VT80 review Well, the Liverpool Bonanza is over, and so is my time with the VT80, so here's my tuppence: 3UG4, dry balance 303; Ashaway Zymax 62 @ 24/26, RKEP Elite on bare wood. My thanks to BWS Sports for lending it to me. Looks/impressions: You all know I'm not a fan of white, but it works here (and not that much of it is white, to be fair). The VT70 was nicely executed, and so is the 80 - that excellent shot-peen tribal relief is less prominent, but those grotesque bulges at 2/6/10 are thankfully more restrained. Dry balance was a surprise - I was expecting 310+ before I measured. The hoop - what little there is of it - is very strong indeed both before and after stringing, and the thin-yet-stiff shaft is a good fit for it. Power: There are several caveats to follow, but this is probably one of the hardest hitting Yonexes I've ever tried. Any shot with sufficient wind-up (smash, clear, high backhand [very much so, I'm happy to say]) came off with brutal pace, and full depth was no trouble at all. The head is very quick through the air, and the thin shaft helps it go even faster... but... There is a pronounced "carry" to the head: when I swung through with 100% commitment the head just kept going, and with a significant "jerk" on the end. This wasn't too much of a problem with the aforementioned shots, but anything needing a fast recovery became awkward - wristy shots (net drives, mostly) made the head feel wild. RSL X2 days all over again - extra weight leaping into the head from nowhere; my 308 SW35 felt more controllable. Defence: Dee-fence? Forget it! I will temper this by saying I'm used to the Nanospeed (and shorter) end of the spectrum, but I had real trouble turning the shuttle off line - it was straight block or straight lift all the way. I really had to "plan" the shot; the wild head made any attempt at reflexive responses dangerous. If the opponent switched his attack from one side to the other, the rally was almost certain to be over. Feel/Stability: As mentioned before, the swing had a decidedly "jagged" feel, but contact with the shuttle was nice and punchy, and the head stays in line. The sweetspot felt deceptively large as well. I found it quite communicative, perhaps because it was both heavy and slender. It also serves very well indeed - I think I put a grand total of two into the net across 36 points. Conclusion: I borrowed this with the intent of using it only for singles, but I couldn't resist trying it in doubles as well. For doubles it was simply too much work - for the power I gained on smashes and the like, I lost relatively more on everything else (and since I'm not a smasher, that pretty much spelt doom). For singles, however, I found it much more to my liking. I used to own a 900P, and the VT80 is a 900P on steroids: more of everything (but this includes the bad stuff as well). In back-to-back rallies it was a joy to use, even on the backhand side. Despite the paper-thin frame there were none of the timing issues as with the Clown-Slash. If the other guy gets the attack off you, however... Finally, is it worth the sticker price (£160)? Even if I were a singles player I would say "no". £120 to £130 would be much more like it, but that's undercutting the inferior VT70. It's just not a "complete" enough racket to warrant that kind of outlay.