Next Generation of Pro Staff is Here; Pro Staff RF 97 Review

OdinLoki

New User
Just out of curiosity...

Were people THIS excited and hyped when the Pro Staff Tour 90 was released back in the early 2000's? Haha

I know I wasn't, wasn't even a Pro Staff guy back then.

Maybe it's because Federer then wasn't anything like the GOAT candidate that Federer is now. Not to mention how the ubiquity of internet access today just facilitates the hype machine.
 
Maybe it's because Federer then wasn't anything like the GOAT candidate that Federer is now. Not to mention how the ubiquity of internet access today just facilitates the hype machine.

I just find it interesting because I know there were more people playing Pro Staffs back then, when the Pro Staff Tour 90 launched, than there are today.

And you're right, I don't remember the launch of the Tour/Pro Staff 90's being as exciting and hyped as it is for the RF97 today.
 
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BreakPoint

Bionic Poster
I just find it interesting because I know there were more people playing Pro Staffs back then, when the Pro Staff Tour 90 launched, than there are today.

And you're right, I don't remember the launch of the Tour/Pro Staff 90's being as exciting and hyped as it is for the RF97 today.
That's only because it was supposed to be Sampras's racquet but Sampras suddenly retired before the racquet was released. How much hype would the RF97A get today if Federer was already retired so was not using it on tour?
 

yangster007

Professional
That's only because it was supposed to be Sampras's racquet but Sampras suddenly retired before the racquet was released. How much hype would the RF97A get today if Federer was already retired so was not using it on tour?

What in heaven are you talking about, Sampras played with 1 racquet all his career, there was no way in hell he was going to switch racquet if he kept playing on in ATP. The Tour 90 wasn't hyped because Federer had won 0 Grand Slam when Hyper Carbon Pro Staff 90 was introduced in 2002-2003 and he sort of experimented with a Pro Staff 95 Original (paintjob) after he switched away from his PS 85 Original.
The RF97 Autograph is hyped because Federer is GOAT now, and he hasn't switched racquets since before he won his 1st Grand Slam, now he has 17.
 

BreakPoint

Bionic Poster
What in heaven are you talking about, Sampras played with 1 racquet all his career, there was no way in hell he was going to switch racquet if he kept playing on in ATP. The Tour 90 wasn't hyped because Federer had won 0 Grand Slam when Hyper Carbon Pro Staff 90 was introduced in 2002-2003 and he sort of experimented with a Pro Staff 95 Original (paintjob) after he switched away from his PS 85 Original.
The RF97 Autograph is hyped because Federer is GOAT now, and he hasn't switched racquets since before he won his 1st Grand Slam, now he has 17.
Haven't you noticed who that is in my avatar? Do you think I would be wrong about something like this?

The PS Tour 90 was specifically designed for Sampras. He started practicing with it at the end of 2002 but kept skipping tournaments at the beginning of 2003 because he was debating whether or not to retire. When he finally decided to retire in spring 2003, Wilson decided to use Federer to market the racquet instead. That's when Federer switched from the red HPS 6.0 95 Tour paintjob to the retail black PS Tour 90 paintjob. The PS Tour 90 didn't get as much hype because all of the marketing was supposed to be behind Sampras but he retired before the racquet was released so the marketing was pulled and Sampras was never seen playing with it in an ATP tournament. But if Sampras stayed on the tour in 2003, he would have used the PS Tour 90.

http://www.tennis-warehouse.com/Reviews/WT90/WT90Review.html

"Additionally, this is the racquet that cured Pete Sampras of St. Vincent Islanditus...."

"As it is the racquet of choice for those two great volleyers, Sampras and Federer, our playtesters made their way to the net with high expectations for the Tour 90"
 

drakulie

Talk Tennis Guru
Drak, have you hit with the ProStaff 95? The 2012 or 14? I am really really digging the control of this frame.

Yes. Unfortunately, felt it did not have enough mass when hitting with players who hit heavier. The control, as you stated, is great as is the feel. Excellent overall frame, but the SW is so low it feels in ways like a tweener.

See Drak's reply to another thread below. Dont know if this is just to get his frames matched or to up the swingweight however. Given he did so on his 90's, seems likely he is playing something even heavier than retail

Feds frames have lead added at the 12 o'clock to match the racquets swing weights. From my understanding of speaking with Ron, and posts he has made in the past, there are times when they add a bit more weight to increase the sw at Feds request.
 
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Power Player

Bionic Poster
Yeah I agree about the PS95. I leaded mine over 12 ounces and now I love it.

I almost feel like it was meant to be leaded. Its too low in SW to be played stock for most players.
 

yangster007

Professional
Yeah I agree about the PS95. I leaded mine over 12 ounces and now I love it.

I almost feel like it was meant to be leaded. Its too low in SW to be played stock for most players.

Added 16 grams of lead to my PS 95 2014 at 10-11-12-1-2 o'clock region, now it feels amazing.
 

magnut

Hall of Fame
I tried one of these yesterday. Clocked kick serve at 158 and it jumped straight up into the sky only to come back down two minutes later. Then we started playing points and every time i went for a winner the ball combusted into a cloud of smoke. when hitting slices the ball does not bounce. It slides then roles. My slice serve severed my opponents right arm completely off. He is fine though as the speed and action of the ball cauterized the wound instantly.

Its not just a racquet though. Its a multipurpose tool. I just chopped down an old hickory tree with it a few minutes ago! going to try shredding some cheese and use it for a wash board tomorrow.

this thing is the chuck norris of tennis racquets! Its amazing!
 

aimr75

Hall of Fame
Feds frames have lead added at the 12 o'clock to match the racquets swing weights. From my understanding of speaking with Ron, and posts he has made in the past, there are times when they add a bit more weight to increase the sw at Feds request.

thanks for the clarification
 

maxpotapov

Hall of Fame
I tried one of these yesterday. Clocked kick serve at 158 and it jumped straight up into the sky only to come back down two minutes later. Then we started playing points and every time i went for a winner the ball combusted into a cloud of smoke. when hitting slices the ball does not bounce. It slides then roles. My slice serve severed my opponents right arm completely off. He is fine though as the speed and action of the ball cauterized the wound instantly.

Its not just a racquet though. Its a multipurpose tool. I just chopped down an old hickory tree with it a few minutes ago! going to try shredding some cheese and use it for a wash board tomorrow.

this thing is the chuck norris of tennis racquets! Its amazing!

:D
Seriously though, somebody please check flex rating of PS97!
 
Great review OP. What about this:

...The headlight balance enables the user to whip the head thru the contact zone and deliver any shot (power, topspin, slice), or when off balance, use the weight and balance to get to out of reach shots and still put something behind the shot to keep you in the point. This is the one shot that really separates the Pro Staff RF 97 from the previous Pro Staff frames...

So you think those out of reach gets were a weakness of Tour 90? That's interesting, I feel those are the greatest strength of the 90! At least K90 feels so much like an extension of my hand and delivers so much control that I have the confidence to force the racquet through the ball even on the hardest of slice stretches. With the racquets that have more free power I don't have the confidence to hit through, so I just bunt and then the control on placement is lost. So how on earth can free power help on these defensive shots?
 

drakulie

Talk Tennis Guru
Yeah I agree about the PS95. I leaded mine over 12 ounces and now I love it.

I almost feel like it was meant to be leaded. Its too low in SW to be played stock for most players.

Most of the players who have either tried this frame, or are now using it in my area, state this is the primary complaint. But they add lead and feel it makes the frame much better to play with.

Great review OP. What about this:



So you think those out of reach gets were a weakness of Tour 90? That's interesting, I feel those are the greatest strength of the 90! At least K90 feels so much like an extension of my hand and delivers so much control that I have the confidence to force the racquet through the ball even on the hardest of slice stretches. With the racquets that have more free power I don't have the confidence to hit through, so I just bunt and then the control on placement is lost. So how on earth can free power help on these defensive shots?

torpan, I wouldn't necessarily define it as a weakness, rather when compared to this frame, not as good. This frame does it much better, and you get more out of it. Hope this helps.
 

Power Player

Bionic Poster
Drak do you think wilson is abandoning the thin beam box beam for good? It just screams pro staff to me. Or do you think they will possibly rethink the 95 as the classic stick for players who loved the 90 and release it?

It would be nice to have options. Don't get me wrong I will try the 315 for sure, but the box beam is a signature of the pro staff.

It just kind of stinks to see Head and Wilson go away completely from their classic frames.
 
Drak do you think wilson is abandoning the thin beam box beam for good? It just screams pro staff to me. Or do you think they will possibly rethink the 95 as the classic stick for players who loved the 90 and release it?

It would be nice to have options. Don't get me wrong I will try the 315 for sure, but the box beam is a signature of the pro staff.

It just kind of stinks to see Head and Wilson go away completely from their classic frames.

If anything, I'm more curious why Wilson abandoned the box beam. It's true that even Federer's own frames aren't box beam'd anymore, so it's likely that Federer signed off on it as well. But why?
 

Fxanimator1

Hall of Fame
So... the Pro Staff Classic 6.1, and its descendants Six.One line aren't "Pro Staffs"?

I was just going to respond to that as well.
I learned tennis 20 something years ago using this black and teal 6.0 Prostaff 95. It was a very nice racquet.
If anything, the new Prostaff looks more like this one from way back then.

Prostaff%20Teal.JPG
 

UCSF2012

Hall of Fame
If anything, I'm more curious why Wilson abandoned the box beam. It's true that even Federer's own frames aren't box beam'd anymore, so it's likely that Federer signed off on it as well. But why?

Because arches are stronger than flat surfaces. It's an engineering feat. Notice how architects like to use arches to support heavy structures?

Optimizing performance/power is more about arch beams, thick beams, stiffness, and weight. It's the mathematically UN-inclined that like to have 14mm box beams.
 

courtking

Semi-Pro
I was just going to respond to that as well.
I learned tennis 20 something years ago using this black and teal 6.0 Prostaff 95. It was a very nice racquet.
If anything, the new Prostaff looks more like this one from way back then.

Prostaff%20Teal.JPG

I was going to post the pictures of mine up but you did it.. I am getting my hand on the new RF97 Auto nextweek.. I will do a compare between an Ultra FPK 95, This PS 6.0 95 and see which one play better.. They all have almost identical specs 340g but RF97 Auto has 16x19 string pattern
 

Fxanimator1

Hall of Fame
I was going to post the pictures of mine up but you did it.. I am getting my hand on the new RF97 Auto nextweek.. I will do a compare between an Ultra FPK 95, This PS 6.0 95 and see which one play better.. They all have almost identical specs 340g but RF97 Auto has 16x19 string pattern

Please do, I am very curious.
 

topangasun

New User
Slightly off topic but does anyone know if you could lead up a pro staff 100 to spec similarly to an RF97? I'm new to racquet customisation so any ideas are welcome
 

Chezbeeno

Professional
Slightly off topic but does anyone know if you could lead up a pro staff 100 to spec similarly to an RF97? I'm new to racquet customisation so any ideas are welcome

I'm sure if you add enough lead to the right areas (bumper guard and 9' and 3') then you could get it in the neighborhood of the same swingweight, but I'm sure there will still be a significant difference in feel from the actual RF97.
 

drakulie

Talk Tennis Guru
Drak do you think wilson is abandoning the thin beam box beam for good? It just screams pro staff to me. Or do you think they will possibly rethink the 95 as the classic stick for players who loved the 90 and release it?

It would be nice to have options. Don't get me wrong I will try the 315 for sure, but the box beam is a signature of the pro staff.

It just kind of stinks to see Head and Wilson go away completely from their classic frames.

PP, I'm sure I'm not alone when I say, "I hope not." Hopefully, they will at minimum keep the 95 to continue the tradition. Let's see what happens. If I here anything, I'll try to provide updates.

BTW, since you brought up the classic frames, did you get a chance to hit with the POG mid plus 100??
 

dr_punk

Professional
Nice review, drak. I'm wondering if you've ever hit with the dunlop 100 4d and how you would compare the two. Probably tough, though since they are different player's racquets. Can't wait to try out the rf97. Take it easy
 

PeterFig

Professional
PP, I'm sure I'm not alone when I say, "I hope not." Hopefully, they will at minimum keep the 95 to continue the tradition. Let's see what happens. If I here anything, I'll try to provide updates.

BTW, since you brought up the classic frames, did you get a chance to hit with the POG mid plus 100??

The only box beam Pro Staff for 2015 (and remainder of 2014) will be the 95S with the new cosmetic. I think Drakulie you maybe can attest to the fact that the new RF97 frame still has a lot of the feel of the old Pro Staff 90's ... and that is due to the fact it shares the same braided graphite + kevlar construction despite having a bit different frame geometry.
 

Sander001

Hall of Fame
The only box beam Pro Staff for 2015 (and remainder of 2014) will be the 95S with the new cosmetic. I think Drakulie you maybe can attest to the fact that the new RF97 frame still has a lot of the feel of the old Pro Staff 90's ... and that is due to the fact it shares the same braided graphite + kevlar construction despite having a bit different frame geometry.
image.php


Why so sad tho
 
The only box beam Pro Staff for 2015 (and remainder of 2014) will be the 95S with the new cosmetic. I think Drakulie you maybe can attest to the fact that the new RF97 frame still has a lot of the feel of the old Pro Staff 90's ... and that is due to the fact it shares the same braided graphite + kevlar construction despite having a bit different frame geometry.

Well, I'm a little sad that the last direct descendant of the Pro Staff 6.0 lineage is anything but black. :evil:

RF97A is a close brother, but it split the family tree when it adopted the different frame geometry.

Haha big surprise, I like box beamed Pro Staffs.
 

BreakPoint

Bionic Poster
RF97 doesn't have box beam, thus it's not a true Pro Staff no more :(
It's a shame because Wilson has been known for box beam frames from the days of wood racquets. Most of Wilson's wood racquets had "box beams".

Pro Staffs have always had box beams, going all the way back to the first Pro Staff, the Jack Kramer Pro Staff.

Look at the box beam (sharp 90 degree angles) on the JK Pro Staff:


jack-kramer-pro-staff-2.jpg


img_1019.jpg
 

Power Player

Bionic Poster
PP, I'm sure I'm not alone when I say, "I hope not." Hopefully, they will at minimum keep the 95 to continue the tradition. Let's see what happens. If I here anything, I'll try to provide updates.

BTW, since you brought up the classic frames, did you get a chance to hit with the POG mid plus 100??


That would be great if you can find out anything down the road.

I hit with the new POG 100 longbody and thought it was awesome. Really enjoyed that frame a lot. Great feel.
 

Matt H.

Professional
This is the first Wilson racquet in a long time I'm eager to try.

I was a long time user of leaded up 6.0 95 until the discontinuation moved me over to the prestige pros.

Hitting the sweet spot on a heavy yet headlight pro staff is an awesome feel.
 

UCSF2012

Hall of Fame
This is more a matter of racket design. Why it is that there's no box beam on the RF97. Why the beam is nice and thick. Why the head shape is nice and narrow (instead of wide like the Head Extreme). Why it's so friggin stiff. Why the string density is relatively even (instead of very dense in the center like the 6.1 95 16x18). Why it's so friggin heavy and head light....etc, etc, etc.

I see what Wilson is doing.

But I also think it may have the same fate as the KPS88. Too heavy for the stronger guys even. The frame isn't even out on the market yet, and the TW reviews have been unanimous....it's too heavy for me.
 

TennisLogic

Semi-Pro
The racquet would have sold better had Federer won the US Open.
After all, if Federer could win the US Open at 33, can you imagine what the racquet would do for all the 3.5 rated players?! Alas.
 

sureshs

Bionic Poster
The racquet would have sold better had Federer won the US Open.
After all, if Federer could win the US Open at 33, can you imagine what the racquet would do for all the 3.5 rated players?! Alas.

The sales will suffer, yes. Good thing Wilson sold several frames at the USO already.
 

movdqa

Talk Tennis Guru
Kei is in the final so Wilson will do well regardless of who wins on Monday. And they have Serena too.
 

borgpro

Semi-Pro
Regardless the size and weight and overall stiffness , a true pro staff flexes in the hoop giving it it's nice touch. That was always what I could not find back in the sixone sticks (stiff hoop), lots of power but less touch, and I am afraid the same might be the case with the RF97. You can of course never really judge from the outside but looking at Federer now he might also miss this final feel part as trade of for more power, but perhaps he should have gone to a larger head only and not change the other aspects. Dimitrovs heavy PS 95! (the one that is sold is too light!!)
 
Regardless the size and weight and overall stiffness , a true pro staff flexes in the hoop giving it it's nice touch. That was always what I could not find back in the sixone sticks (stiff hoop), lots of power but less touch, and I am afraid the same might be the case with the RF97. You can of course never really judge from the outside but looking at Federer now he might also miss this final feel part as trade of for more power, but perhaps he should have gone to a larger head only and not change the other aspects. Dimitrovs heavy PS 95! (the one that is sold is too light!!)

Try the BLX90, it was that exact reason why I switched over to the Pro Staff family.
 

Sparky

Semi-Pro
The racquet would have sold better had Federer won the US Open.
After all, if Federer could win the US Open at 33, can you imagine what the racquet would do for all the 3.5 rated players?! Alas.

I guess the racquet needed to be a little more Betterer for Federer. Lol
 

Sparky

Semi-Pro
Kei is in the final so Wilson will do well regardless of who wins on Monday. And they have Serena too.

Isn't Kei playing with a discontinued racquet. TW had blown out the Steam model he uses didn't have him listen on the Wilson page for a few months until they got more old stock for $129.99.

If I recall correctly, the Steam 99 was going for $79.99 or $89.99 when the "S" models were released. I was close to buying one as a long term demo.
 

movdqa

Talk Tennis Guru
I have no idea what he uses but I think that TW members will be asking about it on Tuesday if he wins. I guess that Head should also do well with two of their players in the semi-finals. Cilic uses an old model too - I recall his frames being on sale in the place that shall not be named.
 
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