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View Full Version : My $.02 on the K-Blade Tour with some comparisons to the DNX 10 Mid


wally
04-28-2008, 06:48 PM
After some reading, research and stringing a couple up for one of my clients I decided to order myself a K-Blade tour. I like the way the stick swung and felt and was curious to see how it would perform.

My usual weapon of choice: Mojo’d DNX 10 mid with a leather grip and no lead.
My style of play – All court with a health dose of S/V.
Testing was indoors – winter here in the upper Mid - West just won’t go away

The Blade was strung at 57lbs with Wilson Reaction 17g – Prior to being corrupted by the Mojo string setup this was my string of choice. Crisp, firm, nice feel ,controllable pop.

Serve – As JollyRodger noted – you can flat bring the heat with this thing. I could really dial up the first serve and still hit my target. Second serves jumped, kicked and frustrated my hitting partners. Real nice POP sound on impact. The biggest plus here was no ill effects the next morning. Usually when I serve that hard for that long the old arm reminds me I’m over 40 the next day. Not this time. Nothing more than the usual stiffness.
Now I’m not saying you can’t bomb serves with the DNX 10 mid or that its uncomfortable. Its just I find the Blade to be better here.

Volleys – Again this stick really shines at the net. Very maneuverable, great feel and enough pop to finish the job. No free lunch but if a huge improvement over the ROK. I found no stability issues. It’s a tad more maneuverable than the DNX 10 mid, and when someone’s trying drill a hole in you with a return or passing shot quick reactions are a must.

Ground Strokes – Here’s where I’m not completely sold and it may just be I need a bit more time; only the third outing. If you find the sweet spot there is ample power and control is excellent. The stick is also great on the attack. You can really punish a short ball and not worry about missing. Defense is a weakness. There is no free lunch here. I’m thinking maybe a bit of lead in the head might help, but I don’t want to loose that sweet service swing.

Returns – So far so good.. You can either block or slice back the hard serve. Weak second serves can be punished. Again the better maneuverability makes a difference here but is somewhat countered by the DNX 10’s mass. This and the goundies is where I wanted that bit of lead in the head.

Overall
Serves - K-Blade Tour
Volleys – K-Blade Tour
Ground Strokes – DNX 10 Mid
Returns – Even

Caveats – Obviously the Blade fits my style of play. If you want to bang away at the baseline for hours this may not be the stick for you. On the other hand if you play more of an all court game, SV or SV Doubles I think its worth a look.

Now, if I can figure out how much and where to put a bit of lead without getting the swing weight too high I just might have something.

m1stuhxsp4rk5
04-28-2008, 07:13 PM
have you tried the k90? how does it compare to the kblade tour?

anirut
04-28-2008, 07:14 PM
Thanks, wally, for sharing your views.

NoBadMojo
04-28-2008, 07:23 PM
quality review i think.

have plans to try the Becker11Mid? That will likely help things in the serve and volley areas compared to the dnx10Mid, and you likely wont lose anything from the backcourt, and may even gain some.

bagung
04-28-2008, 07:30 PM
nice review....
which one swing more easily...?

bertrevert
04-28-2008, 08:29 PM
Nice review, seems a sweet stick.

Defensive, out of position, retreating - that's when such a stick doesn't add anything. Adding lead is most definitely going to change the dynamics, often what you gain in one area you lose in another, so it's a balance.

How'd you find the sweetspot treating you? Given these power ratings:
http://twu.tennis-warehouse.com/cgi-bin/storepower2.cgi?KBL93

And compare those power ratings to the kB 98 and I'm amazed at so little difference...

wally
04-29-2008, 02:52 AM
have you tried the k90? how does it compare to the kblade tour?

I did hit a few balls with a K-90 - Just not for me. ten years ago maybe...

The K-90 is heavier, not as manouverable has that lovely "plow through"
If you've got the game & muscle to swing it go for it.

For me the blade suits my game better

wally
04-29-2008, 02:54 AM
quality review i think.

have plans to try the Becker11Mid? That will likely help things in the serve and volley areas compared to the dnx10Mid, and you likely wont lose anything from the backcourt, and may even gain some.

Thanks for the kind words ...

Its on the list. If I had CC's unlimited racquet budget I'd have one by now. It sounds like a great stick. Did you add your usual leather grip to this one?

wally
04-29-2008, 02:56 AM
nice review....
which one swing more easily...?

The blade has the lower swing weight

wally
04-29-2008, 03:06 AM
Nice review, seems a sweet stick.

Defensive, out of position, retreating - that's when such a stick doesn't add anything. Adding lead is most definitely going to change the dynamics, often what you gain in one area you lose in another, so it's a balance.

How'd you find the sweetspot treating you? Given these power ratings:
http://twu.tennis-warehouse.com/cgi-bin/storepower2.cgi?KBL93

And compare those power ratings to the kB 98 and I'm amazed at so little difference...

That's why I haven't added the lead yet.....

Power is tough to quantify and string type/tension can really make a difference. The sweetspot on the blade is bigger than you think, but is smaller than the DNX 10 mid. The Volkl seems to have a more even response where as the Blade is a bit hotter dead center. again this could be string differences etc.

The KB 98 is a different animal not quite enough racqeut for me and not sure why. I really liked the N-Blade 98.

thejuice
04-29-2008, 05:22 AM
Great review Wally!!! Would you like me to add you to the KBlade Club???

NoBadMojo
04-29-2008, 06:49 AM
Thanks for the kind words ...

Its on the list. If I had CC's unlimited racquet budget I'd have one by now. It sounds like a great stick. Did you add your usual leather grip to this one?

yep..Volkl calfskin

DonBot
04-29-2008, 08:21 AM
While we are on the topic of comparing the kblade tour to the k90, I thought I would give a more formal opinion/review after having hit with the kblade tour for two weeks. I typically hit with the k90, but have used a variety of other more forgiving sticks as the winter wore on due to a lack of being able to hit. I finally am back in shape to hit with the k90 and can find the sweet spot on nearly every cut. So here we go: My kblade tour is strung with Pro Hurricane tour 16g (full bed) at 58lbs.

Serve: Kblade tour and k90 are simply beastly on hard flat serves. With the k90 you let the mass of the racquet drive the ball, whereas with the kblade tour you use bat speed to accomplish the same effect. All things being equal I can simply crush the ball with the kblade tour on hard flat serves, but I can do the same with the k90. My guess is I am consistently about 10mph or so faster with the kblade and my control is roughly the same with both sticks. I can hit better kick/top spin serves with the kblade, I get really nice bite from the stringbed and the kick is nice and obnoxiously high. But I seem to hit a better slice serve with the k90. I think Second Serves with the k90 is a little more predictable, I have a tendency to really try and spin the ball in hard on the second and sometimes I get a little carried away and let one sail. The k90 does a better job of keeping me in line and just putting it into play.

Overheads: When I first got a kblade tour I really really struggled with overheads. After about a week I started to hit them well and have not hit one out yet. In fact I have so much confidence with the thing that I will even go for them when I am behind the service line.—something that is really a low percentage shot, but I have yet to miss one! The big difference for me is with the k90 I have a better ability to flick my wrist and let the mass of the stick do its job and crunch an overhead up and out of the court. I seem to hit a really hard fast low /first serve style overhead with the kblade tour. The only downside to this is good players can get a racquet on these and you may need to hit a couple to finish a point. The beauty of the k90 is when I get an overhead there is no returning it as it is three courts behind ours.

Volleys: Both racquets are simply amazing- all you really have to do is get the head of the racquet on it and good things will happen. With all that being said I think the kblade tour is better at the stab volley, and it is also a better stick when someone is gunning for you in doubles. You can whip it around into defensive “don’t hit me in the balls” position really quickly. Both racquets are simple exceptional at the net.

Ground strokes- Here is where I give the nod to the k90, I prefer the depth and pace I can generate with the k90. I am in the groove with the kblade tour and can hit my spots with decent pace and spin. I love the slice I can generate with both sticks, but I feel the k90 has a little more touch- just a little. The weird thing for me is I can really hit a nice one handed backhand- better than with any other racquet I have ever owned. This is why I am considering the switch, my improved backhand has made my game 100 times better. I just never thought of my backhand as an offensive weapon that would let me generate excellent placement and pace. I think it is due to the lower swing weight and smaller head size of the kblade tour compared to some of the other racquets you see in my signature. So in the end there is no holy grail, you pick a racquet based on which one has the least fleas. I may not hit my greatest forehands with this stick, but the improvement to my backhand has really made up for it in my opinion.

Serve returns- Both sticks are great, you can obtain excellent depth by punching back an opponents hard serve. I make fewer errors with the kblade tour as I can get it around quicker to intercept fast well struck serves. I am not a big fan on the k90 for serve returns with my backhand, if your timing is off at all you can really throw up a lot of sitters in doubles. I find the weight of the kblade tour to really help alleviate that problem.

I think the kblade tour is a great alternative to the k90. It is more forgiving and has a larger sweet spot. If you have the game for the k90 I would stick to it, but if you find it a little too demanding to hit with it all the time I would give the kblade tour a go, I think you will enjoy it. But here is a major word of warning, you need to hit with it for a week or two. Just like the k90- these are not racquets that you just pick up and play well with, you need to get used to the weight and the intricacy’s of finding the sweetpsot.
Oh one major last thing- the sweet spot in the kblade tour extends higher into the string bed than on the k90, so if you are like me and have a tendency to mishit high, the kblade tour is more forgiving.
Give the kblade tour a shot it is not as bad as people make it out to be, in fact I remember all of the “hate” people heaped upon the k90 when it came out and that also was undeserved.



wally
04-29-2008, 05:54 PM
Great review Wally!!! Would you like me to add you to the KBlade Club???


sure go ahead

In)SpiRe
04-29-2008, 06:04 PM
Hey, can anyone compare the KBlade Tour 93 to the Dunlop AeroGel 200 18x20.

wally
05-05-2008, 09:56 AM
A brief update:

Using inch lead tape I added a 4 strip centered at 9 a 4 strip centered at 3 and a 4 strip centered at 12. Total weight 6g I then added 6g wrapped around a point roughly 4cm up from the butt cap. The Blade now weighs 12.0z strung gripped & overgripped.

Playtest I was looking for a tad more stability and a bit more of a solid feeling from the back of the court without losing the serving and maneuverability I raved about in the initial review. I may have hit the jackpot Serves were a bit bigger with an even better kick on second serves, volleys were still very sweet and there was a noticeable improvement in ground strokes. Attacking is still this sticks forte but now you can block back the hard serve a lot easier and generate more depth.
During rallies I just crushed a couple of forehands , yet still had enough tough & feel for a delicate passing shot and angled forehands. Backhands were steady & solid.

thejuice
05-05-2008, 11:11 AM
^^

Hey Wally, thanks for that review of your mods. So that I don't look like the copy and paste king, would you mind posting that review in the KBlade Club thread? There are some people in that thread that have been asking about mods. Thanks!!!