By Robert Martin
(April 10, 2012) It was more than 10 years ago that Wilson released a unique frame called the Hyper Hammer 5.2 with a bright orange and silver paint scheme. I say it was unique because the Hammer line had traditionally been light weight and head heavy, while the 5.2 weighed in at a moderate 10.5 ounces and just slightly head heavy.
Despite being around for a decade, there have only been a few small changes to the specs of the frame. Slightly longer than standard length at 27.25 inches, the Tour BLX is one of those racquets that is not going to drastically change a player’s game, but it will be one of the most capable racquets around for dealing with any shot from any position on the court.
After taking it out for a test drive, I certainly would not call it a game-changing racquet, but for the player with solid technique that wants something lighter than a typical control frame, it’s a good option. I tried it out for three weeks using a hybrid of TecnifibreX-One Biphase 1.24mm and YonexPoly Tour Pro 1.25mm at 58/55 pounds.
Wilson Tour BLX Specs:
Head Size: 95 Square Inches
Weight: 10.8 ounces
Flex: 64 RA
First thing I could think of was how ironic it is that now that Wilson moved Kei Nishikori, a longtime Tour user into the cosmetic of the Steam Pro BLX, they finally release the colors that he had been using since April of 2011. Having said that, I do prefer the newest Orange and White combination over the previous Blue and Orange.
When I first picked up the racquet it did feel a little light, but with the even balance the swing weight still felt pretty substantial.
I’ve always had a few major issues with Wilson frames and how they perform on the court. One thing I typically notice is that the upper part of the string bed feels a bit dead, usually because of the head light balance, but with the slightly extended length and more even balance I was able to get more pace in that area.
From the back of the court I was pretty happy overall with the stability but felt that the frame was lacking a bit in control for my swings. The power level was surprising given the thinner beam width and smaller head size.
At the net the even balance did not seem to hinder maneuverability at all and putting away volleys was no problem. Despite what Wilson says about the improved feel of the BLX frames, to me they just feel muted, which is a feel that I am not particularly fond of, a reason that I much prefer the older Hyper Pro Staff models to the current contemporaries.
The Tour series may have been around longer, but this frame felt a bit like the little brother of the Steam 100 BLX. A slightly smaller head size, similar weight and balance, and a bit less power make the Tour BLX a choice that will appeal to players looking for a bit of extra control.
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