I have been testing the new Yonex Ezone prototype in the 98 and 100 sq inch head size. Here is my review of the new Yonex Ezone.
The Yonex Ezone prototype came to me in a really sweet-looking blacked-out paint job. There were no specs written on the frames, but just 98 and 100 in blue and green colors. I don’t have any way to measure stiffness ratings, but I found the following specs for the Yonex Ezone prototype on my 3-in-1 machine:
Head sizes: 98 and 100
Weight (g): 321.7 on both (305 unstrung)
Balance (cm): 32.3 on both (6 pts HL)
Swingweight: 319 (98) and 318.5 (100)
String pattern: 16×19
String: Yonex Poly Tour Pro 1.25
String tensions: 23 and 24 kg (51 & 53 lbs)
If I would make a guess around the stiffness rating of these racquets, I would say it is around 65-66 strung. They are crisp, but not overly stiff. That being said, if you like the plush feel of the AI or DR versions, I think there is a risk you might feel that this is too stiff.
Most tennis nerds favorite Ezone racquet is the DR. Why? Because it had a good balance between plushness and power. When the Ezone was released many players thought it was a stop in the wrong direction, but at the same time, I know equally many who like that racquet. It is easy to generate power and spin with and does most things well. Touch shots are not as nice as with the DR and AI versions, but there is always a tradeoff with tennis racquets.
The new Ezone prototype plays closer to the Ezone than the DR version. It might be somewhere in between, but closer to the DR-side. I definitely feel it is an improvement and a progression from the Ezone. They have cleaned up the feel, which is now quite raw and direct, more towards the Xi. The power level is still pretty high, especially for the 100 sq inch version, but it is not quite in Pure Drive territory.
Who are they for?
The Yonex Ezone racquets are tailored towards player looking for power and spin, but not in an overly stiff package. To really benefit from these racquets you need a more modern style where you have no problems generating topspin. Flatter hitters would be better off with racquet such as the VCORE Pro 97 HD and that is why I personally prefer that racquet.
This new model will appeal to players who like the Ezone. This is one offers a bit better feel in my opinion and is more refined and direct. It was easy to generate power and spin and I really liked this racquet on serve, but also, a bit unexpectedly, on the slice.
The new Yonex Ezone prototypes are easy to use and work well for players who can generate topspin and harness power. They have a raw and crisp feel so get plenty of feedback on your shots. If you are a fan of the more flexible DR and AI versions, this one is stiffer and you will probably be better off staying with those racquets. But if you like the Ezone, I think this is a logical update.
I hope to be able to add more thoughts to this racquet when it is released around the time of the Australian Open 2020.
If you buy a racquet from our friends at All Things Tennis, you will get 5% off and a free string upgrade if you use the code: TENNISNERD at checkout.
See the video review of the Yonex Ezone prototypes below
Which Ezone do you like the best and why? Please comment below.