Hybrid setup for Blade 98 18x20

#1
Hi,

My 15-yo daughter has recently switched to Wilson Blade 18x20 racket. This is what the coach suggested, although personally I find the 18x20 pattern dense. Any suggestions for a good hybrid string setup for this racket. This is an older model so recommended tension range for racket is 47-57lbs and I have it currently strung it with Solinco TB 17 / Gamma 16. Tension used was 53/55lbs on a LO machine (Alpha revo). She has mostly flat ground strokes, and aggressive baseline game.

I would appreciate any suggestions for a different / better hybrid setup. Since she hits more flat, strings that can provide more spin and pop are probably better. Right? But I also want high feel so she can develop other aspects of her game. Durability isn't a huge concern as the last hybrid setup lasted ~20 hours, and broke when I was about to cut it anyway. Also, do you think switching to a more open 16x19 pattern would be useful?

Thanks.
 
#2
The Blades have a lot of weight in the head. I found mine to play better with a livelier thinner gauge string. This also increases the spin potential from the 18x20 pattern.

I would try a full bed of Tour Byte 18 or even 19 no tighter than 54#'s. Or you can do Tour Byte Soft 18 or Revolution 18 in a full bed for a softer feel.

If you're set on a hybrid, there are lots of good multis or SG's you can use as a cross with any of the polys I listed above to soften them up and increase feel. Sorry I can't be more help on the hybrids but I never thought the Blades needed them.
 
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#3
If your daughter benefits from the control and accuracy of the 18x20, then it's a good choice. Also you can string an 18x20 3 or 4 lbs. lower than a 16x19 for more comfort and pop. Another good reason to use a thin string in this racquet is to give it a little more headlight balance.
 
#4
Main reason I switched to hybrids is because of lack of feel and arm friendliness. Personally, for me (using Babolat APD) full bed poly set up was hurting my arm and switching to hybrids instantly caused my arm pain to go away (not sure if there were some other factors). That's why I think hybrids might be good for protecting my daughter's arm.

Any suggestions for multi / syn-gut that would work as good hybrids with TB 17 or TB 18? Any suggestions for recommended tension.

Thanks.
 

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#6
Hi,

My 15-yo daughter has recently switched to Wilson Blade 18x20 racket. This is what the coach suggested, although personally I find the 18x20 pattern dense. Any suggestions for a good hybrid string setup for this racket. This is an older model so recommended tension range for racket is 47-57lbs and I have it currently strung it with Solinco TB 17 / Gamma 16. Tension used was 53/55lbs on a LO machine (Alpha revo). She has mostly flat ground strokes, and aggressive baseline game.

I would appreciate any suggestions for a different / better hybrid setup. Since she hits more flat, strings that can provide more spin and pop are probably better. Right? But I also want high feel so she can develop other aspects of her game. Durability isn't a huge concern as the last hybrid setup lasted ~20 hours, and broke when I was about to cut it anyway. Also, do you think switching to a more open 16x19 pattern would be useful?

Thanks.
Do you know your daughter's UTR?
If it's under 8, I would suggest a good multifilament. It's comfortable, good control with the right tension, decent access to spin, and should play consistently until it breaks.

I wouldn't suggest poly strings unless she is a regular string breaker (like breaks s-gut in under 8hrs).

One downside of poly/sgut hybrid is that as the poly de-tensions, the stringbed will tend to gain power. The strings will look fine, but all of a sudden, the balls are landing long for some reason. Then the player tries to compensate and more balls start going into the net. It can be frustrating to the player (and to the watching parent).

In any case, when you start thinking poly and poly hybrids, get ready to re-string the racquet more frequently. That's just a given as your junior continues to improve.

A hybrid you may look into is gut/poly. It may take a few iterations to get the tension just right. But this provides good feel, power (with right tension), control and access to spin and a comfortable setup.

Hyper G 1.25 @ 48. Start there and go up or down.
I'm not sure HyperG is well suited for a female Jr player with relatively flat strokes. Yes, it will work, but I would try and see what non-poly options would work first.
 
#7
My MuscleWeave racquet (signature) absolutely sung with Tour Bite Soft 1.20/Bab M7 1.25 in it @49/52 last fall. It was very comfortable and had great control. Unfortunately, the TBS was sticking crooked against the M7 crosses. I got some more TBS and strung it with Kirsch SG 1.25, which has a nice, slippery surface. Now the strings snap back nice, but I haven't played it yet. It feels promising.

My MW racquet looks like similar material to your daughter's Blade. This leads me to believe that in terms of feel the strings may be a good match. But the balance and swing weight are different, so maybe not.
 
#8
stick to a 17g string in those frames even though their plush, 17g has more feel to it.

have her try a multi full bed first and see how it goes then try a hybrid. I would suggest a good durable multi like kirschbaum pro line evolution.

i used to use the 16x19 version and did play with an 18x20 one as well and their much plusher racquets so a thinner string works well for more feel. The 16x19 verson also has more free power but it's still easy to control
 
#9
Her UTR is 8. I think she has the potential to be a 9 but we'll see.

Tried HyperG in full bed in juice 100 (her old racket) and didn't like it at all especially compared to TB17.

I string her racket every 15-20 hrs for hybrid set up, and 12-15 hrs for full poly (TB17) set up. So stringing frequency is not a concern.
 
#10
Her UTR is 8. I think she has the potential to be a 9 but we'll see.

Tried HyperG in full bed in juice 100 (her old racket) and didn't like it at all especially compared to TB17.

I string her racket every 15-20 hrs for hybrid set up, and 12-15 hrs for full poly (TB17) set up. So stringing frequency is not a concern.
She likes Tour Bite over Hyper G full bed. What tensions were you using in the Juice 100?
That 18x20 frame is a different animal for sure. Full bed Hyper G has been found to play really well and easy on the arm out of that frame with intermediate juniors to D1 players but the tensions being used are fairly low from what we have seen.
 
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#11
Yes she liked TB over HyperG full bed. Juice tensions were 53 or 54 for both, I forget which (strung with a LO machine). Switching to hybrid was driven by my experience that my arm pain went away instantly when I switched from a poly to hybrid (admittedly I wasn't changing my string that frequently). So, avoiding arm issues is the motivation. The other reason is more feel.

I am also somewhat at a loss with regards to the racket. She was hitting with Juice 100 which is a power racket, and has gone to Blade 18x20 which feels tough. Although her game hasn't suffered due to the switch (and has improved but that can also be due to improvement in strokes). The hybrids were good for juice because they dampened the power a little bit. I am thinking Blade needs more power / spin from strings. Therefore, this thread :)

Thanks.
 
#12
Yes she liked TB over HyperG full bed. Juice tensions were 53 or 54 for both, I forget which (strung with a LO machine). Switching to hybrid was driven by my experience that my arm pain went away instantly when I switched from a poly to hybrid (admittedly I wasn't changing my string that frequently). So, avoiding arm issues is the motivation. The other reason is more feel.

I am also somewhat at a loss with regards to the racket. She was hitting with Juice 100 which is a power racket, and has gone to Blade 18x20 which feels tough. Although her game hasn't suffered due to the switch (and has improved but that can also be due to improvement in strokes). The hybrids were good for juice because they dampened the power a little bit. I am thinking Blade needs more power / spin from strings. Therefore, this thread :)

Thanks.
Smart decision going with the hybrid in the 18x20 initially. Best thing with that frame is to use really low tensions whether full poly or hybrid. See a number of pros such as Pospisil playing a hybrid in the 18x20 at 48lbs. Alu/NXT is what he was using and then went to Alu/Gut. Going from 16x19 to 18x20 is generally a drop in tension from 4-5lbs. Really have to embrace the lower tension on the 18x20. Can be very unforgiving on the arm if the tension is too high with Poly or Poly/Multi. Good luck.
 
#14
Hi,

My 15-yo daughter has recently switched to Wilson Blade 18x20 racket. This is what the coach suggested, although personally I find the 18x20 pattern dense. Any suggestions for a good hybrid string setup for this racket. This is an older model so recommended tension range for racket is 47-57lbs and I have it currently strung it with Solinco TB 17 / Gamma 16. Tension used was 53/55lbs on a LO machine (Alpha revo). She has mostly flat ground strokes, and aggressive baseline game.

I would appreciate any suggestions for a different / better hybrid setup. Since she hits more flat, strings that can provide more spin and pop are probably better. Right? But I also want high feel so she can develop other aspects of her game. Durability isn't a huge concern as the last hybrid setup lasted ~20 hours, and broke when I was about to cut it anyway. Also, do you think switching to a more open 16x19 pattern would be useful?

Thanks.
I would recommend NG/poly hybrid (1.25mm x 1.20mm). Thinner setup will help with more spin and pop. The NG being the main will have better energy return while the poly crosses will allow for spin (due to string snapback).

Try a 55/50 setup to start and adjust accordingly. I’d say try this with the 18x20 and see how it goes. 16x19 will give her more spin/pop but will lose control/feel imo.

The lower cross tension and 5lb differential will help with main snapback and have better ball pocketing. If you are fine experimenting, go lower with the poly and higher with the gut. Traditionally, gut plays better at higher tensions and poly plays better at lower tensions. Going too high with poly will introduce potential arm issues.

For NG, both Babolat VS Team and Luxilon are great (VS Team slightly better durability). If price is an issue, try Tonic or Klip Legend. And if not NG, then consider Tourna Quasi-Gut or Ashaway Monogut ZX.

For Poly, I prefer YPTP 1.20mm. YPTF 1.20mm, Solinco Outlast 1.20mm, and Luxilon 4G Soft 1.25mm also not bad options.
 
#15
I string my racket on a LO machine which loses tension during stringing anyway. Do I still need to lower by 4-5lbs?
Yes, for instance my RF97’s 16x19 are strung at 52lbs with full poly and my 6.1 95’s 18x20 are strung at 48lbs.
Works really well going from one to the other. I can switch racquets back and forth and it is manageable.
Natural gut/poly is great as well but kids get out there hitting in all kinds of conditions at practice and the string beds don’t last. Need a working set up.
 
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#16
Do you use electronic stringing machine or lock out machine for stringing? The reason I am asking is because lockout machines lose more tension during stringing than electronic machines. So reference tension has to be set higher.

Also, will appreciate any other suggestions for hybrid cross strings to pair with TB 17. I will also try TB 18. At least for now, I am not too keen to switch to a full poly string bed. I may do it after 6-9 months.
 
#17
Do you use electronic stringing machine or lock out machine for stringing? The reason I am asking is because lockout machines lose more tension during stringing than electronic machines. So reference tension has to be set higher.

Also, will appreciate any other suggestions for hybrid cross strings to pair with TB 17. I will also try TB 18. At least for now, I am not too keen to switch to a full poly string bed. I may do it after 6-9 months.
Mostly use lock out machines. We calibrate our machines frequently, clamps and braces don’t slip. My lock out machine is accurate. When I have frames strung on the electric stringers they have come back feeling tighter and looser. Depends on the machine and the stringer. The difference isn’t enough for me to change tensions. Try to stick with stringing on the same stringer with all of my frames and then I can dial it in.
 
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#18
Forty-love, the only difference I have been able to tell between the 17 and 18 TB is that the 18 is about 1.5 grams lighter, lowering the SW by 3, not a huge difference but noticeable. Lighter is a good thing for most people with the Blade.

Many people swear by Sensation in the crosses with a poly. That's a good place to start. You can try 17 and, if she's breaking the multi too fast, go to 16. If you want more power, you can try other multis like Origin. For less power, try Velocity or MLT.

Don't be afraid to play around with tensions to find what works best for her. If she preferred TB to HG, then she probably likes a crisper feel (I do, too). That means she may not be a fan of lower tensions, which is OK. The older Blades are very arm friendly for lighter frames.
 
#19
Thanks, will try them. Is there a difference between using multifilament vs syn-gut for crosses. I have currently tried OGSM 16 & Gamma 16 as crosses. Her preference on juice 100 was OGSM, but we found Gamma to be higher powered & crisper feel so I used that for Blade. Currently we don't have two blades to try out two strings side by side. I have never used multi as a cross. What are its pros & cons over syn-gut for cross string? Also, should the multi crosses be strung higher by 4 lbs or 2lbs?
 
#22
Her UTR is 8. I think she has the potential to be a 9 but we'll see.

Tried HyperG in full bed in juice 100 (her old racket) and didn't like it at all especially compared to TB17.

I string her racket every 15-20 hrs for hybrid set up, and 12-15 hrs for full poly (TB17) set up. So stringing frequency is not a concern.
Try hyper g in 1.15 it’s awesome in 18x20 frames in the mid high 40s
 
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