Here we are again with another racket comparison video. This time we are looking at the Astrox 88 S series, first launched 2021.
So you have already probably seen my review of the brand new 88s Pro. So today we’re going to compare to the 88s Game, the 88s Tour and we’ll just make a few comments relating to the Astrox 100zz as well, so we’ve got quite a lot to cover here.
Get lots of questions regards to what is the difference between the Game, the Tour and the Pro:
- Will I feel any difference?
- Is it worth spending the extra money on the more expensive Pro?
So let’s answer all them questions here today for you.
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So let’s get started and let’s talk about the 88s Game. So, here we are with the, with the Game, here’s the Pro.
The first thing you’ll probably notice colour scheme is pretty well similar. On this racket, there is the decal showing Game, whereas, in the Pro, it just says Astrox. All the comments that I hear are, if you just look at the head shape, you will see there is a difference and this is a lot more rounded on the Pro compared to what I would class as a standard Yonex isometric head shape.
The racket lengths are identical, so as you see, handles are identical, shaft length identical, heads identical in size. So it’s only the head shape that is slightly different, but if we take a closer look, there are one or two little differences. So if we take a quick look at the Pro and look at the ferrule here, very slight difference to what we are going to see on the Game. Not sure whether you’ll be able to see this, but the shaft thickness on the Pro is considerably thinner than that on the Game.
You’ll also probably notice this is a stiff frame on the Game bit more flex in there as well, so a bit more forgiving certainly is going to appeal more to the intermediate player who wants a nice head heavy racket, wants a fast frame, so doesn’t want something too stiff, then straight away, this is going to be a lot more favourable to that player.
Other things to note as well, this is made in Japan whereas the Game and the Tour are made in Taiwan. All of these are a G5 grip. There is availability for a G4 grip in the Pro, but I’m not so certain it’s available in the UK on the Game and Tour. Also, I did notice that the G5 grip on the Game & the Tour, feels a little bit thicker than it does on the Pro. So just something to watch out for, it is only minor but I just want to make that point. So there basically are the differences.
One of the other elements I just want to talk about with the S is that there is a new string pattern here where we see shared grommets, one, two, three, four, five, miss one, and another shared grommet here, so a completely different string pattern that we haven’t seen before.
One of the things that concerned me a little bit on the Game is the string spacing here as you’ll probably see, between the two grommets because of the head shape with this particular stringing pattern. Whereas, if we look on the Pro that spacing isn’t there. So now, I don’t expect is going to have a major impact but it’s just, it’s just something I noted and I wasn’t particularly happy with and on this model it just seems that, it’s just that little bit wide, but it will still hold onto the shuttle well, there shouldn’t be any impact problems whatsoever, but it’s just something that, you know, I didn’t like with a bit of attention to detail. So there we go.
This is, this is the Game plays really nice, still a fast frame, it’s still powerful, this is a head heavy racket still, balance point on this is 305. So, still way up there in terms of head heavy but you don’t feel the weight up the top end, so it keeps the racket moving quick, great for defense, great round the net as well. So if that’s your style of play, then this could be a great racket for you.
Let’s move on to the Tour.
Now the Tour is a lot more similar to the Pro so if you’re looking for a cheaper version of the Pro, then the Tour could be the one for you and we’ll talk about prices soon. So with this again, all identical, except the graphic says Tour against Astrox on the Pro. All the sizes are there, identical ferrules as well on this one. Also you will probably notice that it’s a slimmer shaft as well, so as close to being identical at it could be, yet again made in Taiwan, made in Japan. So a lot lot closer in feel.
Something else I neglected to mention on the Game, this will feel slightly lighter as well. The head, the head weight is a touch lighter than it is on the Tour and the Tour is a lot lot closer to the weight you’re going to feel on the Pro but still there’s a little bit of difference, so in weight, headweight terms Pro’s the heaviest, Tour’s the middle one and Game is going to be slightly lighter than that, but it is marginal.
So we know there’s a lot of similar aspects on the Tour compared to the Pro, so what is different?
Well there will be some material differences, obviously we know it’s been constructed in a different country as well, but it does feel very very similar to the Pro so if you’re looking for a racket that’s going to be cheaper than the Pro but obviously looks pretty much identical, then the Tour could be the racket for you.
Yet again, G5 grip, little bit larger than will be on the Japanese version but again it is only slightly so it’s still well worth having a look at this racket. BP on this Tour was 307 so not a great deal of difference between the Tour & the Game. So pretty pleased with this racket, felt great to play with. Again, it’s fast, it’s punchy, it’s easy to maneuver great around the net, great in defense, got a bit more punch in the rear court compared to the Game and only slightly off what you’re going to find on the Pro.
So got lots of things going for it but considerably cheaper. So again, very, very happy with his racket. We’ve already discussed the Pro and I’ve already done a video on the Pro and all the benefits of this racket, and I’ve compared this to the 88D, so we’ve already had lots and lots of information for you on this particular racket. BP on this one is 310 so slightly taller in terms of headway which I mentioned to you earlier.
If we look at price, then there is quite a margin of difference. As you would expect the Pro is retailing in the UK for around about £150 and that is without a case. None of these rackets come with these full-length covers anymore. This is part of the cutting down on wastage and finding a lot of racket covers going into landfill, so you just get the racket these days. So maybe you might want to get a single head cover just to protect the head, if not, it can just go straight in your racket bag absolutely fine. So around about a £150 in the UK for the 88s Pro.
If we look at the Tour this is going to be around a £115 so £35 saving on this one and cheapest of them all £80 £80 for the 88S Game. So considerable difference in price. If you look at the Game versus the Pro, we’re more or less buying 2 of these for 1 of these. So for somebody who wants to have a spare and they decide that they don’t need all the attributes of the Pro version, then the Game might be an absolute saver for you in terms of getting two identical rackets and therefore if you break a string just change to the next one and you can carry on your game not really feeling a difference.
So there we go, 3 different rackets. I really like the fact that Yonex are trying to find different ways to suit different budgets and not have too much difference in the actual rackets themselves. I think they’ve done a great job with the Astrox 88 series. I’ve already done a separate video on the 88 D’s, so all the information I’m giving you today is literally the same on the 88D, so I’m really pleased that I have tested these and now understand them and can talk about them with a lot more confidence.
So, if you get the chance, try these rackets out. You might find that for you, the Game is just brilliant & it moves well, it plays well and it means that it’s well within your budget and you got a great great racket.
For others that are going to go down the middle ground and the Tour going to be absolutely perfect for you. It’s a lot closer to the 88S Pro as I mentioned before, and, there’s only a slight difference in grip size so you can sort that out I’m sure. But a really, really good racket, retailing for around about £115 or so, and for others, well there’s always going to be those players who want to get the best and find that the 88S Pro is that racket for them.
One thing you will notice as well, which has come to my attention when you play with this racket it feels very, very compact especially with this new string pattern as well, for some reason, completely different feel on the racket. But I’ve compared it head size to the Astrox 100ZZ literally it is identical head size, just a slightly more rounded shape on the 88S but actual head length is identical. So, for some reason, this is, this has a very sort of punchy but compact feel to it.
Same with the D version as well but plays great, really love the upgrades that they made on the 88 series and I’m sure that there is going be that mixed opinion between liking the originals & somebody coming along & really liking the new version as well.
So there we go, that is the Astrox 88S Game, Tour & Pro
See you on another video