Wilson Shift Review and Playtest


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Through the years, tennis racket technology has evolved massively, and the Wilson brand has always been at the forefront of innovation. On July 14th, they released the latest model on their racket range, called the ‘Shift”. As expected, the launch gathered massive attention, while the brand representatives claimed that they had made new updates on design, technology, and performance, bringing a whole new concept for the modern player.

WWilson Shift 99 V1 tennis racket review
Wilson Shift 99 V1
Good tennis racket for power and spin

Groundstrokes: 8.6

Volleys: 8.3

Serve: 8.6

Returns: 8.3


I am not the one to be easily persuaded by bold marketing campaigns, but curiosity got the best of me, and this racket I just had to try. Well, I had a few weeks to find out what all the buzz is about by using Wilson Shift during my practice sessions and games. I have some strong opinions about it, so keep scrolling to find out how this racket performed and if it’s worth the hype. Must mention that I did receive this product as a gift from Willson – no strings attached, in exchange for my playtest results. However, this Wilson Shift review is 100% honest, without any influence.

Wilson Shift V1 Specifications

The sleek design was the first thing that caught my eye right off the bat. Wilson Shift 99 racket has a classic shape but with a touch of elegance and a pearlescent finish. It commands attention without being over the top, which I found flattering. This racket features a 99 sq. in head which is relatively large, with an in-between 16×20 string pattern. This choice perfectly balances power and control while also helping to enhance spin. 

wilson shift tennis racket review specs

When strung, it weighs 11.15 ounces or 316 grams which is quite hefty, even for seasoned players. However, the frame does a great job of providing stability and precision with each shot while still being reasonably easy to maneuver. The brand has integrated Arc 3D technology for the shaft to add spin potential and increase lateral bending. This creates a trampoline effect at first contact for more depth, speed, and flexibility.

wilson shift 99 tennis racket review

The thick beam and the moderate stiffness of the racket provide versatility all across the court and a crispy feeling. I can confidently say that Wilson Shift v1 has the potential to become a high-end racket due to enhanced design, innovative technology, and quality materials.


  • Head size: 99 sq. in / 639 sq. cm
  • Weight (strung): 11.15 oz / 316 grams 
  • Length: 27 inch / 68.58 cm 
  • Balance: 6 pt HL 
  • Swingweight: 319
  • Stiffness: 68 RA
  • Beamwidth: 23.5 mm
  • Composition: Graphite 
  • String Pattern: 16 mains / 20 crosses 

Groundstrokes – Score: 8.6

At groundstrokes, Wilson Shift delivered a well-rounded performance. What stood out the most was the unique, crispy touch which made the racket feel lively and responsive. The ample weight and the relatively large head provided a good amount of power for strokes and full swing without feeling overbearing. It provides a good sense of control as well, allowing the player to adapt faster and be more strategic for technical advantage. 

wilson shift tennis racket review groundstroke

One thing is for sure; this racket can effortlessly generate a lot of spins if that’s what you want. This allowed me to be more aggressive and bounce higher with topspin shots and slices in particular, which helped me win some precious points. Due to the thicker beam, Wilson Shift v1 felt solid and stable and had minimal twist and bend at contact. It was easy to establish a good pace and land the ball exactly where I wanted to every single time. Safe to say that it gave me a much-appreciated confidence boost and helped me remain consistent throughout the match. 

wilson shift tennis racket review groundstroke clay court

The enhanced flexibility of the racket also paid off by increasing dwell time and adding a layer of extra comfort which came as a nice surprise. However, I must warn you that the frame is not as forgiving and has a considerably low margin of error. While it is suitable for a wide range of players, beginners should rather look for other options instead, as beginner’s tennis rackets offer more forgiveness and a larger sweet spot.

Volleys – Score: 8.3

I had mixed feelings for Wilson Shift regarding its performance up on the net. Don’t get me wrong, it does the job just fine, but with the risk of being called uptight, I would say that it doesn’t meet all expectations. The frame was quite stiff for my likening, and the crispy feel which I loved back at the baseline, came off as muted when close to the net. Repeatedly, I found myself wishing for some added weight to control swings and handle powerful shots at close range better. 

wilson shift tennis racket review volleys clay court

With all of this being said, Wilson Shift still did a good job at the net. The new integrated technology prevents the bending of the frame during impact, which came in very handy when dispatching volleys. The enhanced maneuverability made the racket very responsive and enabled me to switch positions quickly. It was easy to redirect pace and generate backspin for slice volleys for some extra control and accuracy. 

wilson shift tennis racket review volleys

For those who have already mastered the timing, adding side spin would work wonders at closing points, as it creates an opening on the courts depending on where the opponent is positioned. This might be a struggle for some, but as I mentioned above, this Wilson tennis racket works well with experienced players. 

Serve – Score: 8.6

At serves, Wilson Shift v1 tennis racket did everything right, leaving no place for complaints. The ample weight and the 99 sq. in head provided with a striking balance of the right amount of power and spin for lethal serves. The racket was very reliable for well-executed second serves too, with less risk of double faults while allowing me to put extra pressure on my opponent. 

wilson shift tennis racket review serve

Kick serves and slice serves were my favorite for forced errors; help me close points fast. The racket offered an excellent sense of control and stability, making it easy to hit targets with accuracy while adding more depth to the ball. Establishing good consistency came naturally due to the combination of power and control. The frame is relatively easy to maneuver, which helps enormously for smooth transitions, and facilitates serve-and-volley strategy motions. 

wilson shift tennis racket review serve clay court

What I loved the most about the racket was that during serves, it allowed me to hit a wide variety of shots, which made my game more unpredictable and left the opponent guessing. While this racket doesn’t have the largest sweet spot, it certainly felt nice as long as you don’t miss the off-center shots.

Returns – Score: 8.3 

In return, the Wilson Shift tennis racket delivered a good and satisfying performance. The high spin potential of the racket was a true advantage on the court, allowing me to adapt to various shots and have better control of the ball. It can generate a generous amount of power and enough stability to help the player be more aggressive and to prevent the frame from being pushed around. 

wilson shift tennis racket review returns

The blend of raw speed and easy maneuverability made the response and counterattack much easier than I expected. More than once, I was able to disrupt my opponent’s timing, forcing errors and closing off points.

The new technological updates and the thick beam helped me to connect almost immediately with the racket and establish a good, flowing rhythm. Forehand and backhand slices were my favorites during return, especially when blocking and getting defensive. The crispy feel definitely stood out, as it provided a better reaction and prediction of the ball’s trajectory or pace. 

wilson shift 99 pro tennis racket review return

There were definitely times when I wished for some more mass to increase momentum for full swings or add just a little more depth, but nothing that I couldn’t pretty much ignore. Overall, returns were one of the strongest points of this racket, which can be a perfect match for players who have an aggressive approach and strong footwork. 

Overall – Score: 8.43

Overall, the Wilson Shift v1 tennis racket lived up to the high expectations, and it makes a great new addition to the brand. All the new technological enhancements and updates in design have paid off. This frame has interesting changes from the previous Wilson racket line, as it aims to fill in a market gap that has just been ignored for a long time.

wilson shift 99 pro tennis racket review

The unusual 99 sq. in head size and ample weight generate a distinctive blend between spin, power, control, and maneuverability. Usually, these features come at the expense of each other, so the fact that Wilson managed to find the perfect balance is a clear sign that they are listening to their clients and, once again, are bringing innovation to the game. 

Wilson Shift offers to descend stability, accurate shots, and a good deal of comfort, as well. The racket works well all across the court, but it truly shines at the baseline during serves and groundstrokes. The crispy feeling of the frame and the opportunity to hit at various shots and slices made it incredibly easy to connect and set a good rhythm. This is a racket fit for intermediate to advanced players who are seeking turbo-speed and spin in their game but also aim for more forgiveness and a slightly higher margin of errors. 

Comparison with Other Wilson Rackets 

One can only fully understand the new changes and innovations of Wilson Shifts when comparing it with other models of the Wilson racket brand. Wilson is well regarded across the globe for its hugely popular rackets, known for their high performances and quality. As mentioned above, their latest launch is aimed at a specific demographic of players that are looking for certain features and performance. So before making an impulsive purchase, make sure you are well informed about the difference between their various options.

Wilson Shift vs. Blade

Wilson Blade is one of the most recognized and well-established racket lines of the brand. They are versatile, control-oriented, and known for delivering incredibly high performances. 

The main differences between Wilson Shift and Wilson Blade lie in their design, technical specifications, and emphasis on control and power. The Shift rackets have a larger and surprisingly tenser bed string that aims to produce primarily topspin. It balances power and comfort at the expense of losing some control. 

On the contrary, Blades are celebrated for their incredible control and accurate shots. They offer less control and are less forgiving or comfortable than a Shift frame. Blade rackets are mostly suitable for advanced players who prioritize control, feel, and precision in their game. 


  • Head size: 97 to 104  sq. in
  • Length:27 inch / 68.58 cm 
  • Weight: 10.8 to 12 oz / 305 to 340 grams 
  • String pattern: 18×20 or 16×19 

Wilson Shift vs. Clash 

The Clash series is a line of rackets famous for their flexible frames and the blend of control and power they provide. All of the models range in mid-size dimensions and have the unique ‘FreeFlex” technology integrated into them to allow a better bite of the ball. The increased dwelling time offers more forgiveness and comfort too. While in many ways they seem similar, the main difference between Wilson Shift and Clash is in their design. Shift frames spin and controllable power to cater to a specific target group of experienced players. They achieve that by unique changes in shape and design, as well as specific adjustments. 

Clash, on the other hand, is the traditional twinner racket that offers a good blend of all the right features, such as power, spin, control, and comfort—still confused? In simple, more forward words, Clash rackets deliver good but average performance without excelling at any of their features. The Wilson Shift might have similar sizes but are incredible at delivering spin and speed. 


  • Head size: 98 to 100 sq. in
  • Length: 27 inch / 68.58 cm 
  • Weight: 10.4 oz to 11.1 oz / 295 to 315 grams
  • String pattern: 16×19 

Wilson Shift vs. Pro Staff

Wilson Pro Staff is the most iconic and recognizable racket line on the market, endorsed by legendary players like Serena Williams and Roger Federer. These frames are strictly oriented towards control and stability, as they are suitable for professional players.

Wilson Pro Staff 97 v13 tennis racket review
Wilson Pro Staff RF97 v13
Best tennis racket for advanced players

Groundstrokes: 8.7

Volleys: 8.8

Serve: 8.6

Returns: 8.9


Usually, the weight, head size, and other technicalities are adjusted according to individual requirements, so they don’t have a set range of specifics. The mass production of the Pro Staff rackets is very close to the actual frames used by the tennis stars. The main difference with the Shift is the target group of players and design. Pro Staff is suitable for more traditional and advanced players, while Wilson Shift covers a wider range of skill sets and is made for power and spin.


  • Head Size: 85 to 105 sq. in
  • Length: 27 inch / 68.58 cm 
  • Weight: 10.2 to 12.2 oz / 305 to 345 grams 
  • String pattern: 18×20 or 16×19 


Every time Wilson launches a new racket, the anticipation and expectations are ridiculously high. Keeping up with their own impossible standards must be a huge pressure for the brand, but once again, they have proved that they are a leader in the industry.

WWilson Shift 99 V1 tennis racket review
Wilson Shift 99 V1
Good tennis racket for power and spin

Groundstrokes: 8.6

Volleys: 8.3

Serve: 8.6

Returns: 8.3


Wilson Shift 99 v1 makes a great addition to their wide range of racket lines, adding what will be a great chapter for the Wilson legacy. What’s most impressive is the constant technological improvements and design innovation, which are becoming a cornerstone of the evolution of tennis. 

The demo model, Wilson Labs Shift, came with a QR code, which players used to give direct feedback on the racket’s performance. Wilson brand used those feedback to develop and lunch the Wilson Shift 99 v1. I can only assume that this is the first version of this line, and the brand is still developing and working to raise the bar further. Whatever the case might be, I applaud the commitment and dedication. As I have said before, well done, Wilson, well done! 


Before you make your decision to purchase the Wilson Shift 99 v1 or 99 Pro v1 tennis racket, you might have some lingering questions that need answering. Take a look below for helpful responses to commonly asked inquiries.

Q: Is the Wilson shift arm friendly?

The Wilson Shift 99 v1 and Pro v1 rackets offer enhanced spin, power control, and comfort. However, they are not specifically designed to be arm-friendly rackets. It’s true that they offer enhanced flexibility and added comfort compared to older models nut the frame of the Wilson Shift is quite stiff and does not offer as much flexibility or forgiveness as some other more arm-friendly options. It is important to note however that this stiffness allows for a higher level of precision when striking shots – something that many experienced players will find highly beneficial even if it could cause discomfort in those with sensitive arms.

Q: What is the difference between Wilson Shift 99 vs Pro v1?

The main differences between the Wilson Shift 99 and Shift Pro v1 rackets lie in their weight, swingweight, and string pattern. The Shift 99 300 is lighter, easier to maneuver, and offers more power and faster racket head speeds for increased topspin. On the other hand, the Shift 99 Pro 315 is heavier, providing more stability and a stiffer stringbed for better control. These differences cater to different player levels, with the Shift 99 300 targeting intermediate players seeking accessible control, while the Shift 99 Pro 315 is designed for strong intermediate to advanced players who can handle a heavier frame. The Wilson Shift 99 300 may experience quicker string breakage compared to the Shift 99 Pro 315.

Q: What is the recommended string tension for the Wilson Shift tennis racket?

The recommended string tension for the Wilson Shift tennis racket varies based on the player’s skill level. For beginners, the recommended tension is 44 – 45 lbs (20 – 20.5 kg). Intermediate players should aim for a tension of 46 – 47 lbs (21 – 21.5 kg), while advanced players should consider a tension of 48-49lbs (21.75 – 22 kg). It’s important to note that these are general recommendations, and players may have personal preferences that differ from these guidelines. 

Q: What string to use with Wilson Shift 99 Pro v1?

The Wilson Shift 99 Pro v1 is an excellent racket for strong intermediate to advanced players, and it should be strung with a durable multifilament string. Popular choices include the Luxilon Savage Black 16L or Gut’s Energy 17. As always, personal preference will play a role in choosing the right string, so testing different strings may be beneficial in finding the perfect setup.

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I am Mario, a tennis player passionate about encouraging others to join the sport.

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