Yonex Vcore 98 (285) Racket Review
The Yonex Vcore 98 285g brings a bit more speed and manoeuvrability to the Vcore range, as this lighter version offers a lower entry point to Steve Johnson’s racket of choice. This racket has not been updated with Yonex’s new colour scheme as some of the other rackets in the 6th generation of the Vcore line have, but it still remains a great option for a player looking to get a great all rounder that is whippy with great spin potential and at a great price.
7.5out of 10
The 285g version of the Yonex Vcore sits at the lower end of the range in terms of weight, so naturally it is aimed at improving players looking to generate as much racket head speed as possible without risking arm issues.
The benefits of additional racket head speed include more power on your shots, more spin and therefore more control too. Therefore, this version of the Vcore is a very user-friendly way to introduce yourself to the weapon of choice of rising star Denis Shapovalov.
Yonex have beefed up their versions of the Vcore line in their 6th rendition of the line, adding a bit more weight to their 100sq in and 98sq in models, whilst offering their lighter version as a 280g.
So, to get this striking pure red version you’ve got to go for the 5th generation and that is no bad thing. You can certainly get a great deal on these rackets nowadays as the newer generation has been brought in, so it is well worth considering, experically if you are just giving Yonex a first try.
In terms of how the Yonex Vcore 98 285g plays, it is a more control focussed racket that encourages you to swing through the ball and generate your own source of power. It is a lively racket that will glide through the air with ease thanks to the aerodynamic construction of the frame.
This makes it very easy to swing and therefore fairly easy on the arm, a characteristic which is also helped by the middle of the road 65 stiffness rating.
Yonex have focussed on spin and responsiveness with this racket and their efforts have clearly paid dividends. The embedded grommets help the racket to feel free to swing through the air, which actually helps you generate a lot of racket head speed and definitely feels like you can hit the ball cleaner even if it is just the placebo effect!
The 16×19 string pattern combined with their Namd graphite technology makes this a very responsive frame, so it is ideal for creating a lot of work on the ball. Despite the lack of weight, you can definitely generate a lot of easy power and spin with this stick.
What it lacks in plow though you can definitely make up for in precision, shot placement and quality of ball striking as the Vcore lives up to its reputation of being a spin friendly but control oriented racket.
We liked the newer 305g version of the Vcore for its feel through the air, even if it does take a bit of getting used to, as well as its balance and how easy it was to generate a lot of racket head speed.
These still run true with the 285g version, although you can actually whip up the back of the ball even more quickly thanks to the low static weight, and you really don’t sacrifice too much in the way of stability as a result.
Because it is a spin friendly, lightweight racket, flattening out your shots and stepping into the court can sometimes be a bit tricky and definitely takes a few goes to feel comfortable doing. A few times I tried to flatten out an attacking forehand and felt I just couldn’t get the racket through the ball as much as I’d like.
It almost felt a bit hollow, like I was swinging through the shot but the ball just wasn’t carrying the same speed I was putting into the swing myself.
This racket is definitely better suited to a player that wants that controlled, spin friendly feel and likes the unique Yonex frame construction, but isn’t looking for a racket to do all the heavy lifting for them when it comes to power.
7.5out of 10
Volleys felt crisp and relatively solid with the Yonex Vcore 98 285. The higher swing weight means you can really punch through the ball and trust that you’ll get solid contact, which can sometimes be a challenge when volleying with a lighter racket.
It is also very manoeuvrable thanks to the low weight and slick construction, which helps you get your racket into position quickly making it an ideal weapon of choice for the doubles court.
The 98 sq inch head is a little smaller than you would usually come across in this weight range, so it is significantly more control focussed than its competitors.
The 318 swing weight means the stick punches above its weight in terms of stability and control, but it of course lacks the precision and ultimate stability of the Vcore pro range. But, for such a light racket that you can flick around and put the ball seemingly wherever you want, it’s a very good option.
If you’re after a racket mid weighted that is light enough to not put your arm out of whack but stable enough to not send shocks down your hand, the 285g version of the Yonex Vcore 98 is a great choice.
7.5out of 10
Usually, I tend to like serving with a racket that I can hit my spots with and have a reliable, consistent feel from, whilst being able to ramp up the power when I need to fire down a bomb in a tight moment in the match. Therefore, a stable racket with a slight lean towards control over power would suit me down to the ground.
So, I thought this lighter version of the Vcore would be right in my wheelhouse on a number of levels but perhaps a little too light to give me the leverage I wanted over the ball. And to a certain extent I was right, but this racket was surprisingly stable and actually had a decent amount of pop for its weight.
The smaller head size was great for overall control and the open string pattern gave me a bit of extra bite on my kick serve, whilst helping me find a nice sharp angle on my wide slice serve from the deuce side.
Once you have hit with this bat for a few minutes and can get used to the feel of it (like many Yonex rackets in general), it is a joy to serve with. But, if you are playing with this from cold and expecting for it to just feel like any other sub 300g racket, you’ve got another thing coming.
It feels pretty hefty for its overall specs, which adds to its stability and overall robust feel. However, thanks to the low weight and medium flex rating it is a racket that won’t wear your arm out or leave you feeling fatigued.
7.5out of 10
I like weighter rackets to return with generally because of the stable feel they offer when you block the ball back and the fact that they give a lot of bang for their buck.
By this I mean you can put the ball back deep with good pace with just a small, compact swing. Whilst lighter rackets certainly have their merits on returns, one that brings a bit more stability and control to the party will always be my preference.
The Vcore 98 surprised me with its stability and plush feeling in this department, as it really held up to strong serves especially for such a light racket.
The ease at which the racket flies through the air gives you a bit of added confidence when going for second serve returns where you may take a slightly larger cut at the ball, but the racket has enough control to keep your feet on the ground and the ball in the court.
It is a well balanced blend of usability, control and pop and actually surprised me with how nice it felt to return with overall.
7.5out of 10
The Yonex Vcore 98 285g was a pleasant surprise of a racket. It is an entry level stick that combines all the best bits of the Vcore line to make a user-friendly package that any player can progress with.
It is a great option if you love the Yonex Vcore line but are perhaps returning from injury or just fancy a lighter racket that is easier on the arm, as you still get a lot of the familiar spin and speed of the weighter rackets in the range.
It’s a great all rounder that is helped by its slightly smaller head size and beefy swing weight, so if you’re after an accessible entry point to the Vcore line up, this is the bat for you.
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