As expected the head heavy, stiff shaft combination felt very comfortable. It’s a spec I have used for many years. The racket felt a touch heavy but that’s partly because I have used lighter rackets for some time due to injury. Whilst it felt good and clears were traveling well, the weight distribution was certainly different. To be honest, Yonex appears to have beefed up the racket head a little. The 10 and 2 o’clock positions look bulkier. Perhaps this is due to the grommet strip which supports the additional weighted section. However, for me the racket doesn’t move as well through the air. Having the original VT80 to test against proved this was indeed the case. So whilst my clears were nice, I felt as though I had to work harder to achieve a good length.
It could be argued that the lower tension isn’t helping here and I would accept that point of view. However, a lower tension should, in theory, provide more repulsion and provide greater power. But, when you’re used to certain tensions, playing with a racket strung at considerably less tension can sometimes feel heavier and bit slack.
Drop shots were really solid. There is something about a good weighted racket head which provides a more-certain feel when the shuttle is struck. Whilst not quite as nice as the original Z Force, there is almost a confidence which grows with this type of racket and the knowledge that the shuttle will be struck well and travel where it is supposed to go. Sometimes with a lighter head it’s easy to lose sense of the feel and therefore hit short.
Onto the smash. I was expecting great results from this racket in the knowledge that the original still “has it.” Sadly, I didn’t get that same feel with the VT80 E-tune which was a bit disappointing. That’s not to say the racket isn’t capable of delivering power because it does. However, the overall balance and feel just felt a bit, erm…clumpy to me.
Flat drives and pushes needed work and again the racket head doesn’t cut through as quick as the original. I still enjoyed the challenge of maintaining the rally and at least I didn’t feel as though my arm was going to fall off which was one of the issues with the original Z Force.