Wilson Blade 98s 18x16

Discussion in 'Racquets' started by Totoro, Jul 10, 2013.

  1. robdotcom

    robdotcom New User

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    Overall weight = 311g. Balance = 342mm. Swingweight = 318 kg/cm^2

    Getting a picture is not too convenient for me - I'm still in the stone-age, cell phone-wise - mine doesn't even have a camera.:oops:
     
  2. Automatix

    Automatix Hall of Fame

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    Seems quite spec on.

    Q: Is the handle molded from basalt and graphite on this one or is it a foam grip with basalt "inserts"?
    BTW. Anyone ever changed the grip on a Steam99S to see how the handle looks like?

    Thx.
     
  3. robdotcom

    robdotcom New User

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    On the 98S, and the 99S, the handle is foam with the inserts.
     
  4. drak

    drak Professional

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    I liked the 99S quite a bit but I have a very sensitive shoulder (had rotator cuff surgery) and it bothered it so I had to sell the 99S - I think it was a SW issue but it can be a small thing that sets it off. So I am glad to see Wilson is bring out several new frames and the Blade 98 is very intriguing, being significantly lighter and lower SW and more flexible. Any comments from those who have hit with it on comfort vs the 99S?
     
  5. Automatix

    Automatix Hall of Fame

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    You sure?
    [​IMG]

    The amplifeel 360 was supposed to be present on the Steams 99s...
    [​IMG]
     
  6. Broly4

    Broly4 Rookie

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    Automatix, the thing is that the 99s has blx inserts.
     
  7. robdotcom

    robdotcom New User

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    The Amplifeel 360 just means that there are more Amplifeel strips. It can be foam or graphite.
     
  8. bigdaddy

    bigdaddy Rookie

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    I'm glad to hear they are reviewing this racquet now.
     
  9. DANMAN

    DANMAN Professional

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    This racket is as advertised. I am about to go hit some more with it and will review it later.
     
  10. drak

    drak Professional

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    I wrote this in another thread about modding a BLX 98 to an 18x15 configuration, will be interested on how folks like the new BLX 18X16. I'm liking my modded version.


    "I've experimented before with less cross strings but always in 16 main rackets - results were soso at best up to this time. So the other day I took my old BLX Blade 98 (18x20) amd made it an 18x15 - very similar to the new model coming out in Sep. I simply started at the top and left ever 4th string out and the last bottom one as well - resulting in 15 crosses - I believe this is "legal" as well. I strung Yonex 850 1.25 mains at 50 and Dunlop Ice 1.25 crosses at 52, both are Poly's. This resulted in by far the best playing "modded" cross string racket I have yet attempted, IMO better than the 99S I used for a while but quit playing with because of shoulder issues. The string bed felt great, much softer than the origninal and spin and trajectory were noticeably enhanced, control remains very good, comfort was very good as well. The depth, spin, and control were what I was hoping to achieve from this setup.
    Surprisingly strings hardly moved, I am a solid 4.5 who hits with average top. I think having the 18 Mains made the biggest difference as control remained good but the 15 crosses really enhanced the spin and softened everything up in a good way - I think it made the Poly play better as well. Hit for a solid hour and a half today and will do it again tomorrow. I wonder if the redrilled new 18/16 Blade coming out in Sep will play even better, all I can say is I really liked how this modded older Blade played. I would suggest anyone who owns a BLX 98 Blade 18/20 to try this out.

    Drak"
     
  11. The Dark Knight

    The Dark Knight Legend

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    Is the ripspin a multi? And when does it come out?
     
  12. Ross K

    Ross K Legend

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    Look forward to that DANMAN.
     
  13. The Dark Knight

    The Dark Knight Legend

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    Fascinating ......don't know enough about stringing but id love to try it !

    Doesn't modding the stick up like that cause it to be unbalanced ?
     
  14. drak

    drak Professional

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    No, you are talking 5 cross strings - negligible, U can add a very small amount of lead to compensate if one prefers
     
  15. The Dark Knight

    The Dark Knight Legend

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    So cool. Wish I knew how to string .....I'm sure romanprokes could do it for me.
     
  16. drak

    drak Professional

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    try it on you next string job, it's actually easier to string with 5 less crosses, just tell your stringer to skip every 4th cross string starting from the top, and leave the bottom cross out.
     
  17. robdotcom

    robdotcom New User

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    Got my second sample a few days ago. The specs are:

    Weight = 312, Balance = 339, Swing Weight = 317
     
  18. Devilito

    Devilito Hall of Fame

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    strung?vvvcx
     
  19. robdotcom

    robdotcom New User

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    Yes, strung.
     
  20. bigdaddy

    bigdaddy Rookie

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    DANMAN any updates on your play tests yet.
     
  21. canuckfan

    canuckfan Semi-Pro

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    really intrigued by the 18x16 blade. the 16x19 blade is already a good stick, but if the 18x16 is slightly better in maneuverability, control, and spin that would be great. Danman, pls comment on the launch angle off the stringbed of the 18x16 blade in comparison to a traditional 16x19 pattern.

    ...drooling slightly in anticipation...
     
  22. DANMAN

    DANMAN Professional

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    I've been really busy with work. I have hit three times with the 18x16 all singles and am about to play some doubles with it. I will comment on it in the next day or so. What I can say this far is this: great spin with a nice launch angle though less than the steam s. I'd like to be on a computer to type up the rest and will try to do it ASAP. I will say I have already put an order in for three of them.
     
  23. Nastase

    Nastase Rookie

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    Thx Danman....what is your current racquet? The 16x19?
     
  24. The Dark Knight

    The Dark Knight Legend

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    The blades I had played with were too low powered for me .
    I'm hoping the "S" version will be a boost.
     
  25. Devilito

    Devilito Hall of Fame

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    how?.........
     
  26. JGads

    JGads Hall of Fame

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    Blade usually has too much power for some, like me. Lighter SW could make it nicer, I think. Drakulie's comments are intriguing.
     
  27. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    I always thought the Blades offered pretty good power, but you have to swing to get it.
    But certainly wouldnt call them "low powered". My guess is that you werent swinging fast enough.
     
  28. bigdaddy

    bigdaddy Rookie

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    To me the blx blade, the gold and black is a powerful stick. Also the new 16/19 has good pop. A little less power would be okay but not too light.
     
  29. drak

    drak Professional

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    Power is a function of several things, one important one being racket speed, keep in mind my shortened BLX sill weighs 11.5 oz as I added some lead but I can swing it faster with less effort because of the significantly lower SW, that is why I can still generate very good pace on the serve. In fact there is definitely an adjustment on the groundies especially because of how fast the racket can come thru in the shorter length, since I have been working on a smoother and easier swing I so far am adjusting well.

    and this is not "Drakulie", we've both been around TW for about the same length of time
     
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2013
  30. drak

    drak Professional

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    Jack, you bring up a very key point. I am going thru a process of reevaluating my entire game as I age (57 and a 4.5) and realize I can't play like I used to and be as successful as i think I still can be - I always have swung "hard" and was an agressive player. If I consistently swing hard now I simply miss a LOT more than I did 10 and more years ago. I keep myself in very good shape but my timing and balance are just not what it used to be as much as I'd prefer it to be different. So two weeks ago I made the committment to re-tuning my game - my main goal was to scale back my hard swing and find a "sweetspot" swing where maybe it's at a 70% level and I still generate good pace but I can make that shot at a very high success rate and hit 5-6-7-8 shots in a point with confidence if I need to. So in that process I am looking for a racket that "fits" the new smoother and easier swing and has the power-control combo I want.
    When I look at some of the guys who still play very well into their 50-s and even 60's and 70's the one thing that sticks out is that they are SMOOTH, they have very easy fluid swings with a very nice economy of motion and they still have consistency and pace - that is where I am trying to go, away from the more "muscly" type strokes of my past.
     
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2013
  31. Old school Paul

    Old school Paul New User

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    Drak

    I am in the same place you are mid fifties 4.5 and evaluating my game. I have playing with a Head prestige pro but recently evaluating if a lighter racquet like a volkl V1 pro or a Yonex vcore97t might be a better platform. I also toyed with a heavier alternative a volkl C10 classic. Still in the hitting stages but it seems when I stay heavy I can swing more controlled and still generate pace. I guess it is hard to move to a tweeter but I am getting closer...the Yonex is a nice stick.
     
  32. drak

    drak Professional

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    I have experimented a ton over the yrs modding frames with mixed results. However for my "ageing" game I do seem so far to be liking (with my new 65-70% effort swing) a still solid 11.5 oz frame but a shorter length to have the SW feel "light" and as easy to swing as a 10.8 oz frame but definitely more solid. It still provdes a very solid hit but swings very easy, we'll see how it progresses with time.
     
  33. JGads

    JGads Hall of Fame

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    I know. I was referring to Drakulie's post below.

     
  34. Chotobaka

    Chotobaka Hall of Fame

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    I used to play the K Blade 98, which had plenty of pop to it. Sort of a "tweener players racquet". The K Blade Tour was a different animal -- requiring a bit more work, but with even better control. I doubt lack of free power will be an issue with the 98 S.
     
  35. JGads

    JGads Hall of Fame

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    ^
    Yep, lot of people didn't like the KBlade 98 but I thought that aside from being incredibly unstable at net, great stick. Bombing serves was so fun. KBlade Tour a sweet stick, as well. Haven't liked the previous two Blade updates nearly as much, too sluggish and firm feeling for me.
     
  36. bertrevert

    bertrevert Hall of Fame

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    I last played the k93/98. Next versions were... slug-like, just heavyweight swingweights (but SW for me tops out at 320 max).

    Anyway the 99s Steam SW of 333 defeated me, and the occasional crazy launch angle was problematic in doubles, with opponents looking for anything even slightly popped up. In singles I wasn't getting the right depth and anything short and sitting up got shot down.

    I'm really looking fwd to this Blade.

    It's lighter static and SW seem right, in order to retain swing speed deeper into a tiring match, and a thinner beam will restore some touch, the throat will be modified, and a slightly opener bed than a 16 x 19 - I hope adds up to softer & spinnier.

    Hitting 50 years as well means that I'm not competitive with anything requiring me to be perfectly fit and "on" - so some added power is going to be necessary.

    I don't know why - I thouhg the recent Blades were low-power too if you didn't swing for the horizon...!
     
  37. parasailing

    parasailing Hall of Fame

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    I tried the 2013 Blade 98 with 16x19 string pattern and found the racquet to offer quite a bit of power to the point that the balls would sail long. I never had a chance to try the 18x20 pattern but from reviews, anyone who has issues with control would be better off with the 18x20 racquet.

    The only issue I had with the Blade in stock form was the stability when returning balls from opponents hit with a lot of spin and pace. It definitely need some lead but the SW was high to begin with and adding too much weigh made it unwieldy in my opinion so I opted to go with the Graphene Speed Pro instead.
     
  38. Ross K

    Ross K Legend

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    Interesting how we each have our own takes on these things... 99s swung great for me and I didn't feel the SW was an issue at all, though I feared it would be prior to playing it... Blade 98 (latest and gold/black) for me are lowish power, "proper" form required to unleash it.
     
  39. The Dark Knight

    The Dark Knight Legend

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    Of maybe you are swinging to fast ? :)

    Power is all relative to your opinion .

    The APD as an example is way more powerful than any blade regardless of how fast one swings .
     
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2013
  40. bigdaddy

    bigdaddy Rookie

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    I do believe that the player provides the power for the most part. The racquet can help. I know the current blades have the pop with the high sw if u can swing them. It's an individual preference I guess. I like my sw 325 to 330..I'll have to mod this new blade if I like everything else about it. More spin would be nice.
     
  41. Devilito

    Devilito Hall of Fame

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    I don't get people's issues. There's never such thing as "too light" That's what lead tape is for. "Too heavy" is impossible to fix so the last thing you want is a good frame that's too heavy. A lot of pro stock frames are extremely light then they are customized. Yes, too light will affect plow and stability and at higher levels it will be an issue. Just add lead and a leather grip and problem solved
     
  42. The Dark Knight

    The Dark Knight Legend

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    Some sticks are more powerful than other sticks.

    It's a combination of both. If Nadal were to play with a K90
    He would have less power than with his babolat regardless of how
    Hard he swung.
     
  43. cork_screw

    cork_screw Hall of Fame

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    yes.

    And for some reason people here have a hard time understanding that. And they always seem to need to say that it's your technique. Regardless of your technique sometimes your tool fits a certain job better than others. The aeropro is just a more powerful stick than say a midsize 90.

    I wouldn't use a philips head for a flat head screw.
     
  44. The Dark Knight

    The Dark Knight Legend

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    I believe Federer switched to a 98. Isn't that a bit more powerful than his 90 regardless of how hard he swings ?
     
  45. The Dark Knight

    The Dark Knight Legend

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    Sorry. .

    Mistake
     
  46. Fed4Life

    Fed4Life New User

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    This is going to be a beast. Wonder how it would compare to the steam 99s
     
  47. parasailing

    parasailing Hall of Fame

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    The only problem is that the Blade 98 16x19 already had a high SW and adding more lead will only increase the SW.

    With the 18x16, we have more leeway to add extra lead and not increase SW too much and definitely looking forward to this racquet.
     
  48. Ross K

    Ross K Legend

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    That's ^ exactly my reasoning too and why it sounds interesting to me.
     
  49. Bartelby

    Bartelby G.O.A.T.

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    Yes, well, most people don't want to be racquet technicians nor turn themselves into one.

    Having said that, i don't mind adding a bit of weight, but I'd prefer the 304 starting point to the 295 one.

    I also find the effect of lead tape to be rather unsubtle compared to a racquet built with extra weight.




     
  50. Ross K

    Ross K Legend

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    Despite what I said in previous post, TBH this (certainly first 2 points) also has a lot of validity for me... I'm definitely no racket technician (as again I'm presently discovering with my flyweight TFight mod experiments)...
     

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