Yonex Ai 98: tell me more about her

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

  1. Bartelby

    Bartelby G.O.A.T.

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    Tweener is short for intermediate so defining a player's racquet like the ai 98 as a tweener is both a misleading and negative characterisation.

    These are descriptive and not prescriptive categories.
     
    #51
  2. Torres

    Torres Banned

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    That Volkl and Blade 104 you had aren't tweeners. They're beginner / granny sticks. That 104 in particular is like some sort of unstable flyswatter. Hideous racquet.
     
    #52
  3. Bartelby

    Bartelby G.O.A.T.

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    So KBT equals K Blade Tour 93?

    She doesn't play with a player's racquet, by the way, but a pro racquet.
     
    #53
  4. Torres

    Torres Banned

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    Team 104. When she wasn't dabbling with that Wilson prototype....

    [​IMG]
     
    #54
  5. Team10

    Team10 Hall of Fame

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    Why are you so hostile, man? Already been established that the AI 98 is a player/tweener frame, I originally thought it was a tweener also, but a player/tweener seems more accurate.

    You're taking this thread away from what it's supposed to be about. Take a deep breath and relax.
     
    #55
  6. oldcity

    oldcity Rookie

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    This stick seems to have some elements of both categories....but who cares what it's labeled. I just want to hear about how it performs , particularly against similar Yonex frames.
     
    #56
  7. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    If anyone has any questions about the AI98, ask away.
     
    #57
  8. Bartelby

    Bartelby G.O.A.T.

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    Except for the beam width and power, which are all indicators of a modern style, it fits perfectly TW's convention for a player's or control racquet:

    Denotes racquets that would be used by professional and high-level club and college team players. These models are typically heavier in weight (11.5-13+ ounces), have smaller heads (85-98), thinner, more flexible beams and are balanced head light to retain maneuverability. The result is a low-power racquet, designed for players who provide their own power and prefer a racquet that offers more control. Can be standard or extended length. Here are some of top player's racquets:
     
    #58
  9. Bartelby

    Bartelby G.O.A.T.

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    Andy Gerst, who is an open level player, has it as his second favourite racquet after switching from a mid.
     
    #59
  10. Bartelby

    Bartelby G.O.A.T.

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    Tweener - I'd probably suggest up to 104-5:

    There are several models that offer a blend of features from game improvement and player’s racquets. They are often light-er (9.5-11 ounces), balanced anywhere from slightly head-light to slightly head-heavy, have midplus (95-102 square inches) heads and are usually extended length (27.5-28 inches). These racquet models offer low-medium to medium-high power and are most appealing to intermediate-advanced players, seeking enhanced maneuverability. Here are some of the top 'tweener racquets:
     
    #60
  11. tistrapukcipeht

    tistrapukcipeht Professional

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    If someone relies on someone's elses comment to choose a racquet they really need to stop playing tennis, everyone is different and have different needs and ways to hit the ball, but Jack, whom changes every month is the last person I'd ask specially seeing his videos.
     
    #61
  12. Bartelby

    Bartelby G.O.A.T.

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    Ivanovic conquers!
     
    #62
  13. Nostradamus

    Nostradamus G.O.A.T.

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    Ad saids it increases your Swing speed by 30 %.....I BELEVIEVE ....................
     
    #63
  14. Bartelby

    Bartelby G.O.A.T.

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    Foehands were 13kph faster than Williams.
     
    #64
  15. oldcity

    oldcity Rookie

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    Sales just went up 3000%
     
    #65
  16. maxpotapov

    maxpotapov Hall of Fame

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    Strong is beautiful
    [​IMG]
    She is in perfect shape, not square at all...
     
    #66
  17. maxpotapov

    maxpotapov Hall of Fame

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    Some people can not demo racquets, so they have to rely on online reviews. There are TW customers outside the US or EU, you know
     
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2014
    #67
  18. Yonextillidie

    Yonextillidie New User

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    So , back to the Ai98 ! What simular yonex frame can it be matched against ?
    I am all for giving one a try, against my vcore tour 97, as I said I am now 50 ! So a little extra help, with ease of use would be great.
    Need to keep control though ! Found I had to ease up with the RDS 003, maybe go back to that one in 10 years::cry:
     
    #68
  19. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    So what level do you have to be to be able to review a racquet? I am a solid 4.0, what are you and why dont you post some videos yourself so we can all learn from your expertise? Tiffany, Jason and others at TW are 4.0 or less also. You better tell them to stop doing reviews right now because they don't pass your guidelines.

    There are many here that enjoy my reviews and I enjoy helping them as well. If you aren't one of those people, then dont read them and dont insult people who post videos. If you haven't ever recorded yourself and watched it, I urge you to do so. You won't look half as good as you think you are. And maybe it will teach you to stop insulting others that do. You are the reason why most people are afraid to post videos.
     
    #69
  20. corners

    corners Legend

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    Would you be comparing it against the 310g version of the Tour 97?
     
    #70
  21. corners

    corners Legend

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    I haven't seen this frame in person, so take the following with a grain of salt, but it appears to me, based on a pretty OCD photo analysis, that this is a 95, not a 98.
     
    #71
  22. Yonextillidie

    Yonextillidie New User

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    Hi corners, yes the vcore tour 97 310
     
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  23. Federerkblade

    Federerkblade Professional

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    Does the ai 98 seem more like a 95 head I hope not
     
    #73
  24. maxpotapov

    maxpotapov Hall of Fame

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    No, I don't think so. From all the pictures and videos I was more afraid it will be too big in my hand. So, it seems fine, like full 98.
     
    #74
  25. corners

    corners Legend

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    Hey Simon, I've also got a 97 310 and am curious about the Ai98. The latter has a higher swingweight but very similar static weight and balance. Basically, if you add 3 grams of lead to the tip of your 97 you will have the specs of the Ai98. This might be worth doing just so you can get the feel of how the Ai98 might swing for you.

    According to TW University data, the 97 actually has a larger, more forgiving head than the Ai98. The "spin window" of the former is actually significantly larger. The 97 is comparable to the Babolat Pure Drive while the Ai98 is comparable to a Wilson 6.1 95 in this regard.

    The string pattern in the Ai98 is more open than in the 97. It also has a more flexible shaft and a presumably stiffer hoop. How does this all add up? I'm curious to see the written TW review to see how they compare the two. On paper, I'm having a hard time seeing how the Ai98 is going to be significantly more forgiving or easier to play with than the 97 310g. As far as older Yonexes, the Ai98 looks pretty similar to the Rqis 1 frames: flexible shaft, thicker beamed hoop, 95 head size, etc. Those frames had a reputation for lack of pop, which doesn't sound like a problem for the Ai98, according to TW.
     
    #75
  26. Yonextillidie

    Yonextillidie New User

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    Hi, corners that's very informative. When I bought the 310's I thought that's it on rackets for me, they are great sticks.
    Thought the Ai 98 may be a little more arm friendly, having more shaft flex. Though the higher weight may be an issue during club matches.
    Getting a 310 strung up at 48/50, see if that gives everything I am looking for
    Rgds Simon
     
    #76
  27. corners

    corners Legend

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    I think the 310g needs lower tensions because of the pattern. Stringway has a tool for figuring out equivalent tensions between frames of different head size and string pattern - that tool suggested I string my Tour 97 at the same tension I would my 90-inch, 16x19 Wilsons. So sounds like you're on the right track with tension.

    Definitely the Ai98 is more flexible in the shaft/throat and should be more comfortable, but I find the 97 to be quite comfy given its stiffer throat.
     
    #77
  28. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    I think the 97 will be lower powered than the AI 98 due to the 20" beam versus the thicker beam of the 98. But the 97 is stiffer so that might offset it some?
     
    #78
  29. corners

    corners Legend

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    That would be the conventional wisdom. But all available data from lab tests of rebound speed suggest that such minor differences in local stiffness (beam width) and measurable flex (RDC test at the throat) are virtually irrelevant except on off-center shots and shots struck near the tip, but even here the differences in shot speed are very small. My conclusion from scrutinizing such data is that differences in flex manifest primarily in differences in rebound angle and feel. Players interpret rebound angle differences as "power" differences (due to changes in shot depth) and tend to do the same with feel (firm impacts feel "powerful"). Nevertheless, believing this, I'm still a sucker for "power" marketing propaganda simply because, as an aging player, I would like more power. My rational mind maintains that I'm a fool on this.
     
    #79
  30. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    You are right, so best bet is to demo. I have tried both briefly and my impression was that the AI98 was noticeably more powerful. The 97 seemed "neutral" meaning it put out power according to user input. The 98 required less input to get the same power level.
     
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2014
    #80
  31. donnayblack99

    donnayblack99 New User

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    Vcore 89 is the way to go
     
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  32. tistrapukcipeht

    tistrapukcipeht Professional

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    I don't have to post a video, though I use that sometimes to analyze myself, but it's a hobby and that I can careless about making videos to show off myself.

    The leagues I play, I encounter 14-15 y.o juniors/5.0 players/former college players, I have made to play-offs a few times, in the past 3 years, lost to the Jrs everytime.

    That's why TW reviews are irrelevant to me, I can't remember last time I watched it, I know there is a couple gals and one guy that can play, the rest of them... I don't need anybody to tell me anything about racquets, I have to play and feel it, what everybody thinks about it is worthless to me.

    You can keep reviewing them, no problem, you are free to do whatever you want, though you should take some lesson and drill a lot to correct your technique.

    You were on another thread almost begging for an approval from a TW gal to post review, I understood from the thread that if TW score it lower you'd never buy the racquet, almost if you are insecure to buy that racquet because you don't know yet the score.
     
    #82
  33. tistrapukcipeht

    tistrapukcipeht Professional

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    Analyzing too much again, these specs make little difference in power.
     
    #83
  34. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    How do you know I DON'T drill and take lessons?

    And I certainly didn't post videos to "show myself off" as you say. I do it to get help on my technique. I freely admit I need help with my technique and many forum posters have helped me a great deal over the years.

    That's great you dont care about reviews. I enjoy reading and watching racquet reviews. I am interested in reading what others have to say about racquets I am interested in. Sometimes I agree...sometimes I dont. But I will play test myself and make decisions based on actual play....not on others reviews. I will continue to enjoy my hobby in ways that make me happy if that's OK with you.
     
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2014
    #84
  35. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    Beam width and stiffness make little differences in power? If thats true, then find me a thin beamed racquet (20 or less) that is flexible (60 or less) that is considered a "powerful" racquet? And while you're at it, find me a thick beamed ( higher than 23mm) and stiff (68 or higher) racquet, that's NOT powerful?
     
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2014
    #85
  36. Power Player

    Power Player Talk Tennis Guru

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    Trista what is the power level of the racquet compared to a blade or apd? Anybody feel free to chime in who has hit with them. I may demo one of these bad boys before the juice 100s comes out.
     
    #86
  37. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    Similar to Blade....equal parts power and control. Less than APD for sure. Also slightly less than Speed MP. Also similar to GRad MP. Its a real sweet hit PP. I know you would like it. Real nice and smooth on impact. Plus its right at your 330 grams zone. Reminds me a lot of the Volkl V1 Pro with a little more flex.
     
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2014
    #87
  38. Matchball

    Matchball Semi-Pro

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    Demoed it very briefly just recently; I think it's a definite improvement over the older model. Better feel and more flexible, feels fast enough and very stable. Still a baseline stick IMO, but the improvement(s) help it with things like touch shots more than the previous, black Ezone.

    Good "lift-factor" on groundstrokes, but I cannot say much since I hit with it only for a few minutes, plus it had nxt strung low, not my typical string set up :-?

    As expected the 16x19 pattern is a bit worse for flat shots compared to the Vcore's 16x20. Considering its weight, it can produce some heavy balls, all without feeling too polarized. I like how it looks too.
     
    #88
  39. corners

    corners Legend

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    I suspect, Jack, that your perception of more "power" was greater natural depth from the Ai98 that resulted from the higher rebound angle off its more open string pattern. I tend to prefer a higher rebound angle, but also try to avoid labeling same as "power."
     
    #89
  40. maxpotapov

    maxpotapov Hall of Fame

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    This is very very encouraging to hear :)
     
    #90
  41. Power Player

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    This is a good point. Here is what I notice - the throat has 8 mains in it, which usually means it is more closed and the trajectory should be lower. But that is not a rule. Reading Matchball saying it has "good lift" sounds like the net clearance is easy.

    I'm a little more interested in that aspect. This racquet sounds like a more powerful tfight 315 ltd in many ways. The challenge with the more classic style sticks is getting that depth can be more difficult at times.

    I'm also thinking the AI sweet spot should be rather large. But once again, this is me guessing without having one in my hand.

    In terms of power, there sure was a difference between my Head Speed MP at 330 grams and my tfight at 340. 2 grams at 12 would have the SW right where I want it, and the total weight after grip and everything at 335.

    Of course I did not really like the xi at all.This looks like a much different racquet though.
     
    #91
  42. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    Could be, but its awfully hard to perceive raw ball speed off the stringbed or the true "power" a racquet has versus ease of depth. I usually equate power with how hard I have to work to keep the ball deep. Rebound angle will cloud this perception, but its easier for me to tell inherent power on serves.
    So let me rephrase :).....The AI 98 had "easier depth" than the 97. I felt I had to swing noticeably harder to achieve the same thing.
     
    #92
  43. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    When I first started hitting with the 98, I had to adjust because the trajectory seemed higher than what I was used to, so yes, it does appear to have a high launch angle. I was hitting everything very deep or long for the first few minutes.

    I also didn't like any of the previous Ezone's due to the square-ish hoop shape. The AI's look almost "normal" now and have a less distracting hoop shape for me. I am very glad they are moving towards a more "mainstream" hoop shape now.
     
    #93
  44. Power Player

    Power Player Talk Tennis Guru

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    Ok that is great to hear. This sounds like a perfect option for me to try if I decide to go back to my classic hybrid setup. I'll probably turn up the SW 6 points or so. If I did that, I feel like the power level would be on par with the Speed MP.

    Can anyone compare the feel of this racquet? Wondering if it has a little bit of the Rdis 200 in it (great feeling stick).
     
    #94
  45. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    I thought you were hooked on the SPIN racquets now? Are you having 2nd thoughts about the 99s?

    Yes, the RDIS 200 is a great comparison. Very similar in it's flexy feel. The AI 98 is a bit more crisp and "modern" feeling though, but the flexy/ball pocketing is there...just not as pronounced as the RDIS 200.
     
    #95
  46. Power Player

    Power Player Talk Tennis Guru

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    I do indeed like the SET racquets, but to me, string setup is everything once the honey moon wears off. I can still do extended demos so it's not an immediate decision, but I am messing with weighting on the Steam and just sorting things out. It's more about full poly than any racquet. If I can get a really nice trajectory and still use a hybrid that doesn't break after 4 hours (tfight 315 is an example of this) it's something I need to consider.

    Basically I want to give the Juice 100S a ride and this racquet.
     
    #96
  47. oldcity

    oldcity Rookie

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    Higher launch angle, sw, and more flex compared to the vcore tour 97 (310) sounds good for a possible demo. I liked the 97 a lot and am used to using flexy low power racquets. I found the 97 crisp, but not uncomfortable. a little more flex would be awesome, as well as a little more weight in the hoop.
     
    #97
  48. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    Interesting thing is that the AI 98 has identical specs to the prior Ezone 98. It seems to be the same racquet with the only difference being the more rounded hoop shape. If you look at TW's maps for sweet spot and power, they look identical too.
    http://twu.tennis-warehouse.com/cgi...E:Ai:98|RCYONEX|x&racquetC=none&racquetD=none

    Is this just a new paintjob and hoop shape tweak?
    What's also interesting is that the new hoopshape doesn't seem to have altered the size or shape of the sweetspot at all.

    I would love to hear from someone who has hit both the prior Ezone 98 and the new AI 98.
     
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2014
    #98
  49. Power Player

    Power Player Talk Tennis Guru

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    Ive got a demo of one of these beasts coming today. I'm thinking if you took the paper grip off and put a babo skin feel on it, it may size out to be perfect and should not change the weight of the stick at all. Can't really find out yet, but if I decide to buy, I may go with a 1/4 grip from reading the feedback here.
     
    #99
  50. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    Cool. Looking forward to your thoughts. I am 90% sure you are going to love it.
    It's like the RDIS 200 and Blade 98 16x19 had a baby. About the grip, I measure every grip and the 98 with stock grip came in slightly smaller than the Speed. I would stick with your normal gripsize.
     

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