Tuesday, 10 February 2009

Badminton Racket Test- Apacs Nano 999 Power

Ok, i have now given the Apacs Nano 999 Power a good ole testing, and have played with it about 10 times in all, so i think i now know enough about it to post my review. Here is the technical info...

Weight- 90grams!!
Flex- 7.5-8.5 (medium)
Balance- 285mm+-3mm
Max string tension-30lbs (strung at 28lbs with Apacs string)
High modulus graphite
Nano technology
Nano tech system
Isometric head shape
Apacs soft feel grip

First things first, this badminton racket is heavy, and it has a head heavy balance. It is fairly stiff in my opinion, a bit more than a medium flex, and it is as powerful as hell. It is like a bomb going off if you time your shots just right. Now it may be everyone's cup of tea this Nano 999 Power because of the weight, but i have said this before, a bit of extra weight is good, it makes the shuttlecock go faster and further with the same amount of effort.

I personally rate this racket as the best Apacs racket so far. I would also like to add some lead tape to this thing to give it even more power, and it would probably put it close to 100g with the grip and strings as well. Sounds stupid? Not to me it doesn't, it makes clears and smashes so much easier. I have played singles with this racket only, and it is because i certainly feel this is a singles racket due to the weight. You need to get used to the weight, especially on defensive shots because it harder to swing around when the going gets quicker, it does take a bit of time to sort this out, but i can honestly say that for singles especially, it works for me.

The weight gets you out of trouble from the deep corners, and you get a solid feel when you time it right. I had this at 28lbs and i could still hit out from the corners without to much trouble. The racket needs to be responsive and provide a good hitting base to do this, otherwise your shots will fall short into court and you will be on the end of a whole lot of running if you hit short in singles.

Think of it this way.. Pete Sampras used a Wilson racket all throughout his career, and that racket was as heavy as a wooden one. He made sure it was heavy by adding more weight to an already heavy racquet. How hard did he hit the ball? His technique was spot on, but he used the racket to get the most out his shots as well. Do not be put off by weight, it you want to hit something harder then use something heavier.


The Nano 999 Power is a bit of a misfit really because it is very heavy yet it has a stiff flex and you don't usually see this combination. What you typically see is a heavy racket with a flexible shaft, and these are aimed at beginners. The Nano Power is different because of the flex. Now this means two things. The first is that you are going to need a fast swing speed to make this beast flex to get the power. The second is that because it is heavier it will be more difficult to swing it fast. You have two problems here. However, if you can swing fast you will get the full enchilada of power, and i mean real power of the racket face. Add to this little scenario the string tension, and you need even more swing speed to get the power. Remember, this test racket is strung at 28lbs, so you have the medium/stiff flex, the heavy weight and the tight strings all working together, and this is what makes this badminton racket such a powerful thing, and you absolutely need to have the technique to get the rewards. If you want a little more forgiveness, then string at a lower tension, it will help you get power without having to swing as fast.

Now can you imagine what would happen if you add lead tape to this as well? The overall weight will increase, but you will make it easier to swing, you will make this beast work for you instead of working for it. This would give you the maximum benefit, and you will certainly notice an increase in power for the same amount of effort. Another benefit is that because it is stiff you also get the control, so you now have more power with the weight, and this stiff flex helps you to control the power, add the string tension of 28lbs and you get even more control. Result= very good racket.

The price is about £35 from apacs sports UK and you can specify your string tension as well, which is a great bonus because factory strung tensions are totally crap, and it can certainly take 28lbs, and no doubt take 30 if you wish. When was the last time you saw a £35 badminton racket capable of taking this kind of tension?

My overall rating for the Nano 999 Power is this:-

POWER=10
CONTROL=9 (AT 28LBS TENSION)
VALUE FOR MONEY=10

The best Apacs racket i have tested, so good in fact that i am going to buy one myself, and i cannot give it a better recommendation than that really. Will not be for everyone due to the weight, but i promise you, you will not be disappointed with this badminton racket. The Apacs description suggests it is is aimed at club players, but don't read too much into that, you will find it works equally as well no matter what standard you play at. A club standard player woud more than likely have a lower string tension and so the Nano 999 Power would work well for them, a higher standard player would no doubt be well aware of higher tension, and at higher tension you get even more benefit, so it works for any standard of player in my opinion.

13 comments:

Stephen said...

Have been looking at your informative and detailed review - am in the process of looking for a new racket - old one bust last week - it was an old old racket - still a plain steel shaft which was rusting - so it was in modern terms quite heavy - i am liking the sound of the 999 power - according to other posts there was a discount code for apacs - do you know if this is still available?

antony said...

Hi Stephen
The discount code was for december last year, up to xmas eve. However, i will e-mail apacs for you and ask them if they will extend this, or offer a new discount code which you can use from this blog. I will let you know what their answer is when they get back to me. Hope this helps you.

Stephen said...

Hi Antony,

Thanks for that much appreciated - will not influence my decision to purchase the 999 power, but every little helps as it were!! I am liking the sound of the racket and will look forward to playing with it!1

antony said...

Hi Stephen

I e-mailed Apacs UK and they said they could not offer any promo code on the 999 because the price is so low as it is. I can understand why they have said this, because it is very competitively priced at the moment. In fact the guys at Apacs are now using the Nano 999 Power instead of the Edgesaber 10, because they like it too!

YC Tan said...

Dear Antony,
You seems to favour Apacs a lot.
Yes Apacs is value for money racket if one cannot afford Yonex. However it is not as good as you had described. The Edge Saber 7 rating you had given is not what I get. I had one and it is really BAD (even strung to 28 lbs)
Other rackets of Apacs Nano Super Light instead is a better racket. In Malaysia, Apacs is popular but is also infamous for NOT LASTING. Instead, most players preferred Pro-Ace which is of higher quality and more lasting. Please check-up other forums to verify my comment.

YC of Malaysia

antony said...

Hi there YC
I am sorry to hear you had a bad experience with your edgesaber 7, in what way was it bad? I can only write my review from my own personal experience, and i found it to be a very capable racket for my own game. I have tested a few apacs rackets and none of them have had any quality issues at all, no cracks or breaks with the frames. I guess this is the pitfall of reviewing rackets, everyone has different opinions because we all have different styles. As an example, i have had a few comments on this blog from people who have bought the edgesaber 7 and the 10 and loved them.
I have not tried Proace rackets, so i cannot comment on them. As for favouring Apacs, they send me the rackets to test, but i have also told them that my reviews are totally independent, and they have also told me that would not have it any other way. They are confident that their rackets are good enough, and they are the only company to put their reputation on the line by allowing me to test their rackets, and publish my findings all over the internet. This blog is fairly new, and hopefully i will be able to test other badminton brands in the future, i do keep trying to do this, but you would not believe how difficult this is.

YC Tan said...

Dear Antony,
I believe you will be independent in your review of rackets.
As for Apacs racket, I had two as mentioned earlier. Both string to 28lbs. EdgeSaber 7 (ES7) compared to Nano Superlight (NS) are as follow:
1) ES7 not able to transfer forces effectively (more energy needed to lift/return shot back to backline of court) compared on NS.
2) Smashing is weaker.
May be is my playing, but I had tried few other rackets and all of them are better then ES7. These rackets are :
1) Pro-Ace Sweetspot 3000 (26lbs)
2) Pro-Ace Widebody 55 (27 lbs)
3) Pro-ACe Ultra Light (28lbs)
4) Wilson K-Factor K tour (28 lbs).
In summary, I cannot be only finding fault with ES7 without proper comparison. Anyway just personal opinion.
Wish to thank you for very informative website on rackets.
Keep up the good work.

YC of Malaysia

antony said...

Hi YC
I agree with you on the edgesaber 7 not being able to transfer forces as well. I tested the edgesaber 7 at two different tensions, one at around 24 and one at 28. At lower tension the racket is more forgiving, ie, you do get better transfer of power, but this is because of the strings. At higher tension it is more difficult to get power and response, unless you time the shot just right. This is why i mentioned that the edgesaber is fairly unforgiving, it only works if you time your shots just right. The superlight is better than the edgesaber for returning smashes and lifting shots to the back, it feels a bit more solid in my opinion. I have tested the superlight, and my review is on the way on that one. However, both the superlight and edgesaber do not offer the same kind of power that i got from the nano 999 power. The nano 999 power felt much more stable and solid than the other two, it was much more forgiving, even at 28lbs tension. I have also been testing the Tantrum International, and it is not as good as the other rackets, it feels less solid and reactive, especially on returning and lifting. My review will follow shortly on that as well.
I went down to the all england yesterday and met up with the guys from Apacs UK, they are getting more rackets in stock soon, so i will be able to test them. I also made a few more contacts. Victor will hopefully be sending some test rackets, and also Head UK will send me some too. Hopefully this will be the start of some new manufacturers helping me out with this blog.

CWK said...

Hey Antony.

I just wanted to follow up on our little talk.

I am now the proud owner of two Apacs EdgeSaber 10, only strung at aroung 23 lbs. I really enjoy playing with them and they really suit my play style well.

As for Apacs rackets in general, I can't really say much, but I am overall happy with the purchase of these two. Thanks again for your awesome reviews.

antony said...

Hi CWK
Glad you like the edgesabers. Don't worry about the string tension, it has to suit your game, and only your game. I like higher tension, but you go ahead and play with what suits you best.

meloish said...

Dear Antony,
can u please tell me the difference between the apac nano 900 power(red) and the apac 999 power ?? Is the 999 power the same as the lethal 35 power/50/60(different regions)?? i think the paint job looks similar to the lethal 50(mayb)...

apacs uk said...

Dear All

Just to let you know, we have finally sourced some more Nano 999 rackets, they are on sale at the moment at www.apacs-sports.co.uk. Also added to the range is the new Lethal 70 top end racket which can be strung up to 40lbs!! question is can we find a string that can take that tension!

Regards

Apacs UK

Badminton Rules said...

Thanks for sharing this cool badminton racket test apacs nano 999 review post!:)