Is the Yonex Ezone 100L the best lightweight racket out there? Well, we certainly think it deserves some consideration and have featured it in our list of the best rackets under 300g. Whether the Ezone 100L is the perfect racket for you is a matter of preference, but we certainly found in this playtest that this speedy stick is a great option for a wide variety of players.
Having had the Ezone 100L in my hands all too briefly a few months back I spotted the great potential of this racket and had to feature it in our top 10 under 300. To be honest, given the top-notch performance of all the Ezone rackets, it wasn’t much of a spot, we were pretty certain this racket was going to be a hit.
Anyway, we decided we had to get this stick back for a proper playtest so we could give you the complete low down on exactly what this racket is like and what players it might suit.
From our previous experiences with this racket, we know it’s a really speedy 285g racket that offers some good performance for players of all styles. We find the 285g to be a great weight for intermediate players and juniors, giving a good blend of maneuverability and performance.
The Ezone 100L has all the same technology as the extremely impressive Ezone 100, with Yonex’s signature Isometric Head, Micro Offset Layout, and Hyper MG. These technologies should result in a big sweet spot that offers plenty of comfort to its users, something we’re always looking for in our rackets.
At TheTennisBros.com, we’re big believers in all round rackets for intermediate and junior players and that’s what we were expecting with the Ezone 100L. When you’re developing your game you really want a racket that balances power, spin, and control, rather than focusing too much on one characteristic. This way, as your game develops, and you require different things from your racket, you’ve always got a good base.
You’ll see in our top 10 under 300g list we’ve stayed away from rackets that are too powerful or have too much spin potential. Instead, we’ve opted for rackets that are well balanced and can grow with you as you develop your game.
From our initial session with the Yonex Ezone 100L, we certainly thought this was the case and we were eager to delve into this racket in some depth and find out a little bit more about this Yonex stick.
For this playtest, I took the Ezone 100L out with my normal string setup, Babolat RPM Blast at 52lbs. I’d always recommend these strings to anyone as they’re such great value for money. They major on control (which is my thing), but they also last for ages. If you want a little bit more idea about your string setup then check out Tom’s excellent Tennis String Tension Guide to find your perfect match.
Anyway, I was hopeful I had the perfect set up for this Yonex Ezone 100L and was ready to see exactly what I’d get from this stick.
Groundstrokes – 7.5/10
I’ve been testing a ton of these 285g rackets lately so I’m starting to feel super dialed in with this weight. The Yonex Ezone 100 Lite took absolutely no time to adjust to and I was soon hitting with a ton of confidence.
It is worth noting with the Yonex rackets that they do have the Isometric head shape, which can take a little bit of time to get used to. When I first started testing Yonex rackets, it was literally shank city. I couldn’t seem to hit anything out the middle. With time though, I’ve come to love many of the Yonex rackets and I think the Isometric head shape is brilliant. So, just bear in mind that it might take you a little bit of time to adjust to this.
Once you do start getting used to the racket and you feel the ball coming out of the middle of the racket you’ll start to notice that this is a really sweet racket. Like its heavier brothers, the Ezone 100 and the Ezone 98, the 100L gives you such a crisp hit that leaves you feeling like you can do anything you want with the ball.
I know Nick Kyrgios uses the Ezone 98 which has quite different specs to this racket, and he would certainly have his own custom specs but I did feel like I was playing like the Aussie with this racket. I think it’s the sound the ball makes off the racket, it’s just such a clean hit.
Of course, with a 285g stick, you’re not going to be able to generate Kyrgios like power, but you do get some different characteristics on the plus side. When you take weight away from a racket you lose stability but you gain in maneuverability.
For advanced players, whose strokes are very developed, maneuverability is not such a big issue, instead, they want stability to turn all their natural racket head speed into power. For intermediates though, it’s quite a different story. Maneuverability becomes much more important than stability because you’re looking for something to help you create the racket head speed.
The Yonex Ezone 100L addresses this balance nicely by offering intermediate players a racket that is extremely maneuverable but still keeps a decent amount of stability. This means that you can create some excellent racket head speed whilst still getting good power from the racket.
I found that the Ezone 100L was exactly what I would want from a sub 300g racket from the back of the court. Whether I was looking to step into the court and be aggressive or sit back and play counter-attacking tennis, I had the kind of power, control, and spin that I needed, all in all, a racket that was extremely easy to play with.
If you’re a baseliner who is looking for a racket that’s under 300g then the Yonex EZone 100L is certainly a racket to take a look at. We gave it a 7.5 out of 10 for the groundstrokes.
Volleys – 7/10
Once again, the Ezone 100L has an excellent set up for intermediate players when it comes to volleys. Its main assets are that it’s super easy to maneuver and comfortable throughout the hit, ideal for intermediate players.
Volleys are pretty difficult shots when we’re just starting out in tennis and so it’s important you’ve got a racket that’s easy to work with. I found the Ezone 100L to be exactly that, with its light weight allowing me to easily get into position, ready for the shot. When I got to hitting the ball, I got that same crisp feel I got from the back of the court and immediately felt very comfortable on my volleys.
With the 300g Ezone 100, I did find that volleying was the weakest part of the playtest, but with the Ezone 100L I found it did a little better. That’s probably because the 300g version is aimed at a slightly higher standard of player and for these players, I felt it lacked some stability at the net.
Of course, the Ezone 100L isn’t the most stable racket at the net, but it’s not supposed to be. What it does is offer decent stability for a 295g racket but great maneuverability for an intermediate player.
While I would say the Yonex Ezone 100L is most comfortable from the back of the court, it doesn’t do a bad job at the net and it earned a 7 out of 10 from me.
Serve – 8/10
I’ve really enjoyed serving with Ezone rackets in the past and the Yonex Ezone 100 Lite was no different. I found the 100L’s combination of speed and precision made it a treat to serve with and one of the best rackets under 300g on the serve.
The serve is a shot where it’s very important to keep good racket head speed throughout, something that can be difficult for many players. I’m certainly a player who can find it hard to keep my racket head speed up with heavier rackets, and for intermediate players, it is particularly important.
I found that the Ezone 100L was an ideal weight to encourage me to keep the racket moving quickly through the stroke and this really helped me out on the serve. I was able to attack the ball and get good spin, which led to a lot of consistency.
It’s not the most powerful racket out there, so it might not be the racket to get you hitting those huge bombs you dream about, but what it does do is much more important and that is give you good control, leading to good consistency.
Maneuverability is key when it comes to the serve, particularly when you’re developing your strokes. The Yonex Ezone 100L gives you the maneuverability you need and some good performance to go with it. We gave it an 8 out of 10 on the serve.
Overall – 7.5/10
Overall, the Yonex Ezone 100L is an excellent lightweight racket that will suit intermediate players, young juniors, and older players looking to drop down to a slightly lighter racket. Its maneuverability makes it easy to play with and as ever with Yonex rackets, it’s very comfortable.
I found it worked best from the back of the court, where I got good results on both offense and defense, meaning it will suit a wide variety of players. As you would expect with a 295g racket, it is extremely speedy through the stroke, but the Ezone 100L also gives you good stability for its weight.
The weakest part of this playtest was at the net, but that’s more to do with the 100L being great from the back than bad at the net. It doesn’t have quite the mass to be a brilliant volleyer, but nevertheless, it does all the things an intermediate needs it to do at the net.
The 100L was back in its comfort zone when it came to serving and I found it worked a treat for me. This racket has got such great speed and easy maneuverability that it’s sure to give your serve a little boost. It’s not crazy powerful but it balances spin, power, and control well to give you excellent results.
Add all these things together and we think you’ve got a very good racket when it comes to the Yonex Ezone 100L. We gave it a 7.5 out of 10 overall, and can certainly see lots of intermediate players benefiting from playing with this stick.
Review by: Will