Wilson Burn 100S Specs
Unstrung Weight:10.6oz/ 300g
Balance:33cm/ 4 pts HL
Unstrung Balance:32cm/ 7 pts HL
18 Mains / 16 Crosses
The Wilson Burn 100S is a hard racquet to review. Upon picking it up it had the feeling of a racquet I wasn’t going to get on with. That may seem a little dismissive, but it just felt odd.
The odd feeling didn’t really subside when striking the ball but after every minute of practice went by, it started to feel more and more comfortable until the realisation hit that this is a top racquet!
Weighing in at 300g unstrung, the Wilson Burn 100S is not too heavy, but as a result of the 327 swingweight, is certainly not short of power.
In addition to the power, the unique string pattern gave this racquet a surprising amount of control. I have rarely played with 18 x 16 string patterns and I could really feel the difference.
It may sound weird but as soon as you’d made racquet to ball contact, the ball was already halfway over the net, such was the power. But at the same time, you still felt fully in control of the shot.
The Wilson Burn 100S has a huge amount of stability and the racquet really doesn’t seem to move on impact. I felt as though the ball didn’t stay long on the racquet which would make sense as the racquet didn’t have a lot of flexibility.
Normally, the longer the ball stays on the strings, the easier it is to generate spin, but I found no real issue hitting spin with this racquet.
In addition to the natural stiffness of the racquet, you could also feel the countervail technology working to lessen the impact of each shot. This gave a truly clean strike, providing a lot of power, a surprising amount of control and easy spin. If you’re an aggressive baseliner, then give the Wilson Burn 100S racquet a try!
In terms of aesthetics, Wilson has once again gone with the minimalist paint design, as seen on the majority of their racquets at the moment. I wouldn’t say I’m in love with this paint job, especially not with the orange sides, but it works. Not every racket can be all black!
Groundstrokes – 9/10
This racquet was built for groundstrokes, especially hard consistent ones. The most striking aspect of the racquet is its stiffness, but after a couple of minutes hitting you realise its greatest asset is the easy power on the groundstrokes.
Rarely does a stiff racquet manage to offer great power and control whilst providing a very large sweet spot. I found this quite remarkable. The Burn 100S gives you a lot of leeway on where you contact the ball; obviously it feels the best when you hit it smack in the middle, but you can miss time it slightly without feeling a big difference.
In addition, the Burn 100S doesn’t stop you from hitting spin. I’ve tested many a stiff racquet that offers a lot of power but doesn’t offer anything in the way of spin before.
I’m generally not a fan of these racquets as I like to generate my own power on each shot by swinging freely, but this racquet certainly doesn’t stop you from swinging freely.
I felt supremely confident in hitting both my groundstrokes with a full swing without the worry of missing long, or completely losing control of it.
On my forehand side, I could generate easy spin with a higher flight path, or alternatively hit through the ball hard, flat and fast. I felt confident with my consistency on every type of rally shot.
It was a similar story on my backhand side, I could easily change the flight path of the ball no matter how I received it and felt supremely confident in my ability to hit strong rally shots consistently for a long time.
What was once again a refreshing discovery, was that I could really feel the countervail technology at work. If you’ve read my Wilson Blade 98 review, you’ll see I went off on tangent about the countervail technology which dampens the impact on your arm when hitting a tennis ball.
The reason I was so impressed was because the technology actually does what it says it does – an attribute I rarely come across when testing the latest marketing jargon of the top racket providers.
The fact the Wilson Blade 98 had a dampened feel on impact impressed me, but the fact you get the same feeling with this Wilson Burn 100S, given the stiffness of the racquet, was to me a real revelation.
As a result of the ‘easy on the arm’ power, plenty of control and easy top spin, I would most certainly recommend the Wilson Burn 100S to anyone playing from the baseline with a big swing.
Volleys – 6/10
With any racquet, you’re going to have one aspect better than the other. But with the Wilson Burn 100S, this is really emphasized. If you like to come to the net and finish points off or play a lot of doubles, I wouldn’t recommend this racquet.
The stability of the racquet and the large sweet spot along with the countervail technology, gave you a good ‘punch’ feeling on easy volleys. But when caught slightly out of position, or when trying to hit a slightly more challenging volley, this racquet wasn’t my best friend.
I first noticed the difficulty when approaching the net on my volley warm ups; Will hit a low ball to me which I had to hit on a half volley. It was slightly out to the right of me, so I had plenty of room to roll my wrist over the top of the ball to try and control it back deep to Will’s side of the court.
However, it just pinged off the strings and before I knew it the ball was looped up mid court at a perfect smashing height for any opponent.
If you were playing doubles with me with you at the net and I had been approaching the net off a serve, then you would have been ducking for cover!
The volleys continued to lack feel throughout my playtest which was a little disappointing after such an enjoyable start.
It wasn’t impossible to volley with and I did get used to it, it just didn’t give you the feedback one might expect from an all-round racket.
This leads me to believe this racket was specifically designed for the players who stay on the baseline at all costs, never venturing forwards. The groundstrokes are brilliant, the racquet gives you everything you need to hit consistent hard shot from the back of the court, but when you’re pushed out of position or up at the net, it lacks the feel to control the ball.
Serves – 7/10
The serves were definitely better than the volleys. I could pretty much hit any serve I wanted to consistently. But there was something missing.
Although my serves were going well, I was generating good power, I felt I had a lot of control, and I could mix up the spins, something was just slightly off.
I think it was due to the stiffness of the racquet combined with the countervail technology, which just took away a little too much feel and feedback on the racquet.
The best way I could explain it via the following… I could pick up this racket, hit 100 serves and give myself a 7/10 for each one, but none of the 100 would be an 8 or a 9 out of 10.
The other slight negative of this racquet was on my second serve. Although I could get reasonable pace and kick on it, it wasn’t quite enough to worry my opponent.
If you look at the points I played against Will using this racquet, you’ll see that on a number of occasions, Will took advantage of my second serve and either hit a straight winner or dominated the point from there on.
As you imagine, Will hitting my second serve for clean winners, doesn’t sit well with me and would probably be the biggest factor in my decision not to choose this racquet.
I firmly believe the second serve is a huge part of my game. I’m not the tallest tennis player and don’t have the biggest first serve so it’s important to have confidence in my second.
Without the ability to set the point up with my second serve or have the confidence to push my opponent off the court with it, I’m instantly on the back foot. Furthermore, this can easily create a lack of confidence that creates double faults.
Conclusion – 8/10
This racquet is made for one thing, and that’s hitting groundstrokes all day! I would be very tempted to buy the racket for that reason alone.
But when you find yourself in a match scenario, the slight weaknesses of this racquet start to appear. For me, the weaknesses are on the volleys and on the serve, which result from the slight lack of feel and feedback the Wilson Burn 100S gives you.
Depending on what you want from a racquet, this may give you the perfect combination, or it might give you a disaster combination.
Given I’m a solid baseline player, and struggle slightly on the serve and volleys, I wouldn’t want to purchase this racquet because it further weakens my weaknesses without really adding a lot to my weapons.
However, if you’re a player with a huge serve and good hands at the net, but need a little help on your groundstrokes, this could well be the racquet for you.
Alternatively, you may want to have groundstrokes like Djokovic and don’t care one hoot about your serve or volleys; in which case give this racquet a go!
My overriding feeling about the Wilson Burn 100S is that it’s a very impressive racket, but instead of a racket that gives me 7.5 out of 10 every match, I want a racquet that’ll give me a 9 or a 10 out of 10 every now and then.
Review by: Lawrence “Larry” Palmer