Yonex Astrox 88S Review: Front Court Mastery Unleashed

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Last Updated on 02/08/2023 by Kriss

When it comes to badminton rackets that are designed to dominate the front court, the Yonex Astrox 88S stands out as a remarkable piece of engineering. As the “skill” sibling in the Astrox 88 family, the 88S is crafted with the fast and agile player in mind, especially in doubles play. But how does it compare to its more head-heavy brother, the Astrox 88D, known for its “dominant” power?

The Astrox 88S is head heavy, but not as much as the 88D. This design choice aims to provide the perfect blend of agility and power, allowing players to execute swift net shots while still packing a punch in smashes. It’s a racket that promises to enhance your skill game, but does it live up to the hype?

In this review, we’ll delve into the nitty-gritty of the Yonex Astrox 88S, exploring its performance, control, power, and how it caters to the unique demands of the front court player. Whether you’re a seasoned doubles player looking to up your net game or a beginner curious about the Astrox series, this review aims to provide you with all the insights you need.

So, let’s dive into the review!

Yonex Astrox 88S Overview

First, let’s take a look at the racket in hand:

There is no denying that Yonex made a beautiful racket here. The dark design with red and green accents makes for a well-rounded design. There were no flaws with the paint job and the finish feels nice and premium.

The Astrox 88S was designed with the fast-paced doubles player in mind. Here are the main features of the racket:

Design and Technology

The Astrox 88S is crafted with a host of Yonex’s cutting-edge technologies. The YONEX NEW Built-in T-Joint enhances ball stability, while the Yonex Rotational Generator System ensures a balanced weight distribution for easier manipulation. The Isometric head shape increases the sweet spot by 32%, providing an ideal hitting area. The isometric head shape and the new Built-in-T-Joint are not unique to this racket, a lot of other premium Yonex rackets use the same technologies.

Compared to other Yonex rackets, the Astrox 88S is 5mm shorter and has a softer head, allowing for better ball control and feel. This design caters to players who excel at net play, offering excellent control.

Marketing Highlights

Yonex markets the Astrox 88S as a racket specially developed for rapid gameplay. It’s suitable for professional players seeking strength and precision in their game. The lightweight and rigid frame offers enhanced shot power, but thanks to the technology used, your shots will be surgically accurate. The 88S has recently been replaced but the Astrox 88S Pro and Yonex also released a whole lineup of Astrox rackets like the 88 Play and Tour.

When the Astrox 88S came out in 2019 its marketing was focused on doubles with the famous pair Gideon and Sukamuljo aka “The Minions”. Yonex produced multiple videos like this one.

Do you also want to see the review for the new Astrox rackets? Then feel free to write us a message or leave a comment.

Yonex Astrox 88S Specifications

Understanding the specifications of the 88S provides insight into its performance and suitability for different playing styles. Here’s a detailed look:

  • Flex: Stiff
  • Balance Point: 310mm (slightly Head Heavy)
  • Weight: 86g (4U and with strings)
  • Recommended Strings: Yonex BG66 Ultimax for control, Yonex BG80 for power (also check out our guides on string tension and what strings to use)
  • Frame Material: H.M. Graphite, NANOMETRIC DR, Tungsten
  • Shaft Material: H.M. Graphite, NANOMETRIC
  • Length: 5mm shorter than standard rackets
  • Grip Size: G4/G5

Enough said about the design and features. Let’s get to the important things: How does the racket perform on the court?

Yonex Astrox 88S On The Court

I have played the Astrox 88S for multiple months as my main racket. So I had a lot of time to get to know the racket. Let’s look at raw power first:

Power and Smashing

When it comes to power, the Astrox 88S holds its own. While it may not have the raw power of its sibling, the Astrox 88D, it still packs a punch. Smashes are strong and accurate, and the slightly head-heavy design adds extra oomph to your hits. It may take a bit of adjustment if you’re used to more head-heavy rackets, but once you find the sweet spot, the smashes are still great. It’s a racket that is focused on control and quick movements, so you won’t get the dedicated smash performance of an Astrox 100ZZ or the 88D Pro, but still a very decent smash.

Clears are effortless and feel great.

The Astrox 88S packs a good punch but still offers great control

Net Play

On the court, the Astrox 88S shines at the net. The control is impressive, and you will have no trouble with your touch at the net. Quick net kills are also no problem. The racket is not too heavy, so it will also not tire you during a long game.

Midcourt and Defense

Transitioning to midcourt, the Astrox 88S continues to deliver solid results. Defensive plays feel good, but I sometimes wished I had a little bit more agility on defense. When the smash comes to the body I sometimes wasn’t quick enough to get the shuttle back. Generating power on defense is not a big problem with this racket and it was definitely quicker than the 88D on defense.

Drives are crisp and offer good power and control. You can keep the racket up looking for quick kills or intercepting shots on the front court with no problem.

For me, the racket shines more in drives than defense but this might be different from player to player.

Control and Shuttle Hold

The control and shuttle hold of the Astrox 88S is where it truly stands out. The shuttle seems to linger on the strings, allowing you to guide it with pinpoint accuracy. The head provides an excellent feel, and the control is really nice. Compared to the 88D I felt way more confident in my drop shots. The Astrox 88S is a rather stiff racket, which allows excellent control.

The Astrox 88S delivers great control and is a stiff racket.

Who Is The Astrox 88S For?

The racket offers a unique blend. I would not recommend it to beginners, since it is very stiff, and usually, a flexible racket suits beginners a little bit better. You can try to put a soft string tension on it (< 10kg) and you still might get great results as a beginner.

The Astrox 88S is mainly designed for the quick intermediate or pro doubles player. It will be a fun and excellent racket in this discipline and won’t disappoint. If you are looking for quick drives, excellent feel in drops, and smooth net plat while still packing a good punch this is the racket for you. However, if you looking for the ultimate smash machine the Astrox 88S is not the racket to get.

Comparison to Other Rackets

The most obvious comparison is the one to the Astrox 88D. The 88D packs more punch, the smashes are more powerful. But the 88D pays the price in control and agility. This is where the 88S feels way better. I noticed the difference the most in drop shots and drives.

Compared to the beloved all-rounder the Arcsaber 11 Pro the 88S has more smash power and it’s a draw between the two at the net. The Arcsaber needs a bit more effort in clears and the smashes are not as powerful. However, it is a bit quicker in defense and offers a very solid touch.

What About Singles?

I also played the Astrox 88S in singles. On the very pro level, you might be missing the last 5% in the smash, but on an intermediate level, this is no issue at all.

The racket delivers all its benefits to singles. However, the game is a little bit different. If you are a very aggressive player you won’t like it. However, if you like to control the rallies and move your opponent around this racket will also deliver great performance in singles for you.

The Verdict

The Yonex Astrox 88S is a beautiful racket that also has great performance. It caters to the front court player, providing agility, control, and power in a beautifully crafted package. From the initial impression to the final verdict, it’s a racket that impresses at (almost) every turn.

Control at the net, drops, and drives are excellent. The smashes are not the most powerful but are still pretty fast. The racket feels a little slow on defense but you will get most shots back without getting into trouble.

Whether you’re a doubles specialist looking to dominate the net or an all-rounder seeking a versatile weapon – you will love the Astrox 88S.

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