Death of another flexible racquet

skydog

Semi-Pro
Well, Wilson is at it again. With the release of the new Blade series coming up and demos hitting the streets, it looks like Wilson is planning on the Williams sister's eventual retirements by killing off the Blade 104. Flex in the 2015 Blade 104 = 59. Flex in the new Blade 104 = 66. (TW measured vs listed stock RA of 55 and 61 respectively) Basalt fibers...removed. Countervale material....not installed. Amplifeel....removed (OK, not much of a loss there). At lest they did not jack up the price like the other CV Blades, but shouldn't they be cutting the price for removing the other "tech" materials?

This is killing me as I have just recently switched into the Blade 104 earlier this year basically because of it low flex and its light weight making it the ideal platform racquet. I currently have three in my rotation and a fourth as spare. I bought my wife two of the pink variants which she loves in stock form. I have plenty of grommet sets to last me a while, but it looks like I am going to have live with the frames I have on hand once the new model is released and stock runs out on the 2015.

It just kills me to lose one of the last sub 60 frames available to the public. The only other frame left readily available in new condition with 100 sq in + head will be the Head Microgel Radical OS. :(
 

crazyups

Professional
Well, Wilson is at it again. With the release of the new Blade series coming up and demos hitting the streets, it looks like Wilson is planning on the Williams sister's eventual retirements by killing off the Blade 104. Flex in the 2015 Blade 104 = 59. Flex in the new Blade 104 = 66. (TW measured vs listed stock RA of 55 and 61 respectively) Basalt fibers...removed. Countervale material....not installed. Amplifeel....removed (OK, not much of a loss there). At lest they did not jack up the price like the other CV Blades, but shouldn't they be cutting the price for removing the other "tech" materials?

This is killing me as I have just recently switched into the Blade 104 earlier this year basically because of it low flex and its light weight making it the ideal platform racquet. I currently have three in my rotation and a fourth as spare. I bought my wife two of the pink variants which she loves in stock form. I have plenty of grommet sets to last me a while, but it looks like I am going to have live with the frames I have on hand once the new model is released and stock runs out on the 2015.

It just kills me to lose one of the last sub 60 frames available to the public. The only other frame left readily available in new condition with 100 sq in + head will be the Head Microgel Radical OS. :(
From your prokennex racquets to the 104? Isn't the control worse than the qtour and ki5PSE? I just got my first hit with my new qtour and it feels nice(so do my ki5 320's).
 

skydog

Semi-Pro
From your prokennex racquets to the 104? Isn't the control worse than the qtour and ki5PSE? I just got my first hit with my new qtour and it feels nice(so do my ki5 320's).
I was not as consistent with the QTour so I went back to the PSE for the larger sweet spot. Missed the flexibility of the QTour so I went looking for a replacement and found the Blade 104. I modded it up to PSE specs (actually a bit beyond as I ended up at 380 grams). Lot of lead at 3 and 9 with counter weight in the tubes turned the 104 into PSE like forgiveness and power with the feel of the QTour. If I was hitting the center of the racquet more consistently, I would have never left the QTour, but I wasn't. As I moved into higher level drill groups, it started to become a problem when playing defense. The 104 has a decent level of control with the 18 x 19 pattern, a better level of control than I was getting with the PSE's, but not quite as good as the QTour's.

I may eventually go back into the QTour if/when I can hit the center of the sweet spot more often, I could easily swap back into the PSE at any time, but the 2015 Blade 104 (modified) has been my holy grail. My tennis is at the highest level it has ever been since I switched into the 104.
 

crazyups

Professional
Well that is interesting and congratulations on your success with the blade. That is a lot of weight and swing weight. My qtour and ki5 320's are at 345 grams customized. I also have one blx blade 98 left that I use but the reason I got the qtour is that it is more comfortable which makes playing more fun especially when I am hitting a lot. We will see if the qtour beats out the other racquets as my singles frame(I also have the duel g 330 that is very good for doubles but hard to hit the sweet spot consistently against big hitters in singles).
 

dimbmw

Rookie
Bought a pink blade 104 (old 2015 version) to try - did not like it at all.. the strings ring at impact (vibration dampener IS installed!), maybe because of the wilson sensation strings @55lbs it came strung with... comparing to the yonex dr98 i play with normally, i feel emptiness and vibration and instability when i hit with blade 104, and lack of power... i wanted a little lighter racket but unfortunately it was a wasted $99. maybe this lack of power is due to low stiffness, i don't know. Unfortunately not too many threads on TW forums about the blade 10, I am wondering how others think about it.
 

skydog

Semi-Pro
Bought a pink blade 104 (old 2015 version) to try - did not like it at all.. the strings ring at impact (vibration dampener IS installed!), maybe because of the wilson sensation strings @55lbs it came strung with... comparing to the yonex dr98 i play with normally, i feel emptiness and vibration and instability when i hit with blade 104, and lack of power... i wanted a little lighter racket but unfortunately it was a wasted $99. maybe this lack of power is due to low stiffness, i don't know. Unfortunately not too many threads on TW forums about the blade 10, I am wondering how others think about it.
The Blade 104 needs weight in my opinion. Weight at 3 and 9 really stabilizes the racquet and helps increase the power. Now, going up to 380 grams is not for everyone, but there is plenty of room to customize the racquet to your specs unless you are looking for a light racquet. My wife uses the 104 without mods and loves it. I use a modified version and love it. It's a good platform racquet.
 

Gemini

Hall of Fame
Well, Wilson is at it again. With the release of the new Blade series coming up and demos hitting the streets, it looks like Wilson is planning on the Williams sister's eventual retirements by killing off the Blade 104. Flex in the 2015 Blade 104 = 59. Flex in the new Blade 104 = 66. (TW measured vs listed stock RA of 55 and 61 respectively) Basalt fibers...removed. Countervale material....not installed. Amplifeel....removed (OK, not much of a loss there). At lest they did not jack up the price like the other CV Blades, but shouldn't they be cutting the price for removing the other "tech" materials?

This is killing me as I have just recently switched into the Blade 104 earlier this year basically because of it low flex and its light weight making it the ideal platform racquet. I currently have three in my rotation and a fourth as spare. I bought my wife two of the pink variants which she loves in stock form. I have plenty of grommet sets to last me a while, but it looks like I am going to have live with the frames I have on hand once the new model is released and stock runs out on the 2015.

It just kills me to lose one of the last sub 60 frames available to the public. The only other frame left readily available in new condition with 100 sq in + head will be the Head Microgel Radical OS. :(
It definitely sucks. The only real option, if you really love the frame, is to stock up.
 

dimbmw

Rookie
The Blade 104 needs weight in my opinion. Weight at 3 and 9 really stabilizes the racquet and helps increase the power. Now, going up to 380 grams is not for everyone, but there is plenty of room to customize the racquet to your specs unless you are looking for a light racquet. My wife uses the 104 without mods and loves it. I use a modified version and love it. It's a good platform racquet.
If i put weight it will move the balance towards the head, and overall it will be too heavy. I wanted to try a ligher racket, and don't think I want to exceed 11 oz, strung, as my old one is 11.5oz strung.
Also i have an old babolat pure drive light, and i dont remember it being that unstable or "ring". I suspect a larger head contributes to instability and ringing. It is weird as low stiffness should theoretically dampen the vibrations better.
Also i have no idea how it can be so low power. I am blaming low stiffness.
 

skydog

Semi-Pro
If i put weight it will move the balance towards the head, and overall it will be too heavy. I wanted to try a ligher racket, and don't think I want to exceed 11 oz, strung, as my old one is 11.5oz strung.
Also i have an old babolat pure drive light, and i dont remember it being that unstable or "ring". I suspect a larger head contributes to instability and ringing. It is weird as low stiffness should theoretically dampen the vibrations better.
Also i have no idea how it can be so low power. I am blaming low stiffness.
Counter weight under the butt cap. I use Blue Tac to keep the balance at 7 pts head light.
 

skydog

Semi-Pro
Looks like there could be another option...Head Radical S. 102 SQ inch head, flex 60, and light enough to customize to specs. Only downside is 16 mains string pattern.

Of course, this means Head will likely kill it in the next gen.
 

Crocodile

Hall of Fame
I think each manufacturer should make a few pro stock frames available to those who can use them but don't have access to sponsorship.
 

parasailing

Hall of Fame
That is what I am facing.:( Just trying to figure out how many.
Buy as many as your can afford. Once they are gone, they are gone. I am facing this with my Blades. I have tried the Blade CV and find that I like the current one so I am going to have to buy a few more and as many grommets as I can find.

The good thing is that if you get them and keep them new, you can probably sell them later for the same price or more so you really don't lose much unless you need the money.
 

skydog

Semi-Pro
Angell with its 63RA unstrung offering is not going away anytime soon.
The 105 only comes in 74 RA, and both the 105 and 100 come in 16 mains only.

The 97 18 x 20 is interesting, but still only comes in 66 RA. I already own 4 PK QTours that I modified up to 365 grams at 63 RA that I would return too if I did not need a larger sweet spot to stay more consistent. Pretty similar racquet to the 97 18x20 spec wise.
 

skydog

Semi-Pro
Buy as many as your can afford. Once they are gone, they are gone. I am facing this with my Blades. I have tried the Blade CV and find that I like the current one so I am going to have to buy a few more and as many grommets as I can find.

The good thing is that if you get them and keep them new, you can probably sell them later for the same price or more so you really don't lose much unless you need the money.
I have been stocking up on the grommets, but the new grommets should work as well as it is the same drill pattern as the 2015 (parallel drilling etc).

I currently have three in rotation and fourth that I have not modified sitting new in plastic. I am thinking 2 more should be enough for a complete back up set of three that will not be touched until one of the rotation frames becomes unusable.
 

joohan

Hall of Fame
The 105 only comes in 74 RA, and both the 105 and 100 come in 16 mains only.

The 97 18 x 20 is interesting, but still only comes in 66 RA. I already own 4 PK QTours that I modified up to 365 grams at 63 RA that I would return too if I did not need a larger sweet spot to stay more consistent. Pretty similar racquet to the 97 18x20 spec wise.
I see. Well sub 60 100+ in other pattern than 16x19 is pretty rare to find.
 

Shroud

G.O.A.T.
Well, Wilson is at it again. With the release of the new Blade series coming up and demos hitting the streets, it looks like Wilson is planning on the Williams sister's eventual retirements by killing off the Blade 104. Flex in the 2015 Blade 104 = 59. Flex in the new Blade 104 = 66. (TW measured vs listed stock RA of 55 and 61 respectively) Basalt fibers...removed. Countervale material....not installed. Amplifeel....removed (OK, not much of a loss there). At lest they did not jack up the price like the other CV Blades, but shouldn't they be cutting the price for removing the other "tech" materials?

This is killing me as I have just recently switched into the Blade 104 earlier this year basically because of it low flex and its light weight making it the ideal platform racquet. I currently have three in my rotation and a fourth as spare. I bought my wife two of the pink variants which she loves in stock form. I have plenty of grommet sets to last me a while, but it looks like I am going to have live with the frames I have on hand once the new model is released and stock runs out on the 2015.

It just kills me to lose one of the last sub 60 frames available to the public. The only other frame left readily available in new condition with 100 sq in + head will be the Head Microgel Radical OS. :(
Death is the way of things...
 

ultradr

Legend
The 105 only comes in 74 RA, and both the 105 and 100 come in 16 mains only.

The 97 18 x 20 is interesting, but still only comes in 66 RA. I already own 4 PK QTours that I modified up to 365 grams at 63 RA that I would return too if I did not need a larger sweet spot to stay more consistent. Pretty similar racquet to the 97 18x20 spec wise.
Angell frames RA's are supposed to be unstrung ones. generally strung one should be lower by ~5. and Angell measure stiffness without pallets on the handle. I don't know how that affects....

I tried my friend Angell custom 100. I felt like it was sub 65. more like 62 but it was 15 minute hit.
 

skydog

Semi-Pro
Angell frames RA's are supposed to be unstrung ones. generally strung one should be lower by ~5. and Angell measure stiffness without pallets on the handle. I don't know how that affects....

I tried my friend Angell custom 100. I felt like it was sub 65. more like 62 but it was 15 minute hit.
If they made an 18 main 100 I would consider it, but they only offer 16 mains,
 

Frost5541

Professional
The key to keeping flexible racquets on market is to refuse to buy the stiff ones and to tell your students, friends and colleagues to do the same thing.
or just flex them on your own! i did it to my rf97's and the flex dropped from 67 to 59. i guess the graphite/kevlar just broke in. but it takes some time, patience, and a lot of towels!!!



EDIT: and i'm trying them on my current racquets. they seem to get to around 45-47 ra.
 

langdon0555

Semi-Pro
or just flex them on your own! i did it to my rf97's and the flex dropped from 67 to 59. i guess the graphite/kevlar just broke in. but it takes some time, patience, and a lot of towels!!!



EDIT: and i'm trying them on my current racquets. they seem to get to around 45-47 ra.
What technique are you using with towels? You should upload a tutorial video! :)
 

Frost5541

Professional
What technique are you using with towels? You should upload a tutorial video! :)
let me get a better camera first xD
OK, call me curious....what are you doing to the frames with towels to drop the RA?
have you ever seen what all the woodie players did by stepping onto the racquet to bend it. this is close to it but im placing the racquet between 2 bars of steel with towels wrapped with a height of about around 2-3 inches. i will put weights covered with towels on it for specific time periods in the center to flex it. and turn it around. i will repeat for the other side and change interchangeably. it feels like a dream afterwards! its great to do this on an unstrung racquet.
 

Frost5541

Professional
and sometimes i even pull the throat down with towels with short but intense bursts of force. it seems to do it but if you think you are too buff, dont!!!
 

BlueB

Legend
or just flex them on your own! i did it to my rf97's and the flex dropped from 67 to 59. i guess the graphite/kevlar just broke in. but it takes some time, patience, and a lot of towels!!!



EDIT: and i'm trying them on my current racquets. they seem to get to around 45-47 ra.
Have you actually measured the RA, before and after, on RDC machine? Or, we are talking guesswork?

Second, the graphite composite can not "brake in". It can only brake, either by some of the fibres physically braking, or matrix (resin) releasing the bond between the layers to some extent.

Sent from my SM-G930W8 using Tapatalk
 

Frost5541

Professional
Have you actually measured the RA, before and after, on RDC machine? Or, we are talking guesswork?

Second, the graphite composite can not "brake in". It can only brake, either by some of the fibres physically braking, or matrix (resin) releasing the bond between the layers to some extent.

Sent from my SM-G930W8 using Tapatalk
yup. the figures should be about right but i checked them some time ago so they may have decreased. The graphite can soften though, which was what i meant to say.
 

BlueB

Legend
yup. the figures should be about right but i checked them some time ago so they may have decreased. The graphite can soften though, which was what i meant to say.
Graphite can not soften, sorry. One of the 2 mechanisms I described has to happen.

Sent from my SM-G930W8 using Tapatalk
 

PBODY99

Legend
I strung a Pink 104 for a player @ their normal tension.
They could not tell the difference between the 2015 Green Blade 104.
Their teaching pro uses the 2015 104 also and feel that they are the same except for the paint.
The 2 part bumper kits fits the 104 without problem. Be sure to get the ones with the insert at 12 . The 1st generation bumpers for the Blade are a tough fit. I would stock up as it is better to have them on hand than to try and track them down latter.
 

skydog

Semi-Pro
I strung a Pink 104 for a player @ their normal tension.
They could not tell the difference between the 2015 Green Blade 104.
Their teaching pro uses the 2015 104 also and feel that they are the same except for the paint.
The 2 part bumper kits fits the 104 without problem. Be sure to get the ones with the insert at 12 . The 1st generation bumpers for the Blade are a tough fit. I would stock up as it is better to have them on hand than to try and track them down latter.
I have a bunch of bumper / grommet sets. I usually buy TW's inventory when I place an order.
 

dimbmw

Rookie
I strung a Pink 104 for a player @ their normal tension.
They could not tell the difference between the 2015 Green Blade 104.
Their teaching pro uses the 2015 104 also and feel that they are the same except for the paint.
The 2 part bumper kits fits the 104 without problem. Be sure to get the ones with the insert at 12 . The 1st generation bumpers for the Blade are a tough fit. I would stock up as it is better to have them on hand than to try and track them down latter.

so pink and green play the same ? amazing !
 

Frost5541

Professional
Graphite can not soften, sorry. One of the 2 mechanisms I described has to happen.

Sent from my SM-G930W8 using Tapatalk
well, alright. but it reduces the flex anyway so thanks for the update, sorry for not being careful.
 

Tommy Haas

Hall of Fame
What about restringing your racquet many times over and over. If you had access to an electronic constant pull and had a reel of cheap synthetic gut and had a lot of time on your hands, restring your racquet like a hundred times.

It's common knowledge that restringing puts a lot of stress on the hoop and will increase flex in the hoop over time. Depending if you like flex in the hoop over flex in the throat, this could be a more scientific approach to softening up a frame.
 

Frost5541

Professional
What about restringing your racquet many times over and over. If you had access to an electronic constant pull and had a reel of cheap synthetic gut and had a lot of time on your hands, restring your racquet like a hundred times.

It's common knowledge that restringing puts a lot of stress on the hoop and will increase flex in the hoop over time. Depending if you like flex in the hoop over flex in the throat, this could be a more scientific approach to softening up a frame.
i would like both so this is on my to-do list for next week. gonna stretch the hoop around 50 times by stringing 50 times!!! it will also stretch the string so this is gonna be awesome!!!!!!
 
Top