Wilson takes aim at players who want to set the court on fire with the introduction of their new Burn FST line of racquets. Separate from the Burn line introduced last year, the FST frames utilize a host of new technology. Each models uses Fast Speed Technology, an octagonal frame shape designed for maximum swing speed. They are also constructed with High Performance Carbon Fiber for the necessary stiffness to provide explosive power. The most unique feature is the X2 Ergo handle system. It provides a set of inserts designed to maximize the top hand’s leverage for players with two handed backhands. With so much new technology on hand, Wilson was sure to roll out multiple variations in the Burn FST line, all in a stealthy blacked out cosmetic, so that players of any type can find the frame best for their game.
Players who want the classic precision and heft of Wilson’s departed Six One line will find a natural home with the new Burn FST 95. The 95 inch head provides exceptional precision and directional accuracy from anywhere on court. The 11.8oz strung weight and firm construction provide enough power to stay competitive from the baseline without sacrificing the control focus of the frame. The headlight balance gives the racquet excellent maneuverability at net and the mass makes quick work of aggressive volleys. The 16×19 pattern has solid access to spin, allowing players to go from shots with safe margins to flattening out short balls aggressively. The Burn FST 95 offers an excellent mix of spin, power and control that will allow aggressive players to transition between baseline slugging and rapid fire net play with ease.
Hyper aggressive baseliners who want to make the occasional venture to the net have a strong ally with the Burn FST 99. The 99 inch head has a solid sweet spot and a slightly low powered, control oriented response. The racquet is incredibly fast swinging and players will have no problem generating additional pace and spin by ratcheting up their racquet head speed. At 11.5oz strung, it has enough mass to create solid shot depth and absorb pace from big hitting opponents. The mid level weight and head light balance gives the 99 exceptional reflexes at net and the racquet has enough mass to drive volleys through the court. The tighter 18×19 pattern of the 99 doesn’t yield as much spin as other models but it excels at flattening out the ball and hitting aggressive targets with accuracy. The FST 99 rewards players who strike first and can follow in behind aggressively hit shots.
For the player who wants to control the court with spin production, the Burn FST 99S is the best choice in the line. It shares the same forgiving yet maneuverable 99 inch head size. At 11oz strung, this model is the fastest swinging of the family allowing developing players to create solid head speed with easy. More advanced players will also find plenty of room to customize the specs to their liking. The reduced weight made the 99S ultra maneuverable at net but it lacks a bit of the finishing power of the heavier models. The 18×17 Spin Effect pattern offers a noticeable increase in spin without sacrificing control like some of the earlier 16×15 Wilson models. Players will have no problem creating a wide variety of heights and action on the ball to keep opponents off balance.
A couple of other important notes need to be made on the Burn FST family as a whole. Despite their fairly high stiffness rating, they play with an exceptional muted and comfortable feel. The frames do an impressive job of minimizing vibration on contact, resulting in a very dampened response. Secondly, the X2 Ergo system is an outstanding innovation. The engagement of the top hand on two handed back hands is instantly noticeable and creates great leverage for driving the ball through the court off that wing. The new Burn FST line is an impressive addition to the already potent Wilson lineup. The unique feel and innovations should appeal to a wide variety of players and styles. The 95, 99 and 99S all blend control with modern touches of spin and power in packages that can play from anywhere on court and look good doing it.
About the Reviewer: Matt Locke currently serves as the Junior Programs & Development Coordinator for USTA-Idaho and is an active USTA League and Tournament player.