It's been a long time since I tested a Yonex racket. But had 17 Apacs rackets before this, and it took all the playing time last months.
I have the Z-Speed for about 2 weeks, and at the beginning, I did not want to give my opinion. My first impression was not positive. During stringing, I discovered the sticker issue was still there (just like the Z-Force) but not as bad.
It was just on the edge and a white spot appeared from the transparent lack. I strung mine with BG66 Ultimax at 11 kg as usual. The version I have is a 3U-G4 model.
To achieve the new record, there is a new frame design, but also the Horizontal-A concept, highlighted with the black stripes on the frame:
And the Snap Back Zone:
At the beginning, I had some timing issues. The racket feels heavy, but during play, it was not as heavy as it felt in hand. I had no issues playing at medium strength. In fact, there is a noticeable increase in speed. The problem arrises when playing hard and fast. I just couldn't get any power out of it or control. Clears and drops were not a problem, but as soon as I wanted to smash, I hit the frame. Trickshots did not work well either. It was the fast movement which differs from a conventional racket. If you are used to the Z-rackets, the timing should be easier, but still it's different. If you compare the frame with the Z-Slash and Z-Force, the head of the Z-Speed is wider. They are all smaller, but the Z-Speed is more isometric compared to the other Z's.
As for the feeling, it feels very dead. There is no feedback and I really had no idea if I was hitting the sweet spot or not. The racket does feel stiff, but everything feels dampened. I tried everything to get power out of it, but if I can get more power out of the Carbonex 30 MS, I must be using the racket the wrong way.
Today was the start of the 3rd week trying to control this racket. I tried playing with more swing, and with a lot of wrist. The problem was the combination of a heavy feel racket, but as soon as it moves, there was less air resistance. And the last match, I tried something I would never have thought doing in doubles, and that is holding the racket as low as possible. And that did the trick for me! Because holding the racket low, the acceleration was not so fast and I felt I could finally control the racket. Not only the fast shot's were back, I also manage to have power back into my smashes. The racket felt powerful, but not as powerful as the VT80 and VT-ZF. Playing with this racket needs time to adapt. I do think this racket has potential to smash fast. But you need a lot of power to get the frame to 'snap' the Zone. Due to this limitation, I think this racket is a top racket dedicated to top players. As long as I'm not able to snap the racket, the real power remains locked for me. Also, I do think the speed of this racket is here, but there is a difference between speed and power. Cannot really explain this. It's something like a fast movement versus a powerful smash. I will give it another try this Wednesday, but I do not expect this racket will be my new favorite.
Ive had a chance to use mine now for 2 weeks. Let me say that my smashes are much more explosive and drives are a lot quicker. No problem with drops either. I do have to mention though that the first few times I did have some timing issues and hit the frame quite a few times.
Silvertoes, i dont think JJS cost that much in Msia, at least from famous online seller in Klang Valley. JJS is around Rm500 last time but not sure for now as i dont think it will cost more than Rm550 for a new 1, except u get from Far East.
Since your location is at KL, try searching Hi Badminton Online at Facebook which is legit and well known online seller if you are looking for Z Speed, Rm550 for frame only, selling like hot cake so far
......... Playing with this racket needs time to adapt. I do think this racket has potential to smash fast. But you need a lot of power to get the frame to 'snap' the Zone. Due to this limitation, I think this racket is a top racket dedicated to top players. As long as I'm not able to snap the racket, the real power remains locked for me. Also, I do think the speed of this racket is here, but there is a difference between speed and power. Cannot really explain this. It's something like a fast movement versus a powerful smash........
Until one gets to "snap" the racquet, placement's one option during smashing.
Did you ever test it again? It would be nice to see you follow up on it, since you were injured at the time of review.
Back on topic, I'm almost certain you will not like the Z-Speed much - that is, around a 3-4 star rating. How do I know? Well, it's a combination of things including bias (I know you try not to be, but being Victor sponsored doesn't help) and too many 5-star rated rackets recently hehe.
Paul has been giving 5 star ratings to certain Victor rackets because unlike many Yonex rackets which get a 4.5/5 rating, the Victor earns that exta half star due to value for money.
It's nothing to do with bias. Paul gave out 5 star reviews to Victor rackets when he was being sponsored by Yonex.