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The World's Lightest Racket - Apacs Feather Weight 55 - Is it Right for You?

Although Apacs is not the top badminton brand in the world, its trademark racket, Feather weight 55, is a household name in the badminton world. And, rightly so, as it has entered the Book of Records as the lightest racket in the world. How many rackets have we seen entered the Book of Records? Due to this, the sales of Apacs Feather Weight 55 have been overwhelming and the racket has been sold for over 10 years. Yet, it is still well sought-after even today. 

So, is the racket really that good? Who exactly is it suitable for? Here, we will explore this racket in detail, looking at its specs as well as its advantages and disadvantages. You can then decide if this racket is worth buying for you

Buy Apacs Feather Weight 55

Apacs Feather Weight 55 Specs :

Weight: 58 +/-3g (8U)
Balance: 335mm +/-3 (Head Heavy)
Flex: High
Max Tension: 28lbs
Shaft Material: 24T Japan Graphite 
Frame Material:  30T Japan Graphite
Frame Type: High Speed Armor + Hexagon Throat
Shaft Diameter: Tapered (7.0mm-7.5mm)

Grommet System: 72 Holes
Length: 670mm


What's Great About This Racket?

Let's delve into the strengths of this racket first. Obviously, its main benefit is its unparalleled weight of 58g. At the time it was launched, everyone was in awe of its weight. "Unbelievable" is the most common expression of most badminton fans. There were hardly any rackets even close enough to this weight. Hence, you can imagine the craze surrounding the racket when it was first sold in the market. Everyone wants to have a look at it. 

Once they have seen the weight, the next thing to check is the material it is made of. People want to know if the racket will crack easily, since it is extremely light. Apacs must have anticipated this potential problem, so they don't use normal graphite, but those from Japan at 24T for the shaft and 30T for the frame. This will ensure that the racket will not crack too easily and can withstand high tension.

To complement the light weight of the racket, Apacs use a High Speed Armor Frame to increase the speed of the racket and at the same time, stabilizes the frame as well as increase its attacking power, a factor which is usually missing from very light rackets.

Further down the frame, Apacs employ a Hexagon Throat to enhance its stability and durability. This will enable players to hit their shots more consistently. As for shaft, the Feather Weight 55 has a tapered shaft beginning with 7.0mm at the top tapering to 7.5mm near the handle. Apacs have always pride themselves on making extremely thin shafts. So, why not use thin shafts then?

Well, for obvious reasons: a very thin shaft will make this feather-like racket unsteady and too fast for the users. They might mistime their shots and even  if they don't, their shots will be everywhere. Precision will be very hard to achieve. Therefore, with a tapered shaft, the handling will be more stable, with less torsion. Moreover, the thicker shaft will generate a medium feel.

Lastly, the racket comes with a graphite handle. This is an obvious choice, as a graphite handle will further reduce the weight of the racket. Not only that, but a graphite handle is easier to swing and contributes to better on-court maneuverability. 

What's Not So Great About This Racket?

For one, the racket is devoid of power, as is expected of a very light racket. You will not be expected to clear your baseline shots nor hit your backhands with ease. You really have to strain yourself on those shots. For fitness fanatics, that might not be a problem. However, for normal social players, you will find your shots falling short agonizingly. 

Second, if you are someone who like to smash or kill the shots quickly, you might be disappointed with this racket. It is not meant to do so effectively. With such light weight, it can hardly be lethal. Even if you are a Dwayne Johnson, after a few rounds of smashing, the only thing that will be smashed is probably your pride. 

Third and to a minor extent, do expect a certain degree of vibration which is normal for an extremely light racket. Furthermore, its graphite handle is considered "joined together" with the shaft, making it basically "one-piece." And, with this "one-piece" construction, there is naturally less cushioning against vibration. However, as we can see in preceding paragraphs, all that Apacs have done in the construction of the head, throat and shaft, have been primarily to enhance the stability and reduce the torsion of the racket. Apacs, as an experienced badminton brand, would have expected such an issue to surface and taken steps to reduce it. Therefore, as i mention at the beginning of this point, this is just a minor disadvantage.

Finally, you do have to be careful not to hit anything hard with it, no matter how good that might feel (depending on what you hit:)) Clashes of rackets are common in a doubles game. Most rackets will be able to withstand a few rounds of clashes. However, i would be more careful with this one. Even though it has been reinforced with graphite material that enable it to be strung to even 28lbs, the way people play with this racket is different from many others. Due to its incredibly light weight, many users will swing the rackets harder than usual, in order to get the power out of it. With this strong swing, imagine the impact it will cause when you clash the racket against another one. The impact will definitely create a loud noise, but the loudest noise will eventually come from you 

So, Is This A Great Racket or What?

Yes, resoundingly yes. It is fast like no other Apacs rackets. Not only that, but it is highly maneuverable. Though it is light, it is pretty stable and has less torsion compared to many other light rackets. If you are a beginner or an intermediate player, do give it a try. If you understand its strengths and weaknesses, you will know when and how to use it to your advantage.  If you are a competition-level player, i would straight away pull you away from it. This racket is not meant for you.