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Home GearTennis RacquetsRacquet Reviews The Wilson Clash Racquet Review – Prototype edition

The Wilson Clash Racquet Review – Prototype edition

by Tennisnerd
Wilson Clash Racquet Review - Complete

I have been playing with the Wilson Clash prototype for a couple of weeks and it is time to publish the complete review. Please keep in mind that I have been play-testing the prototype, so I don’t have any pics of the finished paint job yet. But here is my Wilson Clash Racquet Review.

This Wilson Clash Racquet Review is meant to complement my first impressions post that dealt with my first hours with this racquet. The Wilson Clash is thanks to a really clever marketing campaign from Wilson a really hyped-up racquet. Does it deliver? As you know in my first impression Clash review post, I think it did. I now have some more clearly formed thoughts and opinions about this exciting racquet.

The Wilson Clash will be released to the world on February 15th. On February 1st we will know the complete specs, but below is what I have been able to figure out except for the RA rating since I don’t own an RA machine and I have heard different readings from different reviewers.

Wilson Clash Racquet Review – Estimated Specs

Wilson Clash Racquet Review - CompleteHead size: 100 sq inches
Weight: 310 gram strung (295 unstrung)
Beam width: 24 mm
String pattern: 16×19
RA: 60 unstrung/57 strung (some has measured lower).
Balance: 31,8 cm strung

The specs of the Wilson Clash are surprising since most 100 sq inch racquets come in with RA ratings of more than 65 these days. That is usually to make the racquet stable and boost the power even more. Wilson seems to have figured out a way to lower the stiffness (which is better for people’s arms) and still maintain good stability and power. Okay, the power level is not on Babolat Pure Drive or Pure Aero standards (click links for my review), but for such a low RA, it is quite good and good enough for most players. I am not sure how they do this, but the bridge and throat design are a bit funky and you can definitely feel that the shape of the beam is a bit different to most racquets with a slanting profile.

What I liked most about the Clash was the feel. I think Wilson has managed to find a good mix of power, spin, and control and yet maintained an really well-balanced feel. The Clash is simply a FUN racquet to use. It is not over or underpowered, the sweet spot is quite generous and despite the low weight, it is pretty stable. As I wrote in my first post I did struggle somewhat with volleys, but that improved as soon as I added some lead tape at 3 and 9. Still, it is not a precision instrument, this is an easy-to-use, enjoyable, highly playable and well-balanced racquet for us tennis mortals. It is not a PT57A.

Wilson Clash Racquet Review – Performance

Wilson Clash Racquet Review - Complete

I tried the Clash in stock form and customized with lead tape at 3 and 9. You can add more lead tape, but I felt it played pretty stable that way without becoming too sluggish. The Clash feels really fast and responsive in stock form and I did not want to lose that feel but still wanted some more stability. 100 sq inch racquets with too much lead tape can become difficult to swing properly so you need to make sure you don’t overdo it with the lead in the head.

You can, of course, add a leather grip to maintain the balance and add even more weight, but since the Clash comes in at a relatively head-light balance, I did not see the need for it. I tend to prefer the feel with synthetic grip anyway, but that is highly personal.

The Clash did not strike me as a string sensitive racquet and I tried stringing it pretty low at first at around 22 kg with Luxilon Alu Power Rough

 (Amazon link). I got a bit of extra power from a lower tension but also liked the racquet with 25 kg of Tourna Big Hitter Black 7. Both strings worked well for me although I usually like HEAD Hawk Touch (click for review) in 100 sq inch racquets.

As you can tell, I really enjoyed playing with the Clash. I felt creative and liked moving my opponents around and found the feel on droppers and lobs great. It is not the racquet that will create the most penetrating slice and if you are into precision, the open string pattern might not appeal to you. But if you like 100 sq inch racquets and you’re looking for a nice blend of spin, playability, and feel, this racquet has you covered.

Wilson Clash Racquet Review – Who is it for?

Wilson Clash Racquet Review - Complete

The Clash will, like I mentioned above, not be an ideal choice for you who love your 95 sq inch Prestige with an 18×20 string pattern. But if you already play with a Pure Aero, a Burn or a HEAD Extreme, I would definitely check out the Clash. I have not been so lured over to the dark side of 100 sq inch racquets since I fell in love with the 90s Babolat Soft Drive! That is actually the only racquet The Clash reminds me of. It is soft, arm-friendly, yet still packs a punch. It offers a large sweet spot and good spin, but still allows for you to caress the ball and force your opponent on the run.

If I would choose between the close to extinct Soft Drive and the new Clash, it is a tough choice. I like both a lot! But the Soft Drive is close to impossible to find and needs plenty of lead tape to feel stable. The Clash comes ready to be hit straight out of the box and stronger players can check out the upcoming Clash Tour edition which is supposed to be 15 grams heavier (similar to Pure Aero Tour). So if I would go back into bigger head size territory, the Clash would be my choice.

It is really that good. I might not be switching to it because I am still a precision guy that enjoy my Dunlop Srixon CX 200 Tour, but I would love to have at least one in my bag for those days when inspiration strikes. Or for times when I just want to change it up a bit. Tennis for sure feels easier with the Clash. Well done by Wilson* for trying something new with a lower-stiffness frame that takes out a page from the success of the Pure Aero, but solves one of the biggest issues with its rival – the stiffness.

Wilson Clash Racquet Review - Complete

*On a side note I hope that Wilson steps up their quality control and makes sure the specs of different frames don’t vary too much. I’ve bought Wilson racquets in the past and been disappointed to see a relatively large variation between two-three racquets of the same model and a search on a tennis forum will confirm that I am not alone.  If they can keep it within a +-4 gram tolerance and only a few 0.pts when it comes to balance, I’d be more confident in stocking up on a few Clash racquets when they are released…

Wilson Clash Racquet Review – Video version

What do you think of the Wilson Clash? Overhyped or something just right?

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31 comments

Mashu December 26, 2018 - 2:17 am

So If I understand correctly, as a Pure Drive user who loves abusing drop shots. This is the perfect racket ?!

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Vedran December 26, 2018 - 9:50 am

Hi,

I’m really curious about this racquet. Could you please compare this racquet vs Prince Phantom 100P Pro?

Thanks!

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Alex December 26, 2018 - 3:16 pm

How’s it play compared to the pure strike 16×9?

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Tennisnerd December 27, 2018 - 9:17 am

Hi Alex,
It plays softer, gives a bit more spin and has a bigger sweet spot. You get a bit more control with the Pure Strike though. Cheers / J

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Thomas December 26, 2018 - 5:38 pm

Hi, can you compare this one over the k7 red?

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Tennisnerd December 27, 2018 - 9:18 am

Hi Thomas,
Good question. The play similar in a way. Flexible, spin-friendly, decent power. I like them both. The sweet spot and power level is a bit bigger on the Clash, but these are two racquets I will keep recommending. Cheers / J

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Thomas December 27, 2018 - 11:18 am

Thanks, control and stability better at wilson or k7?

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David January 18, 2019 - 6:53 pm

If you want to see the retail paint job for this racquet, look up Nicole Gibbs playing at the 2019 Australian Open. She’s got the Clash with a some lead strips at 3-9 in the retail paint job. The Prototype paint job looks alot more interesting IMO.

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Tennisnerd January 21, 2019 - 7:43 am

Yeah, you are right! Weird decision to go live with the paint job like that. I have actually seen the paint job up close but promised Wilson not to disclose it prematurely.

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Pete February 5, 2019 - 10:06 pm

We fans of skinny, soft sticks would love to hear your answer to Vedran above (Dec 26) on how the Clash compares to Phantom Pro 100P. Latest Clash specs out say there’s a slightly heavier Tour model but it is still shy of 310g strung, 16×19, and 24+mm beam. I’m learning to love open string patterns, and I would weight up the Clash with leather & lead, but the visual of a 24+ beam is my biggest psychological obstacle. If the beam were 21 or less, I’d seriously consider pre-ordering one without a demo just because the sneak demos and hype are so good. But that beam width just scares me to look at it (obviously I’m not a fan of wide mouth Babs…but now Phantoms, older Prince Tours, C10Pros before the flexy Tours, PS85s when my arm and eyes were young). Thanks!

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Tennisnerd February 6, 2019 - 5:31 pm

The Phantom Pro 100P is a thin box-beam racquet so it carves the ball, offers a really nice feel, but not really the spin or power of the Clash. I know what you mean with thick beams, but the Clash doesn’t feel too thick to me. But I would recommend to demo, feel is highly subjective. The precision is better with the Phantom, but tennis is easier with the Clash. Hope that makes sense. Too good racquets, just different.

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John W February 11, 2019 - 4:37 pm

How’s this compare to the Kobra series Wilson had around 2012 , those had a low RA 16×19 100in head and looked like the aero ?
I still use the kobra tour myself

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Tennisnerd February 12, 2019 - 8:59 am

Wow, brings me back! I used to own and enjoy the Kobra Tour. This one has a bit more flex from the string bed, more of a catapult feel than the Kobra (which is also a nice stick). Quite unique, so I recommend you to demo it. Cheers / J

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Stephanie Dixon February 23, 2019 - 6:07 am

After coming back this month from golfers elbow, I’m now playing with pro kennex kiQ tour, the model before this years. How does this Wilson compare as for arm friendliness? Shoukdnt I stick to a 98 inch racket vs larger?

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Tennisnerd February 24, 2019 - 10:32 am

Hi Stephanie,
The Wilson Clash is plenty arm-friendly. If you are happy with what you are using, stay with that! There will be a Clash 98 later on this year if you want to try that one.

Regards / Jonas

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Teoman Cem Kadioglu March 4, 2019 - 6:16 pm

Hi Jonas, I ordered Clash Tour but Tennis Point sent me the non-tour version. As specs are not written on frame I noticed this after the stringing was done. I mailed to tennis point and waiting for their reply. Meanwhile I am reading TW reviews and saw that scores are lower for the tour version. Did you have a chance to compare these two?
Regards,
Teoman

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Tennisnerd March 13, 2019 - 1:14 pm

Hi Teoman,
Oh, they should for sure replace your racquet! I haven’t tried the Tour yet since my racquet got lost somewhere in Europe so I can’t say for now, but I do think they will play very similar.

Will let you know once I get a Tour version in my hands.

Cheers / Jonas

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Hams Stoehr April 4, 2019 - 3:15 am

I found the clash very similar to my pure drive, but it wqs noticibly down on power. Did you feel that too?

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Tennisnerd April 5, 2019 - 1:07 pm

Yes, the Clash is a more control-oriented Pure Drive. So you need to provide your own power.

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jeff April 6, 2019 - 4:53 pm

Hi Jonas
Desperate for your input.
After elbow surgery, I started playing again a couple years ago with arm-friendly setups: Prince and PK models with various multifilament @ 22k. I burn through strings way too quickly, and one BH slice is enough to push the strings away from the middle — irritating! But I accepted the inconvenience and lack of power as the cost of playing again.
When the Clash came out, I was able gain some power without losing the arm-friendly properties, but the nuisance element is even worse. I plan to use it from now on, and I wondered if you could provide an opinion: with the Clash, could I use a more elastic poly (or some other combination?) at low tension, without sacrificing too much of the arm-friendliness? That might also prevent the strings from moving all over the place, not to mention breaking after 5 hours. I’ve tried string-savers, the “endurance” multis, Crazy Glue, etc, without success.
I’d appreciate any help. Thanks, and I love your videos!
J

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Tennisnerd April 9, 2019 - 6:00 am

Hi Jeff,
You are not alone with this issue about switching to a softer string and finding it does not give you the control you want. I do think you should test the new Luxilon Smart string, yes the strings do move a bit, but you get nice control and spin with it and it is very comfortable. You are supposed to string it low so that should be perfect for you.

Other softer poly strings that are worth checking out:
Solinco Tour Bite Soft
Volkl Cyclone Tour
Diadem Flash or Solstice Power
Luxilon 4G Soft

Appreciate the comment! Good luck and hope you find a setup that works for you! Cheers / J

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Moritz Haas June 17, 2019 - 9:09 pm

“Other softer poly strings that are worth checking out:
Solinco Tour Bite Soft
Volkl Cyclone Tour
Diadem Flash or Solstice Power
Luxilon 4G Soft”

What tension would you recommend to start with, if you want to avoid control problems, Jonas?

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Tennisnerd June 18, 2019 - 9:21 am

Hi Moritz,
You need to string a bit higher to get better control. I would start at 25 kg and see how it feels. Cheers / Jonas

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Moritz June 21, 2019 - 4:37 pm

Thanks

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Moritz Haas June 23, 2019 - 8:03 am

Hi Jonas,
One more question: If you add lead tape to the Wilson Clash 100 (not the tour version). Where would you start with? 12 o’clock or 3/9? How much would you put on initially?

Thanks for your kind advice!
Best,

Moritz

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Tennisnerd June 24, 2019 - 9:36 am

Hi Moritz,
I would probably go with 2 or 4 grams 12 o’clock to bump the swing weight and power level a bit. It already is quite stable at 3 and 9 in my opinion.

My recommendation would be to start small and adjust.

Good luck / Jonas

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JINU M JOHN July 6, 2019 - 7:09 pm

My current racket is Head Microgel radical MP, and the only difference I found between clash and Microgel is the Head Size the balance and the String Pattern. I dont have the option for a demo. Should I switch to Clash?

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Tennisnerd August 12, 2019 - 10:39 am

They are quite different in feel and power levels. You will get more power and spin with the Clash and it is a lot easier to use. The Microgel Radical MP is a nice racquet, but needs some customization to unlock some power. I would go with the Clash.

Regards / J

PS. If you feel like my advice is really useful, please consider becoming a patron for $2 at patreon.com/tennisnerd and get exclusive content every week. DS.

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KU August 23, 2019 - 6:31 pm

Hello
Nice to meet you

I really like this .
How to buy the Wilson Clash 100 Prototype ?

Thank you so much

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Tennisnerd September 2, 2019 - 7:26 am

Hi,
Nice to meet you too. It is not easy to find the Prototype Clash. I know several people who are looking. Sadly, I have no idea how to get it myself.

Good luck / Jonas

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Bert October 18, 2019 - 7:44 pm

I tested a few versions & liked the 108 size version best. I’m undecided to take the plunge on this because the power levels is only medium. I found I had to swing pretty hard & fast to get any power. I currently use the Pro Kennex Q 30 I which has a High Power rating and is very arm friendly and I can get by with a compact swing or swing harder for even more power with very little effort.

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