Astrox 88D has an interesting feel. This is a head heavy racket, but the weight is not confined to the top of the frame but almost evenly spread around the head. Consequently, it hits strong and fast and is highly maneuverable. Without doubt, Voltric 80 carries more head weight and this may disappoint some players who are looking for a good replacement to that racket. That said, Astrox 88D hits really well and there were no issues hitting a good length without much effort.
Unlike some head heavy rackets, 88D delivers time after time and does not cause tiring in the arm. The fast swing allows good, clean hitting from the corners whether hitting high or low. I like it.
The ability to generate good racket head speed without too much effort allows a range of drop shots to be sprung on your opponent with such ease and precision. In some older Yonex rackets, there has occasionally been a kind of “boxy” feel to the shot, as though the racket needed an aerodynamic injection. There’s none of this with the Astrox 88D, again, just good clean hitting.
Smash was good too although I question whether the heavier 3U will do a better job without losing much in speed. My hitting partner Andy certainly found a smash he didn’t have with his other racket, with a bit more punch. Perhaps he is realising that the heavier head isn’t always the most powerful? The ability to generate good racket head speed is important when hitting the smash and this racket helps you do this more easily than some I’ve tested recently.
As we moved into mid-court hitting, this racket continued to shine. Flat drives were really easy, with a great feel and thankfully without tiring the arm. The shuttle reacts quickly to the slight change in the head sending it in a different direction. Don’t expect super speed from Astrox 88D, the S version feels faster, but it’s still very good, high maneuverable when it matters.