Yonex fans looking for a frame that blends outstanding forgiveness with power and ease of use should get excited now. The newly updated Ezone 105 could be just what they are looking for. For 2020 Yonex deploys multiple tech improvements to this larger head size Ezone. The 105 gets M40X in the throat layup now. This flexible graphite helps ensure outstanding stability along with improved flex. The handle now comes encased in Vibration Dampening Mesh (VDM) for improved vibration reduction and shock absorption. Lastly, Liner Tech grommets help reduce string on frame friction for even more comfort and power. Having played the rest of the new Ezones, it was only fitting for me to hit the court with this larger head size.
From the baseline, the Ezone 105 was effortless to produce power with. The firm 26/29/24 mm beam was easily the most inherently powerful out of any of the versions I tested. Weighing 10.3 oz strung, it was a snap for me to speed through contact and generate ample pace from either wing. There was plenty of pace to be had, but I did miss the level of court penetration that additional mass would have provided. The 105 also got a bit of a power boost from being roughly even balance, allowing it to punch above its weight from the back of the court. The Ezone 105 worked best at reduced swing speeds as big, long swings became difficult to control given the power level of the racquet. On full swings, I felt I simply didn’t have enough mass behind the ball to pull it back down before sailing long. In an effort to maintain control, I started utilizing more spin on my shots. The 16 x 19 pattern provided plenty of spin for me to tap into. I was able to get air under my shots and lift my backhand over with ease. Stability was in the eye of the beholder with the Ezone 105. It lacked the mass to absorb big incoming but the likely target audience should find plenty of stability from its wider beam and even balance.
Volleys & Serves
At net, I found I could leverage the speed of the 105 to attack. It was lightning fast to snap into position and had ready power for put away volleys. I easily finished off any ball in my vicinity that was left up high. In attack mode the 105 was an effective weapon. It was when I got too casual with technique that the ball would float or sit more than a heavier frame would have allowed. Directional control was on par with other larger head sizes I’ve tested. It was a bit harder to feel like I had total control over the ball compared to a more nimble head size but overall I was able to play volleys to the right spots pretty consistently. At the right level of play, the Ezone 105 will have plenty of stability at net. It’s even balance stabilized the hoop but its lack of weight still led to some twisting against higher pace and spin.
My time serving with the Ezone 105 was an exercise in patience. The power level of the racquet made it tempting for me to step to the line and attempt to blast away. However, my ability to control the power did not agree with that strategy. After some time of sailing plenty of serves long, I backed off a bit and found a comfortable rhythm that allowed me to use the racquet’s power more effectively and consistently. I had no trouble accelerating through contact and my flat serve became effective as I let the racquet do more of the work. The 105 felt a little more like a blunt instrument so I didn’t focus too much on trying to spot serve to really aggressive targets. I was able to mix general locations enough to avoid being too predictable. On second serves, I almost exclusively used my kick serve. The easy swing speed and open pattern allowed me to produce a ball with a lot of jump to it. There wasn’t enough weight to the frame to make slice serves dangerous. My kick serve to the deuce court was very effective at pulling people off the court and letting me attack and became my go to strategy.
Feel & Comfort
The full Ezone lineup for 2020 had a major upgrade in the feel department. The outgoing generation was a big departure from the beloved DR series and had a stiff upper hoop that most people did not love. The new 105 had a much more uniform response and was much improved feeling in the upper part of the string bed. The added flex in the throat from the M40X material was also a nice addition. It provided a bit more of a ball pocketing feel, even with the frame’s high 60s RA value. The VDM in the handle was sometimes vague but overall was better implemented than many dampening materials other brands have used recently. It was effective at filtering vibration and left enough connection to be confident in the vast majority of shots. The large Isometric head and new materials made the Ezone 105 very comfortable to hit with. Player should be able to use this frame without concern of potential arm injury or stress.
Yonex has done a great job blending old and new attributes of the Ezone line. The Ezone 105 has incredible power on hand, is easy to use at the net and has enough feel to add variety to your game. It offers all of this in a forgiving and comfortable package. The new Ezone 105 is a fantastic choice for the player who wants to maximize power and forgiveness while retaining playability and response.
About the Reviewer: Matt Locke formerly served for 3 years as the Junior Programs & Development Coordinator for USTA-Idaho. He is a PTR certified coach and is an active USTA 4.5 League and Tournament player.