Wilson Blade 98s 18x16

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

  1. CrispyFritters

    CrispyFritters Rookie

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    jdawg, any chance you also have experience with the K90, BLX90, or even the 99S? I'd like to know how it feels relative to those. The K90 was too heavy for me, but 99S + 0.75 ounces (total lead and handle weight) feels pretty good. I'd love to have a comparison.
     
  2. sundaypunch

    sundaypunch Hall of Fame

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    I am quite familiar with the physics behind spin. Topspin comes from a low to high swing path and/or a slightly closed racquet face at impact. This swing path pushes the mains downward on the crosses and they slingshot upward prompting the ball to spin.

    If you swing downward on the ball the reverse happens - the mains slide upward and slingshot downward, causing underspin (slice).

    When you hit flat, neither happens. There is no need to browse TW University to understand this. Of course, most people are not going to hit truly flat with no spin. The mains will be moving slightly one way or the other but the amount will be inconsequential. I hit with some that hit so flat that you can occasionally read the writing on the ball as it comes to you. They aren't going to get squat from a 99s or 98s.

    You are on your own if you require evidence to understand this.

    As for the link you provided, do you even understand what you are looking at? They are simulating a 40-degree upward swingpath and getting 1500 rpm. Do you think they would be getting that kind of spin with a 10-degree swingpath? Obviously it will be considerably less. Now ask yourself what the result of the test will be when they fire the ball directly at the strings - a zero degree (flat) swingpath isn't going to give you spin.

    If you think that a flat hitting rec. player is getting 1000+ rpm on their FH then you haven't been around tennis very long.
     
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2013
  3. bertrevert

    bertrevert Hall of Fame

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    I used to have a 300g, played it till the top of the hoop broke on a forehand.

    So the BLADE98S is light like the 300g yeah?

    (Arm friendly is also good after 3-4 months of tennis elbow...)
     
  4. bertrevert

    bertrevert Hall of Fame

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  5. bertrevert

    bertrevert Hall of Fame

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    First of all allow me to suggest you don't get personal with a comment about age - put simply, you have no idea - and as a baseless personal attack you will have your account suspended quickly. So back in your box if you don't mind.

    As for "wasting time" that is your choice.

    Now, to continue, but sorry this is not addressed to you. I have given you links to TW Uni and I suggest you read them as it will change your mind. As a "truly flat hitter" you may be less interested in this thread in future and more interested in the proposed Pro Staff with Spin, as that is on the cards as in this thread. I am trying to help you. But, your choice. Pls don't waste any more of my time.


    All - I found the TW reviewer's comment here quite interesting.

    I like the view that the Spin Effect in this control frame is less obvious.

    I found the 99S just produced too much.

    From the baseline, does the 98S have enough pop and produce a ball dipping and diving with/without poly. I ask this because with the 99S I left too many balls on the T that didn't explode with enough spin to keep opponent back. (the caveat here is that I play on artificial grass whereas h/court would be more conducive.)

    Apologies for in-depth questions - there is no way to demo this frame over here.
     
  6. jdawg02

    jdawg02 Rookie

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    Unfortunately I have not had any experience with those frames. I've exclusive have only used 95-100 inch racquets in my competitive playing career. The Blade 98s feels great stock in my opinion. I am have exclusively played with head light racquets in the past decade. Babolat Pure Drive Plus, Dunlop M-Fil 200, Microgel Prestige 98, Babolat Pure Storm Tour, Donnay Platinum 99, Wilson Six-One 95 18x20 and now this new Blade 98s.
     
  7. jdawg02

    jdawg02 Rookie

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    It does feel like the 300g in my opinion just a tad higher swing weight I suppose. This is definitely an arm friendly racquet in my book. Hope it works out for ya :)
     
  8. RollTrackTake

    RollTrackTake Semi-Pro

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    Being that 98 S is on avg 1 point head light strung it does feel more stable or closer to an 11.5 oz stick that is maybe 3-4 pts HL. I hit my 98 S side by side with my Tec 315 LTD again today and while the 98 S feels just as solid, with my strokes, the 315 LTD hits a noticeably heavier ball. The fly in the ointment is while my Tec has lead, I am still testing the 98 S stock. So not really apples to apples here. Actually, the 98 S in stock form feels more solid to me than the stock 315 Ltd.
    Next outing I'll bring the lead tape & adorn the 98 S for a fair assessment.
     
  9. sundaypunch

    sundaypunch Hall of Fame

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    I have read your links - there is nothing in them that contradicts what I have said. As I mentioned in the prior post, it's clear that you don't understand the meaning of the data in some of them.

    I am the first one to agree that the spin effect technology works. Where we disagree is when I say it will enhance existing spin and you think it will create it for a zero spin (flat) hitter.

    I hit with a lot of spin, too much actually. I switched from years on an APD to a Blade 18x20 to flatten the ball out a bit. I still get plenty of spin with the Blade, even with full syn. gut. My interest in the 98s has nothing to do with spin. I like the idea of less swing weight (my only complaint about the 18x20).
     
  10. bertrevert

    bertrevert Hall of Fame

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    Great, it'll add some to your flat strokes.

    Spin Tech adds spin. Snap back of the mains. No two ways about it. Less in this case because the 18 mains remain. (Yep seen plenty of logos on balls coming at me.)

    You're a flat hitter who hits with (too much) spin...? What? Appears self-contradictory. You went from an APD to a Blade? What, why? Very different. You chop and change.

    Move on then.

    You are not getting head speed in the hitting zone.

    I recall the kBlade 98 had even-balance and a reasonable SW, the BLX had bulk SW that was utterly impossible at net. YMMV.

    This BLADE98S at 321 SW is more like a Rad or a 300g and close to my current racq and therefore seems on the money.

    Give it a try and report back.

    Stay off the Sundays Punch.
     
  11. bertrevert

    bertrevert Hall of Fame

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    Drakulie did a quick comparison of the Blade 98S with the Steam 99S here

    I'm surprised/pleased to hear that the power levels appear the same even though the 99S has the much higher SW.

    So often the lower SW, lighter static weight racquets lack oomph and get bossed around at which point you lose depth and get stuck on the defensive.

    The only exception here is what SOLID said above - outside of the sweetspot there isn't a lot to give. But what it can give is spin of course.

    All the TW reviewers remarked lack of plowthru and depth consistency problems - did players find the sweetspot small?

    One thing I thought about the 99S that with fewer crosses the sweetspot felt large and well spread across the frame.

    Is that not also the case the Blade here?
     
  12. bertrevert

    bertrevert Hall of Fame

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    To tell truth as well I'm looking at this frame as a bit of a sop/salve to a bad bout of TE - how's the comfort levels on this one?

    That thin beam looks nice n flexy...

    (nb. I didn't say sexy but maybe it is too)
     
  13. sundaypunch

    sundaypunch Hall of Fame

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    Huh?

    For a couple of posts we were having a reasonably adult conversation. Now that I have explained the physics of spin to you, you still seem to think that it will magically appear for a flat hitter with a flat swing path. I'm going to chalk it up to trolling as the above post shows that you are just talking in circles.
     
  14. RollTrackTake

    RollTrackTake Semi-Pro

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    IMHO the sweet spot is average. Not as large as a Prince port racquet or many of the 100 in tweeners but its no ping pong ball either. It really depends on what frame your coming from though. For me it falls just shy of the BB London and slightly bigger than the TF. 315 Ltd 16. I'm sure if you add lead it will widen the SS a little more. I plan on adding 2 grams at 10 & 2 while putting 5 grams under the trap door.
     
  15. Bhairava

    Bhairava Rookie

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    No way it will ADD spin. It *multiply* by some coefficient you current spin, of course ;)
    So if you hit flat, it will stay flat. Like someone else said, 10% of zero is always zero!l
    This is obvious even because when you hit flat the mains are not snapping back in any direction..
     
  16. bertrevert

    bertrevert Hall of Fame

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    Re-read this thread.

    More spin on ALL strokes.

    "I hit several forehand drives I thought were going long and they fell in."
    "My 2HBH is normally pretty flat. With the 98 S I got a noticeable increase in topspin."
    "{My forehand was doing well even when I was hitting flat. "

    Try (troll?) harder.

    Play well.
     
  17. bertrevert

    bertrevert Hall of Fame

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    Ok so how did this racquet affect your strokes?

    Given what others have said in this thread, how did you find it?
     
  18. bertrevert

    bertrevert Hall of Fame

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    I thought I saw several posts somewhere here but now cannot find them - what sort of strings are being tried in this frame???

    Nothing in the strings forum so far.

    It seems this "S" is not so hard on the strings as the 99S - so did you string it with your usual combination and expect or get the same tension-loss, string life, and string characteristics?

    Anyone lowering or upping the tension on account of the more open stringbed...?
     
  19. bertrevert

    bertrevert Hall of Fame

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    Weighting sounds sane - drawing the SS open and up (counteracting the TW power map which shows a little less power up top).

    Me coming from a year or so with BLX Pro Open, a frame I'd like to stick with except for getting some TE, it has a generous stringbed which does however seem to have its hot spots...

    Having played Rads/300gs that sort of thing it took some adjustment to just go up with a little extra power and I cannot swing as free on it.

    The 99S sweetspot seemed huge and even and stretched width-ways right to the very edges.

    Perhaps the "S" frames with less crosses seem to spread the power wider?

    ANy silicone under that trap? (there was in the Steam...) cheers
     
  20. Trojan1994

    Trojan1994 New User

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    I have the 98S, 2 99S and a 105S

    The 98S is strung with Ripspin 17 @ 30lbs., 99S w/Ripspin 17 @ 30lbs., 99S with 4GS @ 54lbs., 105S with Ripspin 17 @ 30lbs.

    The 98S clearly has less power and spin than my 99S and 105S racquets and sweet spot seems smaller. 98S definitely has the edge on control/shot placement and for me, the ability to keep the ball more consistently lower over the net.

    Regards,

    Tony
     
  21. Phantasm

    Phantasm New User

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    Looking forward to demo this stick once it's on the rack at my local shop. Tried to get one a few days ago and none on the rack. Sounds like people like it so far.
     
  22. RollTrackTake

    RollTrackTake Semi-Pro

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    no silicone as far as I can see in there. I played with the Pro Open (Ncode version & BLX). the 98 S has less power and a smaller sweetspot. the 98 S doesn't feel as crisp as the pro open. After 3 weeks with PPA strung in my 98 S today i put Tour Bite 17 in it. I won't get to try it out until wednesday. FWIW, my yellow and black blx pro open was one of my favorite frames in recent years. I played only that frame for over a year until i accidentally cracked it. i never noticed any hot spots with my pro open. my setup was a full bed B5E and 5 grams under the buttcap. i bought several after that trying to recreate the magic but for some reason i couldn't.
     
  23. bertrevert

    bertrevert Hall of Fame

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    Excellent feedback Roll

    Yes I am on the yellow Pro Open - crisp! - it's pretty unforgiving on elbow but still a versatile racq.

    You are stringing the 98S with what you favour or are used to - not 4g - so it seems the S pattern in this one doesn't eat strings and takes to player's preferences

    I'm thinking the PPA must have been good... but you are going to a lighter gauge?

    Oh and I guess are you missing the power of the PO, or os the Blade comparatively adequate?
     
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2013
  24. RollTrackTake

    RollTrackTake Semi-Pro

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    The 98 S was strung with PPA by its previous owner. This is my first experience with it. Naturally it had the same drawbacks every multi has. Too powerful/unpredictable near the end of its life. I will at some point try the same string again to see how it plays fresh at around 58lbs. The string life was better than expected but I'm not a string breaker nor have I used it against what I consider a hard hitter. I am expecting a more familiar response now that its strung with Tour Bite 17. I'll also get a better idea at how arm friendly this frame is coupled with a relatively stiff poly.
     
  25. Bhairava

    Bhairava Rookie

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    You can find several proofs that explain why a truly flat shot will be always flat, no matter what racquet will you use. And thank god!!I would be quite disappointed if I would get spin from nohere while doing a flat shot :-D
    If you take a racquet and put it on a floor perfectly in plane and you let bounce a ball without any angle on the racquet, you will see it bouncing vertically without any spin - this is a flat shot(instead of moving the racquet you re moving the ball). No spin is added when stringbed is hit perpendicular.
    Let's try to explain with other words. If you make a swing path low-to-high, you have main strings moving down and suddenly moving up, giving the ball top-spin.
    If you make a backhand slice, you will make a swing path high-to-low, so your main strings will move up and then suddenly down, giving the ball a backspin.
    If you hit TRULY flat, a full horizontal motion, where should the mains string move?Down or up?should the racquet give top or back spin?
    Obviously, they will not go in any direction beside orizontal pushing, and this is because there is no force pushing them in a normal direction(normal direction in this case is the direction perpendicular to the stringbed plane).
    It is just about physics, and a very easy physics one.
    The point is: a lot of player are not aware that they are still using some spin on their semi-flat shots. In that case an additional spin, even if little as 100 rpm, can have not-negligible effect.Wilson said that, for every 100 rpm of top-spin rotation, your ball will land 1 feet shorter in average. So a very wide open pattern could help even those people that hit a semi-flat stroke.
    But when you gain something, you lose something ;) in this case, less strings in the stringbed= less accuracy. And for a flat hitter or a semi-flat hitter, accuracy is the most important thing.
    So, at the end, I would recommend open pattern racquet only to people with a good spin stroke. They are less concerned about accuracy: their shots will not land inside the court because pin-point precision, but because of their high topspin, that will make every shot land suddenly.
     
  26. Anton

    Anton Hall of Fame

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    You are wrong.

    The only way to not impart spin on the ball is to hit it with racket moving directly opposite to ball's path and racket face exactly perpendicular to balls path.

    If racket face is not perpendicular the ball's path it will be deflected with spin because force will act on the ball off-center.
     
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2013
  27. bertrevert

    bertrevert Hall of Fame

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    Exactly Anton,

    There is no real-world equivalent to what these guys say about hitting a ball "truly" flat.

    Given the minute fractional discrepancies from perpendicular there is no such thing as a completely flat shot, there will always be some spin.

    Yes we can read the logo on the ball sometimes, yet there is always some spin a moment later. In fact that stasis on ball is fleeting as I believe the air differential on the rough surface of a travelling ball quickly spin it.

    Bhairava tries to isolate it with a hypothetical ball shot at a racq on the loungeroom floor. Earlier, Punch made increasingly shouty assertions about what "truly" flat meant and tried trolling. Given that a ball explodes off the court and a player swings a mallet at it there is always spin. Indeed if there were not then the racq meeting the ball would be attempting to hit it back where it just bounced.

    I note neither have played with the 98S. I am more interested in what spin this racq can actually impart. Real world.
     
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2013
  28. barry

    barry Hall of Fame

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    I hit a lot of flat Forehands using a continual grip. If I concentrate I can hit them like a knuckle ball (no rotations). Most of the time a little rotation, but my best shots lack any spin and are more forceful. So it is possible
     
  29. tennis_nut

    tennis_nut Rookie

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    Just wanted to share my experience with everyone.

    I have just made the switch to the 98S. I have been playing with the Steam 99S since they were released. I have been playing very well with the Steams but I yearned for a racquet that could deliver similar spin without the loopy trajectory. The Blade 98S delivers. Yes the spin is a little less but now the trajectory off the stringbed is a lot lower and therefore I can hit a heavier, more penetrating ball. A side benefit also is that strings are lasting much longer. For those who like the 99S but want more control and predictable response, definitely give the Blade 98S a try.

    I replaced the stock grip with Wilson Shock shield to make it more headlight and added 4 grams of lead at 3 and 9. It plays just as solid as the Steam but is a little easier to bring around as the match goes on.
     
  30. sundaypunch

    sundaypunch Hall of Fame

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    He isn't wrong. If you read the bolded part, both of you are in agreement.

    Everyone would agree that a flat hitter gets some spin. Just like a "flat" serve is going to have some spin. It is rare to see a truly flat shot with the ball not rotating in the air.

    The point is that someone with very minimal topspin will see little practical change in their ball by switching to a 98s. As I said before, adding 10% to 300 rpm is not going to be noticeable.

    If you already hit with a good deal of spin and can add 100 rpm that might be noticeable. I had a noticeable increase when I tried the 99s but I already hit with plenty of spin. I could flatten the ball out with the 99s but found it too powerful and lacking control.

    The Blade 98s gives you more spin than the 18x20 but it is not as dramatic as the Steam 99s. Does the technology work? Yes, as I have said all along. But if you think that "it adds spin to every shot", you simply don't have a practical understanding of how spin is created or how the spin effect technology works.
     
  31. bertrevert

    bertrevert Hall of Fame

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    Purely and simply that is swingweight... agreed?

    I got some kooky angles come out of the 99S Steam, and put up far too many loops, and in doubles those were eaten up at the net.

    Again simply I believe it was my inability to maintain bat speed with the Steam's 333 swingweight that was doing me in.

    That the 98S can keep it all lower is excellent. Flatter yes.
     
  32. sundaypunch

    sundaypunch Hall of Fame

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    Exactly.

    Many people, especially older people that grew up hitting conti on both sides, hit with very little spin. Yes, the ball rotates, but it is low rpm. These people aren't going to benefit from the spin effect racquets. They will just lose control as others have mentioned.
     
  33. Anton

    Anton Hall of Fame

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    I agree that these spin effect rackets will work best for spin oriented game rather then for pure ball drivers. The higher launch angle from looser string beds really begs for western grips and good amount of brush up for control.

    I'm getting 99S and 98S demos in tomorrow....
     
  34. sundaypunch

    sundaypunch Hall of Fame

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    I am demoing the 98s right now. As you would expect, it doesn't have the crazy spin potential of the 99s but is much more controlled. The 98s demo came with Ripspin rather than 4G.

    With the Blade 18x20 I can flatten out the ball when needed and hit a pressuring shot within about 12"-18" of the net. The downside for me is the higher swing weight and head heaviness. I was hoping the 98s would be a solution for this but still give me the control.

    I love the feel of the racquet but probably won't end up switching from the 18x20. I like the 98s for serves and rally balls but lose too much of the 18x20's precision. The higher launch angle is probably the deal breaker.

    I think the interesting comparison would be the difference between the Blade 98s and the 16x19 since both have more spin and less control than the 18x20.
     
  35. Bhairava

    Bhairava Rookie

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    LOL, your last sentence make me smile :) if you have an horizontal motion with the racket facing a little toward the floor you will have ball falling down. ;)
    it si something called rebouncing angle. If you something hit a perpendicular plane it will rebounce perpendicular. If there is some angle with the plane, it will rebounce in the opposite direction with the same angle. I'ts more difficult to explain with words than just visualize.
    in tennis when using something like the semi-western grip or western grip the ball is not falling down because the brushing-up swing, that counter the robound angle of the stringbed.
    Anyway, the point is: with open string patterns you LOSE control, period. This will be good only if you know how to exploit the 10%(more or less,try to look at 99s wilson experiments) increase of spin.
    People that put few rpm on balls will get more disadvantages than advantages on that type or racquet. :)
     
  36. Anton

    Anton Hall of Fame

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    umm so? We are discussing spin not direction.

    Beyond that you are making some assumptions.

    1. the incoming ball's path is horizontal (normally it is not)
    2. ball falling down is a problem, if the ball height is above the net it may not be.
     
  37. RollTrackTake

    RollTrackTake Semi-Pro

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    Anybody else weighing in on this offering? I've played with it for over a month now. The last week and a half strung with Tour Bite 17. The poly is giving me better control and lower power. However, I'm on the verge of selling the Blade S. Not that it's a bad racquet it just doesn't do anything that much better than what I'm currently using. With my strokes the spin production is marginally better than with most 16x19 patterns I've played. The control IMO is on par with a 16x19. Again, this racquet seems to be a nice option for those who like the Blade or something like it but want it in a lighter package. I guess I'm missing the boat on what Wilson's SET technology can really do by not trying one of the Steam S models. I'll probably try one more set up with the Blade 98 S than sell it to acquire a Prince ESP or save it for Wilson's next round of S racquets.
     
  38. Anton

    Anton Hall of Fame

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    So I've been hitting with 340g Blade 98S for a few days now with 16g Ripspin (10g handle 9g lead from 3 to 9, overgrip).

    Verdict:

    7/10 - Nothing special. Not too bad, not too good.

    There is some extra spin from the stringbed, but the frame itself somehow doesn't work too great for spin game. The sweet spot seems small and racket a bit torsionally unstable even with considerable weight added.


    This is more of an all around frame for someone what wants the spin tech in racket that can both spin and drive.
     
  39. Big John

    Big John Rookie

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    I've had the 98S for a few days now. Weighted it up to 350, balance a shade under 31 with silicone in the handle, a leather grip, overgrip and sampras O ring. I strung it with RipSpin 17 at 48 pounds. I hit with it for a couple of hours, tension dropped from 29 after stringing on my ERT to 23, a significant drop off.

    I am now experiencing substantial string movement (meaning not returning to straight) which some people find annoying, but the 'slidey' nature of this string makes the racquet feel like there is more 'dwell time.' Funnily enough, really like this racquet for smacking flat groundies through the court, I think the combination of this string and the 18 mains sort of give it the control of the tight pattern but with a bit more spin?

    I'd like to try this racquet with a textured 'nasty' poly and see how it plays, I can't get that savage kick off the court with this racquet but am getting plenty of plough through the court. So it is heavy in one sense but not with the nasty kicking spin on groundies I get with open pattern 6.1 Classic and textured string.

    I think this Ripspin in this racquet would be great for flatter hitters wanting a bit more shape. For those wanting to hit really nasty kickers and get the ball up high on groundies, probably a more textured poly. Will try 4G Rough in it and Signum Pro Tornado, just need to get my hands on some more of these 98S's.. :)

    I'm enjoying the thin beam, flex and control from this racquet, so far so good. Also love the matte paint job.
     
  40. barry

    barry Hall of Fame

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    Good Point! I purchased a 16x19 Blade. It lacked control and feel and shots were going higher over the net. I used it for 2 weeks and then switched back to the 18x20 model.

    Agree, Flat player need a dense pattern for control.
     
  41. Devilito

    Devilito Hall of Fame

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    the real fail with this racquet is them going 18x16 instead of 16x15
     
  42. georgiahank

    georgiahank New User

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    I have been playing with the 98s for a couple of weeks after demoing a ton of frames. For me this hit the sweet spot of control, power and spin. I like the 99s, but every now and then I would launch one and lost confidence in its ability to control and shape shots. The 98s solved the control issues and I am still able to generate ample spin. I added 8g total at 9 and 3 and put 12g of silicon in the handle. For me this added just enough weight to stabilize against big hitters while maintaining maneuverability. They make hundreds of frames for a reason, but this one was a perfect fit for my 4.5 spin game. The strings also last longer than the 99s for sure, though both wear strings a lot faster than my old 18x20 frame.
     
  43. RollTrackTake

    RollTrackTake Semi-Pro

    Joined:
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    I admit that part of the disappointment is because of the hype surrounding the SET racquets. People were throwing around superlatives like 'game-changer' with the Steam. I didn't bite on that one but I couldn't resist the Blade option. If the 98 S was marketed as a Blade Lite or Team my expectations would have been lower and this racquet would have exceeded those expectations. It's a good racquet just not a game-changer in my mind.
     
  44. DANMAN

    DANMAN Professional

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2004
    Messages:
    1,100
    But what it is to me is a Pure Drive type frame that is way more comfortable. Similar power. Similar spin. More flex. Serves well. I don't find the PD to be any more stable than this one. I'm still loving this frame.
     
  45. danbrenner

    danbrenner Professional

    Joined:
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    Hey Danman. I'm with you. I actually posted the first review for this stick, and I'm enjoying a lot. Rpm blast went to hell on this stick within days. But my trusty Volkl cyclone 17 at 57lbs has proven to be a formidable mate for this beast. For anyone questioning the spin. Stand at the baseline and spin some kickers in. And then tell me that this animal of a stick isn't "bending it like Beckham". This frame will grab and spin like no ones business. My APdrive can't compare. And that's a spinny stick. Sure it won't have quite the straight line control of a blade 18x20 but you don't have to be a rocket scientist to figure that out without even having tried it. Now all you interested folk listen up cause I'm only gonna say this once. This stick was designed for spinsters. So if you don't have a Western forehand look elsewhere. Don't waste your time with this offering. Go with the 18x20 or 16x19. You need to want to create spin on every ground strike and serve for this beast to fit your game. I hope this helps. :).
     
  46. bertrevert

    bertrevert Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2004
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    OK got mine in from TW yesterday.

    Bought on a wing and prayer. We just don't get to demo all the sticks from generous shops. In fact if I do demo it's $10-20. Plus I wanted other TW-only gear.

    Got 30 mins hit last night - report soon - all I can say now is that it appears better than my current racq (2011 Pro Open).

    Strung with PPA.
     
  47. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2009
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    Roswell GA
    Tried this one out yesterday and it's a nice stick. Pattern is pretty open for sure. I held it next to a Graphene Instinct, which is one of the most open drill patterns out there and it was still noticeably more open than that. The Blade 98S had a nice swingweight to it. Felt like around 320-325. I wish they would make a 16x19 with these specs. I find the regular Blade 16x19 too head heavy feeling with that +330 swingweight. This one feels perfect to me...swingweight-wise. It's definitely a solid choice if you use a lot of spin in your game. It won't give you the accuracy to paint lines, but to hit loopy groundstrokes and kickers it would be great.
     
  48. danbrenner

    danbrenner Professional

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    Hi Mate. So what are your thoughts about the 98s? As opposed to the Pro Open. And have you ever tried the 16x19 or 18x20 as a reference? Also what is PPA string. FYI volkl cyclone 17s @57 paired really well with this racquet. I have a feeling Cyclone Tour will be great as well. :)
     
  49. bertrevert

    bertrevert Hall of Fame

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    Ok got mine in at 308 grams strung static weight (292 unstrung), 2HL, with a 312 SW. I got in black Prince Premier Attack (PPA) which is a well reviewed multi (see Mikeler in the strings section) at 50lbs. I am recovering from TE so I needed a forgiving multi and I was worried that the frame might lack plow-thru so some additional power is wanted. However a multi in a SET frame might mean the strings don't snap back like they should.

    To begin with I'm going to say this is the Wilson Blade 98S is unlike the many other light racquets that I have tried. But of course I'm just going to just go on and compare them...

    Out of the box the new Blade 98S reminded me of the Dunlop Hotmelt 300G - http://www.tennis-warehouse.com/reviews/d300g/d300greview.html - similar weight, same 21.5mm beam. Both felt lightweight which of course can be a blessing or a problem. The 300G turned out to be admirably powerful with a generous sweetspot that was great with a low poly. Serve was super accurate but lacked kaboom.

    The Blade is also admirably powerful with a generous sweetspot which seems further spread out in these SET frames (same for the Steam) as more of the bed is reactive and able to produce a shot offering great get-outta-jail flick and reaction shots in doubles. Moreover the inherent and additional spin puts just that little extra on all your shots so that lobs looking to go out drop in, flat shots to corners get a characteristic little dip at the end of their travel and drop in, and slices knife confidently. With the Steam I left too many shots short because I couldn't get the bat speed with 333SW. With the Blade I think I left one shot short in the 2-3 hours. Dwell time is fantastic. Look I had a ball with touch shots, drop volleys, net play, dinks and bunts, and getting things over the net in close in doubles, their mid-court blather spun direct back onto their shoelaces. This is a deft instrument the Blade.

    I fully accept that the lightweight is going to turn many off.

    I walked out and kept either spraying or hooking my 1HBH because the racq was coming through faster than my previous Pro Open (2011), as it is lighter and faster and more flexible. Really concentrating on form reigned that in, stricter setup, and knowing the racq is going to do less. The upside was I hit some inside-out backhand winners and accuracy improved.

    Next to compare is the old 2008 Bab Pure Storm Carbon Xtrem version with specs: 98 inĀ², 295g, Balance: 325mm, Beam: 21mm, 16x20. I remember I didn't get the power I needed off this one. The Blade is much more powerful and open and far spinnier, cuts through quicker and is better on most shots. The Bab lacked power and was flexy. The Blade's 18 mains up the power and dominate the feel. Only in a stroke more brushing the ball do the fewer crosses come into play.

    Next to compare the Head Elite, and Speed MP 300, respectively too lightweight; or very underpowered with a tiny sweetspot. The Blade seemed about right weight-wise for its balance, and didn't seem tinny or anything - but I didn't face any heavy hitters yet.

    Now for the upside - serving took a while to dial in but right at session end I sent down 4 consecutive unreturnables that the guys got their racquets to but missed because theball was up shoulder high - and these were flat serves. Game. So I attribute that to the greater amount of spin. A ball just banged in with more RPM explodes more upwards. I think there will be more creative opportunities available with the second serve.

    So this Blade 98S is the best of the bunch for me.

    I will try to disentangle the frame's properties from what it meant for my play but atm that is the best I can do - describe how it enhanced my play.

    I had a great session but my elbow isn't 100% so am expecting better soon, and thus more to feedback...
     
  50. bertrevert

    bertrevert Hall of Fame

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    I tried the kBlade 18x20 - that seemed more a flat hitters nirvana. It was strong and fast and I remember the beam being really not flexy. I couldn't get much spin out of it and the upper hoop was dead to me. So long strokes hitting flat seemed the go with that one. The BLX Blades were flat-out too heavy for me. Couldn't swing them for 4 hours in the Aust sun.

    The Pro Open has worked wonders for adding power. Its large open face added the spin I needed to my flat backhand. I found it lacked touch in doubles. It's a great serving racq but lacks finesse so hitting your spots is a bit harder.

    Well the Prince Premier Ataack (PPA) is a multi that apparent starts to rough up. I am finding the strings moving but staying stuck making me think I am muting the snapback that a SET frame offers. I would say any rough textured or shaped string might do the opposite of what SET frames offer. But I am just loving the comfort/power of a multi that I haven't had for long time.

    Yes I think poly is a must-try with this frame - snapback.

    But I am left wondering with all that additional spin that the drill pattern provides is poly really required (except for the snapback)???
     

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