Yonex EZONE (2018)

mscream

Semi-Pro
Agreed, but they could have more options within a line, three standard length (285 g, 305 g, 320 g?) for example plus extended length to cover at least a larger part of the market. With modern manufacturing techniques that shouldn't be a problem, and I don't think that higher weights are that much harder to sell. The RF97A is everywhere and the Duel G 330 is even expensive to buy second hand.
 

snr

Semi-Pro
Hmm...I was going to pick up 2 used but perfect DR98’s in blue today with my perfect string setup at a great price (one is still unused actually) but should I hold off? Lol. Hmm
 

snr

Semi-Pro
Oh wow, I didn’t realize. I had gone through the thread and saw a lot of comparisons between the racquets so I thought this was the new update to it.
 

Classic-TXP-IG MID

Hall of Fame
Oh wow, I didn’t realize. I had gone through the thread and saw a lot of comparisons between the racquets so I thought this was the new update to it.
It is a new update to it, but they have tinkered with it, so the feel might be different, slightly different balance, smaller sweet zone size and lower power potential percentage (according to TW info). You may like it more overall, or you may not, but if you like the DR98, then it may feel different. Therefore, if you're after the feel and playing dynamics of the DR 98... get the DR 98... if you want to take a chance on the new one... then wait... also there will be an obvious price difference...
 

Subaruvich

Semi-Pro
Oh wow, I didn’t realize. I had gone through the thread and saw a lot of comparisons between the racquets so I thought this was the new update to it.
It's different mould. Where handle ends and throat starts you can clearly see the difference, it's wider and thinner.
 

Toyo

Rookie
It's different mould. Where handle ends and throat starts you can clearly see the difference, it's wider and thinner.
To me the head shape looks more square too. I'm not sure if it's a good or bad thing, but I'm looking forward to a demo though
 

A_Instead

Hall of Fame
Based on these pics..the new ezone 98 head shape looks a lot like the SV98..
Oh my...a flexy sv98..Yonex...you guys are doing great things...
Just read the review...so it sounds similar to the sv98...
Sv98 is a great underrated racket..
I'll try the new ezone version...but sad to see they went firmer and away from the very unigue Dr feel that made it special...
 
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TennisManiac

Professional
After watching the review and reading all the literature in regards to this new frame. I'm hesitant to purchase one now. I don't like all the talk about it feeling too stiff. I was hoping it would feel similar to the DR. Maybe this new frame sits in between the DR and the SV. I might just end up buying a DR and toss some lead on the tip and call it a day.
 

dje31

Professional
FWIW, at the end of the video, they state that they strung the EZ98 playtest racquets at 52#. That might account for it feeling stiff.

For my EZXi98s, I use Cyclone 19 mains, OGSM 17 crosses, at 47M / 43C on one, and 41M / 37C on the other. Neither feels remotely stiff. But when I first got them, I strung one in the upper tension range and absolutely hated it. Cut them out after two hitting sessions.

Also, those Fukky guys strung the EZ98 at 40#.

String type, characteristics, gauge, and tension can make all the difference.
 
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kimguroo

Legend
I don't know new ezone might be similar to Ezone XI but as usual surprising move by Yonex.
AI/DR saved Yonex in my opinion and maybe they should not go this direction with new ezone.
They should keep everything and Just change new style of grommets and make slight different feels instead of new head shape and different weight. Those might be very different from AI/DR...
 

tribesmen

Professional
I don't know new ezone might be similar to Ezone XI but as usual surprising move by Yonex.
AI/DR saved Yonex in my opinion and maybe they should not go this direction with new ezone.
They should keep everything and Just change new style of grommets and make slight different feels instead of new head shape and different weight. Those might be very different from AI/DR...
Slightly disagree. Maybe Ai and Dr have followers here at TW, but how many of them Yonex had sold in "real world" ? TW community is ‰ of buyers, but Yonex wants to compete the big three.
TW community is bashing the Head Graphene, Babolat stiffness, etc. but my local tennis shop is selling mostly Head, Babolat and Wilson sticks.
 

snr

Semi-Pro
Slightly disagree. Maybe Ai and Dr have followers here at TW, but how many of them Yonex had sold in "real world" ? TW community is ‰ of buyers, but Yonex wants to compete the big three.
TW community is bashing the Head Graphene, Babolat stiffness, etc. but my local tennis shop is selling mostly Head, Babolat and Wilson sticks.
I get what you're saying there but IMO it has less to do with the quality of sticks vs. the reputation.

On the pro tour, Yonex is getting up there (starting with Stan's success), but a lot of the club players around here don't go with it because well, its not as flashy yet. Not on its own (PJ etc.) or to have the large number of top guys playing with it.

Also, IMO, Yonex owns this unique area of good feeling low RA racquets. Sure Volkl and others share this space too but Yonex as small as they are are a bit larger. If high level club players (5.0's etc.) who prefer soft racquets automatically start gravitating towards Yonex, this can help spread the Yonex love through Word of Mouth.

I don't know about you guys there, but asides from the trend getting started from watching what the pros use, the second best "marketing" tool is word of mouth from the "best guys on the team" or "at the club".
 

kimguroo

Legend
Slightly disagree. Maybe Ai and Dr have followers here at TW, but how many of them Yonex had sold in "real world" ? TW community is ‰ of buyers, but Yonex wants to compete the big three.
TW community is bashing the Head Graphene, Babolat stiffness, etc. but my local tennis shop is selling mostly Head, Babolat and Wilson sticks.
I am very positive that Yonex sells a lot more rackets than before.
When Ezone XI was released, Yonex hit the bottom in my opinion.
Not much success from pros and domination of Wilson and babolat.
Almost similar to Dunlop. Rackets just sit in stores and stores started selling old models around $60.
Stores in Atlanta, stopped carrying Yonex rackets because of slow sales. Also almost no one played Yonex rackets at courts. After success of AI/DR, people asked about Yonex rackets and seeing more people with Yonex rackets.
Also local stores start to bring back Yonex rackets to their stores.
In real world, it's very slim Yonex population comparing to Head, Babolat and Wilson but definitely Yonex gained small market shares. probably best ever for them.

Wilson blade has similar character and spec for decades and still sell decently.
I thought Yonex should do same with AI/DR lines instead of radical changes which Yonex often does it for new models. AI to DR was good move (same racket and just different feel) but DR to Ezone is very questionable (change head shape and making more stiffer feeling).

Yonex is Yonex. Remember They are a badminton company. Tennis is just fun small operation for them.
Yonex never consider to compete with Head, Wilson and babolat and I don't think they will never even try to compete with them. Yonex will more focus on badminton business since their domination can not be compare with Tennis business.
Very unique company, their ideas are sometimes too radical and always try to experiment with something unique instead of just chaining paint jobs. Also most importantly, fundamental which is quality controls.
 

g4driver

Hall of Fame
i'm getting my ezone 100 tomorrow...i'm curious to see how it stacks up against the ai100 / dr100 lines....

Love to hear your take on the stiffness of the New eZone 100 vs the AI & DR 100's.

Wondering if it is me or do others find it funny that 4.5/5.0/ 5.5 players like you (and Open Level players like Brittany) hit with a DR100 but many 3.0 and 3.5 guys need the 98 version?

Thanks much downs_chris
 
FWIW, at the end of the video, they state that they strung the EZ98 playtest racquets at 52#. That might account for it feeling stiff.

For my EZXi98s, I use Cyclone 19 mains, OGSM 17 crosses, at 47M / 43C on one, and 41M / 37C on the other. Neither feels remotely stiff. But when I first got them, I strung one in the upper tension range and absolutely hated it. Cut them out after two hitting sessions.

Also, those Fukky guys strung the EZ98 at 40#.

String type, characteristics, gauge, and tension can make all the difference.
Totally and absolutely right !!
It beggars belief why the TW playtesters didn't understand this.
Andy would have known !
 
Has anyone else noticed that the recent 'Playtester's Picks Vlog #553' had several of the playtesters really hype-up the different models of the new Ezone, yet in the playtest video itself they don't seem anywhere near as enthusiastic...
 
FWIW, at the end of the video, they state that they strung the EZ98 playtest racquets at 52#. That might account for it feeling stiff.

For my EZXi98s, I use Cyclone 19 mains, OGSM 17 crosses, at 47M / 43C on one, and 41M / 37C on the other. Neither feels remotely stiff. But when I first got them, I strung one in the upper tension range and absolutely hated it. Cut them out after two hitting sessions.

Also, those Fukky guys strung the EZ98 at 40#.

String type, characteristics, gauge, and tension can make all the difference.
I remember when Michelle first playtested the Ai, she mentioned how string sensitive the racquet was and she changed strings and tension during the playtest to assess.
Since then, it looks like they have completely forgotten history and in my opinion, since Andy left, they've dropped the ball on this review and many others as well.
I am fast losing confidence in them.
 
Has anyone else noticed that the recent 'Playtester's Picks Vlog #553' had several of the playtesters really hype-up the different models of the new Ezone, yet in the playtest video itself they don't seem anywhere near as enthusiastic...
Yes.
Not the first time, and it won't be the last.
[Remember the love-fest for Babolat Project One-7 ??]
 

downs_chris

Professional
Love to hear your take on the stiffness of the New eZone 100 vs the AI & DR 100's.

Wondering if it is me or do others find it funny that 4.5/5.0/ 5.5 players like you (and Open Level players like Brittany) hit with a DR100 but many 3.0 and 3.5 guys need the 98 version?

Thanks much downs_chris
in my living room, the new ezone "feels" more like the ai, than the dr...little more forgiving...but we will see how that translate to the courts...i could give a full review of the racquet from my couch, but i don't want to look too crazy haha

it took me a while to transition to the DR100 from the AI100 (i bought and sold the DR100 3 separate times haha)...i had (and still have) a bad left wrist injury (i'm a righty) and i feel like the DR100 gives me a little extra on the backhand slice and has a little extra oomph on the serves as well...i also had to go down in tension on the DR100 vs. the AI100 -- from 55/52.5 to 52.5/50 and made the DR100 slightly more HL...



I'm actually enjoying the ultra 100 cv a lot more than I thought I would and plan on hitting it side by side with the new ezone 100 as well this evening...
 

g4driver

Hall of Fame
Thanks downs_ chris.

The DR100 felt stiffer than I wanted with a full bed of Cyclone Tour 16g but perhaps Wilson Gut/ Head Hawk will make the eZone 100 feel softer like it does with my Textreme Warrior 100's.

Wish I had tried the DR100's with gut/hawk, but I got a cause of Radial Tunnel Syndrome (feels like a broken forearm) and sold the DRs
 

n8dawg6

Legend
my only issue with the AI/DRs is somewhat of a disconnected feeling that is the price you pay for vibration dampening. the dr100 is a very solid stick with a healthy SW, although not particularly maneuverable.
 

Gabi1284

New User
I'm a bit confused with the stiffness of the new Ezone 98. I play with a Pure Strike (PO7) and I like it, but sometimes find it too harsh in the elbow/wrist, specially when strung with poly (even a soft one, like Crean). I expected that, with a lower stiffness rating, this Yonex would be a softer alternative, but the playtesters say that feels stiffer than the Strike and even give a better comfort rating to the Ezone 100 (which has a 68 RA, 5 more points than the 98).
Someone that have tested the Ezone 98 and the Strike could explain how they compare?
 

TW Staff

Administrator
@junk,

We haven't heard official word from Yonex when the DRs will be discontinued. However, the prices of the DR just dropped so I would expect the inevitable.

@Casius_Juventus and @dje31,

As far as strings and tension are concerned, I wanted to address a couple things. First and foremost, we playtest all racquets around 52-53 lbs to have a base comparison. If we do find that there needs to be some change we do that. For example, Troy, in the 98 review did a test a dropped to 45 lbs to see how the racquet played. He still found the new EZONE to play stiffer than the previous version. We will also playtest a couple different strings as well as we normally have 2-3 different racquets to hit with. We try to give the best overall look at the racquet. If you have any additional questions please don't hesitate to ask. We are happy to help!

@stylez_911,

I am actually considering switching to the new EZONE 100. I have narrowed it down between that and the Pure Drive so I think my hype is worth it. I know several other playtesters did really enjoy the racquets (maybe not as much as previous versions) but enough to keep hitting with them after the playtest.

Hope this helps answer any questions!

Brittany, TW
 

mscream

Semi-Pro
Will be interesting to know how the EZONE 98 compares to the SV98, it sounds like the EZONE series has become much more similar to the SV series. Definitely demo required first.
 

g4driver

Hall of Fame
Brittany, Jason, Michelle, Hannah, Mark, and Chris,

Please know many of us realize you aren't going to like every frame and each of you each have personal preferences like every player. I happen to gravity toward frames that Jason (then Brittany) like more than any other play-tester, and while Jason switched to the PS17, I lost a lot of power after a 3rd back surgery, so it wasn't for me.

But please understand, many of us appreciate your play-tests, your positive comments and your not so positive ones. More than all, we appreciate your honesty, and like many I haven't lost a ounce of faith in your group of play-testers!
 
@junk,

We haven't heard official word from Yonex when the DRs will be discontinued. However, the prices of the DR just dropped so I would expect the inevitable.

@Casius_Juventus and @dje31,

As far as strings and tension are concerned, I wanted to address a couple things. First and foremost, we playtest all racquets around 52-53 lbs to have a base comparison. If we do find that there needs to be some change we do that. For example, Troy, in the 98 review did a test a dropped to 45 lbs to see how the racquet played. He still found the new EZONE to play stiffer than the previous version. We will also playtest a couple different strings as well as we normally have 2-3 different racquets to hit with. We try to give the best overall look at the racquet. If you have any additional questions please don't hesitate to ask. We are happy to help!

@stylez_911,

I am actually considering switching to the new EZONE 100. I have narrowed it down between that and the Pure Drive so I think my hype is worth it. I know several other playtesters did really enjoy the racquets (maybe not as much as previous versions) but enough to keep hitting with them after the playtest.

Hope this helps answer any questions!

Brittany, TW
Brittany,

Thanks for the clarification and taking the time to address the issue.
However, given your flex reading of the New Ezone vs the DR are only marginally different, one can only conclude the stiffer feeling comes from the change in hoop dynamics which can be easily be addressed by adjusting the string bed stiffness to suit. Perhaps if Troy had dropped tension to 40 lbs (as in the TennisProShop LAFINO review), we would be hearing his praises right now rather than his concerns. The New Ezone is a more "complicated" racquet than previous iterations and thus requires a much deeper and lengthier assessment than I believe TW has offered.
 

TW Staff

Administrator
@Casius_Juventus,

Thank you for your feedback as we are always looking to improve and get better. We try to give the most in depth review possible but understand nothing replaces actually demoing the racquet for yourself. Each player has different preferences and we try to show that.

From the playtest, I (and the other playtesters) found the stiffer feel when the ball contacted above the center of the racquet closer to the tip. If I was hitting in the center, there was not a change in stiffness. Yonex updated the head shape as well as added material to stiffen the frame around the shoulders (10 and 2 o'clock) so it would make sense the feel is stiffer. However, a stiffer feel is all relative to the player as well. Some players may find a racquet to play stiff while others don't.

I can also ask Troy to try it again at 40 lbs and let you know what his feedback is.

Thanks,
Brittany, TW
 
@Casius_Juventus,

Thank you for your feedback as we are always looking to improve and get better. We try to give the most in depth review possible but understand nothing replaces actually demoing the racquet for yourself. Each player has different preferences and we try to show that.

From the playtest, I (and the other playtesters) found the stiffer feel when the ball contacted above the center of the racquet closer to the tip. If I was hitting in the center, there was not a change in stiffness. Yonex updated the head shape as well as added material to stiffen the frame around the shoulders (10 and 2 o'clock) so it would make sense the feel is stiffer. However, a stiffer feel is all relative to the player as well. Some players may find a racquet to play stiff while others don't.

I can also ask Troy to try it again at 40 lbs and let you know what his feedback is.

Thanks,
Brittany, TW
Thanks Brittany, thats very kind of you to offer and I would be very keen to find out Troy's re-assessment.
One thing to note and just a thought : Myself and other observers here were initially surprised at the much lower tension that the TennisProShop LAFINO adopted for their reviews. It seems to me that perhaps a Japanese outfit like LAFINO may have been given "the inside track" by Yonex in preparation for their reviews, especially given they had a Yonex representative present at the review filming. Just a thought :))
 
Will be interesting to know how the EZONE 98 compares to the SV98, it sounds like the EZONE series has become much more similar to the SV series. Definitely demo required first.
I fell in love with SV's string bed but without Quake-Shut Gel in the handle, I started to feel the harshness of the frame and could only manage it with softer strings at lower tension. It plays great with that setup but even so, I kept my Ezone ..... Almost exactly the same experience Andy Gerst had with the SV; Great racquet, but my arm says "Stick with the Ezone".
If the Ezone plays more like the SV with a much improved string bed quality, I could be convinced to update.
 

A_Instead

Hall of Fame
Chris D.. Give us the scoop on your play test between the Ezone 100 and CV Ultra 100... I am interested to hear your feedback..
 

A_Instead

Hall of Fame
I could see how stiffening up the upper hoop on the DR line could be an improvement on both frames..
To me.. the upper hoop of the DR100 got a little unpredictable at times due to the flex..
As long as it doesn't come across as harsh or brassy.. It would be a good thing..
 

TW Staff

Administrator
@Casius_Juventus,

We unfortunately do not get a lot of information from Yonex USA. We generally find out when the racquet launches a couple weeks before launch and are given the basic information from the reps if they come to present them. The recommended tension that Yonex gave us for the EZONEs is 45-60 lbs (so the other shop must have some really insider scoop :)). I'm not sure how that shop does their reviews but we have found having a brand rep present can lead towards some bias toward that particular brand as they want you to show it in the most positive light.

I will let you know how Troy thinks of the racquet with that low of tension.

Thanks,
Brittany, TW
 
To All DR100 users :
I started my Ezone journey with the Ai98 years ago, but after 12 months of play, I found it too Noodley and the head much too Fluttery at the net. I decide to upscale to Ai100 for an improved stiffness and control at the net. I upgraded to DR100 which I'm happy with (no more fluttery head) ...
BUT ....
Given the increased hoop stiffness, will the New Ezone 100 be too stiff (with my current DR string setup) and therefore, should DR users think about downscaling to Ezone 98 for a more perfect update ??
 
@Casius_Juventus,

We unfortunately do not get a lot of information from Yonex USA. We generally find out when the racquet launches a couple weeks before launch and are given the basic information from the reps if they come to present them. The recommended tension that Yonex gave us for the EZONEs is 45-60 lbs (so the other shop must have some really insider scoop :)). I'm not sure how that shop does their reviews but we have found having a brand rep present can lead towards some bias toward that particular brand as they want you to show it in the most positive light.

I will let you know how Troy thinks of the racquet with that low of tension.

Thanks,
Brittany, TW
Tanks Brittany.
Of course, We all very much appreciate and applaud your Independent and unbiased views.
 

TennisManiac

Professional
From the playtest, I (and the other playtesters) found the stiffer feel when the ball contacted above the center of the racquet closer to the tip. If I was hitting in the center, there was not a change in stiffness.
So are you saying that the new Ezone feels similar to the DR if you're hitting the center of the stringbed? I know that some people hit higher in the stringbed. I do not. I hit in the center every time. If I make contact with the ball in the upper part of the hoop, I consider that a mis hit.
 
So are you saying that the new Ezone feels similar to the DR if you're hitting the center of the stringbed? I know that some people hit higher in the stringbed. I do not. I hit in the center every time. If I make contact with the ball in the upper part of the hoop, I consider that a mis hit.
In their product sales pitch, Yonex attest to the increased sweet-spot size and its extension towards to top of the head in order to reduce the impact of off-centre shots. Understandably therefore, they had to reinforce the hoop in that area to stop it from fluttering.
However .....
With that setup, if you string too tight (relatively), you will not experience the upgrade in sweet-spot and the increased bed stiffness near the hoop will accentuate the reinforced stiffness at the top ..... Exactly the outcome felt by the TW playtesters of Ezone 98 ..... It's all starting to make sense; They strung too tight and completely missed all the advantages of the New Version and Yonex may say, "The Whole Object of the Exercise" !!!
 
Spoiler Alert :
When you demo the New Ezone, string at a significantly lower tension than you would normally on your DR, otherwise you'll miss the boat completely !!
 
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