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-   -   The 2013 BLX Blade 93 review everyone was afraid to write. (http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=454313)

J011yroger 02-10-2013 06:41 AM

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

srvnvly 02-10-2013 06:44 AM

This complements why I've seen a lot of 93s in the Racquets for Sale section.

dgoran 02-10-2013 07:01 AM

That's why they say its for advanced player not weekend warrior

Broly4 02-10-2013 07:07 AM

Couldn't agree more, nice review J

rdis10093 02-10-2013 07:10 AM

ahhhhh!!! why is this guy so loyal to k90s give yonex mids a try for immortality.

Torres 02-10-2013 07:28 AM

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.

J011yroger 02-10-2013 08:16 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by rdis10093 (Post 7203952)
ahhhhh!!! why is this guy so loyal to k90s give yonex mids a try for immortality.

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

Lilguy1456 02-10-2013 08:25 AM

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.

Frankauc 02-10-2013 08:33 AM

didnt tried the 93 but the 98 felt like this to me. i bought a blx prostaff 95 instead. much better

rdis10093 02-10-2013 08:34 AM

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

Lilguy1456 02-10-2013 08:36 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by rdis10093 (Post 7204119)
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.

bests,
rdis10093

Have you played with the RDX 500 Mid? I feel like it's even a bit sweeter than the RDiS 93! Both great though.

rdis10093 02-10-2013 08:38 AM

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.

Lilguy1456 02-10-2013 08:39 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by rdis10093 (Post 7204130)
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.

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.

J011yroger 02-10-2013 08:41 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Lilguy1456 (Post 7204099)
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.

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

barry 02-10-2013 08:42 AM

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!

Lilguy1456 02-10-2013 08:43 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by J011yroger (Post 7204136)
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

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.

rdis10093 02-10-2013 08:45 AM

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.

Lilguy1456 02-10-2013 08:52 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by rdis10093 (Post 7204146)
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.

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.

monomer 02-10-2013 09:01 AM

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.

JGads 02-10-2013 09:06 AM

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.


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