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I usually play with a Babolat Pure Aero. It gives me effortless power and easy spin and I can hit big and make damage.
But I decided to try a new racquet, maybe from another brand to see how it feels, before I can choose to make a switch or not.
So I got a Wilson Blade v8 with a 16×19 pattern, strung it with Luxilon Alu Power 1.25, and tested it in a few hit sessions and league matches
So, how does the Wilson Blade v18 16×19 racquet performs? And who is it for exactly?
Let’s find out.
Quick Racquet Overview
The 8th iteration of the famous Blade racquet line comes with a cool chameleon cosmetic that is shiny and changes color under the sun.
This racquet comes with a 98 sq in the head, 305g unstrung weight, and a 16 by 19 pattern for more spin.
The pattern is more open than the 18×20 version, which is denser for flat hitters and players looking for accuracy.
It encompasses the latest technology from Wilson including:
- FORTYFIVE° to increase flexibility and stability
- Braided Graphite + Basalt composition improves the flex of the racquet to produce an enhanced feel and control
- Direct Connect Technology connects the butt cap directly to the carbon fiber portion of the handle for added stability
The Swingweight measurements give a 317 score, which is relatively low and signifies more maneuverability.
What I Liked About the Wilson Blade V8 16×19
After a few hitting sessions with this racquet. Here’s what I liked:
This racquet is intended for feel by Wilson and they mean it. Every shot gives you accurate feedback on the hitting spot and your timing.
The volleys go out impeccably like I’ve never hit before on both sides.
Dropshots also work out very well after a few adjustments.
Hitting with this racquet is satisfying in a sense that you rarely miss if you hit the ball cleanly. You get tremendous control and easy spin as well.
Going flat was also sweet and I remembered hitting countless winners while painting the lines.
My serve was more accurate the more I serve with this Blade. Even, I made significantly fewer errors on my second serve. All balls went in most of the time
3. Arm-friendly and maneuverable
I played with the 10.8oz / 305gr frame and it didn’t feel heavy on the arm when swinging.
It was gliding through the air smoothly with no effort or difficulty to swing. You also don’t feel a sore arm or elbow after hitting with the racquet for hours.
The new Blade racquet is solid and stable but easy to swing with.
What I Didn’t Like About the Wilson Blade V8 16×19
The new Blade isn’t all praise. In fact, there are things that threw off my momentum and I couldn’t hit with this racquet for a long time.
Here is why.
1. Low Powered
The Blade v8 is a great racquet, but it is noticeably low-powered. You have to generate pace by yourself or otherwise, all the balls go to the net.
Don’t get me wrong, this is a great racquet to redirect the pace and find the lines or the tough angles.
However, when you hit with advanced opponents and I did it on 3 occasions, I felt the lack of power and speed and I quickly couldn’t keep up with my opponents’ heavy hitting like I normally do easily with my Pure Aero.
Hence, the new Blade is for players who can already generate power and speed and seek touch and precision.
2. Not Forgiving
You hit slightly off-center and your ball literally stays in the frame.
This is not forgiving by any means even with the 16×19 string pattern.
So, for beginners and students of all ages, it is going to be tough to use this racquet because you’ll need to find the sweet spot at every shot.
3. No Depth
One major issue I had with the Wilson Blade 16×19 v8 was the lack of depth I had for most of my shots.
I had this feeling of hitting my guts out only to land the ball near the service line. So the workaround I made was to switch to an eastern grip (which I don’t often use) to hit flatter shots.
But it wasn’t the best solution as many shots were going out of the court.
Bottom line, you will get superb control with this racquet, but hitting deep is a real challenge that needs practice and adjustment of your technique.
Who Is This Racquet For?
- A player who can generate power and pace on his own
- A player who looks for control and accuracy
- A serve and volley player who wants feel and a good touch on the net
- A counterpuncher who likes to redirect the pace
- A player with arm issues looking for a comfortable frame
Don’t Use The Blade 16×19 v8 If:
- You want a powerful frame
- You can’t generate pace on your own
- You want a forgiving racquet
- You play against big hitters
To sum it up, the Wilson Blade 16×19 v8 is a good frame with a terrific feel and fine control.
But personally, I felt the lack of extra power and the lack of forgiveness with the small sweet spot. So I had to switch back to the Pure Aero for extra power and spin.
Nonetheless, advanced players who can swing big will fall in love with the new Blade as it is solid, control-oriented, and provides feel and accuracy.