Need more arm friendly racquet that hits like the latest RF Pro Staff...

Subaruvich

Semi-Pro
I believe you are spot on in your observations. I'm getting older and have a bad shoulder; there is no denying this anymore so I need to move onto a lighter racquet and one that is not quite as stiff as the RF. The RF racquet is like a drug to me in that I hit so well with it that I just can't put it down, even knowing full well that is bad for me....LOL! I'm sure you are correct that there are no other lighter weight racquets that will provide the same performance as the RF, however, I am hopeful I'll find one that is relatively close. I've done all sorts of physical therapy, stretch band exercises to help strengthen my shoulder and while they help, they will not fix my arthritic shoulder. In my youth, I used to be a stud and swing every type of Pro Staff with ease, but age has caught up with me.......such a humbling experience. Well, at least I still have my legs and am considered very quick on the court per those I hit with. I usually play with seniors (ages 50 to 65) who were open level players in their day and I do very well against them. You'd be surprised how hard some of these seniors can hit despite their age.

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Subaruvich

Semi-Pro
I believe you are spot on in your observations. I'm getting older and have a bad shoulder; there is no denying this anymore so I need to move onto a lighter racquet and one that is not quite as stiff as the RF. The RF racquet is like a drug to me in that I hit so well with it that I just can't put it down, even knowing full well that is bad for me....LOL! I'm sure you are correct that there are no other lighter weight racquets that will provide the same performance as the RF, however, I am hopeful I'll find one that is relatively close. I've done all sorts of physical therapy, stretch band exercises to help strengthen my shoulder and while they help, they will not fix my arthritic shoulder. In my youth, I used to be a stud and swing every type of Pro Staff with ease, but age has caught up with me.......such a humbling experience. Well, at least I still have my legs and am considered very quick on the court per those I hit with. I usually play with seniors (ages 50 to 65) who were open level players in their day and I do very well against them. You'd be surprised how hard some of these seniors can hit despite their age.

Have you considered sanding down the paint? I have done it with my Angells and that is 20g of paint removed from the hoop. Then I paint it applying layer of primer and black matte. That's ~ +3g. Then probably swap leather grip on your RF with PU grip to keep your balance. Add some lead at 12 to adjust SW. You will have then 15-20g lighter racquet and it still should remain rock solid. In addition RA will drop by couple of points giving you softer feel
 

Mirdad

Semi-Pro
I'm with you as my shoulder started hurting a bit after playing 20 years of Tennis and RF97 is an awesome racquet amd it's stiffness probably plays role in why that racquet plays so well.It's very hard to find a similar racquet ( i have tried every racquet out there) as someone mentioned here I didn't like Angel as well.

I play with Prokennes Q5 racquet which is a great for shoulder and infact for the whole arm but unfortunately it's cann't compare to RF97 in terms of heavy shots (comparable shots with RF aren't coming back).I have lot of experince in weighing racquet and customized the many racquets but I cann't create RF97 :)

You might want to try to the Prokennex Q+ extended racquet but it is a 16*20 so you might have to put something like Solinco Tour bite 18G/17g to get the spin almost similar to 16*19 racquet.

I have been a long time user of Wilson 6.1.95 and mostly play ( my level is around 4.5) with Prokennex Q5 racquet and my arm is very very happy.At the end of the day I chose the option extending playing years with Prokennex instead of shorting my Tennis enjoyment by playing with other racquets.But once in a while I do play with RF and I enjoy so much hitting even straight to opponent but ball somehow doesn't come back to my side of the net.

Lastly I can say Prokennex Q+ racquet does allow you to play close to baseline to take it early and it's lighter so it's easier to play close to baseline.

Good luck on your search
Thanks for the tip on the Pro Kennex Q+ 16x20; I also have that one on demo order.
 

Mirdad

Semi-Pro
I know from experience what you are going through and I tried all kinds of frames and they all paled in comparison to the RF. Before giving up on the RF, I'd suggest going to a lighter gauge string (18 or 19g) to lower the static weight a little and to make it even more headlight. You may also try swapping the leather grip for a synthetic grip which will also lower the static weight ------- another plus is that the synthetic grip will absorb more shock then the leather grip.

So perhaps 18-19g strings and switching to a synthetic grip will be all you need.
Interesting idea about switching to a synthetic grip. That should reduce the static weight by 8 grams. I am already using 17 gauge Wilson NXT and switching to a 18 g NXT will probably cost me a fortune as I'll be breaking strings quite often. So, if I just switch to the synthetic grip I will decrease the static weight by 8 to 12 grams (depending upon which synthetic grip I buy), but unfortunately this will cause the HL balance to tip from -9 to -6.5 which in my opinion might nullify this whole exercise as the SW will increase. Hmmm....someone mentioned something about sanding off the paint in the loop. But then you have to repaint it with lighter weight paint?......this is getting beyond my pay grade:)
 

KaiserW

Hall of Fame
Interesting idea about switching to a synthetic grip. That should reduce the static weight by 8 grams. I am already using 17 gauge Wilson NXT and switching to a 18 g NXT will probably cost me a fortune as I'll be breaking strings quite often. So, if I just switch to the synthetic grip I will decrease the static weight by 8 to 12 grams (depending upon which synthetic grip I buy), but unfortunately this will cause the HL balance to tip from -9 to -6.5 which in my opinion might nullify this whole exercise as the SW will increase. Hmmm....someone mentioned something about sanding off the paint in the loop. But then you have to repaint it with lighter weight paint?......this is getting beyond my pay grade:)

Should only change balance about 1/2 point. When I put on Bab Skin Feel I went from 9 to 8.5. also sw will not increase by going to lighter grip.
 

Mirdad

Semi-Pro
Should only change balance about 1/2 point. When I put on Bab Skin Feel I went from 9 to 8.5. also sw will not increase by going to lighter grip.
Perhaps you thought I was talking about adding an overgrip which is only a gram or two in weight? In my post I was referring to the actual original grip on the racquet, not an overgrip.
 

KaiserW

Hall of Fame
Perhaps you thought I was talking about adding an overgrip which is only a gram or two in weight? In my post I was referring to the actual original grip on the racquet, not an overgrip.

No I was not talking over grip. Trust me will not change the balance that much. Keep in mind the extra weight is distributed across the whole handle.
 

fuzz nation

G.O.A.T.
My Volkl C10's have some lead tape added to their handles for a little extra HL balance and with string and an overgrip, they weigh in at about 12.6 oz. When I want to slug with some of the stronger kids that I coach, this racquet is my easy choice. It's stable, maneuverable, and wonderfully arm-friendly for me strung at 58-60 lbs. with 17 ga. syn. gut.

I also keep Volkl's O10 325g in my bag - I've customized these into a layout that's actually just a little heavier than my C10's. Both Volkls have been much better overall for me compared with several other frames, including the RF 97.

If you want something mildly less hefty and also on the semi-soft side of the street, Volkl has a newer V-Sense 10 Tour that looks like a rather nice option that could be easy to tune into a layout that you like. Although its stiffness is listed as 66, the beam width of that racquet is only 19 mm. That's old school skinny! I'd bet that this racquet is a comfortable 66 flex, especially with a less than rock-hard string setup. Add some lead to steady it up if necessary and you might be good to go.

Also have a look at the V-Sense 10 in both the 325g and 295g versions. The lighter version is another one that could be a great platform for some tuning at home. Several of our pals here have had success with customizing their 295g's from previous versions of this racquet (the Organix and Super G generations).
 

Mirdad

Semi-Pro
My Volkl C10's have some lead tape added to their handles for a little extra HL balance and with string and an overgrip, they weigh in at about 12.6 oz. When I want to slug with some of the stronger kids that I coach, this racquet is my easy choice. It's stable, maneuverable, and wonderfully arm-friendly for me strung at 58-60 lbs. with 17 ga. syn. gut.

I also keep Volkl's O10 325g in my bag - I've customized these into a layout that's actually just a little heavier than my C10's. Both Volkls have been much better overall for me compared with several other frames, including the RF 97.

If you want something mildly less hefty and also on the semi-soft side of the street, Volkl has a newer V-Sense 10 Tour that looks like a rather nice option that could be easy to tune into a layout that you like. Although its stiffness is listed as 66, the beam width of that racquet is only 19 mm. That's old school skinny! I'd bet that this racquet is a comfortable 66 flex, especially with a less than rock-hard string setup. Add some lead to steady it up if necessary and you might be good to go.

Also have a look at the V-Sense 10 in both the 325g and 295g versions. The lighter version is another one that could be a great platform for some tuning at home. Several of our pals here have had success with customizing their 295g's from previous versions of this racquet (the Organix and Super G generations).
Thanks for the heads up on the Volkl V-Sense. Great minds think alike; I've got the V-Sense 10 Tour on order as a demo.
 

Mirdad

Semi-Pro
No I was not talking over grip. Trust me will not change the balance that much. Keep in mind the extra weight is distributed across the whole handle.
Here is where I got my information:
http://www.tennis-warehouse.com/LC/customize.html

"Leather grips vary in weight but can weigh anywhere from about 0.2 oz to 0.4 oz more than the stock synthetic grip. As far as the effect on balance point, the leather grip versus synthetic grip variance is roughly equivalent to":

0.2 oz = 1 point more head-light
0.3 oz = 2 points more head-light
0.4 oz = 2.5 points more head-light

So, it depends upon how much the synthetic grip weighs vs the leather grip that replaces it. In my example I was calculating putting a Wilson leather grip in place of the Angell synthetic one. The difference between the Angell synthetic grip and the Wilson grip would be 8 grams (I verified this with the racquet tech at Advanced Racquets, but I'll double check with Paul at Angell). 8 grams equals .282 ounces so it would make the racquet not quite 2 pts more h/l.
Also, you are correct the SW won't really change just the static weight.
 
RF 97 is just way too stiff. For the week i used it, I ended up having some arm issues until I switch back to my 2015 Blade 98 18x20. I will be trying out the Ultra Tour 97 to see how that one hits as it might just be a Blade 98 CV but maybe a tad softer.
 

bkr

Rookie
Some one already suggested above to go to a Synthetic Grip which what I have done to my RF and I have started using tour bite 18G (162 stiffness according to TW) which is very low for a poly.I have hit few times not a big difference compared to 17g Tour bite.I strung it at 54/52lbs and I would probably go little low next time but main point is I didn't lose much control and even the balls taken early on the baseline as we know control is tested on shots hit early and on the rise.

I think RF weight came around 342grms after removing leather adding a old grip i had at home plus overgrip (no dampner as I don't use it on my racquets).
 

Mirdad

Semi-Pro
Some one already suggested above to go to a Synthetic Grip which what I have done to my RF and I have started using tour bite 18G (162 stiffness according to TW) which is very low for a poly.I have hit few times not a big difference compared to 17g Tour bite.I strung it at 54/52lbs and I would probably go little low next time but main point is I didn't lose much control and even the balls taken early on the baseline as we know control is tested on shots hit early and on the rise.

I think RF weight came around 342grms after removing leather adding a old grip i had at home plus overgrip (no dampner as I don't use it on my racquets).
It's still too stiff for me, especially after hitting with the Volkl C10 Pro today. I can't believe how well that old Volkl C10 hits. Hardly any vibration at all and has a very solid feel to it. I have an Angell TC95 16x19 ra63 on order. I need a more flexible frame that has a decent swing weight. I'm pretty confident the Angell frame will work well for me.
 

phanker

Semi-Pro
Wilson Ultra Tour might be the ticket. With some lead, I'm sure you can customize to your exact specs. Never seen a 18x20 rated so high in comfort @ TW.
 

zalive

Hall of Fame
Wilson Ultra Tour might be the ticket. With some lead, I'm sure you can customize to your exact specs. Never seen a 18x20 rated so high in comfort @ TW.

But then again, why going for 18x20 when open patterns are easier to reach comfort...
 

KaiserW

Hall of Fame
It's still too stiff for me, especially after hitting with the Volkl C10 Pro today. I can't believe how well that old Volkl C10 hits. Hardly any vibration at all and has a very solid feel to it. I have an Angell TC95 16x19 ra63 on order. I need a more flexible frame that has a decent swing weight. I'm pretty confident the Angell frame will work well for me.

I may eventually have to move on from RF also, my shoulder has been bugging me.

Can you compare the C10 vs RF in regards to heaviness of your ball?
 

USPTARF97

Hall of Fame
The RF Pro Staff (latest black version) is my dream racquet. In fact, it is my favorite racquet of all time (40 yrs+ of playing). I crush average second serves, block back (with short swing) bullet serves and hit great topspin from the baseline. Can still flatten out on shots when wanting to be more aggressive......all with decent accuracy. At the net, the racquet is super at providing stability and control. I also love the feeling of hitting my 2HB with the racquet versus many others I have tried. The problem I have with the racquet is I'm an aging 4.5 to 5.0 level player whose shoulder is very tired after about 40 minutes of play. I don't think it's so much the weight that is bothering me. The racquet feels very stiff at the net even though I have switched to Wilson NXT Power 17. Off center shots from the baseline also produce unwanted vibration, despite being pretty good at hitting within the sweet spot. The RF racquet has a flex rating of 68 which is probably too high for my shoulder. My guess is I need a more flexible racquet but I really like the stability and spin potential of the Fed racquet. I have a demo on order of the following racquets:
1)Volkl V-Sense Tour
2)Volkl C10 Pro (racquet seems to have great specs, but skeptical how it performs versus more modern racquets)
3)ProKennex Ki Q+ Tour 300
4)ProKennex Ki Q+Pro 310

So far I've demoed:
1) Wilson CV Blade 18X20: Not enough topspin, I've been spoiled by the RF open frame which allows me to hit more topspin. Also, denser string pattern racquets are in by themselves more stiff so I've ruled the 18X20 Blade out.
2) Wilson CV Blade 16X19: Too head heavy. I also prefer a lighter head balance. I tried weighting the handle but still the racquet did not produce the control I was used to using the RF racquet and felt too head heavy after weighting it down.
3)Tried some of the Babloat Aero's but they are too stiff and found I couldn't flatten out on my shots as well as the Fed racquet.
4) I have tried various 16x18 racquets such at the Prince Textreme Warrior and Wilson Blade. I found these racquets more arm friendly and great for tremendous topspin but they are not very accurate when trying to be more aggressive when flattening out on shots.

So, the perfect racquet would have the following characteristics:

1)Arm friendly
2)Very stable
3)Access to spin (prefer 16x19)
4)Can flatten out on shots with accuracy
5)Head light balance of at least 6 points; preferably 9 points HL. (I can always customize to achieve the HL balance I like but don't want the racquet to weigh much more than 12.3 ounces)


What do you think of my demos I have on order? Any ideas where I can locate this dream racquet?

Thanks in advance........
Sounds like more of a weight issue. If RF97 is your dream racquet I would go with PS97, play lower tensions and experiment with weight. Nothing out there is going to give you characteristics of the RF97 other than the PS97 or racquets in the pro staff line.
 

UCSF2012

Hall of Fame
Stop searching for the pot of gold under the rainbow. Get yourself a stretch band and do shoulder exercises.
 

UCSF2012

Hall of Fame
Sounds like more of a weight issue. If RF97 is your dream racquet I would go with PS97, play lower tensions and experiment with weight. Nothing out there is going to give you characteristics of the RF97 other than the PS97 or racquets in the pro staff line.

You ever used the PS97? it has less than half the power/stability of the RF. I used mine for 5 minutes before I stored it away in my closet.
 
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Mirdad

Semi-Pro
Stop searching for the pot of gold under the rainbow. Get yourself a stretch band and do shoulder exercises.
I have been using stretch bands for years, and yes they help in a big way. I have also invested a lot of money in a PEMF device that reduces inflammation much more than just ice does. I've been to four surgeons and they all say I need to have my shoulder replaced.......gulp! They say it's not advised to play tennis afterwards as the life of some of the parts they use in the surgery only last 10 to 15 years and that playing tennis will cause them to wear out faster. However, they did say many people continue to play tennis and the surgery has tremendously helped their game. Nowadays I mainly hit groundstrokes and can hit out with full strength without pain while playing. It's afterwards that there is pain from inflammation. If I keep the hitting session to no more than one hour then the pain afterwards is not too bad and I can recover fairly quickly to hit again with at least one to two days rest. The only time I have trouble with the pain that lasts through the night is if I hit any overheads or sometimes high reaching volleys. Consequently, I have to serve underhand when I play dubs and have to be careful not to be too competitive in reaching for high volleys. My groundstrokes can keep up with 5.0 rated players so that is why I'm able to play competitively in dubs but a decent player in singles will have a field day with my underhand serve, however, I occasionally beat 4.5 players in singles. I rarely play singles because my serve is such a liability that it's just too frustrating to know I can beat the other guy if I had a real overhead serve. Consequently, I rarely play any sets and limit by competition to playing games of 21 which I normally win hands down. I have to be very careful while body surfing as I cannot do any overhead strokes or the pain is off the charts. Not fun at all to live with this condition. I'm 62 and have been trying to put off this surgery for the last six years or so. I refuse to give up tennis as a love the game so I probably won't have the surgery until I can no longer hit groundstrokes. Recently I hit very well with lots of comfort with a Volkl C10 Pro. I've also have an Angell racquet on order that is said to be very arm friendly and you can customize the static weight and head light balance as well. Either the Volkl or the Angell will be my new racquet. Both are at least a half ounce to a full ounce lighter than the RF racquet but they have a much lower stiffness rating and the flex is located in the throat versus all in the head.
Happy hitting.........
 

Mirdad

Semi-Pro
I may eventually have to move on from RF also, my shoulder has been bugging me.

Can you compare the C10 vs RF in regards to heaviness of your ball?
Kaiser, the Federer racquet hits a heavier ball than the C10 Pro when it comes to hitting hard, heavy topspin. Even though both racquets are based upon a 16x19 string pattern, the RF feels like a more open pattern and really grabs the ball well. However, the Volkl racquet seemed about right up there with the RF when it came to flattening out on the shot. I remember just creaming a solid first serve with the C10 Pro that left my opponent in awe as it just whizzed by him while he tried to SV. My fully loaded RF racquet weighs 12.8 ounces to the 12.3 of the C10 Pro so the half ounce difference creates a significant less drag on the racquet speed, especially for those of us who have shoulder problems. All things being equal, if I had a strong shoulder I would go with the RF racquet hands down as the weight would not slow down my swing. But I have to stop living in a fantasy and move onto a racquet that is arm friendly, lighter weight and yet as stable as possible. The key is once you've found the right racquet for comfort, you should weigh it as heavy as your shoulder will tolerate it. So it's best to start light and then add weight. If you go too light that's no good either as a heavier racquet absorbs vibration better; and you probably won't like the stability and the ability to hit a fairly heavy ball. I'm trying the Angell racquet because it is filled with foam, is flexible in the throat, both characteristics should absorb much of the shock and vibration. I ordered a TC95 16x19 with a fully string RA of 59. There is a full thread on the Angell racquets on the TW MB.
I hope this helps
 

Mirdad

Semi-Pro
Kaiser, the Federer racquet hits a heavier ball than the C10 Pro when it comes to hitting hard, heavy topspin. Even though both racquets are based upon a 16x19 string pattern, the RF feels like a more open pattern and really grabs the ball well. However, the Volkl racquet seemed about right up there with the RF when it came to flattening out on the shot. I remember just creaming a solid first serve with the C10 Pro that left my opponent in awe as it just whizzed by him while he tried to SV. My fully loaded RF racquet weighs 12.8 ounces to the 12.3 of the C10 Pro so the half ounce difference creates a significant less drag on the racquet speed, especially for those of us who have shoulder problems. All things being equal, if I had a strong shoulder I would go with the RF racquet hands down as the weight would not slow down my swing. But I have to stop living in a fantasy and move onto a racquet that is arm friendly, lighter weight and yet as stable as possible. The key is once you've found the right racquet for comfort, you should weigh it as heavy as your shoulder will tolerate it. So it's best to start light and then add weight. If you go too light that's no good either as a heavier racquet absorbs vibration better; and you probably won't like the stability and the ability to hit a fairly heavy ball. I'm trying the Angell racquet because it is filled with foam, is flexible in the throat, both characteristics should absorb much of the shock and vibration. I ordered a TC95 16x19 with a fully string RA of 59. There is a full thread on the Angell racquets on the TW MB.
I hope this helps
Kaiser, I also wanted to add that the C10 Pro that I hit with was a demo and I'm sure it had lesser quality of string that perhaps did not grab the ball as well as a good poly or even a good multi like NXT.
 

USPTARF97

Hall of Fame
You ever used the PS97? it has less than half the power/stability of the RF. I used mine for 5 minutes before I stored it away in my closet.

Go back and forth with the RF97 and PS97. Have the PS97 strung with Hyper G @52. It's easier to serve with and easier to maneuver at the net. Play allot of doubles with it. Not sure how you came up with 1/2 of the stability and power. Possibly string choice and strung too tight.
The C10 is definitely easy on the arm but not going to be anything like the RF which the original poster described as his dream racquet. Gotta give up something by switching and if that is what it takes to keep playing I would go for it. However, I have seen a number of people switch string and tension and resolve elbow/shoulder problems after rehab and training. The shoulder problem is normally a weight issue. PS97 will help retain characteristics of RF97 and easier on the shoulder.
 
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Yao_guai_nz

New User
Thanks for the suggestion Anton, but for some unexplained reason I just don't care for the shape of the head on the Yonex racquets.
Same. .. Yonex is a weird animal I've gotta admit... but I thoroughly enjoy my RF97A for one set and then my game deteriorates. ... I too an am aging 4.5-5.0 player... I ordered an old faithful blade to replace it (been using them all my life )... regrettably I demo'd a DR98 AFTER ordering my blade and it was totally something else. ..... give it a go with a soft poly... I hate polys and this was a beaut. .. the hype is real. My RF97A now hangs on my office wall, I have blades as my game sticks and DR98 remains my unicorn.

Sent from my SM-N910U using Tapatalk
 

UCSF2012

Hall of Fame
I gave my 67yo mom my Prince Michael Chang Longbody 107 strung with gut/poly, and she hits quite hard with it. Super oversized rackets generate overwhelming spin when strung with gut/poly. Perhaps try the Serena Williams Racket. Blade 104 28in. string it up with gut mains and PLII crosses. Or BHBR.

Yonex EZone xi is also a real beauty. The Dr version not so much.
 

Mirdad

Semi-Pro
4 surgeons recommend shoulder replacement and you are still hitting with 5.0 guys. Rock on brother..
Thanks, the surgeons advise me it would be best to wait as long as possible until I do the surgery mainly because I insist on still playing afterwards and they want to make sure it does not wear out. Nothing like saying, "hey, I need to kick the bucket within 10 to 15 years after surgery or else!" I think "or else" means it's very difficult to replace the socket that the shoulder fits into. It's kind of like having an anchor installed into your drywall only later on have to remove it and put in another anchor but without adding any putty. I guess you can't add any surgical "putty" to the hole that is left in the shoulder socket. Sounds like a messy operation.........I don't wish this dilemma on anyone. Hey, but at least I can still rally, play points and occasional dubs. That RF Autograph is probably the best racquet I've ever hit with. While I won't be able to replace it, I will find something else that will work good enough.
 

KaiserW

Hall of Fame
Kaiser, the Federer racquet hits a heavier ball than the C10 Pro when it comes to hitting hard, heavy topspin. Even though both racquets are based upon a 16x19 string pattern, the RF feels like a more open pattern and really grabs the ball well. However, the Volkl racquet seemed about right up there with the RF when it came to flattening out on the shot. I remember just creaming a solid first serve with the C10 Pro that left my opponent in awe as it just whizzed by him while he tried to SV. My fully loaded RF racquet weighs 12.8 ounces to the 12.3 of the C10 Pro so the half ounce difference creates a significant less drag on the racquet speed, especially for those of us who have shoulder problems. All things being equal, if I had a strong shoulder I would go with the RF racquet hands down as the weight would not slow down my swing. But I have to stop living in a fantasy and move onto a racquet that is arm friendly, lighter weight and yet as stable as possible. The key is once you've found the right racquet for comfort, you should weigh it as heavy as your shoulder will tolerate it. So it's best to start light and then add weight. If you go too light that's no good either as a heavier racquet absorbs vibration better; and you probably won't like the stability and the ability to hit a fairly heavy ball. I'm trying the Angell racquet because it is filled with foam, is flexible in the throat, both characteristics should absorb much of the shock and vibration. I ordered a TC95 16x19 with a fully string RA of 59. There is a full thread on the Angell racquets on the TW MB.
I hope this helps

Thanks for your feedback. Before moving on from my RF I think I will tinker with strings and maybe remove the leather grip also.
 

USPTARF97

Hall of Fame
Strung my RF97 with a soft poly main and synthetic cross at 48/52. Played with that set up during the winter. Hits great and easy on the arm. Stringing with full poly I stay between 48-50. Taking a stiff poly and stringing the RF at 54+ lbs is asking for arm problems. Luxilon, Solinco Tourbite and Solinco Hyper G play excellent out of this racquet at 48-50.
 
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BigCat

New User
The RF Pro Staff (latest black version) is my dream racquet. In fact, it is my favorite racquet of all time (40 yrs+ of playing). I crush average second serves, block back (with short swing) bullet serves and hit great topspin from the baseline. Can still flatten out on shots when wanting to be more aggressive......all with decent accuracy. At the net, the racquet is super at providing stability and control. I also love the feeling of hitting my 2HB with the racquet versus many others I have tried. The problem I have with the racquet is I'm an aging 4.5 to 5.0 level player whose shoulder is very tired after about 40 minutes of play. I don't think it's so much the weight that is bothering me. The racquet feels very stiff at the net even though I have switched to Wilson NXT Power 17. Off center shots from the baseline also produce unwanted vibration, despite being pretty good at hitting within the sweet spot. The RF racquet has a flex rating of 68 which is probably too high for my shoulder. My guess is I need a more flexible racquet but I really like the stability and spin potential of the Fed racquet. I have a demo on order of the following racquets:
1)Volkl V-Sense Tour
2)Volkl C10 Pro (racquet seems to have great specs, but skeptical how it performs versus more modern racquets)
3)ProKennex Ki Q+ Tour 300
4)ProKennex Ki Q+Pro 310

So far I've demoed:
1) Wilson CV Blade 18X20: Not enough topspin, I've been spoiled by the RF open frame which allows me to hit more topspin. Also, denser string pattern racquets are in by themselves more stiff so I've ruled the 18X20 Blade out.
2) Wilson CV Blade 16X19: Too head heavy. I also prefer a lighter head balance. I tried weighting the handle but still the racquet did not produce the control I was used to using the RF racquet and felt too head heavy after weighting it down.
3)Tried some of the Babloat Aero's but they are too stiff and found I couldn't flatten out on my shots as well as the Fed racquet.
4) I have tried various 16x18 racquets such at the Prince Textreme Warrior and Wilson Blade. I found these racquets more arm friendly and great for tremendous topspin but they are not very accurate when trying to be more aggressive when flattening out on shots.

So, the perfect racquet would have the following characteristics:

1)Arm friendly
2)Very stable
3)Access to spin (prefer 16x19)
4)Can flatten out on shots with accuracy
5)Head light balance of at least 6 points; preferably 9 points HL. (I can always customize to achieve the HL balance I like but don't want the racquet to weigh much more than 12.3 ounces)


What do you think of my demos I have on order? Any ideas where I can locate this dream racquet?

Thanks in advance........
The RF Pro Staff (latest black version) is my dream racquet. In fact, it is my favorite racquet of all time (40 yrs+ of playing). I crush average second serves, block back (with short swing) bullet serves and hit great topspin from the baseline. Can still flatten out on shots when wanting to be more aggressive......all with decent accuracy. At the net, the racquet is super at providing stability and control. I also love the feeling of hitting my 2HB with the racquet versus many others I have tried. The problem I have with the racquet is I'm an aging 4.5 to 5.0 level player whose shoulder is very tired after about 40 minutes of play. I don't think it's so much the weight that is bothering me. The racquet feels very stiff at the net even though I have switched to Wilson NXT Power 17. Off center shots from the baseline also produce unwanted vibration, despite being pretty good at hitting within the sweet spot. The RF racquet has a flex rating of 68 which is probably too high for my shoulder. My guess is I need a more flexible racquet but I really like the stability and spin potential of the Fed racquet. I have a demo on order of the following racquets:
1)Volkl V-Sense Tour
2)Volkl C10 Pro (racquet seems to have great specs, but skeptical how it performs versus more modern racquets)
3)ProKennex Ki Q+ Tour 300
4)ProKennex Ki Q+Pro 310

So far I've demoed:
1) Wilson CV Blade 18X20: Not enough topspin, I've been spoiled by the RF open frame which allows me to hit more topspin. Also, denser string pattern racquets are in by themselves more stiff so I've ruled the 18X20 Blade out.
2) Wilson CV Blade 16X19: Too head heavy. I also prefer a lighter head balance. I tried weighting the handle but still the racquet did not produce the control I was used to using the RF racquet and felt too head heavy after weighting it down.
3)Tried some of the Babloat Aero's but they are too stiff and found I couldn't flatten out on my shots as well as the Fed racquet.
4) I have tried various 16x18 racquets such at the Prince Textreme Warrior and Wilson Blade. I found these racquets more arm friendly and great for tremendous topspin but they are not very accurate when trying to be more aggressive when flattening out on shots.

So, the perfect racquet would have the following characteristics:

1)Arm friendly
2)Very stable
3)Access to spin (prefer 16x19)
4)Can flatten out on shots with accuracy
5)Head light balance of at least 6 points; preferably 9 points HL. (I can always customize to achieve the HL balance I like but don't want the racquet to weigh much more than 12.3 ounces)


What do you think of my demos I have on order? Any ideas where I can locate this dream racquet?

Thanks in advance........


Read the "2017 Power=Spin Recipe" which covers mods and strings for the Pro Kennex Ki Q+300 Tour. With the exception of the strings you could mod the demo from TW - but the Solnico strings are essential for the result. I have hit with all the racquets mentioned except the Vocal V-Sense. The PK Q+300 Tour with the mod and strings hits better by far (for me.) It produces more power and spin and even with 4 points HL is easy on the arm. (Someone wrote on the PK 300 comments that it hurt their arm - not my experience, but I strung a soft poly 17g at 47 lbs. Not only have I enjoyed hitting with the PK 300 Tour, I have been amazed at the easy power and super spin. My regular partners (4.0-4.5's) comment that not is the heaviest ball they have ever experienced. Anyway - suggest you consider it based on your criteria
! Good Luck!
 

mark b.

Rookie
OK. I'm going to go out on a limb here and suggest a frame that nobody else has mentioned ( I think). I recommend this after hitting with it and was completely and utterly blown away by the performance. The Pro Staff 97LS. I know. It's not an RF but If you want an open pattern with the same grip shape and look, then try it. I did and couldn't believe how good it felt.
It ends up being fairly light at 11oz but there is something magical about it. I'm a flat box beam, low RA player and it just surprised me so much.
 
OK. I'm going to go out on a limb here and suggest a frame that nobody else has mentioned ( I think). I recommend this after hitting with it and was completely and utterly blown away by the performance. The Pro Staff 97LS. I know. It's not an RF but If you want an open pattern with the same grip shape and look, then try it. I did and couldn't believe how good it felt.
It ends up being fairly light at 11oz but there is something magical about it. I'm a flat box beam, low RA player and it just surprised me so much.

+1. Previously used a K-Factor 95, then a Blade 98 16x19, then moved to RF97LS. Wanted something a little less taxing. Added some weight in the head and now I'm a big fan. Definitely worth a demo.
 
J

joohan

Guest
The only answer is Volkl PB 10 Mid (93). It is basically a flexible arm friendly Pro Staff in terms of touch and power.

Never played with RF97 but considering plaudits of its rock solid stability, noodly PB10 would need a lot of lead to come close.
 

Mirdad

Semi-Pro
So far I have not been able to come up with a racquet that can replace my RF autograph. The closest was the Volkl C10 Pro but didn't like the topspin I was getting. I did like the feel of the flex of the head on my arm but the overall performance was lacking in creating sharp angled passing shots. I do recall that about a year ago I hit with the Head Graphene XT Prestige Pro and liked it it very much, but at the time I was in my love affair with the Fed racquet so I sent the Prestige Pro demo back to the TW and never looked back. I am going to give that one another demo next week and I'll probably put some lead on at 3 and 9 because I recall the sweetspot being smaller than the Fed racquet. I recall the Head racquet had a nice buttery feel to it.

Recently, a friend of mine who is a teaching pro that I frequently hit with gave me some advice in how to alter my swing with the RF frame. He noticed I was taking a lot of big swings on balls that I don't necessarily need to do so. Instead of taking the racquet back so far, he suggested I try to shorten my swing mainly on the faster incoming shots. One of the things I like about my game is that I'm able to return high velocity serves which frustrates my opponents to no end. I've learned to do this by watching how the pros return serve. In returning serves I barely take the racquet back at all and just lightly brush up on the ball. You need to have a very stable racquet to accomplish this and this is where the RF racquet excels. So I took that advice and similar technique on how I return fast serves by taking my racquet back to just about where my elbow and arm meet alongside my lower back and then finishing my stroke all the way through. The results have been surprisingly easy on my arm and I am pleased to say I get very close to the same velocity that I get from taking a bigger swing. The other improvement I've noticed is that I hit the sweet spot more often which allows me to experience that sweet feeling of having the ball sink into the string bed. On slower paced incoming groundies, especially those with under spin, I can take a longer swing without any ill effects on my arm. Today, I practiced these techniques and was able to play pain free for the entire hitting session which lasted for a little over one hour. I will still try the Prestige Pro when the demo arrives but I have a feeling ole Roger will win out again:)
 

Mirdad

Semi-Pro
volkl c10 pro
Hello Ed, I really liked the Volkl C10 Pro but I was having trouble hitting as much topspin as the RF racquet. My arm doesn't do well with stiff strings so I can't throw any sharp edged poly strings in it. I am forced to play with softer multis which are not known to produce lots of topspin. I have a decent technique in hitting topspin so I'm not sure how to improve my experience in this area with the C10? I will have to say though it is one of those racquets that I'd love to keep in my bag whenever I just want to rally for a hour or so.......which is something I do a lot. Very comfortable and stable racquet. I think I saw one in the TW used racquets for sale section that was in almost brand new condition and just my grip size too. I think I'll just buy it and keep it around:)
 

Mirdad

Semi-Pro
volkl c10 pro
Ed, I also found the C10 to have too much power at times so it's even more important to find a spin friendly string. However, as I mentioned before poly strings are out of the question for me due to shoulder issues. I'm pretty sure the demo that I had was strung with a 16 or possibly even thicker gauge multi. I"m going to try a thinner gauge multi and slightly higher tension which that combo should produce more spin and hopefully not create any arm issues.
 

stingstang

Professional
The microgel radical is worth a thought. Nice flexy base to lead/CAP/silicone into whatever you want it to be. Cheap too.
 

Gee

Hall of Fame
Ed, I also found the C10 to have too much power at times so it's even more important to find a spin friendly string. However, as I mentioned before poly strings are out of the question for me due to shoulder issues. I'm pretty sure the demo that I had was strung with a 16 or possibly even thicker gauge multi. I"m going to try a thinner gauge multi and slightly higher tension which that combo should produce more spin and hopefully not create any arm issues.
Did you try Head RIP Control 1.20mm? That's is a great soft alternative for a poly string as it is a low powered string like a poly and very spin friendly as well.
 

n8dawg6

Legend
i dont even know how the rf97 and the c10 end up in the same sentence. they almost arent even used for the same sport
 

Mirdad

Semi-Pro
Did you try Head RIP Control 1.20mm? That's is a great soft alternative for a poly string as it is a low powered string like a poly and very spin friendly as well.
No I haven't but I will check it out, thanks.
 

Mirdad

Semi-Pro
i tried the angell tc95 63ra and tc 97 both in 16x19 myself, but wasn´t that impressed. before trying an angell i would first demo the pro kennex qtour 300 (or the successor). what impressed me the most is that its easy to create a lot of spin without losing control if you are hitting flat, really versatile. moreover it is pretty stable in stock form and with a little customization really solid (while staying very headlight), so it fulfills all criteria perfectly, imho. :)
Hansen, today I experienced the bliss of what I would call dumb luck. I was hitting with a friend who is a chirpractor from Sedona and strongly recommended I try an old Pro Kennex Ki 5 315 Kinetic that he had in his bag. He said it was a little too heavy for him but that is was very flexible and arm friendly. To make a long story short, after hitting with it for about 45 minutes, my arm was in bliss so I bought it from him for the low price of 40 bucks. After doing some research the newer PK Q series is either too stiff, too light or too dense of a string pattern. Now I'll have three racquets in my bag......the PK Ki 5 315, Prince Phantom and Volkl C10 Pro. I will select which racquet I'll hit with depending upon how my arm feels and who I"m playing. The PK 315 is more consistent than the C10 but I'm still tinkering with the C10 to get more topspin. I have not received delivery of the Phantom yet but am assuming it will be lower powered than the PK and the Volkl.
Nothing like having options!:cool:
 

BretH

Semi-Pro
To me the PS97 felt like sitting with a frying pan. I tried it with all poly (soft poly at 48 lbs or so), hybrid with synthetic gut and all synthetic gut. Stock weight and a little weight in the handle and hoop. Yuk, I really wanted to like it but I had no connection with the ball. +1 for Volkl.
 

mctennis

Legend
I tried the RF97 Auto and got arm and wrist pain with it. I also know of some others in my club with the same issue. Even one club pro has wrist issues with this racquet. I'm done with mine. I liked it at first but the more I use it the more issue I am having with it. I am going back to my C10 Pro Tour at 13.2 ozs. I never had any issues with that racquet at that weight.
 

joshtige600

New User
I'm a little late here but fwiw I'm been playing with (and switching between) the TC97 16x19 (330/305 w5grams split between 6 and 9) and the RF97 for over a year now. I find it pretty easy to switch from one to the other. I string the TC97 below 55# with gut/poly (VS team/head hawk) and the RF97 closer to 60# with same. I feel like the RF plays best with a soft multi at 58# or so (like NXT power 17) but I go through that stuff in about 2 hours so I stick to gut/poly for about half the price on an annual basis.

IMO, the TC97 is softer on the arm whereas the RF is a bit more stable. But as I said, I find it easy to go back and forth as long as the RF is strung about 5-8# more.

I'm an overweight 41yr old 4.0-4.5 with bad knees playing mostly doubles these days. I play with a topspin FH and one handed backhand. My best shot (i'm told) is a high bouncing/kick second serve for which both racquets serve me well.

Hope this helps.
 
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