Yonex Ai 98: tell me more about her

Wycliffe2

New User
So, I played the EZone XI98 till a couple of years back, when TE sidelined me and kept me off for 2 years. Only a few months back I returned, but couldn't play with my racquet, without pain the next day. So, opted for the most arm friendly racquet I could find, a customized Prince Tour 98ESP, NG 15L/ZX with a tension of 59/57. Arm was fine, play was OKish, but my slice was simply MIA.

So, started a few threads on comfortable racquets and Jack1B recommended I try the Ai98, as it is softer than the Xi98. Just tried it today, with Wilson NG/ZX at 53/49. AMAZING!!! I only hope that I have no pain tomorrow, as this is without doubt the best racquet I've ever played with.

So, first funny thing was that as soon as I took it out of my bag, the coach I had a session with said "Now you have a good racquet." He is an ex ATP, with a high ranking in the 600s. Actually was a hitting partner for Tomic. Apparently, while in a challenger in South America, he saw the racquet and tried it. In his words, as soon as he hit with it, he felt like he wanted to keep on hitting forever. He says the only other racquet he felt the same with is the H22. He also told me that players, who play with Yonex never switch to another brand? (Anyone knows a contrary example?)
For me personally, what I loved are two things
- solidness: on FH and 1hbh, the racquet is just solid. With my swing, it dominates the collision easily
- plush feel: no vibrations I could discern and believe me, with my arm, I'm very sensitive.

Play wise, we started with mini tennis and at first my timing was completely off (shanked multiple times). However, started to get it right, then moved back. I don't know if I was honeymooning, but I couldn't miss long. Everything was going in the last quarter of the court. For those who say launch angle is low, in general, yes. However, if you want a loopier stroke, easily achievable, with a more pronounced low to high and WW. Coach was very surprised with quality of my ball and on a FH that I unwided on with a flat, he started laughing and said he needs to start playing seriously.

I'd also say that whoever said it is the same as Xi98 doesn't know what they are talking about. It is much more plush and even more solid. It is like they took the weight and redistributed it in the hoop in a better way.

I really hope that my arm can manage this racquet.
Hey mate good luck to you and hope it's not a honey moon period. I tried this racket for a month but struggled with my forehand big time and found it to be string sensitive. In 1 month I changed strings 3 times. But I thought it was a great racket I was going to change but I could not dial in my forehand. I thought my ohbh was on fire serve was great volleys precise but just struggled on my forehand. So good luck with it. It did however cause me to change to a. More stiffer racket.
 

Thamel90

Rookie
I had one of my worst nights of tennis ever after adding mass, took them back down to stock (One still has 5g under the grip ~5.25 in from butt) and played much much better. Probably just placebo effect but gonna stick with it. I didn't really have problems with stability/power generation before so even adding to the hoop was prob a foolish decision
 

beltsman

Legend
So first impressions from me. Unfortunately, I a) only got to hit with it for about 15 minutes due to bad weather, and b) wasn't doing serves/overheads due to injury, so really these impressions don't mean anything. I hit with a 1HBH, with overgrip it weighs in at exactly 12 oz, and I have it strung @ 50 with 16 syn gun. (on that note, does anyone else play this with full syn gut?)

It seemed to be heavier than the weight would indicate, but that may just be my arm fatigue at the time. Forehands were okay but felt a bit stuff/muted, and I was having trouble getting the launch angle correct. Backhands felt very good but my timing was very early so lots of mishits. Slice didn't feel so great (once again, stiff) but then again no one plays with this racquet for slice.

I think the issues will hopefully iron out once I actually get some time on the court with it and play without any arm issues.
 

avocadoz

Professional
So first impressions from me. Unfortunately, I a) only got to hit with it for about 15 minutes due to bad weather, and b) wasn't doing serves/overheads due to injury, so really these impressions don't mean anything. I hit with a 1HBH, with overgrip it weighs in at exactly 12 oz, and I have it strung @ 50 with 16 syn gun. (on that note, does anyone else play this with full syn gut?)

It seemed to be heavier than the weight would indicate, but that may just be my arm fatigue at the time. Forehands were okay but felt a bit stuff/muted, and I was having trouble getting the launch angle correct. Backhands felt very good but my timing was very early so lots of mishits. Slice didn't feel so great (once again, stiff) but then again no one plays with this racquet for slice.

I think the issues will hopefully iron out once I actually get some time on the court with it and play without any arm issues.
12 oz? Did you lead it up? If not, you're telling me an overgrip weighs over 14 grams?
 

beltsman

Legend
12 oz? Did you lead it up? If not, you're telling me an overgrip weighs over 14 grams?
It's actually the grip that the last guy had on it. Looks like maybe he built it up or put a few OGs on. Haven't peeled them off to take a look yet, as the top one is in new condition.
 

beltsman

Legend
Alright I got a proper hit in. Now I'm REALLY digging it. Smooth off both wings. I had to really tweak my FH stroke to get it to work - needed a faster, more compact swing. But now I can consistently zap balls around the court with ease. The muted power is just so stunningly nice, especially since I am coming from control-oriented frames.

BH my stroke is the same and I can really inject pace into the ball.

Nice on serves too although I have to work a little harder to get spin.

Really though I just had a huge smile on my face once I got into a groove with the FH :D
 

realed

Rookie
Hi just saw this, I also use M.I.A pt280 and a pc600 before that, and thinking of switching! how do they two compare? obvious lower flex and heavier on the 280... also do you find the grip sizing true to size? been using head 4 3/8.. Thanks
I haven't picked up my PT280 since the switch, but if I recall the transition wasn't too bad. The biggest adjustment I felt was to my slice backhand. I remember floating my slice a little bit more when I first hit the Ai98. The trajectory on regular ground strokes was also higher but the racquet provided me more depth and spin on my ground strokes. I definitely had a flatter/faster shot with the PT280. I also found it easier to serve and volley with the Ai98. Overall I am happy I made the switch as many of my regular playing partners have noticed that my game has changed for the better with the Ai98. As for grip size, they are true to size if you keep the stock grip on, but I always play with leather so the grip is a little bigger than what I had before. I am really not that sensitive to grip size anyways as many of the posters seem to be. I have played with anything from L2-L4.
 

1990's Graphite

Hall of Fame
I haven't picked up my PT280 since the switch, but if I recall the transition wasn't too bad. The biggest adjustment I felt was to my slice backhand. I remember floating my slice a little bit more when I first hit the Ai98. The trajectory on regular ground strokes was also higher but the racquet provided me more depth and spin on my ground strokes. I definitely had a flatter/faster shot with the PT280. I also found it easier to serve and volley with the Ai98. Overall I am happy I made the switch as many of my regular playing partners have noticed that my game has changed for the better with the Ai98. As for grip size, they are true to size if you keep the stock grip on, but I always play with leather so the grip is a little bigger than what I had before. I am really not that sensitive to grip size anyways as many of the posters seem to be. I have played with anything from L2-L4.

Thanks for the reply, should be getting one very soon, can't wait to test it. The ai 98 should have more power, on paper anyways. The PT are great for control and placement. This will be my biggest head sized racquet, coming from the pt at 95-96 true size and pc600 89ish. I have used babolat origin, tourbite, and hybrids with gut, will be testing all these once I get it.
 

roger presley

Hall of Fame
Alright I got a proper hit in. Now I'm REALLY digging it. Smooth off both wings. I had to really tweak my FH stroke to get it to work - needed a faster, more compact swing. But now I can consistently zap balls around the court with ease. The muted power is just so stunningly nice, especially since I am coming from control-oriented frames.

BH my stroke is the same and I can really inject pace into the ball.

Nice on serves too although I have to work a little harder to get spin.

Really though I just had a huge smile on my face once I got into a groove with the FH :D
What's the racket that you used before Ai98?
 

bigburn

Rookie
I just couldn't get dialed in with this racquet, although 1st outing. The DR98 trumped this stick, and I usually like the flexier muted feel. Forehands were spraying a bit along with a loss of control compared to the DR98. Looking forward to next outing.
 

warney

Rookie
I just couldn't get dialed in with this racquet, although 1st outing. The DR98 trumped this stick, and I usually like the flexier muted feel. Forehands were spraying a bit along with a loss of control compared to the DR98. Looking forward to next outing.
AI98 took considerably more time for me to get comfortable. I had problems with inside out forehand and serves. Normally any new racket takes me about 2 weeks. Ai98 took me over a month. I did not win many matches during that month. I would say stick with it a while.
 

Lord Anomander

Professional
This racquet is so awesome when you are trying to improve. I have been playing for 6-7 months with a coach now and I really start to get better. In contrary to my second racquet, the Ai100, it encourages one to take full swings. I'm able to hit both relaxed and pretty hard with it. Still shanking some balls every now and then but it's getting less and less. Also my serve has improved a lot since I mainly use the 98.

The weight and the HL balance are perfect for me. :)
 

DJ-

Hall of Fame
I had a chance to test this racquet after seizing the opportunity to buy it for $50, in 8.5 condition, I though heck, I could sell it and even make some money on it if I do not like it..... but the problem is, I really like it !

Had a couple of sessions with it, both lasting 2.5hrs each on en-tou-cas surface. I have been using my pro tour 630's and pt280 up to now as well as a pro stock speed pro and i.radical L5 Austria, in the 90's I grew up with Rossignol racquets.

First impressions holding the racquet, felt great in the hand, as tt's mention it does feel like an extension of the arm. Swinging it feels really good, no mods to it apart from skin feel grip added by previous owner. I have put a wilson o.g on that, and use a rubber band as a dampener, so until I measure specs i'd say it's close to retail specs.

String setup currently is poly tour pro and poly tour spin g hybrid, low 50's. My normal setup is a gut poly hybrid on all racquets.
This current setup up is mighty fine, spin is awesome without sacrificing power at all. I want to try weiss cannon ultra cable, tourbite, babolat origin, and ytex quadro in near future before I go to usual gut / poly setup.

Serves, fantastic accuracy, flat and kick serves no problems, slice serve is taking some adjusting though. Kick serves are really bouncing of the court and going away from receiver.

Forehands and backhands, wow this stick begs you to go for it, hit through the ball, feels so light in doing so, much lighter feeling than specs indicate. Just aim, fire away and you will be rewarded where it lands. Perfect control for a 16x19, my Rossi's were 16x19, then I played with 18x20, now back to 16x19 and loving it.

Volleys are taking some time to adjust also, but the groove is forming. I think the way it moves through the air is the adjusting factor as I have had slightly more heavier sticks (around 336ish mark) with different head shapes.

Touch shots and drop shots, absolutely no problem, a joy to do with this stick. Lobs I have not had a chance to hit too many, but once I mold my game around the racquet completely I think it will be easy due to the spin and control.

The grip runs true to size to my head racquets, and I love the longer handle for my THBH.
I don't know if it's the aerodynamic design or uncanny head shape resemblance to my old rossignol's minus the inverted bridges, but this racquet feels at home, and I think she might be a keeper, we will see after a month or so.
 

DJ-

Hall of Fame
Thanks for the reply, should be getting one very soon, can't wait to test it. The ai 98 should have more power, on paper anyways. The PT are great for control and placement. This will be my biggest head sized racquet, coming from the pt at 95-96 true size and pc600 89ish. I have used babolat origin, tourbite, and hybrids with gut, will be testing all these once I get it.
I think the pt280's have more power, for me anway. I use vs gut and alu power on them and get awesome power.
 

DJ-

Hall of Fame
Hi guys, sorry if this has been covered, but what does the grip run like, size wise? is it true to size? I can only find comparisons to wilson pallets. I am normally a 4/38 in classic Head racquets, but can easily fit one or two wilson comfort overgrips. Reason I am asking TT faithful is because I have a chance to get one in size 4 1/2. Thanks
They run true to size, I use grip 3.
 

1990's Graphite

Hall of Fame
I had a chance to test this racquet after seizing the opportunity to buy it for $50, in 8.5 condition, I though heck, I could sell it and even make some money on it if I do not like it..... but the problem is, I really like it !

Had a couple of sessions with it, both lasting 2.5hrs each on en-tou-cas surface. I have been using my pro tour 630's and pt280 up to now as well as a pro stock speed pro and i.radical L5 Austria, in the 90's I grew up with Rossignol racquets.

First impressions holding the racquet, felt great in the hand, as tt's mention it does feel like an extension of the arm. Swinging it feels really good, no mods to it apart from skin feel grip added by previous owner. I have put a wilson o.g on that, and use a rubber band as a dampener, so until I measure specs i'd say it's close to retail specs.

String setup currently is poly tour pro and poly tour spin g hybrid, low 50's. My normal setup is a gut poly hybrid on all racquets.
This current setup up is mighty fine, spin is awesome without sacrificing power at all. I want to try weiss cannon ultra cable, tourbite, babolat origin, and ytex quadro in near future before I go to usual gut / poly setup.

Serves, fantastic accuracy, flat and kick serves no problems, slice serve is taking some adjusting though. Kick serves are really bouncing of the court and going away from receiver.

Forehands and backhands, wow this stick begs you to go for it, hit through the ball, feels so light in doing so, much lighter feeling than specs indicate. Just aim, fire away and you will be rewarded where it lands. Perfect control for a 16x19, my Rossi's were 16x19, then I played with 18x20, now back to 16x19 and loving it.

Volleys are taking some time to adjust also, but the groove is forming. I think the way it moves through the air is the adjusting factor as I have had slightly more heavier sticks (around 336ish mark) with different head shapes.

Touch shots and drop shots, absolutely no problem, a joy to do with this stick. Lobs I have not had a chance to hit too many, but once I mold my game around the racquet completely I think it will be easy due to the spin and control.

The grip runs true to size to my head racquets, and I love the longer handle for my THBH.
I don't know if it's the aerodynamic design or uncanny head shape resemblance to my old rossignol's minus the inverted bridges, but this racquet feels at home, and I think she might be a keeper, we will see after a month or so.
Sounds like a racquet you can easily adjust to, hopefully I get mine soon and give it some court time. You can't go wrong with Tourbite trust me
 

Chuonfood

Semi-Pro
So I've been demoing the RF97 recently and love the plow. I then picked up my old trustee 12.1oz Yonex Ai98 with leather grip and that thing was launching hard balls. The difference was that the Ai didn't feel as stable, and that I had to really apply more rotational power to get it to launch like it did. In conclusion, the RF97 seems superior overall.
 

beltsman

Legend
Hit with it for two hours today. Still having consistency issues with the launch angle but when I get it right, it really smokes the ball. Just need to fix that launch angle. What is it about this that makes the launch angle different compared to other racquets? Note I'm coming from the PCG100, PS90, etc so this is my first foray into "tweener" racquets.
 

DJ-

Hall of Fame
Second outing, played doubles at Melbourne park on the plexicushion surface. This racquet is continuing to impress. The faster surface this time round feels at home using this racquet as it moves quick and allows ample time for preparation. Opponents commented on the spin, depth, and accuracy of shots. Have not encountered launch angle problems at all. I think the string setup and pattern is assisting with that. Normal set up is gut poly hybrid in pt280/630. All shots are now feeling comfortable, volleys under pressure, and quick flick lobs are easy to execute. It is early to say, but I hope the ride continues. I know why Andy from TW has not switched yet, very hard to as the ai98 just performs well !
 

ed70

Professional
Bought a dr98, and found a brand new air 98 brand new really cheap. Both play equally as good, no clear reason for leaving the ai for the dr. Found the ai to have slightly higher launch angle to the Dr, noticed this more on the forehand side where I hit more top spin. Dr has a nicer cosmetic other than that I'd say the ai is by far the best option for your wallet
 

JackB1

G.O.A.T.
So, started a few threads on comfortable racquets and Jack1B recommended I try the Ai98, as it is softer than the Xi98. Just tried it today, with Wilson NG/ZX at 53/49. AMAZING!!! I only hope that I have no pain tomorrow, as this is without doubt the best racquet I've ever played with.
Glad to help and that it's working out for you! The Ai98 is a wonderful racquet in so many ways.
 

realed

Rookie
I have been using this racquet for close to 2 years now. Anyone else breaking the bumper guards on their Ai98? I have been playing a lot more doubles recently and find myself digging for balls more frequently. Most bumper guards on other racquets I use hold up great but these just break off. I have done it 3 times now.
 

DJ-

Hall of Fame
I have been using this racquet for close to 2 years now. Anyone else breaking the bumper guards on their Ai98? I have been playing a lot more doubles recently and find myself digging for balls more frequently. Most bumper guards on other racquets I use hold up great but these just break off. I have done it 3 times now.
That's surprising, they don't seem flimsy at all, i've played on hard courts and other surfaces (mostly doubles) and so far they seem ok... I guess time will tell. How did they break in small segments or like a large crack? My pt280 with microgel grommets, now that is what you call a flimsy weak grommet :p
 

realed

Rookie
All broke the same way. It's about a 1.5 - 2 inch piece that cracks and breaks off. I have head guard tape covering the area now until my next string job so I can replace the bumper guard.
 

DJ-

Hall of Fame
All broke the same way. It's about a 1.5 - 2 inch piece that cracks and breaks off. I have head guard tape covering the area now until my next string job so I can replace the bumper guard.
I guess 3 times in 2 years is a bit considering... then again depends on hours played, courts used, string jobs etc.. i've seen some very avg pro stock racquets for sale with missing parts of frame and bumpers quite regularly. Thanks for the heads up will keep an eye on it...
 

beltsman

Legend
Did another hit today. Just groundstrokes. Starting to get it down! The power is just captivating. My hitting partner, who I usually struggle to hit through, was having trouble chasing balls down left and right. Still need to get my consistency better but that will come with time.

The downside is that my stroke modifications wreaked havoc on the other racquets in my bag, and I really struggled with those! But I'll stick with the Ai 98, because that power...mmm. Assuming that my serve is okay with it.
 

gregor.b

Professional
Hit with it for two hours today. Still having consistency issues with the launch angle but when I get it right, it really smokes the ball. Just need to fix that launch angle. What is it about this that makes the launch angle different compared to other racquets? Note I'm coming from the PCG100, PS90, etc so this is my first foray into "tweener" racquets.
Probably the wide spaced 16 x 19 string pattern. I had a similar issue with my Migrogel customs where I couldn't bring down my forehand early enough (after recovering from injury) unless I hit with excessive topspin. The nineties, even though a 16 x 19, are a tighter pattern due to the smaller head size. Maybe also because of a lower swing weight allowing a quicker 'low to high' swing path.
 

dimkin

Hall of Fame
Launch Angle: VCT > AI98 > DR98 => with my swing DR98 Wins.
AI 98 is way too muted compared to VCT and DR.
DR does feel different and better. . . now once I have Solinco on it . . . gonna be just awesome . . .
 

Chuonfood

Semi-Pro
AI 98 is way too muted compared to VCT and DR.
I agree that the Ai does feel more plush, but I wouldn't say it feels muted to me. The dwell time is great and that's what glorified the Ai when it came out. It suited people who were worried about elbow issues. The DR, I believe, is made for those who prefer more crispness of that from the PD and APDs. The Tour G has also a very plush feel to it on impact, and now we see Yonex making the same modification to their Duel G...that is by upping their stiffness.
 

dimkin

Hall of Fame
I agree that the Ai does feel more plush, but I wouldn't say it feels muted to me. The dwell time is great and that's what glorified the Ai when it came out. It suited people who were worried about elbow issues. The DR, I believe, is made for those who prefer more crispness of that from the PD and APDs. The Tour G has also a very plush feel to it on impact, and now we see Yonex making the same modification to their Duel G...that is by upping their stiffness.
But they have the same stiffness rating VCT and DR. DR seems more stable on contact than VCT
 

mrmike

Semi-Pro
For anyone in the group using multi strings in the AI, what tension have you been using to get Decent control?
 

n8dawg6

Legend
For anyone in the group using multi strings in the AI, what tension have you been using to get Decent control?
i had multi in an Ai100 at 55 lbs. felt nice, but couldnt generate spin or control shots. getting restrung w full poly as we speak. i would think you'd want a tightly strung multi (like 60), or a hybrid if your arm can handle it.
 

beltsman

Legend
Probably the wide spaced 16 x 19 string pattern. I had a similar issue with my Migrogel customs where I couldn't bring down my forehand early enough (after recovering from injury) unless I hit with excessive topspin. The nineties, even though a 16 x 19, are a tighter pattern due to the smaller head size. Maybe also because of a lower swing weight allowing a quicker 'low to high' swing path.
I actually find the Ai 98's pattern to be pretty tight. Other racquets I was hitting with were 100 16x18 (very open) and 100 16x20. But yeah you're right.
 

Thamel90

Rookie
The AI 98's throat mains(8) & center crosses are actually rather comparable to my Tour 100 18x20's spacing in the middle. Real tight pattern. The AI100 has only 6 throat mains
 

mrmike

Semi-Pro
i had multi in an Ai100 at 55 lbs. felt nice, but couldnt generate spin or control shots. getting restrung w full poly as we speak. i would think you'd want a tightly strung multi (like 60), or a hybrid if your arm can handle it.
Yeah my arm has a problem tolerating poly. Last time I tried a hybrid I used multi mains & poly crosses. That actually felt pretty comfortable since it was PPC 17 crossed with Cyclone tour 18. PPC is actually pretty controllable even in a full bed. Especially if you compare it to something like X1 or NRG2.
 

SeeItHitIt

Professional
I've been flirting with the Ai98 since my wife tried but gave them up about a year ago (favoring the 13 APD). After settling on and playing with a weighted up PS97 (to 340g), strung with Cyclone black 17, I decided to string up one of the Ai's with a full bed of ALU power (silver) at 53/51. Have tried Cyclone in the Ai before but never felt a marriage, the ALU's crisp feel really made the Yonex come alive. I only have 90 minutes on the combo but it did everything well and the feel was outstanding. It has probably been written about before, but ALU Power is worth trying in an Ai if you play with polls.
 

1990's Graphite

Hall of Fame
Finally got one of of these beauties to try and I'm impressed in the early stages. The Ai feels so light to hold, it's weird feels like i'm holding a 285gr racquet and not 326gr. The string setup is cyclone and cyclone tour hybrid, not my usual setup, which is tourbite, but nethertheless it's a great setup, plenty of power and control. I use a rubber band as a damper as I do in all my racquets, the guy before me sold it with one of them tourna scorpion dampers, and i took it straight out as it felt crap and sounded wrong. The story is simple, it's like what has already been said here, great all round stick, baseline and net play, point and shoot, light feeling, great control, awesome flat serves and great slice serves, very stable feeling. I only need to adjust to the lighter weight coming from classic head frames in the 345-350gr ball park. If i can't adjuust after a few months I will experiment with lead at noon, and 3 and 9 before moving on to something else.
 
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hotasice

Semi-Pro
I just traded a bunch of old racquets I never use any more in to TW for a couple of Ai98's and used one for the first time last night for 1 hour.

Mine is strung with Gosen Sidewinder (50 lb) in the mains crossed with Gutex Ultra (52 lb). I use an overgrip and leaded the frame up with 4 g in the handle and 1.5 g each at 10 and 2 o'clock.

It took about 30 minutes, but the racquet feels really good. It is light and manouverable and I the way I've weighted it up makes it a bit more head light. It is very plush and muted but rewards you with power if your feet move you into position and you swing with good technique. Volley's are buttery smooth, especially drop volley's. Serves are effortless as the racquet swings really light to me but hits heavy. It produces a heavy penetrating flat-ish ball.

I am used to using heavier racquets (about 335-340 g static weight) that are head light, and was a little skeptical about this racquet, but I really like it. I flirted with the prestige mid before, but for it's super buttery addictive feel, it was just too heavy and had too small of a sweet spot. The Ai98 has the same buttery plush feel with but with effortless power. I'm going to try perhaps a full bed of cyclone to see how that feels---maybe to tone down some of the power this thing oozes.

My usual racquet is the Donnay Pro One 97 that I've weighted up with lead in the handle and at 10 and 2 o'clock. I love the controllable power of this racquet. The Ai98 makes you work a bit more to get your power, but it has more control and feels a little lighter and easier to swing.
 

mrmike

Semi-Pro
I just traded a bunch of old racquets I never use any more in to TW for a couple of Ai98's and used one for the first time last night for 1 hour.

Mine is strung with Gosen Sidewinder (50 lb) in the mains crossed with Gutex Ultra (52 lb). I use an overgrip and leaded the frame up with 4 g in the handle and 1.5 g each at 10 and 2 o'clock.

It took about 30 minutes, but the racquet feels really good. It is light and manouverable and I the way I've weighted it up makes it a bit more head light. It is very plush and muted but rewards you with power if your feet move you into position and you swing with good technique. Volley's are buttery smooth, especially drop volley's. Serves are effortless as the racquet swings really light to me but hits heavy. It produces a heavy penetrating flat-ish ball.

I am used to using heavier racquets (about 335-340 g static weight) that are head light, and was a little skeptical about this racquet, but I really like it. I flirted with the prestige mid before, but for it's super buttery addictive feel, it was just too heavy and had too small of a sweet spot. The Ai98 has the same buttery plush feel with but with effortless power. I'm going to try perhaps a full bed of cyclone to see how that feels---maybe to tone down some of the power this thing oozes.

My usual racquet is the Donnay Pro One 97 that I've weighted up with lead in the handle and at 10 and 2 o'clock. I love the controllable power of this racquet. The Ai98 makes you work a bit more to get your power, but it has more control and feels a little lighter and easier to swing.
I'm in the same boat as you. I am used to playing with 12.5 oz + player frames but I've come to the realization that the weight is becoming a liability on the serve. I just strung up an AI98 and plan to try it stock weight at first. With just a dampener and overgrip it is weighing 11.8 oz. strung. Did you lead yours up before ever hitting with it?
 

beltsman

Legend
I am freaking in love with this frame! Just bageled my usual hitting partner for the first time ever! The offense I get out of this stick is incredible.

All those years of developing decent form playing with sticks like the MW 200G and PS 90 have paid off :D
 

Gyswandir

Semi-Pro
Glad to help and that it's working out for you! The Ai98 is a wonderful racquet in so many ways.
Just wanted to thank you Jack for the recommendation. I absolutely love the frame and seems it is just on the borderline of comfort for my TE (not as good as the Prince T98ESP, but good enough).
My question to you now is, should I just go ahead with the AI98 or do I need to try the DR98?? Some say not as plush, including Andy, but others say it is more of a dwell time rather than vibrations/stiffness. In addition, TWU seems to indicate it should be softer.
 
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