Sunday, 31 August 2008

APACS Badminton Rackets

Apacs badminton rackets are virtually unheard of here in the UK, but have quite a cult following in the far east. It appears they are related to the Yehlex, Fleet, ProAce and HiQua family. The information on the Yehlex UK website mentions that Apacs is one of the trading names of Yehlex. I imagine that Apacs rackets have a huge following because if they are anything like Yehlex and Fleet over here, then they offer cheap, reliable and decent quality badminton rackets.

There now appears to be a new Apacs UK website, which sells just 4 rackets from different ranges. So at this present time all of us in the UK have just these four models to choose from. Now, if Apacs is part of the Yehlex family, then this site must have something to with the Yehlex UK site? I think i will email Ian Little, who runs the show and ask him if this is true.

Things start to get a little bit complicated when you visit the Apacs Sports Malaysian website, which states that Apacs began in 1978. There is also an Apacs website in Canada and in China. Apacs actually stands for Aggressive, Power, Accurate, Control and Speed, although i am not sure if that is in the correct order.

There appear to be many different badminton rackets in the Apacs range depending on which country you come from. They also sell badminton shoes, clothing, bags and many other related things, and the prices are much lower than brands like Yonex. If we take a look at the UK website, the four racquets on offer at the moment are the Edge Sabre 7, Nano 800 Power, Nano 900 Power and the Nano Fusion Classic. Do these sound familiar? Yep, they are Yonex clones, not fakes, but clones, there is a difference.

The Edge Sabre 7 is obviously based on the Yonex ArcSaber 7, although it does have different characteristics. It has a very similar paint job to the ArcSaber 7. One big difference is the flex of this Edge Sabre, which is very stiff, compared to the medium stiff rating of the Yonex ArcSaber 7. There is a big difference in price as well. This Edge Sabre 7 costs £69.99, compared to the Yonex which is around £100. For an extra £5 you can get custom stringing to your chosen tension, and this badminton racket can be strung to 30lbs, so the frame must be pretty robust to take this. The technology is GS carbon nanotube, which sounds like the CS carbon nanotube in the Yonex version, just a different name to avoid Yonex hammering Apacs for nicking their copyright names.

Apacs rackets get good reviews from their users, and the trend seems to be that they are about 90% as good as the real Yonex rackets. The only way to tell is to play with the original and the clone, and then make your own mind up. You may find you like the clone even better, in which case you will have saved yourself some money. In fact i would be happy to get a racket that was virtually the same as a more expensive model.

The Apacs Nano 800 Power is priced at just £29.99 and is described as an all round choice for intermediate players. It has a medium stiff flex and weighs 4U, so it a a light one. It has nano technology and both the 800 and 900 are based on the Yonex Armortec models. The 900 Power costs £49.99 and has a very stiff rating, and a more head heavy balance, just like the Yonex Armortec rackets. The weight is the same for both racquets, and both can take 30lbs string tension. If you can't afford a real Yonex Armortec then these could be the answer.

The Apacs Nano Fusion Classic has a much more flexible rating compared to the others, and is designed for control players. It can be strung to 28lbs tension and weighs 3U, so it's a bit heavier. The cost is £55.99.

If we take a look at the Apacs Canada website, there is a much larger choice of racquets. The first thing i have noticed is that the Edge Saber 7 is on sale at just $58 canadian dollars. The exchange rate is near enough two dollars to the pound, so the cost in UK pounds would be half, or about £29!! The price at the Apacs UK site is £69.99, can this be right? Would it not be wise to buy this racket from Canada and ship it over to the UK? I am not sure what they charge for international shipping, perhaps $20, or £10. This would up the price to £39 but you would still save around £30. You could probably buy two while your at it, and save a bit on shipping costs, and still only pay a little bit more than the price of one in the UK. I have just e-mailed Apacs Canada to see if they do ship outside of Canada. Could be onto something here.

There is also the Apacs EdgeSaber 10 badminton racket for $60, which i am guessing is a clone of the Yonex ArcSaber 10, which is not yet available in the UK. The EdgeSaber 10 has a stiff flex and weighs around 86g with an isometric head shape. It has the GS nano carbo and high modulus graphite technology along with a slim frame design to make it cut through the air better, just like an edgesaber should! You can string it to 30lbs as well. Not bad for around $60.

There is also the Armor Muscle series, which sounds like a combination of the Yonex Armortec and Muscle Power badminton rackets to me. The AM88P has a stiff flex and has nano carbon and high modulus graphite. Can be strung to 30lbs as well. Also has the isometric head shape, as most of the Apacs racquets do. Cost is $78.

There is also the Armor Muscle Pro 90 and 95, which have the muscle power grommet system and the power box x section frame, whatever that is. They are also isometric and have stiff flexiblity ratings. The price for all 3 is the same funnily enough.

We have the Visble Hollow series as well, with 6 rackets to choose from. This series has the visible hollow technology, an anti vibration cap and an aerodynamic wing x section frame. Wowee, must be good. There is also titanium in there as well in case you missed it. The range goes from very stiff flex to flexible, and the top of the range is the Apacs Visible Hollow 1800 which will set you back just $78, which is very affordable indeed.

The most expensive Apacs badminton bats are the Furious range, which has the Furious Pro 1000/2000 and the 767. The 767 has a zig zag grommet system, stiff flex rating and weighs about 86g. It costs $99. The 1000/2000 have a special 3 stage frame and shaft construction and the all new "super T" anti torsion system which Apacs claim makes these rackets the most stable in the world. The idea is that it will not twist or move during off centre hits on the string bed. The flex is extra stiff, and is aimed at tournament play. The price is $135, which is still a competitive price compared to Yonex.

An added bonus is that you get a padded protective carry case with the Furious Pro rackets, which i have never seen offered before. The future is now here for badminton bags. All the rackets from Apacs Canada can be strung to your favourite tension at no extra cost, which is a great idea because no one wants the crappy factory tension anymore. Other retailers take note, look after the customer and they will look after you.

The Nano Fusion rackets are the 608 Pro, 7500, 7800 and 7900. These range from medium flex for the 608 Pro and 7500, to stiff for the 7800 and 7900. Cost is between $65 to $78, so these are pretty cheap as well.

To round this up, it seems that Apacs are dirt cheap and offer good quality badminton racquets, a good combination in my eyes. The Apacs website in Malaysia has a much larger choice, with many more models and ranges that us lot in the UK can only dream about at the present time. I don't know how durable Apacs bats are, so if you own one it would be good to hear what they are like. The fact that they are so popular in the far east must mean they are decent quality, and if i ever get a reply from the e-mail i sent to Apacs Canada about the shipping, i may be tempted to give them a try. Affordable badminton rackets are good for all of us.

16 comments:

Ahmed said...

Hi Antony
Just wondered if you ever got a reply from APACS Canada as to whether they ship out to the UK.
Thanks

antony said...

Hi Ahmed
No, nothing at all from them. I have read about others who have had dealings with them, and one person reported really silly shipping costs of about $50. They won't sell many rackets if they never reply to anyone. Ahh well... it could have been so good.

Nabeel said...

Hi Antony,
I just emailed them today, and they got back to me within 15 mins. They are located in Markham, Ontario, Canada (which is very very close to Toronto, Canada).

I have read other reviews (from badminton central) about the APACS rackets, and they are all extremely positive -- I think I will give it a shot.

antony said...

Hi Nabeel
Glad they got back to you, you must have the golden touch! Are you based in Canada? I would say give them a try, i know there is an Apacs fan club over at badminton central, so they must have something going for them. Let me know what model you are going to buy and what price etc.

joe.labu said...

I've bought a new APACS' Nano Fusion Speed 722. its specs weight 80g, balance 285mm, flex 8-9 and tension p to 30lbs. the price at RM100 (malaysia ringgit) plus APACS string and grip.
from the specs i know that its a light weight racket, with even balance but how about the flex rate? what does its means?

antony said...

Hi there Joe
The flex rating of 8-9 will mean this racket is pretty stiff. A 10 would be the stiffest, so it's not far off that. If a racket is stiff, it means it will not flex as much when you hit the shuttle compared to a medium or flexible racket. This makes it more difficult to generate the power, unless of course you have a fast swing speed, then you will be able to make this racket flex. Stiff flex rackets are usually aimed at advanced players, because they can get the most out of them, power wise.

apacs uk said...

Hi All

Glad to see you have found the web site, what do you think?

Yes we have only listed 5 different rackets, we now have the Olympic 080808 limited edition and the edgeSabre 10's in stock in the UK. We have access to the complete apacs range, if you want it and its available, we can get it, no need to import from Canada etc.

We have just taken on the apacs shuttle range, there good birds to say the least, even the nylons!!

Anyone want to test them FOC?? mail us at info@apacs-sports.co.uk and we will get some out to you

Thanks for your input

apacs uk
www.apacs-sports.co.uk

joe.labu said...

means for beginner like me, its not quite suitable racket for me? i set the string to 22, means quite low, i hope i'll get the power from the low tension string since i still need to improve my power and fitness.
do you think my string is good combination with my racket, as a beginner??

antony said...

Hi Joe
The stiff flex means this is not a beginners racket, however, with your string tension at 22lbs which is ok for a beginner, you should be able to get power. The racket is also very light, so this will not help with power. Just try it out and see what happens. For a beginner i would recommend a heavier racket than 80g, but don't take my word for it, you may find you like it, and that's all that matters. Give it a go!!

joe.labu said...

hi antony,
can u give some description on flex rating. like mine, 8-9 means stiff, maybe u can give some explaination which flex rating is consider flexible, medium flexible and stiff.

thanks.

Wolverine said...

ive been playing with an apacs racquet, power tantrum 100 that is recommended by the shop owner which is good for aggressive game..it does work much better than the expensive RSL, Yonex or Carlton line..just costs me a mere RM190(MYR) which works out to 30 uk pounds..cheap heh!!!

rg1970 said...

Recently got the Apacs "Super Light" from Hong Kong (which, interestingly, is less expensive on the continent than getting them from either Canada or the UK).

The first--admittedly insufficient--impression of playing the racket is very positive, actually. Light, to the point of gimmicky (~75g), it makes a wonderful all-round racket, lacking in power a little, but great fun at the net, precise, with plenty control. I'll have yet to see how it withstands abuse. If it does, a low-tension strung SL might make a wonderful racket for any casual player who likes the idea of having a really good racket, even if he won't squeeze the maximum performance out of it.

In any case, the best thing about Apacs yet, is the shipping! Without any prompting, they did everything right (and more) in getting that racket to my door fast and without any extra hassle or cost. Such attention to detail has me sold, right there. Now if the rackets don't urn out to suck, they've gained a very happy customer.

Tianlai said...

On badmintoncentral.com, if you go to the "Equipment" forum, there is a "sticky" post titled "DinkALot's Racket Review", which has reviews to many APACS rackets.

Many of those rackets can be found on Ebay, from a Malaysia store. I bought a Trantrum 200 from them (I live in the US), and have been extremely impressed by the racket. I have played with a number of brands, such as Yonex, SOTX, etc etc, but this one is one of the best. Highly recommended especially if you don't play with a super-head-heavy racket like me.

antony said...

Hi Tianlai

I think there is an apacs fans thread on BC as well. I think the problem here in the UK is that there is only a small selection of apacs rackets available at the moment. I do know that the guys from apacs uk are getting quite a lot more stock in every week, but it has been slow going as they have been growing the brand here in the uk for the past 18 months or so. As they get a bit more cash they are investing it in new rackets which have no doubt been around in the far east for a while.

Hopefully i will be getting my hands on the tantrum 200 very soon, if the 160 is anything to go on, it should be pretty good. Cheers for your comments!

MrJules said...

Got a tantrum 150 from malaysia(beware customs import costs!!). I asked for it to be strung as 28lbs-brilliant stringing service, brilliant racquet(power AND feel) for the 2 matches the strings lasted-mistimed smash(purely my fault) and string snapped. High tension and thin string (apacs stren 65) not the most durable combo. Up until that point however, it was the best racquet in my bag. also us carlton fireblade iso elite and yonex nanospeed 5000-so not exactly cheap racquets I'm comparing it to. I've just had it restrung againh ay 28lbs but with ashaway zymax 67-doesn't have quite the same zip as before but the zymax should be more durable. I'll get it restrung with something a bit thinner next time as I think it suits the racquet a lot better. Overall though, this is an awesome racquet-especially for the cost, and after xmas I may try a visible hollow 1800 or lethal 50, or maybe even the tantrum 200-depending on the review!

jj ng said...

Hi everyone...I have played badminton for quite some years and I am planning to buy a new racket. If I am a player of intermediate level, and I need a stronger smash, what racket shall I get, in terms of string tension stiffness...Does higher string tension mean more powerful stroke and smash? thanks