Wilson Hit Stick BLX 175 Racquet
With a mix of Wilson's patented technologies, new frame shape, the addition of Power Strings, and all new cosmetics, the Wilson Hit Stick BLX 175 is one of the best racquets Wilson has come out with in years. The Hit Stick features Power Holes, Articulated Grommet System, and Turbo Drive, all aimed to provide superior power and greater response. One of the largest hitting surfaces, the Hit Stick is a responsive racquet while maintaining flexibility and feel. A combination of a 7-point head-heavy balance, 175-gram weight, and Power Strings technology, make the Hit Stick a solid choice for the player looking for a powerful, but not an ultra stiff frame.
With the addition of Power Strings that reach down to the butt cap and back around, Wilson designed the Hit Stick with power as the main ingredient. Croft kicked off the review by saying, “The head heavy balance definitely helped me generate more power on setups and drive serves, but I lost power in the rallies due to the shorter handle and how head-heavy it was. Although, for a lot of players the weight would have helped them, my swing speed just didn’t match up. When I hit my setups cleanly I was able to really move the ball, the problem was that I lost a lot of power when I mishit the ball. The large hitting zone created a little instability, and subsequently less power when I didn’t contact the ball perfectly.” Ben L. was on a slightly different page adding, The Hit Stick was easily the powerhouse of the pair, aided by the Power Strings and head heavy balance. While significantly more head heavy than the Ninja of last year, it felt more solid and forgiving on all shots, and a bit less stiff. I think Wilson did a great job simplifying their frame design in this 175-gram stick to add feel to such a power-hungry racquet.”
The RbW team felt control was the category in which the Hit Stick lacked the most. Ben L. stated, “I had some difficulties controlling my angles and touch shots with the Hit Stick, but I would attribute some of that to the factory strings. Personally, I would restring this racquet with softer, thinner strings, and a tighter tension to help with shot control. Given enough time to fully adjust my timing to the racquet, I know control would improve; it is just difficult with limited court time.” Croft shared the same sentiments adding, “The large hitting surface offered a lot of power, but I felt I lost a decent amount of control if I didn’t contact the ball perfectly. The handle is shorter than what I’m used to, and it definitely helped me control my touch shots and lob serves, but left me a little uncomfortable during rallies. I couldn’t settle into a place where I felt confident my shots were going to end up where I intended them to.”
The team gave their highest marks to the Hit Stick in the feel category. Wilson took away from the stiffness to create a powerful stick with a softer feel, and they certainly accomplished their goal. Croft said, “I was very happy with the feel of the Hit Stick. I’m usually a fan of stiff frames, but the Hit Stick gave me a new appreciation of a more flexible frame. The instability on mishits took away from what would have been a mid 90’s “Feel” score from me.” Ben L. and Croft shared the same thoughts. Ben L. added, “I rated the Hit Stick higher in this category with consideration to the pervious generations of Wilson racquets. Wilson backed off of the stiffness in the throat this year, which really improved the feel of this frame. The increased head weight detracted from some of the touch, but string bed feel and response was excellent.”
Overall RbW’s play-test team thought Wilson’s engineering and design of the racquet was the best in recent years. Creating a racquet with power and great feel is a difficult task, and Wilson was able to do just that. Ben L. ended with, “Wilson players using the Ninja or Warlock may not want to switch, but I expect more players from other brands to convert to Wilson this year. Wilson has taken the right direction with their new racquets and for those seeking raw power, the Hit Stick will deliver.” Croft capped it off by saying, “Power and feel are the main characteristics of this racquet. Although there was a bit of feel to be desired, I was impressed with the amount of feel I got with the Hit Stick. Of the 2012 line of Wilson racquets, the Hit Stick would definitely be my choice.”