2019 Wilson Blade

gutfeeling

Hall of Fame
PP - now that we’ve all bought blades, do you have any financial interests in Wilson or conflicts of interest you would like to disclose?
 
PP - now that we’ve all bought blades, do you have any financial interests in Wilson or conflicts of interest you would like to disclose?
Real talk though, these “Wilson Ambassadors” on Instagram are pretty damn annoying. I’ve seen several “reviews” of the new Blade where these people talk about how they get sooo much spin, control, and power from the racquet. Add in a sentence about the Feel Flex technology changing the industry and the ball absolutely LAUNCHING off the strings!!!

I don’t know how anyone can take these people seriously and I hate how they don’t disclose that they are literally paid advertisements, which I’m pretty sure is Instagram policy.
 

whorng

Rookie
Real talk though, these “Wilson Ambassadors” on Instagram are pretty damn annoying. I’ve seen several “reviews” of the new Blade where these people talk about how they get sooo much spin, control, and power from the racquet. Add in a sentence about the Feel Flex technology changing the industry and the ball absolutely LAUNCHING off the strings!!!

I don’t know how anyone can take these people seriously and I hate how they don’t disclose that they are literally paid advertisements, which I’m pretty sure is Instagram policy.
Might be annoying, but It's effective advertising.
Look at the Wilson Clash, it's probably one of the top 2019 sellers.
Most players don't know what racquet to try, strings to use, etc.
Marketing through social media, ambassadors, demo/tryout events, etc. will convert those people.
 

JoaoN

Semi-Pro
Can't decide on which string pattern to get. TW rated the 18x20 higher than the 16x19
Don't make your decision only because of that. For me, in the CV version, the difference in terms of control was very litte. IMO, the big difference is the higher SW from the 18x20 version.
 

gutfeeling

Hall of Fame
If you consider twist weight and “sweet zone” you will see that they are different in other ways than swing weight only. The 18x20 is more polarized, it has more weight in the head, in particular at 6 and 9 o’clock. That lends itself to a bigger sweet spot and more plow/power.
 

USPTARF97

Hall of Fame
Held a 16x19 today. Wilson Rep says they are selling 50 16x19’s to every 1 18x20. Thought that was interesting. Tempted to try the 16x19 but fairly sure what would happen. I’d would start weighting the frame until right back to the specs of my RF97’s and 6.1 95’s.
Either cursed or blessed but always end up in he 12.3-12.5 range, 8-10pts head light.
 

Power Player

Bionic Poster
PP - now that we’ve all bought blades, do you have any financial interests in Wilson or conflicts of interest you would like to disclose?
Ha! I sincerely doubt i influenced too many ppl to buy a Blade. It will sell regardless of what i think but if you know a wilson bag man, send him my way. Haha.

I just went through a 2.5 hour drilling session with this thing. Its crazy hot outside and I survived. I can say that what i like about the higher sw was even when i was really exhausted i could still hit the same ball over and over with this racquet. I am in the low 40’s now with typhoon and not having too many issues with control. I was able to hit 25 plus balls in a row multiple times today.

Now where in gods name is the ice bath?
 

USPTARF97

Hall of Fame
Ha! I sincerely doubt i influenced too many ppl to buy a Blade. It will sell regardless of what i think but if you know a wilson bag man, send him my way. Haha.

I just went through a 2.5 hour drilling session with this thing. Its crazy hot outside and I survived. I can say that what i like about the higher sw was even when i was really exhausted i could still hit the same ball over and over with this racquet. I am in the low 40’s now with typhoon and not having too many issues with control. I was able to hit 25 plus balls in a row multiple times today.

Now where in gods name is the ice bath?
You guys using the 18x20?
 

ChaelAZ

G.O.A.T.
PP - now that we’ve all bought blades, do you have any financial interests in Wilson or conflicts of interest you would like to disclose?

I get highly discount stuff from my work I do with various products. But not through direct affiliation with manufacturers all the time.

That said....

Played the 18x20 last night for a 4.0 dubs scrimmage match. I had hit the 16x19 playing a singles match and loved it, but it was very different playing dubs. First thought is, if you are not used to a bit heavier stick your maneuverability will be effected. I found it took a set to get used to weilding it, but I was still alte on volleys and some overheads. For serve...dang...boom. So much plow through and the added weight definitely added intertia to my swing. Better yet, I could exert less force and still get the same pop. Same for groudies I had good time to setup with.

The feel off the racquet is about the same as the 16x19, but I have some practice time to really swtich bettern the two and see if there is that much difference.

But first impression is, I like the feel and the pop a lot, but the added weight will take some getting used to.
 

Power Player

Bionic Poster
You guys using the 18x20?
Yeah i use the 18x20. Some stats - i burned 1400 calories and my heart rate was 135 on average for 2.5 hours. Peak was 196bpm. So it was a tough outing. But i was able to keep it deep and heavy with the blade the whole time, even when i wanted to drop.

It does help to keep the full poly at 45#s off the stringer. This will work really effectively as long as you are a spin hitter.
 

USPTARF97

Hall of Fame
Testing a Blade 98 v7 18X20 that belongs to a friend who is connected with Wilson. It was originally strung with Luxilon Smart string at a pretty low tension. To say I didn't like that string is an understatement. It had no grip on the ball in this dense pattern and I couldn't tell any difference between it and a regular string in how it was supposed to firm up or play soft depending on how hard the ball was hit. I cut it out and restrung it with my go-to Tourna Silver 7 Tour 17 gauge at 46 pounds. Had about a 30 minute ball machine session tonight.

I have no experience with any previous generation Blades as I was a Babolat player until the beginning of this year when I switched to the SW104. Countervail and arguments about what it adds or subtracts from a frame's feel is kind of lost on me because I've never had an extended hit with a Blade that didn't have it.

Two immediately obvious things. It's an inch shorter than the racquet I'm using, and it's also about 35 grams lighter. My current racquet has a swingweight of just under 350 and the Blade v7 18X20 is supposed to be 334, but it feels like it is less than that.

Hitting groundstrokes with it is kind of surprising. There's an unexpectedly high amount of power considering how light it feels. The impact feel is crisp with no extraneous vibrations. It's a very solid and dampened, but not muted, contact feel. I really wouldn't call it a plush feel though. The sweetspot feels large and wide for the size of frame, and seems located just slightly below the center of the stringbed. My SW104 doesn't have that lively, springy feel on impact, and that may be what countervail is removing from the feel. I had more troubles with my forehand than my backhand - my forehand is a more complicated stroke that can really go off when the timing is bad, and it was just hard to get the right timing with such a large weight difference from my normal racquet.

Volleys were tough for me. I kept mis-hitting high on the stringbed and there's just not enough mass for the racquet to make a good shot off that kind of contact - the ball tends to pop up and the racquet deflects a lot. Mis-hits off to the side also twist the racquet a fair amount. Catch the ball slightly low on the stringbed and there's really good feel with excellent control and ball speed.

Once I got used to the shorter racquet, slightly low sweetspot, and light swingweight, serves and overheads were good. The high power levels made it easy to generate pace, and the low twistweight made it feel easy to hold off pronation until the last moment, generating even more racquet head speed.

Launch angle is slightly lower than with my SW104 and its 18X19 pattern. The lack of mass in the hoop also made the Blade 98 feel less capable when trying to hit a looping topspin shot. It just doesn't feel like I can get the ball to compress and the strings to bite the ball the same way as with my heavier SW104. At the stock weight, it just feels like a better racquet for a flatter hitter. Underspin backhands had a tendency to float more as well, and lacked a bit of pace and penetration. That could likely be helped a bit by going down a few pounds in tension.

Overall, the v7 Blade 98 feels like a very good platform for customization. Other than the one inch shorter length, the other stability and plow through issues I had seemed like they could all be fixed by adding weight to the frame. I like the impact feel better than my SW104, which is pretty clublike and muted.

Here's four minutes of raw hitting against a ball machine.

Gotta love that sound..
 

USPTARF97

Hall of Fame
Yeah i use the 18x20. Some stats - i burned 1400 calories and my heart rate was 135 on average for 2.5 hours. Peak was 196bpm. So it was a tough outing. But i was able to keep it deep and heavy with the blade the whole time, even when i wanted to drop.

It does help to keep the full poly at 45#s off the stringer. This will work really effectively as long as you are a spin hitter.
Heck yea, that is a workout. Sounds good, my RF97 and 6.1 95 18x20 start to feel pretty heavy at the end of a workout like that. Thanks
 

Power Player

Bionic Poster
I get highly discount stuff from my work I do with various products. But not through direct affiliation with manufacturers all the time.

That said....

Played the 18x20 last night for a 4.0 dubs scrimmage match. I had hit the 16x19 playing a singles match and loved it, but it was very different playing dubs. First thought is, if you are not used to a bit heavier stick your maneuverability will be effected. I found it took a set to get used to weilding it, but I was still alte on volleys and some overheads. For serve...dang...boom. So much plow through and the added weight definitely added intertia to my swing. Better yet, I could exert less force and still get the same pop. Same for groudies I had good time to setup with.

The feel off the racquet is about the same as the 16x19, but I have some practice time to really swtich bettern the two and see if there is that much difference.

But first impression is, I like the feel and the pop a lot, but the added weight will take some getting used to.
Nice, so its safe to say the 2015 is a little lighter on the SW? I am really digging where the SW is on this one, but it takes some court time to dial in. Once you get it dialed it will be an advantage for you.
 

ChaelAZ

G.O.A.T.
Nice, so its safe to say the 2015 is a little lighter on the SW? I am really digging where the SW is on this one, but it takes some court time to dial in. Once you get it dialed it will be an advantage for you.
2015 is lighter on SW. The new V7 is almost the same profile in SW and feel as when I had weighted my 2015, so not unfamiliar with it, but for sure will take some getting used to. I took off all the weight earlier this year and been playing the 2015 stock. Though I am going to be playing more dubs in matches over singles to start back in 4.0, so might still swtich between my 2015 and the new V7 'till I get that movement back.
 

Power Player

Bionic Poster
2015 is lighter on SW. The new V7 is almost the same profile in SW and feel as when I had weighted my 2015, so not unfamiliar with it, but for sure will take some getting used to. I took off all the weight earlier this year and been playing the 2015 stock. Though I am going to be playing more dubs in matches over singles to start back in 4.0, so might still swtich between my 2015 and the new V7 'till I get that movement back.
I can see it being a little tricky for doubles, but I am not a great volleyer at all. I mainly attack the net to finish off points and I dont play doubles as much as singles. I love how solid it is at the nets it does help me out. Just have to get it set.

I can tell you that I am about 8-9 hours in with the frame and its really awesome even when I am pushed to the limit of tired. Just drop it in the slot on either side and pull it up. The consistency is crazy good and my arm and shoulder feel nothing after.
 

ChaelAZ

G.O.A.T.
are these really that much better than the counterveil ??

Weight is about the same but balance is more back to previous standard. I think the V7 has better feel where CV was too dampened for me. I think they both have similar pop that is better than the 2015, but I think the V7 feels more crisp and forgiving over them all. A little easier access to pop and power.
 

Nostradamus

Bionic Poster
(y)
Weight is about the same but balance is more back to previous standard. I think the V7 has better feel where CV was too dampened for me. I think they both have similar pop that is better than the 2015, but I think the V7 feels more crisp and forgiving over them all. A little easier access to pop and power.
WOW, what a review.
(y):notworthy:
 

Nostradamus

Bionic Poster
Weight is about the same but balance is more back to previous standard. I think the V7 has better feel where CV was too dampened for me. I think they both have similar pop that is better than the 2015, but I think the V7 feels more crisp and forgiving over them all. A little easier access to pop and power.
Question I had was this V7 seem much more Flexible frame. how can more flexible frame give you more power ?
 

JOSHL

Hall of Fame
Finally got mine! 18x20. First impressions are very good. It came in at 10.65oz unstrung so a tad light. Balance was dead on. The SW on mine does feel lower than 330. Feels more like 320-325 tops. That makes the maneuverability pretty good. Had some issues with stability at net though especially compared to the gravity pro. Gravity pro is more stable and sluggish-higher SW. I prefer the Blade so far, I may add some lead at 3&9 and some in the butt to keep the balance and see if I can’t get more stability and plow.
 

FedGR

Professional
are these really that much better than the counterveil ??
Feel is much better than CV and SW is lower therefore the racket is easier to use.

---I have now put about 12 hours in the v.7 and I love it. SW and balance takes some getting used to but the v.7 does everything very well. Control is exceptional, serving takes some effort but produces bombs, OHBH is godly, the sound at impact is phenomenal. It does sound like a shotgun. The one I measured and bought came slightly under spec so SW must be around 325-330 and not more than that.
 

High Lama

Rookie
Does anyone use 18 gauge poly? I put 18 gauge hyper g at 50 pounds and got a very high launch angle spin. I lost some stability and plow(court penetration) so added 2 grams of lead to the sides. Volleys were great though.

The TW playtesters used 16 gauge hyper g I think. I would think the 16 gauge (1.3) would make the racquet very dead and boardy.
 

lwto

Hall of Fame
love the blade, but not the other freemason illumanati anti-Christ racquet
[/QUOTE

BLX.. still the best blade made... well haven't really hit the V7, but I"m counting on it.. been waiting a long time to get past the past itirations of the mushy blade era.
 

Alex78

Hall of Fame
Ok, so I thought I wouldn't buy another racquet this year - wrong!
Always read PP's racquet reviews with great interest. One of the great TT influencers ;)
18x20 ordered :)
 

Goldie

Rookie
Can't decide on which string pattern to get. TW rated the 18x20 higher than the 16x19
[/QUOTE
I am demoing the blade 16 x 19, blade 18 x 20, and the Head gravity. My top pick is the blade 18 x 20. The 16 x19 plays like the countervail model, stiff and lacks stability. Might add a little lead to the Blade 18 x 20, but it is close to perfect for my game. The Gravity was a big disappointment, serving was off, ground strokes were Ok, but could never develop any consistency. Maybe why Zverev has issues, but for me it is not an option. The Blade 16 x 19 played much stiffer than the Blade 18 x 20, swear the one I am testing is new paint over the countervail model.
Also testing an old Ncode 6.1 95 16x18, and it plays better than all of the.new frames. Current frame is Blade 18x20 Black and Gold, and a Wilson Clash. Keep the Clash for periods of sore wrist or arm trouble.
The new frames do not match my game or hitting style. The Ncode 6.1 weighs 12.3 ounces, and is one solid frame, but believe the new Blade 18x20 is going to be my future frame. Of course will dump the current grip, seemed cheap, and flimsy. Can imagine what Wilson was thinking.
Both Blades were 11.5 ounces strung, with the Gravity at 11.6 ounces. All 4 3/8 grips with tourna grip overgrips.
Good luck finding a racket.
 

Nostradamus

Bionic Poster
Feel is much better than CV and SW is lower therefore the racket is easier to use.

---I have now put about 12 hours in the v.7 and I love it. SW and balance takes some getting used to but the v.7 does everything very well. Control is exceptional, serving takes some effort but produces bombs, OHBH is godly, the sound at impact is phenomenal. It does sound like a shotgun. The one I measured and bought came slightly under spec so SW must be around 325-330 and not more than that.
yes love the review. 100 sq inch one seem to be easy to swing and has low SW. I am not sure how that one plays ?
 

stickM

New User
The 100L sounds like a v7 replacement for the 99 Team/Steam that has been used successfully by Halep, Ferrer, Ostapenko (18main) and others. They seem to do pretty well with these stiff platform frames.
 

JoaoN

Semi-Pro
The 100L sounds like a v7 replacement for the 99 Team/Steam that has been used successfully by Halep, Ferrer, Ostapenko (18main) and others. They seem to do pretty well with these stiff platform frames.
The 100L looks like a merge from 99 team and 98L.
 

tennis347

Hall of Fame
I can't understand why someone would buy a 100in, 285g, 69RA, blade. That's not a blade a at all, it's just another light, stiff and power racquet.
I agree. This racquet is geared to a 3.5 player and below. If Wilson wanted a 100 sq inch frame, it should have been at least 310g with a 62RA.
 

Fxanimator1

Hall of Fame
18x20s came in today, buckle up:

Racquet 1: 307 grams, 8 HL, 293 sw
Racquet 2: 313 grams, 5 HL, 311 sw !!!
I am really surprised to read this.
I ordered two and my wife ordered two, so 4 in total and from 3 different places...All racquets were exactly the same static weight and balance was 1 point off on one of them.
 

Fxanimator1

Hall of Fame
are these really that much better than the counterveil ??
It depends on what you get used to. My countervail Blades were at 348 gm and the new Blade V7 are at 336 and they both hit the ball basically the same. The difference is in the feel at contact, my CV Blades felt as though they have more flex but that could just be their age. The new Blade V7 feel more solid and they don't ping, rattle, vibrate, nothing...It's like they're a pro stock.
I enjoyed the CV Blade and used them since 2017, but I enjoy this new one more.
My wife swapped out her Ultra Tours for this new one as well after hitting with mine for a session.
 
Last edited:

JOSHL

Hall of Fame
It depends on what you get used to. My countervail Blades were at 348 gm and the new Blade V7 are at 336 and they both hit the ball basically the same. The difference is in the feel at contact, my CV Blades felt as though they have more flex but that could just be their age. The new Blade V7 feel more solid and they don't ping, rattle, vibrate, nothing, like a pro stock.
I enjoyed the CV Blade and used them since 2017, but I enjoy this new one more.
My wife swapped out her Ultra Tours for this new one as well after hitting with mine for a session.
Yep I’m putting my Ultra tour up for sale because the new Blade is just better. Same control, more power better feel in my opinion.
 

Power Player

Bionic Poster
Yep I’m putting my Ultra tour up for sale because the new Blade is just better. Same control, more power better feel in my opinion.
I am really enjoying mine a lot. At this point I am back to working on my game and barring some wild change, will be using this frame now full time. I haven’t really made a full switch since the Phantom 93. I messed around a lot with the Vcores, different weights and strings to try and dial it in. But the Blade has that no vibrations comfort feel of the phantom, plus it’s 30 grams lighter. And with Typhoon, I am already dialed in after 4 hours of hitting and loving it.

Easy way to demo frames for me after I use them for a while is to let a coach see and tell me what I should be using. Guy told me the Extreme MP was too light for me, and the P93 was amazing but I needed to play at the net way more to use something that heavy. He said the Wilson was perfect and actually preferred the feel of it to his old Head flexpoint frames. So its a nice way to get out of holicing or racquet switching - just let someone hold you accountable.
 

gutfeeling

Hall of Fame
First session with the 18x20 this morning. Singles warmups and doubles point play:

- Strung with tour bite 1.30 at 44 lb on my constant pull. First impression is I could go down to a thinner gauge. Will try 1.20 tour bite next time I restring. Played stock with overgrip, no vibration dampener.

- Weight distribution - tons of weight in the head, not a lot of weight in the handle. I think that will be the biggest adjustment period for me and most people that play this frame. It is not slow, but it is not whippy either. It rewards using your body and leg drive to generate power. Babolat buggy whip forehands when I was in a pinch were not very effective. I think using a thinner string will help a little in terms of getting the head moving faster when I don’t have time to fully setup my strokes. Otherwise, I may tailweight the frame, but I want to play it stock for a few more weeks.

- Feel - very flexible, very plush. You feel the frame bend/absorb the impact of the ball. No nasty vibrations or buzz sounds, even on off center hits or framed shots. Did not play with a vibration dampener, did not need one. Last time I had this sensation was with my Tecnifibre 315 LTD 2013, which I think was sub 60 RA.

- Response - controlled power, whatever that means to you. To me it means I can swing out and the frame crushes the ball so that it has a low, linear trajectory. When you try to do that with a higher RA frame (Babolat) the ball may sail on you. This was particularly helpful on returns where I didn’t feel like I had to hold back to keep the ball in. Flat serves were great and quite frankly addictive. Slice and kicker will take a little more time to adjust.

- Playability - could be my current string setup, but there is no free lunch with this racquet. If you do not swing out or have complete strokes, the ball will not have much pace or net clearance. This frame shines when you take a big cut at the ball. It can generate that nasty, dense spin - the type of ball that you observe jumping forward off the court as opposed to floating or sitting up. Otherwise, it was a little underwhelming when I was scrambling or swinging 50-75%. Could also be the adjustment period to timing since the weighting and balance are different than what I have been playing lately.

Excited to put in more hours with this frame.
 
Last edited:

Power Player

Bionic Poster
First session with the 18x20 this morning. Singles warmups and doubles point play:

- Strung with tour bite 1.30 at 44 lb on my constant pull. First impression is I could go down to a thinner gauge. Will try 1.20 tour bite next time I restring. Played stock with overgrip, no vibration dampener.

- Weight distribution - tons of weight in the head, not a lot of weight in the handle. I think that will be the biggest adjustment period for me and most people that play this frame. It is not slow, but it is not whippy either. It rewards using your body and leg drive to generate power. Babolat buggy whip forehands when I was in a pinch were not very effective. I think using a thinner string will help a little in terms of getting the head moving faster when I don’t have time to fully setup my strokes. Otherwise, I may tailweight the frame, but I want to play it stock for a few more weeks.

- Feel - very flexible, very plush. You feel the frame bend/absorb the impact of the ball. No nasty vibrations or buzz sounds, even on off center hits or framed shots. Did not play with a vibration dampener, did not need one. Last time I had this sensation was with my Tecnifibre 315 LTD 2013, which I think was sub 60 RA.

- Response - controlled power, whatever that means to you. To me it means I can swing out and the frame crushes the ball so that it has a low, linear trajectory. When you try to do that with a higher RA frame (Babolat) the ball may sail on you. This was particularly helpful on returns where I didn’t feel like I had to hold back to keep the ball in. Flat serves were great and quite frankly addictive. Slice and kicker will take a little more time to adjust.

- Playability - could be my current string setup, but there is no free lunch with this racquet. If you do not swing out or have complete strokes, the ball will not have much pace or net clearance. This frame shines when you take a big cut at the ball. It can generate that nasty, dense spin - the type of ball that you observe jumping forward off the court as opposed to floating or sitting up. Otherwise, it was a little underwhelming when I was scrambling or swinging 50-75%. Could also be the adjustment period to timing since the weighting and balance are different than what I have been playing lately.

Excited to put in more hours with this frame.
Nice post, and I agree with your findings. I’d suggest 1.25 and not going all the way to 1.20 just yet. 1.25 plays really really well in this racquet and you can keep the tension low. I’d say maybe try 46#s instead of 44.

Other thing to think about with this frame is you can shape the ball a ton, just be conscious of how low you are dropping under the ball. I worked on dropping the frame a little lower (which I should have been doing anyway to be honest) and the level of spin and consistency went through the roof. Towards the end of a very long training session I was still able to keep the ball heavy and deep, but the frame of course swung a little heavier at that level of exhaustion. That said, with a low SW frame, I don’t think I could have generated that kind of weight of shot for the amount of time that I did with the Blade.

So to your last point, drop the frame a little lower and I think you will really see the benefits of the trajectory even when pressured. I only suggest this since you mentioned how challenging it could be when scrambling. One drill I did that really helped with this was to put a cone in the middle hashmark and start in front of it. Balls would be fed wide to my FH and I had to circle the cone, hit the FH and then circle back. Over and over. It’s a great way to work on the racquet drop and dial it in.

Anyway, I agree with everything you said. It’s a really rewarding racquet to play with.
 

1990's Graphite

Hall of Fame
Just having a look at TW score for the 18x20 v7blade, it looks like they made an error for the slice total / average. The 4 playtesters score should be 89 total and not 79.
79 slice score with the scores for the other 11 sections gives it a score 83 overall (1006 / 12 = 83)
89 slice score gives it a score of 85, which seems right....
haven't checked the other totals , just the slice score seemed low for an 18x20 8mains frame with decent SW !
 
Top