How durable is the soft rubberized coating on new Wilson Pro Staff 97?

Long Face

Semi-Pro
I went to a local store to buy a Wilson Pro Staff 97 today, but hesitated when I had the racquet in my hands. Not sure about how durable the sticky soft rubberized black coating is.

I had seen some other products (say phone cases or iPad cases) on which soft touch rubber coating was used, and some of them were NOT durable, and could start to peel off or could get rubbed off. I don't know whether this will happen to the tennis racquet, too.

Also, some older Prince racquets (the Triple Threat line) had a soft coating that now has turned into a sticky mess, like it has been on open display inside a kitchen of a greasy Chinese restaurant. Some Yonex racquets (Titianium line) have a similar problem, too.

Can somebody put my paranoid mind to ease?

 

PeterFig

Professional
A certain poster here on TT was freaking out too when these first came out.... without good cause I might add. ;) However these racquets have been out for months and months and there have been no durability issues at all. In my own experience (and I've played with these months before they were officially released) the paint is actually more durable than the 'regular' paint. It tends to chip (larger chips) less. it was tested thoroughly before it was put into production and the results were very good.

So go ahead and buy and enjoy the velvety softness :)
 

ollinger

G.O.A.T.
Can somebody put my paranoid mind to ease?
No. A store in my area has a large selection of demo racquets and the soft-coat Wilsons are all a mess, with the coating peeling in lots of little pieces where there had apparently been some abrasion, looking like old dilapidated wallpaper.
 

loosegroove

Hall of Fame
My buddy has the RF Autograph, and it got pretty dinged up in short order. Nothing major, just a multitude of little nicks and scratches. Maybe it doesn't chip in large pieces, but it seemingly doesn't take much for the finish to rub off.
 

Chipnkick

Rookie
Eh, i got 2 new blades and while it certainly isnt indestructible, Ive been happy with it. Mostly the colored paint at 3 and 9 as that has held up against the tough scrapes on low volleys. The black paint is pretty much in low wear areas, and doesnt seem to just chip away like some of my yonex frames
 

racket king

Banned
A certain poster here on TT was freaking out too when these first came out.... without good cause I might add. ;) However these racquets have been out for months and months and there have been no durability issues at all.
I've seen at least 3 different PS97s come into the shop for stringing where the rubber paint has fallen off around the throat, revealing a glossy black under coat.

No. A store in my area has a large selection of demo racquets and the soft-coat Wilsons are all a mess, with the coating peeling in lots of little pieces where there had apparently been some abrasion, looking like old dilapidated wallpaper.
That's what I've been seeing as well.

If it was normal black paint, it would be easy to lightly sand, give it a light respray (and clearcoat if necessary) and it would look like new but trying to restore this rubber paint is practically impossible without it looking like a mess.
 

esgee48

G.O.A.T.
While I can't say anything about Wilson's finish, the finish on the Head's i.Tours are still in very good shape. No nicks, no chips. However, I do clean them monthly with a little furniture polish and the finish seems to be more durable. They belong to the GF.
 

Long Face

Semi-Pro
OMG, now I'm more paranoid than I was yesterday...

I have never trusted the soft touch coating, and wish it is a hard matte black finish on the racquet, like the finish of the good old Pro Staff 85.
 

10ACE

Professional
I have 2, one from 11/16 the other 3/17.

They both are dinged from play and the occasional slapping of the net, which leaves a white mark.

The 'coating' does chip too, leaving a clear black finish underneath. I don't have large chips, but a few on different areas of the racquets.

The 'coating' also may become more matte/flat finish after playing and holding the throats for sometime.

Overall, this personally hasn't affected my game or my love for the racquet. The cosmetic look is still sexy and the matte finish still feels great to touch.
 

dje31

Professional
Volkl's similar paint / coating on the old Quantum / Tour 10 Gen 1 were quite good, so it can be done well. Not sure Wilson's is.
 
A certain poster here on TT was freaking out too when these first came out.... without good cause I might add. ;) However these racquets have been out for months and months and there have been no durability issues at all. In my own experience (and I've played with these months before they were officially released) the paint is actually more durable than the 'regular' paint. It tends to chip (larger chips) less. it was tested thoroughly before it was put into production and the results were very good.

So go ahead and buy and enjoy the velvety softness :)
Seems like there are plenty of good causes. Maybe you shouldn't have talked so soon, or at all?
 

Fxanimator1

Hall of Fame
I'm using the PS97S and they both show wear on the velvety paint, which exposes the shinier black underneath. The red/orange paint seems bulletproof however, like it's Jellcoat or Imron or something. I really don't care either way though, they are great racquets. It just looks like you're actually using them for what they're meant to be used for.
 

ShahofTennis

Professional
How durable is the soft rubberized coating on a new Wilson Prostaff 97?



Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G920A using Tapatalk
 

jmacdaununder2

Hall of Fame
The velvet black paint might be durable, but Roger's face is fading fast...which I am actually happy, never liked that image on the racket.
I'd put a restringing sticker 'conveniently' over the top; only thing I don't like about the racquet - looks cheap and cartoonish on an otherwise very classy frame.
 

projectone7

Rookie
Correct me if I'm wrong, but the CV Blades have the same matte right? If so, then they seem to be fairly durable, as my Blade is still pristine.
 

ONgame

Semi-Pro
I knew the paint was going to be a disaster the moment it was announced. Many told me it was going to last forever, but I guess I was right.
 

Zoolander

Hall of Fame
Lets go easy on Wilson here. If the US military with its billions of monies cant stop its special radar absorbing paint coming off in the rain, i wouldnt expect too much of Wilsons fancy rubber paint when it hits the ground.
 

Gtech

Rookie


Not very durable. The rubber grip on the racket stringer took it right off.
Get a new stringer, that guy does not know what he is doing. Horrible knots or he has two knows on top of each other, either way, terrible. And his machine must be busted or he does not know to mount a racket. Absolutely no way you would scratch a racket like that if it was mounted properly. I have two RF97A and have not had any issues with the paint at all. The only chip I have on one is on the glossy paint at 9 o'clock.
 
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PeterFig

Professional
Get a new stringer, that guy does not what he is doing. Horrible knots or he has two knows on top of each other, either way, terrible. And his machine must be busted or he does not know to mount a racket. Absolutely no way you would scratch a racket like that if it was mounted properly. I have two RF97A and have not had any issues with the paint at all. The only chip I have on one is on the glossy paint at 9 o'clock.
I agree with both observations.
 
Get a new stringer, that guy does not know what he is doing. Horrible knots or he has two knows on top of each other, either way, terrible. And his machine must be busted or he does not know to mount a racket. Absolutely no way you would scratch a racket like that if it was mounted properly. I have two RF97A and have not had any issues with the paint at all. The only chip I have on one is on the glossy paint at 9 o'clock.
Poly (cross) knotted on natural gut (main)? Another bad idea I've been told... but I'm not the stringer so maybe someone else would like to comment on it.
 

Fxanimator1

Hall of Fame
Get a new stringer, that guy does not know what he is doing. Horrible knots or he has two knows on top of each other, either way, terrible. And his machine must be busted or he does not know to mount a racket. Absolutely no way you would scratch a racket like that if it was mounted properly. I have two RF97A and have not had any issues with the paint at all. The only chip I have on one is on the glossy paint at 9 o'clock.
This is a very accurate assessment. The paint should not look like THAT! I've strung mine many times. The wear I was referring to is at the head, and slight. This is a stringer that doesn't know what they're doing. The mains are supposed to tie off on throat 8, and the cross on the bottom at throat 6...not sure what's going on with your situation.
 
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Liam Grennon

Professional
I have a one hander and when in prep for the stroke, put my hand on the throat, do you think over time this will rub the paint off? Or will it take a really long time?
 

UCSF2012

Hall of Fame
I strung up the racket myself, but lets be intelligent for a bit. Where I place my knots won't affect paint rubbing off, especially if the mount isn't touching the racket at all (see first pic). Second, paint is coming off ALL over the place. I use a double mount system, but paint if coming off on the SHAFT where it says "Wilson" and from the side. Don't blame the stringer, when the problem is the nature of the paint. (I myself don't particularly care about the paint.

I choose to put ties on the same hole for one reason: I don't want to expand TWO grommet holes, just one. That particular grommet hole also has the largest diameter. If I put the string through any other hole, there'll be interference from another string AND/OR the hole is smaller. There's another grommet hole two holes up, and it's also a bigger hole. Problem is, the string is deflected in a way as to block another string from entering easily. Problem solved by double knotting in one hole.

I perform surgery for a living. By habit, I tend to THINK about what I'm doing and problem solve, even if it defies the rules.
 

UCSF2012

Hall of Fame
Get a new stringer, that guy does not know what he is doing. Horrible knots or he has two knows on top of each other, either way, terrible. And his machine must be busted or he does not know to mount a racket. Absolutely no way you would scratch a racket like that if it was mounted properly. I have two RF97A and have not had any issues with the paint at all. The only chip I have on one is on the glossy paint at 9 o'clock.
The CAUSE of this wear pattern is this: how I place the rackets my in bag. I stagger them so that I can fit the MOST NUMBER of rackets in the bag. (Grip up, grip down, grip up, grip down,...etc) This causes the racket frames to rub against each other while in the bag. Rubber paint against rubber paint. What happens next? Rubber paint comes off.

The rubberized racket mount on the stringer accelerates the wear at certain locations, but the wear exists much farther beyond the mount.

 
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Fxanimator1

Hall of Fame
I choose to put ties on the same hole for one reason: I don't want to expand TWO grommet holes, just one. That particular grommet hole also has the largest diameter. If I put the string through any other hole, there'll be interference from another string AND/OR the hole is smaller. There's another grommet hole two holes up, and it's also a bigger hole. Problem is, the string is deflected in a way as to block another string from entering easily. Problem solved by double knotting in one hole.

I perform surgery for a living. By habit, I tend to THINK about what I'm doing and problem solve, even if it defies the rules.
Have you tried using Chapstick to make the string slide under the other string easier, or put a small piece of string through the whole as your tensioning, so it leaves space, or a stringers awl, or maybe post this in the stringers section for advice? Will it save your paint...no, but you may learn more about stringing.
 

Shroud

G.O.A.T.
I have a one hander and when in prep for the stroke, put my hand on the throat, do you think over time this will rub the paint off? Or will it take a really long time?
That paint buggged me on my off hand. Cool thing is that playing with it it necer bothered me and i never felt it. I would t worry

Fwiw i was worried about the paint and dont take care of my sticks especially putting then i the bag. Was worried about this. Sure enough early on there was a big scratch...that rubbed off with no dammage to the frame. I didnt have it long but had no issues.
 

Fxanimator1

Hall of Fame
That paint buggged me on my off hand. Cool thing is that playing with it it necer bothered me and i never felt it. I would t worry

Fwiw i was worried about the paint and dont take care of my sticks especially putting then i the bag. Was worried about this. Sure enough early on there was a big scratch...that rubbed off with no dammage to the frame. I didnt have it long but had no issues.
I agree with this. I just like the 97S so much that I chose to ignore any paint wear it gets.
 

skfx

Rookie
My friend was demoing RF97 and I was surprised how destroyed it looked. Ive seen plenty of demo racquets but wow .. nothing like that. I think if you play on clay and tap your shoes with the racquet, do not get it ;)
 

UCSF2012

Hall of Fame
Poly (cross) knotted on natural gut (main)? Another bad idea I've been told... but I'm not the stringer so maybe someone else would like to comment on it.
Why would this be a bad idea? Gut against poly has the lowest coefficient of friction. (Maybe it's a very good idea) But in truth, it's probably inconsequential.
Have you tried using Chapstick to make the string slide under the other string easier, or put a small piece of string through the whole as your tensioning, so it leaves space, or a stringers awl, or maybe post this in the stringers section for advice? Will it save your paint...no, but you may learn more about stringing.
I use a nail clipper to cut the string to a sharp point. Then I use forceps to insert it in. If it doesn't go in, I use the path finder awl. I try my best to not expand too many holes. I've looked at a few RF97's. Some are double knotted, some are single. I just stick it into whichever hole works easily. I don't worry about trifles.
 

Fxanimator1

Hall of Fame
Why would this be a bad idea? Gut against poly has the lowest coefficient of friction. (Maybe it's a very good idea) But in truth, it's probably inconsequential.


I use a nail clipper to cut the string to a sharp point. Then I use forceps to insert it in. If it doesn't go in, I use the path finder awl. I try my best to not expand too many holes. I've looked at a few RF97's. Some are double knotted, some are single. I just stick it into whichever hole works easily. I don't worry about trifles.
The RF97 is probably one the easiest racquets on the planet to string and because cramming three strings through one grommet is a bad idea. There's no shame in seeking knowledge.
Although I have to admit, the part about you being surgeon that "defies the rules" sort of freaked me out a little.
 
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Gtech

Rookie
Maybe I am in the minority here, but I love this black velvet paint. I just bought a Blade CV and one of the reasons was the black paint and overall look of the design. I don't know if PeterFig even did the work on the Blade, but quality of the RF97A and Blade paint and markings are the best
I strung up the racket myself, but lets be intelligent for a bit. Where I place my knots won't affect paint rubbing off, especially if the mount isn't touching the racket at all (see first pic). Second, paint is coming off ALL over the place. I use a double mount system, but paint if coming off on the SHAFT where it says "Wilson" and from the side. Don't blame the stringer, when the problem is the nature of the paint. (I myself don't particularly care about the paint.

I choose to put ties on the same hole for one reason: I don't want to expand TWO grommet holes, just one. That particular grommet hole also has the largest diameter. If I put the string through any other hole, there'll be interference from another string AND/OR the hole is smaller. There's another grommet hole two holes up, and it's also a bigger hole. Problem is, the string is deflected in a way as to block another string from entering easily. Problem solved by double knotting in one hole.

I perform surgery for a living. By habit, I tend to THINK about what I'm doing and problem solve, even if it defies the rules.
Please tell me which hospital you are a surgeon at, so I can avoid it at all costs. Not only you have zero clue about what you are doing but you are somehow justifying your ignorance as being smart and defiying the rules. Stringing a racket is pretty easy, the mfg even specifies the pattern and tells you exactly where to do tie ins per the specific drilling pattern for each racket model. Doing it your own way with poor results is just stupid, but I get the feeling you are one of those types that will keep arguing you are right.
 
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