Today, I picked up my Arcsaber Flash Boost. Initial feel: what an incredible light racket! And the color is better than the pictures I saw before. First I expected a flashy racket, but the blue yellow color is not painted over with a shine lack. It's more the plastic shine/mat color. I have no doubt this racket will be an eye catcher.
First, I wanted to string it with the bg66u as a recommended string from Yonex, but I did not had any anymore. After reading some specs about my beloved nbg98, I decided to string it with nbg98 in yellow at 11 kg. For reference, it's also easy because all my Arcsabers have been strung with nbg98 at 11 kg, with a few exceptions.
First thing I noticed, is that the string pattern is not the same as the normal Arcsabers. The two lines on top are placed too high, and it reminded me about stringing the Arcsaber Z-Slash and I-slash. It was very narrow at the top. It's a very slim racket, and almost the same as the Arcsaber 2 Tour.
The racket I have is a F-G4. The reason I put the Arcsaber 2 Tour against this racket, is because this is currently my lightest Arcsaber in weight and feel. Given the same string and grip, the ARC-FB is a lit head lighter than the Arcsaber 2 Tour. And the 2 Tour is the head lightest Arcsaber I have. Not sure about the exact balance point, but I measure the rackets I have as a complete racket.
The racket should be available next week over here. I can't wait to play with it this Sunday, which is my next opportunity to play with it.
To continue the review, I've lend the Arcsaber Z-Slash from my brother to verify the differences between these Arcsaber families.
Just as I thought, the Arcsaber FB has a smaller frame compared to the normal Arcsabers. The stringing pattern is the same as from the Arcsaber I-Slash and Z-Slash.
But the frame from the Flash Boost is not the same as the Z-Slash. It sits between the normal Arcsabers and the small frames from the slash family. In the picture below, I tried to photograph it. The top of the head from the FB seems to be wider compared to the Z-Slash:
Enough said about the differences. The racket is the lightest Yonex racket. I have played with some lighter rackets. Brands like Karakal can deliver even lighter rackets, but they are also more flexible. And this is where Yonex has delivered a good job. Although it's light, it did not suffer in stiffness. It can be that the frame is so light, bending is minimal during impact. The power of a racket from this weight class is very impressive! It's still not a power racket, but the power is decent enough. I had no problem clearing with this racket. This racket is lightning fast in response. But it was expected from a light racket. Control at the net is very good, but you have to remember that you still have to 'hold on' to the racket. With heavier rackets, you can sometimes let the racket return net shots, but if you do this with the Flash Boost, it may bounce the racket back, resulting in less accuracy. The power of this racket is in defensive returns, net play and rushing in to the net. The power is not bad, but I could not create deadly smashes. Even worst, when you smash and it's not deadly, you're a sitting duck on the field, waiting for your opponent to smash.
To me, the Flash Boost is an unique racket with lighting fast response and I did like the racket for defensive and against offensive players. The downside of this racket, is it's lightness. When I switched back to the 2U and 3U rackets, they felt slow and heavy. But these rackets were all more powerful. The first clears and lobs went all out on the back court. That makes the Flash Boost not a very good racket to mix with other (Yonex) rackets in your bag. For this reason, this racket will never be my main racket. But if you are used to very light rackets like Karakal, or I believe some Forza's are also very light, it can become one of your favorites.
I would not use this racket as a singles racket at all. Depending on your playing style, this is a very good defensive double racket, best used from your wrist. If you like fast interceptions and counterattack style, or your opponent is so fast, you don't even have time to smash, just give the Arcsaber Flash Boost a try. To me, it's more a spare for special occasions.
I assume you used the 6u version of this racquet. Do you think the 5u would prompt you to use this racquet more?
I don't think so. Why weaken it's strongest point? I used it yesterday against some very fast and strong players. As I'm recovering from a small surgery, I was not fast enough. So I used the racket again and it worked great! Untill we did a partner change and my partner is more an allrounder. I just couldn't smash through him. So I changed back to my 3U rackets, but did not picked up the speed after that because the racket was heavy and slow. It was easy to adapt to a light racket, but it took too long to adapt to the 3U one. It's just a practical sample.
Removing grip is not the same as putting weight on the head. Putting extra weight on the head increases the racket's momentum, removing grip doesn't. A thinner grip will make anything feel heavier, though.