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

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

  1. kingcheetah

    kingcheetah Professional

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    To me the paint seems to be of high quality-- it hasn't come off the frame with ease like some of my more recent Wilsons, although I've only touched the ground with it a couple of times.
     
  2. Maximagq

    Maximagq Banned

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    Frying pan sounds good. I want to try it too.
     
  3. el sergento

    el sergento Hall of Fame

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    Fool? Don't be so insecure guy and don't confuse wanting instant glory with picking a stick that maximizes your chances of winning.

    Like I told you, I own an 85, in fact I collect Pro Staffs (I'm a regular on the holic thread, ask PP). I grew up playing the 95, own an 85, a 90, an 88 and a pair of n6.1's.

    And guess what, I can play at a very high level with all those mids, what I can't do is win regularly with them, especially against better players. No matter how long I play with the 85, high balls to my one hander, on slow, high bouncing clay, will always be super tough to deal with, and my opponents will exploit that mercilessly.

    Also, those mids, with the exception of the 88, have relatively low SW's and are actually quite easy to use and swing super fast. The 97A, with it's high static and SW combo is the outlier, but not due to its head size.

    And I'm sticking to what I said earlier, no racquet, no matter which one, will help you improve. You can work on your footwork with a mid plus, or even oversize racquet just the same as with any mid or super heavy racquet.

    There's a reason coaches don't use racquets as developmental tools, and there's a reason the vast majority of pros are still using the same 11oz midplus racquets they used as juniors. Only their coaches, very gradually, added weight over the years as they got stronger, and not the other way around.
     
  4. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    Even this one? ;)


    [​IMG]
     
  5. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    I would have put money on you choosing the 2014 PS 90 over the BLX90. :eek:
     
  6. Maximagq

    Maximagq Banned

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    I've played with wood and I feel like I can play the exact same style without a significant drop in level. The only thing I noticed is that the grip is rough on my hand and it hurts to play for long periods of time.
     
  7. kingcheetah

    kingcheetah Professional

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    I only know one response to this.

    [​IMG]
     
  8. fuzzfactory

    fuzzfactory Rookie

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    That is literally my reaction to 90% of that guy's posts lol.

    Anyway, what strings at what tensions have you guys tried for this racket? Results? I'm gonna get a second frame soon and was gonna try new strings at a new tension. I'm loving my 4G @ 50/54# so far but experimentation keeps things interesting :grin:
     
  9. Maximagq

    Maximagq Banned

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    It's not the racket; it's the player. I can beat so many players below 5.0 using different equipment than I am used to simply because I am technically superior. Rackets don't make that big of a difference.
     
  10. Sander001

    Sander001 Hall of Fame

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    Sounds like Wilson may have manufactured the racquet.
     
  11. Maximagq

    Maximagq Banned

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    BTW, I play tested the RF 97 when I visited Tennis Warehouse and it is a nice, solid racket. I don't really feel a noticeable difference from my BLX 6.1 95 16 x 18, though, because I felt I played about the same level with both.
     
  12. parasailing

    parasailing Hall of Fame

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    I got the TW demo yesterday and had a chance to hit with it today. Mine came to around 12.5oz strung with Wilson NXT.

    First impression, this is a heavy and solid racquet. It felt sluggish but that's probably because my ideal static weight is around 12oz and this was just outside my comfort zone.

    If you have great preparation, you will be rewarded with a very solid shot. This racquet is very stable and great for those that can handle the weight.

    Compared to the PS 90, I felt that was more maneuverable mainly because of the smaller head size.
     
  13. kingcheetah

    kingcheetah Professional

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    Soo... back to discussing the racquet...

    I'm using the 24kg luxilon savage setup... which I've enjoyed a lot, although I'll probably try 4g once I get back to the US and can get it cheaper.
     
  14. Say Chi Sin Lo

    Say Chi Sin Lo Legend

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    Not to steal this frame's thunder, but my 2014 Pro Staff 90 has been unchippable/unscrapable. Wilson used some good a** paint on the matte white/red 90.
     
  15. kingcheetah

    kingcheetah Professional

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    Hmm, I guess Wilson played favorites then, beacuse my six one 95 from 2014 had the paint come off so easily it was like it was still wet... :shock:
     
  16. Say Chi Sin Lo

    Say Chi Sin Lo Legend

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    To give you an idea. I was playing doubles and mine and my partner's racquet collided on a high volley and I got NO chip in the loop.
     
  17. kingcheetah

    kingcheetah Professional

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    Damn! Wilson must be borrowing paint from Nokia these days...
     
  18. Say Chi Sin Lo

    Say Chi Sin Lo Legend

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    Yeah I hope it's not a one-off.

    Because my older batches BLX90, PS 6.0 85 (TW re-issue), all chipped very easily.

    But these 2014 paint seem to be quite sturdy.
     
  19. kingcheetah

    kingcheetah Professional

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    In my experience the 2012 PS 90 and the current six ones had awful paint for durability purposes (obviously won't make or break a racquet decision but frustrating for consumers that spend ~$200 on a racquet to have crappy paint!
     
  20. Geoff

    Geoff Professional

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  21. Pleb123

    Pleb123 New User

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    Side-by-side comparison of RF97 and H22

    Just received my RF97. Came in right on spec at 12.6 ounces and 9 points head light. Strung with Big Banger 1.25 @ 50.

    Thought it would be interesting to do a side-by-side comparison with my H22 paint job (18x20 string pattern). They would appear to share the same head shape and size apart from the PWS bumps on the RF97.

    Have only hit the RF97 against the wall but initial difference in feel is that the RF97 is more refined while the H22 more raw. Could that be explained by the addition of braided kevlar in the latter? Seem to have similar power. I expect the 18x20 will give more control/ less spin. Will be having a proper hit on Friday so will report back.

    Really glad Wilson have brought the same racquet used at pro level to the market - something other manufacturers should take note of I believe, especially given the level of interest in the RF97. Surely it makes economic sense to do the same with Nole's and Andy's racquets?

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  22. Pleb123

    Pleb123 New User

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  23. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

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    Thanks for sharing your review. Keep us updated. I added your review to first page.


    Thanks for sharing, Geoff. Very nice to have someone on the boards who has actually received a "pro stock" frame from a top pro, and it's the same as the retail one. Keep us updated on your set up.

    Also, our good friend, Sup2dresq got a chance to hit with one for a little while, and although wasn't able to give me a lot of feedback, he did say it felt easier to swing than he would have thought.
     
  24. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

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    Thanks for the input, and for the photo comparisons. Look forward to reading your thoughts, especially compared to the H22.
     
  25. Geoff

    Geoff Professional

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    Maybe if the stars align this weekend BHBH and I can do a video review to add to yours. We will need some major editing!
     
  26. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

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    The way you get everything back, perhaps it would be wise to use time-lapse camera. :)

    It would be awesome if you two do a video review. Thumbs up!!!!
     
  27. Nostradamus

    Nostradamus G.O.A.T.

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    Just so that you people know, 314 in the nation is INSANE good ranking. Most juniors would be happy to take 314 in California. That is more like 5.5 or 6.0 rating. Maxim only didn't get on the Varsity because he goes to the TOP tennis program in the country in UCLA where guys are turning Pro left and right like Giron.

    Anyhow Maxim is planning on getting on the coaching staff at UCLA as part time job and impress the women on the Varsity team with his Skills...........................
     
  28. Say Chi Sin Lo

    Say Chi Sin Lo Legend

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    Review from a Pro Staff 6.0 85 user

    I wrote this in my own thread, just want to add my review on this racquet:

    So I got a chance to hit with this racquet. I played an impromptu practice set against a strong 4.5/5.0. Took him to a tiebreak until his strings snapped and settled for the night unfortunately.

    Power:
    This has been well documented AND expected, the larger headsize definitely help with the power. Coming from a Pro Staff 6.0 85, there was a TON of power. It was probably the most noticeable on serves. The larger headsize also helped with returns too. No surprises with the power department.

    Spin:
    Even though it maintained the traditional layout of the Pro Staff 6.0 lineage frames, with a 16x19 pattern, the stringbed is actually quite open because of the larger headsize. I thought this was most noticeable on 2nd serves. I guess you can say this frame is tremendous on serves. 1st serves with its outright power (relative to my 85's), and 2nd serves with its (super) open pattern.

    Maneuverability:
    I don't understand what everyone is complaining about with this frame. This racquet moved around just fine. If anything, I find this RF97A to be more maneuverable than the Six.One 95 16x18 that I playtested earlier. I think it's because this frame has a flatter and less oval beam compared to the Six.One 95, and there's just a little less "beam" going through the air. HOWEVER, coming from a Pro Staff 6.0 85, this is still a big a** racquet, and it swings like it. Not a fan.

    Feel:
    My thoughts about this racquet was good up until now. There's a "tinny" sensation associated with this, and many of these "modern player's racquet". I can't believe I'm saying this, but this RF97A kind of feels like the Babolat Pure Strike Tour, that "tinny", tin-cat sensation which I absolutely hated. This is not the kind of feel that I would associate a "Pro Staff" with, FAR from it. HOWEVER, though I don't like the feel of this racquet, just like all Pro Staffs, the racquet still communicates to you and tell you exactly how your stringbed is interacting with the ball upon impact. So, the feel is still there, just not what I would come to expect when it comes to a Pro Staff. Lastly, that sweet, soft, and lively upper loop that I've come to love when it comes to Pro Staff is gone. This RF97A feels rigid throughout the entire frame upon impact. Long story short, I didn't care for the way this racquet felt upon impact.

    Overall: Coming from a Pro Staff 6.0 85, Pro Staff/Tour 90 user
    It's hard for me to justify this frame, with its ONLY advantage in the power department. Everything that I've come to love about my Pro Staffs is either the same (maneuverability), or worse (feel). After a long, competitive, and ultimately drawing even against this strong 4.5/5.0, I'm not impressed. Power is great, but the feel is just way too foreign to me. And this head is too big.

    I don't hate this RF97A, but I also don't love it. It's far from the "top of the list" for me.
     
  29. smirker

    smirker Hall of Fame

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    Truce. Guys, take a chill pill. Can we get back on topic please.

    Hit with this frame yesterday for two hours. Tremendous power from all areas but still felt like I could hit out without fear of the ball going long. Don't get me wrong, it's a demanding racket and you have to get set up in time to play a decent shot but when you connect properly the pace and spin you get is kind of addictive. It makes you want to play aggressive, attacking tennis, much like Federer is doing so well at the moment. (not that I am comparing myself to him in any way!) The mindset I mean.
     
  30. nickellwood

    nickellwood New User

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    Yeah agree with what you're saying. The pleasure you get from hitting balls with this racket is addictive
     
  31. kingcheetah

    kingcheetah Professional

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    I also experienced this feeling-- I think the feedback this racquet gives is just right, so people feel compelled to try and hit great shots.
     
  32. coloskier

    coloskier Legend

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    Maximagg, I can feel your pain a little. I was ranked in the top 50 in singles in the US 18 juniors, top 10 in doubles, played the 80's equivalent of the Challenger tour for three years, quit for 20 years (burnout), have coached a top 10 junior girl who used to beat Sloane Stephens and Bouchard like a bad stepchild before she had the same shoulder issues as Sharapova only worse (2 surgeries so far). Some of the kids on this site have absolutely no idea what they are talking about. Some do, most don't.
     
  33. bad_call

    bad_call Legend

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    whoa...that's WAY WAY more hours on the court than this player has ever logged (had but a few serving lessons and a single 5 min backhand instruction). hats off to you.
     
  34. Dgdavid

    Dgdavid Professional

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    Respect is earned not requested.
    In some cases it is granted by default because of position but can certainly be lost from that position.
    Wearing it on your sleeve is not a good way to keep it.
     
  35. Dgdavid

    Dgdavid Professional

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    Anyone tried a full bed of natty gut in this?
    How did it work out? What tension did you use?
     
  36. kingcheetah

    kingcheetah Professional

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    This. So much of this.
     
  37. kaiser

    kaiser Semi-Pro

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    Hi Peter, thanks for your insightful review and for a wonderful job on the new cosmetics, easily the best since the HPS 6.1 (my former stick).

    Seeing that you are familiar with the PS 95s, could you expand a little on a comparison between the RF 97 and the PS 95s? Eg, how significant is the difference in spin-friendliness between the two, did you play the 95s stock or leaded (and if so, by how much), etc?

    I have been considering the PS 95s for some time now, but coming from the 4D200T I expect I'd need to add considerable lead to tune it to my swing. The reason I'm interested in the PS 95s is that when I'm a bit tight, I tend to hit my forehand just a bit long and thought that the spin effect pattern might just help me there. However, the RF 97 with glowing reviews by yourself, BHBH, drakuli and a host of others, now presents a very interesting alternative. Spec-wise it is very similar to the 4D200T and should fit me like a glove, except perhaps for its stiffness (but that should also contribute to its large sweet spot).
     
  38. LiquidWhip

    LiquidWhip Rookie

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    I second that
     
  39. Irvin

    Irvin G.O.A.T.

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    Last edited: Oct 13, 2014
  40. Alexrb

    Alexrb Rookie

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    Anyone's autograph have navy blue grommets? Not that I care, just curious as to why they would do this.
     
  41. Say Chi Sin Lo

    Say Chi Sin Lo Legend

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    It is? I didn't look closely but I thought mine had black grommets on?
     
  42. Power Player

    Power Player G.O.A.T.

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    Kaiser, if you hit long when you get tight, the RF97 will probably only accentuate that. I do the same thing, and as a result went to lower powered frames.
     
  43. Alexrb

    Alexrb Rookie

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    I thought everyone's were navy until I recently went to a tennis store in Miami and saw black ones. I'll post a picture when I get home from work, I thought I was going crazy...

    Anyone with Navy blue grommets on their Autograph?
     
  44. kingcheetah

    kingcheetah Professional

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    My grommets are black.
     
  45. samster

    samster Legend

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    You have a counterfeit RF 97 Autograph.

    Or you are just crazy.
     
  46. LiquidWhip

    LiquidWhip Rookie

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    Nope, mine are black...
     
  47. Alexrb

    Alexrb Rookie

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  48. Say Chi Sin Lo

    Say Chi Sin Lo Legend

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  49. asifallasleep

    asifallasleep Professional

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    After a lot of back and forth I'm sticking with my Blade 93's and selling my RF97's. I just can't get used to a thicker beamed, larger headed stick. My Blades pack enough power and have better feel and maneuverability than the RF97. And on days when i may be slightly off, i can still play pretty darn good with my Blades, not so much with the RF.

    The RF97 is a great stick if you are a pedal to the metal aggressive, attacking style player. I hit with pace, vary my speeds, utilize many angles........am an all court player. The Blade feels more like a paint brush, an extension of my hand, whereas the RF97 retains a somewhat clubby feel. I imagine if you are used to thicker beamed more modern frames, you'd have a different perspective than I. But coming from thin box beam frames, the shift for me is too great and not that appealing or fun.
     
  50. coloskier

    coloskier Legend

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    RF 97 update.... (VS Touch Black 16 mains and Solinco TB 18 crosses, both at 52#)

    I played my nemesis last night for the first time with the 97. I beat him for the first time in 2 years. After the match he commented on how much more power and spin I had on my shots with this racket compared to the 90. Now he is going to demo the racket after I let him hit with mine for 15 minutes after the match. He was only able to return about 10% of my first serves, when normally he is around 75%, let a lot of forehands go that he thought were going out and landed in due to the spin. And, for the first time I had no problem returning his kick serve with power and control. For an aggressive all court player this racket may be the new holy grail. Especially if you are used to playing with heavy rackets that are very head light.
     

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