Anyone seen or tried these racquets? They are actually quite good. Their website is:

http://www.pointfore.co.uk/index2.htm

The central headquarters of the company is in England, they seem to be selling their products throughout Europe and are now starting in North America, but I'm not sure if they are distributing in Asia yet.

General info: they seem to be well made racquets but I thought they looked a bit less robust than Yonex racquets. The t-joint area seems a bit thinner and less substantial than on a Yonex or Carlton, some of their racquets look like they have slightly thinner shafts and frames than Yonex or Carlton racquets and on first glance, seem like they would feel pretty light and insubstantial. However, the ones I have held seemed plenty strong enough and play very solidly, with good feel and minimal vibration, contrary to initial appearances. The paint and finish does not resemble Yonex or other brands at all and, except for the Premier, their models have attractive, slightly different color combinations. I don't think they are clones of any other brand's racquets. If you are accustomed to a Yonex Cab, the transition to Pointfore's oval shaped racquets should be very easy. Pointfore also makes a few iso-head models, but I have not looked at any of them. They are quite reasonably priced at between US $58 and $90. The grips are a bit more soft and squishy than most other types of racquets, but I didn't seem to notice it much while playing. I forgot to look at the strings on these racquets. Pointfore was very quick to send me a catalog when I requested one a few months back.

I briefly demoed their top-of-the-line racquet, the Premier, a few months ago and while it was lighter than my Cab 8300, it is shaped very similarly to the Cab line of racquets and had a similar feel, but with more weight in the head and more power. It seemed to have pretty good touch, but I did not play with it too long. It is 85 g, 30.5 cm balance point and contains 20% "Super Carbon" which I'm guessing is Pointfore's proprietary term and/or composition of high modulous graphite. It has a rather uninteresting paint job - a light teal/dark turquoise color- but from the photo on their website, they may have changed the color for 2001. The Premier costs $90.

Pointfore sponsored a tournament I played in this past Saturday and I demo-ed their 5000 racquet (boron graphite construction) for more time than the Premier. It is about 5g lighter than Yonex Cabs at 90g, is similar, if not slighly stiffer, in flex to my medium-stiff Cab 8300, has a thin (11.5mm) shaft and is more head heavy (balance 30 cm), resulting in a whole lot more power than my 8300 with equivalent or better control as well. I was able to get a lot more pop out of my clears and smashes with less effort than my current racquet, it really seemed to demand that I play with more wrist than normal and definitely performed much better along with lesser effort on wrist shots than arm ones. I could not compare it directly to an AB 900, but from memory, the 5000 seemed to have just as much power, if not more so, than my friend's Carlton (he did have his AB 900 strung too low for my preferences at 16 and 18 lbs, though). The 5000 is quite quick on flick shots, drives and defensive playing. Its paint was a deep royal blue and black and I think it was around $85.

A friend tried out the Pointfore 5500T2 model and said it was even more powerful than either the 5000 model or his old Cab 20 and that he was probably going to buy one to replace his Yonex. It is 85g, with a balance point of 30cm. I can't say whether the racquet had anything to do with his success, but he won his first several matches in the tournament playing with the 5500T2, and did not play as well when he gave it back and returned to his Cab 20. Its finish is a dark royal blue, with black and maroon highlights - very nice looking. I think this one was around $88.

If I didn't have a Carlton AB 900 on its way, I would probably have bought a Pointfore. Now I might have overly enthusiastic opinions of Pointfore's products from lack of a whole lot of experience with better quality racquets than my Cab 8300 - kind of like jumping from a small family sedan to a sports car - but other, better and more experienced players in my league had a good opinion of these racquets also. It seems that part of Pointfore's marketing plan is to make demo models available for testing, so if they have a distributor nearby, give these racquets a try.