Whether you’’ll consider the Pro is an enhanced version is simply down to personal choice. I think Yonex have achieved a lot with this racket, bringing together an enhanced or hybrid version, almost a joining of Nanoflare 800, Arcsaber 11 with original 88S.
I really like this streamlined frame, the snappier response on shots and the feel on the stringbed due to the new string pattern. Surprisingly, the 88D Pro does not use the same string pattern so perhaps there’s a more familiar feel on this racket. Time will tell as I test this racket next.
RRP is £185 as I write this review with retailers discounting to around £148. This is a fair price. It will be interesting to test the other variants on the Astrox 88S to compare and find which version delivers the best value for money. Given the playability of the Astrox 88S Pro, I consider the benchmark with this racket is high and other versions will have to show something special to beat this.
The original Astrox 88’s are incredibly popular with professional and amateur players. The big question will be whether they also like the new versions. There’s quite a difference between these versions. Whilst I prefer this new, enhanced version in the guise of the 88S Pro, it will take some persuasion to convince players to lose a little head weight for the slimline, punchy version.
Having played with Astrox 88S Pro for some time, I’m really looking forward to testing and reviewing the D version. Whilst I rarely use a racket with this spec, I was so impressed with the 88S Pro, I’d consider keeping one in my bag as it could be an invaluable tool for feeding. It’s a very user-friendly racket and I enjoyed testing it.
As I mentioned earlier, it’s going to be interesting to see whether the professional players take a shine to the new version and switch. Time will tell. I felt that Yonex had described it well in advertising, seeing it as an upgrade from the original.
The tricky part is rating this racket as I believe it has many good features. Putting the original to one side and looking at the 88S Pro as a stand alone product, I think it has ticked many boxes and deserves a 4.5 stars rating. At a pinch it could possibly go higher but now I’m looking forward to testing Astrox 88D Pro which may prove to be better, who knows?
For now I’ll recommend you test this wonderful racket and make your own mind up. I liked it and want to use it again in a direct hit off with the 88D Pro. But, I’ve far too many rackets to test and review to provide that luxury, although there will be more on the Astrox 88S Pro when I compare it to the other versions, namely the Tour and Game.
Watch this space.