A Jnice Black Panther review
-Skip to the red heading at the centre if you want to get straight to the point.
I mainly play men’s doubles with the emphasis on the rear court (60%) but enjoy playing at the mid/front too. My main rackets are the Victor Auraspeed 90k (3u) and the ZF2 (4U) where I’d frequently be changing between them depending on either how bored or tired I am. Both strung with BG80 at 28 pounds.
There were several rackets I’ve been wanting to try out between the Wucht P8, 88D, Z strike and so on but I chose a brand that most people wouldn’t risk buying from. Jnice, a relatively young brand that most people wouldn’t give a glance at which is fairly normal. For one it’s obviously significantly harder to sell a racket from a brand that’s not well known if you don’t gel with it. Sure it could be possible but it will be relatively harder to sell compared a Yonex racket with all the marketed tech/gimmicks since they have a bigger reputation.
Now I was curious to see why Jag from Badminton Racket Review rated this racket so highly compared to the several hundreds that he tested, and while a video can give a lot of information I find that it’s always best to try it out yourself. I first tried the 4u version. You will be hearing the word “easy” a lot
Well let’s get onto the review!
For a HH racket it’s very light and fast. Stupidly fast. Now if it was a head light or even balanced racket like the NF800, JS10 or BS12 I wouldn’t be that surprised but I expected it to be more sluggish compared to those kind of rackets. It’s not, it’s got the similar characteristics as them while packing more weight in the smash.
One attribute that made the NF800 unique was “razor frame” which basically was a hybrid between an aero and box frame. The Black Panther shares that though that’s reworded as the “slim frame”. My theory is that the hybrid frame along with the longer shaft/shorter handle is what makes this to be fast and snappy despite having more weight in the head, though of course it’s just a guess.
Speed and feeling:
This may sound like I’m exaggerating but few rackets can compare to this in terms of speed. This has the added bonus of also feeling lighter than it actually is. Jay was correct in this regard, this simply does not behave like a racket in it’s weight category. The 3u version feels like a 4u and the 4u feels like a 5u, I really am curious to know what they did but whatever they did sure was magical. The feedback is nice and solid too but not dull like the ZF2 or numb like the 90K. With handling you can feel the head heaviness but it’s just that quick, my 90K feels head lighter but no where near as quick. Like the Auraspeed 90k it is has no holding feel and it is repulsive.
With such great speed:
-drives cut through the air and is outpaces the 90K with ease.
-holding and flicking to the corners is remarkable with this racket
-interceptions have never been easier
-it’s excellent at the net, trick shots are much easier to execute
-defence is easy, there can be rackets that will give you a similar defence but none that will exceed the ease that this provides.
Overhead shots and power:
Overhead shots did take a session or two to get used to but once I “clicked” with this racket it became very easy. The medium flex of the shaft doesn’t compromise on control but it’s noticeable, it can be a turn off for those who don’t enjoy the feeling of a slight flex.
-Clears can easily reach the end
-Drops feel great with the solid feedback and the repulsion along with the HH head make’s it all easy
-lifts fly sky high
Now despite it being slightly head heavy this acts like a speedster. Thus, the smashes that you do pull off successfully will be very quick like with the JS10 but unlike the ZF2/88D it doesn’t give heavy smashes. If I were to give it a score out of 10 for power/smashes I would give it an 8-8.5. It gives good, accessible smashes that can pressure the opponent to lift poorly at the front but don’t expect a one shot canon. That’s not to say it can’t give a good smash to win the point in one go but it’s just less likely to happen with a good player.
The medium flex shaft helps makes backhand clears a lot easier. This might be me personally but I find that I can generate better backhand smashes and drives from the back with stiffer rackets so for me it was good but I did a better job with the ZF2/90K for backhand smashes.
-So light that you’ll never feel fatigue
-The flex and slightly HH head makes this an easy racket to use after a couple of sessions
-Supreme speed = Great net, defence and drives
-The build is of high quality, I had several clashes and not once has there been a paint chip. Yonex could learn from this
-Great solid feedback and control
The Jnice Black Panther in my eyes has no equal in the front or mid court. From the back court it won’t give you ZF2 smashes but it gives great control and good smashes. Overall this racket might not be suited for those that mainly like to use heavy rackets to use that head weight to carry the shuttle. This is more for those who like fast or all round rackets that like playing either a fast, controlling or relentless attacking style of play. For those types of players I’d recommend you to try this gem out yourself.
Overall I’d like to thank Jag for the good work he brings towards this community and for leading me towards this smaller brand. I for one will be trying out more of their rackets in the future.