Apacs badminton rackets are a fairly new company in the western world, although they have been going strong in the far east for several years now. The main factory is in Malaysia, and this is where Apacs is most popular. The big plus point with these rackets is the competitive prices and value for money.
In 2001, APACS SPORTS was established to distribute sports types of equipment of high quality in the local and international markets. In fact, APACS stands for AGGRESSIVE, POWER, ACCURATE, CONTROL, and SPEED; essential qualities of today’s most powerful athletes.
APACS SPORTS is the leader in manufacturing one of the world’s best badminton, squash & tennis rackets, sportswear, sports apparel, footwear, and accessories. The variety they provide ensures that both beginner and professional athletes alike get the best equipment for peak performance.
Their equipment, in fact, rivals the likes of Yonex, Carlton, and Prince, with their best rackets in the form of Visible Hollow 2000, Lethal 60, Lethal Light 1.1, and Furious Pro 1000. Because of their commitment to quality, APACS was voted as one of Malaysia’s Superbrands in 2009.
The variety of APACS equipment varies from one country to another to better suit the style of play predominant in every region. Their badminton shoes, clothing, bags, and many other related things also vary in price and are marginally lower than Yonex’s.
Popular Rackets of Apacs
Taking a look at the APACS UK website, the four popular rackets are the Edge Sabre 7, Nano 800 Power, Nano 900 Power, and the Nano Fusion Classic. They sound familiar. It’s because they are named to match their Yonex counterparts. They are not fake Yonex rackets but more equally effective clones.
Edge Saber 7
The Edge Saber 7 is based on Yonex’s ArcSaber 7 but with a twist. They do look alike, but the Edge Saber is a bit stiffer and has a higher rating than the medium-stiff rating of the ArcSaber 7.
The price is also clearly in favor of APACS; £69.99 as opposed to Yonex’s £100 price tag. An extra £5 will give you custom stringing to suit the tension, and the racket can pack up as much as 30lbs, which means it has a very robust frame. The technology uses GS carbon nanotube, the same material Yonex named as CS carbon nanotube.
APACS equipment consistently gets good user reviews, about 90% as good as high-end Yonex racket. Although you might think twice about playing with a clone as opposed to the original one, there isn’t really much difference performance-wise. In fact, the only variable that really sets them far apart is the expenses that come with every model.
Nano 800 Power
A good example is the APACS Nano 800 Power which is priced at £29.99. This all-around choice for intermediate players has a medium-stiff flex and weighs at just 4U. The nanotechnology this racket is built upon is based on the Yonex Armortec models, rackets that cost £49.99.
The Yonex counterparts are very stiff and really heavy at the head despite the total weight of both rackets being at the same level. Both can take 30lbs string tension too, but the price is clearly in favor of APACS.
Nano Fusion Classic
Another example is the APACS Nano Fusion Classic. It is very flexible and is designed for players who would like total control. At 28 lbs of tension and 3U weight, it’s a bit heavier. A bit more expensive too, at £55.99 but it’s a good deal overall.
Rounding this one all up, APACS may seem very cheap, but they do have badminton rackets of the best quality. Plus, they are also reaching as far as the Far East, making their affordable products very easy to avail of wherever in the world you are.
Tested Different Apacs Rackets
I have an arrangement with Apacs UK. They will send me some new rackets and let me test them and write reviews for them. This helps to give Apacs a bit more exposure and helps me have something to write about on that blog!
I think I have tested around 6 or 7 rackets so far and have been impressed with them. Not only are they pretty cheap, but they offer good quality and playability. They are challenging to find fault with for the price, and the range is growing now in the UK.
A big bonus for Apacs in the far east is that they have managed to sponsor a few top players from Malaysia, and this is no doubt help to grow the brand.
The Brand is Growing Steadily in the UK
Apacs sports in the UK are also growing steadily now and attracting more customers. This will continue to happen as the product ranges grow and offer more rackets aimed at intermediate and beginner players.
The key to selling badminton equipment is variety because you need to cater to all different standards of players. This needs to be reflected in the rackets you sell. Apacs realizes this, and I have a feeling that in a few years, they will have just about every racket for every type of player.
This smaller brand will grow a whole lot in the future because they offer something different to the over-priced Yonex rackets.
The difference between these companies is only in reputation at the moment. Still, if you offer a great playing experience at a fraction of the price, then your reputation will grow and grow and lead to more success.
Racket technology is now offering a more level playing field. The same technology is in most badminton ranges now, meaning the only difference between choosing one brand over the next comes down to who can market their product the best.
At the moment, there is a massive shift in power going on between the badminton manufacturers. Yonex is getting more sustained competition from Victor and the new kid on the block, Li Ning rackets, who have just pulled off the biggest shock in world badminton by sponsoring the Chinese national team.
Li Ning Brand
There has already been much interest in the Li Ning brand. I have seen this myself on my other blog. There have been hundreds of searches every day for Li Ning badminton rackets since the Surdiman cup final a few days ago.
Players from all over the world are wondering who they are. More importantly for Li Ning, where can they buy one from?
In western countries, I have not seen a single retailer selling any Li Ning equipment. But I bet they are licking their lips for when they get the chance to sell their stuff. Whoever gets in first will make a huge killing in the west because of the interest already. Only time will tell who that will be.
Apacs Test Rackets
I have got my hands on some Apacs badminton rackets to test. Readers of other blogs will have seen some Apacs reviews in the past. I have a good relationship with the guys at Apacs UK. They regularly send me some of their latest offerings, and this past week has been no exception.
I now have 4 rackets on the test: the Fusion Hotshots 7777 and 7778, the Tantrum Power 160, and the Nano 7007 Power.
All have been strung at 28lbs tension with Apacs string. The latest batch is not on sale yet, so I have a bit of an inside scoop of things to come.
The new ranges that are on sale in the UK are a move away from the Yonex clones that people associate with Apacs.
They are moving up in the badminton scene with a strong product range this coming season. There will be many more rackets to choose from, and they will cater to all types of players. The one I have received is a case in point. They are all different, with different balance points, weight, and flexibility.
The Brand is Strong in South-East Asia
Apacs are already strong in the far east, particularly in Malaysia, where they are sponsoring some national players. It is only a matter of time before they get some good players from the UK and Europe to help strengthen their brand name awareness.
These are changing times, especially with Yonex losing some of its sponsorship deals. The market is becoming a bit more of a level playing field again, and smaller companies are making the most out of it.
Offer Good Quality with Good Price
The key to all of this is the product. It has to do its job. It has to offer quality and be affordable. Customer service is also very important.
Apacs sell their own rackets from their own website, so you get to deal directly with them. When they start to attract more customers, some online retailers will undoubtedly want to sell their stuff. This is for the future, so we will see what happens.
On a completely different note, the Li Ning badminton racket revolution is well underway. I see hundreds of daily searches for these rackets on Google.
People want to get their hands on them, and nobody really knows what the hell they are like. It is all down to their sponsorship of the Chinese national team.
One thing is for sure, retailers in the western world are just waiting to sell them. Whoever gets in first will make a whole load of money, no doubt. I imagine they will not be cheap either. They will have to be expensive to get some of the money back invested in their sponsorship deal.