The Yonex Astrox 99 Badminton Racket is the racket of choice for Kento Momota, the reigning world champion and top badminton player in the world. Introduced in the fall of 2018, the Yonex Astrox 99 has replaced the Yonex Astrox 88D as the defacto singles badminton racket for several top players. In this article, the experts at BW take a test drive of the racket.
The Astrox 99 badminton racket is quite striking and exudes power. The version we looked at was the 4U/G5 and even that felt quite solid. Unless have extremely strong wrists and shoulders, we don’t recommend going to the 3U/G5 version. Extremely stiff and head heavy, the Astrox 99 has a definitely more solid feel compared to the Astrox 88D, the racket most male international singles players were using until the Astrox 99 was introduced. That said, it may not be the best option for everyone. The Astrox 88D or even the Astrox 88S/Astrox 77 may be more suitable options for players seeking an all around badminton racket. Here's a deep dive into the Astrox 99 badminton racket!
Smash - 10
The verdict is unanimous. BW experts agree that the smashing ability with this racket deserves a 10. During testing, they were able to send smashes thundering down to the opponents' court with ease. In fact, one of our experts clocked 300km, beating his earlier record of 275km.
Drop - 8.5
Getting precise drops took a little bit of practice and adjustment. During the first week of testing, BW experts achieved about 60% accuracy for drops. By the 2nd week though, they were able to get to 80% accuracy. All of them agreed that because of the heavier feel of the Astros 99, it took more time to master the drop.
Clear - 9
Clears are an important element of the game both for attacking and defending. A flat clear, if executed well, can be as effective as a smash. Overall, our experts liked the crisp feeling of clears and were able to achieve a high level of accuracy with respect hitting the shuttle to the opponent’s back line.
Drive - 7
Our experts felt it was a tad difficult to achieve attacking drives with the Astros 99 badminton racket. While a singles player will prefer the Astros 99, an attacking doubles player may consider the Astros 88D a better option for attacking drives from the back of the court.
Defensive Lift - 9
The Astros 99 provided excellent control to execute precise defensive lifts on opponents sharp drops. They felt the stiff shaft contributed to quick snap action resulting in lifts deep into the opponent’s backcourt.
Net Kill - 7.5
Net kills are quite often tricky and difficult to execute requiring incredibly fast racket speed and swing. The Astros 99 badminton racket, with its heavy head, is not ideally suited for perfect net kills. You can still achieve excellence with the net kill but with extended use. Our experts gave the Astros 99 a score of 7.5 for net kills.
The Yonex Astrox 99 badminton racket is an obvious choice for intermediate and advanced singles players who value power, speed, and precision. In the opinion of the expert staff here at Badminton Warehouse, the Astrox 99 badminton racket is on par with the Yonex ZForce2 badminton racket, a long time favorite of the attack-minded badminton player. Like the ZForce2, the Astrox 99 badminton racket takes a little bit of getting used due to head heavy feel. Namd, a uniquely flexible graphite designed to increase frame torque. From the baseline the Astros 99 racket feels comfortably crisp on contact. It also feels significantly stiffer than the Astrox 77 and the Astrox 88S and also a tad stiffer than the Astrox 88D. Full swings find their mark with ease, and there is more than enough velocity to bring the shuttle down hard. The Astrox 99 feels solid, with plenty of power in addition to touch for dropping the shuttle short.