Wilson Blade BLX Tennis Racquet Review

July 26th, 2011 by Greg C

filed in Tennis Product Reviews, Tennis Racquet Reviews

Wilson Blade BLX

Wilson's new “Blade 98 BLX” is an update on their previous “Blade” line. Other than just a cosmetic re-do Wilson has incorporated their “BLX” technology into this player's racquet. BLX is their term for basalt (natural volcanic rock) fibers woven into the frame. BLX is intended to provide better feel and also reduce vibration.

The Wilson Blade BLX is a handsome racquet. It's gold and black theme stands-out in the crowd, but it is elegant, not “flashy”. It has a 98” head with a head-light balance (the sticker on the frame says 6 pts.). It has a tight 18x20 pattern and a medium-width beam (22/21/21 mm). It weighs 10.7 oz. unstrung (around 11 oz. strung).

Groundstrokes

This racquet really shines from the baseline. Players who have faster, medium to long strokes will be able to generate a lot of power. It feels very solid and I could tell that it is a bit stiffer than many other “player's” racquets. It makes you feel in total control—as long as you hit near the center of the stringbed. On off-center hits the racquet wants to rotate more than I thought it should. But, again, it's weight, balance, and overall design really provides excellent control and handles incoming “screamers” with ease!

Volleys

The Blade 98 BLX is a solid performer at the net. Control, again, was it's best feature. It is excellent at creating sharp angles from hard-hit incoming balls (change of direction). I do believe, however, that even with it's head-light balance it might be a little slow for players who have been accustomed to lighter racquets (but not a very big issue at all).

Serves/Overheads

I discovered that my flat serve really did well with the Blade 98 BLX. I could really hammer the ball with confidence—I really liked hitting those “corner pockets”. Second serves also benefit from this racquet's excellent control. Overhead smashes were great—lot's of power and great placement.

Spin

I was concerned that the tight 18 x 20 string pattern might not bite the ball enough to generate heavy spin. I was pleased to see that the racquet produced adequate spin and still allowed my “high-loopers” to stay in-bounds.

Summary

The Wilson Blade 98 BLX is a solid performer from all parts of the court. I really like the fact that it seems arm-friendly, but, at the same time, has excellent control And it has a little more power than many other player's racquets I've used. I think this racquet is appropriate for a rather broad segment of players; i.e., heavy-hitting baseliners to just about anyone who enjoys a medium weight racquet that offers great control. But if you need a racquet to really generate a lot of “power-assist” you may wish to look elsewhere.