Wilson Blade v8 Models
Like all of Wilson’s performance tennis racquets, the Blade family comprises various models that offer modified specs to cater to a broader audience while adhering to the line’s core principles.
Wilson Blade 98 v8 16×19
Within this line of tennis racquets, the Wilson Blade 98 v8 16×19 is the best-selling flagship model, which I reviewed for my playtest.
It’s a low-powered control-centric tennis racquet that offers excellent feel and comfort. However, its open 16×19 string pattern slightly boosts power and spin relative to its 18×20 sibling.
For most, this frame is an excellent starting point, which we’ll use as the basis for comparing the rest of the models in the Blade family.
Wilson Blade 98 v8 18×20
With nearly identical specs to the 16×19, the Wilson Blade 98 v8 18×20 has a tighter string pattern, which adds to the frame’s control and precision while resulting in a slightly firmer feel.
Experienced players who hit big, have flatter groundstrokes, and are looking to maximize their command over the ball will likely find what this frame has to offer appealing.
Wilson Blade 100 v8
Offering more power, spin, and forgiving feel, the Wilson Blade 100 is one of the latest additions to the Blade lineup.
Much of the frame’s difference in performance comes from its larger 100 in² (645.2 cm²) head size and 22 mm beam, which is 1 mm thicker than the Blade 98 models.
Despite being 0.18 oz (5 g) lighter than the Blade 98 models, it retains an identical 7 pt HL balance, which results in a similar swingweight.
Somewhat unique to this frame is that Wilson maintains a lower RA or stiffness rating rather than bumping it up for added power, which helps maintain a more consistent feel with the Blade 98 models.
Wilson Blade 100L v8
To help broaden the Blade’s appeal, Wilson offers a lighter version that weighs only 10.1 oz (285 g) unstrung, which helps improve the frame’s maneuverability for a more user-friendly option.
It’s worth noting that this model has a higher RA or stiffness rating at 69 and a slightly thicker beam at 22 mm to help increase power and compensate for the frame’s lower weight.
As a result, this model won’t provide as much comfort as those mentioned above. However, it’s still worth considering if the heavier weight of the other frames feels a bit too much to handle.
Wilson Blade 100UL v8
In 2021, Wilson adds an ultra-light model to the Blade lineup, which clocks in an unstrung weight of only 9.35 oz (265 g).
This new model makes an excellent option for younger players looking for an entry point into the Blade lineup and adult beginners or seniors needing an easy-to-swing racquet.
It comes in the standard length of 27 inches and has a 2 pt HL balance at 22.5 cm unstrung.
Wilson Blade SW102 Autograph
For years, Serena Williams relied upon the Wilson Blade 104 as her racquet of choice, but she was looking for a bit more control to complement her raw power.
After testing nine prototypes, Serena and Wilson landed on her signature model, which debuted in 2020. Most notably, the frame has a slightly smaller head size than her previous fame at 102 in² (658 cm²), which helps enhance control.
However, one of the unique elements of the frame is its extended length of 28 in (71.1 cm), which is a full inch longer than most standard racquets that usually measure 27 in (68.6 cm).
The racquet also features a thicker 22.5 mm beam, a higher RA or stiffness rating of 69, and a 7 pt HL balance, which positions more weight towards the racquet’s handle.
It’s worth noting that when releasing the new 2021 Wilson Blade line, Serena’s signature model retains its existing specs and distinct black and gold paint job.
Wilson Blade 104 v8
Although Serena no longer uses it, Venus continues playing with the Wilson Blade 104, which the pair helped make popular.
As the name implies, the racquet has a larger 104 in² (670 cm²) head size. However, you’ll also find it’s a bit lighter at 10.2 oz (290 g) unstrung, has a 9 pt HL unstrung balance, 22 mm beam, and the lowest RA or stiffness rating of the entire Blade line at 60.
Finally, the Wilson Blade 104 v8 offers an extended 27.5 in (69.9 cm) length for a bit of added reach and leverage.