Thursday, December 29, 2011

Wilson BLX Six.One 95 Review

Wilson BLX Six.One
The perfect balance of control and power -  that is how I would sum up the Wilson BLX
    The is no doubt a players racket but unlike its big brother, the Six.One Tour, is a considerably more forgiving stick. With a 8pt headlight balance it feels a lot lighter than its weight of 12.2oz  and with a 95 sq inch headsize also offers a bigger sweetspot to aim for.
       Its heavier weight subsequently gives it a very solid feel on groundstrokes and also keeps the racket from twisting when returning big serves and putting away volleys.

    Hitting deep, penetrating shots consistently on both the forehand and backhand sides is a breeze for players with decent technique and enough strength to handle the mass of this stick.
       Control is certainly a key strength of this frame as it will allow a player with decent skill level to place shots with precision. Power levels, which can sometimes be sacrificed for more control in players rackets, are also good which makes serving with it a joy.

     The open 16x18 string pattern makes it a very spin friendly racket, which will definitely appeal to today's players who looking to rip the cover off the ball, yet keep the ball safely in the court.
    Theis BLX version of the classic pro staff 6.1 mold, which harks back to the early 90s, has a softer, more cushioned feel to it compared to the k factor version it replaces thanks to the Basalt construction which is specifically meant for boosting such traits. 
          Even with its more forgiving nature compared to more hardcore players sticks, those moving up from a tweener frame, however, may take some time to adapt to this racket due to its weight.
       When I started using this mold a long time ago (during the nCode version), my single-handed backhand did suffer initially as i was not strong enough to generate enough swingspeed to create sufficient topspin, but that was solved as my muscles grew stronger as they adapted (some protein after playing also helps).

    A long list of pros using this stick is also a key indicator of the pedigree the has and over the years has also garnered a large fan base who look forward to every update that Wilson come up with.
      This is definitely a worthwhile frame to demo for intermediate players looking to upgrade their game with more control yet without sacrificing power to get it.

See what others have to say about the Wilson BLX Six.One here

Get great deals on the BLX Six.One here.

    Racquet Specifications
  • Headsize:95 sq. in.
  • Length:27.00 in.
  • Weight (strung):12.20 oz.
  • Stiffness :67
  • Balance: 8 pts Head Light
  • Cross Section:22mm Straight Beam
  • Swingweight:338
  • String Pattern:16x18
  • Grip:Wilson Pro Hybrid Grip

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Babolat Pure Storm GT Review

The 2011 Babolat Pure Storm GT
Newer players looking to move up in the game will not be disappointed with the Pure Storm GT.
    With a light weight of 11oz (strung) it makes for a very maneuverable stick for those just coming out of the beginner phase yet with its almost neutral balance, which sometimes feels slightly head-heavy, offers a solid strike of the ball not too far off many players sticks weighing  significantly more.
    The 98 sq inch head size offers a comfortable sweet-spot without the having to lose maneuverability as is often the case when using oversized rackets which many beginners use as an entry point to the sport.
    Groundstrokes hit with decent backswing are nice and crisp with spin being available in more than satisfactory amounts. Sliced backhands are nice and solid thanks to the rackets neutral balance. Volleys are also nice and solid on the stick which also makes it an excellent choice for doubles enthusiasts looking for a lighter racket to play with for long hours.
   For players used to Babolat's most familiar offering, the Pure Drive, many will certainly find the Pure Storm a different kettle of fish.   
     With a more traditional 21mm straight beam, power is not a strength of the racket but the moderate levels it offers compared to the Pure Drive allows for more accurate serves and groundstrokes, which are important if a player is progress in the game.    
2009 Babolat Pure Storm GT
      The power levels, however, can be tweaked significantly by string type and string tension selection. I usually use Ashaway hybrid kevlar but loss a lot of power on my serves but one i switched to poly strings became a non-issue.
    If your are wondering what the GT in the rackets name stands for it is actually the short form for Graphite Tungsten, a material that is a combination of graphite and tungsten filaments that gives the Pure Storm more control and feel.
       Despite is status as tweener racket the Pure storm is also the choice of WTA and ATP Tour pro's Fernando Gonzalez and Samantha Stosur which stands testament to the pedigree of the stick and is certainly worth a try for those looking to progress in the game.

Pro's: Healthy sweetspot, lightweight, offers good control on all shots.
Con's: Slightly underpowered but can be tweaked with string type/settings or lead tape.
Tips: If you are looking to save money get 2009 version which is exactly the same racket with only a different (older) paintjob.

See what others have to say about the Babolat Pure Storm GT

Get great deals on the Babolat Pure Storm GT here  and here.

    Racquet Specifications
  • Headsize:98 sq. in.
  • Length:27.00 in.
  • Weight (strung):11.20 oz.
  • Stiffness (Babolat RDC):63
  • Balance:1pt headlight
  • Cross Section:21mm Straight Beam
  • Swingweight:327
  • String Pattern:16x20
  • Grip:Babolat Skin Feel