Bought a Wilson Advantage woodie. Can anybody provide a little history info?

Long Face

Semi-Pro
I just bought a brand new Wilson Advantage. Love it. Pictures below.

I'm sure that the seller is a member here, but I don't know who it is. Got it from the eeewwbay.

I tried to search the internet for history of this model, such as possible year of manufacture, had it been used by any pro players, etc. Amazingly, I couldn't find any. It seems that this model is absolutely nothing in the history of tennis racquets except "good looking".

If anybody knows anything about the history of this product line, please share it with us here. Thanks.



 

retrowagen

Hall of Fame
I remember seeing those around (new) as late as 1983. It is a beautiful racquet! Don't know how it stacks up against the Jack Kramer Pro Staff (which was the top performance model with pro provenance, also available up until 1983 or so).
 

joe sch

Legend
I remember seeing those around (new) as late as 1983. It is a beautiful racquet! Don't know how it stacks up against the Jack Kramer Pro Staff (which was the top performance model with pro provenance, also available up until 1983 or so).
I rate the wilson JKPS and Advantage as the best wood rackets produced by wilson. They both play pretty similar and are a step above the JKA and were priced accordingly. I think the Advantage may have been the most expensive wood racket from Wilson. Would need to refer to some of the old marketing to see what exactly were the spec diffs but remember the JKA be more flexible and slightly less powerful. For collectors, the JKPS is the racket to have since McEnroe was pretty successful playing that racket including several USO and a Wimbledon title thru 1981 from my recall.
 
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coachrick

Hall of Fame
I thought they were a little flexy and twisty, perhaps owing to the slightly thinner shaft. I didn't spend much time hitting it, but the customers' rackets also felt head-heavy compared to the neutral JK Auto and Pro Staff.

It was an absolutely gorgeous frame for the day, I'd say one of the best along with the Head Vilas. Never did care for the overdone cover...thought they could have dressed up the tan Kramer/Evert cover a bit instead of the wrinkled faux nauga-leather. :)

I don't recall any marketing that reflected the playing characteristics of the Advantage(except for that hang-tag!)...we sold most of them on 'looks'. The Lady Advantage was too little, too late, IMO. Perhaps either/both would have benefited from a visible player using them for tournament play.

As I recall, both models 'yellowed' quite a bit with age and use. That new frame you have is beautiful!
 

retrowagen

Hall of Fame
It's almost hilarious how the advertising bumf for this racquet (hangtag) touts its aerodynamic design!

That 1980 futuro-disco typefont for "Advantage" is really something else, too. Groovy.

What I really want to know is whether this specific racquet model, spaghetti-strung, would technically be considered an unfair Advantage... :)
 

VGP

Legend
When did Wilson start using the "split" logo, where there was a break in-between the s and o? Was it in 1981?
 

mmk

Hall of Fame
Reminds me that I need to get mine restrung. Too bad Victor Imperial isn't available anymore.

I can't remember how my long-gone JK Autographs and Pro Staffs played in comparison, but there was a difference for sure. As with any woodie, considerably more flex than modern racquets.
 

Long Face

Semi-Pro
As I recall, both models 'yellowed' quite a bit with age and use. That new frame you have is beautiful!
You are right. I was attracted by the look of the older used ones, and liked the "aged" look of this racquet. But I ended up getting this brand new one. It does look nice and different.

I guess I will have to find me another Advantage, which is more "aged"......
 

Long Face

Semi-Pro
It came out around 1977.......Dick Stockton used it for a few years and did well. One of the best looking frames ever made but not that many pros used it.... For the ladies Wilson had a Lady Advantage with a different color pallet and lighter specs.
Thank you.

I wish Wilson could build a website about the history of their products, with a database of all different models, years, specs, etc.
 
It's almost hilarious how the advertising bumf for this racquet (hangtag) touts its aerodynamic design!

That 1980 futuro-disco typefont for "Advantage" is really something else, too. Groovy.

What I really want to know is whether this specific racquet model, spaghetti-strung, would technically be considered an unfair Advantage... :)
Reminds me of the font for this


I'd love to know what that font is called...
 

Ciaron

Semi-Pro
It's been said it's the most beautiful racquet ever made.
It's my racquet of choice in terms of playing with a woody.
 

vsbabolat

G.O.A.T.
I thought they were a little flexy and twisty, perhaps owing to the slightly thinner shaft. I didn't spend much time hitting it, but the customers' rackets also felt head-heavy compared to the neutral JK Auto and Pro Staff.

It was an absolutely gorgeous frame for the day, I'd say one of the best along with the Head Vilas. Never did care for the overdone cover...thought they could have dressed up the tan Kramer/Evert cover a bit instead of the wrinkled faux nauga-leather. :)

I don't recall any marketing that reflected the playing characteristics of the Advantage(except for that hang-tag!)...we sold most of them on 'looks'. The Lady Advantage was too little, too late, IMO. Perhaps either/both would have benefited from a visible player using them for tournament play.

As I recall, both models 'yellowed' quite a bit with age and use. That new frame you have is beautiful!
Agreed! I thought they were flex and twisty too. Much preferred the JKA and the JKPS.
 

PBODY99

Legend
Purchased one in 1978. It did not play as firm as the JK Pro Staff ,JKA or Cliff Richey Ultra, all which I used in college. The fiber reinforcement seemed thinner than all of the other Wilson that had a similar flake. The Stan Smith had the stiffest feel with the longer flake.
 

atatu

Legend
Used this racket in High School in 1980, Stockton was the only pro I remember using it back then. Loved that frame and I have a new one in my collection also.
 
Reminds me of the font for this


I'd love to know what that font is called...
I was Searching **** for one of these after regretting giving mine away to a friend. I believe the font is Avant- Garde. You’ve been waiting a long time for that info.

Anyone know the weight of the men’s vs lady advantage? I’d love to get a matching set. Plus I suspect many women’s models would be easier to swing for today’s players. Typically an ounce or so lighter?

https://www.myfonts.com/fonts/itc/avant-garde-gothic/




Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

Don't Let It Bounce

Hall of Fame
I think "good-looking" really is the entirety of the Advantage's place in racket history. But, man, it really is — I don't think even the Vilas compares, though a couple of Snauwaerts might — and remember, ours is a culture that makes people wealthy, famous, and immortalized for nothing more than being good-looking. So maybe it's not such a weak legacy.

I was looking forward to hitting with the one I got a few years back, and I was surprised at how much I disliked it. Flex is nice, but this had so much of it, in awkward places, that I had little notion of where the ball was going. And, as CoachRick and VSB also noted, no twist resistance either, even by the modest standards of a 70 sq" woodie. If Steve Denton hit those meteoric first serves of his with an Advantage, he must have spent a lot of time picking splinters out of his skin.

I'd use just about any other woodie over this for a tournament — but this is the one I'd hold for the photo afterward!
 

SteveHennis

New User
I played HS tennis in NE Ohio using a series of Wilson Advantage woodies back in 1980-81. Great racket... lightweight and great feel. I played a ton of tennis during those years and was a very hard ball-striker so I managed to break a few of them over those years. Sure wish that I had a super-fresh Wilson Advantage to mess around with these days!
 

jhupper

Rookie
You lucky thing. I have come across a fair few NOS rackets but this one always alluded me. One of my favourite looking rackets of all time.
 

onehandbh

Legend
I played HS tennis in NE Ohio using a series of Wilson Advantage woodies back in 1980-81. Great racket... lightweight and great feel. I played a ton of tennis during those years and was a very hard ball-striker so I managed to break a few of them over those years. Sure wish that I had a super-fresh Wilson Advantage to mess around with these days!
Not sure I'd call the Advantage lightweight. Mine comes in at 397g (strung weight).

Strung weights of some of my other Wilson wood racquets:

14.0 oz / 397g : Wilson Advantage (Medium L5) : 396g / 14.0 oz
13.1 oz / 371g : Wilson Jack Kramer Midsize
13.3 oz / 378g : Wilson Jack Kramer Autograph (Medium L5)
12.7 oz / 360g : Wilson Jack Kramer Prostaff (Light)
13.6 oz / 385g : Wilson Jack Kramer Prostaff (Light L5)
 

pacetheace

New User
The Wilson Advantage! You people don't go back far enough. If you had ever played with a Wilson Squire or a Wilson Top Notch, you would forget about the Wilson Advantage. I'm a player from the 40's and 50's, and these were the Wilson's to play with. The Jack Kramer Autograph was also pretty poplar also, along with the Don Budge Autograph. A $3.95 Wilson was my first racket in 1942. I was six years old. Could not swing the racket overhead. Served underhanded. The school tennis court was about 100 yards from my back door. Won state with a Spalding Gonzales Autograph. Went to college on a tennis scholarship. Favorite racket of all time - Harry C. Lee 'The Bat'. Gone by the time most of you on this post were playing. I did win tournaments in the army using the Kramer Autograph. It was what the army provided. I believe the Kramer Autograph is the best selling racket of all time. Some people on **** have the gall to describe it as 'rare'. Nonsense! Just my 2 cents worth.
 

Don't Let It Bounce

Hall of Fame
Well, that does it for me feeling old for having played with wood. The Éminence Grise has arrived!

Start a thread and tell us some stories, PaceTheAce!
 

chrisb

Semi-Pro
I feel it was Wilsons attempt to make a racket so attractive that people would stay with wood with the advent of aluminum, fiberglass and graphite the wood rackets were falling out of favor very quickly. I was at the time using dunlop maxplys which IMO were at least as attractive as the Wilson advantage. I feel the advent of the prince graphite OS and Mid was the death for the wooden frames . If you were playing wood against a player with those frames you simply could not match the power case closed on wood. To be truthful the graphite frames are not significantly better today. The strings yes the rackets ???? There is a large emphasis on lighter frames that are stiffer to maximize the modern methods of swinging which have evolved from linear transfer to the bio kinetic chain and the advent of massive acceleration at contact in deference to velocity of swing
 

mmk

Hall of Fame
I feel it was Wilsons attempt to make a racket so attractive that people would stay with wood with the advent of aluminum, fiberglass and graphite the wood rackets were falling out of favor very quickly. I was at the time using dunlop maxplys which IMO were at least as attractive as the Wilson advantage. I feel the advent of the prince graphite OS and Mid was the death for the wooden frames . If you were playing wood against a player with those frames you simply could not match the power case closed on wood. To be truthful the graphite frames are not significantly better today. The strings yes the rackets ???? There is a large emphasis on lighter frames that are stiffer to maximize the modern methods of swinging which have evolved from linear transfer to the bio kinetic chain and the advent of massive acceleration at contact in deference to velocity of swing
I occasionally pull out a JKPS or Advantage to hit with, and there are simply shots that I can't make with wood that I can with a modern racquet. My current racquets are among the most flexible available today (RA 57), but of course quite a bit stiffer (and bigger heads) than woodies.
 

joe sch

Legend
I feel it was Wilsons attempt to make a racket so attractive that people would stay with wood with the advent of aluminum, fiberglass and graphite the wood rackets were falling out of favor very quickly. I was at the time using dunlop maxplys which IMO were at least as attractive as the Wilson advantage. I feel the advent of the prince graphite OS and Mid was the death for the wooden frames . If you were playing wood against a player with those frames you simply could not match the power case closed on wood. To be truthful the graphite frames are not significantly better today. The strings yes the rackets ???? There is a large emphasis on lighter frames that are stiffer to maximize the modern methods of swinging which have evolved from linear transfer to the bio kinetic chain and the advent of massive acceleration at contact in deference to velocity of swing
Yes, even more attractive strung up with a set of VS gut. Think so ?
 

mike schiffer

Semi-Pro
I occasionally pull out a JKPS or Advantage to hit with, and there are simply shots that I can't make with wood that I can with a modern racquet. My current racquets are among the most flexible available today (RA 57), but of course quite a bit stiffer (and bigger heads) than woodies.
what are you playing with?
 

speedysteve

Legend
Love your woodie Wilson!

I played this 14.3oz, 408g Dunlop Maxply against a modern Wilson blade.

It was a great fun hit.
I was made for early big, heavy Racquet hitting.

I also have a 'light' Slazenger Challenge No.1 ladies racquet.
At 375g I find it too light.
You need heft in a woodie.
A bit of lead sorts it out.



 
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joe sch

Legend
Love your woodie Wilson!

I played this 14.3oz, 408g Dunlop Maxply against a modern Wilson blade.

It was a great fun hit.
I was made for early big, heavy Racquet hitting.

I also have a 'light' Slazenger Challenge No.1 ladies racquet.
At 375g I find it too light.
You need heft in a woodie.
A bit of lead sorts it out.



Interesting play test. The real play test during the wood transition was against either metal or the new old school graphites released like the dunlop max 200g. Johnny Mac decided to goto the 200g when PMac had already made that transition. Probably did not like losing more points to his Bro ;)
 

rallyguy

New User
I have a couple of the Advantages and remember hitting with it as a teenager as well as when I pull it out for fun. Felt heavy and flexible. Never liked it as much as the JKPS. Gorgeous stick but just something about hitting with it never was one of my top Woodies if I really wanted to play well. Won my local Woodie in 2017 and my High School League in 1983 with a JKPS!
 
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