Yonex UK have introduced 6 new badminton rackets this year, following hot on the heels of the highly successful Arcsaber Z Slash.
Out of all the new rackets, the Yonex Arcsaber 8DX is the one I’ve been longing to get my hands on.
As you would expect, the Arc8DX arrived with customary full length bag, standard amongst the Arcsaber range. The racquet is striking in appearance with a winning combination of red, silver, black and copper orange.
This particular model is only available in 3U (weight 85-89.9g) and grip size G3 (same as Arcsaber 10 & 7). This is the larger of the 2 grip sizes currently chosen by Yonex for UK market.
Immediately you pick this racket up, there’s something about it that talks quality. It’s a lovely balance, not too head heavy although you can feel a touch of weight in the head to get a little meat behind the shuttle. The balance is more even compared to Arcsaber 10.
As with most of the top Yonex racquets in the range, the Arcsaber 8DX has a stiff shaft, which is ideal for power players who need a faster response from their racquet.
Whilst material construction seems identical to other Yonex racquets in the range, the Arcsaber 8DX is designated a high tension racquet, with a maximum recommended string tension of 27lbs, which is 3lbs more than most racquets in the current range.
It’s well known that many of the Yonex sponsored players have been stringing their racquets way above recommended string tension values for years. Perhaps it’s a sign of the times that Yonex has finally introduced a racquet purporting to accept higher tensions, moreso to meet public demand from Asia for higher tensions. This is now creeping into UK and is a particular concern of mine. To play with high tensions, a player’s technique must be extremely good, otherwise injuries will occur.
On with the review…
The string tension on this racquet feels a little tighter so there was no need to arrange a re-string before testing. Readers of my reviews will know that I like to test racquets “straight out of the bag.”
From the first hit I knew I liked this racquet. Clears were sailing towards my opponents back line with very little effort on my part. The racquet oozed power but it wasn’t difficult to tame like Z Slash. It performed like a champion thoroughbread, giving me everything I wanted and more at the right time.
So, we know this racquet packs a mean punch, although not quite up to the hitting power of Z Slash. But, it’s got far greater consistency and control and that’s counts for so much more. What about in other areas of the court?
Defensively this racquet delivered every time and reminded me of the speed of my Nano9900 although not quite as light in the head. The combination of better aerodynamics and slightly lighter head work really well here. I could manoeuvre the racquet really fast without any drag or delay caused by additional weight in the head.
There’s always a trade-off between weight in the head for power, and a lighter head for speed, but Yonex seem to have got the combination just right for this racquet.
As you would expect, if the racquet delivers in defence, then it’s got to be good around the net. Yes, no surprises here, it was magnificent! I didn’t need to make adjustments for the racquet, it just played net shots or kills with ease and a fast recovery too. Exactly what I want from a racquet.
Will Arcsaber 8DX suit every style of play? Absolutely. But, that doesn’t mean it will suit your game. As you know, choosing a racquet is very personal and I can imagine for some there will a few frowns, possibly thinking the head lacks the weight to elevate it into the serious hitting league. That’s what personal taste is about.
I’d disagree with this kind of thinking as there are power players using very light-headed racquets. As for me, I consider Arcsaber 8DX to be an Arcsaber 10 with more edge, a little bit more alive and wanting to play. It’s the young kid on the block compared to the wise man – it almost encourages you to throw caution to the wind and play on the dangerous side.
As you can tell, I really like this racquet. Whilst it’s early in our relationship, I can’t wait to get back on court and do it all again. I haven’t felt this level of excitement about a racquet since Z Slash last year. However, I don’t have the frustration of timing issues this time around – it’s almost like taking your favourite racquet, giving it a paint job and handing it back to you with an armed and dangerous sticker attached!
With an RRP of £150, this is a pretty hefty price tag. No doubt the online discounters will be selling for considerably cheaper than that, so expect to pay around £130, maybe less. That’s still a lot of money for a racquet, which will turn many players away.
As much as I like this racquet, the price will push players away and therefore I need to reflect this in my scoring system. Consequently, I’ll rate this racquet 4.5 stars in my 5 star system.
For me, Arcsaber 8DX is close, if not right on the mark, on my Holy Grail of racquets chart. And that is saying a lot!