Live by the Blade...Die by the Blade...

Already been posting in another thread but the 2015 16X19 blade that I recently picked up is what I was missing in my 18X20 blx blade.

It feels very similar (great stability, plow, and power) but with easier access to spin. It took some adjusting to the slight bump in power & trajectory, but spin is much easier now without much of a loss of control.
I'm able to hit the sharp, crosscourt rollers more consistently now - I had so much trouble with the closed pattern version. Backhand slices float a little more but I'm still adjusting.

The TW review about the hotspot on the string bed made me hesitant to pick one up but I am glad I did. It deserves the praise that it's been getting - a must try.
The only other 16X19 blade I've used was the CV version - it felt similar but less powerful especially on serve.
 
A lot of people are telling me like Wilson proposes to use ONLY 1.30 strings on the Blades 98S....that it doesn’t work properly with 1.25 strings in terms of snap back, spin generation and accuracy. Any thoughts??
 
A lot of people are telling me like Wilson proposes to use ONLY 1.30 strings on the Blades 98S....that it doesn’t work properly with 1.25 strings in terms of snap back, spin generation and accuracy. Any thoughts??
That advice is verifiable. If you use 1.25 gauge or thinner string and hit with any kind of decent spin, that more open pattern will put a lot of extra friction on those strings, so much so that the durability is compromised. 1.3 mm thickness is ideal if you want a kind of lasting durability. If you are content with the strings popping a bit earlier as well as losing some control more quickly then it's okay but you have to acknowledge the trade off
 
Finally strung my brand new Pro Stock Blade 98 (prepared for Polona Hercog) - Unstrung specs: Weight: 301.5g; BP: 323. It has silicone injected in the handle and not sure about lead under head guard. As that is too light, and the grip is 4 3/8 and I use 4 1/2, I added 4g total @ 3 and 9 o'clock, 1g @ 12 o'clock, and a rubber band dampener. I then added 6g @ 7" above Butt cap, 2 Yonex Super Grap overgrips with no overlap to make it the right grip size, and finally 1 Tourna Overgrip with overlap (initially had only 2 overgrips but the grip was just that smidge too small). Now the static weight is 346g and the balance is probably a bit lower than before. Either way feels nice to swing and still quite maneuverable.

Played with it a couple of nights ago (at this time just with two overgrips, rubber band dampener, and no other mods - 330g strung). Played really well. Very comfortable, great directional control, depth of shot, and stability. I noticed that the ball trajectory was lower, resulting in a few balls hitting the tape and not going over, and not enough court penetration as my opponent tracked down a few shots that would normally be winners. Hence the further mods to hopefully add some power, further increase the weight-of-shot, and enable more spin due to a more HL balance. Feels good when I performed the indoor swing test, but can't wait to have a hit with it again and test it in match play.
 
A lot of people are telling me like Wilson proposes to use ONLY 1.30 strings on the Blades 98S....that it doesn’t work properly with 1.25 strings in terms of snap back, spin generation and accuracy. Any thoughts??
just try not to listen to other people too much. Too many words cause confusion and you get indecisive about everything. It has three less cross strings, yes, so 16ga should be minimum. There will be a slight weight difference between 15 ga and 16ga, so you could use a 1.30 on the crosses and 1.25 on the mains. Or just go 16 all the way around. Try it, and restring it if you don’t like it.
 
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After 3 years with the 2015 Blade 18x20, I am still loving how great this racquet it is even after countless demos of new racquets that have come out since 2015. I just tested the new Head Graphene 360 Speed Pro and while improved over the Graphene XT and Touch models and very comparable in many areas to the Blade, it lacks the Blade's comfort.

There isn't a racquet that offer a blend of comfort, feel, stability, control, spin, and power like the 2015 Blade 18x20. It does some many things well that it's just a keeper even after all these years.

I am interested in seeing if the new 2019 Wilson Blade will improve on the deficiency of the Blade CV which was sluggish, stiffer, and lacked feel.
 
After 3 years with the 2015 Blade 18x20, I am still loving how great this racquet it is even after countless demos of new racquets that have come out since 2015.

There isn't a racquet that offer a blend of comfort, feel, stability, control, spin, and power like the 2015 Blade 18x20. It does some many things well that it's just a keeper even after all these years.
I haven’t hit with the 18 x 20 version of this racket but I’m really liking the 16 x 19 version.

It does nearly everything pretty well - It allows me to hit the sharp crosscourt angled shots that I had trouble hitting with my 2011 blx blade 98.
The 2015 model has been my favorite so far.
 
After 3 years with the 2015 Blade 18x20, I am still loving how great this racquet it is even after countless demos of new racquets that have come out since 2015. I just tested the new Head Graphene 360 Speed Pro and while improved over the Graphene XT and Touch models and very comparable in many areas to the Blade, it lacks the Blade's comfort.

There isn't a racquet that offer a blend of comfort, feel, stability, control, spin, and power like the 2015 Blade 18x20. It does some many things well that it's just a keeper even after all these years.

I am interested in seeing if the new 2019 Wilson Blade will improve on the deficiency of the Blade CV which was sluggish, stiffer, and lacked feel.
Ahh, I'm in the same boat. I had high hopes that the 360 pro would unseat the blades, if for nothing else but for a change. You see, when a racquetaholic actually finds the racquet that best suits them, it doesn't matter. They still yearn for other racquets. It's a sickness.

At least you saved me the $ from trying it. I've kept up w your previous attempts to replace the 18x20 2015 blade and my opinions have always agreed with yiur assessments.

Can you however go into a little more detail regarding the comparison?
 
You know. After demoing about 30 sticks this fall and winter, I came to a very comforting conclusion. "There is no such thing as a perfect racquet". I found that I had been too critical. A stick was either too head heavy, too high of a swing weight, a quarter inch too long, too headlight. So after I had given up my search for the grail, I had what I will call a moment of reflection, and just though of the Blade 16x19 as the perfect all around stick, even though the swing weight is 10 points higher than what I would normally consider my wheelhouse. And all I can say is thank goodness that I did. I am in love with this stick, and am playing my best tennis with it. I think our fellow TT brother Power Player had a similar experience recently, has settled on a racquet, an is playing his best tennis with an Ai. :)
Wow, you actually demoed 30 racquets. How much time did you spend on each one? I had my three 104 blades tested at the National Campus and each was slightly different.
 
How does the 2015 non-CV Blade 16 x 19 compare with the Pure Aero?
I thought the 2015 16X19 blade felt similar to the 2016 Pure Aero in that it feels so solid - like every shot is in the sweet spot. I have no experience with the 2018 Pure Aero.
I really liked the 1st release pure aero but had trouble with accuracy - I felt that I had to aim for zones like with most babolats that I've used other than the pure strikes & pure controls.

With the blade, I feel that I can aim for spots and have much more confidence in my shots. The blade crushes nearly every shot & is a tank from the baseline - despite its weight it doesn't get pushed back by heavy hitters.
The touch and feel could be better (I'm used to the old, flexy head radical lines) but it could be improved with a softer string.
I'm struggling to keep my slice backhands from floating with the blade at the moment (tougher compared to the 18X20 pattern) but can still slice decently. Oddly, I had no issues slicing with the pure aero and also felt that I had better netplay as a result.

The 16X19 blade has much better access to spin than the 18X20 (can hit short, sharp crosscourt shots better) but does not hit as loopy a ball as the pure aero. I also find that I can flatten the ball much easier with the blade to punish short, sitters & hit through the court.
I really like the easy power of the pure aero but prefer the 2015 blade because it has a fantastic blend of power and control that allows me swing freely with confidence. Like most blades that I've used except for the CV version, this blade crushes the serve with easy effort - slice, spin, flat no problem.
With the pure aero, I always felt that I had to hold back to keep things from flying and didn't have the confidence to go for my shots in crucial moments causing me to play tentatively.

I feel this blade is a half notch down in power but a full notch or more up in control over the pure aero - plus I play much better with thinner beamed rackets.
 
After 3 years with the 2015 Blade 18x20, I am still loving how great this racquet it is even after countless demos of new racquets that have come out since 2015. I just tested the new Head Graphene 360 Speed Pro and while improved over the Graphene XT and Touch models and very comparable in many areas to the Blade, it lacks the Blade's comfort.

There isn't a racquet that offer a blend of comfort, feel, stability, control, spin, and power like the 2015 Blade 18x20. It does some many things well that it's just a keeper even after all these years.

I am interested in seeing if the new 2019 Wilson Blade will improve on the deficiency of the Blade CV which was sluggish, stiffer, and lacked feel.
Blade CV has the best paint job ever and I'll play 11's to defend its honor.
 
Blade CV has the best paint job ever and I'll play 11's to defend its honor.
I agree that the Blade CV had the best paint job of any Blade esp with the laser etching but that was the only plus of that racquet. I had high hopes when it first came out but was so disappointed with what it could do. The 2015 Blade paint is pretty bad and the paint is susceptible to UV discoloration.
 
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Ahh, I'm in the same boat. I had high hopes that the 360 pro would unseat the blades, if for nothing else but for a change. You see, when a racquetaholic actually finds the racquet that best suits them, it doesn't matter. They still yearn for other racquets. It's a sickness.

At least you saved me the $ from trying it. I've kept up w your previous attempts to replace the 18x20 2015 blade and my opinions have always agreed with yiur assessments.

Can you however go into a little more detail regarding the comparison?
Yes, as a racquetholic, that pursuit for the next best racquet continues unabated. When the 360 Speed Pro came out, I was hoping for all the qualities of the original but the addition of comfort. The 360 Speed Pro is slight lower powered than the Speed Pro but offers a bit more comfort. Before my 2015 Blade, I was using the Graphene Speed Pro and I loved it except that it started to give me hand pain when serving which never happened before. This led me to find a replacement racquet which was the 2015 Blade.

For comparison, both racquets were around 12 oz static weight as I know the Blade is a slightly lighter racquet at stock.

Power - Blade > 360 Speed Pro
Control - Blade = 360 Speed Pro
Comfort - Blade > 360 Speed Pro
Feel - Blade > 360 Speed Pro
Spin - Slight edge to the 360 Speed Pro
Stability - Blade

I have yet to find a racquet that offers comfort, power, and control in the same package like the Blade. Most racquets will offer two of these three qualities but not all three.
 
Anybody that has moved from their 2015 Blade 98 18x20 to something else and is willing to part ways with their Blade? Please dm me. Looking mostly for 4 3/8 and over 8/10 condition.
 
Yes, as a racquetholic, that pursuit for the next best racquet continues unabated. When the 360 Speed Pro came out, I was hoping for all the qualities of the original but the addition of comfort. The 360 Speed Pro is slight lower powered than the Speed Pro but offers a bit more comfort. Before my 2015 Blade, I was using the Graphene Speed Pro and I loved it except that it started to give me hand pain when serving which never happened before. This led me to find a replacement racquet which was the 2015 Blade.

For comparison, both racquets were around 12 oz static weight as I know the Blade is a slightly lighter racquet at stock.

Power - Blade > 360 Speed Pro
Control - Blade = 360 Speed Pro
Comfort - Blade > 360 Speed Pro
Feel - Blade > 360 Speed Pro
Spin - Slight edge to the 360 Speed Pro
Stability - Blade

I have yet to find a racquet that offers comfort, power, and control in the same package like the Blade. Most racquets will offer two of these three qualities but not all three.
Have you tried the prokennex Ki Q+ 5X Pro? If you haven’t, I would recommend you give it a hit. Just picked one up and it’s a pretty special stick vs my 2015 blade 18x20. Doing more comparisons but the first hit was WOW!
 
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For @parasailing:

I spent more time comparing the 2015 blade 18x20 and the PK Kinetic Q+ 5X Pro

Power - PK > Blade
Control - Blade has a little better control
Comfort - PK > Blade
Feel - PK = Blade (they feel different but both are good in their own ways)
Topspin - Blade has a little bit more due to lower swingweight
Slice - PK hits some of the filthiest slices. Ball stays incredibly low.
Stability - PK due to the 339 SW
Touch - PK

Winner for me: PK
 
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I noticed the grip is really short on the Blade 98 with not much room to lengthen it due to the long "V". Not ideal for 2hbh.
The long V design made my BLX Blade 98 fragile at the stress concentration where V meets the handle. Handle broke completely off after an unfortunate grip slip on a serve.

Other than that, I really jelled well with that frame.
 
Has anyone ever compared the string spacing of the 16/19 and 18/20 versions, around the centre of the stringbed? Is there much in the way of larger spacing around that area? Unfortunately I don't have access to a 16/19 to compare myself.

I'm enjoying the 18/20 on my OHBH, but I just feel that I'm not getting the spin and dip on my FH. It could be psychological and I just need to adjust, but I'd be interested in any feedback.

I might also be considering selling a 2015 18/20 grip 2, un-used, still in plastic, but I'll do that in the appropriate thread.
 
Has anyone ever compared the string spacing of the 16/19 and 18/20 versions, around the centre of the stringbed? Is there much in the way of larger spacing around that area? Unfortunately I don't have access to a 16/19 to compare myself.

I'm enjoying the 18/20 on my OHBH, but I just feel that I'm not getting the spin and dip on my FH. It could be psychological and I just need to adjust, but I'd be interested in any feedback.
That's exactly why I switched to the 2015 16X19 pattern from my 2011 Blx blade 98. I could not hit those sharp, short forehand crosscourt dippers that pull the opponent way off the court like I could with my lm radical mp.
With the 16X19 pattern, it's easier to impart topspin on my shots without exaggerating my motion (get better action on my forehand & 2nd serves) - but the trade-off is that I can't seem to hit my my backhand slices as well.
They end up floating & becoming sitting ducks. I've been working on adjusting for quite some time but to no avail.

With the 18X20, I feel that I can hit solid backhand slices without even thinking and place it where I want much better. I am able to keep them low and short to keep opponents off balance, draw errors, or pull them into net for the pass.
I may be making a switch back to the 18X20 because of this.
I'm able to slice and volley on the backhand side so much better with the 18X20.
 
For @parasailing:

I spent more time comparing the 2015 blade 18x20 and the PK Kinetic Q+ 5X Pro

Power - PK > Blade
Control - Blade has a little better control
Comfort - PK > Blade
Feel - PK = Blade (they feel different but both are good in their own ways)
Topspin - Blade has a little bit more due to lower swingweight
Slice - PK hits some of the filthiest slices. Ball stays incredibly low.
Stability - PK due to the 339 SW
Touch - PK

Winner for me: PK
I would look into this racquet but I am not a fan of extended length racquets. If this was a regular length racquet, I would definitely give this racquet a shot. I also like that this racquet is a 16x20 which would make it quite easy to string.
 
I would look into this racquet but I am not a fan of extended length racquets.
I have never been a fan of xl racquets either...until this one. This is the real deal. I still can’t believe how great this stick plays.

Then again, there is a standard length version as well but you made need some lead to beef it up a little bit.
 
I have never been a fan of xl racquets either...until this one. This is the real deal. I still can’t believe how great this stick plays.

Then again, there is a standard length version as well but you made need some lead to beef it up a little bit.
Yeah I am looking at the standard length one. Maybe I will demo both racquets and then see if an XL would work. I know it would be great on serves but I always seem to struggle on groundstrokes with extended length racquets.
 
Yeah I am looking at the standard length one. Maybe I will demo both racquets and then see if an XL would work. I know it would be great on serves but I always seem to struggle on groundstrokes with extended length racquets.
I always had trouble with XL sticks in the past. Too sluggish. But I’ve been doing ab and glute work at the gym where swinging the hefty six one 95 18x20 for a few hours isn’t exhausting me anymore. Lo and behold, I am able to swing the PK without any sluggishness. Getting just as much RHS from this as my blades.
 
Hey Blade fans ~ I know almost all players have matching racquets they bring to the courts but just wondering ~ do any of you bring an unmatched racquet as a back up, or even play with it in different sets, or days, just to shake things up a bit?

More specifically, say for example, your main racquet is a 2015 Blade 98 16x19, and your backup is a 18x16 Blade 98S, or vice versa, or something along those lines, 18x20, etc?

Or... is this completely F'd up and messes up your game? THANKS!!
 
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Hey Blade fans ~ I know almost all players have matching racquets they bring to the courts but just wondering ~ do any of you bring an unmatched racquet as a back up, or even play with it in different sets, or days, just to shake things up a bit?

More specifically, say for example, your main racquet is a 2015 Blade 98 16x19, and your backup is a 18x16 Blade 98S, or vice versa, or something along those lines, 18x20, etc?

Or... is this completely F'd up and messes up your game? THANKS!!
I don’t think so. They’re pretty close. The Spin is a pretty sweet racquet in its own right. It’s a toss up between this one and the 16x19.
 
Hey Blade fans ~ I know almost all players have matching racquets they bring to the courts but just wondering ~ do any of you bring an unmatched racquet as a back up, or even play with it in different sets, or days, just to shake things up a bit?

More specifically, say for example, your main racquet is a 2015 Blade 98 16x19, and your backup is a 18x16 Blade 98S, or vice versa, or something along those lines, 18x20, etc?

Or... is this completely F'd up and messes up your game? THANKS!!
I don’t think so. They’re pretty close. The Spin is a pretty sweet racquet in its own right. It’s a toss up between this one and the 16x19.
Does this apply to ONLY ONE PERSON?? Anyone Else - Comments/Opinions/Thoughts?? THANKS!!
 
I don’t think so. They’re pretty close. The Spin is a pretty sweet racquet in its own right. It’s a toss up between this one and the 16x19.
Have only one of each but like to always first wear out the 98s coz it's so easy & fast to string back up (16 crosses) :cool:
but ya the 16x19 is a much more mainstream racquet.
 
I am interested in seeing if the new 2019 Wilson Blade will improve on the deficiency of the Blade CV which was sluggish, stiffer, and lacked feel.
Does anyone know when the wilson blades will get an update? Specs? Images? WIll countervail technology be replaced?
Has it been confirmed that Wilson is updating the Blade in 2019? That seems like a weird thing for Wilson to do since they've just transitioned pros who previously used Burn PJs to Blade PJs (e.g., Halep).
 
Has it been confirmed that Wilson is updating the Blade in 2019? That seems like a weird thing for Wilson to do since they've just transitioned pros who previously used Burn PJs to Blade PJs (e.g., Halep).
I've Just spoken to wilson on insta and they said that "The new wilson blades will not have countervail and it will launch late 2019/early 2020".
 
I recently switched to the Blade 2015 16x19 from the Pure Aero and am really enjoying it! It has much better plow through and really enjoy the thinner beam. Have to adjust for the lower launch angle compared with the Pure Aero but feel precision and power are much better.
 
Genesis black magic seems to give good pop in this frame.
I recently replaced the black magic 16 because I thought it was going dead with lux alu soft 1.25.
It was a big mistake because it felt weak & low-powered.

Restrung it with black magic 17 & it felt solid again.
Can’t tell which I like better though - the 16 or 17 gauge but it’s a good string with solid power & control that doesn’t break the bank.
 
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