Clash 98: underrated racquet of 2019.

AceyMan

New User
The Blade v7, although it has a lower RA than previous versions and incorporates "Clash technology", does not have that same odd feel. It feels more like a traditional flexible racquet.
Good to know, since the word on the Ultra Tour is that it'll remain in the 2020 lineup, but with a version update that includes "Clash Technology."

(I have one UT that I'm just now starting to use and decide on first mods. The SW isn't bad stock, tho, at 324 as TW specs list and what mine measured).

/Acey
 

mad dog1

G.O.A.T.
So this is a good serve volley racket? How is it on serves/overheads and on half volleys/mid court, returns?
It’s absolutely brilliant in half volleys. Mid court sharp angled topspin putaways are great. Can generate a ton of spin on these. Excellent on serves and overheads. Only downside for me is it goes through strings like crazy.
 

J011yroger

Talk Tennis Guru
So this is a good serve volley racket? How is it on serves/overheads and on half volleys/mid court, returns?
The only flaw was that I couldn't get much gas on my big serve. Spin serves were great. I suspect it was a timing issue not a racquet issue.

J
 

Automatix

Hall of Fame
Good to know, since the word on the Ultra Tour is that it'll remain in the 2020 lineup, but with a version update that includes "Clash Technology."
Not to derail but I wonder if this will bring a boost in the performance of this model. Most would be satisfied if the new one came out with a 16x19 or 16x20 pattern and had a sturdier pj.
 

am1899

Hall of Fame
Not to derail but I wonder if this will bring a boost in the performance of this model. Most would be satisfied if the new one came out with a 16x19 or 16x20 pattern and had a sturdier pj.
I agree.

Also, I can’t help but wonder if making it a light platform stick, with room for customization was the right move on Wilson’s part. Yes, i know there are many who like to tinker and find the perfect setup. But there are many other players who don’t know how or can’t be bothered. I’m an example of a guy who got sick of all the tinkering. Which is one of many reasons the 93p appealed to me so much - for me it has plenty of heft and a workable balance in stock form.
 

Jouke

Semi-Pro
Wow, I am glad that I am not the only one finding this frame one of the best ever! Havent touched my blade v7 since i got the clash.


On a serious note, @mad dog1 already commented that this frame eats strings. Is that your experience too? Just curious...
I‘M a flat hitter. I change poly every 12 hours max. I am not breaking strings in this thing. But i am no string breaker.
 

DJ-

Hall of Fame
Wow, I am glad that I am not the only one finding this frame one of the best ever! Havent touched my blade v7 since i got the clash.



I‘M a flat hitter. I change poly every 12 hours max. I am not breaking strings in this thing. But i am no string breaker.
It is a nice frame for sure. I also get 14-16hrs in my g360 extreme which is meant to be a string guzzler. Depends on the player. When I tried the clash 98 it had lux 4g in it and it was a great fit IMO. This frame would be great with max power regular or rough at around 48lbs
 
I've become a little interested in the Clash 98 myself. My son started the 10 and under junior program at the National Tennis Center in NYC, and they have high performance teen classes going on at the same time and all you see are Clash's, Blade's and Yonex Vcore reds. Only a couple of Babs. These kids totally murder the ball.
 

DJTaurus

Professional
Every time i play with a clash it’s a pure joy. TennisNerd was dead wrong when he said that clash 98 is just a good racquet lost in the sea of lots of other good/better 98inch sticks. Only by the feel of it, Clash is soooo different from the competition, a category on its own. The more you swing it the more power/feel/byte/control you extract from it. It’s the transformer of racquets. Another impressive aspect of it is that you get zero pain and arm tiredness after a 2hour training session. Your arm will still feel relaxed.....

100 and 100 tour play firmer than the 98 which is buttery smooth and the softest/ more plush of the family....ball literally sinks into the stringbed. You get way better feel on sweatspot, it swings super fast with ease like a 300gr racquet but retaining the contact solidness of a 310gr racquet.

My only concerns where that sometimes ball lagged a lot on exchanges and i couldn’t gel on my flat serve.
 
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DJTaurus

Professional
stop, stop this madness! no more converting blade users
I am still a 98s 2015 user and waiting for V7 98S after V7 16x19 didn’t convinced me. Today I just playtested Clash 98 and Pure Strike 100 2019....Clash 98 is sth unique. Pure Strike plays like a lighter PS98 which is an OK stick but lacks the feel of Wilson racquets like most baboblasts do. I will continue playtesting clash 98.... first impressions totally fine!!
 

Automatix

Hall of Fame
I agree.

Also, I can’t help but wonder if making it a light platform stick, with room for customization was the right move on Wilson’s part. Yes, i know there are many who like to tinker and find the perfect setup. But there are many other players who don’t know how or can’t be bothered. I’m an example of a guy who got sick of all the tinkering. Which is one of many reasons the 93p appealed to me so much - for me it has plenty of heft and a workable balance in stock form.
With Wilson's "epic" QC i think if the target specs are in the middle of the road then most could find specimens heavier or lighter enough to fit their needs. I think Wilson could squeeze a lot of this mold, they just need to take it more seriously and introduce a better layup, sturdier pj and offer an open pattern version.
 

Crocodile

Hall of Fame
It's all about the Clash 100 Tour that took the limelight as toward what it was supposed to achieve for the racquet industry. The 98 sitting somewhere between the 100 Tour and V7 Blade 16/19 is where it's at and players will probably discover that soon.
 

Jouke

Semi-Pro
Every time i play with a clash it’s a pure joy. TennisNerd was dead wrong when he said that clash 98 is just a good racquet lost in the sea of lots of other good/better 98inch sticks. Only by the feel of it, Clash is soooo different from the competition, a category on its own.
Damn right you are! The comments from Tennisnerd and the review on TW made me say to myself ‘I wont get this stick’. Holism got the better of me when I found 2 cheap clash 98, bought them and like them a lot.
 

Automatix

Hall of Fame
It's all about the Clash 100 Tour that took the limelight as toward what it was supposed to achieve for the racquet industry. The 98 sitting somewhere between the 100 Tour and V7 Blade 16/19 is where it's at and players will probably discover that soon.
Really? What about the 100? As far as I read depending on the person it's either 100>98>100 Tour or 98>100>100 Tour.
The 100 Tour not really delivering it for the testing parties - not as comfy and easy for use for people looking for a tweener and not controllable and stable enough for the control frame crowd.
 

Crocodile

Hall of Fame
Really? What about the 100? As far as I read depending on the person it's either 100>98>100 Tour or 98>100>100 Tour.
The 100 Tour not really delivering it for the testing parties - not as comfy and easy for use for people looking for a tweener and not controllable and stable enough for the control frame crowd.
My thoughts of the 100 is that it's SW is a bit low. It will probably suit say a 13 year old or small beginner adult. The 100 Tour epitomises more of what the clash can do with its 322 SW. The 98, well it's meant to appeal to the more serious player types but it needs more mass to meet there tastes and this is how it played out in a recent demo day we had at our club.
Don't forget with the TW playtesters they didn't quite have the same roster on each test.
 

Dartagnan64

Legend
Friend just picked up one of these so I'm going to give it a whirl next time he comes to play. I find the 100 sq in Clashes to be a bit vague. Ball does good things but I can't tell it's doing good things until I look up and watch it. With my Phantom 93P and 100 18x20 I know from contact whether i've made a good shot or not.

In some ways their a bit like ported Princes, but even my Phantom 100 gives me more feedback. I think the closest thing to a Clash 100 I've played was an old Prince Speed Port Gold. I want to see if the 98 clears some of that vagueness away.
 

RedBeard

Rookie
Friend just picked up one of these so I'm going to give it a whirl next time he comes to play. I find the 100 sq in Clashes to be a bit vague. Ball does good things but I can't tell it's doing good things until I look up and watch it. With my Phantom 93P and 100 18x20 I know from contact whether i've made a good shot or not.

In some ways their a bit like ported Princes, but even my Phantom 100 gives me more feedback. I think the closest thing to a Clash 100 I've played was an old Prince Speed Port Gold. I want to see if the 98 clears some of that vagueness away.
The Clash 98 will cure some of the vagueness, in that the sweet spot is quite a bit smaller than the 100s. It takes more adjustment and is more difficult to just pick up and play than the 100s because of this.

If I'm playing old school, serve and volley I grab my Phantom 100 18x20. If playing modern, baseline tennis It's Clash 98 all the way. Clash 98 is more comfortable for me, even with a full bed of tour bite at 56lbs. vs my Phantom 100s with gut/poly hybrid at 54/52.
 
Been loving my blade v7 18x20 but now may have to trade a different stick in my bag for a Clash 98.

Anyone lead this puppy up a bit?

Sent from my Pixel 3 using Tapatalk
 

Jouke

Semi-Pro
Been loving my blade v7 18x20 but now may have to trade a different stick in my bag for a Clash 98.

Anyone lead this puppy up a bit?

Sent from my Pixel 3 using Tapatalk
Good choice! I leaded mine up with a couple of grams @12 to get to 340 swingweight.
 

RedBeard

Rookie
Been loving my blade v7 18x20 but now may have to trade a different stick in my bag for a Clash 98.

Anyone lead this puppy up a bit?

Sent from my Pixel 3 using Tapatalk
I have 3 grams at 10 & 2 and a shock shield grip on my Clash 98s, which brings them up to 12 1/4 oz. It still doesn't match the stability of a stock v7 blade (I've only hit with the 16x19 V7), but helps. The launch angle of the Clash 98 will be very different than a V7 18x20 and will take some adjustment.

Basically, for those on the fence, if you want easier access to spin and power I'd choose the Clash 98. If you want more control and stability I'd say Blade 98.
 
I have 3 grams at 10 & 2 and a shock shield grip on my Clash 98s, which brings them up to 12 1/4 oz. It still doesn't match the stability of a stock v7 blade (I've only hit with the 16x19 V7), but helps. The launch angle of the Clash 98 will be very different than a V7 18x20 and will take some adjustment.

Basically, for those on the fence, if you want easier access to spin and power I'd choose the Clash 98. If you want more control and stability I'd say Blade 98.
Yeah I don't have much need for more power than the Blade, it's just maybe on the verge of slightly too hefty from a swingweight / balance. However I still love it and it is my go to.

Thinking of shopping my TC95 or PO7 +cash for a 98.

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Wheelz

Rookie
I have 3 grams at 10 & 2 and a shock shield grip on my Clash 98s, which brings them up to 12 1/4 oz. It still doesn't match the stability of a stock v7 blade (I've only hit with the 16x19 V7), but helps. The launch angle of the Clash 98 will be very different than a V7 18x20 and will take some adjustment.

Basically, for those on the fence, if you want easier access to spin and power I'd choose the Clash 98. If you want more control and stability I'd say Blade 98.
Higher launch with the 98 ? That's what I noticed between my Rad 18x20 and Clash100, very different launch angle.
 

mad dog1

G.O.A.T.
Lol, personally I’m not swayed in the least,. The Clash felt like rubber to me, plus it needs to lead. Hard pass.
I actually love using the clash 98 to teach. It’s incredibly easy on the arm for feeding balls and is great at absorbing line drives that students hit and getting them back to the student at the right depth.
 

J B

Semi-Pro
Interesting. I've tried both and preferred the Blade. The Clash 98 has more free power, more flex, and a more headlight balance. So perhaps you just prefer one of those aspects.
thats because the blade has the power but not in spades that the clash has. The blade is more of a modern sniper rifle with a smaller round, where the clash is a cannon, just get it close.
 

fed1

Semi-Pro
I had been going back and forth with the Clash 98 and the Blade V7 16x19, I finally settled on the Clash 98 strung with Lux Gut and Lux Smart strung at 47/44. The Blade is great but my game just needs that extra boost of power.
 

jk816

Rookie
Just finished my second weeklong demo with the Clash 98; it confirmed to me is it really as different kind of stick than any I’ve hit with. And left me very conflicted.

I’m demoing to replace my BB Londons (pretty old obviously, and my preferred lightest SW one cracked). I’d moved to the Londons when my PB10 Mid became too heavy to use post-shoulder surgery. I’ve demoed lots of racquets since then, but nothing that inspired a purchase beating out my Londons.

First round of recent demos had the Clash 98, Volk V-Sense V1 Pro, Babolat PS98 (P1-7) and the Yonex VCore Pro 97 (310). I did not expect much from the Wilson as I have not liked any of the Wilsons I’ve tried since they went to the BLX stuff. I’d tried the Project 1-7 before and hit well with it, and had high hopes for the Yonex.

The V-sense V1Pro was just too light, too little swing weight (my wife loved it, bought 2!). The Yonex felt sluggish to me and the P1-7 hit great like before, but was just a bit harsh on the arm, just like previous tests.

The Clash 98 was just a different cat right from the start. I normally don’t care for thick beamed rackets (usually clumsy feeling and too stiff). Not the case here. The Clash really flew through the air and felt very plush. The balance really feels more headlight than the 9 PTs on the TW website. It also felt oddly disconnected to play with. Not the dead to me /complete disconnection I’d felt with the BLX and countervail Wilsons, but I really had no idea where the ball would land from contact. The thing is, it always went in. It was obvious this thing is a spin monster, had a high launch angle and because of the balance allowing for better racquet head acceleration, massive topspin was easy to get. It seemed like a can’t miss stick, but I’d need to learn to just trust what I can’t feel. Directional accuracy was good and any whippy touch shots were easy. Serves were what really had me considering a purchase; the easy RHS in the serve produced monster spins serves. I usually struggle with consistency and just couldn’t miss with this thing. It was just too easy. So the clash 98 won this round, but I had other sticks I wanted to try.

The next round had the Clash 98 back, along with the Prince Textreme Tour 100 (310) and the Volk V-Feel V1 Pro. I’d read the new V1Pro was a bit heavier than the V-sense so had hopes for it and the TT 100 (310) had good reviews.

The V1 Pro was right out, felt sluggish and stiff feeling for a Volkl (weird). The Prince was impressive; took a little bit to overcome inertia in the swing but after that it flew and it was easy to pound shots. It actually played like my holy grail racquet should: a lighter version of the PB 10 Mid. Felt exactly that way. Punched everything pretty effortlessly, created good spin, but was great on stability and plowthrough (maybe not quite as plush as the PB 10, but not bad on my arm at all). Thought I had a pure winner.

Then hit with the Clash again. Fast swinging (even though it was heaviest static weight of the three), easy depth, tons of spin, you could just let it go or work it for specialty shots (really can’t wrist things with the TT 100 (310), just need to hit through) and get great balls either way. The Clash really rewards a fast swing; slower swings would feel a bit mushy, and it almost seemed like faster swings would stiffen the frame a bit. With the Clash, swing free and let it go. It certainly did not have the punch of the Prince and if there were two knocks on the clash it would be lack of plowthrough (harder to end points, but easier to work them) and biting slice was harder to come by. The Prince blocks shots better and was more stable but the Clash wasn’t bad at all. The Clash also did feel a bit harsh on balls outside the sweet spot, but nothing I’d worry about.

So this demo session left me with a dilemma and I may end up buying both the Prince and the Clash (which I’d normally never do). I think one might be better than the other on specific days and opponents. On days when I’m on I think the Prince might provide bigger rewards (just like the PB 10 did) but on days when I’m not, the Clash might keep me in the points longer and allow me to serve better.

I’m a little concerned with buying a clash on price point and Wilson QC (given that the weight and balance are key facets to the Clash if the one I get is heavier or less HL than those demoed, I may not get the play I liked) and am also curious how it will play with my preferred string setup (gut mains (Tonic) at 56 and poly crosses (Weiss Canon Silverstring at 50); the demos has multis at 57 (Note: I did not have any breakage issues with the Clash in either demo hitting for several hours, though tension loss by the end of the week was noticeable).

Either way the clash 98 is definitely one of the most unique sticks I’ve ever hit with, and I’ll probably purchase one. I’ll just need to remap my idea of feel as it relates to this racquet, as it is different.
 
I hit the Clash 98 with a Luxilon 16 g at 41# and some of my shots missed by 6ft+. With RPM Blast 16g at 56# it’s a different frame! Still very comfortable but a combination of CONTROLLABLE power and feel. MUCH better than the 100 Tour for my aggressive game style.


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