Wilson Sporting Goods was incorporated in 1913 as the Ashland Manufacturing Company. The company was originally established to find unique ways of using slaughterhouse byproducts of a nearby meat-packing firm. By 1914, the company was producing such items as tennis racket strings, violin strings, and surgical sutures, and it had expanded into baseball shoes and tennis rackets. In 1915, the company appointed Thomas E. Wilson as president, and from that moment onward nothing was the same. Wilson, a hardheaded businessman who saw the potential of a sporting-goods company, broke away from the parent firm of Sulzberger and Schwarzchild, began to focus exclusively on the manufacture of sporting and athletic equipment, and then named the company after himself in 1916.
Thomas Wilson immediately started to expand the operations of his company by acquiring the Hetzinger Knitting Mills and a small caddie bag company. Hetzinger was purchased for the purpose of producing high-quality athletic uniforms, while the caddie bag company's extensive line of luggage products was reduced to the manufacture of golf bags alone. Basketballs and footballs were also added to the company's rapidly growing list of items for sale. In 1917, the company was so confident in the quality of its product line that it announced a two-year unconditional guarantee on all of its products. During the same year, the company began manufacturing golf clubs and football helmets. Although Thomas Wilson left the company in 1918, no interruption occurred in either the manufacture of its products or the growth of its revenues. By the end of the year, sales reached the $1 million mark, an enormous amount of money for a company that had been in existence for such a short time. The company closed out the decade by acquiring Chicago Sporting Goods Company, a manufacturer of uniforms; by reaching an agreement to supply all the equipment for the Chicago Cubs baseball team; and by hiring Arch Turner, a prominent craftsman in the leather industry. Hiring Turner was prophetic as his innovative designs for the leather football had a profound influence on the development of the game.
The decade of the 1920s was one of the most successful and most innovative periods for the company. In 1922, Wilson introduced the Ray Schalk catcher's mitt, which from that time onward set the standard for design, comfort, and padding within the baseball industry. During the same year, the company established its advisory staff of athletes, with the famous golfer Gene Sarazen as its first member. The most influential member of the advisory staff, however, was the football coach of Notre Dame, Knute Rockne. Rockne worked with Wilson to develop a new double-lined leather football, and the first football that was valve inflated. These two developments were instrumental in helping Rockne to develop the modern passing game in college football. In addition, Rockne and Wilson developed the first waistline football pants with pads that could be removed, thus providing the player with the ability to move more freely. Wilson was also making a major impact in other areas of sports as well, such as the cardboard tube containers for tennis balls that soon became the standard packaging for the industry.
When Knute Rockne died in a plane crash in 1931, Wilson was able to form a close collaboration with Dana X. Bible, the football coach at the University of Nebraska, in an attempt to continue its development of innovative football products. And, although Bible was able to help Wilson develop helmets and shoulder pads, the company was unable to match the degree of influence on the game achieved with Rockne during the 1920s. As a result, company management decided to focus on the game of golf.
In 1932, the company developed the R-90, a sand wedge golf club inspired by Gene Sarazen's victory in the 1932 British Open. That year alone, Wilson sold over 50,000 of the sand wedge clubs. One year later, the company introduced a design that distributed the weight of the club in the toe of the club's head, anticipating the future design of what was to be termed "perimeter weighting." In 1937, Wilson signed the soon-to-be-famous Sam Snead as a member of the firm's advisory committee and introduced the Blue Ridge Golf Clubs, named after the region in Virginia where Snead was born. In 1939, Wilson achieved a major innovation in the design and manufacture of golf clubs with its ability to bond different layers and types of wood together to produce a criss-cross pattern that resulted in more power, better direction, and a longer period of use than previous designs. By the end of the decade, it was evident Wilson had managed its product development so well, and had marketed its items so successfully, that even through the worst years of the Great Depression the company not only survived but prospered.
A new dry over grip with excellent water absorption.KEY FEATURESMaterial: Nonwoven fabric + PUSize: 27 mm × 1,100 mmThickness: 0.55 mm
Introducing the Blade 100L V7.0! As the lightest model in the Blade family, this racket provides rising intermediates with a great entry point into the Blade franchise. In addition to giving you the traditional virtues of control and feel, this 285-gram racket packs some modern speed and spin. Compared to the Blade 98 16x19, the 100L is not only faster, but it also has a thicker, stiffer and livelier beam. The upshot is easier access to pace along with a crisper, more solid feeling stringbed. As with the other members of the Blade family, this stick benefits from FeelFlex technology which uses Wilson's proprietary Carbon Mapping to add torsional stability while also helping the racquet bend in ways that complement the explosive mechanics of the modern game. This racket also features a longer grip taper at the top of the handle, making it ideal for players with two-handed backhands. From the baseline, the Blade 100L V7.0 is a comfortably crisp point and shoot weapon. The near-even balance helps keep the racket steady against bigger hitters, and there are enough pace and spin available to play aggressive tennis. At the net, the Blade 100L draws a nice compromise between speed and stability. It comes around with decent speed to deliver an impressively solid feel for its weight class. The mass in the head not only makes it easier to volley against higher levels of pace, but it also helps when blocking back a big first serve. Intermediate players who want a user-friendly entry point into the control and feel of the Blade series should give this racket a serious look.
With the 2019 update to the Blade 98 16x19, Wilson doubles down on the outstanding feel that has come to define the Blade series. Like the previous generation, this racket combines a bold and elegant cosmetic with the same velvety paint finish that was originally launched with Federer's Pro Staff RF97 Autograph. Offering a slightly more headlight balance than previous generations, this update is designed to move a tad faster, but it still packs a swingweight north of 325-RDC, giving it plenty of plow-through and mass-based pop. Although this generation loses the Countervail technology, it packs a buttery 62RA stiffness.It also benefits from a technology called FeelFlex which uses Carbon Mapping to add torsional stability while also helping the racket bend in ways that compliment the explosive mechanics of the modern game. Wilson also adds a longer grip taper to the handle, resulting in easier hand positioning for players with two-handed backhands. From the baseline this stick feels solid against pace, and the feedback at ball impact is simply outstanding. Full swings deliver effective power, and the high level of control will help you target the lines. At net, the Blade 98 (16x19) comes around fast for a racket with a 325+ swingweight. Block volleys come off the racket with decent pop and there is enough touch to drop the ball on a dime. Players who can get this stick moving fast will have enough pace and spin on serve to force some weak replies, and you'll have just enough mass on service returns to comfortably redirect higher levels of pace. Ultimately, with some minor spec changes and some impressive updates to the feel, the Blade 98 (16x19) continues its reign as one of the best alternatives to the stiff modern player's racket.
With this update to the Blade 98 (18x20), Wilson adds another chapter to one of the game's classic player's rackets. Like the previous generation, this racket combines an elegant and minimalist cosmetic with the same velvety paint finish that was originally launched with Federer's Pro Staff RF97 Autograph. Although Wilson has given this racket a slightly more head light balance than its predecessor, it packs a higher swing weight, giving it decidedly more plow-through. In addition to its buttery 62RA flex, the Blade 98 (18x20) has FeelFlex technology, which uses Wilson's proprietary Carbon Mapping to add torsional stability while also helping the racket bend in ways that complement the modern swing path (think more spin and power). Players with two-handed backhands will appreciate the longer grip taper that Wilson has added to this generation of the Blade. On groundstrokes, this racket has the undeniably seductive feel that has attracted generations of Blade players. Although the 334-RDC swing weight is demanding, it pays dividends when redirecting the pace of a big-hitting opponent or attempting to drive the ball through the court. The 98 square inch head and tight 18x20 string pattern deliver a predictable and laser-like trajectory, making it very appealing to the big hitter who wants to keep more balls in play. On volleys, this racket does not get pushed around, and there is more than enough touch to drop the ball on a dime. Aggressive servers who can deploy this racket mass will be able to hit some well-targeted flat bombs with this one. On service returns, the high 330+ swing weight definitely helps keep the racket steady on blocks, chips, and counterpunches. Ultimately, with some impressive updates to the feel, this version of the Blade 98 (18x20) is a must demo for experienced players who want a traditional player racket with outstanding control and feel. The high plow-through is a nice bonus.
- Easy for use
- Absorb vibration
- High-quality of material
- Easy for use
- Absorb vibration
- High-quality of material
Pink is now fiery hot with the Wilson Burn 100LS tennis racquet.
This Wilson tennis racquet was given all the best of their Burn technology, but made lighter-weight and pink!
The 100LS was built with the aggressive-baseliner in mind.
-HEADSIZE: 95″ / 613cm2
-UNSTRUNG WEIGHT: 11.3oz / 320g
-UNSTRUNG BALANCE: 32cm / 7pts HL
-LENGTH: 27″ / 68.58 cm
-STRING PATTERN: 16 x 19