Yonex Ai 98: tell me more about her

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

  1. sunchaser

    sunchaser New User

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    Yeah, understand what you mean... Got the same feelings towards Babolats for some reason
     
  2. kajon95

    kajon95 New User

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    Update from previous thoughts:

    Massive massive difference with a poly string on it. It's like a completely new racquet. I am glad I kept hold of the ai98 and decided to try it with a poly.
    Feels a lot less flexible, control is much much better and the power is manageable. Really enjoying playing with it now. Can hit flat and not worry about ball flying long and the spin potential is so much more with the poly like you would expect.
    Great all round racquet and I think I'm keeping this one and ordering my second one soon.
    Definitely a very strong sensitive racquet for me.
     
  3. Dan Z

    Dan Z Rookie

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    Yeah i know what you mean there Kajon - first time i tried it with the factory multi strings i hated it. Then put in full poly pro tour and immediately fell in love it with. Great stick :)
     
  4. Eightmarky

    Eightmarky Rookie

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    If you're enjoying poly in this racket, try cyclone tour in mid to low 50's.
     
  5. lefty100

    lefty100 New User

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    Completely agree - I demoed 2 versions, one with a multi and I found it very difficult to control, especially slice backhands. Then with a full bed of poly, the racquet became both much more controllable and predictable off the stringbed and gave much better access to spin.
     
  6. ASH1485

    ASH1485 Semi-Pro

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    You will love it even more with a gut poly hybrid. I use pacific classic with Lux 4G in the crosses
     
  7. Gemini

    Gemini Hall of Fame

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    I was the exact opposite. The first time I played it with a Yonex poly and didn't really care for it. Tried it with a Yonex multi and really started to like it. I'm now playing it with a Tecnifibre poly and love it but it's a poly I've been playing with for several years. Just goes to show that string preference makes all the difference in this racquet.
     
  8. EasternRocks

    EasternRocks Hall of Fame

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    Comparison to the Head Graphene Speed Pro?
     
  9. protestov.tt

    protestov.tt New User

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    since I've fixed my forehand, I dont have any problems of too much power or lack of control with this racquet
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2015
  10. Omedunk

    Omedunk New User

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    Both these sticks are on my shortlist. I am a attacking all court player and looking to replace my PD for something with much more control.

    I can get the power out of my strokes. But, lacking decent footwork, I need a little juice of my stick when I am out of position.

    Can you (or somebody else) tell me more about the difference between the Pure Strike Tour and the Ai 98?
     
  11. mhkeuns

    mhkeuns Semi-Pro

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    Hi. The Pure Strike Tour is a hefty racket that has all the pop you will need in a player's racket. It is super solid and rewards the players with sound strokes. It is not the easiest racket to get used to because it does feel heavy like swinging a log. Once you do get dialed in, there is no better offensive stick. The racket has an awesome stability that helps you to hit the balls back with authority against the hard hitters. It has such predictable responses that it will give you the confidence to go harder on the shots.

    The AI 98 is light and super maneuverable. For being a light racket, it feels really plush. I'm a baseliner who like to drive through the ball. This racket puts on so much spin that it reminds me of the APD, except it feels softer. I find this racket great for the baseliners who likes to hit hard with spin. I don't volley much, but I thought the racket put away volleys pretty easily.

    I find that the Pure Strike Tour plays better with synthetic gut than the poly, and the AI 98 plays better with the full bed of poly...

    Honestly, though, if you like to play aggressive baseline game who like to go for the winners at every chance, both of those rackets will do great for you. The weight difference between the two rackets are really noticeable, though.
     
  12. Omedunk

    Omedunk New User

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    Thank you.

    I must confess that I am a little scared for the pure strike's swingweigth. So next week I am gonna demo the ai 98 and the graphene pro speed ltd.
     
  13. Hankenstein

    Hankenstein Professional

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    I bought two Ai98 without testing them. Got them yesterday and replaced the Yonex buttcap with a Babolat butt cap, installed Babolat Leather grip and tourna grip XL on top. Strung it up with Signum Pro Hyperion 1,24 mm and took it out on court

    CONTROL!

    That is the main word of this frame for me. After playing with Babolat PD as main racquet for a good 6 month this frame gave very good, soild control. It gave me confidence to swing out fully and not had to either hit with hard spin or softer strokes as has been the case with Babolat. I know I can string the Babs tighter but then my arm starts to break down.

    Only minor issue with the Ai98 is the flex of the upper part of the frame. From 9-10 and 2-3. When hitting shots on the defence the mass of the frame on that part was to light and it had no power. I have now added some lead, like 4 grams in total, and will see how that affects this minor issue.

    I will really give this frame some time now. I am selling all my other 36 frames in my storage to not be tempted to try something else.
     
  14. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    It's 11.5 oz. Is that considered "light"?

    I agree it has a plush feel with some flex.

    Don't agree with the comparison to the APD at all. Spin and Power with the APD are on a totally different level. This is why so many in this thread have tried the AI98 and moved on. Because they think it's a tweener like the APD. I don't think I've ever seen a more "misunderstood" racquet before.
     
  15. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    I wouldn't sell anything until you have played with this racquet for at least 1 month. People's opinions have changed drastically on this one once they use it for a while for some reason.
     
  16. Bartelby

    Bartelby G.O.A.T.

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    I don't think opinions have changed all that much.

    It's simply the case that too many people tried the racquet because it became noticed.
     
  17. Hankenstein

    Hankenstein Professional

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    If I dont like it after some time i will just buy something new =)
    I have already sold 10 of the 36 frames
     
  18. crosscourt

    crosscourt Professional

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    Is one of those frames the Graphene Prestige MP? Now that you have had a chance to play the AI 98 a comparison of the Yonex with the latest Prestige would really be appreciated.
     
  19. Hankenstein

    Hankenstein Professional

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    Yes. I have one Graphene Prestige MP. When i first tried the prestige july 2013 it felt very different. That was about 6 month before it hit the market. That version was soft and felt almost pro-stock. The retail version feels stiffer and more hollow. I installed silicone, changed pallet and leather grip and it felt a tad better but still to "cheap" so to say.

    When I played Graphene Prestige I also used i.Prestige MP and the old i.Prestige is so much better and solid in all aspects.

    I only have one hour with the Ai98 so i cant say to much yet but initially the Ai98 felt much better. More solid and "heavy" feel at impact.

    But I dont understand those who compare the Ai98 with APD. There are absolutely no similarity apart from the aero-shaped beam.
     
  20. kimguroo

    kimguroo Hall of Fame

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    Somewhat I agree.
    I have not tried AI98 but tried AI100. More people compare with AI100 with APD but I have same feeling that I can't find any similarities with APD beside the shape of frame.
     
  21. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    thank you, thank you!

    yes, the frames LOOK alike, but that's where it ends.

    The APD has 2mm thicker beam
    The APD is 100" compared to 998" for the AI98
    The APD is 300 grams, the AI98 310
    The APD has a swingweight of 316. AI98 322
    The APD is 69 stiffeness...the AI98 63

    I mean its like night and day. The APD is VERY stiff and firm feeling, while the AI98 is flexy and plush. Just that alone is enough to separate the 2 racquets.
     
  22. dgoran

    dgoran Hall of Fame

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    To me this frame has most similarity with ig radical pro
     
  23. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    agree. it's also very close to the Volkl V1 Pro and Donnay Pro One 97.

    A few people in this thread starting saying it was like a softer APD and that is misleading people IMO.
     
  24. mad dog1

    mad dog1 Hall of Fame

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    that's probably because very few people have owned or demo'd every single racquet made by virtually every major racquet manufacturer in the past 6 years like you have.
     
  25. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    You don't need to demo 100 racquets to be able to notice the differences between these 2 racquets. I think people see they look alike, so they assume they play alike.
     
  26. dgoran

    dgoran Hall of Fame

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    That's why you should listen to jack...he knows what he's saying
     
  27. mad dog1

    mad dog1 Hall of Fame

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    i don't listen to jack because my frame, string, and tension preferences are completely different from his.
     
  28. mhkeuns

    mhkeuns Semi-Pro

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    They are different, but I get the similar results in play. That's what I meant. They both are spin friendly and are very maneuverable. I can see people transitioning from the APD to AI 98, or the other way around easily without much adjustment period. They both are user-friendly rackets imo.
     
  29. mhkeuns

    mhkeuns Semi-Pro

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    I'm not so sure if they are all that different, really. It feels super light I guess because I've been playing with the 13+ oz strung rackets for many years and have come down to the mid 12 oz rackets because I need a little more forgiving racket with similar plow through.

    I consider it a tweener like the APD because it makes playing tennis much easier than the rackets like the Vcore Tour G 330. It's a game improvement racket that can also be used by the advanced players.

    The feel is different, but don't you think they bring out the similar results?

    I do notice, though, too that many people have given up on this frame... I kind of wondered why... Do you think it's tougher to use the AI 98 than the APD?
     
  30. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    True.

    I prefer 300 gram frames, 100-105", full multi or multi/poly and low tension (50-55)
     
  31. mad dog1

    mad dog1 Hall of Fame

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    i like 95-100" frames, static weight 11.8-12.2 oz, balance point 31.5-32 cm, swingweight 318-325, low power control poly around 35-47# depending on pattern and stick flex.
     
  32. mad dog1

    mad dog1 Hall of Fame

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    i do...the way i have my APD set up, i find it to be the easiest, most forgiving stick to play with.
     
  33. jjs891

    jjs891 Semi-Pro

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    Is AI98 more or less demanding than Donnay pro one ?
    Or they're pretty much the same ?
     
  34. crosscourt

    crosscourt Professional

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    Thanks for the comparison with the Graphene Prestige.

    As to your other comparison I think the AI98 is more than a little like the APD. It isn't quite the shot making super-wand that the APD is, and it is a lot softer. But both rackets are very playable, very solid for their weight, very easy to develop racket head speed with, very versatile, equally at home hitting with a lot of spin as much flatter. I am a big fan of both. For me the slight drawback to the AI98 is that it is a little too flexible. It is still a great racket for me but I don't get quite the feel of the ball on each and every string that I get with the APD or the Blade Tour. I think that is probably the softness.
     
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2014
  35. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    pretty much the same
     
  36. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    I agree with most of that.

    But I still think there's quite a gap in power level and also a huge gap in flex and comfort.
     
  37. mhkeuns

    mhkeuns Semi-Pro

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    Yeah. That's one thing about APD that keeps me away from playing that awesome stick. It just feels a bit too stiff. Other than that, if anyone wants to make playing tennis easier, there is not a better stick, imo. I think the arm issues are a bit exaggerated.

    Would you consider the AI as the modern player's racket? I still think it's a bit of a tweener racket because it's pretty easy to just pick up and play well with it..., just like the APD or Pure Drive... but much more plush feeling.
     
  38. mad dog1

    mad dog1 Hall of Fame

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    mhkeuns, i grew up in fullerton. where do you play?
     
  39. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    most "tweeners" are not less than 100" and more than 300 grams. AI 98 is both.
     
  40. bartrombo

    bartrombo New User

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    Hello there,

    I am looking to step down from a 6.1 95 BLX 18x20 (black/red) because it is just too heavy for me. I am looking at the Ai 98 but also have the chance to buy some second hand radical pro's (I think ig's). What are the differences betweter those 2?

    Thanks!
     
  41. Hankenstein

    Hankenstein Professional

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    Two possible things

    The most likely is that this frame is VERY string senistive. People string it up and use it a couple of sessions. They love it and praise it. As tension drops they get more and more unsatisfied with the frame and let it go. Maybe they try another string or string it tighter then first time and dont like it. Simply not enough patience (i am not the one to say anything about this because i make the same misstake also many times..)

    Or nr 2, which i highly doubt, but still have to consider, is that the material is not top notch, the frame gets "tired" faster then normal and thus making the frame unable to keep the desired tension.

    Thats why many pro´s go through so many frames in one season. (not that the material is bad, more a case of hard hitting and many restrings) Former pro´s Thomas Johansson and Jonas Björkman said to me that as soon as the string job went loose to quick they knew the frame was about to "die" for them.
     
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2014
  42. maxpotapov

    maxpotapov Hall of Fame

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    ^^ How about Del Potro never changing the frames?
    Having said that, I do believe in the fatigue of the materials. My old Prestige Mids do not feel solid at all... But old Dunlop MW 200G works just fine - maybe braided design is more rigid?
     
  43. mhkeuns

    mhkeuns Semi-Pro

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    Hi. I belong to a club in Cerritos tennis center, and I also play at La mirada. Are you still near Fullerton?
     
  44. mhkeuns

    mhkeuns Semi-Pro

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    Great information...
     
  45. mhkeuns

    mhkeuns Semi-Pro

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    While I agree that the APD is one awesome stick and one of the easiest racket to pick up and play, I found groove with the AI 98 right away just like the APD. I still consider the AI 98 a tweener because the racket falls into the category by definition; A “tweener” racket is usually defined as a racket that weighs between 10 and 11.5 ounces and has a head size of at least 98 sq. inches.

    Not trying to dispute anyone. They both are awesome rackets.
     
  46. mad dog1

    mad dog1 Hall of Fame

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    yes, still nearby in diamond bar now. would be cool to meet up for a hit.

    the Ai98 is a brilliant stick, too. i brought it to the court last night and was only planning to hit with it for a short while to reacquaint myself with it and ended up using it the majority of the session.
     
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2014
  47. mhkeuns

    mhkeuns Semi-Pro

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  48. mad dog1

    mad dog1 Hall of Fame

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    cool. there are courts free at diamond bar high on sat mornings. if you know of courts closer to rowland heights, that's fine, too.
     
  49. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    where did u see that definition?

    The AI98 is clearly marketed by Yonex as a top of the line racquet for advanced level players all the way up to Pro. There isn't any more advanced racquet in the entire AI line. You can call it whatever you like, but IMO it's much more in the "players racquet" camp, then in the tweener category. Its closer to something like a Prestige than it is to something like a Volkl V1 Classic.

    Here is TW's definition:
    here 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.

    they even offer the AI100 as an example. So if the AI100 is a tweener, how can the AI98 also be one?
     
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2014
  50. mhkeuns

    mhkeuns Semi-Pro

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    I was just doing some search on google. I'm sure the opinions vary, but that definition came from a website called Tennis Now by a writer named Robert Martin.

    Maybe a good description of an AI 98 would be that it combines the playing characteristics of two rackets, APD & Prestige.

    It really isn't a demanding stick like the Tour G 330, or the Pure Strike Tour.
     

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