Review: 88s vs 88spro

Discussion in 'Badminton Rackets / Equipment' started by precrime3, May 20, 2021.

  1. precrime3

    precrime3 Regular Member

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    This is to talk about my experience, but first I think it would be good to talk about my background:

    Background

    Been using the 88s since it first came out. It's been the racket I've used since I first started playing seriously, all the way up until now (so basically its full product life cycle). I've learned how this racket works, and it has also seen me grow and tap into more of its energy.

    I would classify myself as a C level player who plays front in MD and also plays XD and MS as well. I always liked moving people around and "outsmarting" others so the play style I want to emulate was suited quite well with the 88s.

    I use 4U, and play with BG80 @28. Haven't used the new exbolt yet.


    First experience
    I got my 88s pro earlier today and wow - its pretty. It definitely looks sleek but you guys already know how it looks from product photos.

    Compared to the feeling of the 88s, I would describe it as refined. I understand why Yonex went with a 88s PRO moniker instead of calling this the 89 or something. The design language is similar, and honestly when playing or dry swinging they feel almost identical.

    The pro version just feels, like I said, more refined. Swings are a bit smoother, the pro feels a bit more nimble, etc.

    When I went on court, all of the pros of the 88s felt just enhanced.


    Overhead
    Performance overhead is comparable when it comes to the power shots. I actually think the original edged out, simply because the shaft is longer and there's less shuttle hold (so shuttle seems to fly off/more repulsion). The pro does compensate with a faster swing speed so like I said, it really is pretty similar.

    I'm quite impressed really, with how much lighter the pro feels in the head. It'll take some extra work, but you can def still generate power with this racket from the back.

    Drops and slices the pro showed a clear win. The hold lets you better place the shots, and just gave more friction when slicing as well. Was happy with it here.

    Flat game
    Wow. This racket whizzes here. The grip is longer and the shaft is shorter compared to the original 88s , while maintaining the same overall length. Basically, this allows you to really cut things off, and just kill the flat/mid court game.

    I noticed just easier handling, and the shorter shaft really just giving more repulsion. The lighter head does mean you'll have to put in more muscle power compared to a head heavy med flex, but it's def rewarding.

    Defense was what you would expect from basically an even balanced Astrox racket at this point lol. The racket is very easy to manipulate, and friends were frustrated I was getting back more shots than usual. Maybe placebo, but I felt the shuttle hold actually allowed me to slow down the tempo of the game when defending, and allowed me to do things I normally wouldn't like cross defense or drives back.

    Net/Front
    Obviously, this is where this racket was meant to shine. So you can expect this section to be all positive. For me, the most noticeable thing was the hold. IDK if it's me watching one too many reviews or being caught in the marketing hype, but I really do feel the shuttle holding more compared to the 88s OG. NAMD is still a magic material, and you def felt it in the 88s, but the pro enhances the feeling with the new grommet design.

    Allowing the strings to move more really just does make your life easier when it comes to nets, spinning shots, etc. Now I've just got to improve my touch to really take full advantage of this.

    Kills/pushes are what you expect - you'll be all over the ball assuming you're feet are fast enough to keep up with you.

    Overview
    So is this worth buying if you have the 88s?

    I would recommend you to try it before committing. While it's definitely an upgrade (not a sidegrade) and the 88s pro is indeed superior to the 88s it's a personal decision if the changes are significant enough.

    It's truly a more intense version of the original, meaning it's even less suitable for singles IMO. Truly all the speed this racket gives you will be mostly for waste in singles.

    For me, I'm just a Yonex fanboy and had been wanting a new racket to play with. As I take doubles more seriously and am even going to Thailand to train for it, it was the perfect excuse to myself to get it.

    Am I enjoying it? Absolutely. I sold my 88s and that'll go to getting me a second 88s pro as a spare.

    I hope this review helps out anyone else like me, wanting to know if the 88spro was worth an upgrade. I'll update this as time progresses and my opinion changes. Feel free to ask any questions as well, thanks!
     
  2. michael5098

    michael5098 Regular Member

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    Thank you for your review! Did you notice much difference between the 68 vs 76 hole system? Is the sweetspot different/better/worse? Is string durability worse? Bigger gaps due to less string should mean more chance of string breaking. How does the same tension feel on 88s vs 88s pro? 88s pro should technically have less overall tension due to less string being pulled.
     
  3. precrime3

    precrime3 Regular Member

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    So the sweet spot seems easier to hit. Notice how I didn't say bigger, just easier to hit. I say like this because I don't feel confident enough to promise that it is indeed bigger, but I do think so.

    I feel like string durability will be worse, just because the density of string is less and the strings are moving more due to the wider grommets.

    As for tension, I have yet to confirm. The 88s pro I got from badminton alley and the highest they would let me string it is 27 pounds actually. I'll have to get back to you on this one after I get mine freshly restrung to 28.
     
    michael5098 likes this.
  4. Hoang_Ks

    Hoang_Ks New Member

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    88s pro is easier to play than OG, lighter, faster, less stiff, colour is more beautifull, special suitble for net player. But 88s pro is less power if compare with 88s 2018, I can not smash with pro one. I think yonex modify this for more peoples can use this famous racket.
    So I sold it after one month and continue play with 88s 2018. I play 4u racket
     
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  5. slb18903

    slb18903 New Member

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    I own both the 88s (first gen) and 88spro all 3u weight and i play with bg80 strings at 29lbs. (4u rackets are too light for me IMO)

    My take on the racket is that 88s is overall better for offensive but like you said 88spro excells better at everything else from the 88s aside from smashing.
    My opinion on the gromet hole difference is that i can really feel that the shuttle stays on the stringbed longer but what it sacrafices in return is the power generated from the repulsion. In terms of defensive plays and drive game, the spro allows me to direct the shuttle better and take a sharper angle compared to 88s.
    With using the 88spro, its better if you play it with a tighter compact when hitting the shuttle. I am currently rotating between astrox 88s/d spro/dpro and the zz. I will try stringing it on maybe 30 lbs to see if it helps with the lack of repulsion from the stringbed as i feel it is still slightly sluggish with 29lbs. Or i will try a thinner string but not sure yet.

    Stringbed tension will defenitely be more dispersed due to the distance between strings being further apart. Thats why the racket emphasies the 'holding' of the shuttle as one of the key points. Thats why either adjust with a thinner string for better repulsion or just increase the tension.
     
    Hoang_Ks likes this.

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