Live by the Blade...Die by the Blade...

Discussion in 'Racquets' started by danbrenner, Feb 13, 2014.

  1. kingcheetah

    kingcheetah Professional

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    Yeah I can say for sure that the bump up to 58 gave the overall setup a crisper feel... the racquet was still soft enough so I had a sense of where the ball was, and how on-center a shot was, but the tighter strings gave me the confidence to hit out even more than usual. This confidence was huge on my backhand return, which ordinarily isn't my strongest shot, but I was able to really swing through the ball and get a good fast arc on it, so the opposing doubles team couldn't attack on a serve. As an individual, having that solid of a day on the backhand was huge, because the other team couldn't attack me with a serve. (Ordinarily my forehand is the shot opponents avoid more, and maybe this was why they kept going at the backhand even though I was killing them with that shot.) I think at this higher tension the ability to swing out with this racquet is increased, which is nice because my particular setup has a lot of natural power. I don't know if I'll keep increasing tension or not as 4g is a fairly stiff string and I want to preserve my arm, but I'd call the increase in tension from 55 to 58 a success.
     
  2. Bobo96

    Bobo96 Semi-Pro

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    I had a feeling I wasn't crazy :) for me it can be the difference between winning and losing. At this point in my career i'm playing for a college scholarship. I find it disgusting that it's even a factor... It's one thing to have different weight and balance, but how do we know what else is different? Where do we draw the lines. I don't have enough money to buy countless sticks until I have enough that I like!!! Do I play my huge tourney next weekend with two that I like and keep restringing like friggen Delpo? Even those two racquets feel slightly different, I just like them both okay.
     
  3. bad_call

    bad_call Legend

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    decided to lead up both 18x20s so they'd feel "more similar" ..mission accomplished. :)

    liking the Prince Warrior Hybrid Power 17 as of late. posted a review of it here.

    http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showpost.php?p=8134113&postcount=29
     
  4. bt johnson

    bt johnson Rookie

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    Why do you like the Tec 315 16M? I thought you used a modified APD. The Tec is nothing like the Blade or APD
     
  5. danbrenner

    danbrenner Professional

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    I just picked it up when my hitting partner was demoing. And I immediately rope a doped like 10 serves in a row. I just had a good feel for what the racquet was like. Especially in serve. Very headlight, but enough mass to make it feel very solid. I could get used to that stick. I woul news some time to adjust my groundies. In general though I can appreciate many sticks. The same way I can appreciate many women!
     
  6. estigma2001

    estigma2001 Professional

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    Today i played 2 hours with my Blade 98 16x19 4 1/4 with over grip strung with iso speed 16L in the crosses with 44 lbs(i used 40 lbs before) and Tour Bite 16 in the mains with 46 lbs. The main difference was the control i mean it has almost the same power than 40/46 but i can manage more that power next time i´m gonna try 42/46 until i found the right set up for me. Next step lead up the frame
     
  7. danbrenner

    danbrenner Professional

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    Cool. So what did you think if the stick in general ? An keep us posted on the lead. Where you slap it on, and how much weight. Etc etc. Blade on!
     
  8. estigma2001

    estigma2001 Professional

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    well in general i love the feel my drop shots are better also my backhand( 1hbh) is more consistent to sum up all about this racquet: with the blade you can put the ball wherever you want with all the spin and power that you decide to use! i`m gonna post some pics
     
  9. estigma2001

    estigma2001 Professional

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    Blade on mmmm nice for a T shirt!!!
     
  10. PhxRacket

    PhxRacket Rookie

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    Tangentially, is the Blade 98 16 x 19 suitable for a 5' 4" ranked 13 year old boy? His current setup is a Juice 100. Is it too soon to move to a more control-oriented stick? I don't know if he needs the "juice" of the Juice 100? One shortfall of his game is a lack of spin. I guess he wants a forehand like Delpos, even though we all know that we must "spin to win." Input graciously accepted.
     
  11. Bobo96

    Bobo96 Semi-Pro

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    Last night I took two of my blades and made them as similar as possible. Within one gram of each other. Basically the same balance (about 4 pts), and did my best to measure the tip weight with household items.


    I put on same overgrip and dampener. The racquet that feels worse was strung 4 days before at 46/46 TB 17/tb 17 soft strings that had been sitting out for awhile. Racquet that feels good strung 3 days ago at 47/48 with TB 17/ tb17 soft fresh out of package. I hit about 50 balls with bad racquet on ball machine then 50 with good racquet and repeated. The weight and balance felt extremely similar. But the response off the string bed was not, good racquet felt noticeably more plush, better spin, and the ball was finding the court. Bad racquet felt blocky, not much dwell time, smaller sweet spot, and just missing more. I am going to restring the bad racquet with fresh strings at 46/48 to see if I can magnify the feeling I get with the good racquet, if I can't I'll know the racquets are varying in quality. I will report back.
     
  12. kingcheetah

    kingcheetah Professional

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    I don't think a Blade 16x19 would cause arm issues or anything for a 13 year old, the swingweight of the blade is a bit higher but the stiffness is lower. The string setup shouldn't be poly at his age though, so you'd have to have him demo a 16x19 blade with a multi string and see if he likes that.


    Side note:
    As far as the "spin to win" I agree that spin is important to develop as a junior, but I think that as a whole the American system has become too technical. We have two pretty exclusive models of thinking right now, the Bollettieri method of making everyone a serve and forehand monster, or the new defensive mentality of making everyone a spin doctor defensive specialist. We need a more balanced approach focused in developing a player's true strengths, rather than just one system.
     
  13. danbrenner

    danbrenner Professional

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    Simply have him play with both. And see what gives. That sounds like a fun experiment. A lot of ot is mental. So let him know the blade is a better racquet. Then report the findings back to us.
     
  14. danbrenner

    danbrenner Professional

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    Make sure the regular grip is the same as well.
     
  15. danbrenner

    danbrenner Professional

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    So does anyone else have any good string advice for the blade. ?
     
  16. PhxRacket

    PhxRacket Rookie

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    I have a couple of BLX Blades strung with NXT and Kirschbaum Pro Line II at 48/49.
     
  17. Rozroz

    Rozroz Legend

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    i was considering trying the Blade, but did some searching and besides the lukewarm verdict it got on TW (the 16X19),
    i am now thinking of getting me a Prince Rebel 98 instead, which got pretty high scores.
    anyone tried them both?
     
  18. bertrevert

    bertrevert Hall of Fame

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    Danbrenner - I have Babolat Origin in a Blade 98S...

    Now before you take me down for having a soft, powerful string in a spin frame, I have had poly in it (and may do so again) but a TE injury has meant I needed to change.

    It is notching pretty quickly I admit however be-jees this is a nice string and makes the thin beam sing... real power, real accuracy, and plenty of spin with technique. It makes the whole bed responsive with great feel. I'm not gonna burn through it in doubles too quickly. You could try it in yr 16x19 and while it aint cheap you might find it interesting...
     
  19. bertrevert

    bertrevert Hall of Fame

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    THey liked the other Blades, 93 and 18x20, better by comparison it's true, and they certainly lined up the right testers to test this one (Andy et al), however you still have to read between the lines, look at the vid, and/or test yourself, I would totally follow TW either way on a racquet, rather use them as a guide to a greater understanding. Plenty of info on the Rebels in this forum...
     
  20. borg number one

    borg number one Legend

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    I demoed the Blade 98, the Babolat Pure Strike 98, Donnay X Dual Core 94, and the Head Youtek Graphene Radical Pro 98 recently. A couple of them were strung a bit tighter than the others, yet the Blade felt the best of those four to me. Great control. Easy power. Easy spin, yet with the feel of a very soft, plush frame. The sweet spot feels big to me. I've been using a Wilson 93 K Factor and a Fischer 95 before now switching to the Blade as my racket.
     
  21. isingh

    isingh New User

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    How would you compare the Blade and the Strike (tour or 18x20)?
     
  22. borg number one

    borg number one Legend

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    The Babolat is way too stiff for my taste. I like that soft, flexy feel, especially when you're using all poly strung not too loose. The Bablolat is a solid, heavy, good frame, don't get me wrong, but in my opinion, for that great power, spin, control and feel, it was the Blade by a mile for me. I started playing with a Wilson Jack Kramer wood frame and over the years, when I found a Wilson frame that felt just right, there's nothing quite like it for me.
     
  23. Rozroz

    Rozroz Legend

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    watched all the videos and stuff on the Blade 16X19.
    of course i don't follow them blindly, just stating the fact that they rated the Rebel 98 pretty higher than the Blade (16X19). and also, stiffness is something i need to consider.
     
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2014
  24. ruud5

    ruud5 Rookie

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    rebel 98: more power and easier to handle...!
     
  25. danbrenner

    danbrenner Professional

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    Well if your gonna reside to that type of thinking, then you may as well just but an AeroPro Drive and call it a day. But I know your smarter than that. And you are capable of making your own decisions. The least you could do is demo them both side by side and report back your findings for the thread.
     
  26. danbrenner

    danbrenner Professional

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    Just to update my string set up, I ran out of 4G today and replaced it with Babolat RPM blast and the blast is softer and spinnier and just different. I love 4G in general and recommended for the blade, but babolat RPM blast is definitely on par and I am loving it right now. 16g at 55 lbs.
     
  27. Rozroz

    Rozroz Legend

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    i don't live in tennis land..
    we don't have any demos here.
    i can only buy a racket.
    by my way of investigating i got the Dunlop 3hundred, which is perfect.
    don't have any complaints. just thought of maybe adding a stick.
     
  28. danbrenner

    danbrenner Professional

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    Ok. Sorry mate. U from down under?
     
  29. Rozroz

    Rozroz Legend

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    Lol, no. I'm in Israel.
    Didn't know you cannot demo even in Australia!
     
  30. danbrenner

    danbrenner Professional

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    I'm not 100% sure but I have friends in Australia that can't demo I do know that so in Israel I would think your best bet is to go to the courts and just use others players sticks no? How is tennis in Israel? Are there many courts everywhere where people play often? is a popular?
     
  31. Rozroz

    Rozroz Legend

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    By seeing reviews and searching for rackets that are similar to my current one, I could invest in a stick that seems fitting. If its only the Blade or the Rebel, I'll wait to find a cheap deal.
    Not gonna chase people and ask for favors..
    Besides, I prefer to commit to a racket, make the most of it, unless it's really not good for me.
    With similar specs, I'm pretty sure that with these 2 rackets I can't go really wrong.

    How is tennis in Israel?
    Well, there are many courts, at least around Tel Aviv.
    Many clubs, decent hard courts. Not too expensive.
    I guess you could say it's popular as a hobby sport.
     
  32. danbrenner

    danbrenner Professional

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    .
    I would never poke fun at someone with arm issues. you do you brother. and I happen to have three sets of origin I got from the playtest I still have a set leftover I liked it it's an interesting string I don't know if I could play as well with a string like this because it is a multi at the end of the day but it's interesting I actually throwing a set of RPM blast this week and I'm loving it
     
  33. borg number one

    borg number one Legend

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    I broke Lux Alu Rough in a new Blade frame a few days ago and am now getting some Babolat RPM Team 16g put in at 50lbs. I guess Lux Alu Rough tends to move around a lot? It hit really, really nicely though.
     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2014
  34. danbrenner

    danbrenner Professional

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    Nice one mate. Were going through the same phase because I just string up a set of 16g blast at 55 and I'm absolutely loving it. Soft enough to get some feel into your shots. I was hitting forehands with more confidence than ever with this string, and could really rope some forehands with massive spin loaded in. My hitting partner have me 3 woah's. That means blast 16 at 55 is a must try for anyone looking to experiment with strings for their blade. Let us know how the team fares for you, and how your strings behave at that lowish tension.
     
  35. borg number one

    borg number one Legend

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    Yes, absolutely. Thanks. Glad you're liking the racket as well. I can't wait to get a second one. This is the lowest I've ever gone in tension at 50lbs. I'm liking it especially for spin possibilities and easy power from stretched spots. For years now I've been someone that prefers tight string jobs at around 64-70 lbs pre poly (gut) and up to about 60 with poly. I've been trending down in tension and am liking it right now, although I may try a few frames strung tighter too to find a sweet spot. I'm not sure though, this 50 lbs. is feeling nice, although you do have to watch the easy power, because balls can fly on you a bit if you don't maintain your form nicely if you're going deep.
     
  36. danbrenner

    danbrenner Professional

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    That's my issue going low with soft polys. Directional control. Lux can handle low tensions, but with softer polys, like on serve returns, you get the spray effect. And that's why I like mid 50s with these types of strings. But keep a eye on that and report your findings here as will I. Carve on brotha.
     
  37. datsveryinterestin

    datsveryinterestin Rookie

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    Would be nice to see pics of Blades strung with red, blue, or yellow string..
    cmon... is your blade cool? Let us see!

    im thinkin bout gettin some 18x20s.
    normally I get heavier more HL frames with lower swingweights
    but I feel like the Blades solid SW might help remind me not to swing with my arm and to use my hips and trunk rotation more on my swing. Cuz my forehand can be deadly but it can also get very wristy when I get lazy.

    I can get IG rad pros for cheap but I like the feel of blade 1percent better so now I gotta break the bank.
     
  38. Lukhas

    Lukhas Legend

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    All EXO3 frames are very soft. However the Amplifeel Blade also is soft; something very buttery depending of the strings. I disliked it, preferred the firmer response of the BLX version. Had I to bet my life on it I'd still say the Rebel would be comfortable, but the Amplifeel Blade is much softer feeling than the previous versions. May have something to do with the handle that is filled with some kind of material. Given the pop of the Blade I'd rather take the 18/20 version though and put a thinner gauge of string. I liked the higher SW; you can't really arm you stroke away with the Blade or you may face trouble with both the results on court and on your health, you have to use a full stroke which may or may not be a good thing depending of your form. And if you want a more HL response it's easy to put a leather grip. You feel the weight at the tip of the racquet very well. Found the handle a bit short for my hands. Gratefully I have a 1HBH, but if I had a 2HBH I would probably never have used it.

    I do not use the Blade anymore, but it's a fine racquet.
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2014
  39. Rozroz

    Rozroz Legend

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    great info! thanks.
     
  40. danbrenner

    danbrenner Professional

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    I just want to say that the Blade 98 in my humble opinion, is a perfect entity. I have demoed and owned over 50 sticks in the last two years, and this stick just stands out in my mind as being the best. It is so solid, and has a nice swing weight, which at the end of the day, will produce better tennis. The racquet companies are unfortunately compromising quality for gimmicks at the moment. This spin technology is not doing anyone any favors, and will produce lesser tennis players. So in an age of spin sticks and gimmicks, keep a cool head, and play with a classic racquet. Super open patterns are not going to hold up under heavy hitting pressure.
     
  41. kingcheetah

    kingcheetah Professional

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    I agree with your basic premise, but the Blade 98 is actually pretty modern based on the specs...a "classic racquet" would be a pro staff 90/95 or a Six one 95.
     
  42. danbrenner

    danbrenner Professional

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    Your right. I didn't mean classic literally. I meant normal string pattern. These people buying into the 16x15 ish super open patterns are going to compromise their tennis. 16x18 is as open as you can go IMHO.
     
  43. RSPioli

    RSPioli New User

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    I´m testing some sticks and until now the Blade is the best. It´s a mix of everything that I wish on a racquet. Mine is strung with Wisscannon SilverString 1.20mm @50. The sound at the ball contact is so plesure. Let´s see how this honeymoon will end!
     
  44. danbrenner

    danbrenner Professional

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    That is great to hear brother I hope you will join the blade family this really is the best of both worlds. I have to say what a great racket. I will try those strings at some point. I put blast 16 at 55 on mine. And living it. Carve on my Freind.
     
  45. bt johnson

    bt johnson Rookie

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    Super open patterns are not going to hold up under heavy hitting pressure? I think the Blade is a great racquet but it's not going to help you hold up under heavy hitting pressure more than any open pattern racquet.

    If I grabbed a Steam 99 then you would not hold up to well with rally balls kicking up at shoulder height but my volleys and flat balls will suffer. Every racquet has a flaw.
     
  46. danbrenner

    danbrenner Professional

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    Of course it will hold up. . My point is that the standard patterns will give a flatter more controlled response that the super opens. I owned the Steam 99. And sold it a week later, after I realized that it compromised almost every stroke that involved needing an accurate flat trajectory. Tricks are for kids.
     
  47. ushynoti

    ushynoti Rookie

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    I have Weiss Cannon Scorpion (17g) in mine at 50lbs. I almost feel I can go lower, since the string bed can be a little stiff at times and almost take away too much power...I used to use a hybrid of poly/syn gut at around 55lbs and found the string bed to be very unpredictable. Have you tried Scorpion and how does it compare to Silverstring?
     
  48. RSPioli

    RSPioli New User

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    No, I didn´t try Scorpion in the Blade 16 x 19. I tried once in a Head Extreme and found it a little stiff.
    BTW, I strongly recommend Silverstring @50. It´s soft, powerfull and the ball trajectory is very predictable.
    I tried Polystar Energy 1.20 @48 too and found excelent results in the first hour. But, once the Energy start to loose tension the stringbed become too powerfull. I´ll try to string @50 next time with this string.
    Another setup that I tried was Pro´s Pro Vendetta 1.20 @48. I found laser like control, a lot of power, crisp feeling but my shoulder and elbow did not like this setup. It killed my body!
     
  49. ushynoti

    ushynoti Rookie

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    Ah, ok, do you think it had anything to do with the racquet? I kind of find Scorpion to be a little stiff too though. So looks like I'll have to try the Silverstring...have you tried any poly hybrid setups in the racquet? Or natural gut/poly hybrid?
     
  50. RSPioli

    RSPioli New User

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    Sorry, I didn´t understand this question. Changing balance, lead tape...

    No, I´ll try some hybrids, but I don´t know when. I stringing for my self and I have a lot of strings to test here. I´ll keep my experiencies updated here.
     

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