Published on July 13th, 2014 | by Greg0
Yonex EZONE Ai 100: Tennis At Light Speed
When searching for the right racquet, it’s easy to get caught up in the technology, torn between brands, each offering several models with different fancy names and showcasing players who use their gear. We love tennis, and the best reason to upgrade your racquet is when you feel ready for a change- because altering your equipment is a sure way to throw off your game until you’ve adjusted to the switch. We love cycling through a few, find the best instrument for different days, but even with a wealth of options at our disposal, we still grab for our trusty few.
And Yonex, a brand that isn’t so well known here in the USA, has made some of our favorite weapons for the court. The latest in our hands is their Yonex EZONE Ai 100 Tennis Racquet, part of their Ai family, which includes a few different head sizes and styles. This one offers a 100 square inch head, perfect for most folks, but a larger 108 gram and smaller 98 gram version are also available. At 300 grams, durable graphite construction renders it pretty lightweight. But make no mistake- this baby can pack a punch. It has a few cool features too, like shockless grommets and gel in the handle that really did cut down on wrist and forearm tenderness (less twang, more fun).
It doesn’t have the best balance we’ve seen, and the Ai 100 doesn’t have the most power, nor is it the best at imparting spin. But it’s fast and forgiving – blazing, whooshing, slicing through the air- which allows for some interesting and aggressive play. It’s up-tempo, high-paced, and simply fun to use. Plus, it’s solid all-around, and the speed it offers allows you to actually slow down a bit too, in a way, to consider your options and be a bit more precise with your strokes versus needing to swing wide just to reach the ball on difficult hits. It’s maneuverable, easy to use, and we didn’t end up over-hitting or needing to pull back, perhaps partially since our testers (both men and women) primarily were using similarly-sized and weighted racquets.
We’d recommend this racquet without hesitation to any intermediate player who doesn’t rely too much on their service game- beyond somewhat flat spin, the serves were the only place this racquet let us down, a bit surprisingly since we found it to be so fast in general. The Yonex EZONE Ai 100 is our new tactical weapon in a game where fractions of a moments can mean everything, and great for sharp returns and finding interesting angles. Available now, online and in stores, for around $200- in line with expectations and competition for a top-notch racquet.