Right sorry for the lousy pictures but I'm really lazy to take out my DSLR and try to find the nonexistent good lighting spot in my house X( ok enough about my lousy natural lighting at home..
One of the nice things about having a big enough room is that when I really have nothing to do I actually have space to drive shuttles off my own wall so it gives me a feel to practice reflexes with what I usually use or the rackets I've just acquired xD
As you can see the PS and the JJS have a different shade of orange (this is for those who speculated that they had a similar color) Well the JJS is like a burnt orange while the PS is more like a lighter shade of bronze.
First impression for the 8PS and 8ST
The 8PS and 8ST are stiff but very comfortable for me. The 8PS actually feels as stiff as the JJS to me but seems to flex just slightly more but resets faster..I guess nano fortify does work xD The 8ST on the other hand does feel like it flexes a little bit more both in the bend test and when I stroke against my wall.
8PS is definitely even balanced. Even with a whole G09 grip applied all the way up the cone. Oh by the way. The new cone shape is heaven for those who grip in this style. It really makes it so simple to wrap all the way up. The Victor cones before this were always such a pain in the ass to wrap grips around
8ST is headlight but close to even balance. Very reminiscent to me of the 9900 which is a personal favorite of mine. Even while stroking against my wall I had the same feel I got with the 9900 which makes me feel like I can take every shot coming at me.
The handle itself is slightly shorter than the normal MX and BS12 length handles but they are more than adequate for the doubles players who change their grip up and down like I do. The longer cone makes both the ST and PS have a shorter shaft.
Honestly..They do not swing as fast as a brave sword..I'll have to go on to court tomorrow to give it the full work out but right now my sense tell me that they swing just as fast as the octablade frame. I speculate that the aero sword frame is probably going to be in between the sword and octablade in terms of speed. They certainly look equally beefy.
Feeling both octable and aero sword frame at the 12oclock position I can feel that the aero sword is definitely sharper than the octable in that area. However lower down at the 4 and 8 area..I'm really hard pressed to feel any difference.
Both JS's do not feel as lively and sharp as their predecessors in the BS line up. I don't know and I am speculating again but I think that either the nano fortify in the shaft or the zxion in the head make the feel just a little bit too numb. But I must also state that the tensions on both the JS's are also about 1lb lower than my JJS which isn't too big a difference but when I hit a shuttle I can feel a big enough difference. I may not have a choice but to restring them in a month's time to my usual 29lbs.
Also they do not feel as solid on impact as the JJS does. But they do feel stable. Once again I need to go for full games tomorrow before I can comment on stability but right now I'm satisfied with what I've felt so far.
Conclusion for now:
Both rackets have to the naked eye the exact same head shape which is slightly larger than the MX frames but a bit smaller than the BS 12.
I'm not gonna bother with BP measurements unless you guys really want it..But I have no scale so no asking for weights.. I do however have measuring tape and vernier calipers :P
Any questions right now just fire away~ I'll try to answer them as best I can
Alright. Review time. Had a 4 hour session today where the last 3 hours was pretty much play with only water breaks in between games so in the end I ended up playing 9 games in a row which translated to 3 full matches going the distance. Never had to play so hard and long before so suffice to say I'm pretty sure I put both JetSpeeds through their paces thoroughly enough.
For today's session I brought out only the JJS and both JS's. I'm honestly too lazy to bring out any other of my collection of BS and MX rackets So any comparisons to other rackets will all be from memory.
Honestly both the 8PS and 8ST are really really pretty rackets. I think the color choices are great and they really complement each other well. Some might find the silver areas on both rackets kind of bland but personally I think they're awesome. I really like the pattern on the shaft above the JETSPEED S wording as it feels futuristic to me. It's like Victor is trying to tell you they are always constantly trying to develop a great new racket for us fans to use in the future.
Now this I'm sure a lot would be glad to hear. The paint quality is superb. As much as it broke my heart my 8PS had its virgin clash in game. Upon inspection I could see the clash area had a small bit of paint damage and the frame does have a minute dent on the sharp edge but this is is no way as horrendous as clashing ANY brave sword. The paint held together really nicely and I only have a small little chip about 0.5mm wide and 3mm long. Fret not because the paint job won't fall off just by breathing on it! XD
I started out with the JJS for the day to establish a baseline just to remind myself just how solid and accurate the JJS is for a stiff stick. Since it was a weekday game there were enough opportunities for me to be able to help others warm up so I got to rotate in the PS and ST.
Like anyone with a new racket, especially the fast frames that Victor is so famous for, I had timing issues from the get go even with my extensive experience using BS and MX rackets. Had trouble with finding the sweet spot more than getting the appropriate length on clears and defensive clears. Long shots were the only troublesome thing during warm up.
Also as I noted earlier in my first impressions, the tension on both rackets are lower than my JJS but they are at my lowest level of tolerance so I must stress that although it did affect my play at first it does not affect my overall game and review.
Warming up with the 8PS was pretty much really bland to be honest. The lower tension threw me off a bit. I was having trouble finding anything special about the racket aside from it being my exact ideal spec on paper.
Warming up with the 8ST however was more fun. The balance is really reminiscent of a 3U nanospeed 9900 to me which basically means it's the perfect balance I like for a head light racket. During warm ups I felt myself getting more in to the zone of your typical head light racket. The enhance speed on defensive shots and the better accuracy in shot placement just because you can get to the shuttle that fraction of a second earlier.
While the 8PS isn't the most accurate racket like say an MX80, it certainly isn't a slouch in that department either. I stand by my earlier first impression when I said I found it to be as stiff as the MX JJS. Combined with the even balance I had a good time pulling off most shots. Mistakes aside most of shots landed in the area I wanted them to. I could aim for the tram lines and expect the shuttle to land in a radius of about 5inches.
Drives with this stick weren't really special. Pretty much you can expect similar reaction speeds if you use a BS12. The fast frame makes drives a breeze. You can add pace you can take off pace but don't expect to play a winner with it through drives like one could expect when using an MX80. It just isn't that explosive in these smaller wrist movement situations.
Net Shots -
I haven't really had much chance to really play net spinners with this yet though. Opposition was hard enough for me that I preferred to play safe and keep the rally going instead of trying to force the error in front. But the few net spinners I managed to play were decent but I need to get used to the lower tension to really try good ones.
Normal net shots to force the lift were fine I never really had to add any little extra power to get the shot over. All in all it's really what you can expect from an even balanced racket.
Now in game clears were fun with this racket. I consistently got the shots to the back of the court except in the few situations where I took the shot really late and really far back in my own side of the court that the shots were easily intercepted at half to the back third of the court.
My offensive play style doesn't usually include drops. I like to smash to force the short return for the front man but today's opposition forced me to really have to dig deep to play deceptive drops which I'm not so comfortable with.
Drops with this racket are good. Above average affair for me. The even balance and stiff combo start to shine a bit here. It allowed me to add or take off pace on my drops shots to keep my opponents guessing. Once again I'm not fully used to this racket so I didn't dare to play really good sharp drops that are really close to the net. But most of the time I got good angles that my opponents couldn't push back and had to lift.
Offence is where I find this racket really shines. I found it very comfortable to keep hitting shuttles down hard and repeatedly. For me the best part of this racket in smashing was that I could vary the smash pace very easily. I could just take off a fraction of the power in a full swing to get a shorter lift before I hit as hard as I could to get a winner or give my partner in front the chance to kill it.
Sure it doesn't hit as hard overall as the JJS but it was consistent. I could keep the power and accuracy going enough to be able to change targets on my shots. I think the new frame is exactly what I myself and others foundd the BS lacking in. Sting. The new aero sword frame although is slightly slower is also beefier. I found that I had far more consistent power in my smashing than what I had in my former go to which is the BS 12 KRP or the normal blue.
Receiving flick serves with this was really fun. It was easy to jump back and just bring the shot down with a hard enough smash to force my opponents to play the flat defence more than lift to buy themselves time to square out.
Defending with the 8PS is solid. Fast frame, even balance and stiff. It was easy to return most smashes all the way to the back without wasting too much energy. It was easy enough to change the direction during the smash return to aim for empty spaces at the back to gain the attack.
Blocks with this I found somewhat hard to control though. I wasn't getting the heights I wanted. Kept blocking just slightly too high for it to be effective. But all in all this racket is definitely above average in the defence department. I never felt myself really wanting on the length of returns and lifts unless I reacted far too slow or got played too far out of position.
The shaft on the 8ST is softer than the 8PS but the difference isn't very big. It's really just slightly softer. Honestly I don't think many will really feel it much because the different balance changes your play style slightly to adjust for the extra speed.
That being said it still is a stiff racket. Although on the lower end of stiff. I thought it felt stiff like the BS LYD but didn't have the annoyingly long whippy shaft that I so hated about the LYD.
This racket I found to be quite accurate. With this baby I found myself being more daring than with the 8PS. I constantly pushed for the lines more often and found them more often.
Driving with this was heaven. Just as fun for me as it was with the NS9900 and MX80. Only downside is that as fast as you can go in drives, this racket will not give you the real ability to add in more pace into your return drive. This racket to me is more for those who like to find openings to counter attack. You keep up the fast furious flat exchange without expending much energy and then you suddenly change the pace drastically or change directions.
Net Shots -
So. Much. Fun. This racket just made net shots in general so much fun. I didn't pull off many net spinners but just a simple net shot alone with this was really easy. I didn't have to add in any extra force to get the desired height on my shots. Cross courts were easier to pull off at the last moment. I could hold my shot for longer before playing it.
The head light balance just made me want to try play at the net a little more even though it isn't my more natural environment on the court. Being at the front with this really makes you want to try and intercept every shot possible with it. And when you do intercept and manage to push the shuttle in a downward direction, it is really only a matter of time before you make it land on the floor.
While even at the front court the head light balance makes the 8ST lack in raw penetration, it more than makes up for it with a great recovery time and superb accuracy. I found myself intercepting shots that within 3 strokes I would get the shuttle on the floor with the last shot being a drastic angle change by just clipping the shuttle to the floor in front of my opponents with great speed.
Clearing in game was what really gave me a surprise. Be it a fresh shuttle or used shuttle I think for one or two of the 9 back to back games I played. I lost 10 point simply because I cleared all the way out by a foot to a foot and a half. Even on underhand defensive clears I kept finding the outside of the lines without using much force at all.
Deceptive drops with this racket are really recommended. I caught my opponents several times doing that with this racket that I couldn't pull off with the 8PS and JJS. The lighter head just made it so much easier to control the pace. You can really feel with this that at the last moment you stop the smash motion to push the shuttle instead of blast it downwards. I can't comment so much on drop height and accuracy as I played more safe drops as I'm still not confident enough with this racket.
This was the part that surprised me. I thought that maybe since even though it had a similar balance feel to the NS9900 but with a softer shaft it probably wouldn't be able to produce as much speed in a smash. Boy was I wrong.
Sure, no matter what a head light racket will probably never be able to match the JJS in sheer power and speed in a smash especially the big power plays. But you recover so quick you can just keep hitting the shuttle down over and over again and you're more accurate in your smashes too. I actually found myself hitting more winners with this than the 8PS.
I don't want to compare it to the JJS as when I use my JJS I play a slightly different game which plays towards the JJS's strengths and that can't be applied the the 8ST. I will only say with the JJS I don't try to hit as many winners but I try to force short lifts for my partner in front.
I find that the most effective way to smash with the 8ST is to keep changing your target. It may not be a really powerful smash but it does have speed.
Defence with this was a total breeze. Returning smashes with this actually made me feel bored hehe I don't remember once when I actually took a smash too late e.g. when the shuttle is parallel to you at the side.
This thing gives you some serious enhancement on your reflexes even if you normally use even balanced rackets (like me). Well placed attack from my opponents, like shots to my shoulders I found myself being able to return. If I wasn't able to return them flat to the mid court I was almost always able to at least block the shots to the net area and they were really tight and close to the net which meant my opponents couldn't kill it and were forced to net instead.
Both the 8PS and 8ST are fantastic rackets. But the one for me that really stood out is the 8ST. The 8PS although great and does everything above average, it just may not be what you might expect.
Also I found that contrary to my earlier first impressions, the new aero sword frame swings faster than the octable but slower than the sword frame. I guess that dang shark tec actually works..
If I were to recommend either racket as upgrade options I would say all rounded players who use the BS 11 and 12 should give the 8PS a shot. It may not feel as head heavy as the 11 but it certainly doesn't have a shaft that is as whippy and you may just find yourself appreciating it more. 12 users who want a power upgrade can definitely look to this. Similar balance but stiffer shaft will surprise you if you let it.
It may sound strange but I would actually recommend the 8ST for BS 12 users as well. Especially the ones who use the blue one and like that weight near the T joint feel. NS9900 users who are perhaps looking at trying out a Victor racket I would suggest you try this as well. It may not be as stiff but it certainly is more forgiving while still retaining the benefits you find in the 9900. I was really hoping that the 8ST would at least be similar to the 9900 in most departments but the overall power and I wasn't disappointed at all.
Any questions do fire away. I'll try to answer them but...I think you'll be bored of reading the whole wall of text anyway