Santa (demo) Claus came to my house

Discussion in 'Racquets' started by drummerdan, May 6, 2013.

  1. drummerdan

    drummerdan Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2008
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    Location:
    Wichita, Kansas
    I got 4 frames delivered today on my porch. Was able to get out and hit a couple of them.

    They are:

    Wilson Blade 98 (18x20)
    Volkl Organix 10 Mid
    Head Speed Pro
    Wilson Steam 99s

    The last stick comes more out of curiosity than anything. As of today, I can't imagine switching to this racquet but I wanted to see about the hype.

    Currently, I play the Volkl PB Mid 10 and have for a few years. I love this racquet and it's been great but it may be time to move on. I want something a bit firmer and maybe a little bigger framed. I'm 53, 4.5 and a baseliner with lots of topspin and a heavy ball.

    Intitially, I hit with the new Volkl. It felt like an old friend with a firmer hoop. Not a tremendous difference from it's older brother but a bit more solid feeling. This was a short hit because I wanted to hit with my (seemingly #1 anticipated racquet) - the Blade 98.

    I moved on to the Blade and loved it from the first stroke. Yeah, the butt is alot different from my Volkl but I found myself adjusting pretty quickly. The butt is much more pronounced but sometimes a rounder butt is not a bad thing :) The word to describe the Blade is solid. I could crush returns and groundies felt like I couldn't miss. Admittedly, I had to work harder because this doesn't provide much power and the trajectory is lower. Spin is a little harder to generate but the control, ahh, the control. BTW, this was strung with NXT in the mid to upper range. It felt a bit tighter than I would normally play but it wasn't harsh or hard on my arm.

    My opponent said that my ball was flatter but just as hard and it stayed lower. Like I said above, I had to work a little harder to generate spin, but spin is very possible.

    I'll give this racquet another chance tomorrow along with the others and post my results here later. As we all know, there's a honeymoon period with new racquets so we'll see how it goes during the week.
     
    Last edited: May 7, 2013
    #1
  2. SandVolley

    SandVolley New User

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    What is the string pattern on your Blade 98?
     
    #2
  3. drummerdan

    drummerdan Semi-Pro

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    18x20. You can tell that it's much tighter than my current 16x19 pattern but I loved the control it gives.
     
    #3
  4. drummerdan

    drummerdan Semi-Pro

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    2nd day of hitting. This time, I was more focused on the Steam 99s and the Speed Pro.

    First up was the Steam 99s - it's very true, this stick produces massive amounts of spin. It's also true that the launch angle is higher than most racquets and so there was an adjustment period. However, after that adjustment - wow! Great spin on everything as my opponent said that everything jumped at him more than normal and I usually hit a pretty heavy ball. After he took the racquet and hit balls at me, I could see what he meant. He's a college player with heavy strokes anyway and some of his shots were unplayable - especially with kick serves wide on the ad side. This would take an adjustment period for me but it might be worth it.

    Next was the Head Speed Pro - it's solid in every way. I felt very much in control with every stroke, especially the backhand. Nice touch around the net and serves were spot on. I can't really say anything bad about this stick. I could easily switch to this stick with only a slight adjustment period.

    Still, the Blade 98 feels like the easiest adjustment from where I'm at currently. It's just so solid that you can't go wrong.

    The tests continue!
     
    #4
  5. MikeHitsHard93

    MikeHitsHard93 Hall of Fame

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    Sound like a lot of fun! It's great when you get demos that are all good rackets
     
    #5
  6. drummerdan

    drummerdan Semi-Pro

    Joined:
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    Another hit today - mostly with the 99s. I hate to admit it but I'm kinda diggin' this stick. After dialing it in on the trajectory, I'm blasting the ball beautifully and the ball is dipping like crazy. The ball still gets away occasionally but it's getting more infrequent.

    What started out as a test out of curiosity has become a growing liking for this racquet!
     
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