Wilson has been making a heavy push to clearly categorize their frame lines by play style they suit the most. For baseline focused players, the Burn line is Wilson’s new go to weapon. The Burn 100 LS takes the latest innovations like X2 shaft for extra handle length (perfect for two handed backhands), Spin Effect for extra spin and puts them into a lighter, easy to swing package compared to the standard Burn 100S. Here’s a more in depth look at how the racquet performs on the court.
The Burn 100LS is all about speed, spin and power from the back of the court. The light 10.5oz strung weight makes it easy to accelerate through the zone, even though the racquet is balanced closer to even. This allowed me to ratchet up the pace on the ball on both forehands and backhands. Against big hitters, I did miss the extra penetration and bite that the heavier version provides. I also found the string bed lively, with lots of energy return thanks to the stiff construction and Parallel Drilling tech. The 100 inch head offered a sizeable sweet spot, but I found the racquet to be a tad unforgiving on off center shots. The low weight made it a bit more difficult to hit slices as there just wasn’t enough mass to keep the ball down. The 18x16 Spin Effect string pattern was a step up in my mind compared to the previous model’s 16x15 pattern. This racquet could still produce explosive spin, but having the extra mains in the pattern gave me more confidence when attempting to flatten out balls. I also thought this model exhibited more directional control than its predecessor the Steam. I was able to hit to aggressive targets and could step into short balls with improved confidence.
Volleys & Serves
The Burn 100LS is not going to be mistaken for a precision instrument at the net, but it is capable of holding its own. The frame’s light and fast feel allowed me to get it into position quickly and I was rarely caught with it out of position. The racquet’s stiff construction gives it solid pop for finishing high volleys off with ease. On low balls, I thought the racquet had a tendency to float the ball a bit too much, most likely due to the weight. The extra mains in the 18x16 pattern provided a good level of control and I found I could manipulate depth on my volleys fairly well. The firm feel made it a bit more of a challenge for me to execute drop and touch volleys reliable, so I found myself looking to play very aggressively and finish the first high ball I could.
On serve the Burn 100LS provides ample pace and spin. The racquet moved through contact with speed, allowing me to put solid pace on the ball. The speed was present but again, this model lacks the heaviness of the models with more mass. I also struggled a bit with directional control on flat serves. I tended to play serves to the middle of the box as I liked a bit of confidence in my ability to go after tight spots. Spin serves were the standout when serving for me. The combination of light weight and open pattern yielded aggressive movement on both kick and slice serves. I used this to my advantage, consistently mixing the serves up to keep opponents guessing.
Baseline oriented frames tend to lack a bit in feel and the Burn followed this trend. I found the frame to play very firm, despite the fact that it has a slightly lower RA than the standard model. The frame provides a tremendous amount of energy return on contact, but I did not feel connected enough to play a lot of shots that require touch and feel. The racquet has a solid feel in the center, but was pretty raw in feedback on shots that were outside the sweet spot. Players with sensitive arms will need to choose strings carefully as they will need something softer that can still stand up to the more open Spin Effect string pattern.
Aggressive baseliners looking for high racquet head speed and developing juniors should enjoy this frame. It provides loads of power and spin off the ground and rewards aggressive play at the net. While the feel may not be for everyone, the Wilson Burn 100 LS is a strong option for players after a light frame that can unload from the back of the court and play offense on a consistent basis.
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.