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12-29-2012, 01:50 PM #1
Yonex Arcsaber Z-Slash vs I-Slash - an amateur review
Arcsaber I-slash versus Z-slash review
Z-Slash Tested : 040722TH, 3602957, BG66 Ultimax 24 lbs
I-Slash Tested : 280622SP, 3591573, Gosen R4X-110 25 lbs
Shuttlecock : Yonex AS50
The Arcsaber I-Slash took some heat where some found it strange to handle, whilst others complained about the loss of power due to the flexibility of the shaft being rated as medium.
Being rather pedantic with racquet choice as the feel of all different badminton shots on a racquet is very important to my enjoyment of the game, I decided to see what Yonex was up to in the recent year with the Arcsabers, Z-Slash and I-Slash. I played the Z-Slash for a couple of weeks, whilst the I-Slash was just procured yesterday and played only today. Nevertheless I felt it was sufficient for me to give a quick review and i'll be using it again for another game tomorrow.
Comparison of overall feel.
An analogy I would give would be fighting someone with a stick. The I-Slash feels like caning someone or walloping someone with a bamboo stick. The Z-Slash feels like beating someone with a aluminium or magnesium rod that doesn’t bend. The flexibility difference is that drastic as both are long racquets. Both racquets have good sound, very loud hitting sounds.
Head heaviness feel – Both racquets although 3UG5, rated even balance, the Z-Slash feels head heavier in all strokes and swings, the I-Slash had no traces of head-heaviness at all on all swings.
Shuttle contact feel – This is a major difference! The I-Slash is very interesting indeed, upon contact with the shuttle directly into the sweet spot, there is almost NO IMPACT feel transmitted to the hand at all. This gives people a perception of no “power” generated, but the reality is that the shuttle does bounce off at good speed. The Z-Slash has a more obvious shuttle contact feel on the user. (Analogy : Z slash feels like the recoil of hammering a nail into hard wood, whilst I-Slash is like hammering a nail into softwood)
Sweetspot feel – Both racquets feel like they have a very narrow sweetspot strip in the middle of the racquet. There is marked difference when hitting with the higher part of the sweetspot strip or the lower part of the sweetspot strip for the I-Slash, whereas the Z-slash felt more consistent. Hitting the higher part of the sweetspot of I-Slash generates very good power, whilst the lower sweetspot felt a little too cushy with good repulsion. Z-Slash felt crunchy at both spots.
Lobs – both forehand and backhand lobs are rather similar, it was very easy to return shuttles to the backline of opponent’s court on both racquets. Defending against smashes from opponent was good.
Forehand - quite similar for both, just that there is a loss of "impact" feel when hitting hard with the I-Slash. It was easy to drive shuttles far and high.
Netplay – the I-Slash was superior in my opinion, it was just so much easier to maneuver and respond to changes in shots around the net, whilst the Z-Slash, a combination of its length and stiffness, felt slightly more unwieldy .
Smash – Both Z-Slash and I-Slash cut through the air very smoothly and aerodynamically, contributing to reasonably fast smashes. However the head-heavier feel of the Z-Slash in doing a smash felt like the head was leading the motion into the smash, whilst the I-Slash gave a feel of the need for more user-input from arm swing. (Analogy, its like pounding a nail in with a lifted hammer, a heavier hammer head will seem to “drop” with good force onto the nail, whilst a lighter wooden mallet will need more conscious arm strength or snap motion to get the same job done). Nevertheless, I was able to generate good speed on the smash with the I-Slash if I could time it onto the higher part of the sweetspot. The Z-Slash was more consistent, and gave harder smashes most of the time.
Backhand Smash On the contrary to forehand smashing, the I-Slash was superior for me in the backhand smash. I was able to give a quick snap of the wrist to generate a good back hand smash on the I-Slash due to the flexibility giving it a whippy potential. The Z-Slash gave a less strong backhand smash as I could not accelerate the head of the racquet at a speed that I would have preferred at that angle.
My personal preference : The I-Slash is a really fun racquet, it allows for many more shot variations to be performed successfully. The Z-Slash is serious. The style to which one uses when swinging the racquet and hitting the shuttle varies from person to person. The I-Slash can be good for people whom like to hit the shuttlecork with little follow through in swinging, i.e. people whom like to have a quick sharp snap of their wrist on contact with short swings. The Z-Slash can be good if one has longer backswings and good follow through. I prefer the I-Slash to the Z-Slash there was no big advantage for myself in choosing the Z-Slash except in better smash performance only. Being more agile and with better execution of shot variations is worthy despite the slightly crummier smash (personal choice, people obsessed with smashing only will beg to differ). the I-Slash is ELDERLY friendly. the Z-Slash can cause some strain with overswinging, or from the recoil from fast swings and impacts, the I-Slash does not cause any strain at all. Tested by two senior citizens today.
Last edited by vajrasattva; 12-29-2012 at 01:54 PM.
12-29-2012, 02:20 PM #2
just received my CBR 200 string from japan...
i wonder if this string on the I-slash would make the shuttlecock feel "invisible"....
12-29-2012, 06:55 PM #3
i enjoy your review very much, you made it very easy to read with analogies that even an idiot like me can understand...not to mention that i am very jealous that you got the cyber natural and i am still waiting if they will ever find their way over to the US.
seems more and more that the i-slash is what i enjoy playing with since i like the flexibility of the shaft, which is what i rely on to provide me with a wider variation of shots.
once again, thx for the review, great work!!!
12-29-2012, 07:57 PM #4
Nice analogies Please don't do any hammering near my head.
12-30-2012, 09:13 AM #5
thanks for the kind comments
in a second session today with the I-Slash for 2 hours.. its now a keeper and my preferred racquet of use over many other racquets that i have, easy to return shots with good snap at wierd angles, one of my friends commented that he felt a bit of pressure keeping up as i was returning both forehand and lobs to almost his backline from wherever i was.
i'll just need to keep practising to catch the shuttle on smash at the higher part of the sweetspot.
on doubles today, the agility was similarly experienced, it could be a possible alternative to my all time favourite mp99, it had been a while since a racquet delighted me like this despite the soft feel. may buy a couple of pieces to keep
12-30-2012, 10:49 AM #6
to better illustrate
the lowest 3 crosses, and the un-marked areas are zones that give the feeling of hitting the rim/hitting with hard wooden board feel and should be avoided.. these are the similar zones that people often describe as a mis-hit or mis-cue when using either the Z or I slash
12-31-2012, 10:47 AM #7
hahaha, zone of no feeling, that's awesome. i'm not laughing at you by the way, just that it's a funny yet creative labeling of the sweet spot! and now that i look at the oval area, it is indeed a bit smaller than "normal" sweetspots in an isometric head! but since the "i" and the "z" has smaller frames than a normal iso, it's only normal.
but i have been wondering for quite some time...is there a possible way for Yonex or any racket company for that matter, to enlarge the sweetspot even with a relatively smaller "slash frame"?
would using a particular string help?
by the way, i am looking forward to hear your review on the cyber natural when you have a chance, possibly in the strings section??????????
Last edited by gundamzaku; 12-31-2012 at 10:50 AM. Reason: old age
01-02-2013, 11:05 AM #8
the only way to enlarge a sweetspot on this racquet is to go down on the tension... maybe 22-23.. its hard to decide but 25 really feels good here..
01-02-2013, 11:16 AM #9
01-02-2013, 07:06 PM #10
- Victor inner wave technology, cross string will be lengthened few mm. Require stronger material since frame at the grommet hole will be thinner.
- Thinner frame (all part of the frame), will require even more stronger material than using inner wave
- New string pattern, make the string bed more sparse (not too dense)
01-02-2013, 10:21 PM #11
01-03-2013, 04:11 AM #12
um. you probably should have put on fresh the same strings and tension before comparing the rackets.