Saturday, 28 February 2009

Badminton Racket Review- Apacs Superlight

Next up for review is the Apacs Superlight badminton racket. I have been playing with this for around 10 days now, after using the Nano 999 Power. The difference is like chalk and cheese, two totally different rackets, but each has their own advantages depending on your own game. The Superlight is just that, very light indeed. The spec says it is 74g, but it feels heavier than this simply beacuse it is head heavy.

The fact is that this badminton racket is designed for reaction shots, touch shots and net play. You buy this type of racquet to give you an advantage in these areas, so if you are strong around the net, enjoy fast flat driving rallies, or enjoy defensive shots, such as tight blocks to the net, or driving the shuttle back, then this racket will help you to do this, without question. From the back of the court, it has the disadvantage of being so light. You need weight to help you hit the shuttle harder, so if you have a hard smash, a heavier racket will help develop more power. You must look at what you have already got, ie, what are your strengths and weaknesses?

Technical Specifications

Material: Toray T1000 ( Ultra High Strength Nano Carbon)

Weight: 72-74g

Balance Point: 315mm +/- 3mm (very head heavy!)

Stifness- stiff

Strung at 28lbs (apacs spider Ti)

Ok, the point that stands out in the spec is the balance point of 315mm. This means it is very head heavy indeed. To be honest with you, it does not feel that head heavy. It is head heavy, but not to that extreme, if you can understand what i mean? Because it is so light overall in weight, the fact that it is head heavy is a bit of a suprise. However, what you are left with is a very light racket that you can swing around easily, but you still get a little bit more power because it is head light. It is a strange combination, but it works well.

It has a good solid feel when you hit the shuttle, the head does not twist on impact, so it is good for control. Smashing wise, you can swing faster because it is so light, but you cannot generate the same power as the nano 999 power from the same amount of effort, the nano has the advantage of weight on its side. The superlight has the advantage at the net, and especially for driving the shuttle back, the effect is superb, and the shuttle comes off the racket face really well indeed. At 28lbs tension the effect is even better. Lifting off smashes is very good as well. I would place this badminton racket as a defensive racket first and foremost. You can generate power from the back of the court, it just takes more work to do it, and that takes a toll on your joints and muscles, so for this reason the superlight is better for defensive shots, net shots, and all those other little shots that require little back swing.

As far as personal preference goes, i would place this superlight behind the nano 999power, but above both the edgesabers. I used the superlight for doubles play because that is where i think it is better. For singles play i like something with a bit more weight, which is why i got the nano 999 power. Overall, i would say the superlight is a very capable badminton racket, it offers good control and consistency, but if your looking for pure power, then go for something with more weight. If your looking for control around the net, driving and reaction shots, then the superlight is designed for this, it is up to you to decide if this type of racquet will suit your game.


POWER- 7/10

CONTROL- 9/10

PRICE= £49.99

VALUE FOR MONEY= 8/10

At £49.99 it does seem a little bit expensive, and it is about the same price as the Karakal SL70,which is what this racket is going up against, however, in my opinion the superlight has a lot more going for it than the karakal because it is far easier to generate power due to the head heavy balance.

I have been to the All-England badminton championships earlier this week, on the thursday, and i did a bit of snooping around while i was there. I made some contacts with Victor and Head UK, as well as meeting up with the guys from Apacs UK. Hopefully this will lead to me getting some more badminton rackets to test in the future. The retail stands were dominated by Yonex of course, with god knows how many stalls offering the latest yonex products at stupid prices. The thing is.. they were selling like hot cakes, even at higher prices. Makes me wonder how this happens, but if you go into the arena and see the unbelievable badminton being played i guess it inspires you, and your little mind is thinking... perhaps i need a new racket to play like that, so you go out and look for something new.. and the only thing you can buy there is a yonex racket, or shoes, or t-shirt, or bag etc. Yonex has already got you.

However, there does seem to be a change on the way. The Korean national team is now wearing Victor sports shirts, there were even two Malaysian players sponsored by Apacs. Head had a few sponsored players, so perhaps Yonex's dominance is starting to wane a little. This can only be good news, because competition will drive down prices for us lot, it may even make yonex drop their prices, which are artificially high because of the mass marketing machine that drives them. The only problem i have with yonex is the prices they charge, the badminton rackets are good, the shoes are the best you can get, you just pay more because of all the marketing costs.

17 comments:

aDy said...

Hey :)
Thank you very much for your Apacs test rackets !!!
I will buy Apacs rackets from France, and your tests are perfectly for my choice of the Apacs rackets collection ;)
I will test this Super Light !
I hope you make another test for Apacs rackets !
Sorry for my english
Big up for your blog, and THX
Bye

antony said...

Hi there aDy

Glad you find the review helpful. The next review will be on the apacs tantrum 11 international, it should be posted within the next week.

zaihar said...

hi there :); My name is Zek from Malaysia.
I want to buy a new racket. I am tempted to buy Apacs edgesaber 7 and 10 because of the tests that you mentioned here.
It my place, most of the shops sell APACS racket with a bonus (buy 1 free 1). For example edgesaber 7 will cost you RM189 but you will get a second racket free.
I'm just wandering, how can they make profit? Or Apacs racket is not really that pricey?
By the way, I really enjoy following your blog, because badminton is my life :).

TQ and keep up the good work !

antony said...

Hi Zek
Apacs here in the UK are pretty cheap compared to Yonex, and they are a new brand here, so prices will reflect this, and until they become established we will see many discounts and offers. Apacs is obviously established in Malaysia, so i guess they do offer cheap rackets. In my own opinion, i liked the superlight better than the edgesabers, and i never thought i would see myself saying that. But i liked the nano 999 power the best, which i why i am now playing with one!

zaihar said...

Dear antony,
Thanks for the reply. I'm a double player with an attacking style of play. I do a lot of jumping smash and fast drive shots near the net. So do you think nano 999 power will suite me best? But here its hard to find nano 999 model, most of the shop sell edgesaber. What is the best string tensions for nano 999 and should i add some lead tape to it?

antony said...

Hi Zek
The nano 999 power is a heavy racket, so if you like playing fast, flat drives, then the extra weight may not suit you. I only use the 999 for singles because of the weight. I would say go for the edgesabers for doubles, but don't use the lead tape unless you feel you really need to, because the lead tape will also affect your reaction shots, such as fast drives. The flip side to this, is that adding lead tape will help your smashing power, so you get some advantage here, but lose some on the fast drives.The string tension is your own decision to make, only you will know what will suit you best, so go out and experiment with different tensions until you find the best option for yourself.

Yeoh said...

zaihar, you can purchase Nano 999 Power at the sports shop at the national squash centre at Bkt. Jalil. URL: www.sportshorizon.com. I got mine for RM 103, inclusive of racket, ProAce string, Karakal grip, 2 pairs of Apacs (didn't want the bag).

Hope this helps.

Yeoh said...

Sorry, I meant 2 pairs of Apacs socks.

a said...

Antony, i want to buy an Apacs racket, but i need FLEX one. Which one wil be OK?

zaihar said...

Yeoh,
thanks for the info.

antony said...

Hi there A
I don't think that Apacs offer a flex racket at the moment. All the rackets i have tested so far have been stiff, or medium stiff. I have had a look on their website and cannot find a flexible racket. I will send an e-mail to them and find out if they do one, or if they are planning on stocking any in the future.

thethinkingmunky said...

Antony,
Many many thanks for setting up this blog and for the depth of info you provide.
Quick question: which of the two online APACS stores is the real one (or maybe both):
http://www.apacsuk.co.uk/
http://www.apacs-sports.co.uk/catalog/index.php
Is it safe to purchase from either? There's a bunch of us that are looking into getting APACS rackets(thanks in no small part to your reviews)and we're not sure what store to use.
Thanks

apacs uk said...

Dear All

The short answer is both are Genuine sites with 100% genuie products! Apacs-sports.co.uk is our site, we are the UK distributor and the guys sending Antony the rackets, oh and getting messed about by Badminton England!!

Apacsuk.co.uk are our authorised stockist, in short all the products are sourced direct from Apacs.

Kind Regards
ApacsUK

apacs uk said...

on another note, we will have some of the new racket range in stock soon and some of out out of stock back also, sorry to those who have been unable to get the racket of choice.

We have the AmorMuscle pro 95 coming in, the racket of choice of the Malaysian pair GAN and TAN who played at the All England, Tantrum Power 160's and Tantrum 200's

Should have them on the site in about two weeks

Regards
ApacsUK

antony said...

Hi there Thinkinmunky
Great name by the way. I think Apacs have answered your question for you!! Looks like i will be getting some more rackets to test as well, so look out for the reviews when i get them.

apacs uk said...

Dear All

Just for information, the website www.apacsuk.co.uk is no longer associated with Apacs Sports UK. We have no idea where they are sourcing there goods from. We can only guarantee that goods bought from www.apacs-sports.co.uk are 100% genuine.

On a lighter note, after Antony’s great review of the Lethal 70 we are offering all readers a 10% discount on the site until Christmas. Use code CS10

Regards
Steve
Apacs Sports UK

Anonymous said...

hey , i like to buy nano 755 power, apacs racket ..i lived in shah alam.where the nearest place i can get that racket?