Blade 98 16x19 2013 Short review

Discussion in 'Racquets' started by teocem, Dec 18, 2012.

  1. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    I am not talking about pushing the ball back with no pace or spin. I'm talking about good solid deep groundstrokes with good net clearance.
     
    #51
  2. dgoran

    dgoran Hall of Fame

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    I found aero to be very similar to pro staff 95 blx with some added lead to pro staff to increase the sw and with much better feel and flex

    Blade does not have that hollow babolat feel and it's probably closer to old pure storm tours carbon extreme ones with even more feel and plush on contact almost pro stock h22 like
     
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2012
    #52
  3. Ross K

    Ross K Legend

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    dgoran - Your comments interest me. I've never played any version of the Blade and the new open pattern version had definitely caught my attention. However, I recently concluded it would probably be a little too demanding for me. But... well, I used to play the first PST - the carbon extreme one, preferred it actually to later GT iteration, so... hmm, food for thought.
     
    #53
  4. dgdawg

    dgdawg Professional

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    I just spent. 3 more hrs hitting w/the 18x20.....hands down the most enjoyable frame I've ever hit with. I've definitely made my decision.
    I'm thinking Santa just may deliver me 2 of these bad boys in a cpl days. 8)

    Merry Christmas peeps... Thanks for all your input!!!!
     
    #54
  5. dgoran

    dgoran Hall of Fame

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    Congrats if it's good enough for raonic and goffin it's good enough for you :)
     
    #55
  6. teocem

    teocem New User

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    Aero Storm is much more head light and less swing weight compared to Blade 98; I would call them flimsy...
     
    #56
  7. teocem

    teocem New User

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    I played more with Blade 98 16x19 over the weekend and I am just loving it more. The only concern is its overpower at times the stick is out of my control. I already have the second one and also ordered a 18x20 version. I will have that strung exactly in the same order (mains vs 17 gut 26 kg, shorts luxilon rough 24 kg) and will provide you with a mini-comparison review later this week. But I should say whatever the result will be these will remain in my tennis bag for a long while because I really started to enjoy more hitting balls with these new Blades.
     
    #57
  8. Pure Babs

    Pure Babs Rookie

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    I think I'm going to have to go with the 18x20. Since I am having such trouble deciding, either one would work for me. I tend to hit a flatter ball though, and the 18x20 seems to be the best choice in that regard. I get plenty of spin with it as well. Great frame!
     
    #58
  9. dgdawg

    dgdawg Professional

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    I just picked up a Blade18x20. I'll get another (or 2) when Wilson drops another load on my local Pro Shop. I don't think I've ever been this excited about a frame.
    I think I'll use Tecnifibre X-1 Biphase 17g M's @ 50lbs & Lux 4G 17g X's @ 46lbs....5% pre stretch on both.
    I've never been wild about any kind of Luxilon but a pack was given to me w/frame.They usually string purchased frames gratis with the string of your choice, but they just give me string.
    I can't freakin wait to hit with my own Blade 18x20

    Merry Christmas, peeps!!!! :cool:.....I'm out!
     
    #59
  10. teocem

    teocem New User

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    Compare 16x19 and 18x20

    As I said earlier, I will play with both 16x19 and 18x20 with the exact string settings over the weekend and will post here a comperative mini review. I am looking forward to it very much myself too...:)
     
    #60
  11. teocem

    teocem New User

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    As I am getting more used to my Blade 98 16x19 I am noticing that unless I tame it with a lot of spin has too much power for a full swing. This makes me even more excited about the 18x20 version that I will play with on Sunday.
    Any suggestions ?
     
    #61
  12. realplayer

    realplayer Semi-Pro

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    .................................
     
    #62
  13. Power Player

    Power Player G.O.A.T.

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    Not sure what you mean. Just go hit balls. It will sort itself out.
     
    #63
  14. parasailing

    parasailing Hall of Fame

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    I finally got a chance to hit with the racquet today given all the recent storms we had in the past two weeks.

    I was initially concerned with the high SW and 1 pt HL balance since my current racquet, PSTGT, is more like 6 pts HL but I guess due to the low static weight, I didn't have much issues generating racquet speed.

    My initial impression is that it is a very solid racquet that allows you to generate a good amount of topspin. The Wilson Amplifeel definitely dampens the racquet and combined with gut mains/poly crosses, it feels so plush. The sweet spot on this racquet is pretty generous as I feel like almost every ground stroke I hit feels like I struck it in the middle of the racquet.

    This racquet can definitely handle the incoming heavy balls without getting pushed around which for a lighter 11+ oz racquet is pretty amazing. The SW definitely helps in this department and doesn't seem to hinder my ability to generate racquet speed.

    If you take big cuts with the racquet, balls do have a tendency to fly out on occasions but I think can be corrected once you get use to the timing of hitting with this racquet. I do understand why some have suggested to go with the 18x20 string pattern to reign in the power and increase control but for now, I am going to hold off on trying the 18x20 one until I had more time hitting with this racquet.

    For now, I think it's one of the best 11+ oz racquets on the market offering good stability, power, spin, and comfort. Control is the only thing that might be missing.
     
    #64
  15. teocem

    teocem New User

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    If you check the TW reviews for both racquets they gave the 18x20 higher points for all aspects but spin and control and accepted it as a better allround stick... I would like to hear from you after you give the denser string pattern version of this Blade a chance..
     
    #65
  16. barry

    barry Hall of Fame

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    I purchased a Blade 16x19 used it for 2 matches and found the racket to be stiffer than my old BLX Blade (18x20). Plus it lacked stability. Serves were better, but control was lacking. Volleys were equally better with the older BLX model. Playing heavy hitters you need good timing to stay in points and the 16 x 19 model failed for me. I got pushed around and had to go for winners earlier in the points.

    Also after 2 matches, my forearm was sore; could be the new handle setup (shorter), or the swing weight difference. Also the new grips were really soft and mushy; the older pro hybrids were much better.

    I will be skipping this generation of the blade and stick with the BLX model.

    The 18x20 might be different, but it has the same stiffness rating.
     
    #66
  17. Power Player

    Power Player G.O.A.T.

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    Its the same racquet though. Maybe the amplifeel bugged you.

    Anyway i strongly feel that the blade is more lethal as an 18x20 with specs like this.
     
    #67
  18. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    Anyone try the Blade 104? I would really consider if it weren't 27.5 length. Extended racquets give me trouble because I get too close to the ball very often and this would only work against me.
     
    #68
  19. mrmo1115

    mrmo1115 Hall of Fame

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    How does it compare with the PSTGT.. is it a bit tougher to swing through the contact zone..meaning a bit more sluggish or not? Will you be considering this racquet as your new one?
     
    #69
  20. parasailing

    parasailing Hall of Fame

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    The Blade is actually pretty easy to swing which I was surprised since it has such a high SW and I was still able to generate good swing speed. It's a good racquet but compared to my PSTGT and TGK 260.2, it would be my third choice. With customization, it might turn out to be comparable but that would mean require quite a bit of lead. It's probably the best 11oz+ racquet I have hit with.

    The good thing about the Blade is the generous sweet spot, ease of swing, and good power. The only downside is that 16x19 might not have enough control and the 18x20 swing pattern might be the better racquet.

    The only thing I noticed after 3 hours hitting with it is when you hit against tennis partners who hit with massive topspin and power. Though the racquet is solid, the Amplifeel doesn't seem to absorb the energy of the ball. My shoulder started to feel a bit pain even though the racquet is strung with VS gut mains.
     
    #70
  21. 4sound

    4sound Semi-Pro

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    2 days ago I hit with the Blade 16x19 and the 18x20. I like them both much better than the previous gold version. 18x20 was very accurate on flat shots. 16x19 easier to get spin and power but I needed to top spin a bit to keep it in. I'd probably go with the 16x19 if it was me.

    I'm sticking with the IG Prestige MP 18x20. It feels more comfortable to me with more flex.

    Blades feel a bit too stiff to me. I liked the feel of the nCode Blade.
     
    #71
  22. teocem

    teocem New User

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    Compare 16x19 and 18x20 Blades 98 2013

    Now I can start comparing the new Blades; 98 2013 16x19 vs 18x20...
    I was surprised that string patterns could effect a racquet characteristics this much.
    18x20 has a less lively string bed, I felt as if it as a smaller sweet spot, and it is definitely a control racquet with a lot of stability, power and spin potential.
    I can call it a better racquet than 16x19 or a racquet that is more suitable for a better player.
    18x20 generated surprisingly a lot spin and I felt it was enough; not too much to give my opponent a chance to hit my balls in his comfort zone.
    Downsides are that it seems to have a smaller sweetspot and serves are more demanding. It is overall a more demanding racquet than 16x19.
    The string set up was the same with my 16x19 and tommorrow I will be picking up the 18x20 first; I think I will prefer it if I can get a bit more used to it; it is like a more tamed but slightly more demanding version of 16x19.
    I hope to write about this more soon.
     
    #72
  23. parasailing

    parasailing Hall of Fame

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    Day 3 of hitting with the Blade 16x19 and after 6 hours with it, I can say this is one of the best 11oz+ racquet out there.

    The racquet provides plenty of power and there is a very generous sweet spot. I add more lead tape in the handle to make the racquet more headlight and whippy and that helped somewhat on reigning in the power and adding some control as I am used to hitting with 5-7pts HL racquets. The racquet is very easy to swing.

    The Blade definitely is more solid than the Juice 100 and doesn't ping as much as the Juice 100 while the Juice offers more power.

    I plan on keeping this racquet for the time being as I enjoy hitting with it and would rate it as follows:

    PSTGT > TGK 260.2 > Blade 98 16x19 > Juice 100
     
    #73
  24. GTI

    GTI New User

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    Those who has hit both, do you think 16x19 Blade really produces much higher ball trajectory? (compared to 18x20 Blade?)

    According to TW's Racquet Shot Trajectories 16x19 Blade has really low launch angle. Lower than most other 16x19 frames and even lower than 18x20 Blade. I'm thinking if this is true?

    GTI
     
    #74
  25. raguhtheman

    raguhtheman Rookie

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    Compare to Head IG Radical Pro

    Interesting to see how this stick compares to Head IG Radical Pro. Specs of both these racquets seem to be very similar. Anybody hit with both these racquets? Can you share your thoughts?
     
    #75
  26. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    Have you tried playing any competitive matches with it? I found it fine in casual rallying, but when playing a match where you are pressured a lot, I found the Juice a lot easier to use and the Blade quite demanding. The Blade does feel a little nicer overall, but the Juice gives me a better chance to win the point.
     
    #76
  27. teocem

    teocem New User

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    Definitely 16x19 has a higher trajectory and is more prone to spin and has a larget sweetspot at the same string setting. But I am leaning towards 18x20 which is also a powerfull racquet has more control. I will try to lower the tension slightly though...
     
    #77
  28. parasailing

    parasailing Hall of Fame

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    For me, the Blade is a lot easier to swing than the Radical Pro IG and has a larger sweetspot. I struggled to generate racquet speed with the Pro IG but didn't have issues with the Blade. I had high hopes for the Pro IG when it came out as I was looking for a 16x19 string pattern 98 sq inch racquet at the time which I now have courtesy of the TGK 260.2.


    I would agree that the Juice is less demanding than the Blade but my problem is I can't keep the ball in when I hit with the Juice. It has too much power and I tend of overhit a lot.

    Everything about the Blade 98 16x19 is good except issue with control which I guess you can fix by using a full poly setup but my shoulder will not be happy so a 18x20 string pattern might be the right choice.

    I might demo a 18x20 one just to see how it plays.
     
    #78
  29. Frankauc

    Frankauc Professional

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    i hit with both for an hour and definetly, both racquets produce a VERY low trajectory for the ball. I didnt see much difference between the 2. These are not spin friendly racquets, they hit pretty flat. I just found a bit more control with the 18x20 and more power for the 16x19 but i dont need it. I hoped i would like these sticks but this wasnt the case. On the other hand, i tried the blx pro satff 95 and wow this frame is perfect for me! So much more accurate, so much better feel on every shot and very low powered (wich i love) . Too bad its an ugly stick but i will probably buy it, it's so good (if people are willing to sell me one, pm me please)
     
    #79
  30. teocem

    teocem New User

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    I simply can not disagree more :) With 16x19 my top spin was definitely enhanced and trajectory was obviously different from 18x20. In order to clear the net with my double handed backhand I had to increase the spin or else I had some unforced errors with this shot.
     
    #80
  31. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    I just don't understand when people make comments that they "can't keep the ball in". You can lesson the power by A LOT with strings and tension. There are Pros using Pure Drives and APD's a Juices and they swing as hard as they can and they keep the ball in. I think this is a technique issue or a refusal to try different stringing setups. If you have arm issues, put a full set of NXT Control in your Juice at 60 lbs. and tell me you still can't keep the ball in.
     
    #81
  32. parasailing

    parasailing Hall of Fame

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    The pros don't use Pure Drives, APDs, and Juices in stock form. They have them customize to a much heavier weight usually over 12 oz with silicone injected into the handle and lead at various places of the hoop.

    For me, when I say I can't keep the ball, I am referring to using my current swing path which tends to make the ball go long on the Blade. Sure I can adjust my swing path and fiddle with different string tensions but do that when I don't have any issues keeping the ball in using either one of my PSTGT and TGK 260.2.

    I am just making a comparison using the same string tension and string type and comparing it to what I currently using. I just a racquet junkie who loves to test out new racquets and compare them against what I currently use.
     
    #82
  33. sargeinaz

    sargeinaz Hall of Fame

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    That would make the rackets even more powerful. I do agree with you though that with my flat swingpath on groundies, pure drive type rackets just dont work. I dont think anybody should alter their strokes for a racket.
     
    #83
  34. GTI

    GTI New User

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    I believe that 16x19 must have bit higher trajectory than 18x20. But thinking if Blade 16x19 could still produce those nice low shots, lower than i.e. BLX Pro Open?

    If so, I'll push the 'order'-button. I'm now playing with old KBlade98 (modified more HL) and before that BLX Pro Open (modified to 335g). Very interested about 16x19 Blade but can't demo around here.

    I'll appreciate all your experiences,
    GTI
     
    #84
  35. teocem

    teocem New User

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    I have two 16x19 and two 18x20 at this time. I will lower the tension slightly with my second 18x20 and hope to reach heaven ! I hope this helps you...
     
    #85
  36. Shangri La

    Shangri La Hall of Fame

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    For a true apple-to-apple comparison, you'd lower the tension on the 18x20 by 3-5 lbs. At the same tension the 18x20 will feel more boardy and smaller sweetspot.
     
    #86
  37. dgoran

    dgoran Hall of Fame

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    ...maybe on paper written by TW they are close but in all reality they are not.
    I have "on specs" both rad pro and "black blade"™ :) strung with poly 18grams string bed and they are different and harder to compare since radical is tons more comfortable flexible has higher swing weight and more of a pros choice as in its as close as it gets to pro stock racquet for retail market.
    If you can handle it its a better racquet. But as with everything else there are downsides it's harder to control harder to swing (open pattern plus flexy racquet plus 340 sw ).
    If I was on pro tour I would probably play with IG rad if I did not have access to pt57 or pro tour 630, yes its that comfy.but....
    Since I am down to 2 -4 hers of tennis per week I welcome faster racquet head speed due to lower sw stiffer easier to volley and serve of black blade™
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2013
    #87
  38. raguhtheman

    raguhtheman Rookie

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    Thanks dgoran! That's very clear and concise comparison. That's exactly what I was looking for. Any inputs on how does this Blade compare to BLX Pro Open?
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2013
    #88
  39. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    Blade is nothing like the Pro Open. The Pro Open is a user friendly tweener, while the Blade is a players racquet through and through.
     
    #89
  40. teocem

    teocem New User

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    Comparing Blade 98 16x19 with 18x20

    It has been 10 days since I am comparing these two sticks and I play almost everyday. I tend to stick with 18x20 version more and more. It is a spin friendly racquet with a lot of power and heft. When I switch to 16x19 I loose a lot of control and have to apply extra spin to keep the balls in. I believe that as time passes by the 16x19 version hype will fade and it will be on sale soon. Even if you are a spin player I advise you to grab the 18x20 version.
     
    #90
  41. teocem

    teocem New User

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    Today I played for 3 hours. I started with 18x20. It was not a good day, I made a lot of unforced errors and could not concentrate; and the racquet did not help me at all. With a sudden decision, at the middle of a game, I changed to 16x19 and felt and played much better with it. It was so much more forgiving and more lively that I hardly believed these were the same sticks with only different string patterns. So I have to admit that my recent comparison was too harsh on 16x19 and on a day that I am less than perfect it seems to be a better companion.
     
    #91
  42. realplayer

    realplayer Semi-Pro

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    I had the same experience. The 16x19 is much more forgiving and it gives me some extra acceleration at approach shots which definitely helps at net.
     
    #92
  43. teocem

    teocem New User

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    I also felt that it is more responsive at the net, did you too?
     
    #93
  44. realplayer

    realplayer Semi-Pro

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    With volleys the ball comes faster from my racket which makes it easier to end the point instantly.
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2013
    #94
  45. Brocolt

    Brocolt Rookie

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    My son and I both just switched from babolats to the 16x19 blade. tried the 18x20 and could not really tell much diffrence in spin or control but the big diffrence was just in the feel and the 16x19 was just a nicer feel. i am a 4.5 player used the pure drive and he is a top junior using the aeropro.
     
    #95
  46. teocem

    teocem New User

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    I wonder if I will have a more forgiving stick with a larger sweetspot if I decrease the tension of 18x20. I like the control but it feels too boardy on a day that I am less than my best.
     
    #96
  47. Shangri La

    Shangri La Hall of Fame

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    Do you have the same tension on both? Usually it's an automatic 3-5 lbs of adjustment.
     
    #97
  48. Joun S.

    Joun S. New User

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    got my blade 98 18x20 today.nice stick with lots of control.groundstrokes were amazing as well as serves with good spin.havent tried 16x19 yet.maybe i will go with hybrid setups with lower tension.
     
    #98
  49. CheekyMullet

    CheekyMullet New User

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    A couple of comments on customer reviews section say that the handle is a little short for a DHBH. Care to comment?
     
    #99
  50. Joun S.

    Joun S. New User

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    i checked it with my other frame.same length with pro staff 90.i think its not short for dhbh
     

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