Wilson Crazy Stick BLX 165 Racquet
As the lightest racquet in the 2012 BLX line, the Wilson Crazy Stick BLX 165 is geared for the player with a quick swing speed and fast hands. With a thicker beam at the throat for added power and durability, Power Holes and the Articulated Grommet System for a larger sweet spot, and armed with Ballistic Frame Armor for protection, the Crazy Stick is a light, maneuverable, and durable racquet. At 165-grams and a 6-point head heavy balance, the Crazy Stick is a solid choice for the frontcourt player.
Weighing in at 165-grams with a slightly head-heavy balance, the RbW team expected less power from the Crazy Stick in the 2012 BLX line. Croft began by saying, “Because of my swing-speed I’m often able to generate more overall power with lighter racquets, but this wasn’t the case with the Crazy Stick. The shorter throat and grip limited my power, especially when I didn’t hit the sweet spot. That being said, when I did connect perfectly, I was able to really put some pace on my forehand and backhand setups. I was uncomfortable with the factory strings that came in the racquet, but once I switched them out I felt a noticeable increase in power.” Ben L. agreed saying, “The head heavy balance of the Crazy Stick added some solid power, but otherwise the racquet was geared for more control. With a more flexible throat design and a flat string pattern, this racquet had less power than the Buzz Kill of last year.”
When the team looked at the Crazy Stick, they were impressed with the large hitting zone it offered. When they got it on the court, however, they had different opinions of its control. Croft started it off with, “Just like the Hit Stick, this was the one category where I was uncomfortable with the Crazy Stick. When I was setup, I was confident my shots were going where I intended them to, but during rallies when I would miss the sweet spot, my shots would stray. However, the lighter weight and balance definitely added control, as my timing while playing defense was spot on. I was especially confident my shots were going to hit their target on soft touch and drop shots.” Ben L. had the opposite opinion stating, “Compared to the Hit Stick, I noticed better control and shot placement right away, especially on touch shots or quick reaction shots. I had a harder time controlling my drive serves, but found the racquet to play equally well in all rally situations.”
Knowing the Crazy Stick was going to be more flexible than the team’s overall preference, they had reservations about this category going into the play-test. However, they ended up being pleasantly surprised. Croft raved saying, “Similar to the Hit Stick, the feel of the Crazy Stick was fantastic. The only complaint I had was the instability on mishits. Other than that, the Crazy Stick would have gotten a mid 90’s mark from me. It had a great mixture of stiffness and flexibility. I felt a noticeable difference when I hit my lob serves and soft touch shots. I’ve always been partial to a stiffer frame, but again the Crazy Stick opened my eyes to how nice the feel of a less stiff racquet can be. The Crazy Stick is one of my favorites in the feel category.” Ben L. shared the same sentiments saying, “Wilson has greatly improved their feel with the inception of BLX, and each year it continues to improve. With that said, there was something missing for me in this racquet when really trying to overpower a setup pass or kill. The sweet spot connected well, but for those players like myself who utilize the whole string bed, it got a bit squirrely on off-center hits.”
Overall the team thought the Wilson Crazy Stick was a solid racquet. Although they felt there were definite areas that could be improved, they enjoyed the play-test. Croft concluded with, “Going into this play-test, I was expecting the Crazy Stick to be my top choice of this line, but I actually preferred the heavier Hit Stick. I felt there wasn’t enough stability when I would contact the ball off center, and I didn’t feel like I generated much power on setups. That being said, I really loved the balance of this racquet. I could get it around quickly during rallies, and it did have a nice soft, semi-flexible feel when I contacted the ball cleanly.” Ben L. wrapped it up saying, “As a scrapper and power-heavy player, this racquet didn’t play to my strengths. Where it shined was in pace-changing touch shots and frontcourt play, making it a great choice for the more calculated control player.”