The 2021 holidays are fast approaching and that means shopping for gifts is high on the list of things to do. With supply chains issues causing interruptions in all goods worldwide, now may be the best time to search for cost-effective but highly-regarded sporting goods to gift a loved one, work colleague or special person. Consider tennis products from a sport making a resurgence across America thanks to industry leaders in the space like Wilson and a product like their Blade v8, the most popular frame on the Pro Tour. Look for the two limited edition, New York City inspired racket designs of street grids in tandem with the US Open when shopping online or at a retail store. I was fortunate enough to review the Blade 98 16×19 v8.0 together with my young son on the autism spectrum, it was his first-time playing tennis. Also, take a look below at a budget conscious Holiday Gift Guide of Wilson Sporting Goods “Must-Haves” for this holiday season. I have done my best to influence the Sports Techie community blog readers and followers around the globe over the past eleven years to lead an active, athletic and healthy lifestyle by using sports technology enhanced products to help perform better, improve results and enjoy the games we all play, even more. Wilson Tennis fits the bill.
Watching Grand Slam events, or adults and kids playing tennis on local courts makes me want to go outside or stay indoors, and play for the fun, camaraderie, fitness, and competition.
I decided to take my 8-year-old boy to a nearby court in Brookhaven, GA that was recently refurbished for both tennis and pickleball so I could introduce him to the sport, begin his journey as a fan, and to check out the latest tennis racket sports tech in action via the Blade v8 by Wilson Tennis.
It was a beautiful November day in the south and what a better way to get outdoors than to practice tennis while soaking in the fall sunshine and fresh air with the digital apple of my eye, Kellan.
We didn’t stay as long as I wanted too because we had plans to head to the playground swings at Murphey Candler Park. The courts were empty and the price was right, they are free for the public to use making it a perfect opportunity to test out the Blade.
One day, I hope to be able to hold a furious rally with my son after he figures out how to swing but for now, he did what I asked him to do as his coach by watching and listening to me during this training session then trying to do the proper fundamentals and mechanics by himself.
I placed Kellan at the other end of the pristine blue court and then ran back so I could hit him a serve before his attention waned. Watch this Sports Techie YouTube video and see him turn his back to me and start to jump up and down in his signature stimming move. He’s been jumping like that since he was toddler and I like to state, half-jokingly, “Kellan will be dunking a basketball off two feet by eighth grade,” because I believe he will.
My initial serve was not the best and went to the other side of him but during my swinging motion I could feel and see Wilson’s new design DNA created for the instinctive athleticism of today’s player enabling a more natural state of play. I liked benefiting from the FORTYFIVE° feature, a patent-protected layup technology that was first used in Clash to increase flexibility and stability without compromising power.
It’s super cool to see the full body color designed for motion in action showcasing a visually representation of how it plays while shifting between an earthy dark green to an elemental copper. The wildness of nature is clearly on display with these two colors whenever you move the racket.
My final tennis lesson for Kellan was to put the Blade v8 in his hand and let him swing with a little assistance. We hit the tennis ball into the net but mission accomplish nevertheless. We both felt how the Blade v8 produces a more connected-to-the-ball feel to better complement the modern, vertical swing path used by many of today’s competitive players. Additionally, Blade v8’s end cap is directly connected to a newly tapered carbon fiber portion of the handle to improve feel and increase torsional stability.
Blade is used by Stefanos Tsitsipas, Simona Halep, Karen Khachanov and others on the professional tours.
“The Blade has been a dynamic tour favorite for many years,” said Hans-Martin Reh, Global General Manager of Racquet Sports at Wilson.
Pricing is $229 for the Blade 98 16×19 v8.0 and Blade 98 18×20 v8.0 and $219 for the Blade 98 100L v8.0 and Blade 104 v8.0.
Holiday Gift Guide
Fans enjoy watching ATP and WTA professionals compete in tournaments like the US Open where Wilson Tennis is the official ball and racket stringer of the Grand Slam in New York for more than forty years.
With a recently launched sportwear collection and the iconic tennis goods for which the brand is historically known, here is a fitting gift for everyone be that for Christmas, Hanukah or an upcoming birthday present. These are some of Wilson’s hand selected best options with a price point of $99 or less to provide budget friendly gifts for men, women and youth.
- Britto Tour 6 Pack Bag ($99)
- Roland Garros Premium Backpack ($79)
- Women’s Millennium Crewneck Sweatshirt ($68)
- Men’s Millennium Crewneck Sweatshirt ($68)
- Emoti-Fun Dampener 2-pack ($6)
Sports Techie, King Richard premieres on HBOMax and in theaters on November 19. The new movie is the story of Serena and Venus Williams rise to tennis stardom while coached by their just-as-driven Father. This sisterhood film should inspire girl’s around the world to take up the sport of tennis and boy’s too, same with interested adults.
I may not be King Richard but to Kellan, I am and he is my Serena within the autism community. Diagnosed autistic and non-verbal at the Marcus Autism Center at 22-months, you should hear him sing Acky Breaky Heart by Billy Ray Cyrus or Vacation by The Go-Go’s for some additional inspiration.
And with tennis communities, the Blade v8 is indeed the King and Queen of the court.
Enjoy their holiday gift guide.
Peace and love to all.
See you later sportstechie in Seattle, Atlanta and around the world!
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