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.

32 comments:

Anonymous said...

Having looked at the Apacs website it looks like they're planing to hawk this one for about £65 (discounted from £80).

Keith said...

Hi, I can agree with this review 100%
I have two of the Tantrum Power 150intl myself and find them a top rate racket in all areas of play, have since tried six other models from the Apacs range and none off them come anywhere close. Keep up the great wock with the blog.

Thanks Keith.

Keith said...

NOt sure where wock came from WORK looks alot better.

Mike said...

Hello,

I am planning to buy this racket and want to string it at 25lbs with APACS strings. Does this mean the main/cross tension should be main: 24/cross: 26?

Thanks in advance.

Mike

ameant said...

hello.. this tantrum 160 better than apacs VH1800 ? because now im used VH1800 and want buy another apacs racquest as my backup racquet.. ( VH1800 out of stock already ) thank you :D

antony said...

@Keith

Yep my keyboard is playing up a bit recently!!

antony said...

@Mike

Yep you are right with that. You can up to 30lbs no problem as well if you want to destroy your shoulder!

antony said...

@Ameant

I have not tested the Visible Hollow series so i can't comment on how good they are compared to the Tantrum 160. Hopefully i will get my hands on them some time soon.

Mike said...

@antony

Thanks. Am currently using the N999P and am very satisfied, but would not mind to upgrade to Tantrum 160 Int.

Anonymous said...

thanks for that info.

how about compare with tantrum 200 ? tantrum 200 very difficult to find at any badminton shop even u stay in malaysia :C - its like rare item now - TQ

Hansel Tang said...

Yeah! How about compare to tantrum 200. Which one you will prefer? I gonna get either 160 or 200 but it's really quite a difficult decision for me. Hope you can guide me. Thanks.

antony said...

Hi Hansel

I have not tested the tantrum 200 so i can't comment on it yet. If i get my hands on it i will let you know my thoughts

harris ong said...

any more technical specific details on this rackets ?? it has been quite sometimes. I guess is time to updates~

have u try Apacs Lethal 50 ?

antony said...

Hi Harris,

This is the spec direct from the Apacs website for the 160-

Frame: 30T HM Graphite + Nano ( Japan Toray)

Shaft: T700 HM Graphite + Nano ( Japan Toray)

Flex: Stiff

Weight: 3U (86-89g) G2

Length: 675mm

Shaft Out/In Dia: 7.6/4.8 m

Max Tension: 30lbs

Balance: 295 ± 3mm

Special Features :-

* ISO frame
* 88 non-overlaping grommet system.
* Main & Cross non-sharing grommets.
* Strengthened X-Section improved structural stability.

I have not tried the Lethal 50, but i may be tsting the Lethal 70 in the near future.

Sav said...

Hi everyone,

I have been reading this blog with interest, but I ned some help from you experienced players. I am coming back to badmington after a 15 year break.

Can someone please suggest a good raquet for an enthusiastic beginnner, who was more a technical player than a smash and grab type!

I was tempted by the Apacs Tantrum 160, but I'm not sure it's a good idea to spend that sort of money at my stage?
Kind regards

antony said...

Hi Sav

I think if you are more of a technical players, perhaps one who likes to move the shuttle around to the corners then if it was me i would look for something that gave me more control rather than power. Any racket can give you control if you string it at a slightly higher tension. The drawback is that after so long out you need to take things slowly, and get your body used to the physical side first. Build up your stamina and skills and just use any old racket you have.

As you progress you can then begin to alter the strings to something that suits your game. No need to buy a new racket just yet, the strings can totally transform any racket, and they cost a lot less than going out and buying a new racket.

Sav said...

Anthony,

Thanks for the great advice. I suppose I should have made it clear that I no longer own a raquet, so I will need to buy one. Therefore with that in mind can you suggest a suitable raquet?

antony said...

Hi Sav

Just buy something cheap to begin with, there are many cheaper sorts on the market. Get your skills up to standard, change the string tension to suit and only then do you need to look for a new racket. Buying an expensive racket will not make you a better player, only you can make yourself a better player. I would suggest not spending any more than £30 to start off with, and look for a flexible rated racket, no need for a stiff rated racket it will just hurt your arm and shoulder. Many of the cheaper rackets are flexible anyway so this should not be a problem. It doesn't matter which manufacturer you choose either, but bear in mind yonex is the most expensive, but always the best bet.

Sav said...

Hi Anthony,

One last question I have been offered a (new) either Apacs Nano 900 or Apacs Edgesaber 10 both well below the RRP, which one would you suggest I go for, and additionally as both (apparently) can be strung to 30lbs, what tension would you suggest I have it strung at?

Thanks again.

Sav

David Chien said...

How would you rate these 2 tantrum rackets, 150 and 160 international against the apacs nano 900 power?

antony said...

@Sav

I have not tested the nano 900 so i can't really comment on it compared to the ES10. What i did find was that the edgesabre 10 was unforgiving, you really have to hit the shutle right in the middle of the racket or it will not go very far. If you string it at 30lbs it will be even more difficult to use so beware.


@David

I haven't used the 900 power so can't comment. The 160 international is the best in the apacs range by a mile from all the reviews i have made. I am still waiting for my next batch of apacs test rackets.

David Chien said...

Hi again,have you tested the tantrum power 130 international? Would the 130 international be close to the 160? I have the 130 international.

Anonymous said...

Hi,
Have you got a chance to test the APACS Lethal 70 yet?
Thanks

antony said...

Hi David

Not yet, still waiting for apacs to deliver.

Also still witing for the Lethal 70. When i get them i will let you know.

catta said...

Hi

Bearing in mind what you said about 'head light and overall heavy weight' rackets being best for performance, how does the Apacs Tantrum 160 perform back court clear and smash power-wise when adjusted with more grip and weight applied at the handle?

Alan

antony said...

Hi Catta

i have not tried adding any lead tape to the 160 i had, it was a test racket from apacs so i did not want to start adding things to it, only to have to take it off again. The lead tape works well on any racket, it will help you out no end, just add a little weight to start off with, then you can add a bit more when you get used to it. I am due to get another batch of apacs rackets next week, and i may just buy them if i like them, so watch out for the reviews when i post them. If i do buy them i will certainly add weight to them, i do it with all my rackets. The results are pretty stunning from what i have found, just don't add too much weight like i did at first!!

BOUBOS said...

Hi Anthony,
When do you expect to post your reviews of the new released Apacs rackets. On their Cdn site, all the ones that you and Sir Dink are saying to be their best models (Tantrum 200 & Lethal 50)are no longer available, and their updates(300 & 70) does not seems to have the same specs. I am playing mostly doubles, and am looking for a stiff racket with decent power but quick and responsive in defense. I really appreciate your way explaining the feels of your tests, and am looking forward for any new posts.

Regards,
Boubos

antony said...

Hi Boubus

I am going to post my review of the lethal 70 in the next few days. I have given it a good testing and it is something special believe me. By far the best racket i have seen in the apacs range so far, better than the 160i. I also have the apacs nano pro 9600 tour to test as well.

Boubos said...

Thx Antony,

Does it seems good for double play, not too head heavy??? Or will it need to be tweak with some lead tape in the handle.
By the way thanks for the tips, I have upgraded all my racket with the tape, and after sometime, am very please with it.
For your info, I am getting them from a golf supply, Golfsmith: http://www.golfsmith.com/cm/browse/tools-shafting-weighting.

Badminton Rules said...

Thanks for sharing this cool badminton racket review apacs tantrum post!:) Keep posting!:)

BioXpert said...

Hi Anthony,

I was looking for APACS racket review and bump into your blog. It is really informative and your reviews are easy to follow.

Currently, I'm using Yonex Carbonex DF7000. The problem is when I smash real hard, I can feel the racket vibrates. Also during net play, I feel that the shuttle tend to bounce way too high than I would prefer. Currently the string is at 23lbs (if i remember correctly).

I am thinking of getting the Tantrum 160 (Stiff flex rite?) and string it to 28lbs. Do you think these changes will solve my problem? What would be your recommendation?

Thanks a lot!

Patrick

antony said...

My choice for a stiff flex racket would be the lethal 70, it is also very stable on impact so you should see much less vibration. As far as string tension goes, be careful to only increase it a a little at a time or else you may start to feel your shoulder muscles ache.