Wilson Seeks ‘The Perfect Feel’ With New BLX Racquet Technology
Wilson’s newest racquet technology is called BLX, which adds basalt fibers in the racquet frame and — when combined with proprietary frame, grommet and grip technologies — produces what Wilson calls “the perfect feel.”
“Tennis players of all skill and experience levels will benefit from the ultimate feel that BLX provides,” says Cory Springer, Wilson’s global business director for performance racquets. “It is the quality of that feel that allows players to develop the control, spin and power to improve shots and take their game to a higher level.”
Basalt is a natural volcanic rock that can be used in manufacturing and made into ultrafine gold fibers that are resistant to vibrations. Basalt fibers are woven longitudinally with Wilson’s [K]arophite Black to create a composite Wilson says is the most advanced in the industry.
Like noise-cancelling headphones that filter out unwanted external noise, says Wilson, basalt added to the matrix filters the unwanted extreme frequencies in the racquet. According to the company, the new BLX technology delivers cleaner feedback and better sensation — “a smoother signal reaches the hand.”
In Wilson parlance, the initials “BL” stand for basalt, which is combined to nine other variables and in total, 10 (the “X”) elements are all connected together for “the perfect feel.”
Wilson player and 15-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer will be leading the BLX endorsement parade with his new Six.One Tour BLX racquet starting in Abu Dhabi for his first match Jan. 1. “This change [to the new BLX frame] will provide me with the added feel and performance I want to further enhance my game in 2010 and beyond,” Federer said recently. Juan Martin Del Potro, the recent US Open winner and ranked No. 5 in the world, also will be switching to the new BLX family, using the Pro Tour BLX.
And dealers should have an interesting story to tell customers. “The enhanced feel of BLX racquets is so pronounced when play-tested, that the impact is immediate and powerful,” says Springer. “A great sales approach is for the dealer to provide consumers with BLX demo rackets without the normal string-bed dampeners. We’ve found that the feel of the BLX racquets is so clean and pure that these dampeners are not needed.”
The BLX Family
There are 13 frames in the new BLX line. “Player” frames stress precision, responsiveness and consistency and are designed to provide maximum feedback at ball contact so the player senses the sweetspot and the racquet flex. “Game-Improvement” frames emphasize a comfortable touch of the racquet in the player’s hand and a smooth sensation during impact. “All-Around” frames are designed to provide accuracy and be forgiving on mis-hits.
BLX Grips and Bags
The BLX line also includes grips and bags. To match with the Player frames, Wilson offers the Pro Hybrid grip1, a blend of natural leather with firm polyurethane, with a list price of $10 per pack. Also available are a selection of BLX bags that range from $55 to $100.
For the Game Improvement line, the Comfort Hybrid grip2 ($9) is a blend of shock-absorbing air-foam and soft poly. Bags range from the $55 BLX Club Backpack to the $75 Club Premium.
The Performance Hybrid grip3 is designed for the All-Around line of racquets. The BLX Team Bag Collection ranges from a backpack to six-packs, priced from $40 to $65.
Key Technologies With BLX Racquets
There are nine proprietary technologies in the BLX line of racquets. Not all frames have all the technologies.
3 Frame Technologies
- Linear Geometry: a new technology that Wilson says provides up to 35 percent more overall stability compared to a classic beam construction.
- FX: a quad-shaft yoke design that increases torsional stability by 23 percent on off-center hits, says the company.
- Triad: Wilson’s three-piece racquet system where the hoop and handle are separated with Iso-Zorb for added comfort.
3 Grommet Designs
- AGT: Articulated Grommet Technology, which allows for 76 percent string movement.
- Double Hole: These are bigger holes that allow for 26 percent string movement and create a bigger sweetspot, says Wilson.
- Classic: Traditional 22 percent string movement for a classic response.
3 Grip Concepts
- Comfort Hybrid: At 2 mm, it has an air foam base for maximum comfort, says Wilson.
- Performance Hybrid: The cotton base of this 1.8 mm grip is for a balance of comfort and sensation.
- Pro Hybrid: The 1.6-mm leather-based grip is for maximum sensation.
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