How I rediscovered my Wilson PS85 St. Vincents!

cyberg

New User
Hi all,
just wanted to share a story with you Wilson PS 85 freaks in here :) I am 37 years old and grew up playing a lot of tennis until I graduated from high school here in Sweden were i live. When playing in my high school team, was a solid 4.5 player, sometimes up at 5.0, and during all those years I played, there was only one brand of racquets I would use: Wilson. My first real racquet was a Wilson Matrix, and the second one was a Wilson Staff 85 (the grey one, the same mold as the PS85 but 100% graphite). My dad played Wilson PS85 and I ended up buying a couple of those when I was 15 or so. I spent a year in the USA at my senior year of high school, and for some reason I perceived the PS85 as a too difficult racquet to handle, so I got a couple of Wilson PS Classic 6.0 110sqin. I hade never played them before buying them, but figured that I needed the bigger frame (i.e. easier to play). I liked them and played them a lot, but then totally quit playing tennis when I was 20 years old or so.

About 5 years ago, I started playing again, and of course picked up my PS Classic 6.1 110sqin. I restrung them, and played them for a couple of ours. But, then I figured "It's 15 years since I bought a racquet, so why not look at other brands? I mean, SOMETHING must have happened in the racquet business since I bought the PS85s, right?". I tried a bunch of racquets, and ended up getting 3 Babolat Pure Storm racquets that I played until a couple of months ago. They are rather soft (not stiff), pretty easy to hit and I like the fell in them. At 298 grams or something like that, I always thought they were too light, though. The thing I have liked the most with them is that the large fram and open string pattern allows me to put A LOT of spin on my ground stroke which is nice. Then, the other day, I started to clean out a bunch of old junk in our house. I threw a lot of stuff away and sold some. When doing this, I found my 2 old PS85, and old Wilson Ultra 2 and my 3 PS Classics. I was about to put them up at a Swedish internet auction site when I thought: "Hm...maybe I'll just take one of those PS85s to the tennis court, if nothing else, just to try them out and let my boss (my tennis partner) try out a REAL racquet for once". Said and done: First I thought that I'd just hit a couple of balls and then put the racquet back in my bag. But, then I thought: I'll continue to play it for 15 minutes, and then drop it back in my bag. I ended up playing with it for almost 2 hours, and it just continued to grow on me! I cannot believe that I have played those Babolats for several years instead of the Wilsons, the feeling is just impossible to describe! The PS85s are almost 50 grams heavier, but still so maneuverable! And the feeling is so solid, and with so much control, it's just amazing :) And, I can generate so much spin as well, that I never thought possible :oops:

Anyway, I just wanted to share this story with you guys, with a conclusion: nothing has obviously happened in the tennis racquet market for 15 years (oh well, maybe SOMETHING ;) ) and I will NEVER use any other racquet than the PS 85s. Actually, I am looking for more PS 85s in the second hand market as we speak!
 

cyberg

New User
Below is some photos of the 2 PS 85 6.0 with the St. Vincent sticker still left on one of the butt caps. There is one picture of the Ultra 2, that is a really crazy racquet: It's SO stiff, and the sweet spot is extremely small in my opinion.




 

retrowagen

Hall of Fame
Cool story!

Being from Sweden, were you and your dad Stefan Edberg fans, therefore Wilson PS85 fans? :)

I watched the 1988 Wimbledon men's final from Norway, my friends and I were cheering for Edberg to win it, and he did! A good memory.
 

coachrick

Hall of Fame
Nice story and it's refreshing to hear from someone who actually is enamored with the PS85 from PLAYING with it...rather than the elusive search for a cast-off SV they can sell for five-hundred bucks on the 'bay. ;)

When I was playing more, I felt much the same way about the Volkl Tour 10 Mid. Any time I tried it, it was like hitting with an old friend. A few posters feel the same about their Max 200G stalwarts.
 

courtking

Semi-Pro
welcome back to the St. Vincent.. I always have at least 1 st. vincent in my bag as a back up.. I am currently using KPS88 but on the day that my shots are off, St. Vincent always come to the rescue.. it's a great racket, great feel, cut thru the air like a thin blade.. string hybrid with vsgut/alu rough at low tension 38lb it beats any current rackets available on the market..
 

Stein

New User
Twenty years i've been waiting to play with some St Vincents. i've tried a lot of newer versions but Last week I finally got the change to test one. All dressed up and really excited i went to the court.
Man did that turn out on a dissapointment. What a complete lack of control!
I also had a HEAD Graphite Pro (like Henri Leconte) in my bag to test. And despite what i hoped for that last one played much more to my liking :oops:
Really sorry to upset your thread :oops: I just had to share this. Maybe i had too high hopes out for the Wilson, but now i wish i never played with one because the dream is much nicer that the experience :???:
 

davo81

New User
nothing has obviously happened in the tennis racquet market for 15 years [...] and I will NEVER use any other racquet than the PS 85s.
A Babolat Pure Storm isn't a modern racquet. It is an attempt to recreate exactly a Pro Staff type racquet - and it's not at all important for Babolat in the big scheme of things. If you want to try a modern racquet, go for a Pure Drive or AeroPro Drive.
 

NLBwell

Legend
My S.V. ProStaff finally gave up the ghost a while ago. I let my son try all my rackets and though I figured that he would pick a lighter one with a bigger head, he liked the ProStaff the best. So an opinion from someone who does not have any knowledge of rackets in what essentially was a blind test. Unfortunately, it cracked through the head while he was hitting a rally forehand. Finally fatiged out after all the years I had used it and the little bit of time he got to use it.
 

cyberg

New User
Cool story!

Being from Sweden, were you and your dad Stefan Edberg fans, therefore Wilson PS85 fans? :)

I watched the 1988 Wimbledon men's final from Norway, my friends and I were cheering for Edberg to win it, and he did! A good memory.
Thanks! And yes, both my dad and me were really big Edberg fans :) But, my dad has played Wilson racquets exclusively since the 60's or so (the wooden Jack Kramer Autograph and a bunch of others) so it wasn't Edberg that made him play Wilsons. As I recall it, the Ultra 2 was his (my dad's) first non wood racquet, and he pretty quickly moved on to the PS85 St. Vincent model and never changed from that.

For me, Edberg was my first real sports hero, and that definitely pushed me towards buying the PS85s instead of Prince Original Graphite, Head Radical etc. that some other kids used when I was young.


Nice story and it's refreshing to hear from someone who actually is enamored with the PS85 from PLAYING with it...rather than the elusive search for a cast-off SV they can sell for five-hundred bucks on the 'bay. ;)

When I was playing more, I felt much the same way about the Volkl Tour 10 Mid. Any time I tried it, it was like hitting with an old friend. A few posters feel the same about their Max 200G stalwarts.
The funny thing is: I had no idea about the high value of the old PS85 St. Vincents until reading the story about the racquet, and the excellent PS85 Wiki, just a month ago or so. I mean, I know that the PS85 always has been a success racquet and that some players continued playing it with different paintjobs etc. but didn't know how high prices they can fetch today.

Now, I am gonna spend some time trying out strings for my PS85s! The one I've played the last month has some old Prince Tournament Nylon strings that actually still have a decent tension, but I just cut those out yesterday and strung it up with a Babolat Hurricane hybrid set. I will be ordering some different sets of polys and see how that feels.

A Babolat Pure Storm isn't a modern racquet. It is an attempt to recreate exactly a Pro Staff type racquet - and it's not at all important for Babolat in the big scheme of things. If you want to try a modern racquet, go for a Pure Drive or AeroPro Drive.
3 or 4 years ago I rented the Babolat Pure Drive, AeroPro Drive, some different Head racquets and some Wilsons, so I have tried a bunch of more modern racquets. The PureDrive and AeroPro Drive are OK racquets, but nothing special, for my taste.
 

gplracer

Hall of Fame
I loved my original Wilson Ultra and then the Ultra II. They were great rackets. The new prostaff 95 was such a different racket and a dissappointment to me.
 

Virginia

Hall of Fame
I loved my original Wilson Ultra and then the Ultra II. They were great rackets. The new prostaff 95 was such a different racket and a dissappointment to me.
Rosewall played with those exact same racquets (Ultra original and Ultra II) when he started using graphites.
 

VGP

Legend
I loved my original Wilson Ultra and then the Ultra II. They were great rackets. The new prostaff 95 was such a different racket and a dissappointment to me.
If those are your frames of reference, why in the world would you even consider a PS95?

A KP88 is more like it.
 

coachrick

Hall of Fame
If those are your frames of reference, why in the world would you even consider a PS95?

A KP88 is more like it.
The PS 95 'looked' like a logical move to a few more sq inches(as in many mid to midplus transitions), I reckon. Of course, you don't get somethin' for nuthin' around here :) ; so many of us have found the 'next size up' in many model lines to be disappointing compared to the original. I've known a few folks who moved from the PS 85 to the PS 6.0 95 and were quite happy. Different strokes, as they say.
 

VGP

Legend
Different strokes, as they say.
Yes.

I read earlier in this thread about Stein saying he liked the Head Graphite Pro over the St. Vincent PS85. That's fine. I figure he's more grooved to the tight string pattern. Maybe the PS85 felt like a rocket launcher to him.

I am (was) a staunch advocate of the PS85, but for me, the Wilson Graphite Force Midsize has become my favorite frame. In my thread on this frame I've described my experiences at length. I really tried NOT to like it as it was the cheap, budget midsize of 1984. Not to mention I like the thick, cheap 15 gauge nylon strings in them too. Call me crazy (and cheap).

*shrug*

My PS85s have been relegated to nostalgia.....
 

jorel

Hall of Fame
Yes.

I read earlier in this thread about Stein saying he liked the Head Graphite Pro over the St. Vincent PS85. That's fine. I figure he's more grooved to the tight string pattern. Maybe the PS85 felt like a rocket launcher to him.

I am (was) a staunch advocate of the PS85, but for me, the Wilson Graphite Force Midsize has become my favorite frame. In my thread on this frame I've described my experiences at length. I really tried NOT to like it as it was the cheap, budget midsize of 1984. Not to mention I like the thick, cheap 15 gauge nylon strings in them too. Call me crazy (and cheap).

*shrug*

My PS85s have been relegated to nostalgia.....
u ever try the original wilson sting?
 

VGP

Legend
u ever try the original wilson sting?
Yeah....I have some of those too. Maybe even the unidirectional layup. The Sting Mid is a nice frame too.

I have a Wilson Ultra and that is a stiff, even gritty feeling frame. The one I have is labeled a Medium. Hefty for sure by today's standards.

I still prefer the Graphite Force to the Sting Mid. It must be the graphite/fiberglass mix. I find the shock damping of the fiberglass pretty nice. Turns out I like the more flexible frames. But not too flexible like the Graphite Matrix, Pro Matrix, or Reflex Mids.

One frame I do have but I've never really got around to hitting is the Jack Kramer Staff Mid.

Funny that.
 

hoodjem

G.O.A.T.
Hi all,
just wanted to share a story with you Wilson PS 85 freaks in here :) I am 37 years old and grew up playing a lot of tennis until I graduated from high school here in Sweden were i live. When playing in my high school team, was a solid 4.5 player, sometimes up at 5.0, and during all those years I played, there was only one brand of racquets I would use: Wilson. My first real racquet was a Wilson Matrix, and the second one was a Wilson Staff 85 (the grey one, the same mold as the PS85 but 100% graphite). My dad played Wilson PS85 and I ended up buying a couple of those when I was 15 or so. I spent a year in the USA at my senior year of high school, and for some reason I perceived the PS85 as a too difficult racquet to handle, so I got a couple of Wilson PS Classic 6.0 110sqin. I hade never played them before buying them, but figured that I needed the bigger frame (i.e. easier to play). I liked them and played them a lot, but then totally quit playing tennis when I was 20 years old or so.

About 5 years ago, I started playing again, and of course picked up my PS Classic 6.1 110sqin. I restrung them, and played them for a couple of ours. But, then I figured "It's 15 years since I bought a racquet, so why not look at other brands? I mean, SOMETHING must have happened in the racquet business since I bought the PS85s, right?". I tried a bunch of racquets, and ended up getting 3 Babolat Pure Storm racquets that I played until a couple of months ago. They are rather soft (not stiff), pretty easy to hit and I like the fell in them. At 298 grams or something like that, I always thought they were too light, though. The thing I have liked the most with them is that the large fram and open string pattern allows me to put A LOT of spin on my ground stroke which is nice. Then, the other day, I started to clean out a bunch of old junk in our house. I threw a lot of stuff away and sold some. When doing this, I found my 2 old PS85, and old Wilson Ultra 2 and my 3 PS Classics. I was about to put them up at a Swedish internet auction site when I thought: "Hm...maybe I'll just take one of those PS85s to the tennis court, if nothing else, just to try them out and let my boss (my tennis partner) try out a REAL racquet for once". Said and done: First I thought that I'd just hit a couple of balls and then put the racquet back in my bag. But, then I thought: I'll continue to play it for 15 minutes, and then drop it back in my bag. I ended up playing with it for almost 2 hours, and it just continued to grow on me! I cannot believe that I have played those Babolats for several years instead of the Wilsons, the feeling is just impossible to describe! The PS85s are almost 50 grams heavier, but still so maneuverable! And the feeling is so solid, and with so much control, it's just amazing :) And, I can generate so much spin as well, that I never thought possible :oops:

Anyway, I just wanted to share this story with you guys, with a conclusion: nothing has obviously happened in the tennis racquet market for 15 years (oh well, maybe SOMETHING ;) ) and I will NEVER use any other racquet than the PS 85s. Actually, I am looking for more PS 85s in the second hand market as we speak!
Good for you.

I loved the PS85 SV, for years and years.

But when I tried them again a few years ago, after an hour I was exhausted and could not swing them anymore.

If you can, more power to you.
 

VGP

Legend
watcha waiting for
Don't know.

I guess I don't really hit that often these days. When I do, I just want to use my favorite frames. I don't want to "waste time" as it were cork sniffing and cheese tasting.
 

jorel

Hall of Fame
Don't know.

I guess I don't really hit that often these days. When I do, I just want to use my favorite frames. I don't want to "waste time" as it were cork sniffing and cheese tasting.
well if ur not using them............
 
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