 

After taking a few swings without a shuttle, it feels promising.

Hard facts about the racket

FlexStiff
ShaftHM Graphite / Namd
Weight4U / 83 grams OR 3U / 88 grams
Grip sizeG4
ColorsOrange and black OR black, blue and gold
Stringing advice4U: 20-28 lbs, 3U: 21-29 lbs

Yonex Astrox 99 Review – Overall Rating: 9/10

The Yonex Astrox 99 is an excellent racket and the perfect choice for intermediate level singles players and above.

It’s particularly interesting for attacking singles players, and perhaps even attacking doubles players. It offers incredible power, solid speed, and excellent control.

Power – 10/10

You can smash incredibly hard with the Astrox 99, harder than any other racket I have tried. This racket really lives up to its name of ‘relentless attack’. 

Similarly, clears are very easy to hit to the backline with this racket.

Even though it has a stiff shaft, the power is excellent, especially for advanced players who can generate power without a flexible racket shaft.

Speed – 8/10

Astrox 99 is definitely not a slow racket. It has better speed than many intermediate level rackets, but it is not faster than many other high-end rackets.

It is head-heavy, which does slow it down a little bit, especially in the defensive shots, drives and net kills.

A doubles player might prefer a different racket, especially for attacking drives.

Not to say that the racket feels heavy, it definitely doesn’t. It has great speed for a singles racket and could work for attacking doubles players too, especially the 4U version.

Control – 9/10

The Astrox 99 offers excellent control of the shuttle. Its stiff shaft makes it easy to control the shuttle.

Accurately placing defensive lifts and drop shots will be no problems once you get used to the racket.

Specific shots rated

  • Smash – 10/10
  • Drop – 9/10
  • Clear – 10/10
  • Drive – 8/10
  • Defensive block – 7.5/10
  • Net kill – 7.5/10
  • Defensive lift – 9/10

My Personal Impression

My personal impression is simple: It’s an excellent racket for singles, but it takes some getting used to.

The racket comes in both U3 and U4 versions. It’s always good to have options, but it also means this review will be slightly more complicated.

Here are the pros and cons that I personally found while reviewing this racket.

Pros

  • The power of the racket is incredible, making your smashes and attacking clears very dangerous.
  • The Astrox 99 really does seem to make your smashes and drop shots steeper than with any other racket, making it even more difficult to reach your attacking shots.
  • Excellent control of the shuttle, making it easy to hit shots accurately.
  • The racket just feels and looks great.
  • I love hearing the crisp sound when I hit a clear.
  • Having the option to choose between 3U and 4U is great since the 3U might offer some extra power, and the 4U more maneuverability. 
  • Even though this is a head-heavy racket, it is not slow in defending and netplay. 

Cons

  • The maximum advised string tension is 28lbs for the 4U version and 29lbs for the 3U version. That’s a tad bit low for a racket of this caliber, and I would have expected a couple of extra pounds. 
  • The racket is made for players at the intermediate level and beyond and might not be the best for beginners.
  • With its heavy head, the Astrox 99 is not the ideal racket for net kills. Of course, you can still do it, and if your wrist is strong it might not be an issue for you.
  • G4 grip size is the only option, some players prefer a G5 option.
  • It takes a week’s time or perhaps even longer to really get used to it.

If you’re a singles or attacking doubles player looking for a top tier racket, the Astrox 99 could be a key to improving your game on court.

Alternative rackets

If you find yourself intrigued, but not quite sure whether the Astrox 99 is for you, it might be because it’s not.

If you don’t have the playing style fit for the Astrox 99, here are a couple of good alternatives.

Astrox 88D – For defensive doubles 

Astrox 88D is a great alternative if you’re a defensive doubles player since that’s the trademark of this particular racket.

It’s quick to maneuver, making it easy to defend and quick reactions when driving the shuttle and killing at the net.

Voltric Z Force 2 – A cheaper option for singles players

The Voltric Z Force 2 is somewhat similar to the Astrox 99, in that it’s a singles player’s racket. 

It’s arguably one of the best rackets Yonex have ever released, and it’s an older version, it’s available at a lower price than the Astrox 99.

Should you buy the Yonex Astrox 99?

If you’re an attacking singles player, the Astrox 99 is an obvious choice, as it gives you both a lot of power, control, and speed. 

It could also work for you if you’re an attacking doubles player.

Something to consider is that it will take a week or two to adapt to this racket. If that’s not something you’re willing to do, you should look for other alternatives.

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