• Price: $259
  • Head Size: 104 sq. in.
  • Length: 27.5 in.
  • Weight: 10.8 oz.
  • Balance: 6 pts. HL
  • Swingweight: 312
  • RA Rating: 64
  • Beam Width: 22mm
  • String Pattern: 16x19

What’s New

Wilson made improved stability the focus of this latest Blade update. This comes courtesy of the introduction of StableFeel to the frame—a new technology that bolsters both the bending and torsional stabilities of the racquet for a more solid, dependable response at contact. Another change is new Blades will have a narrower spec tolerance in terms of unstrung weight (+/- 5.5g), balance (+/- 7.5mm) and swing weight (+/- 10kg-cm2). And they will also have a new Click & Go grommet system that will make it easier to connect a bumper replacement to the frame.

What Works

Many players view the Blade as a demanding frame, and perhaps that true of the two 98s that are so popular amongst the high-performance set. However, the Blade 104 is a different animal. At first glance, the racquet’s dimensions could be off-putting. Its unusual head size and extended length has always occupied a unique space in the franchise’s lineup. But if you’re looking for a friendly Blade, this is it.

The added surface area gives the frame a large sweet spot with plenty of margin for error. And the extra half-inch of length leaves the 104 more stable and with a heftier shot than you’d expect from such low static weight. Yet, it’s pretty controlled for its measurements, resulting in repeatable and rather predictable ground strokes.


Wilson Blade 104 v9

Wilson Blade 104 v9

What really impresses, though, is the racquet swings smaller than its specs. Frames with larger head sizes and longer lengths often have handling issues. It can slow down the swing down, or cause unwanted lag. Some players find it like swinging through water. But you rarely, if ever, feel encumbered by the 104. It’s balanced in such a way that its swingweight is perfectly manageable, which adds to its ease of play.

This surprising quickness is a bonus for spin production. The 16x19 pattern feels particularly open in the larger head. When it comes time to roll topspin, the ball spits off the string bed with plenty of action. Slices don’t cut quite as sharply as a heavier frame, but are still easy to produce and adequate for a change of pace.

The frame’s speediness and extra length are also pluses on serves. It’s perhaps not quite the flamethrower as other extended racquets, but it still brings added heat to deliveries with respectable accuracy. And you can really mix up slices and kickers to throw a barrage of effective serves at your opponent.

In terms of frame continuity, perhaps the biggest difference between the 104 v9 and the outgoing v8 is it now has a bit stiffer, more dampened feel; certainly more so than the current 98 v9, which is rather soft. While the 104 is still muted and arm-friendly, it’s slightly thicker and there’s less pocketing compared to the 98. Players that find the 98 to be too heavy or launchy might enjoy how much quicker the ball jumps out of the 104’s stringbed.

Which is noticeable at net. The racquet behaves well when driving shots through the court, taking advantage of the easy underspin to keep shots inside the lines. The liveliness makes it more challenging to take pace off and hit touch shots, but for meat-and-potatoes volleys it’s a solid performer.

The Blade 104 has a larger head, thicker beam and longer length than the Blade 98

The Blade 104 has a larger head, thicker beam and longer length than the Blade 98


What Need Works

All of the frame’s maneuverability comes at the expense of some stability. The racquet can get bullied by a bigger ball. Shots contacted outside of the sweet spot, can result in twisting as well.

Players who don't consistency face lots of incoming pace and spin, especially those who enjoy hitting with variety themselves, will likely enjoy the frame as is. Those that need more stability and extra plow through on their shots will likely want to add some weight to the hoop—the 3 and 9 o'clock positions would be good places to start.

This may also give the frame a better response from a comfort standpoint, especially off-center. It’s by no means a tuning fork, but if you’re accustomed to something like the Blade 98, this one doesn’t quite have the same plush feel.

Tester Comments

“I found it super easy on the arm, and it had the perfect balance of power and control for hitting balls all day long.”

“I’ve said this about 104+ ‘players-spec’ sticks in the past: more of us old guys should be open to rebuilding our games a little around something like this.”

“Players that are used to the Blade frames being more oriented toward advanced-level players may be surprised to find this one is far better suited for intermediate recreational players.”

Bottom Line

The Blade 104 has a forgiving nature and well-rounded playability that befits a wide range of players. Perhaps it’s not the headliner of the Blade family, but it should not be overlooked.