Yonex Voltric Lin Dan Force Badminton Racket

Background

I feel like the kid entering the sweetshop. With 8 new frames recently delivered I’m really looking forward to my next set of badminton racket reviews.

Of course, I have to begin with the big one, Lin Dan’s new racket which launched prior to Rio – Yonex Voltric Lin Dan Force. It’s been a while since I tested a really good Yonex racket and this one has really caught my eye. It feels great, looks great and let’s hope it plays great.

On to my review

Yonex Voltric Lin Dan Force is a great looking badminton racket combining black, red, gold and white. This is a 3U (weight 85-89g) G4 grip size with full length racket cover featuring the new Lin Dan logo. G4 tends to be the smallest grip size on offer and I now find this a touch too big. Perhaps there needs to be thought about introducing G5 and providing some choice, although I understand the difficulties that presents.

The racket was pre-strung in BG65Ti, the usual standard tension. Of course, you can bet that horrible stencil ink will flake off – yes it did happen and yes, it was witnessed. My hitting partner was sceptical so I let him have the racket first. It took less than a dozen hits and he was amazed how much ink had already come off the strings. OK, gripe over. I know we can’t solve it but for such a quality brand, it’s disappointing.

It’s hitting time

I was expecting Lin Dan Force to be a super stiff, head heavy racket. After all, these are the specs this player has used for many years. I was pleasantly surprised to find a more flexible frame with a moderately head heavy balance. The racket felt nice, felt right immediately. I have to say, this is the first time I’ve felt this way about a Yonex badminton racket since I reviewed Voltric 80.

Overhead performance

Yonex Voltric LDFVT Lin Dan Force flows so well, it really was a pleasure to hit with this racket. The head weight was sufficient for me to feel it without being too heavy to cause my arm to feel as though it needed a rest. There wasn’t any lag from the more flexible shaft. Indeed the specs really compliment each other so well, delivering power when it’s needed without having to try too hard. It would have been great to test with a higher string tension, but the overall feel on this racket was great.

Drop shots were great too. There’s a solid feel on impact which translates into excellent control. Slice, reverse slice were all good and again, there was no sense of tiredness that other heavier rackets create.

Smashes demonstrated that this racket provides plenty of power. Personally I feel Yonex have got the weight in the head spot on. There’s lot of control, great direction and no timing issues whatsoever.

Flat drives provided another great test regarding the head weight and I can only give this a thumbs up yet again. Even with a more flexible shaft, the racket continued to deliver, even with the faster drives.

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Defence

Usually, heavier headed rackets present a minor issue in defence which is perfectly understandable. Voltric Lin Dan Force was quick in defence, and dare I say it, better than VT80. The slightly reduced head weight and what must be streamlined frame, allows for fast hands to hit the mark really well. Lifts, drives and blocks all felt solid and were delivered with relative ease, maintaining good accuracy.

Net area

Considering the speed off the mark in defence, I really wasn’t surprised that the racket took command around the net. The little taps were easy without ever feeling it was difficult to apply the brakes. Again, it was great to report arm tiredness did not feature at all, and the touch remained sharp at all times, despite the lower string tension.

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Summary

I’m so happy to report that this racket was superb, I really can’t fault it. It has such a friendly feel and for a top-priced racket it’s great that Yonex have broken with tradition and released a mid flex racket that will suit more players. This racket looks great and most certainly plays great. For me this is the best racket in the current Yonex range and I’m delighted that Yonex have upped their game and designed a racket of this quality, something I feel they have lacked for a number of years.

I have to rate Voltric Lin Dan Force. RRP is £190 but online retailers are discounting to around £150 which I consider is good value for money. Having introduced additional ratings beyond my 5 stars, I am delighted to offer a gold award to this fabulous racket, and richly deserved too. I think this racket will appeal to more players than the super stiff, super head heavy versions that are still on offer and I can see this becoming a best seller.

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