Yonex Ai 98: tell me more about her

Discussion in 'Racquets' started by maxpotapov, Jan 13, 2014.

  1. maxpotapov

    maxpotapov Hall of Fame

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    Ever since I first saw her on TW, I can't stop thinking about her.
    She looks beautiful and she is smart.
    Japanese, of noble birth.
    And not square at all.
    [​IMG]

    Now, before I commit to any serious relationships without demoing first, I'd like to know a little more. Is she really a flexy smooth easy breezy kind of racquet? Or quite stiff and demanding, high maintenance type?

    Any impressions are welcome!
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2014
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  2. Team10

    Team10 Hall of Fame

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    I've hit with one as my friend was demoing a lot of racquets and I couldn't help but try them out. He ended up buying a couple Ezone AI 98's a week or so ago, and let me tell you, it's a nice midplus racquet that does everything well, but it's nothing special.

    I didn't get to hit with it for too long, maybe like 15 minutes or so and it felt good. A little light for me, but it had decent pop, good control, spin was easy, and yeah a solid racquet. Nothing special, but it will do what you ask of it. Good specs, worth a demo if you're looking for a new frame.
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2014
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  3. Team10

    Team10 Hall of Fame

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    Delete post
     
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  4. Bartelby

    Bartelby G.O.A.T.

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    It is not a tweener racquet.
     
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  5. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    Not a tweener at all. I loved it and would be using it if I could serve with it. For some reason I always struggle on serve with flexy sticks. My hitting partner who is a 5.0 loved it. It has a nice smooth and flexy feel and just feels great all around. Not stiff at all. Good decent mid level weight and swingweight. Power equal to a Radical MP. Really a nice stick. Yonex did a great job with these AI racquets IMO. Highly recommended.
     
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  6. Team10

    Team10 Hall of Fame

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    What would it be called then, just a midplus?
     
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  7. Bartelby

    Bartelby G.O.A.T.

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    It's not a question of what I call it but its weight and size mean calling it a tweener is way off the mark.

    TW classifies it as a 'modern player's racquet' - buttons above racquets - and that seems correct (by convention).
     
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  8. Team10

    Team10 Hall of Fame

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    Alright, fair enough. I edited it. It has good power though and felt kind of light. Idk, I didn't get a chance to hit with it too much, but I guess you guys are right, not a tweener
     
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  9. Bartelby

    Bartelby G.O.A.T.

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    Yes, well, it is all just a convention but the fact is that player's racquets are getting lighter.

    Plus what really distinguishes a player's racquet in the strict sense is one with a swingweight into the 350s and above and they don't even sell such things.
     
    #9
  10. maxpotapov

    maxpotapov Hall of Fame

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    Hey guys, thanks for your feedback!

    I'm coming from Prestige Mid and Dunlop MW 200G kind of racquets, so what you described sounds like a "tweener player's racquet" to me which is perfect! :)

    Smooth and flexy is what I wanted to hear. And I guess it's stable too, not wobbly at all?

    I'm not familiar with Yonex feel, but I do understand it is not hollow. Which is good enough. But how is it to the touch? Is there anything plasticky or metallic or porcelain to it? Classic Head feel stands for "solid velvety plush" in my vocabulary.

    Another question, considering huge sweetspot, could its stringbed response be a little dull and undefined like Prince/port tech?
     
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  11. parasailing

    parasailing Hall of Fame

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    How does it compare to a Graphene Speed Pro?
     
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  12. un6a

    un6a Semi-Pro

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    Prince o-ports feels much more muted.
    Yonex bigger sweet spot is from isometric design, so it's different case.

    This racquet caught my attention too. Anyone can compare it to Rdis 100 MP ?
    Specs are similar.
     
    #12
  13. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    The AI98 stringbed to me felt very much like the IG Radical MP....plush, smooth with a little flex and pocketing. Nothing at all like Prince. Very nice. Power is on the lowish side, but not Prestige low. I think you will really like it Max.
     
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  14. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    totally different ballpark
     
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  15. maxpotapov

    maxpotapov Hall of Fame

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    And that is a very good news too! :D
    Thanks, Jack
     
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  16. Team10

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    Hard to say, they are both pretty different racquets. I don't hit with Yonex racquets all that much so it did feel a little weird to me. The GSP is much more solid racquet and has a better feel that I like. I don't like my racquets too flexy. I can't really give an in depth comparison because I didn't have too much time with it, but that basically sums it up.

    The Ezone AI 98 was a good racquet though, I could see how people would like it. The GSP wins hands down for me though.
     
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  17. maxpotapov

    maxpotapov Hall of Fame

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    ^^I'm not against Speed line of racquets but this whole Graphene marketing bs insults my intelligence and hurts my feelings as a longtime Head customer.

    Whatever Yonex says or does simply makes sense. I can understand their technology. Plus I can't see how they cheapened their design or quality control of the top frames -- seems like they are still striving for engineering and manufacturing excellence.
     
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  18. maxpotapov

    maxpotapov Hall of Fame

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  19. oldcity

    oldcity Rookie

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    Anyone have comparisons to the Yonex 97 tour (310), and xi98. I really liked the 97 demo. I felt like the xi98 was a little lacking in control for me but it had some worn multi on it. The spec on the ai98 looks good, like it might be a pretty good at everything stick.
     
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  20. Dimcorner

    Dimcorner Professional

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    I preferred the tour 310 and xi98. The Ai98 was too heavy for my tastes.
     
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  21. maxpotapov

    maxpotapov Hall of Fame

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  22. Torres

    Torres Banned

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    Good tweener racquet.
     
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  23. Bartelby

    Bartelby G.O.A.T.

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    ... and once again damned with faint praise.
     
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  24. Yonextillidie

    Yonextillidie New User

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    This looks an interesting racket.
    I switched last season fron an RDS 003, great power, but hard to control, to the vcore tour 97 310. What a racket smooth as silk, fantastic feel, but lacks a little power.
    I am in my 50's now, so a little help always taken.
    If I switch ! Again , to the Ai 98, will I have the racket I need ?
    I notice no male professionals are using this racket ? Is it a chick stick ?
    Just love though the 310's looks, feel maybe string change may give me that extra punch
     
    #24
  25. Torres

    Torres Banned

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    Why's that then?

    You struggle on serve....period. :mrgreen:
     
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  26. Bartelby

    Bartelby G.O.A.T.

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    All you need is a little lead tape on the 310, say 2 grams at 12, but the 98 seems to be a good purchase for extra power.

    The vcore 98 has also got extra power and less swingweight if that is your preference.
     
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  27. Bartelby

    Bartelby G.O.A.T.

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    I can't see why 'tweener' is a good characterisation of this racquet.



     
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  28. Torres

    Torres Banned

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    I don't see describing it as a 'tweener' as a criticism of it. The Pure Drive is tweener for example. I don't see that as a negative. Just means a certain type of racquet.
     
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  29. Bartelby

    Bartelby G.O.A.T.

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    It is not a tweener racquet. You've miscategorized it.
     
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  30. Torres

    Torres Banned

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    It's a tweener racquet. Practically everything is a tweener racquet these days. A 'players racquet' is a completely different breed of stick.
     
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  31. Bartelby

    Bartelby G.O.A.T.

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    The reality is that very few define tweeners the way you do because it renders meaningless the distinction between player's and tweener racquets.

    Player's racquets is not really meant to function as a synonym for pro racquet.

    The terms and their distinction are a way of defining two types of product in a consumer market.
     
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  32. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    Uhm....no.

    Its not stiff, not powerful, over 11 and a half oz and less than 100" hoop. Not a tweener. The AI 100 is more of a tweener.
     
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  33. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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  34. Torres

    Torres Banned

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    Not that the definition is particularly important, but I see it as a tweener. Easy to swing, big sweetspot, easy spin, easy power, light weight, not particularly HL, thickish beam....its an undemandng 'fire and forget' type stick. It designed to be accessible to those in the middle of the bell curve of the tennis playing population.

    Other than beginner racquets, this is about as far away from a 6.1, Tour 90, Prestige Mid, PB10, RDiS100 etc, as you're going to get.
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2014
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  35. Bartelby

    Bartelby G.O.A.T.

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    Your distinction makes no sense.

    You just randomly pick out the most difficult racquets, some of which are mids, and say it's easy to play with and therefore it is a tweener.

    A player's racquet is not a pro racquet. It's a consumer product label and retailers do use it for the 98.
     
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  36. Torres

    Torres Banned

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    A 'players racquet' by its very definition means that you have to be good player to be able to play with it because its a demanding stick for one reason or another. It doesn't mean something that any random tennis hack can use.

    3.5-4.0 which is middle of the bell curve is not within the definition of 'player' for the purposes of a player's racquet. Sure they can go on court with a Tour 90 and have some fun with it but its going to be more of a hindrance than a help at competition level.
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2014
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  37. tom4ny

    tom4ny Semi-Pro

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    "player-tweener" actually makes sense and I can understand it's meaning as it is a pretty good characterization of a lot of the new frames being released these days.

    "player's" frame was never considered pro specs but modern player frames are stiffer, lighter, and more powerful than traditional player frames.

    then you get into lighter player frames

    then the player-tweeners

    then the tweeners

    then the game improvement frames

    it is getting confusing because of the trend towards lighter, stiffer, and more powerful in all categories but one thing is true the old way of defining frames and instantly knowing what that means no longer applies.

    the size of a frame is not a way to characterize frames anymore either. the lines are all getting blurred.
     
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  38. Torres

    Torres Banned

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    Everything is going to the way of the tweener, what with Fed ditching his 90 and Head ditching the Prestige Mid. Even the new Prestige Pro I've been hitting with recently has had a lot of tweener elements added into it. Without Fed winning everything, true players sticks only really sell to an ever decreasing tennis population, particulary with a new generation of youngsters being brought up on PDs and APDCs.
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2014
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  39. Bartelby

    Bartelby G.O.A.T.

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    Nostalgia-driven definitions don't work.

    Distinctions require a difference and yours does not. Or rather the difference you operate with is between the past and the present.



     
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  40. Bartelby

    Bartelby G.O.A.T.

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    That's a tautological definition.

     
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  41. Torres

    Torres Banned

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    It's a tweener.
     
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  42. Bartelby

    Bartelby G.O.A.T.

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    It's multi-layered rather than confusing, but it's essentially built on a couple of distinctions:

    Old player's versus modern player's racquet. (This distinction will soon be obsolete).

    Player's racquet versus intermediate racquet.

    Intermediate racquet versus beginner's racquet.



     
    #42
  43. tom4ny

    tom4ny Semi-Pro

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    I agree with you completely here. Tweener used to be a distinct frame but now its qualities are seen across lines. Tweener qualities make a frame easier to use and is not a disparaging term!

    I have adapted to modern frames but one thing I cannot do is take a 68-70 RA frame is string it with say RPM Blast at 60 lbs! So many of these skilled youngsters do this and are doing a disservice to their bodies. Still it is amazing how well and fast they play compared to "back in the day". lol
     
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  44. tom4ny

    tom4ny Semi-Pro

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    I think that this is a good start but further breakdown is required in order to properly classify within those groups so that one can more easily identify the power and stiffness level of a frame. That is where adding the "tweener" word because people understand it can be helpful. So my prior groups would hopefully add further insight.

    This is going to be debated for sometime as the manufacturers are making things more confusing. Just like we discussed in that Head thread earlier.
     
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  45. tom4ny

    tom4ny Semi-Pro

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    In a way my Dunlop M2.0 is a player-tweener frame. I am not insulted by that in any way.
     
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  46. Bartelby

    Bartelby G.O.A.T.

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    Nostalgia!

    I think I prefer Breakpoint's nostalgia for the wood era.

    His view was that the Wilson Prostaff switch from an 85 to 90 was the final straw.
     
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  47. Federerkblade

    Federerkblade Professional

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    The APDO that NAdal uses is an easy frame to play with. what does that make nadal. this debate is really pointless and silly. I play with a tweener frame now an apdo and apd plus . i can play tennis but cannot play well with players frame. what does that make me ? somome whos crap at tennis
     
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  48. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    Like Tom says, there are pure tweeners (Volkl V1) and there are pure players sticks (Prestige mid) and there are lots in between, like the Blade 98 or Dunlop 3.0. TW characterizes these as being for "intermediate to advanced" players. These are the players/tweeners.
     
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  49. Torres

    Torres Banned

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    Same here. I don't see 'tweener' as a negative term. I switched from the 6.1 to the Juice Pro for the simple reason that it's an easier hit whilst retaining some of the feel of the 6.1.
     
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  50. tom4ny

    tom4ny Semi-Pro

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    well that is the nail on the head really. it is about classifying a racket so that people can understand it's characteristics. it is not about classifying a tennis player's ability so ego's do not have to be bruised by this.

    fwiw most of the higher level players (5.0 and up) that i play with use larger and "tweener like" frames. that is today's game and trend
     
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