It had been discontinued for quite a while. I managed to get a hold of another 4UG5 in December and already before then most of the stores on Rakuten had run out of ZForces.
Just curious why they discontinued it so quickly. It is an 'old' racket, but still one of the better ones I've ever played with. Would it be bad marketing to keep ZF as a step before you go for the ZF2? I mean, if the ZF2 is supposedly so hard to handle that is.
VTZF is far from an "old" racket. After all, it's only 2 years old.
Nanospeed 9900 and AT900 were old rackets, that they only discontinued this year because of their popularity.
I think they may be trying a new strategy with the Z-Force, to see if the continuation of a racket can be good marketing wise, kind of like how Li-Ning does with their rackets. That may be why they are discontinuing the first racket, offering a ZF1 and ZF2 at the same time doesn't make much sense.
I still feel the ZF2 should not be as difficult to handle as some people may be afraid of. The specs and information given out by Yonex indicate that power should be more easily available, without sacrificing control. Of course, being stiff and a smaller head, it does mean that it wold not be suitable for most players below at least intermediate level. It does however mean that you need to give a couple of sessions to adjust. Going from ZF to ZF2 shouldn't be an issue, though.
I don't think Yonex would take such a drastic step as discontinuing the ZF so quickly, if they weren't confident they have a winner in the ZF2. After all, I believe this is the first time they have taken such a step...