The 2013 BLX Blade 93 review everyone was afraid to write.

Discussion in 'Racquets' started by J011yroger, Feb 10, 2013.

  1. J011yroger

    J011yroger G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2007
    Messages:
    12,334
    Location:
    Long Island, NY
    It's a good thing she's pretty. The sweet paintjob is the only redeeming quality of this frame. I had the displeasure of trying to hit with this thing for a couple of hours last night.

    My initial response was confusion, followed quickly by the conclusion of "Are they f'ing kidding with this thing?"

    The original K-Blade tour was a gutless tinker toy, and this frame holds true to its heritage.

    Groundstrokes: The ball comes off at too low of an angle as compared to any other frame on the planet, and Wilson messed with the grip shape (WTF?!?!?!). So it took me a minute or two to figure out how to hit the ball over the net instead of into the ground. Once I figured out how to hit the ball over the net, I quickly realized that it wasn't going very fast, and didn't have very much spin on it. So I did the only logical thing; I swung faster, and faster, and faster. It was like pushing a boulder up a hill. Usually when one is made to feel like a mythological Greek by a racquet, he hopes to feel like Zeus, not King Sisyphus. This thing starts at the point of diminishing returns.

    Not to be daunted I persisted in trying to figure out how to hit a representative ball with this thing, I mean, I can play pretty well with a wooden racquet, so I have got to be able to coerce a decent shot out of a modern racquet right? She was probably just being a bitter and frigid b'tch because of a former lover's spurn, and once I broke down her defenses with my natural charm, intelligence, and witty banter, I could surely get her to crack a smile right?

    Well, on the backhand, I abandoned all thoughts of power and attack with my two-handed topspin turning it into a purely rally high trajectory topspin shot. I made sure to loop it very high over the net buying me time to recover court position and relying on the fact that the ball would be out of my opponent's strike zone (due mostly to it bouncing, and a little to it kicking) to prevent me from being run all over the court. When I got a short ball on the backhand, the only thing to be done was to slice approach and volley.

    On the forehand I carried over the high bouncing topspin ploy, which also kind of worked. In an attempt to find some form of attacking forehand, I discovered that if I hit the ball way the heck out in front of me (like out in god's country) with a come out of my shoes type Dave Winfield worthy swing and a very shallow swingpath, I could generate a pretty fast, tightly spun, rifle shot trajectory ball.

    So there it was, my baseline game with the Blade 93. Rally from the back-court with heavily topspun balls in high arcs moving them around and keeping them out of my opponent's strike zone until I got a short ball, and then either slicing and attacking the net with my backhand, or rifling a winner with my forehand and coming in behind it in case the ball came back.

    To play from the back court with this thing you need placement, strategy, accuracy, patience, and variety. Ain't nobody got time for that *&^%$.

    Groundstroke grade: D+

    Volleys/Touch/Slice: The ball seems to do what you want it to, but it feels awful. With touch shots there is no rewarding sensation of knowing instantly "Oh, I got that one." that just brings forth that warm tingly feeling from within. That warm sensation is replaced with the mildly surprising sensation of "Hey! That one went in." because you didn't have a darned clue where the ball was going to end up when you hit it.

    It feels like volleying with a cheap, non-stick frying pan that you would buy from the dollar store, and though the shots go in, and go where you want them to more often than not, you find yourself perpetually surprised every time it happens. Confidence inspiring at net is the last thing I would say this frame was. There is nothing like getting a short ball slicing your approach and sliding in behind it, then split-stepping while a little voice in the back of your mind queries "Is this actually going to work?".

    Volley/Touch/Slice grade: C-

    Serve: If nothing else, I have an arm. I've served around 120mph with a piece of junk wooden racquet I bought from a thrift store for $3. This thing laughed at me. So I tried harder. The racquet looked at me with the same look Andre the Giant would give an angry two year old who was punching him in the foot.

    Serve grade: D-

    A note on sweetspot, stiffness, and feel: They somehow made this racquet stiffer, but the ball didn't go any faster, which is counter-intuitive, and downright confusing, baffling, or flummoxing. The sweetspot is dead in the center of the racquet, except that almost nobody with long fast strokes hits the ball there, they hit the ball higher in the bed where this racquet is stiff, dead, and lame. Heaven forbid you hit the ball higher in the bed than that, or off center on a volley, either of those awards you a sensation similar to hitting a brick wall with an aluminum baseball bat. The frame was easily pushed around, twisted, or otherwise bullied on off-center hits, or attempts to short hop, or block groundstrokes.

    Final word: If you absolutely must try this thing, string it as loose as you dare with the most lively poly or hybrid you can fathom, and take an unholy rip at the ball. I wish you the best of luck.

    I see no reason why anyone who plays any sort of power game would want this racquet, and if you are one of those touch/variety/keep the ball in play types, though you may be able to play as well with this racquet as another, I can't help but think there has got to be something better for you out there.

    J
     
    #1
  2. srvnvly

    srvnvly Professional

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2004
    Messages:
    1,040
    This complements why I've seen a lot of 93s in the Racquets for Sale section.
     
    #2
  3. dgoran

    dgoran Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2004
    Messages:
    1,919
    That's why they say its for advanced player not weekend warrior
     
    #3
  4. Broly4

    Broly4 Rookie

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2012
    Messages:
    298
    Couldn't agree more, nice review J
     
    #4
  5. rdis10093

    rdis10093 Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2011
    Messages:
    3,879
    Location:
    states
    ahhhhh!!! why is this guy so loyal to k90s give yonex mids a try for immortality.
     
    #5
  6. Torres

    Torres Banned

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2011
    Messages:
    4,766
    LOL. Amusing original post. Unless you're from the tennis gods, its just too dense a pattern for the head size. Too much hard work, too much of the time.
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2013
    #6
  7. J011yroger

    J011yroger G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2007
    Messages:
    12,334
    Location:
    Long Island, NY
    I am not really prejudiced, it is just that Yonex is hard to get locally, just not popular here in the NE, and truth be told I don't enjoy trying out racquets and strings, I just do when people ask me to, and figure why not post the review.

    J
     
    #7
  8. Lilguy1456

    Lilguy1456 Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2012
    Messages:
    782
    Agree with OP.

    There really is no place for a 93 with an 18x20 pattern in the modern game. Might as well play with a shovel.
     
    #8
  9. Frankauc

    Frankauc Professional

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2008
    Messages:
    949
    didnt tried the 93 but the 98 felt like this to me. i bought a blx prostaff 95 instead. much better
     
    #9
  10. rdis10093

    rdis10093 Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2011
    Messages:
    3,879
    Location:
    states
    yeah man, but you will never know if you never try. what if you are playing with a wooden practice swords and all this time you could have been playing with your Excalibur.

    take it for what it is though. just my advice. I liked the k90, hated the blx90 and never tried the ps90. I have used the rdis 93 for the past half decade though and it is sublime. The no longer make it, but they do make an 89, that is just as good. you might have to shell out for a demo from tw, but it will be worth it hands down.

    bests,
    rdis10093
     
    #10
  11. Lilguy1456

    Lilguy1456 Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2012
    Messages:
    782
    Have you played with the RDX 500 Mid? I feel like it's even a bit sweeter than the RDiS 93! Both great though.
     
    #11
  12. rdis10093

    rdis10093 Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2011
    Messages:
    3,879
    Location:
    states
    I was to young for that stick, but from what I am told, the 89 is the offspring of the rdx 500 and rdis 93.
     
    #12
  13. Lilguy1456

    Lilguy1456 Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2012
    Messages:
    782
    I'm too young for it too ('87 birth), but I just picked one up used on the forums. So sweet. Been meaning to buy a VCore 89 too. I just love these Yonex sticks.
     
    #13
  14. J011yroger

    J011yroger G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2007
    Messages:
    12,334
    Location:
    Long Island, NY
    The new prestige is great, in my opinion, and that is 89.5 with an 18x20 pattern.

    I don't think it is the blueprint, it is the execution of it that sucks.

    J
     
    #14
  15. barry

    barry Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2004
    Messages:
    3,270
    Your experience with the 93 was very similar to my experience with the 16x19 blade. I think Wilson should have repainted the earlier version and called it a day.

    Not what I call an improvement!
     
    #15
  16. Lilguy1456

    Lilguy1456 Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2012
    Messages:
    782
    I suppose you're right. I just can't get enough top on a mid with 18x20. My Aerogel 4D has an 18x20, but it's a VERY open 18x20. I have no problem getting spin with that. Prestige Mid and Blade 93...can only hit low percentage pancakes with it...can't dial in the consistency.
     
    #16
  17. rdis10093

    rdis10093 Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2011
    Messages:
    3,879
    Location:
    states
    Lilguy1456,

    you can still find them on the forums and stuff, but I am not the biggest fan of buying used racquets. I also feel like I need a minimum of three of the same sticks at any given time. So it would be really hard for me to acquire 3 rdx mids from the same buyer. I do have enough 93s stock piled to last me the better part of the next decade though.
     
    #17
  18. Lilguy1456

    Lilguy1456 Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2012
    Messages:
    782
    Yeah that is the problem with picking up single frames. Unfortunately, that's like the ONLY option with some of these older sticks. No new left.
     
    #18
  19. monomer

    monomer Rookie

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2011
    Messages:
    244
    I find the Blade 93 to be a fine racquet if it suits your game. For a heavy topspin game, it is simply the wrong tool.

    I have been trying to wean myself off the APD for quite some time. Great racquet, but I am realizing that a "swing as hard as you can with lots of spin" game is not sustainable for a 45-yo.

    I have both the 18x20 Blade 98 and the 93. The 93 is super precise and allows me to hit through the court more. Plenty of mass but still under 12.5 oz. If you don't have the arm or footwork for a 90, the Blade 93 is a reasonable choice. I can't say that I'm going to make a permanent switch yet, but the racquet definitely fits a niche.
     
    #19
  20. JGads

    JGads Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2010
    Messages:
    4,343
    Got to hit with this frame for one night months ago and I could not agree more with Jolly's very funny review. And I'm a lover of mids - ProKennex Black Ace my favorite, and I also love the Prestiges, and the Vcore 89 is positively epic, just too hefty for me. The sweet spot on this one is so terribly tiny. Two handed backhands were an utter nightmare.
     
    #20
  21. Relinquis

    Relinquis Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2012
    Messages:
    4,335
    Location:
    On the courts; hard & clay ...
    i.e. real tennis?

    On a more serious note, what is your regular stick so we can have an idea of what you are used to (Yonex, i assume)? It would give your review some context. Maybe the string pattern is tighter than what you are used to, so the ball is launched at a lower angle.
     
    #21
  22. J011yroger

    J011yroger G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2007
    Messages:
    12,334
    Location:
    Long Island, NY
    I said to myself "I am a 6'3" grown man, and I have two hands on this racquet, how in the world can it feel like it is going to get knocked out of my hands?"

    J
     
    #22
  23. J011yroger

    J011yroger G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2007
    Messages:
    12,334
    Location:
    Long Island, NY
    Sorry, I thought my legend had reached the furthest recesses of the TW galaxy, and that I needed no introduction.

    My regular frame is a heavily modded Wilson 90 (have played with them all).

    Currently experimenting with the IG Prestige Mid also heavily modded (as detailed in my "Basalt Wars: A New Hope" thread)

    I don't think the pattern on the blade is tighter than the Prestige Mid. I don't think anything has a tighter pattern than it, and that is a stellar frame.

    J
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2013
    #23
  24. Lilguy1456

    Lilguy1456 Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2012
    Messages:
    782

    BLX Pro Tour HAS to be the tightest...I couldn't even believe how tiny those squares were. It seemed insane to me.
     
    #24
  25. JGads

    JGads Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2010
    Messages:
    4,343
    Agree. It was awful.

    Jolly, you'd dig the Yonex 89 Tour. Maybe not as much as the K90s, but possibly more than the Prestige. Huge sweet spot for a mid. Too hefty for me but probably not for you.

    Quick note to Jolly or any NY TTers: I'll be in the city for a week and a half later this month. Always up for a hit.

    Now back to your regularly scheduled programming..
     
    #25
  26. Relinquis

    Relinquis Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2012
    Messages:
    4,335
    Location:
    On the courts; hard & clay ...
    thanks J. it makes the Blade 93 review all the more puzzling! i wonder what it is that makes the racquet play so differently from what you're used to (a close patterned mid).

    I haven't tried it yet. Not many opportunities to demo where I am, but I am looking to get a mid by the summer. Currently using the Steam BLX 100, which I'm going to lead/silicone up soon to make more headlight and increase the swing weight and an old Price 93" frame from my youth.

    will check out the basalt wars thread, although i've never seen starwars/trek (I'm assuming there is some relation).
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2013
    #26
  27. Lilguy1456

    Lilguy1456 Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2012
    Messages:
    782
    I'm in North Jersey, and it is an AWFUL state for tennis. A total disaster especially with this weather...
     
    #27
  28. J011yroger

    J011yroger G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2007
    Messages:
    12,334
    Location:
    Long Island, NY
    Sure, just PM me.

    J
     
    #28
  29. davedomart

    davedomart Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2010
    Messages:
    438
    How did it get such a glowing review from TW? TW really slammed the past BLX version.
     
    #29
  30. Lilguy1456

    Lilguy1456 Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2012
    Messages:
    782
    Just following the TW model for reviews. Very headlight, heavy, dense patterned, midsized frames almost ALWAYS get decent or GREAT reviews on TW. Light racquets almost never do, as the comments usually read "wish it had more weight," even by the playtesters who like lighter sticks. All you need to do is look at the spec of a racquet to know if it'll get a good review or not.
     
    #30
  31. J011yroger

    J011yroger G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2007
    Messages:
    12,334
    Location:
    Long Island, NY
    The same way 4G did...

    J
     
    #31
  32. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2004
    Messages:
    43,461
    Hmmm.....Prestige Mids anyone? (Which are even smaller at 89.5 sq. in..)
     
    #32
  33. Lilguy1456

    Lilguy1456 Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2012
    Messages:
    782
    Far be it for a pleeb like me to argue with someone with over 35,000 posts (over 10 per day for 9 years) but I'm not sure anyone on tour is playing with the Mid are they?
     
    #33
  34. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2004
    Messages:
    43,461
    Well first of all, yes, there are pros who use the Prestige Mid.

    Second of all, how many people on this board play on the pro tour? So what does what the pros use have anything at all to do with what we use to play recreational tennis? I mean, I also don't drive the same car that professional race car drivers do, but I get around just fine in my regular car on the streets that I drive on.
     
    #34
  35. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2004
    Messages:
    43,461
    Not necessarily. For instance, I can play better with an old wood racquet than I can with the great majority of modern racquets. :shock:
     
    #35
  36. Lilguy1456

    Lilguy1456 Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2012
    Messages:
    782
    My original point was 93 (or 89.5) with closed patterns have no place in the MODERN game...as evidence by the lack of people playing with them...
     
    #36
  37. J011yroger

    J011yroger G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2007
    Messages:
    12,334
    Location:
    Long Island, NY
    We know. You have told us. Ad nauseum.

    J
     
    #37
  38. Lilguy1456

    Lilguy1456 Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2012
    Messages:
    782
    About 36,000 posts worth?
     
    #38
  39. J011yroger

    J011yroger G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2007
    Messages:
    12,334
    Location:
    Long Island, NY
    Well, honestly, no. There is some variety.

    A: Extol Federer
    B: Preach the glory of small headed racquets
    C: Extol the eastern forehand, and one handed backhand
    D: Bemoan mixed doubles
    E: Boast about his playing ability in the face of circumstances that flummox others.

    So, to speed up the posting, instead of typing anything BP could respond to any thread with

    A: [10 char]
    B: [10 char]
    C: [10 char]
    D: [10 char]
    or
    E: [10 char]

    J
     
    #39
  40. Lilguy1456

    Lilguy1456 Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2012
    Messages:
    782
    Well, at least he mixes it up from time to time. That's only > 7,000 posts about each...he's keeping it fresh...
     
    #40
  41. J011yroger

    J011yroger G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2007
    Messages:
    12,334
    Location:
    Long Island, NY
    Well, actually it is somewhat disproportionate.

    Out of his last 100 posts, there were 66 extolling Federer, no doubt spurred on by the Oz open. We can expect to see a dramatic uptick in the Mid size extolling when the 2014 PS 90 is released, and along with that the numbers of posts of his own ability, and the ohbh and eastern FH will pick up as well.

    J
     
    #41
  42. sam_p

    sam_p Professional

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2012
    Messages:
    1,127
    Love the Blade 93

    Everyone is entitled to an opinion of course and mine is in complete discord with the OP.

    I've had no problems in adapting to this racket. Love the feel, my serve is huge with it and 1HBH is superb. I'm coming from the Yonex 89T, which I also enjoyed but oddly gave me forearm and shoulder pain on impact. This went away and hasn't returned with the Blade. The feel is extremely solid for me, volleys are great as well. I think it is a well suited racket for doubles players with penetrating flatter strokes. I find ample topspin when I want it though and the backhand slice is downright surgical. My only complaint has been a little bit of increased shanks on windy days.
     
    #42
  43. tlm

    tlm Legend

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2004
    Messages:
    7,516
    Hey Jolly have you tried the new volkl organax 10 mid? To me this is a very good racket.
     
    #43
  44. J011yroger

    J011yroger G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2007
    Messages:
    12,334
    Location:
    Long Island, NY
    Still have not, but when I do, I will write up a review.

    J
     
    #44
  45. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2004
    Messages:
    43,461
    It appears that you agree that an old wood racquet plays better than this newest, most modern 2013 BLX Blade 93, right?
     
    #45
  46. kaiser

    kaiser Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2010
    Messages:
    703
    Location:
    Holland - Belgium
    I'm in no position to argue with your very entertaining review, and I have no desire to do so, but I have to say this: A couple of years ago I worked with a Spanish teaching pro at the La Manga sports resort. This guy swung a stock KBT and hit the most insanely kicking serves and groundstrokes with this stick. His kickers went way over my head and I'm 6'5.5"... Now he had trained at a pro level but just failed to make the ranks, so would not be representative for these boards, but it is possible to hit huge topspin with the Blade Tours. I have been on the receiving end of it.
     
    #46
  47. J011yroger

    J011yroger G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2007
    Messages:
    12,334
    Location:
    Long Island, NY
    Oh, I know lots of guys who played quite well, and certainly better than I with the KBT, but almost all of them switched to something else after a while because the racquet didn't have enough steam.

    The frame is just a small part of the equation, so if you don't have it, nothing is going to give you a lot more, and if you do have it, you will always have some of it.

    J
     
    #47
  48. mmk

    mmk Professional

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2011
    Messages:
    967
    You want to try my Wilson Advantage? 65 sq. in., 18 X 21 pattern.
     
    #48
  49. kaiser

    kaiser Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2010
    Messages:
    703
    Location:
    Holland - Belgium
    Those are words of wisdom...
     
    #49
  50. Buford T Justice

    Buford T Justice Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2011
    Messages:
    424
    The same thought has crossed my mind a time or two......

    Sometimes I wish I was taught tennis in the 70's (and not the 2000's) and had that style....seems like one could play forever in that manner.
     
    #50

Share This Page