I have been using Axforce 80 4U for 2-3 months and it is my current main racket that I use for tournaments and training. I will be reviewing my initial impression and my thoughts on using this racket for 2 months including 3 tournament runs. At first I’m curious about this new racket Yuta Watanabe uses so I tried it and never change since.
Balance : 302 mm.
Shaft : Medium
Max Tension : 30 Lbs
My racket Actual Swing weight: 85.5 kgs (measured with Victor swing weight machine)
normally around 84-86kgs
Racket weight 83.2 grams
String: VBS 66 Nano 27 lbs
Gorgeous racket. Probably one of if not the best looking racket in the market IMO. I really like black/gold/pink painting on the racket with subtle tactile bumps. Holding felt light since its only around 83-84 grams which is considered on the lighter side for 4U racket nowadays, normally we see around 85-86 grams for 4U rackets.
bending the shaft by hand felt medium-medium stiff. Eventhough the frame type is “box” the frame width is on the thinner side so swinging felt fast for a box frame. When I swing and flick my wrist a bit, the shaft felt softer than I thought, more like “whippy”. Not bad first impression.
Very very good repulsion from the racket. Shuttle speed I got from drives are great and the racket is very easy to move when I engage in fast drives or blocks. Anything short and fast with this racket felt great, but if you go for a wider swing then you will feel the shaft bending and whipping so at first it’s very hard to time and will make your drives goes higher than you thought. Other than that, this racket is fast enough for fast pace drive play, you will feel a bit of head weight but it felt head lighter than 300+ mm balance point that’s for sure.
Effortless, very very easy to clear with, on/off balance overhead. You just need to hit somewhere in the middle of the rackets it will fly. The medium flex shaft really transfers the power well. Power adjustment is easy as well, I don’t really hit it out often compared to “speed” type racket where you lose control of your power sometimes because the racket is fast. Backhand clears are easy.
For stick smash and half smash, this racket performs as well as any power racket out there. Good shuttle speed and trajectory and the shuttle go where you wanted it to go. Nothing to complain for non-full power smash. But for full smash, this racket doesn’t give you that much power for a 300+mm balance point racket.
Smashing power is ok at best. But I don’t really care about killer smash that much since it’s kinda hard to do at a higher level where your opponent got decent defense. Compared to Ryuga 2 or 88D pro, my smash output with Axforce80 is around 90-95% speed of Ryuga2 and 88D Pro. Not bad I think. The most important aspect of playing with Axforce 80 is the timing. This racket is 100% not a day 1 racket where you will love it the first day your play with. Honestly I really hate this racket first 1-2 days of use. Because if your timing is a bit off. The whippy shaft will punish you so much you will hit fliers where you aim for body smash but the shuttle flies over your opponent head and goes out. I found myself always jump smashing at mid-court rather than standing smash sometimes since I fear that my smash will go out.
Control (drop shot/slice/reverse slice)
Very good control on the shuttle, just like my previous point. Anything not full power you get good control over your shuttle. Drop shots are nice and fast. Slice and reverse are easy to control. I think I do get better shuttle speed compared to all the racket I’ve tried with control shots.
No complain, the racket head doesnt vibrate and doesnt over shot the shuttle. The shaft is solid and no wobble. What surprise me is that my cross net are now more deadly because of the better shuttle speed when changing direction. Other than that, no complain.
The defense is super duper good. This is probably why Yuta still plays with this racket. the racket is swift so I can get behind a lot of smash better than other “box” frame racket. Because the shaft whips, lifts defense is super easy, you don’t need to use a lot of power to return the smash to back-court again. I can easily cross court the smash very easy as well. This racket might be one of the best defensive racket I have ever tried. 100X, Hypersonic, Arc 7 Pro etc. Have very good defensive capability but the return are not as good compared to Axforce 80.
Eventhough, Axforce is marketed as “Attacking” racket. Axforce80 is more of an all-round racket that is more of a defensive racket rather than attacking. Again, you probably need 2-3 days to adjust to this racket since the shaft action are more unique than other rackets. If you want racket that can do everything and easy to play with. Axforce 80 should be in your list. I will still use Axforce 80 until I’m bored of it but not anytime soon.
Feel free to ask me anything.
My Current Racket
Lining Axforce 80 4U X2
Felet Aerocarbon 3U
Lining Halbertec 8000 4U