A few months ago, Wilson revealed details on the upcoming Wilson Burn FST. Now, it’s here. While it carries the same name as the Wilson Burn racket reviewed by yours truly about a year ago, the new FST (fast speed technology) frame goes further. The new models come in three variants, the Burn FST 99S, Burn FST 99, and Burn FST 95.
The review unit I was given by Wilson was the Burn FST 99S, weighing about 11.1 ounces strung, with a pleasing balance, 12 points headlight unstrung, 9 points headlight strung. For comparisons to the Burn 100S I reviewed a year ago, they stop at distinctions in power level. The new Burn FST 99S offers decent power, but is much more of a control oriented racket. Contributing factors include the thinner 19.5mm beam and 18 x 17 string pattern.
The Burn FST 99S has great maneuverability for those with full strokes and fast swings. It was quite easy on the arm, somewhat similar to the feeling of the 2015 Wilson Blade 98S, but better to my tastes with the 9 points headlight balance. Blocking back powerful groundstrokes and even returning them with interest started to become routine about thirty minutes into my play-test. At a solid 11.1 ounces with a low swingweight, the frame is firm at handling any shot.
Control may be the most overlooked feature of the new Burn FST 99S. Serving felt smooth and precise, easy to accelerate up and through delivery, particularly on kick serves. The carbon fiber beam gives plenty of pop as well. Players with two-handed backhands will really enjoy the two sizes of X2 Ergo handle inserts that come with the Burn FST. These are optional, but are appealing to every modern baseline player.
At the end of my 90 minute play-test, I was left most impressed with the feel at net, despite this being tailor made for today’s generation of fast, agile baseline players. Volleys felt crisp, buttery actually, as tennis players know the adjective to be. Again, the headlight balance really shined in the playability of the new Burn FST 99S. With a few models to choose from, the Burn FST line is an excellent frame to make your racket of choice.