The update to the Yonex VCORE Pro series is here. Henrik Wallensten has tested the various racquets and here is his Yonex VCORE Pro 97 Racquet Review.
The VCORE Pro series from Yonex is best known for it´s comfortable and controlled racquets. A little bit more demanding then the wider frames in the Vcore and Ezone-range, Vcore Pro seems to please players with flatter strokes that require more control.
The new dark-green colored Vcore Pro has a new technology in the handle. A sort of vibration dampening mesh. There is a very interesting video on youtube from Japan where they demonstrate this new vibration dampening mesh and it really seems to be working. Apart from this new mesh, the new Vcore Pro still has the same isometric head shape and Namd tech.
Yonex Vcore Pro 97 Racquet Review – Specs
There are three different versions of the new Vcore Pro. The 97 (16/19 – 310 grams – 31 cm balance unstrung values). The 100 (16/19 – 300 grams – 32 cm balance) and the most anticipated – the all-new 97 HD (18/20 – 320 gram – 31 cm balance). All frames were strung at 48 lbs with the super-comfy (one of my favourite strings!) Yonex Poly tour Pro 1.25 and we tested the frames with Söderling white edition balls on clay outdoor and hard indoor. In this review, we will focus on 97 310 gram and 97HD. The 100 sq inch 300 gram we have not tested enough to review yet. This will come later.
Yonex Vcore Pro 97 Racquet Review – HD version
For this test, it was a total of four players testing the frames. First, let’s look at 97HD!
The 97HD is a much-talked-about frame. Ten grams lighter than the heavy 330 gram 16/19 version, this frame has a dense 18/20 string pattern for improved control and stability. To give you guys a rough idea of what it feels like, I can compare it to the all-mighty holy grail, Head Pro Tour without the CAP grommets. It´s a very comfortable frame. Virtually no vibrations at all. Super solid feel. The tight 18/20 string pattern combined with the soft flexing frame requires a lot from the player. You don’t get anything free from this frame. You really have to work to generate the ball-speed you need.
The player that used this frame the most is normally using the Wilson Burn 95 and he appreciated the much faster feel of this frame. He said it was much easier to generate racquet head speed and swing through the ball and thus generating the power he wanted. Slice was no problem as the strings really dig into the ball, launching low and lethal slices. On serve, he got enough racquet head speed to produce decent power (see the short video).
Overall, the new 97HD is a demanding frame for players with good strokes. A weaker player will have a hard time with this frame as the sweet spot is fairly small and demanding. For a good player seeking control, I would have a hard time thinking of a frame that gives you more control and comfort than the new 97HD. The Burn 95 player actually will make the switch to the 97HD!
Yonex Vcore Pro 97 Racquet Review – 310 grams
For the 97 – 310 gram version we had the perfect test player. A young lefty (he looks like a young(er) Shapovalov but with a two-handed backhand) and this player uses the current Vcore Pro 97 – 310 gram version. When comparing the old and the new Vcore Pro, the mold itself looks virtually identical (minus the paint of course). On court, the new frame has the same control and spin as the old version, but the feel is different. The new frame has a more muted, dampened feel. To make it understandable, it feels like you have a huge vibration dampener installed. There are no vibrations at all in the handle. Even on off-center hits, you feel almost no jarring at all. And this is in the stock version of the frame.
Even if the weight and balance are the same in the new and old version, the test player Edwin Sköld felt that the new version was a tad faster through the air. I have not got my Head 3-in-1 swing weight unit yet (it´s ordered so I will also, like Jonas, be able to measure and compare SW value in the future – the most important unit) so I can’t compare the SW between the old and new, but since Yonex QC is the best in the business, I presume they are almost spot on from what Yonex promise in their marketing.
Yonex Vcore Pro 97 Racquet Review – Dampening and Flex is the Trend
With the new version of the Vcore Pro, Yonex has like a lot of the other brands, focused on low flex and a (very) dampened feel. I would say that for me personally when I tested this 97 16/19 frame, I really enjoyed the dampened feel. I normally buy lighter frames and fill them up with lead and silicone to remove all vibrations, but with this new frame that is not needed at all. It´s already perfect in that department.
The toughest rivals to the new Vcore Pro is the new Wilson Blade, Head Gravity, Tecnifibre TF40 and the new Pure Strike. All these new frames are 97-100 sq.inches, thin-framed beams, and offer a dampened feel. Most of them also have a noodle-soft flex, apart from the +70RA Babolat frame. It will be interesting to see if Babolat also comes up with something soft in the future, now when everyone else is going soft.
If you are a player that generates most of your power yourself, hits flatter shots, attacks the net and are looking for a dampened, controlled feel, the Vcore Pro is definitely something for you! If you are more of a topspin player that grinds behind the baseline, and want to use a Yonex, there are better options in the line-up. I, for example, are now playing regularly with the Vcore 100 with some lead and silicone. That frame gives me more free power, larger sweetspot, and more spin, and most importantly, a nasty slice.
What do you think of the Yonex VCORE Pro 97? Sounds like an improvement to me!
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