Head shape, handle length, shaft thickness have all changed considerably and it feels as though head weight has shifted to provide a more balanced racket. Whether head weight is reduced is difficult to tell, but it’s definitely not as focussed at the top of the head.
Fans of the original Astrox 88D may consider the new Pro version as a watered down affair, although that would be slightly unkind. These are two completely different models. For me, I prefer the new version as I consider it has more options. If I want to increase the head weight, then I can add some lead tape…it worked for Lin Dan, so who am I to argue with that.
I also feel this new 88D Pro will find favour with a lot of players who want a solid performer but also prefer a faster frame. Overall, it’s a kind of good news, bad news story, but I’m confident the new Astrox 88D Pro will find an audience and become a very popular racket.
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 88D to compare which version delivers the best value for money.
Having played with Astrox 88D Pro for the last two weeks, I’m really looking forward to testing and reviewing the other D versions. I’ll post a video comparing the three versions.
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 88D Pro as a stand-alone product, I think it has ticked many boxes and deserves a 5 stars rating.
Personally, I don’t want to return this racket, as I’ve really enjoyed using it. I recommend you arrange a test with your local retailer and compare to the Astrox 88S Pro. Both are great rackets and well worth checking out.