Review: Nanoflare 800, the racquet that made me love Yonex again
Background: I’ve been playing on and off since the early 2010s, and during that time I’ve owned and played with a couple of Yonex racquets. Of those, I’ve used the Armortec 900 Technique, Arcsaber 3FL, Arcsaber 11, Voltric Z-Force 2, Nanoray Z-Speed, Nanoray 100, Astrox 77, Astrox 100ZZ, and Astrox 100ZX. While I could acknowledge them all to be good (except for the NR100, that thing sucks), none of them were quite for me, and I would always either sell them off or relegate them to the bottom of the bag. While they performed well, I didn’t enjoy the feel of them. There was always a slight dullness with each shot that I didn’t enjoy.
As such, I gravitated more towards the smaller brands such as Victor, JNICE, and Ashaway as they simply felt better in my hands during play. Just recently, however, drunk me made an impulse purchase of a Nanoflare 800 in 3U, and I must say that this thing has absolutely become my new favorite racquet for reasons I am about to get into.
Review: Nanoflare 800 3U with BG80 at 11.5kg/25lbs
Feel – This racquet feels SOLID and that slight dullness I’ve felt with previous Yonex racquets is not there at all. Every shot feels very natural and comfortable. A good drop feels like a good drop. A good smash feels like a good smash. I’d argue it has the best feeling out of all the current racquets I own, but I’d need to do more on-court testing to confirm. 9/10
Control – Control is crazy good, but hard to get used to at first. This racquet is very VERY fast thanks to it’s ultra slim shaft and razor frame, and it took a good hour of missing shots to finally get used to it. Once I put in the work though, it was fantastic. Everything landed where I wanted it to with little effort thanks to it’s amazing stability and balance. A note about the balance: while it’s advertised as headlight, I would say it leans more towards the even balance side. 9/10
Power – Now this part surprised me. I’ve never gotten along with headlight and even balanced racquets due to the lack of power I could squeeze out of them, but the NF800 is a banger. Every smash felt and sounded like exploding rockets, and I was able to blast out more power with this than my previous main racquet (JNICE Black Panther). I’d attribute it to the increased speed and stiffness. Could I squeeze out more power with an Astrox 100ZZ? Yes, but the feel I get from smashing with the NF800 is much more satisfying and the amount I get is more than good enough for me. 8/10
Difficult (for some) – If you’re like me who prefers and has mostly only used head heavy racquets, this thing can be tough to adjust. It took me about an hour, but your mileage may vary.
Thin as heck – That frame is THIIIINNN. While the racquet as whole feels very solid and sturdy, I can’t help but feel a bit paranoid about the frame snapping. I’ve seen a handful of breakages reported online, so be aware of that. I’d assume you’d have a better time durability-wise if you go for the 3U version like I did instead of the 4U model.
Conclusion: I love this thing. It has surprised me in so many ways and has completely changed my opinion on Yonex and racquets that are anything other than headheavy, so much so that this is my new main. The thin frame does somewhat worry me, but so far the racquet has felt absolutely solid and high quality. If it were to break, I’d happily buy another. Thanks for taking the time to read my amateur review. If you have any questions or want me to go into an area I didn’t discuss, feel free to ask in the comments. Thanks.