Next Generation of Pro Staff is Here; Pro Staff RF 97 Review

Discussion in 'Racquets' started by drakulie, Aug 4, 2014.

  1. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

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    ah man, you definitely should of come over. would of been great to meet you. Next year you have to say hello. It's always nice to meet people from the boards.
     
  2. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

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    post a review!!!! Come on!!! Everyone has already made up their minds about the paint job,,,,,,, and I will tell you that nearly everyone I saw holding the frame at the tent in cincy, was raving about how nice the racquet looks. Very positive feedback. Now we need reviews of how they feel the racquet hits.
     
  3. 125 square inch

    125 square inch Banned

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    Actually...........lol.....I love this debate.

    (Used to be 3.0, 3.5, 4.0. Recently won enough tournaments, ranking no longer allow me to do 4.0s....so I dunno what category I should be. 4.0-4.5?)

    The old school of thought - use a tweener to develop your game. Actually I started playing tennis in 2010 and stuck with ps 85. Peeps tell me I was crazy. You can't power it, muscle it, crank it without developing any swings. That was my training racket. 2 years later moved on to ps 90s. Now I am using a tweener-APD. Lol, with the actual swing dynamics honed from using a smaller head heavy racket, APD is easy as cake, allows me to hit shots in ways ps could never have.

    Those haven't try this don't knock it-use a racket so heavy that would hurt you to muscle your shots. You will be amazed how fast you learn and keep the habit of swinging the racket. That's where true power come from -torque and swing not some hairy ape-like pecs.

    Modern swing dynamics. (Just go watch junior tourneys. Some preteens can out hit most club players.)
     
  4. macguyvur

    macguyvur New User

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    I for one am very interested in the 315g version, and in people's play-test thoughts about it. Maybe I'll create a new thread for it...
     
  5. 125 square inch

    125 square inch Banned

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    Don't know if anyone notice this but ferrer's got some bandages under his left wrist band. Dare I say injury?

    All the pros that muscle the ball are beginning to experience wear and tear faster than old man FED who swings the ball. (Nadal, Novak, Delpo, Ferrer, Raonic, Murray, Nishikori. ). Just a thought.
     
  6. Bartelby

    Bartelby G.O.A.T.

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    Didn't he switch to a smaller yet more powerful racquet for clay?


     
  7. TooManyRacquets

    TooManyRacquets New User

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    [​IMG]
     
  8. syke

    syke Professional

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    That would be nice... We will finally know who Fedace really is.
     
  9. SpinToWin

    SpinToWin G.O.A.T.

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    Oh now we're talking! My "One"der pack will show you :lol:
     
  10. SpinToWin

    SpinToWin G.O.A.T.

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    On a more serious note, I hope somebody can answer a question regarding the Pro Staff 97LS (nobody else seems to have noticed it yet). In TW's description for the racquet, the composition is not Braided Graphite/Kevlar, but something else completely. Is this true and if yes why has this been done so/why is this considered a Pro Staff?
     
  11. dje31

    dje31 Semi-Pro

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    Clearly it's Wilson's version of the Prestige S. You can see the posts coming a mile away:

    "How DARE they call this a ProStaff?! They've sullied the name and reputation of 'ProStaff!' I'm shocked, offended, and appalled by its very existence! I must blog about it, immediately and incessantly!"

    Then they'll put Graphene in it for the next rev...
     
  12. Joonas

    Joonas Rookie

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    ^^
    :lol::lol::lol::lol:
     
  13. Geoff

    Geoff Professional

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    Hi Drakulie

    Well said! In my opinion the advent of larger racquets in the late 70's has made tennis easier to pick up initially. The majority of tennis players is still in the 2.5-3.5 range. The members of this message board I would think skew much greater than that average plus are very educated on equipment trends and upcoming releases. All that being said the playing styles of those that fit in the average range have not changed much from the wooden racquet days to now. When oversize racquets were first released they weighed the same as the standard size racquets. Tennis as we all know is a highly skilled physically demanding game that takes countless hours of practice and repetition to master. Restating Drakulie's comments, whatever racquet you feel gives you the most pleasure when playing is the right racquet for you. Unfortunately there is no substitute for hard work and perseverance. I wish there was a magical combination of racquets, string and tension! Good players play well no matter what the racquet and set up. A case in point is when I witnessed BHBH (across the net on the receiving side) hitting just as well with a T2000.
     
  14. Power Player

    Power Player G.O.A.T.

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    My only point was the the Federer racquet is one of the heaviest sticks available for purchase, and as a result I believe most players will be buying the 315.
     
  15. maxpotapov

    maxpotapov Hall of Fame

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    What if one replaces stock leather grip with some lightweight synthetic?
    Then static weight would be closer to 315 version + leather grip + overgrip.
    Knowing Wilson's QC, the weight savings could be extra 5-10 grams, if we call TW racquet matching service.
     
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2014
  16. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

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    not knocking on you. Its already obvious that you are correct in that the frame is heavy when compared to nearly every frame on market. I also agree that the lighter version will definitely be appealing to a much larger range of players. I just hope this thread doesn't become one of those stupid threads where NTRP and racquet choice is the dominant theme.
     
  17. Power Player

    Power Player G.O.A.T.

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    Agree. I hope so as well. Some people get pretty serious about this stuff though..lol.

    Oh well, we are twiddling our thumbs until this frame starts popping up for demo around our areas.

    I may just preorder a 315 from TW and go for it. If for some reason I don't like it, ill send back.

    Interesting that another site measured the RA at 64 for both the sig and regular. I am guessing they are in error.
     
  18. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    Weird that they didn't make a lighter model with a regular 16x19 pattern. The regular PS97 (315 g model) is still an advanced player's racquet IMO. The only model most rec players might be interested in is the 97LS, but its a 18x16. What if you dont want a SPIN pattern? They need an update for the PS100L, with a thicker beam. The specs on that racquet with a 19mm beam makes no sense to me.

    I guess Wilson doesn't think that a lot of rec players would be interested in using Roger's new paintjob? Kind of a strange marketing choice?
     
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2014
  19. Mickael122

    Mickael122 New User

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    @Drakulie @Peterfig Since you guys are basically the only one to have hit with hit, how would you qualify the swing speed compared to PS 85 and 90 ? I own both, but due to knee injury tried to switch but hated the PS 95 because among other things, I had the feeling the swing was really slow compared to what I'm used to.
     
  20. Mickael122

    Mickael122 New User

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    hit with it* sorry I don't know how to edit
     
  21. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    I couldn't agree more, Geoff!

    IMO, unless you depend on winning tennis matches to put food on the table, one shouldn't be so obsessed with just winning. Tennis is supposed to be fun. So you should use whatever racquet gives you the most pleasure when you hit the ball and play.

    If I'm using a pleasurable racquet, I have just as much fun if I win or if I lose. However, if I'm using a racquet that I don't like, I don't enjoy myself whether I win or lose.
     
  22. kaiser

    kaiser Semi-Pro

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    I fully agree with the previous posters. I will definitely demo the PS RF 97 when it comes available, might provide an interesting whippy alternative to my beloved 4D200Ts... :twisted:
     
  23. Say Chi Sin Lo

    Say Chi Sin Lo Legend

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    Second this request too. PS 6.0 85 here but I feel like the switch out of my old faithful is inevitable.

    I have no problems reverting back to my BLX90, or maybe even the newest and sadly, final generation of PS 90 since people say it's the closest of all Tour/Pro Staff 90 to the PS 6.0 85.

    But I'm interested in how this new PS RF97 compares, especially since it abandoned the box beam.
     
  24. Top Jimmy

    Top Jimmy Semi-Pro

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    Yep, I was thinking the same. I played two summers of tournaments with the 4d200 Tour and I would have dead arm at the end of each tournament. Mine weighed in at 12.8oz and i would say at best it was 4-5 pts headlight.

    So maybe 12.6 at 9 pts hl would be something fantastic though I'm thinking the regular version with an over grip and dampener weighing about 11.8 might end up being the better bet.
     
  25. Fed Kennedy

    Fed Kennedy Hall of Fame

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    I think rec players will be buying the autograph in droves regardless of their level.
     
  26. Sander001

    Sander001 Hall of Fame

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    Ideal racquet weights for players aren't linear. I think beginners have an easier time with a heavy racquet as it slows down their swing and gives them a solid hit and good control. More importantly, they'll be forced to learn proper form due to biomechanics.

    As players get better, they can subtract weight and substitute with racquet head speed. But then the next step is combining both racquet head speed with extra mass.

    I remember some years ago I was teaching a girlfriend to play and she picked up my Prestige to try and said it was awesome. She hit so much better than before.

    Conclusion: Would not hesitate to give the RF97 to a beginner.
     
  27. osutennis24

    osutennis24 Rookie

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    question, I'm still new to the racquet sepcs and balance, and all that fun stuff.

    If I find the racquet to be too heavy in the handle, could I take off the leather grip and just put on some other replacement grip that should lower the weight?

    And would it make it all that big of a difference? Thx
     
  28. henryshli

    henryshli Semi-Pro

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    I understand that the autograph has Federer's setup printed somewhere on the racket, i.e. string types and tension and also the over grip. But if we slap on the wilson pro over grip on top of the stock leather grip wouldn't that move the balance and weight enough to deviate from Federer's setup markedly?
     
  29. Fed Kennedy

    Fed Kennedy Hall of Fame

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    It's a risk you've got to be prepared to take...that is if you are prepared to dance in the footprints of GOAThood. Your call.
     
  30. PeterFig

    PeterFig Professional

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    Federer's setup is a leather grip with a Wilson Pro Overgrip .... so adding an overgrip will add to the weight near the handle, but will not 'deviate' from Federer's setup as that is his setup.
     
  31. henryshli

    henryshli Semi-Pro

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    Ah that's good to know, thanks didn't know that. Will definitely get an autograph for the Federer feel and the 315g to play club matches.
     
  32. PeterFig

    PeterFig Professional

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    Here is Fed's string / grip setup from the RF97 frame:

    [​IMG]

    Being a bit of a fan I've strung my RF97 to those specs :) :)
    I've been stringing my PS90's with the same strings but about 7-8lbs lighter and really enjoyed that combination, however with this more powerful RF97 frame I think the increase in tension suits it well.
     
  33. PeterFig

    PeterFig Professional

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    Thanks! Nice to hear. Designs is such a personal / subjective thing, but it's nice to hear that overall it's well received.

    Funny enough, when the last few generations of the Pro Staff were release a lot of people were posting their dislike of the gold... but I've now read a number of posters saying that they would like to see some gold on this new Pro Staff! :)

    In my profession as a designer I'm very used to all types of feedback to my designs. I'm aware personal tastes play a role and I'm not at all offended or taken back by any negative feedback at all. Design is subjective. Prime example: a lot people bough Ed Hardy clothing at one point. :) :) :)

    As for a review - I'll try to find some time in the next few days to write up something somewhat comprehensive.
     
  34. aimr75

    aimr75 Hall of Fame

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    ^ Peter, can't recall if you mentioned it, but have you hit with the other frames too?
     
  35. PeterFig

    PeterFig Professional

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    I haven't had a chance to yet - no. I'm looking forward to though - especially the Pro Staff 97. Hope to try it in the next few weeks - just been a bit busy with work.

    The past year I've played about 50/50 with either the Pro Staff 90 or 95S - with these new frames I'm going to switch to either the RF97 or 97 ... or actually most likely have both in the bag and mix it up a bit depending on how I feel.

    I've been lucky enough to have played with a lot of different racquets and setups (including lots of different strings) lately so it's become easier for me to just play with whatever racquet & string combo happens to be in my bag.
     
  36. NickH

    NickH Rookie

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    Hey Peter, great job on the RF 97! I've just preordered mine today in the UK.

    Having never set it up exactly like Fed himself, how durable would you say this string set up is? In a good month, I'll play around 24-30 hours per week.

    I had a set up last year that seemed to last about a week! It got quite expensive.......
     
  37. Geoff

    Geoff Professional

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    Hi Peter

    Just curious, did you design the new bag as well? Looking forward to your reviews and other informative posts. The Wilson people we met this weekend were great!
     
  38. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    I am definitely one of the people that dislikes gold. Just so gaudy and garish.
     
  39. SpinToWin

    SpinToWin G.O.A.T.

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    about 4 hours a day!?!?! Chill man!
     
  40. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

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    I did my RDC as demonstrated in the video and got a 68. TW did as well. I also tried it on the RDC at my work and again got a 68. (all strung specs).

    I'm also looking forward to hitting with the 315 as well. Should be a nice stick.


    Michael, you could edit your posts once you've reached 50 posts.

    As for your question, I feel the 85 is the easiest to get around. For some reason, I just always feel like I know where the head of the frame is with that racquet, and it gets thru contact very easily. As for the 90's, I think this frame may be just as easy, if not easier to get around the contact zone. Like you, I never warmed up to the PS95, but for different reasons. Just felt it was a bit sloppy feeling at contact and thru the swing, and had no plow. I would have to do too much tinkering with it to be comfortable, so didn't bother.
     
  41. Power Player

    Power Player G.O.A.T.

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    Yep was just looking at the PS95 specs and I think Id have to do some serious lead and leather magic to get the SW and balance right.

    The new 315 should be a lot easier to mod Im thinking.
     
  42. osutennis24

    osutennis24 Rookie

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    so what type of player would benefit from this racquet the most you guys think?
     
  43. Power Player

    Power Player G.O.A.T.

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    Anyone that can use it will probably be able to hit with plenty of power and attack the net behind shots.

    It's a racquet meant for attacking with big power and placement.

    I like it because it sounds like an answer to the Babolat baseline craze. Most players sticks do not have a large sweetspot or the amount of power it sounds like the Sig has.

    While I love the smaller sweetpsots, the large size makes a huge difference and is IMO a huge reason the Babolats are so successful for players.

    This is all speculation by me off the reviews.
     
  44. corners

    corners Legend

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    Gold is a fad, worse, gold is a fad gone out of style. (In other words, black and red is the new gold: ) Thank gods you had the good sense to ditch it for this instant classic. I think the frame looks sweet, Peter. Great work!
     
  45. Mickael122

    Mickael122 New User

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    Thanks drakulie! I'll give it a try!
     
  46. Nostradamus

    Nostradamus G.O.A.T.

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  47. Fed Kennedy

    Fed Kennedy Hall of Fame

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    Here some more feedback:

    Comments: I was able to hit with a demo sample of this racquet through a Wilson representative. This racquet is very hefty and unbelievably stable. The stability truly is tour level. Taking big cracks at the ball felt effortless as if I was hitting a Stage 2 junior ball. This racquet feels very solid off the shelf and shouldn't need much customizing.
    From: Guillermo, 8/14
     
  48. Bartelby

    Bartelby G.O.A.T.

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    'very solid off the shelf' - gift for understatement there!
     
  49. Hankenstein

    Hankenstein Professional

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    Drakulie: Will be interesting what you say about the 315. When i tried it i played back and forth with the 340 and 315 and liked, or more true, found the 315 easier, to play with. The 340 was super solid and sweet but just not for me.
     
  50. seekay

    seekay Semi-Pro

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    I had the pleasure to see an RF97 Autograph this morning. My Wilson rep has one strung up to Federer's preferences, complete with three black power pads in the throat.

    Just like others have already said, the red looks better in person. For whatever reason, none of the digital photos I've seen have been an accurate representation of the color. I quite like the paintjob and details.

    Because of a strange set of circumstances, I was able to take the racquet out onto a court for about 15 minutes, but there was nobody free to hit with me. I ended up serving and hitting drop-fed groundstrokes, which wasn't an ideal test, but enough to get me really excited about the frame.

    I usually play with a Six.One 95 S that I've customized to be 334g and 13pt HL (unstrung). Wilson lists the RF97 at 340g/12pt, so it's not a big departure from normal.

    Compared to the 95 S, the RF97 hits the ball more deliberately. It flexes differently from my Six.Ones and Pro Staffs (85, 88, and 90), and feels right at home driving the ball for heavy, deep shots. When you swing big, it feels like the racquet is actively disrespecting the ball. The K Pro Staff has the same effect, but a very different feel.

    I played with the Babolat Pure Storm GT Tour for a while. Of the racquets I've used, it's the closest to the RF97 in terms of the racquet plowing through the zone and getting the ball out of the way. But the Pure Storm always reminded me of the person on a project team who shows up, does their job, and leaves, making it clear that they're not here to be friends. It's vacant and uninterested.

    In contrast, the new Pro Staff smacks the ball just the same way, but it feels good doing it. There's an appropriate amount of feedback coming back through the frame. It's stiff, but it's comfortable. And like the all the classic Pro Staffs, it's intensely rewarding to feel the ball rocket out of the sweet spot.

    The experience has left me even more excited to demo the lighter versions. I loved hitting with the RF97, and I'm curious how the lighter Pro Staff might do with silicone in the handle. Or maybe the 97 LS with a silicone and tungsten, to also get the Spin Effect pattern? Demo time can't come soon enough.
     

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