Saturday, 9 April 2011

Apacs Slayer 99 Review

Next up for review we have the Slayer 99. This series of rackets is new to me, so it will be interesting to see how this one matches up to the other rackets i have tested on this blog. First of all this is a UK spec version, and the technical details are as follows.

Specification :


Frame : 30T HM Graphite + 3K Woven + Carbon Nano Tube
Shaft : 50T HM Graphite + 3K Woven + Carton Nano Tube
Head Shape : ISO, Extremem Power Frame, 72 holes
Length : 675mm
Weight : 90 ± 2g
Balance Pt. : 290 ± 3mm (Even balance)
Shaft Dia. : Ø 7.3mm
Max Tension : 33/36lbs ( Main/Cross )
3 Structural Reinforcements at 12, 4 and 7 O'clock.

The racket is a 2U version so it weighs a little more than the 3U, and the flex is stiff. Apacs have their own flex ratings, where 9 is flexible, and 7 is very stiff. This Slayer 99 has a rating of 7.5, so it is stiff. It was also strung at 28lbs with Slayer 66 string. What can we tell from the spec? Well straight away we see it has an even balance and a stiff frame, so i immediately think it is designed to be an all round racket, but we will soon find out.

The Slayer 99 has the same reinforcement points on the head as the Lethal 100 has, and these are designed to make the head more stable when you hit the shuttle. Do they work? Yes is the answer, i found both the 99 and the lethal 100 to be very stable on impact, with less twisting of the head because of these changes. A few clears to begin with, and straight away i could tell the Slayer 99 was a decent racket. It felt easy to play with, and although it is stiff, it is not as stiff as the Yonex Arcsaber 8DX, i would compare stiffness to the lethal 70 or lethal 90 from how it behaves.

What we have is a very solid racket, very consistent, and easy to work with. Power is also pretty good as well, it is a low work racket, which is always a bonus for me. The even balance also helped around the net and for fast drives and defensive shots from smashes. I think the tension of 28lbs was just about right for the Slayer 99, it complimented the frame stiffness very well. Overhead from the rearcourt, it felt more powerful than the lethal 100, and this is despite it being an even balance, which is why i marked down the lethal 100 in the last review, it should have been better overhead but wasn't. As with any even balanced racket, you will sacrifice a little power from the back compared to most head heavy rackets, but the difference is very subtle. The advantage of even balance is around the net and for reaction shots, and the Slayer 99 proved this. The stiff frame and higher tension all help to control the shuttle better as well, so if this is where your strengths are, then a racket like this will compliment your style of play.

I was impressed with this racket i have to say. It offers a great all round playing experience and was very easy to get used to. I think the 3U version would suit those who like to play around the net or be more defensive, and the 2U version would help out the power players a bit more, whilst sacrificing the net play a little bit. Once again it will depend on the type of player you are, and what your style is, and the difference is only very slight. The maximum string tension is over 30 lbs for the Slayer 99, and i have no doubt it can take that kind of tension. I had mine at 28lbs and had no problems at all. My conclusion is that the Apacs Slayer 99 is a fine all rounder, it impressed me with its consistency and its stability on impact. I will give it a 9/10, one of the best Apacs rackets i have tested to date.

Next up is the Slayer 88 review, and i am hoping for good things if the 99 is anything to go by.

For a little fun have a look at the following video featuring Lee Chong Wei and Kenneth Jonassen.



Take a look at the video at 2.35 4.26 and 7.01 if you want to see some high quality backhand shots. The video quality is excellent so you can see very clearly what is going on. And for all you singles players out there, have a look at Lee Chong Wei in the rally at 0.58, this is a great example of movement into the deep forehand corner, and how to get back to base. He makes it look effortless, but this is one of the most difficult movements in singles.

15 comments:

Max said...

Hi Thanks for the review. Also could you please tell how it compares with L70 & T300 on performance. I heard it is good for hard smashing, How good is the power.

Thanks..

Anonymous said...

Hi,

Could you give us a brief guide on the differences between Slayer 99 and Lethal 90?
Will the slayer 99 be suitable for single play?
Could it be a substitute for YY armortec 900 power?

kenjie said...

kenjie

Hi, your review was great,could you give a review regarding on the yonex voltric 70 and slayer because i found out that its voltric's technology was good.. visit blog for reference to the yonex voltric 70 ..

kenjie

antony said...

@Max
For me, the slayer 99 is not quite as powerful when smashing as the lethal 70, or the tantrum 300.

@Anonymous
The slayer 99 is very similar to the lethal 90, but i would give the slayer the edge as it feels more stable. As the slayer is an all round racket, it would be ideal for singles. As compared to the the Armortec 900 Power, it is a lot different, the main difference being the balance, the slayer is not as head heavy as the armortec, so if you like a head heavy balance the slayer will feel very different.

David L said...

Hi Antony,
Love your racket review, as a Badminton fan we would like to say thank you for all the hard work you put into this blog.

When you have T300, L70 and Slayer 99 rackets, would you rate T300 being the best, followed by L70, then Slayer 99?

When World Championship 2011 games are over, hope you can give us your thoughts.

Thank you.

David L

antony said...

Hi David

Thanks for the kind words. My own personal favourite is the lethal 70, closely followed by the 300, then the slayer 99. I have been playing for over a year with the lethal 70 and i feel very comfortable with it, which i guess is the most important thing to any badminton player. No matter what racket you choose, as long as you like it, it doesn't matter what brand it is.

Anonymous said...

Now I'm confused. Here are your own comments about the Tantrum 300:

"It is better than the lethal 70"
"It feels "spot on", better than anything i have ever played with"
"It also shades the lethal 70 because it has more power and more stability. I honestly didn't think the 70 could be topped, but it has been."

So how come you're now saying that your own personal favourite is still the Lethal 70?

Don't get me wrong, I am just probing and being genuinely and sincerely curious. I suspect I am going through the same thing as you. I only recently got hold of the Tantrum 300 and Lethal 70 rackets, after using the Lethal 60 for over a year. My first impressions of the Tantrum 300 were like yours - I thought it was the best racket I had ever used. However, when I went back to my Lethal 60, I found I was just more used to it.

Anyway, the Lethal 60/70 and Tantrum 300 rackets are all excellent. By the way, I remember seeing some of your readers asking you to review the Tantrum 200. There's no point, as it's identical to the Tantrum 300 (just a different paint job).

antony said...

Hi there

Yep you are spot on. When i tested the 300 i was very impressed. However, i have been playing with the lethal 70 for so long now, that i have come to love that thing. In reality there is very little difference between many of these rackets. I guess when you pick a new racket up for the first time and are impressed it can perk up your senses. My playing partner uses the tantrum 300, from my recommendation and he loves it. I have given him my lethal 70 to play with, and whilst he thinks it is good, he still likes the 300.

Thanks for taking the time to even read this blog, and to comment. And sorry for the confusion.

dave said...

Hey, love that you are posting reviews once again.
A small suggestion, to put a high resolution picture of the racquet you are reviewing in the reviews?

Thank you for the video, those shots were really amazing.

antony said...

Hi Dave

Yep i think a few pics would be good as well! Reverse slice backhands are not seen very often are they:)

Max said...

Thanks Antony for your hard work & good reviews... Keep it up.. Cheers Mate

Anonymous said...

Hi antony, I don't understand how a racket with a spec of 290 ± 3mm be called "even balanced". Isn't that the same spec as the Lethal 70? Therefore, shouldn't it be "head heavy"?

antony said...

Hi there

One very important point to note with Apacs rackets, the balance point they state in the specs are so general it is shocking. You bring up a very valid point, and it would be great if Apacs actually got it right, but they don't. I test these Apacs rackets and the only way i can tell what balance they actually are is when i get hold of them and play with them. This is why i hope this blog can be of value to anyone who wants to get an idea of what an Apacs racket feels like, by me telling you what the balance is by playing with the racket, rather than relying on the information on the spec sheet.

@Max, thanks for the kind words, very much appreciated.

Anonymous said...

Hi Antony,

I have been using VH1800 for almost 2 years now; thinking for an UPGRADE.
Which one you recommend for...
- the similar stiffness as VH1800
- Prefer heavy-head feel
- Attacking play but like net-play as well

a) T200/300?
b) Slayer 99?
c) Z-Spark?

Thanks

antony said...

The balance specs of Apacs rackets are not always 100% accurate, at least that is what i have found with the test rackets.

@anonymous, i would recommend the lethal 70, i use it and it is one of the best i have ever used.