Racket Tests 2021
YONEX ASTROX 88 S PRO
YONEX ASTROX 88 S PRO – The next generation
The successor to the 1st generation Astrox 88 S has not only been given a new design in terms of colour but has also been optimized in many areas such as material, frame and shaft. That sounds like a whole new racket. Of course, we wanted to know exactly from the BADLAB TEAM whether this is the case and we took a very close look at the usual long-term practical test.
First of all, the YONEX ASTROX 88 model was introduced in 2018 and for the first time delivered a racket series that was specially tailored to two different types of double players in order to optimally bring out their respective strengths.
The ASTROX 88 S (like "skill)" was designed for the versatile all-rounder with a tendency towards the net: for soulful short games, fast drives and consistent netkills. The ASTROX 88 D (like “dominant”), on the other hand, was developed for the offensive backcourt player with a preference for sharp drops and hard smashes. It should not go unmentioned here that this revolutionary concept has established itself not only among advanced amateur players but also among the world's top badminton players. The best example of this is the world's best men's doubles from Indonesia Kevin Sukamuljo (AX 88 S) and his partner Marcus Fernaldi Gideon (AX 88 D) as well as the world's number 2 Japanese women's doubles with Yuki Fukushima and Sayaka Hirota.
Now for the hard facts about the new YONEX ASTROX 88 S PRO. It belongs to the line of less top-heavy rackets towards the ARCSABER 11. According to the Yonex table, the ASTROX 88 S PRO is in the middle of the top-heavy rackets. In our practical test, we used the ASTROX 88 S PRO in 4U (80-84g) with handle size G5. The new YONEX EXBOLT 63 (0.63 mm) was strung to 11 kg / 24 lbs.
The ASTROX 88 S PRO differs from its predecessor in several respects. The head has become slightly more rounded in the upper area, which increases the sweet spot. The string pattern has become more closed which leads to more control. The second aspect concerns the shaft. The shaft has always been 0.5 cm shorter than the ASTROX 88 D. Now it has been shortened again by 1.5 cm - in favor of a longer handle. The result: better handling, but less flex. That makes the new ASTROX 88 S PRO more challenging to play. It demands a sophisticated technique from the player.
The new colour combination of the basic colour emerald blue / black and additional design elements in camel gold immediately catches the eye and suggests that something really noble has been created here. A further developed material (Volume Cut Resin) has been used in the top of the head and in the T-piece to increase stability. A continuous recess for the eyelets in the entire club head reduces the weight. As with the YONEX ASTROX 100, a noticeably improved shape has been developed at the end of the shaft towards the handle as a hold for the thumb to give the backhand more stability.
Conclusion: The new YONEX ASTROX 88 S PRO is a relatively stiff, moderately top-heavy racket for double players with an urge to go to the front. It has become more uncompromising than its predecessor. We therefore only recommend the racket to advanced players. For them, however, the ASTROX 88 S PRO is an absolute high-end racket. We recommend less experienced players to try the ASTROX 88 S TEAM or 88 S TOUR version.
26. November 2021
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