Wilson’s Clash technology combination of StableSmart and FreeFlex have brought something new to the racquet industry. The Clash racquets are uniquely flexible, but also offer greater stability than any carbon fiber racquet on the market. New to the family is the Clash 108 which will change how we think of oversize racquets. As a fan of oversize racquets, I was really pumped to take the Clash 108 to the courts for a play test.
FreeFlex is on full display from the back of the court. The racquet is incredibly mobile, yet stable for it being only 10.5 ounces strung. The entire hitting surface seems to be the sweet spot as even off-center shots maintained decent depth and pace. Kudos to Wilson for extending the Clash 108 to a 27.25 inch length. It provides a subtle bump in power and spin-potential without making the frame a rocket launcher. Though Wilson recommends lower tensions on the Clash racquets, I think the best tension on the 108 is a little bit tighter especially if you aren’t used to an oversize racquet head. My biggest surprise from the baseline was how controlled the Clash 108 felt. I didn’t launch random shots into the back fence like I thought I would, and when I did miss, it was easy to feel what my mistake was and correct it.
The forgiveness and comfort factors were on full display when hitting volleys. While I would eventually add some weighted tape for more stability against bigger hitters, there is enough stability in stock form for any volley in the text book. While the extra quarter inch helped me reach some difficult stretch volleys, the racquet remained very maneuverable when I had to react quickly.
Serves & Overheads
The Clash 108 was an easy racquet to serve with. I could whip the racquet head through the ball to dial up the pace, but I could also snap the racquet up the back of the ball to get big time kick on second serves. The 108 made the service box seem wider and I was able to find angles that are usually foreign to me. Regardless of swing speed, the Clash 108 produces a forgiving and consistently comfortable feel on serves. Additionally the 108 produced a certain boldness in me when a lob was thrown up. I was going after overheads with renewed confidence and could end points with ease. I felt like I had much better court coverage and I was more difficult to lob, due in no small part to the extra length and oversize head. Those with a tender wrist, elbow, or shoulder will be glad to know the Clash 108 was super arm-friendly throughout the entire play test.
With the Clash 108, Wilson created an accessible, adaptable oversize racquet. The frame can suite slow, steady strokes, as well as faster swings. So many of us have sworn off oversize racquets in favor of the 98-100 head sizes, but the Clash 108 makes “oversize cool again”. And for a slightly longer frame, the 108 maintains outstanding flex and arm comfort.
Note: Playtest racquet was strung with LXN ALU Power Feel 1.20 at 55 pounds.
About the Reviewer: Sam Jones currently works at Tennis Express on the Content Marketing team. He previously played at Southwestern University, taught tennis for 10+ years and earned his USRSA Master Racquet Technician Certification in 2011. He is an active NTRP 5.0 League and Tournament player.