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Yonex ArcSaber Z-Slash SP/IP
[ARC-Z Slash]
US$185.00
by Mark Appleton Date Added: Thursday 17 December, 2009
US code, 3UG4, Ashaway Zymax 62 @ 24 x 26.

An extraordinary departure from mainstream rackets, EVERYTHING feels wrong at first. The shaft is 10 mm longer than usual, so timing needs to be adjusted, and the head is smaller and the stringing pattern denser, so the racket is unusually intolerant of off-center hits.

I play 90% men's doubles and the Z felt totally out of place at first, with the longer shaft really limiting my defence. Power, though, was available immediately, and LOTS of it - when you really wind up and catch one in the middle of the bed it hits as hard any other Yonex (and if the shaft wasn't so long it would be even more powerful still). The head is also the most aerodynamic I have ever seen, really slicing the air with very little effort. Lifts and clears are similarly easy, and I got some decent backhand smashes in.

However, I have real diffilculty in the close-in stuff (flat drives and defence, mostly) - the one I received, not from MBS, is over 300 mm balance even with my grip on, so it behaves like an AT700. This coupled with the long shaft makes precise head placement very difficult at first.

In short, any shot where you can get a big swing will be of unrivalled power and angle, but short, wristy stuff may go astray until you are dialled in with the Z. I have been playing it for two weeks and I think I am finally starting to get the hang of it, so this review will probably be followed by another one in the New Year. I will add that the frame, despite its seeming delicacy, is incredibly strong and stable, and I have no fears about the odd mis-hit. The paint job, which I HATED at first, is also beginning to grow on me, and it is of the highest YY quality yet see.

Rating: 3 of 5 Stars! [3 of 5 Stars!]
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