Wilson Ultra 100 Countervail

by Jon Levey | October 06, 2017

Tags: racquet

Overview

Pros

  • Easy power

  • Good spin potential

Cons

  • Loses stability and dependability at high speeds

PRICE:

$219.00

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Gear Review

The new Ultra 100 CV sports the same “Uncontaminated Design” of a single base color with bold accents at 3 and 9 o’clock that the other Wilson lines all now own. But this update is more than a fresh coat of paint with minimalist graphics. Just as with many recent Wilson releases, the Ultra 100 contains Countervail—a carbon fiber designed to absorb vibration and lessen arm fatigue. It also boosts a reinforced throat for enhanced stability, and Crush Zone grommets—providing better dwell time at impact—for more power and comfort. The combination of the two features is being dubbed Power Rib.

In action, these additions gave the frame a more cushioned feel than its predecessor, yet still offers a lively response off the string bed. From the baseline, a medium-paced swing generated steady, deep ground strokes, possessing good pace and spin. Directional control wasn’t pinpoint, but not a noticeable detriment either. The frame is rather inflexible—stiffer than the original. Yet, even with a full set of Luxilon 4G strung at 50 lbs., it wasn’t uncomfortable, even out of the strike zone. The Countervail and Crush Zone grommets seem to work as advertised.

The biggest issue I had from the baseline was trying to create offense. While the frame gave a nice boost to rally strokes, the lack of high-end heft meant there wasn’t a great deal of natural put-away power. When I ramped up the swing speed to compensate, the frame wouldn’t comply as often as I would’ve liked. It wavered at contact—especially when trying to turn around significant incoming pace—and shots became more difficult to control. As a result, I had to temper my aggression, played more conservatively, and tried to outwork my opponent rather than outhit him.

Serving was my favorite aspect of playing with the Ultra 100. Unlike on ground strokes, I didn’t incur the stability issues when I sped up my racquet; the frame accelerated quickly up and through the hitting zone, resulting in some real rockets. I still didn’t have top-notch command over the ball and had to aim for bigger targets, but nonetheless had frequent success starting points in my favor. Second serves had plenty of life, keeping my opponent at a neutral position at worst, and often on his heels.

Volleying was as expected—nothing fancy, just point and shoot. I got the frame in front of the ball, and it jumped off the strings with respectable control. The high firmness resulted in impressive stability for its weight. (Again, the shorter, more compact the swing, the more solid the feel). The chunky beam wasn’t super quick on reflex or shoelace volleys, but maneuverable enough for most situations. Touch and finesse shots were a mixed bag, although I felt better than expected for this type of frame.

After my test run with the Ultra 100 CV, I left the court feeling there was nothing extreme—outstanding or abysmal—about its performance. The frame offers a bump in power without being uncontrollable, good access to spin, and has a muted, reasonably comfortable feel that belies its inherent stiffness. As long as I stayed within the confines of what it did well—solid serving, repeatable ground strokes, deep volleying—and didn’t try to be too flashy, the outcomes were positive. The racquet struck me as a sensible choice for strong intermediate singles and doubles players with meat-and-potatoes strokes and tactics. If that’s your style, the Ultra 100 CV can help you win a lot of matches.

Info & Specs

The Ultra 100 Countervail is the most versatile racquet in the Ultra franchise. Featuring Countervail Technology that maximizes player energy and integrated power technologies that get the most boom for your buck, this racquet is a game-changer for players of all levels and styles.

Length:27 in

Head Size:100 sq in

Strung Weight:11.3 oz

Balance:4 pts. HL

Swing Weight:320

String Pattern:16x19

Flexibility:Stiff

Suitable NTRP:3.0-4.5

Beam Width:23 mm / 26.5 mm / 22.5 mm