The Wilson Blade 98 V8 review was uploaded on my YouTube channel a little while back and you can watch and read it below.
The Wilson Blade 98 V8 review compares this new, chameleon design version with the slightly softer and heavier (swing weight) V7. They are not far apart, but if you want a slightly stiffer and faster feel, it's worth considering an upgrade to v8. If you're interested in my buddy Henrik Wallensten's review of the new Blades, click here. He also covers the 100L version, while I will review the 104 version at a later date. I also think the Blade 100 is a very interesting racquet for a wide group of players. It will be released this fall according to Wilson.com.
16×19 (left) and 18×20 specifications as measured by Tennis Warehouse. I strung up my Blade 98 V8 racquets with a hybrid setup. Luxilon Alu Power 1.25 in the mains at 51 lbs or 23 kg and Luxilon Element 1.25 in the crosses at 51 lbs or 23 kg. The idea with this poly+poly hybrid setup is to get a slightly softer and more powerful feel than a full bed of Alu Power by using Element in the crosses. This setup is or has been used by Emma Raducanu and Gael Monfils to name two pro players.
How do they play?
The best idea is to watch the video, but if you prefer reading, these racquets play like a Blade should play. Pretty low-powered, great control, nice touch, solid on slice and volleys, and a good serving racquet. They are faster through the air than the heavier V7 Blades but don't feel quite as good when you impact the ball. The feeling in the string bed is slightly more dead/stiff. This doesn't mean that these racquets are harsh for sensitive elbows, I found them quite comfortable.
The 16×19 is easier to use. It has a lower swing weight (mine measured 312 with strings, which was still playable) and a more open pattern for easier depth and height over the net. The 18×20 is more like a scalpel for players who like to hit flat shots and attack. It offers better control and plow-through but is not as whippy as the 16×19.
I ended up preferring the 16×19 with a smidge of lead tape at 12 (2g). It plays okay in stock form two, but some players might find it lacks a little stability on certain shots.
I think this update to the Blade looks fantastic and plays according to form. The Blade 98 is not easy to use and you need to generate your own power. Similar to a HEAD Radical MP or a Tecnifibre TF40. But if you like a racquet that gives you exactly what you put into it and looks great, the Blade 98 V8 is worth a demo.
It's not a huge improvement over the V7. So if you loved that one, there is no real need to upgrade. But if you felt like that one was a bit too heavy to swing, but you did enjoy how controlled it was, then you should check out the faster-feeling V8 in its beautiful chameleon design.
You can buy the new Blade 98 V8 from Tennis Warehouse, Tennis Warehouse Europe, Tennis Only as well as Wilson.com
Have you tried the new Blade 98 V8 racquets? What do you think of them?
Do you prefer the radical mp or the blade 16×19?
Tough question! It’s very difficult to choose, but I think the lower stiffness of the Blade wins me over in the end.
Was wondering about the the Blade v8 16×19 vs. the Pure Strike 16×19
I’m maybe a 3.5-4.0 type of player with a semi-western grip forehand which is very solid. I have a flatter one handed backhand which can be inconsistent, but I have a very nice slice. I’m ok at the net and on serves. But I always need to work on my consistency
I really feel like the Pure Strike is perfect for me, but the concerns about wrist / elbow pain scare me off
Thank your for the review. Looking forward to the 104 v8 review as I’m in the market for a new racquet and have been considering this, a Clash 100 or a Head Gravity S (both of which I’ve demoed).
Congratulations. I’m a big fan of your work.
Comparing Blade V8 with Prestige MP. Can you quickly say something?
success, best regards
Libardi – Brazil
anybody having already made some experiences with durability of the stringing?
presently playinn clash100 (16/19) and generally happy with the feel – however have 3 of them and usually at least 1 if not 2 at a time are with my stringer.. in summertime1 string a week on average.. when palying a tournament even more.
had the recommended luxilon string in the beginning, then switched to RPM blast 1,3mm and now using Toalson Rencon Devil Spin 1,3mm. – no difference in consumption 🙁
the racket produces an extraordinary amount of topspin (supported by the strings) adding on top of my already quite intense topspin forehand and the lefty slcie serve but also consumes way too much strings being extremely costly since not stringing myself.
now looking at the Blade 16/19 or maybe even the 18/20 pattern to reduce the stringing.. testing rackets usually gives u a good feel on the handling but no insight on how often the strings need to be replaced
thx for your sharing your experience
The Clash is one of the top string eaters in the racquet industry. The strings move like crazy and it greatly reduces string life. The Blades will not require even close to the same amount of string changing.
Nice article. Just ordered one. May I ask what string would you recommend and what tension please?
Thank you for another thorough review! I was leaning toward the Head MP Boom but after test playing with the Blade 98 v8 for the second time, it feels more comfortable to me and has good control.
Thanks for your work, I’d just like to share my experience of this frame.
Very Disappointed! Just bought one in 18/20 on the back of some great reviews and it going straight in the bin!
For years I’ve played with and loved the Kblade 98, Kblade93 and BLX blade 93, all fantastic rackets. I currently use 2017 pure strikes (both string patterns), Tecnifibre 305RS 98, Head speed pro, and a range of custom Angels. The Kblades became too hard on the arm, loved the 93’s in 18/20 but they did lack put away power.
This new blade although lower stiffness that all my other frames has just destroyed my arm! Its come in 6g over spec, probably all in the hoop which gives it a way too high SW and upsets the balance. Launch angle is zero so very easy to over hit even though I’m a flat hitter. Sweet spot feels smaller than that of my 93’s making it very demanding to use. Tried a range of strings and tensions and none helped. Once my arm is usable again and I’m back on court I certainly won’t be bringing the blade 98 V8 with me 🙂
Only plus it was decent to serve with!