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-   -   Blade 98 16x19 2013 Short review (http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=448528)

teocem 12-18-2012 02:55 PM

Blade 98 16x19 2013 Short review
 
I played with Blade 98 16x19 for the first time and for 3 hours today. I think it is a perfectly balanced racquet and expect it to be very popular among above avarage level club players. Almost even balance after stringing, good plough through and lively string bed has impressed me. Serving neeeded adjustment after my Pure Drive 2012 (with total of 2 grams of lead at 3 and 9) but was very consistent after several tries. Drives were very impressing from both sides, achieving good depth. Volleys and overheads were also a breeze. This is a proper balaced stick with no gimmick, it gives you back more or at least what you put into it. I have ordered the second one an will preffer it over my slightly modified Pure Drive because of its thinner profile, enormous feedback and overall performance. I will post more as I play and also answer questions on this thread.

jjs891 12-18-2012 03:14 PM

Thank you for the nice review.

I'm interested to hear from others who have tried it as I see some for sale in the classified section already.

Bartelby 12-18-2012 03:21 PM

One slight problem with TW reviews these days is that they review the two blades and find the 16/19 very lively, but really you need to know how lively/powerful it is up against something like a PD, so this was helpful.

teocem 12-18-2012 03:27 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Bartelby (Post 7069518)
One slight problem with TW reviews these days is that they review the two blades and find the 16/19 very lively, but really you need to know how lively/powerful it is up against something like a PD, so this was helpful.

Pure Drive has a more crisp feeling, more lively in a way but Blade is more flexible, more feedback and as much power. Blade is more of a players stick for me.

dgdawg 12-19-2012 06:46 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by teocem (Post 7069480)
I played with Blade 98 16x19 for the first time and for 3 hours today. I think it is a perfectly balanced racquet and expect it to be very popular among above avarage level club players. Almost even balance after stringing, good plough through and lively string bed has impressed me. Serving neeeded adjustment after my Pure Drive 2012 (with total of 2 grams of lead at 3 and 9) but was very consistent after several tries. Drives were very impressing from both sides, achieving good depth. Volleys and overheads were also a breeze. This is a proper balaced stick with no gimmick, it gives you back more or at least what you put into it. I have ordered the second one an will preffer it over my slightly modified Pure Drive because of its thinner profile, enormous feedback and overall performance. I will post more as I play and also answer questions on this thread.

Thanks for the review. I'm looking to get out of my Blade Team (I broke one). My local pro shop owner suggested I demo the Steam 99s. I liked it but felt it more of a "fad" frame.
I've been a Blade player since the nBlade (skipped the kBlade).
I'll be giving this bad boy a thorough workout, for sure.

Pure Babs 12-19-2012 08:20 AM

I thought this update to the blade is closest they've gotten back to the feel of the nblade, and I'm loving it! Can't figure out if I like the 16/19 or 18/20 more though..

JackB1 12-19-2012 08:34 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by teocem (Post 7069480)
I played with Blade 98 16x19 for the first time and for 3 hours today. I think it is a perfectly balanced racquet and expect it to be very popular among above avarage level club players. Almost even balance after stringing, good plough through and lively string bed has impressed me. Serving neeeded adjustment after my Pure Drive 2012 (with total of 2 grams of lead at 3 and 9) but was very consistent after several tries. Drives were very impressing from both sides, achieving good depth. Volleys and overheads were also a breeze. This is a proper balaced stick with no gimmick, it gives you back more or at least what you put into it. I have ordered the second one an will preffer it over my slightly modified Pure Drive because of its thinner profile, enormous feedback and overall performance. I will post more as I play and also answer questions on this thread.

did you have any issues with the heavier swingweight of the new Blade vs your PD? I would imagine you saw an increase of around 10 sw points.

Power Player 12-19-2012 08:37 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Pure Babs (Post 7070554)
I thought this update to the blade is closest they've gotten back to the feel of the nblade, and I'm loving it! Can't figure out if I like the 16/19 or 18/20 more though..

I feel like the 18x20 pattern really adds advantages to a lighter frame, but I may demo the 16x19 if I get a wild hair. I just value control so much. The Blade has a lot of spin and nice power, so when you add the control of the tight pattern, it becomes a rather unique racquet. Still has tons of spin.

dflores 12-19-2012 09:05 AM

I've had my Blade 98 16x19 for a week now and am really enjoying it. I've always loved the Six-One 95's but changed to a lighter racquet a year ago. I find this new Blade offers a very solid feel like the Six-One but in a lighter package, probably because of the higher swing weight. As far as the higher swing weight, I really don't notice it that much compared to the Juice 100 that I replaced. It's very maneuverable for an even balanced racquet.

royfrombigd 12-19-2012 09:47 AM

Great mini review, thanks. Got a 16x19 on the way and will chime in once I hit with it. I've been playing with older BLX 18x20 Blade 98 and have found it to be one of the most versatile sticks I've ever played with. My only complaint might be I wish it had a bit more ooomph on serve and my hope is the 16x19 will help there but still keep the other attributes of the 18x20. Probably too much to ask for. Can you elaborate on how serve compares to the 18x20? As a side note, I've also been playing with Pro Staff 95 BLX and it is great on serves and volleys, but I find myself struggling on depth on groundies which has never been an issue with the Blades.

teocem 12-19-2012 10:22 AM

Singles with Blade 98 16x19
 
Today I played singles for the first time and I completely adored the racquet. First time in the last 5 years I had a rally longer than 30 shots :)
For the first 10 minutes I had some balls sailing out but increasing the spin got rid of that. The only glich in my mind is that I now want to try 18x20 version too; it may still have enough spin capacity and may be lively enough with better control. I am in a way in heaven and looking for a better heaven.
Maybe somebody who tried both can comment on this ?
I also would like to state that this stick definitely does not have a manuevrability (I am very sensitive on this) problem even though it has a high swing rate.

JackB1 12-19-2012 10:34 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by dflores (Post 7070613)
I've had my Blade 98 16x19 for a week now and am really enjoying it. I've always loved the Six-One 95's but changed to a lighter racquet a year ago. I find this new Blade offers a very solid feel like the Six-One but in a lighter package, probably because of the higher swing weight. As far as the higher swing weight, I really don't notice it that much compared to the Juice 100 that I replaced. It's very maneuverable for an even balanced racquet.

Do u find it more demanding than the Juice?

Doublebounce 12-19-2012 10:45 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by teocem (Post 7070704)
Today I played singles for the first time and I completely adored the racquet. First time in the last 5 years I had a rally longer than 30 shots :)
For the first 10 minutes I had some balls sailing out but increasing the spin got rid of that. The only glich in my mind is that I now want to try 18x20 version too; it may still have enough spin capacity and may be lively enough with better control. I am in a way in heaven and looking for a better heaven.
Maybe somebody who tried both can comment on this ?
I also would like to state that this stick definitely does not have a manuevrability (I am very sensitive on this) problem even though it has a high swing rate.

I would also like to know if the 18/20 has as much spin potential , just with a little more control. I'm really interested in both of these racquets.

teocem 12-19-2012 11:14 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JackB1 (Post 7070719)
Do u find it more demanding than the Juice?

I have not tried the Juice but I can say that this is a racquet suitable for players over 3.5 NTPR at least. It is a very slightly demanding stick, much less demanding than a Babolat Pure Storm for me. I would call it a tweeners stick who has set his mind to improve the shots.

Power Player 12-19-2012 11:15 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Doublebounce (Post 7070730)
I would also like to know if the 18/20 has as much spin potential , just with a little more control. I'm really interested in both of these racquets.

I have not played the 16x19 blade, but coming from other 16x19s I can tell you that the main difference is the trajectory. The ball is going to be a lot lower. I hit with more precise control, but I can clip the net more as well. That being said, I am still able to whip the racquet and loft the ball when I need to hit deep moonballs.

If you hit with a lot of spin, than the 18x20 will produce a heavier ball that kicks towards the opponent and is very difficult to attack. If you find yourself hitting balls that bounce and kick straight up with a 16x19, than an 18x20 is most likely going to remedy that and provide you more weight behind your shots.

The lightness of the racquet just makes it unfair almost. It does all the things that the heavier, control based players sticks do - amazing feel, solidity, stability, but you get that extra racquet speed so the spin will be better than you think.

Doublebounce 12-19-2012 12:58 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Power Player (Post 7070770)
I have not played the 16x19 blade, but coming from other 16x19s I can tell you that the main difference is the trajectory. The ball is going to be a lot lower. I hit with more precise control, but I can clip the net more as well. That being said, I am still able to whip the racquet and loft the ball when I need to hit deep moonballs.

If you hit with a lot of spin, than the 18x20 will produce a heavier ball that kicks towards the opponent and is very difficult to attack. If you find yourself hitting balls that bounce and kick straight up with a 16x19, than an 18x20 is most likely going to remedy that and provide you more weight behind your shots.

The lightness of the racquet just makes it unfair almost. It does all the things that the heavier, control based players sticks do - amazing feel, solidity, stability, but you get that extra racquet speed so the spin will be better than you think.

Thanks for the insight. Right now I'm using a Youtek Radical MP and I am looking to generate more spin on my shots and am struggling to get enough pace on my serve.

dflores 12-19-2012 03:59 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JackB1 (Post 7070719)
Do u find it more demanding than the Juice?

Jack, as best I can describe is: Imagine how the Juice would feel with lead at 3 and 9; more even balanced and a more solid feel. The Blade 16x19 has very good power, just below the Juice and Pure Drives ( not a fan of the PD feel).

It just feels good in your hand and when swinging.

teocem 12-20-2012 01:59 PM

I do not think Blade 98 has a tolerance for customization, did anybody try ?

reekster34 12-20-2012 03:02 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by teocem (Post 7072527)
I do not think Blade 98 has a tolerance for customization, did anybody try ?

I plan on customizing soon, but am wondering the same thing, especially whether adding weight to the handle would affect the amplifeel.

parasailing 12-20-2012 03:37 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by reekster34 (Post 7072615)
I plan on customizing soon, but am wondering the same thing, especially whether adding weight to the handle would affect the amplifeel.

My concern with adding weight is an increase in SW from 330 to something higher and not sure many people could handle such an increase.


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