When I tested both Astrox rackets the first time, I didn’t like them and was dreading writing the reviews. The voices of Yonex fans calling me biased were ringing in my ears, but I really struggled to get a feel for either of the 88’s. But, this is why I test over a number of weeks and in different situations. Whilst first impressions count, what is important is how I feel about a racket by the time I’m ready to type.
Yonex has launched two Astrox 88’s which are very different. I suspect the 88D will become the better seller, which reminds me a little of the old Armortec 900. The heavier headed “Power” version sold better, but there was something about the “Technique” which was magical. I suspect this will be the case with Astrox 88. Some players will dislike 88S and favour 88D, but there will be a group that get what 88S is about and love it.
After all is said, Astrox 88S is a very good racket. For me it’s a playmakers racket, somebody who likes to find spaces, controls the shuttle well and can hit reasonably hard without the need for additional head weight in a frame. This is probably why Korean player Lee Yong Dae favoured 88S over D. If it’s good enough for a former world number 1 player, then it’s should be good enough for you if your style of play demands more versatility from a racket.
RRP on Astrox 88S is £185 but retailers are already discounting to around £165 which is still a lot of money for a racket. The highest recommended tension is 28lbs which is still a shade low for a racket of this calibre. This is a professional players racket and I would gave expected to be registering a 30lbs recommended tension.
Like 88D, I had a lot of fun testing Yonex Astrox 88S. Whilst I preferred the D, I fully understand that 88S plays a supporting role in racket sales and will find its market. My thanks to ClubRackets.com in Sheffield for the loan of the racket.
This leaves me with the task of providing a rating on 88S which became a lot harder than first envisioned. Finally, after weighing up the pros and cons of this racket, I am awarding it a five star rating.