Blade V8 Official Thread.

Hulger

New User
no you can go through these racquet threads and find people putting .20ths of grams. Or a specific number not realizing how many grams it takes to make an ounce. Im sorry you dont need a 332.78 gram stick to win at 3.5 I'm hitting with a pro using the first Babolat aero with cortex racquet with old string, at least 4 years old and the racquet is a mess. Is it preferred? no but i can play and get better. Im 6000+ miles away from my own stuff and im playing in hiking shoes but my technique is getting better and Im only losing 10-4 in a tiebreaker. He might have given me a few extra serves.....
Mister you seem to be very full of yourself and I have no clue what you are trying to prove here. If you can’t feel the difference of couple grams in the frame, it really tells something. Why do you think the highest level players have very exclusively selected racquets?
Yeah focusing too much on your equipment over technique isn’t sensible but still c’mon...

Regarding the blade v8 I’m concerned about the drop in SW and possibly increased stiffness and its potential consequences for arm health. And if it needed some stabilizing lead, would it make it too powerful?
Still must say it’s the greatest looking frame ever.
 

J B

Semi-Pro
Mister you seem to be very full of yourself and I have no clue what you are trying to prove here. If you can’t feel the difference of couple grams in the frame, it really tells something. Why do you think the highest level players have very exclusively selected racquets?
Yeah focusing too much on your equipment over technique isn’t sensible but still c’mon...

Regarding the blade v8 I’m concerned about the drop in SW and possibly increased stiffness and its potential consequences for arm health. And if it needed some stabilizing lead, would it make it too powerful?
Still must say it’s the greatest looking frame ever.
fed himself says he picks a few of the pro staff 355-357s. You have zero idea. I have the opportunity to handle and weigh 3-4 wta and atp players and they were different weights. But you keep your dream alive. That 322.2342341254 gram custom for you stick will get you there.
 
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RF_PRO_STAFF

Semi-Pro
I just strung a V8 98 16x19 US Open for a friend and measured the specs as well.

Stock, unstrung:
- 303.19g
- 316 mm
- 282 SW

Stock, strung with Kirschbaum Max Power 1.30:
- 321.15g
- 326/327 mm
- 315 SW

He'll be trying it tomorrow, but I'm certain I will get it back to customize to a at least a higher static + SW. Not sure about the balance point beforehand.
If he likes the frame enough, he'll get two more. I'll post those specs here once I get them.
 

Hulger

New User
fed himself says he picks a few of the pro staff 355-357s. You have zero idea. I have the opportunity to handle and weigh 3-4 wta and atp players and they were different weights. But you keep your dream alive. That 322.2342341254 gram custom for you stick will get you there.
Haha, do you really think that top players who are paying tens of thousands of bucks for stringers and switching over 20 pro stock frames annually because of minimal wearing out wouldn’t be accurate about matching their frames?
You’re just an arrogant troll.
 

Strange hit

New User
I have the opportunity to handle and weigh 3-4 wta and atp players and they were different weights. But you keep your dream alive. That 322.2342341254 gram custom for you stick will get you there.
If an ATP or WTA doesn't use matched specs racquets, it only says about him that he/she is not professional enough...
 

puppybutts

Semi-Pro
Just demoed the Blade 18x20 v8. Only for a few hours. Strung with Alu Power x NXT at 52lbs. Wow I have to say this is a huge improvement from the last version (IMO of course). The previous version felt more plush in the center, but gave loose vibrations and dead response even just outside the sweetspot. The v8 feels a tad less plush in center, but much more consistent response around the string bed (still very comfortable in center). Some of that dead Wilson feeling still remains (at times it reminded me the hallow, metallic ping of the Ultra), and it's more muted for my taste (I wasn't sure at times where the ball was landing on the strings), but overall the feel is much improved. It reminds me of a more flexy dunlop CX.

I noticed the launch angle is noticeably higher too, though that might be because the lighter swingweight makes it easier to swing. It's a higher launch angle than both the previous version and my current Pure Strike 18x20 3rd gen. It's easy to flatten out but still with surprising access to spin, both on groundstrokes and serve. Volleys are where the more flexible feeling is a bit problematic, I wish I had more pop and while I wouldn't say it's unstable, the flex of the racquet required me to adjust my volleys to push through a little more. Compared to my Pure Strike, I notice the top and bottom cross strings are quite a bit closer to center (bigger gap from frame to first outer string). So the sweetspot was about the same density, v8 was a bit more dense around the sweetspot, and Pure Strike was more uniform across the bed.

I have to say in person, the paintjob looks amazing. I wasn't sure from online images cause it looked kind of dingy and dark, but I couldn't stop admiring how refined it looks, I kept stealing glances while my hitting partner was preparing to serve. Love the deep forest green with metallic undertones at night under lights.

Honestly if this racquet was out a year ago, I might have gotten it. But the main thing holding me back is the v8 feels too muted and flexible at times, and it doesn't offer enough benefits to warrant a switch. The Blade is still slightly less power than the Pure Strike...I want to say it is about the same power as the v7, with increased consistency off center (meaning a little more power off center than previous version too and the ball doesn't die as easily if you can't make a clean hit). The v8 fixed the v7's biggest two issues for me: maneuverability and dead feel off center (you might be thinking the Pure Strike is not really more maneuverable than the v7, but while the swingweight is the same, the additional power and stiffness helped make up for it). Great update overall. One small observation: the bumper guard seems to be quite smooth with only a barely visible pattern, I'm not sure it will be as durable as other deeply grooved bumper guards.
 
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Hulger

New User
Just demoed the Blade 18x20 v8. Only for a few hours. Strung with Alu Power x NXT at 52lbs. Wow I have to say this is a huge improvement from the last version (IMO of course). The previous version felt more plush in the center, but gave loose vibrations and dead response even just outside the sweetspot. The v8 feels a tad less plush in center, but much more consistent response around the string bed (still very comfortable in center). Some of that dead Wilson feeling still remains (at times it reminded me the hallow, metallic ping of the Ultra), and it's more muted for my taste (I wasn't sure at times where the ball was landing on the strings), but overall the feel is much improved. It reminds me of a more flexy dunlop CX.

I noticed the launch angle is noticeably higher too, though that might be because the lighter swingweight makes it easier to swing. It's a higher launch angle than both the previous version and my current Pure Strike 18x20 3rd gen. It's easy to flatten out but still with surprising access to spin, both on groundstrokes and serve. Volleys are where the more flexible feeling is a bit problematic, I wish I had more pop and while I wouldn't say it's unstable, the flex of the racquet required me to adjust my volleys to push through a little more. Compared to my Pure Strike, I notice the top and bottom cross strings are quite a bit closer to center (bigger gap from frame to first outer string). So the sweetspot was about the same density, v8 was a bit more dense around the sweetspot, and Pure Strike was more uniform across the bed.

I have to say in person, the paintjob looks amazing. I wasn't sure from online images cause it looked kind of dingy and dark, but I couldn't stop admiring how refined it looks, I kept stealing glances while my hitting partner was preparing to serve. Love the deep forest green with metallic undertones at night under lights.

Honestly if this racquet was out a year ago, I might have gotten it. But the main thing holding me back is the v8 feels too muted and flexible at times, and it doesn't offer enough benefits to warrant a switch. The Blade is still slightly less power than the Pure Strike...I want to say it is about the same power as the v7, with increased consistency off center (meaning a little more power off center than previous version too and the ball doesn't die as easily if you can't make a clean hit). The v8 fixed the v7's biggest two issues for me: maneuverability and dead feel off center (you might be thinking the Pure Strike is not really more maneuverable than the v7, but while the swingweight is the same, the additional power and stiffness helped make up for it). Great update overall. One small observation: the bumper guard seems to be quite smooth with only a barely visible pattern, I'm not sure it will be as durable as other deeply grooved bumper guards.
Thanks for thoughtful in-depth review. If the feel is similar to Dunlop CX, it is totally ruined. For me the standout feature of Wilson frames has been the excellent direct but not-too-harsh bearable contact with ball, which provides predictable response and accurate ball placements and easy drop shots. You can feel the heaviness of the ball in your hand, and it’s not too pingy and fast at the contact which is the problem for example with many Babolat frames. It can feel at its best like throwing a ball with pro staff racquets and imo this have applied in some level to every wilson frame I have tried.
Yeah the dunlop feel is more comfortable, and e.g. 200 tour gives good directional control, but the overly soft and dampened stringbed makes it impossible to feel the power and depth of the shot.
 

TimePlease

Rookie
Thanks for thoughtful in-depth review. If the feel is similar to Dunlop CX, it is totally ruined. For me the standout feature of Wilson frames has been the excellent direct but not-too-harsh bearable contact with ball, which provides predictable response and accurate ball placements and easy drop shots. You can feel the heaviness of the ball in your hand, and it’s not too pingy and fast at the contact which is the problem for example with many Babolat frames. It can feel at its best like throwing a ball with pro staff racquets and imo this have applied in some level to every wilson frame I have tried.
Yeah the dunlop feel is more comfortable, and e.g. 200 tour gives good directional control, but the overly soft and dampened stringbed makes it impossible to feel the power and depth of the shot.
Nicely put. I'd agree that Wilson's have a certain unique feel to them that's very difficult to put into words - especially the Pro Staff, as you say. Whether that suits everyone's taste and playing style is a totally different matter, but I think Wilson would be foolish to stray too far from their winning formula, which I'm sure they're well aware of.
 

SonRK

Semi-Pro
Anyone know when the 100 will be available? Not the L.

While not a hard date, it says its coming Fall 2021
 

DAB942

New User
Just demoed the Blade 18x20 v8. Only for a few hours. Strung with Alu Power x NXT at 52lbs. Wow I have to say this is a huge improvement from the last version (IMO of course). The previous version felt more plush in the center, but gave loose vibrations and dead response even just outside the sweetspot. The v8 feels a tad less plush in center, but much more consistent response around the string bed (still very comfortable in center). Some of that dead Wilson feeling still remains (at times it reminded me the hallow, metallic ping of the Ultra), and it's more muted for my taste (I wasn't sure at times where the ball was landing on the strings), but overall the feel is much improved. It reminds me of a more flexy dunlop CX.

I noticed the launch angle is noticeably higher too, though that might be because the lighter swingweight makes it easier to swing. It's a higher launch angle than both the previous version and my current Pure Strike 18x20 3rd gen. It's easy to flatten out but still with surprising access to spin, both on groundstrokes and serve. Volleys are where the more flexible feeling is a bit problematic, I wish I had more pop and while I wouldn't say it's unstable, the flex of the racquet required me to adjust my volleys to push through a little more. Compared to my Pure Strike, I notice the top and bottom cross strings are quite a bit closer to center (bigger gap from frame to first outer string). So the sweetspot was about the same density, v8 was a bit more dense around the sweetspot, and Pure Strike was more uniform across the bed.

I have to say in person, the paintjob looks amazing. I wasn't sure from online images cause it looked kind of dingy and dark, but I couldn't stop admiring how refined it looks, I kept stealing glances while my hitting partner was preparing to serve. Love the deep forest green with metallic undertones at night under lights.

Honestly if this racquet was out a year ago, I might have gotten it. But the main thing holding me back is the v8 feels too muted and flexible at times, and it doesn't offer enough benefits to warrant a switch. The Blade is still slightly less power than the Pure Strike...I want to say it is about the same power as the v7, with increased consistency off center (meaning a little more power off center than previous version too and the ball doesn't die as easily if you can't make a clean hit). The v8 fixed the v7's biggest two issues for me: maneuverability and dead feel off center (you might be thinking the Pure Strike is not really more maneuverable than the v7, but while the swingweight is the same, the additional power and stiffness helped make up for it). Great update overall. One small observation: the bumper guard seems to be quite smooth with only a barely visible pattern, I'm not sure it will be as durable as other deeply grooved bumper guards.
Thanks for the review. I used to play Blades and switched to Pure Aero a couple years ago. This week, I tried my son's V7 18x20 with my strings and I really liked. I really like the low power. The spin wasn't as aggressive as the PA, but I had so much more control and feel, I can work on the spin. Of course, I only had one hitting session and played a mixed match.

How was spin generation for you?

Do you think the V8 will be worth the move compared to the V7?
 

While not a hard date, it says its coming Fall 2021
available already mostly in Asia. Ordered mine, as I shifted from Pure Drive, and I think 100 square inch is already perfect for my game. Tried the 98 v7 square before from one of the players in my local club, while it's still a decent sweet spot, I think I will be undergo a longer transition.
 

Red Bird

New User
Hi everyone, new member here but I’ve been following this thread for a while. I’m coming back off a 15 year hiatus and find myself in need of new gear. Used to be a 4.5+ player, not back to that yet and I have a dinosaur eastern forehand grip. My old Donnay frame is 365g beast with a self-measured 360 SW - strung, dampener, leather grip. I’m finding it still works great on ground strokes and net play, returns, etc but is just too much at age 55 to get up and over with decent snap on the serve. I’ve demoed a lot of racquets and my short list is the Blade v7 m16, m18 and the Pro Staff 97 (315g). I still have the PS97 and Blade m18 for a few more days and hoping to get the v8 in my hands for a demo next week. I like a lot of things about the PS97 except that it’s difficult, at least initially, to keep my backhand slice as low as I like it. The Blade m18 is all around pretty nice for my game, but I liked the m16 better for serves. Unfortunately the m16 demo stick I had was unstable compared to the m18 and just didn’t swing well for me. Felt light and “flimsy” if that makes sense. For those who have played the v8s, how would you compare the playability of the v8 m16 compared to the v7 m16 and m18? Ideally I’d like stability along with the benefits of the open pattern. With the closer spacing in the center of the v8 m16 does it give it more control than the v7 and overall does it swing better than the static and swing weight specs seem to imply?
 

DJTaurus

Hall of Fame
I ordered mine 16x19 (also paid extra for matching) and i hope i ll have it next week. The plan is to string it with 4G at 22kg. Soon you will know how it compares to Blade v5…..that’s the real debate to true bladeholics and see if there is any kind of a comeback. I am very curious to see if the more power comes from the low SW and if it still puts heaviness on the ball.
 

avocadoz

Professional
I just had a couple of outings with the Blade v8 18x20. I have to say, this should have been the update the Blade 2015 deserved. It fixes some of the issues (i.e. harsh off-center hits) that the 2015 version had but kept the DNA of what made the 2015 a great stick to begin with. Countervail muted all the fun, while v7 FeelFlex made the racquet unpredictable at times. The v8's throat does not flex like the v7 and that's a welcome change to me. Compared to the v7, the v8 has better control (due to the throat not flexing like the v7), less power, swings a bit faster, and more spin potential. Whenever I switch from a 16x19 (Currently playing with the Ezone 98) to an 18x20, there's always an adjustment period due to the lower launch angle but I did not need an adjustment period at all here. I sometimes forget that I'm playing with a denser string pattern, which attests to the overall improvement of the spin potential and higher launch angle of the new Blade 18x20. This stick serves great, especially on flat serves. I feel like I could place the ball wherever I want. Volleys were stable but lacks putaway power but that's the struggle I have with all 18x20 racquets. My biggest knock on the racquet besides the paintjob is the muted feel. It's not on the level of countervail mute, but it's still too muted for my liking. Like I don't feel as connected to the ball like I do with the 2015 version. I like a bit of feedback but not harsh. In this case, they've taken both away. Now onto the lesser important detail, the paintjob. I don't care if the racquet is hot pink, I'd still play with it as long as it suits my game. In this case, I would say the pj is unique but not good looking. The puke green and poop brown chameleon color change is not my thing. They could have gone with a different color combo or just kept it simply green. But hey, at least it's not matte.
 

tx10is

New User
Hi everyone, new member here but I’ve been following this thread for a while. I’m coming back off a 15 year hiatus and find myself in need of new gear. Used to be a 4.5+ player, not back to that yet and I have a dinosaur eastern forehand grip. My old Donnay frame is 365g beast with a self-measured 360 SW - strung, dampener, leather grip. I’m finding it still works great on ground strokes and net play, returns, etc but is just too much at age 55 to get up and over with decent snap on the serve. I’ve demoed a lot of racquets and my short list is the Blade v7 m16, m18 and the Pro Staff 97 (315g). I still have the PS97 and Blade m18 for a few more days and hoping to get the v8 in my hands for a demo next week. I like a lot of things about the PS97 except that it’s difficult, at least initially, to keep my backhand slice as low as I like it. The Blade m18 is all around pretty nice for my game, but I liked the m16 better for serves. Unfortunately the m16 demo stick I had was unstable compared to the m18 and just didn’t swing well for me. Felt light and “flimsy” if that makes sense. For those who have played the v8s, how would you compare the playability of the v8 m16 compared to the v7 m16 and m18? Ideally I’d like stability along with the benefits of the open pattern. With the closer spacing in the center of the v8 m16 does it give it more control than the v7 and overall does it swing better than the static and swing weight specs seem to imply?
Since you seem to have your heart set on the 16m spacing for spin and power and you can't change that. I would get a 16m up to spec if possible, and put some lead on it to your liking. In general, the v8 is more stable/solid than the v7. The 18m v8 is the most solid.
 

AA7

Hall of Fame
My biggest knock on the racquet besides the paintjob is the muted feel. It's not on the level of countervail mute, but it's still too muted for my liking. Like I don't feel as connected to the ball like I do with the 2015 version. I like a bit of feedback but not harsh. In this case, they've taken both away.
Can u compare the feel to v7? Would you say v7 is muted feel? I am also surprised that you and @puppybutts (love the name) talked about the muted feel and current ezone and strike gen 3 are as muted as frame gets imo. they are like definition of muted. I hit with 16m gen 3 and ezone 100 so maybe ez98 and 18m strike have different feel. It just goes to show you how feel is different to everyone.
 

puppybutts

Semi-Pro
Thanks for the review. I used to play Blades and switched to Pure Aero a couple years ago. This week, I tried my son's V7 18x20 with my strings and I really liked. I really like the low power. The spin wasn't as aggressive as the PA, but I had so much more control and feel, I can work on the spin. Of course, I only had one hitting session and played a mixed match.

How was spin generation for you?

Do you think the V8 will be worth the move compared to the V7?
Hard to say. I think the v8 has better access to spin, but mostly as an effect of the lighter swingweight - the racquet itself won't be as spin-designed as the PA, but more than the v7. if you feel held back in spin by the v7 because of the swingweight, the v8 could be worth the move (or you can experiment customizing the v7). if you feel held back in spin for other reasons (like the string pattern or feel), I wouldn't say there's a significant enough difference. but it also depends how much disposable income you have and what small changes in money mean to you lol.

I'm not the best authority on spin though. I prefer higher swingweight, dense string pattern racquets cause I like the feeling of driving through the ball more than whipping over it
 
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puppybutts

Semi-Pro
Thanks for thoughtful in-depth review. If the feel is similar to Dunlop CX, it is totally ruined. For me the standout feature of Wilson frames has been the excellent direct but not-too-harsh bearable contact with ball, which provides predictable response and accurate ball placements and easy drop shots. You can feel the heaviness of the ball in your hand, and it’s not too pingy and fast at the contact which is the problem for example with many Babolat frames. It can feel at its best like throwing a ball with pro staff racquets and imo this have applied in some level to every wilson frame I have tried.
Yeah the dunlop feel is more comfortable, and e.g. 200 tour gives good directional control, but the overly soft and dampened stringbed makes it impossible to feel the power and depth of the shot.
Don't take my comparison to heart too directly! While I take notes on all my demo experiences, human memory is flawed after all, on top of racquets being a very subjective experience. While personally a lot of Wilson frames feel kind of dead in a bad way to me, I agree, I did appreciate they were never uncomfortable while still helping me feel connected to the ball. The v8 definitely feels more muted than the typical Wilson feel, and while I mostly talked about the more consistent response off-center as a positive thing, that can also exacerbate the muted sensation and it being difficult to tell where the ball is landing. However, there are still signals that I think you can learn to read and adjust to - the direct center still has the cleanest vibrations and has a little more pop, it's just not as exaggerated as with the v7. Keep in mind my demo was strung with a hybrid and its tension probably dropped below 50 by the time I got it, so if you play with a different string setup, you might find a little more connection.
 

DAB942

New User
Hard to say. I think the v8 has better access to spin, but mostly as an effect of the lighter swingweight - the racquet itself won't be as spin-designed as the PA, but more than the v7. if you feel held back in spin by the v7 because of the swingweight, the v8 could be worth the move (or you can experiment customizing the v7). if you feel held back in spin for other reasons (like the string pattern or feel), I wouldn't say there's a significant enough difference. but it also depends how much disposable income you have and what small changes in money mean to you lol.

I'm not the best authority on spin though. I prefer higher swingweight, dense string pattern racquets cause I like the feeling of driving through the ball more than whipping over it
I'm going to play for a few hours in the morning with the V7 18x20. I don't get as much spin using my usual strings and tension -- I'm going to play it with it exclusively for a little while and probably demo the V8s and go from there. I forgot how much I missed playing with a Blade.
 

n80aoag

Rookie
I put my V8 18x20 4 1/4 in the classifieds, great racquet but I need to mod the length if I were to keep it
 

jdx2112

Professional
I think it’s the version, I’ve played with 16x19 quite a bit. This one feels even more low powered than the other pro, and for 16x19 the launch angle might be lower too in comparison.
Have you hit with the stock model? Always curious about the differences between pro and stock.
 

Dasol

Rookie
Played with the new blade 98 18X20 this morning, and this is my initial impression:

This version is more user-friendly than V7 due to its lighter swingweight.
The V7 felt tip heavy to me, and I think this new version is easier to swing due to the slight decrease of the weight from the tip of the head.

I think this change of the tip weight slightly alters the overall feel of the frame. This new version is less muted and has more direct feel.
Maybe they changed the density of the mass in the tip of the head, and it gives a nice clean feel compared to the previous version's super muted feel.
The ball seems to go off from the frame faster than from the V7, which pockets the ball sometimes too long for my preference.

The V7 seems to be more stable to me because of its mass in the head, but V8 is not at all unstable racquet. I had no problem with return and volley with it today.

I will keep hitting it and report back again.
 

Klitz

New User
Why has the TWU website not been updated to include the 98 v8 racquet's performance data?? They have had the v8 104 data on the site for several days now????????????
 

CameronS

New User
Would like some users to chime in here...

I'd been out of tennis for a few years and got back into it this year. Started out with some demos of various rackets and settled on the Pro Staff v13 97L. I have really enjoyed this racket, as it really fit my play style, but dang did I develop a severe case of tennis elbow. I never took into account that the 97L is the stiffest of all the Pro Staff's.

In my quest for recovery I have switched to the Clash 98 with natural gut. While it has helped with after play elbow pain (I can't play without taking some ibuprofen still, but at least after a match I can feel like I can pick up things like a drinking glass without pain), I am having one hell of a time adjusting to the power. I find the control of the Clash 98 quite good, but with the mix of natural gut and the clash itself, my balls are launching with little effort, causing those controlled angles to go long. The same swing with my old Pro Staff 97L's would be in.

This is a frustrating experience! To also try and combat the TE I've scheduled some lessons to get a refresher on what I may have done in the first place to cause this outside of the stiff 97L.

Would the Blade 98 v8 18x20 be a better fit for me? Arm friendly? I get confused in this thread. People are talking about it being stuff, yet the RA rating appears low enough, so I must be missing something. The other racket I'm considering is the Head Gravity Tour. I've got competitive matches and can't keep having my balls go flying over the baseline. :(
 

jdx2112

Professional
Would like some users to chime in here...

I'd been out of tennis for a few years and got back into it this year. Started out with some demos of various rackets and settled on the Pro Staff v13 97L. I have really enjoyed this racket, as it really fit my play style, but dang did I develop a severe case of tennis elbow. I never took into account that the 97L is the stiffest of all the Pro Staff's.

In my quest for recovery I have switched to the Clash 98 with natural gut. While it has helped with after play elbow pain (I can't play without taking some ibuprofen still, but at least after a match I can feel like I can pick up things like a drinking glass without pain), I am having one hell of a time adjusting to the power. I find the control of the Clash 98 quite good, but with the mix of natural gut and the clash itself, my balls are launching with little effort, causing those controlled angles to go long. The same swing with my old Pro Staff 97L's would be in.

This is a frustrating experience! To also try and combat the TE I've scheduled some lessons to get a refresher on what I may have done in the first place to cause this outside of the stiff 97L.

Would the Blade 98 v8 18x20 be a better fit for me? Arm friendly? I get confused in this thread. People are talking about it being stuff, yet the RA rating appears low enough, so I must be missing something. The other racket I'm considering is the Head Gravity Tour. I've got competitive matches and can't keep having my balls go flying over the baseline. :(
First thing, if you haven't already, you need to take time off and rest and get some soft tissue therapy.
Second, buy a flex bar and use it every day you don't play.
Third, find a racquet that is flexible but also not too heavy. Racquets that are too heavy can strain your arm, too.

Blade v7 98 18/20 has a high swingweight. Maybe that doesn't hurt your elbow, but it could strain your shoulder.

Racquets to consider:

Gravity Tour, MP, Lite, S
new VCore Pro 97 and maybe 100
V8 Blade Lin (swing weights have come down)
Prince Phantom line
ProKennex
Dunlop CX 200 OS
 

CameronS

New User
First thing, if you haven't already, you need to take time off and rest and get some soft tissue therapy.
Second, buy a flex bar and use it every day you don't play.
Third, find a racquet that is flexible but also not too heavy. Racquets that are too heavy can strain your arm, too.

Blade v7 98 18/20 has a high swingweight. Maybe that doesn't hurt your elbow, but it could strain your shoulder.

Racquets to consider:

Gravity Tour and MP
new VCore Pro 97 and maybe 100
Blade 98 16/19 v8
Prince Phantom line
ProKennex
Thanks for the response here!

I'm curious, you listed the 16/19 over the 18/20 v8. Is that also because of high swing weight as you described with the v7? I'm not going to pretend to know how a 16/19 vs 18/20 affects actual play. Any and all information is appreciated!

I've definitely let up a lot of my amount of play, and I have been getting fairly regular massages in that area. I did also buy and use the flex bar!
 

jdx2112

Professional
Thanks for the response here!

I'm curious, you listed the 16/19 over the 18/20 v8. Is that also because of high swing weight as you described with the v7? I'm not going to pretend to know how a 16/19 vs 18/20 affects actual play. Any and all information is appreciated!

I've definitely let up a lot of my amount of play, and I have been getting fairly regular massages in that area. I did also buy and use the flex bar!
I've edited the post...18/20 is a tad lighter now, but not bad. Whole V8 line looks comfy.
 

jdx2112

Professional
Thanks!

Even then, why would someone choose an 18x20 vs 16x19, and more importantly, why shouldn't someone choose one over the other? :)
Depends on your style of play or even level.

16/19 is an open pattern that enables a higher launch off the strings, which promotes more spin potential. 18/20 is tighter and less launch. A better option for flatter hitters who desire more precision. That's a generalization, but a short-hand.
 

MattHeup

New User
What racket is the better all round racket, the Wilson blade pro or the head graphene 360+ speed pro?
Impossible to say. Both have their fans, who could argue endlessly on which is better. If you're not modifying, go for the speed pro. If you're open to adding lead/leather, the blade pro has plenty of room for customization. It hits like an absolute truck at high weights. The speed pro is likely a pinch more forgiving. It's also 18x20 so if you need a more open pattern go for the BP 16x19. Above all though, demo if you can. Good luck finding the one for you.
 

Klitz

New User
I have exclusively played with the 16x19 98 v7 for the last two years.

I got the 16x19 v8 in the mail yesterday, strung it this morning, and I ended up playing a competitive doubles match with it today.

Intially, I had only intended to hit a few pre-match warmup balls with the v8 in order to get an idea of the feel of the racquet. I was expecting that the change in SW & "feel" v7 to v8 would be significant enough to make playing a match with the v8 today a bad idea.

In addition to the much improved maneuverability, I instantly saw a massive increase in spin. Frequently, I am told that my ground strokes are heavy, but the bounce I see/perceive with the v7 seems normal. However, casual ground strokes with the v8 were jumping off the court ~1.5ft higher than what I normally hit. It was almost ombelieble to me.

The amount of pace I lost horizontally (very minimal) was more than offset by the increased spin rate.

My second serve saw an immediate improvement from the reduced SW, and it had the same tremendous increase in kick/bounce. I didn't double fault once.

I perceived a very small reduction in "ball pocketing", but I didn't need to make any corrections with my swing on any stroke in terms of shot placement.

For these reasons, I played the match with the v8 today, and I will be buying two more tommorow.

My current three v7s weigh 345grams strung, and my v8 weighs 334grams strung. All 4 racquet's are currently strung with 16g Luxilon gut mains/17g Ghostwire crosses.
 
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Alex7778

New User
Impossible to say. Both have their fans, who could argue endlessly on which is better. If you're not modifying, go for the speed pro. If you're open to adding lead/leather, the blade pro has plenty of room for customization. It hits like an absolute truck at high weights. The speed pro is likely a pinch more forgiving. It's also 18x20 so if you need a more open pattern go for the BP 16x19. Above all though, demo if you can. Good luck finding the one for you.
I would probably be looking to modify the racket so the blade pro would be slightly better in that area. I have heard that the speed pro is an amazing racket from the back of the court but I wonder whether on serve it has that extra bit of free power as we know the blade pro has a lot of power apparently. Don’t think with the blade pros you can demo them unfortunately, which is why hearing what people think of the racket is important and hopefully will be able to find one if I go for that racket
 

baowow

Rookie
I would probably be looking to modify the racket so the blade pro would be slightly better in that area. I have heard that the speed pro is an amazing racket from the back of the court but I wonder whether on serve it has that extra bit of free power as we know the blade pro has a lot of power apparently. Don’t think with the blade pros you can demo them unfortunately, which is why hearing what people think of the racket is important and hopefully will be able to find one if I go for that racket
Let me know if you want a speed pro. I have one almost new all black cosmetic.
 

Red Bird

New User
I have exclusively played with the 16x19 98 v7 for the last two years.

I got the 16x19 v8 in the mail yesterday, strung it this morning, and I ended up playing a competitive doubles match with it today.

Intially, I had only intended to hit a few pre-match warmup balls with the v8 in order to get an idea of the feel of the racquet. I was expecting that the change in SW & "feel" v7 to v8 would be significant enough to make playing a match with the v8 today a bad idea.

In addition to the much improved maneuverability, I instantly saw a massive increase in spin. Frequently, I am told that my ground strokes are heavy, but the bounce I see/perceive with the v7 seems normal. However, casual ground strokes with the v8 were jumping off the court ~1.5ft higher than what I normally hit. It was almost ombelieble to me.

The amount of pace I lost horizontally (very minimal) was more than offset by the increased spin rate.

My second serve saw an immediate improvement from the reduced SW, and it had the same tremendous increase in kick/bounce. I didn't double fault once.

I perceived a very small reduction in "ball pocketing", but I didn't need to make any corrections with my swing on any stroke in terms of shot placement.

For these reasons, I played the match with the v8 today, and I will be buying two more tommorow.

My current three v7s weigh 345grams strung, and my v8 weighs 334grams strung. All 4 racquet's are currently strung with 16g Luxilon gut mains/17g Ghostwire crosses.
How did you find the launch angle on the v8 compared to the v7? Some have said it’s lower, which would be good for me since I usually play 18x20 and flatter shots.
 

Hit 'em clean

Semi-Pro
I have exclusively played with the 16x19 98 v7 for the last two years.

I got the 16x19 v8 in the mail yesterday, strung it this morning, and I ended up playing a competitive doubles match with it today.

Intially, I had only intended to hit a few pre-match warmup balls with the v8 in order to get an idea of the feel of the racquet. I was expecting that the change in SW & "feel" v7 to v8 would be significant enough to make playing a match with the v8 today a bad idea.

In addition to the much improved maneuverability, I instantly saw a massive increase in spin. Frequently, I am told that my ground strokes are heavy, but the bounce I see/perceive with the v7 seems normal. However, casual ground strokes with the v8 were jumping off the court ~1.5ft higher than what I normally hit. It was almost ombelieble to me.

The amount of pace I lost horizontally (very minimal) was more than offset by the increased spin rate.

My second serve saw an immediate improvement from the reduced SW, and it had the same tremendous increase in kick/bounce. I didn't double fault once.

I perceived a very small reduction in "ball pocketing", but I didn't need to make any corrections with my swing on any stroke in terms of shot placement.

For these reasons, I played the match with the v8 today, and I will be buying two more tommorow.

My current three v7s weigh 345grams strung, and my v8 weighs 334grams strung. All 4 racquet's are currently strung with 16g Luxilon gut mains/17g Ghostwire crosses.
I can't comment on the v7 Blade comparison as I've never hit with it... only tried the V6 countervail. Like you experienced... I can generate crazy amounts of spin with the v8 and it's the number one surprise for me. On serves, volleys or groundies you can generate a lot of topspin or slice. The v6 version I tried was not like this at all. The launch angle feels higher... but it's still in that medium range where it feels controllable on flat or topspin shots, but gets up over the net height with just enough ease.

I find the power on the Blade v8 to be decent at times it can be bigger than my Speed Pros. The ease of acceleration and rhs you can get helps, but it falls behind slightly if you're not accelerating. Some of the power coming off this frame also caught me a bit by surprise. When you catch it right it gets out of the stringbed fast and will move.

One of the spinniest frames I've tried in a while for a players frame that still allows for flat shots. Played a doubles match on Friday and the spin I was getting on serve and off the ground was causing fits for people. I played my Speed Pros at first, but switch to the Blade for the last set. Blade was really fun to hit with and seemed easier in a lot of respects. I threw on some weight at 3 & 9 (3g total) just to beef up the SW a tiny bit and provide a touch more stability on volleys.
 
How did you find the launch angle on the v8 compared to the v7? Some have said it’s lower, which would be good for me since I usually play 18x20 and flatter shots.
I was under the impression the string patterns and spacing were the exact same between the v7 and v8, which would make me think there isn't any inherent difference in launch angle between the two. Not sure though.
 

tx10is

New User
I can't comment on the v7 Blade comparison as I've never hit with it... only tried the V6 countervail. Like you experienced... I can generate crazy amounts of spin with the v8 and it's the number one surprise for me. On serves, volleys or groundies you can generate a lot of topspin or slice. The v6 version I tried was not like this at all. The launch angle feels higher... but it's still in that medium range where it feels controllable on flat or topspin shots, but gets up over the net height with just enough ease.

I find the power on the Blade v8 to be decent at times it can be bigger than my Speed Pros. The ease of acceleration and rhs you can get helps, but it falls behind slightly if you're not accelerating. Some of the power coming off this frame also caught me a bit by surprise. When you catch it right it gets out of the stringbed fast and will move.

One of the spinniest frames I've tried in a while for a players frame that still allows for flat shots. Played a doubles match on Friday and the spin I was getting on serve and off the ground was causing fits for people. I played my Speed Pros at first, but switch to the Blade for the last set. Blade was really fun to hit with and seemed easier in a lot of respects. I threw on some weight at 3 & 9 (3g total) just to beef up the SW a tiny bit and provide a touch more stability on volleys.
interesting, similar experience. The speed pro black with its 18m was really solid/stable/feel/consistant from baseline like the blade. The difference was with serves. The blade had more spin/power on serves. I think the lighter/more maneuverability of the blade v8 is the main culprit of the more power/spin over v7.
 
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