Held the RF97 in my hand today....deal breaker :(

martini1

Hall of Fame
I was pretty hyped about the new Fed pj and was ready to pick one up within the next few months. I really don't mind the heavy SW at all.

The huge disappointment came as I started to feel the pj on the racket. The laser engraving and the Fed portrait is definitely a very nice touch, but then I realize the racket is covered with this rubber material.

Over the years I have several objects with the rubber coating eventually breaks down and melt away. Things like photo equipment, headphones, appliances, etc. The combination of the heat (especially in the summer), and the humidity of the local weather, would eventually break down the rubber and it would become this black gluey thing that sticks to any surface it touches. A real PITA to clean up.

So I hope I am wrong and somebody could magically tell me Wilson has this newly developed rubber coating that would never melt away. Otherwise I am greatly disappointed that I would not pay for something that would deteriorate in just a few years. I buy this racket hoping it would last for decades, something I would enjoy playing with, as well as a memorabilia.
 

tribesmen

Professional
I was pretty hyped about the new Fed pj and was ready to pick one up within the next few months. I really don't mind the heavy SW at all.

The huge disappointment came as I started to feel the pj on the racket. The laser engraving and the Fed portrait is definitely a very nice touch, but then I realize the racket is covered with this rubber material.

Over the years I have several objects with the rubber coating eventually breaks down and melt away. Things like photo equipment, headphones, appliances, etc. The combination of the heat (especially in the summer), and the humidity of the local weather, would eventually break down the rubber and it would become this black gluey thing that sticks to any surface it touches. A real PITA to clean up.

So I hope I am wrong and somebody could magically tell me Wilson has this newly developed rubber coating that would never melt away. Otherwise I am greatly disappointed that I would not pay for something that would deteriorate in just a few years. I buy this racket hoping it would last for decades, something I would enjoy playing with, as well as a memorabilia.
Nobody know this at the moment, probably also Wilson staff not, but only time will tell.
 

macattack

Professional
I already know... It's not even a time will tell thing because like I have said, everything I ever own with this stupid rubber coating will melt. There is no "IF".
I understand being skeptical, but you aren't clairvoyant. You seem to know the answer before everyone else, including the engineers who developed the paint. I think we all need to wait and see. I'm willing to take the chance and so are a great many others. We'll be the test subjects so let's not go completely fatalistic just yet.
 

haqq777

Legend
The novelty will have worn off before the paint...looking at the stiffness, id say tennis elbow would probably be the deal breaker for me
Except 1. the last RF97 didn't play like it was 68 stiffness and 2. the hefty weight helps out a lot. I've only ever had elbow trouble with high stiffness and low weight sticks.
As a a few others play testers pointed out as well, the new RF97 most definitely plays softer than its described stiffness rating. I was surpised too given that the RDC was telling me mine was 67.
 

macattack

Professional
As a a few others play testers pointed out as well, the new RF97 most definitely plays softer than its described stiffness rating. I was surpised too given that the RDC was telling me mine was 67.
Agreed. I've learned that RDC rating is really just one factor and a single reference point. I've had sticks that measure lower and play stiffer than the RF and even higher rated PSC 6.1. There are a lot of factors that have to do with how stiff a racquet plays, especially stiffness through different parts of the hoop. I'm sure someone on here can explain it more intelligently than I can. Probably @RanchDressing.
 

movdqa

Talk Tennis Guru
The novelty will have worn off before the paint...looking at the stiffness, id say tennis elbow would probably be the deal breaker for me
I've used it for four hours in the last two days without any arm problems and I have a sensitive elbow. I had a bout of GE about five years ago using the KPS88 and I had to take six months off to let it recover. The RF97 doesn't have the harshness of the K90 or KPS88. It actually plays more like the low 60s. It might be due to all of that mass in the handle that makes it so headlight. I've only used racquets with RA 62 or less for the past five years.
 

TennisHound

Legend
You're arm builds up to the RF97. My arm was achey for about 3-4 days until it built up to it. I never had tennis elbow with it. If I was practiced up and playing singles, there would be no other racquet for me. Its like cheating.
 

iceman_dl6

Semi-Pro
I played with the RF97 for almost 2 years now with full 4G poly without any comfort issues.

Strange thing, when I played with the Prince Rebel 95 (2009) a while back, which had a much lower RA value, I had elbow issues.

This goes to show that RA doesn't always correlate with comfort.
 

martini1

Hall of Fame
You're making a logical error of assuming that your empirical experience applies to all future outcomes. Wait and see, stop spelling doomsday prematurely.
It's not about assumptions but repeated findings. It's not 100% for sure until it happens, but it is a damn good prediction (which you don't have to agree). And I am just saying it's my deal breaker, what's that got to do with "spelling doomsday"? I choose not to buy it doesn't mean I am telling people not to buy it. And sorry, if it melts, it will be a few years in the future, by then there is no going back. It doesn't seem very logical to me. Or are you just suggesting no buying it, wait for a few years and see if the rubber holds up? If this is the case, then it is just as my decision of not buying it.

I understand being skeptical, but you aren't clairvoyant. You seem to know the answer before everyone else, including the engineers who developed the paint. I think we all need to wait and see. I'm willing to take the chance and so are a great many others. We'll be the test subjects so let's not go completely fatalistic just yet.
Unless Wilson can say this is some newly developed rubber coating that would not melt, I stand by the known fact that it would, not just from my own experience, but from reported findings all over the world. This material will melt (over time, not immediately) given the local weather is hot and humid, especially if it is kept in a case or bag, and perhaps some other factors as well. Again, I am just saying it's my deal breaker. I am not trying to tell you not to buy it. You seem to be very defensive on this matter. I am not trying to offend you by implying you made the wrong choice or something.

No big deal. Just get a different racquet.
Yes I totally agree with that. Or buy the older ver. Whichever people may choose.

Pro Kennex Redondo has a rubberized coating that seems to last.
I do not own this racket but from researches the rubber melting is related to the local weather and how it is stored. So the same material would or would not melt is due to a number of factors.
 

macattack

Professional
Unless Wilson can say this is some newly developed rubber coating that would not melt, I stand by the known fact that it would, not just from my own experience, but from reported findings all over the world. This material will melt (over time, not immediately) given the local weather is hot and humid, especially if it is kept in a case or bag, and perhaps some other factors as well. Again, I am just saying it's my deal breaker. I am not trying to tell you not to buy it. You seem to be very defensive on this matter. I am not trying to offend you by implying you made the wrong choice or something.
I didn't mean to come off as defensive and I wasn't offended at all by your post. I was just saying I think we should all wait and see. I'm going to buy the racquet. If you don't want to but it because of the possibility of the paint melting then I totally understand. No harm, no foul in my eyes. And hey, maybe you'll end up being right.
 
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RanchDressing

Hall of Fame
I already know... It's not even a time will tell thing because like I have said, everything I ever own with this stupid rubber coating will melt. There is no "IF".
IDK my ps97 knock offs have this sort of finish, very very similar at least. Soft etc. And they've been great so far, even with a few drops, bangs, I even hit a cabinet with one to see what would happen. A piece of flashing came loose but paint was fine (racquet had a small dent, wood had a big dent).

Besides, I've used plastidip on cars that see underhood temps over 450 degrees because they house large single turbo chargers (which reach temperatures well over 1100 degrees during full load and max rpm). This stuff isn't plastidip that's for sure.

I'm the last to defend what wilson is doing with the new rf97a, but I don't think the paint will melt.
 

SpinToWin

Talk Tennis Guru
It's not about assumptions but repeated findings. It's not 100% for sure until it happens, but it is a damn good prediction (which you don't have to agree).
Nah, still a logical error. Additionally, you implicitly are assuming a constant state of technology, which is quite frankly nonsensical. It is entirely possible that there has been technological progression to prevent the problems you suggest.

And I am just saying it's my deal breaker, what's that got to do with "spelling doomsday"? I choose not to buy it doesn't mean I am telling people not to buy it. And sorry, if it melts, it will be a few years in the future, by then there is no going back. It doesn't seem very logical to me. Or are you just suggesting no buying it, wait for a few years and see if the rubber holds up? If this is the case, then it is just as my decision of not buying it.
If this really is only your deal breaker then there's no reason to make a thread about it. By making a public thread about it you're making a implicit statement to others in regards to the durability of the racquet (paint). You can't have it both ways. I don't get your concern to begin with, as my racquets are completely chipped after a few years of use anyways (especially due to digging out low balls).

What I am saying is rather simple: you have to resign judgement on whether the paint will behave the same as those in the past. If somebody asked you why you're not buying it and you responded with "I think the paint will behave so and so" there'd be no reason to object to your comments. However, you have gone out of your way to make a (unprovoked) thread about this in which you are suggesting that the racquet will become like that with a high probability, a claim which you cannot support. That's what I and others are objecting to mostly from what I can see.

Unless Wilson can say this is some newly developed rubber coating that would not melt, I stand by the known fact that it would, not just from my own experience, but from reported findings all over the world.
Wilson has said repeatedly that this paint is a wholly new development, hence your experience is irrelevant.

This material will melt (over time, not immediately) given the local weather is hot and humid, especially if it is kept in a case or bag, and perhaps some other factors as well. Again, I am just saying it's my deal breaker. I am not trying to tell you not to buy it. You seem to be very defensive on this matter. I am not trying to offend you by implying you made the wrong choice or something.
You're contradicting yourself in a single paragraph and are oblivious to it, truly amusing. Your intent in saying something is irrelevant, the content matters. Since the content is fallacious, you are furthering speculation (at best) which will make people not buy the racquet. It doesn't matter that you're "not trying" to tell people to not buy the racquet - you are.

By the way, you are speaking with certainty in regards to the paint in the paragraph above (see bold). So you do know with certainty what will happen? Additionally, you cannot be disproved since you have stated a completely indeterminate span of time for the deterioration to occur. I find it baffling that you cannot see what your speculation actually does regardless of your intent. If you do not intend to do something, then act in a way that doesnt make it happen.

Yes I totally agree with that. Or buy the older ver. Whichever people may choose.
People other than yourself, so you are telling them what to do.

I do not own this racket but from researches the rubber melting is related to the local weather and how it is stored. So the same material would or would not melt is due to a number of factors.
Funny how partial you are here, all accounts that contradict your speculation have to be wrong in some manner.
 

RanchDressing

Hall of Fame
As a a few others play testers pointed out as well, the new RF97 most definitely plays softer than its described stiffness rating. I was surpised too given that the RDC was telling me mine was 67.
Agreed. I've learned that RDC rating is really just one factor and a single reference point. I've had sticks that measure lower and play stiffer than the RF and even higher rated PSC 6.1. There are a lot of factors that have to do with how stiff a racquet plays, especially stiffness through different parts of the hoop. I'm sure someone on here can explain it more intelligently than I can. Probably @RanchDressing.
Right as mac said, the RA is basically a useless number. All it does is give people some arbitrary number to consider. The RDC pulls from the top of the hoop against the support on the bottom. This in no way is representative of how the racquet acts during contact with the ball. It's utterly useless. The only time it might be somewhat useful is if you're literally making contact with the ball on the very tip of the frame, on the frame (not strings). But even then I say somewhat, because it doesn't account for neck flex at all, so you miss that entire part of the equation. Beyond that, it's really the flex below the handle that can help you the most in terms of comfort. Ideally you'd want a stiff hoop and then a basically rubber handle piece (similar to what wilson did with the triads did in some ways).

When it comes to impact with the ball composition only makes up apart of flex, the other very important part is the shape of the beam. A more traingular beam will inherently be stronger, or more rigid (stiff). Not every case but that's a general statement, based off the idea that triangles are basically the strongest structure.

But in terms of feel the rf97a is going to be buttery smooth because it has such a high recoil weight (I have a video on this if you haven't seen it just google recoil weight tennis or something). This is a measure of inertia about the center of mass, and comes from a combination of higher swing weight, and low balance point. Other racquets on the market are often down between 140-150-160 especially the light racquets with low swing weight and 11oz (keep in mind, as you reduce racquet mass, the balance point inherently goes up, because material that makes up the hoop after a certain point can't be removed to ensure strength). Because they have little mass in the handle, and little mass in the hoop, they can't resist the impact with the ball in the same way. So, when we have 12.6+ oz to work with and a decent enough swing weight of 335, you get a lot more resistance to impact with the ball. The nodes of the frame (which are adjusted by where you move the mass on the frame) also can shift feel but combined with the unusually high twist weight of the rf97a it's going to be massively stable. Both torsion-ally, and along the length of the racquet, at least in comparison to most racquets on the market.

High recoil weight is an important part of how all those pros use "stiff" polys that everyone has been told are "hard on the arm." Stringing big banger or whatever back in the 2000's at nearly 60lbs in an 18x20, most people on here think is insane, but with high swing weight (higher than 335) and good balance, the racquet remains plenty comfortable.

We all know that glossier finishes are harder and gives a stiffer feel, but the difference between new and old in terms of flex is not a big deal. Both will play "softer" than the RA, because a lot of comfort comes from the mass distribution contrary to what we've been lead to believe.
 

danotje

Rookie
I do not own this racket but from researches the rubber melting is related to the local weather and how it is stored. So the same material would or would not melt is due to a number of factors.
I live in Phoenix, and the Redondo just survived two months of 110-120 degree temps. It's still over 100, but now we're into the monsoon season, so humidity is high. I keep it inside when not playing, but more because of the strings, not the PJ. Just giving you a data point.
 

NuBas

Legend
I was pretty hyped about the new Fed pj and was ready to pick one up within the next few months. I really don't mind the heavy SW at all.

The huge disappointment came as I started to feel the pj on the racket. The laser engraving and the Fed portrait is definitely a very nice touch, but then I realize the racket is covered with this rubber material.

Over the years I have several objects with the rubber coating eventually breaks down and melt away. Things like photo equipment, headphones, appliances, etc. The combination of the heat (especially in the summer), and the humidity of the local weather, would eventually break down the rubber and it would become this black gluey thing that sticks to any surface it touches. A real PITA to clean up.

So I hope I am wrong and somebody could magically tell me Wilson has this newly developed rubber coating that would never melt away. Otherwise I am greatly disappointed that I would not pay for something that would deteriorate in just a few years. I buy this racket hoping it would last for decades, something I would enjoy playing with, as well as a memorabilia.
Martin, my own opinion of the racquet is similar to yours. The velvet texture of the paint job is rather sticky and the way they put the Wilson decal on the RF97, its actually not smooth to the touch, the edge of the Wilson decal is sharp to the touch. Its like they forgot to sand/buff the edges or something.

Also the red butt cap may look alright in photos but in person, you can easily tell it is cheaply made. The plastic material itself looks like something from a kids toy. If they had kept the texture of the previous paint job with the color of the new line, then it would have been much nicer. When I see the racquet, I don't see it deserving 200 dollars. Again only my personal opinion.
 

eonflux

New User
Just got one my RFs today
First I've seen/held one
Have been demo'ing (TW demo on the left)

Share the OP's concern about the durability/longevity of the matte paint parts of the racquet
Looks cool, but almost feels that holding it will rub it off
Guess will just have to see what happens...

 

gino

Hall of Fame
I understand being skeptical, but you aren't clairvoyant. You seem to know the answer before everyone else, including the engineers who developed the paint. I think we all need to wait and see. I'm willing to take the chance and so are a great many others. We'll be the test subjects so let's not go completely fatalistic just yet.
Agreed on all accounts with you bro @macattack

A big issue is that so many people here are being presumptuous instead of letting this whole "theory" play out. Time will tell
 

macattack

Professional
Been playing with the new RF97 for about a week in some sweltering heat and haven't had any problem at all. Used it to dig in and pivot, smacked it reaching for a Monfils-style forehand (missed it!) and really put it through the ringer. No issues with the paint so far.
 

macattack

Professional
Is it like the FST's? I didn't really care too much for that feel.
I haven't held an FST so I can't say. However, what I can say is that the paint won't be for everyone. I really like how tactile it is, but some people might dislike like it for the same reason.
 

SumYungGai

Semi-Pro
I haven't held an FST so I can't say. However, what I can say is that the paint won't be for everyone. I really like how tactile it is, but some people might dislike like it for the same reason.
Yeah depends on what the person likes. For instance, I really like the glossy feel of older frames on my off-hand and very much dislike the matte feel of a lot of current ones. The whole Burn FST racquet felt like it was made of rubber, even when contacting the ball. Was very odd to me.
 

Seth

Legend
Been playing with the new RF97 for about a week in some sweltering heat and haven't had any problem at all. Used it to dig in and pivot, smacked it reaching for a Monfils-style forehand (missed it!) and really put it through the ringer. No issues with the paint so far.
The paint issue probably won't rear its head (if ever) for quite some time.

Old Dunlop Hotmelts, some Prince Triple Threats, and some Prince More series frames all have that rubbery coating. Just my opinion, but it feels terrible and only gets worse as it accumulates dust and eventually breaks down from heat/use. I'll be surprised if the RF97 is different, but I hope it is.
 

Gtech

Rookie
The deal breaker for me is how overdone the whole RF logo thing is. Multiple signatures, the floating head, RF square logos, plus Roger Federer spelled out all thru the racket. Tacky in the extreme for me, and I am a Fed fan.
 

RanchDressing

Hall of Fame
Been playing with the new RF97 for about a week in some sweltering heat and haven't had any problem at all. Used it to dig in and pivot, smacked it reaching for a Monfils-style forehand (missed it!) and really put it through the ringer. No issues with the paint so far.
Yeah I doubt this paint is going to rub off. I'd even bet on it not just coming off.

The issues I have with this racquet are least of all the quality of the paint. I'm positive wilson wouldn't sell some crap unfinished primer. At least, in comparison with other racquets. Because most racquets flake their paint off without blinking an eye. If anything a less rigid finish should crack off less. And if these chinese knock offs can hold the matte/satin paint easily, I'm not doubting wilson
 

NuBas

Legend
Just got one my RFs today
First I've seen/held one
Have been demo'ing (TW demo on the left)

Share the OP's concern about the durability/longevity of the matte paint parts of the racquet
Looks cool, but almost feels that holding it will rub it off
Guess will just have to see what happens...

Thanks for the pics, maybe its a sales tactic by Wilson to increase the purchases of the old RF97 by making this new RF97 not as good, with less effort, and even more expensive.

Honestly I feel the old Pro Staff line feels much better in the hand than the new velvety one. Its like Wilson took a step back.
 

Sander001

Hall of Fame
I played with the RF97 for almost 2 years now with full 4G poly without any comfort issues.

Strange thing, when I played with the Prince Rebel 95 (2009) a while back, which had a much lower RA value, I had elbow issues.

This goes to show that RA doesn't always correlate with comfort.
Yup, people say I'm crazy when I say I've had more arm issues happen when the flex is too high. Too stiff is terrible too, I find the most comfort in the 60's.
 

Shroud

G.O.A.T.
I already know... It's not even a time will tell thing because like I have said, everything I ever own with this stupid rubber coating will melt. There is no "IF".
I for one am torture on my rackets and they ALWAYS seem to catch on the zippers when exiting and leaving the bags. Several times with the RF2016 I have looked and observed long grayish streaks where the zippers have caught. Everytime I thought the paint had been removed, and everytime I was able to remove the offending streak with some elbow grease or saliva. So for me at least this rubber paint is stronger than the internet made it out to be.

Agree with Spin To Win. Error Error Logical Error.
 

Aretium

Hall of Fame
I for one would love all rackets to have a rubber layer. My Dunlop MW 200g had some rubber layer all over it. It was very difficult to chip the frame and even when you did, it wasn't noticeable. I then had it in storage for 5 years and it had some gunk that was attracted to the rubber and it wasn't easy to clean. The wilson paint in general is so easy to chip. Stop Whining and start winning!
 

Aretium

Hall of Fame
I for one am torture on my rackets and they ALWAYS seem to catch on the zippers when exiting and leaving the bags. Several times with the RF2016 I have looked and observed long grayish streaks where the zippers have caught. Everytime I thought the paint had been removed, and everytime I was able to remove the offending streak with some elbow grease or saliva. So for me at least this rubber paint is stronger than the internet made it out to be.

Agree with Spin To Win. Error Error Logical Error.
I just started my post with the same phrase as you without realising. I think we are married now in some cultures.
 

movdqa

Talk Tennis Guru
Yup, people say I'm crazy when I say I've had more arm issues happen when the flex is too high. Too stiff is terrible too, I find the most comfort in the 60's.
The RF97 was quite a surprise to me in this area. I worried about arm problems but it turned out that the RF97 is as comfortable as my IG Prestiges and the IG Prestiges are really comfortable. I had avoided anything over 62 RA basically just using old Prestiges for the past five years because of a really bad bout of GE which took six months to recover from.
 

movdqa

Talk Tennis Guru
I for one am torture on my rackets and they ALWAYS seem to catch on the zippers when exiting and leaving the bags. Several times with the RF2016 I have looked and observed long grayish streaks where the zippers have caught. Everytime I thought the paint had been removed, and everytime I was able to remove the offending streak with some elbow grease or saliva. So for me at least this rubber paint is stronger than the internet made it out to be.

Agree with Spin To Win. Error Error Logical Error.
I took one of those padded shipping bags and cut it into the shape of the head of a tennis racquet and I use it as a separator so my racquets won't bang into each other. If I were worried about zipper scratches, I'd take the padding out, put the racquet in it and then put it into the bag so that any contact would be with the padding. I have the old Wilson 6-pack Red K90 bag and don't have a problem with zipper scratches but I usually open the whole thing up. If you open it just partway to slide in, then I can see that scratches are possible.
 

USAxSMITTY

New User
I was holding the Dimitrov 97S and the RF97 and I must say in hand the 97S felt considerably better. And as usually it translated on the court as well. Much preffered the playability of the 97S as it had greater access to spin, placement, and overall a better sense of feel. Power was not like the RF97 because the plowthrough was just not there. But with some leadtape I think it has good potential. The only thing about the RF97 is that if you don't customize your rackets its a good racket to pick up. But I usually like to start the weight around 305-310 and then add weight.
 

kingcheetah

Hall of Fame
I haven't held an FST so I can't say. However, what I can say is that the paint won't be for everyone. I really like how tactile it is, but some people might dislike like it for the same reason.
Tactile is the best way to describe it, it has a certain texture to it that didn't bother me, but may be noticeable to some people.
 

movdqa

Talk Tennis Guru
I was holding the Dimitrov 97S and the RF97 and I must say in hand the 97S felt considerably better. And as usually it translated on the court as well. Much preffered the playability of the 97S as it had greater access to spin, placement, and overall a better sense of feel. Power was not like the RF97 because the plowthrough was just not there. But with some leadtape I think it has good potential. The only thing about the RF97 is that if you don't customize your rackets its a good racket to pick up. But I usually like to start the weight around 305-310 and then add weight.
I think that the RF97 appeals to old-school players that use heavy frames - the RF97 is easy to customize higher because it starts out really headlight so you can just add lead at 12 or from 10 to 2. I found that no lead was needed at 3/9 because it is already so stable. I added 15 grams of lead from about 10:30 to 1:30 - I think that the swingweight is still a bit below my regular frames but it plays pretty close.
 

movdqa

Talk Tennis Guru
Tactile is the best way to describe it, it has a certain texture to it that didn't bother me, but may be noticeable to some people.
It's the lettering too. You feel the rubber and the lettering on the throat. I rather liked the feeling - it's a little softer than the glossy finishes on my Prestiges.
 

kingcheetah

Hall of Fame
I think that the RF97 appeals to old-school players that use heavy frames - the RF97 is easy to customize higher because it starts out really headlight so you can just add lead at 12 or from 10 to 2. I found that no lead was needed at 3/9 because it is already so stable. I added 15 grams of lead from about 10:30 to 1:30 - I think that the swingweight is still a bit below my regular frames but it plays pretty close.
I totally agree, that's what I said in my review of it, that if you're used to playing an all court game with heavier racquets like a prestige or a six one, ther RF97 is very similar in terms of swingweight.
 

iceman_dl6

Semi-Pro
I was holding the Dimitrov 97S and the RF97 and I must say in hand the 97S felt considerably better. And as usually it translated on the court as well. Much preffered the playability of the 97S as it had greater access to spin, placement, and overall a better sense of feel. Power was not like the RF97 because the plowthrough was just not there. But with some leadtape I think it has good potential. The only thing about the RF97 is that if you don't customize your rackets its a good racket to pick up. But I usually like to start the weight around 305-310 and then add weight.
I did try the PS 97S briefly and while I liked it for the same reasons you mentioned (esp feel), during a match it doesn't have that put away power of the RF that i need to win points.
 
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