These new Yonex rackets are not yet locally available, but that doesn’t generally stop us from getting the latest and greatest here to check out. We pre-ordered this sample from Tennis Warehouse and it arrived in the last week of August. So when the rain has taken a break we’ve had two weeks to hit the courts and see what’s new with this latest iteration.
We tried the EZONE DR series when they first came out, and Suzanne actually selected the DR98 as her racket of choice for quite some time. I never really gelled with the DR98 but recall really liking the DR100 when we demoed them. At the time we were suffering some arm sensitivity so erred away from the DR100 on the basis of stiffness and beam width alone. I actually think this was a mistake with the benefit of hindsight.
Anyway fast forward a couple of years and the DR successor, branded simply as EZONE, is on our door step. The DR98 was quite low powered so we decided to purchase in an EZONE 100 as the “example” to make our assessment on. In the couple of weeks that we’ve had the racket both Suzanne and I have had a good amount of time to hit the courts to put it through it’s paces. We’ve played different specs, which I’ll briefly outline below:
- Suzanne’s spec: 321 grams static weight, 324 mm balance (5HL), and 320 swingweight.
- Andrew’s spec: 330 grams static weight, 314 mm balance (9HL), and 320 swingweight.
To enable testing by both of us the racket has been strung with Babolat Xcel French Open 16 at 55lb tension. This is our initial reference string configuration for testing.
In this EZONE series Yonex have improved the handle dampening system, named Quake Shut Gel Air, and claim it further reduces vibrations by 16%. Well, even without a dampener in this racket there is very little vibration transmitted to the arm at all.
Power on the EZONE 100 especially is excellent. Even with the multifilament string I found depth to be really good. I feared I would be overhitting, but balls were landing around a foot from the baseline. Pace on serve seemed up by a reasonable margin over my current racket of choice, the Babolat Pure Strike 16×19 (ProjectOne7). While not strung with a spin oriented string the EZONE 100 was giving good shape on both my forehand and backhand strokes. Perhaps the one area where the racket has not yet really seen a lot of action is at net. Though based on the feel on the ball I have no doubt at all that net play will be excellent.
Suzanne’s results and comments have mirrored my own. She has commented that her pace on serve, and consistency and confidence on groundstrokes is better than with her current racket of choice, the Babolat Pure Aero.
Not as much actual court time as we would have like (thanks mother nature), but with the summer interclub season upon us it’s time to finalise racket choices. So with that in mind I’m happy to tell you that an order was placed this morning for another six rackets. We’re both really looking forward to getting these in our hands and playing some quality tennis!
General availability in New Zealand is expected to be late September. I ordered the sample in a size 3 grip to bridge the gap between Suzanne and I. We’ll probably sell this off, so if you’re interested in taking it off our hands let us know.