Since writing my review of Yonex Arcsaber Z Slash, I have received many favourable comments about the content of the review. Thank you, I enjoyed writing it.
Additionally, I’ve had many people ask me what are the differences between the Arcsaber 10 and the Arcsaber Z Slash. This post is written especially for those of you who have asked this question.
Let’s cut to the chase here. I don’t need to describe the visual differences such as colour so let’s get into the important points…
The Arcsaber 10 follows the traditional Isometric shape and dimensions that Yonex have been using for some time. Consequently, the overall feel of the racquet is familiar.
The Z Slash introduces many differences such as the head shape being narrower by at least 5mm either side of the T piece. The length of the head is the same. The shaft is a good 1cm longer. The handle/grip is 2cm shorter and ferrule is a slightly different shape and a good deal smaller (I estimate 25% smaller).
What does all of this mean? Firstly, I must emphasise that the overall length of the two racquets are identical. It’s important in case you think something else is going on here to make the Z Slash so special.
The longer shaft will deliver more power because it flexes over a slightly larger area. The reduced handle/grip area potentially adds to the brilliant aerodynamic qualities of the Z Slash.
“Feel” and Playability
Picking up the Arcsaber 10 for the first time and playing well with it is easy if you’ve played with any of Yonex’s top-of-the-range racquets. For those of you who have consistently played with medium or flexible shafts, then this racquet may seem like hard work and “less powerful” than the racquets you’ve been used to.
I’ve said this so many times, but it’s important to say again. The top-of-the-range racquets may not play the best for you. It’s vital that you put your ego aside when testing racquets and buy according to what feels right and helps your game. It’s no good if you buy a racquet that feels alien and doesn’t suit your style.
The Yonex Arcsaber Z Slash is a different beast altogether. Balance wise, in some ways it’s not too dissimilar to Arcsaber 10. There’s a little bit of weight in the head, but the racquet is still evenly balanced.
Where the great chasm of a difference appears is in the feel of this racquet when hitting. The shaft is stiff just like Arcsaber 10. But, this racquet moves through the air faster by a country mile. Perhaps the frame is a slightly different shape (I haven’t seen any schematics to help me here). The top of the frame looks thinner – more in keeping with Nanospeed 9900.
I’m not sure how Z Slash’s weight is distributed but it feels different. In some ways it’s got a feel of Armortec 900 Technique so perhaps it’s weighted more in the throat.
Whatever is happening with the design, there is no doubt that the Arcsaber Z Slash generates significantly more head speed than Arcsaber 10.
One of the key ingredients of power is racquet head speed. Therefore it’s no surprise that I consider Z Slash is capable of delivering far greater power over Arcsaber 10. Remember, I reviewed Arcsaber 10 and it is a powerful racquet in the right hands.
The difficulty here is taming the Z Slash. Or should I say, getting used to the astonishing racquet head speed it can generate. Why? Simply this. The racquet cuts through the air so fast, it takes some getting used to. The faster you swing, the more this racquet works for you. But, you’ve got to be able to control it! Because of this speed, it really throws your timing out of kilter by a high margin.
It’s almost like wearing a really heavy pair of boots and being asked to sprint 100 metres. You then take the boots off and re-run the race. This time, your feet are so light, you almost feel like you’re flying. The first few steps are easy but as you pick up the pace, you almost feel you’re running too fast for your feet and could fall at any time. It’s exhilarating with an air of danger.
This is how I feel at the moment when hitting with the Arcsaber Z Slash. Badminton suddenly becomes unpredictable. Will I send a missile over the net or fluff another shot and give the point away. But whoa, the feeling you get when you connect with this beauty is amazing!
Personally, both racquets deliver in abundance in all areas of the game – whether we’re talking net play, defence, serving etc. They are both pro level racquets.
When I was initially choosing a Yonex racquet, the Arcsaber 10 was in my top 3. It lost out to Armortec 900 Power which I felt was right for my game.
You have to choose what’s right for you. By all means, read all the reviews you can. Bottom line here is simple. ..No matter what you read, it all comes down to how the racquet feels for you. If you believe (remember, put that ego aside) that the racquet in your hand is going to improve your game and you have a good feeling about it then it’s probably the right racquet for you.
If you ever get the feeling that the racquet has become an extension of your arm, then it’s definitely the right racquet for you.
You can probably tell from my review and this post that I really love the Arcsaber Z Slash. That said, I’ve not got my timing right with it yet so it doesn’t mean I’m going to change my racquet overnight. I’m going to test again this week and spend more overhead hitting time with it. If I get that “yes!” feeling, and I begin to sort out the timing aspects, then it could easily be my next racquet.
What about Arcsaber 10 you may be asking? Well, it’s a great racquet, but it just didn’t tick all of the boxes for me. It’s not a negative comment though – it’s a personal one. You may find it’s perfect for you so make sure it’s on your list to try. You may find that you have a horrendous experience with Z Slash because of the timing difficulties. But, that does not detract from the fact it truly is a great racquet.
It all goes to show that we’re all different. We have different wants and needs from our racquets and that’s why nobody, me included, can ever tell you what you should use on a badminton court. Only you, and you alone can make the choice. If you really can’t decide, there is usually a very good indicator here. Which racquet do you put down and keep returning to? That’s the one your body is most attracted too even though your head may be looking in another direction with a more expensive price tag and nicer graphics.
Right now my body wants to get on court and hit shuttles with Yonex Arcsaber Z Slash. Whilst I’m listening very carefully to what it’s saying, I’m tempering it with the rationality that not everything is going right yet. But, oh, am I longing to get this beauty working!