I am in love…let me introduce you to Yonex’s new flagship racquet, the Voltric 80.
This racquet was launched at 2011 All England Badminton Championships, where it proved to be a real winner on court through Mens Singles Winner Lee Chong Wei, and Mens Doubles Winner Mathias Boe (his partner used VT70).
In my review of VT70 I raved about the new technology and design and said that Yonex had really got it right with this series of badminton racquets. In my opinion, somehow Yonex have managed to go one better with VT80 as it’s got a lot more to give.
The Voltric arrived in a full length bag, which is now standard for the Voltric range. Yonex have continued to improve on the graphics and this racquet is very striking in red, black, white and gold. It’s looks so much better than VT70.
This particular model is only available in 3U (weight 84-89g) in UK, and grip size G4 which is the smaller of the grip sizes usually on offer in UK.
This is a remarkable racquet in terms of what it’s meant to do. In essence, Yonex have combined the aerodynamic qualities of a Z Slash with the thin frame of a Nanospeed 9900 (not as thin as VT70, although the shaft is the slimmest in Yonex range) and given the racquet the head weight of an Armortec. Ingenious. We already know the technology works from my review of VT70, so how much better can this racquet be?
Balance wise, this is a head heavy racquet, but certainly not as heavy as AT700. I’d say this is very close to the weight on Armortec 900 Power which is therefore why Lee Chong Wei likes the racquet.
This racquet has a thin but stiff shaft which appears to be slightly longer than conventional racquets by around 1cm, which is very similar to Z Slash. This should therefore have a broader appeal to players especially fans of Armortec 900 who are looking for more from their racquet.
The frame is certainly thin although I’d say it’s an even size rather than the super thin with bulges we witnessed on Voltric 70. Yet again, the weight is at the top of the head. This racquet also has the sound filters although to my mind they don’t add anything to your performance.
Maximum recommended tension on this racquet is 27lbs. This is certainly going to appeal more to the players who like higher tensions and have been disappointed with previous offerings from Yonex. No doubt the pros had their Voltric 80’s strung much tighter at All Englands, but there again, they do not have warranty issues to consider.
On with the review…
The string tension on this racquet feels OK at around 18-20lbs which is more than adequate for many league players. I do tend to like my racquets strung tighter but readers of my reviews know that I also like to test racquets “straight out of the bag.” As you can imagine, I’m looking forward to testing this racquet again with a higher tension.
It’s hitting time…
As readers of my badminton blog will know, I have a great affinity with Yonex Armortec 900 Power. With this in mind, I was looking forward to testing Voltric 80 and comparing it to AT900 P and Z Slash.
I’m not too keen on G4 grip sizes so I had to build the grip prior to playing. I know this changed the balance a little, but it had to be done.
Despite the slightly spongy feel due to the lower tension from factory stringing, I’ve got to say WOW!
In the power department, clears were effortless. There were no shaky frame shots I’d experienced with Z Slash. Every shot was timed well and it felt beautiful.
I really love the feel of the head on Voltric 80. Yes, it’s got some weight, but it just made everything I hit easier – except the shuttle I lost in the light and missed completely (ahem – my excuse). What surprised me most was the power from my smash. I can honestly say I hit the shuttle consistently harder than I have ever done before. I hit bazookas I haven’t hit in years. This delivered the power of the Z Slash, without the inconsistency – I’m now ecstatic! This is so much better than AT900P, by a long way. I never thought I’d be saying that.
Voltric range has been badged as the range to replace the very popular Armortec range. Fear not Armortec lovers, this is not a replacement – it’s a massive improvement.
So, we know this racquet packs a huge consistent wallop in the power department. Let’s take a look at its defensive capabilities.
I had Mark smash a few shuttles at me and he can hit hard. Defensively this badminton racquet delivered every time and reminded me of the speed of my Nano9900 although I could still feel the weight in the head. However, it wasn’t off-putting and gave me more meat in the racquet head to return the shuttle. It was easy to manoeuvre due to the air resistance qualities of the frame, and I didn’t notice any particular drag issues that head heavy racquets tend to deliver. I do like the feel of that weight in the head. As I said in my review of Voltric 70, it means you have a better appreciation where the racquet head is travelling to.
Despite the weight in the head, the aero dynamic qualities of the frame meant that there was only a minor loss of speed around the net. However, this is understandable as a head light racquet will always travel faster. Overall, around the net Voltric 80 was outstanding – enough said.
If you read this far, you can tell I like this racquet. I’ll go beyond this and say that Voltric 80 is, without doubt, the most outstanding racquet I have ever used in my 34 years in badminton!
It’s got everything, supreme power, great handling, super-fast in defence and looks and feels great.
With an RRP of 190 pounds sterling, this is probably the most expensive racquet in Yonex range. This will immediately put a lot of players off, which is fair enough in the current climate. In addition to that, a clash of racquets could shatter the frame, so it’s potentially a higher risk than lesser priced racquets. In some respects you could buy three racquets for the market price of Voltric 80, which I suspect will be around 165-170 when the online discounters sell it.
Whenever I score a racquet, you know that I deduct half a star for the premium priced racquets. However, this time, I’m not. This racquet is so good, and the most exceptional racquet I’ve ever played with, I’m going to give it a full 5 star rating. I doubt I’ll ever do this again.
For me Voltric 80 is considerably better than AT900P, Z Slash and Nano9900. It’s all of those combined into one and taking the standard up another level.
Ladies and gentlemen, I have just found and reviewed the Holy Grail of racquets. Thank you Yonex for giving us Voltric 80!