It’s a hectic play-testing period at Tennisnerd HQ. And I know many of you have been waiting for this Yonex VCORE 2023 review.
Yonex VCORE 2023 Review
The VCORE is Yonex spin-focused line. We have EZONE for power, and VCORE PRO for control, while the ASTREL line are comfort-focused game improvement racquets. The VCORE 2023 racquets are in their 7th generation and have some significant updates. As always, whether these changes make the racquets better for you is a matter of taste.
As shown in the screenshots below, there are tech and mold changes. Let’s summarize:
Silicone oil-infused grommets that are supposed to give 26.3% less friction between string and grommet for more string movement and snapback.
Widened upper part of the hoop and thinner beam to minimize wind resistance and increase top spin potential.
New throat designed to improve stability.
What’s not new is the Isometric head, the Liner tech, 2G Namd Flex Force, and Vibration dampening mesh.
I have so far tested three models in the new Yonex VCORE 2023 line-up. The 95, the 98 and the 100. I will also review the 100L at a later date and possibly extended versions of the 98 and 100.
There are no significant changes in the weight or balance of these frames. The swing weights overall seem a little higher but very manageable. I struggled less with the stability on the 95 especially compared to the previous generation, which I felt needed weight.
I tried one Yonex string in each racquet. Yonex Poly Tour Pro 1.25 at 51 lbs / 23 kg in the VCORE 95, Yonex Poly Tour Strike blue 1.25 at 52 lbs in the VCORE 98 and Yonex Poly Tour Rev 1.25 at 54 lbs in the VCORE 100. These are all excellent strings that I tested in the previous generation of VCOREs.
This is logical, but it’s worth reiterating that the larger the head size, the more power and spin you get. At the cost of control, obviously. The VCORE 100 is the racquet that is the most forgiving, powerful, spin-friendly, but also the one that needs the most shape added on your shots for control. The VCORE 98 is in the middle, while the VCORE 95 is the most control-oriented that requires the most from the player. These racquets feel slightly more powerful than the previous generation of VCOREs.
These racquets are all about spin and they haven’t fooled around in this category. The new VCORE 2023 racquets produce a high trajectory over the net and they make generating fast racquet head speeds easier. The ball really explodes from the string bed on these racquets. The issue is that the launch angle can be difficult to control.
These are exciting racquets to play with and they can produce a nasty kick on all your spin shots. However, everything comes at a cost and me and my play-testers did struggle at times to control all that power. For the advanced play-testers, the 95, with its 16×20 pattern and smaller head, was the best option. But the 98 or 100 will be the logical choice of most intermediate players.
The new VCORE racquets impress with their comfort. They are well dampened and they have dropped some of the stiffness, which makes them some of the most comfortable spin racquets on the market. They might be too flexible for some players, but I’m sure players with elbow concerns will be pleased. However, they are relatively dampened, which has been the recent trend in the tennis racquet industry. All the dampening makes it more difficult to get feedback on your shots and I think some players might struggle here.
I like that Yonex always try to create a more drastic change with their racquet updates. It makes life more interesting as a reviewer, at least. The 2023 Yonex VCORE racquets are more powerful, spin-friendly and comfortable than the previous VCOREs. They are impressive in all the categories. They also swing fast and look great. The issue is control. Sometimes the launch angle is too high and the ball flies unexpectedly long. You can feel disconnected from the ball at times too, due to the well-dampened response. I think those reason will make most advanced players go for the VCORE 95 or 98.
But these are my favorite VCORE racquets so far and I’ve pretty much tried them all. Power, spin, comfort, it’s all there. One of the play-testers thought the 95 was the best racquet he has ever tried. So there will be plenty of fans of this line-up. I had a lot of fun testing these frames personally and will see if I can control some of the launch angle with a hybrid string setup with a multi or gut in the mains and a round poly in the crosses. But an old school guy like me, might still want a bit more feedback from his racquet. I will keep you posted here and on my Patreon.