Wednesday, 29 July 2009

Apacs Nano 7007 Power Review

The final racket i have tested is the Nano 7007 Power. As the name suggests, it has nano technology in it. The technical spec is that it weighs around 85g, but it feels lighter than this when you play with it. The balance is 285mm, it feels pretty evenly balanced. The flex is 7.5-8.5 which means it is fairly stiff. Is has been pre strung to 28lbs by the guys from Apacs in apacs ti string. The head shape is isometric an it has the muscle power style grommet design.

First impressions is that it feels much like the two Hotshots rackets, and all rounder which is light and easy to use. I know that this racket is one of the budget range, but i don't know how much exactly that is, i am sure it will be on the main Apacs site already. No doubt it will cost less than the Hotshots, but because it is so similar it could be an option to save youself some cash and by this instead. Having said that, the Hotshots have that very annoying elctro plated finish so they shine like crazy under ligthing. This can be a good thing or a bad thing. I have played against someone ith one of the Ashaway Electro plated rackets and it was really off putting. When they serve to you to bloody thing shines in your eyes off the hall lights. This can be an advantage to you if you do have one of these models, all you need to do is position it so it catches the lights and reflects into your opponents eyes every time you serve.

I has no problems using the Nano 7007, it felt well made and pretty solid on impact. The frame can handle the tension at 28lbs, and could no doubt take a bit more, which is very good for a budget racket to withstand. Most manufacturers will stay well away from suggesting this kind of tension on a budget racket, but all the Apacs rackets i have tested can take higher tensions without any problem at all. The Nano 7007 is a good little racket and well worth buying. It does a little bit of everything but is better suited for defensive and net shots play because it is light. You have to put in more work from the back to get power, but that is the case with all light rackets that are even balanced. If you know what you are getting then you will find the right bat to suit you best.

Friday, 10 July 2009

Badminton Racket Review- Apacs Tantrum Power 160 international

The third badminton racket i have tested from the test batch is the apacs tantrum power 160. I must admit that i was a little bit wary of what this racket would be like due to the other tantrum model i tested a few months back. That was the tantrum power 11 international and it was not so good, no feel, a distinct lack of power, and basically just plain hard work to use. I can tell you that the 160 is nothing like the 11. It is like chalk and cheese comparing the two. Nope, the 160 is probably the best apacs racket i have tested so far, even better than the nano 999 power, and i liked that one a lot.

The technical spec is a little bit vague because there isn't one! So i will just go off what is written on the actual racket. On the racket it tells me that it is made from hi- modulus 50 tonne graphite and nano carbon, and that is it. What i can tell you is that the weight is around 85g and the balance is slightly head heavy. It is strung at 28lbs with apacs string and it has an oval shaped head with an isometric shape right at the top of the head. It is different to the two hotshots head shape and it is a tiny bit longer as well. It also has the muscle power grommet system, and it is stiff/very stiff.

I could tell this was a good racket after the first few shots. You just get that feeling when this happens, if you know what i mean. The balance is the key for me. I am not a fan of the extreme head heavy rackets like the yonex armotec, they feel so cumbersome. A slight head balance is much better for me, and this is what the 160 has. The reason is that it gives you stability when you hit the shuttle, the head does not twist on impact and so you get a nice solid feel. It also helps give you a bit more power on your overheads from the back of the court. This is what i noticed when i hit the first few shots. At 28lbs tension the shuttle comes off the strings very well indeed, especially on fast drives and net kills. You get that crisp sound which i love. The strings worked really well with the racket, and it is certainly an easy to use kind of racket.

Control is also good because of the stable head, so my shots all went were i wanted them to. For me this is the best apacs racket i have tested by a long way. It offers more control and power than both the edgesaber 7 and 10. Those rackets are unforgiving and less stable on overhead shots than the 160 was for me. It comes a close second on power than the nano 999 power, but that racket has a lot more weight going for it, so it is very powerful. However, it is more difficult to use around the net and for reaction shots because of this weight. The tantrum 160 offers the best all round package for me, you get good power and it is easy to get used to around the net because it is only slightly head heavy. You can of course add some lead tape to the handle and change the balance to suit your own game. It all comes down to you and your game. If i had one i would just leave it as it is, but that is just me.

The big question is the cost. Problem is i have no idea how much this is going to be. Having said that, i have a feeling it will not be cheap. There is a lot of technology in it, but the main point is that it just feels good to use. It is well made quality wise, i have never yet had an apacs racket break on test. The frame can handle 28lbs no problem. I think apacs uk are just sending me this to test the water before they commit to bringing any over from malaysia. This racket will be a big seller. It is going to go up against the likes of the top yonex rackets here in the uk, but it will hold it's own in this company.

Overall i would give the tantrum power 160 international a 9.5/10 this is by far the highest rating of any of the apacs rackets so far, and it is one of the best rackets i have seen. If this is the sign of things to come, then apacs will soon be up there with the more established badminton racket brands here in the uk.