What is the Pro Staff all about?

mike schiffer

Semi-Pro
Many comments are about the weight of the frame....I have not heard word one about the lighter version....rf autograph 97 LS.....anybody got some feedback?
 
So, the Pro Staff is an heavy frame that is stiff?
Is it good or bad for the arm?

How can it be high stiffness, yet low power?

Wilson Pro Staff RF97 Autograph
Head Size: 97 sq. in. / 626 sq. cm.Length: 27.00 inches / 68.58 cmStrung Weight: 12.60 oz / 357 gBalance: 9pts HL
Swing Weight: 338
Power Level: Low
Stiffness: 68
 

Dartagnan64

G.O.A.T.
Some people struggle with the weight of the frame. I thought it was a bit beefy for everyday use but it is awesome for returning heavy serves, much like my SW Blade 104.

But I think Wilson lost the plot with countervail. It was supposed to allow them to increase stiffness by dampening vibrations but all it did is create more impact shock. The previous generation of ProStaffs and Blades were more arm friendly than the CV models in my experience.

I think they are getting the plot back with the Clash. Hopefully that kind of thinking will continue at Wilson.
 

SavvyStringer

Professional
I think the flatter beam makes the prostaff play softer than it's rating. It also offsets the stiffness. The prostaff has a unique feel especially after the remake getting rid of the 90. I personally think they should have kept the 97S or built that same frame in a 16x19. That really thin beam doesn't give you anything but feels great. The really open pattern on the prostaffs also make the power controllable with spin.
 
The Sampras model is the one I remember from the 80s.
It was a high end racket. Only outpriced by the Prince Boron!
I see Courier using the same one, he must have been retro in the 90s.

 

StringGuruMRT

Semi-Pro
Its been a proven successful player from for decades! At one point Wilson used to advertise that more grand slams have been won with Pro Staffs than any other frame. On top of the lineage of success, it has also been a frame that players can count on being pretty consistent characteristic wise from generation to generation. I for one have been using some form of the Pro Staff for the better part of 20 years, and intermittently for 10 years before that.
 
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max

Legend
I used one heavily for six months, but it stressed my wrist somehow and I sold it.

I remember it fondly, nevertheless. It served like a frickin' dream! Great serves. I also for the first time in my life really cranked good hard forehands with it. Really connected on that shot. Nice for volleying. I used the Dunlop Max 200G before this, and felt that the Dunlop outperformed the Wilson on everything but the forehand and the serve---in fact, I left the Dunlop since the 200G was something I couldn't get good hard serves with.

But I went back to Volkl due to the wrist stress.
 

Traffic

Hall of Fame
The ps97 is meant for control and plow. It’s a bit on the heavy side; especially the autograph version. Can be a bit tiring to maneuver all that weight. But it is super head light to get some whip. Not for everyone. But those with ohbh seems to hit a pretty heavy topspin bh.

There are other variants that I don’t consider real pro staff. For example, the 97LS has different material, and is a 18x16 string pattern vs the 16x19. But it’s a great tweener frame providing good control and access to spin. That’s what my son used for a year as he was transitioning from a light racquet to a more flagship racquet.
 
Somewhat hot take: the RF97 and its current lighter cousins are departures from what is associated with the more classic ProStaff lineage. The RF was designed as a more tweener-like frame to help Roger stay more competitive with older muscles. The power of a ProStaff often seems to be generated as an accompaniment to its precision, and the cracking sensation when returning hard balls in the sweet spot can provide sharp pace and spin with good directional control. The feel is generally crisp, yet still solid. At least these are the characteristics often associated with the better pro staffs throughout the years, at least as far as I can tell. The RF to me played a little closer to a ProStaff 6.1 than to one of the box-beamed staffs.


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fuzz nation

G.O.A.T.
But how does it play? What are the characteristics?
Stiff. Heavy. Who is that suited for?
Agree that it seems to be a modern update of the 6.1 Classic (post #15), but with a 97" hoop.

It's heavy and stable so it stands up nicely to the ball and it also has some extra HL balance, which makes it easier to handle given it's beef. The 6.1 Classics were terrific for serve and volley work or doubles, but they were too erratic for me around the baseline compared with softer alternatives having similar heft and balance. I've tried a couple different RF 97's over the past couple of summers and they give me much of that same impression that I had with the 6.1 Classics.

If I could tolerate poly strings, I might use a hybrid in the RF 97 to give it a boost in control. If I was a doubles specialist, it might be a frame for me to consider, but the Volkls I've more recently added to my bag are tuned into a similar layout. They're great for my all-court game and also give me a bundle of baseline control strung with syn. gut. So they're easy on my arm, too.
 

Ultra 2

Professional
The Sampras model is the one I remember from the 80s.
It was a high end racket. Only outpriced by the Prince Boron!
I see Courier using the same one, he must have been retro in the 90s.

Actually, the Ultra 2 was the flagship of the Wilson line in the 80’s retailing for more than the PS and POG but less than the Boron.
 

WestboroChe

Hall of Fame
But how does it play? What are the characteristics?
Stiff. Heavy. Who is that suited for?
Hard to answer. The problem is that Wilson has made so many versions of the ProStaff now that saying you play with one is like saying you only wear Levi’s jeans. That might have said something once upon a time but now it’s just a name That they slap on there to make the frame seem high end. A good example of watering down a brand.
 

Rally

Semi-Pro
Somewhat hot take: the RF97 and its current lighter cousins are departures from what is associated with the more classic ProStaff lineage. The RF was designed as a more tweener-like frame to help Roger stay more competitive with older muscles. The power of a ProStaff often seems to be generated as an accompaniment to its precision, and the cracking sensation when returning hard balls in the sweet spot can provide sharp pace and spin with good directional control. The feel is generally crisp, yet still solid. At least these are the characteristics often associated with the better pro staffs throughout the years, at least as far as I can tell. The RF to me played a little closer to a ProStaff 6.1 than to one of the box-beamed staffs.


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Very mild take in my opinion. I think everyone knows that the RF97 is a Pro Staff in name only. Not a bad stick at all, but the name is very misleading.

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TennisHound

Legend
The Sampras model is the one I remember from the 80s. I see Courier using the same one, he must have been retro in the 90s.
So you don’t remember any other Wilson racquets from the 80s, only the “Sampras model”? Also, are you watching old vids of Courier (“I see Courier...”).
“He must’ve been retro in the 90s” - How could you not know anything about Courier or 90s tennis? Talk to us about your apparent ignorance.
 

sansaephanh

Professional
The weight distribution of wilson rackets and the PWS tech are the only ones I've felt true "butter" with. If I could get like a PS6.0 95in or a k95 that hit under 12.7 oz strung, it'd probably be my dream racket. Which is odd as I'm using a pair of YTIG Prestige Mid that feels nothing like it. I just remember after grip and strung they were pushing 13oz+ and after 3 sets I couldn't move my right arm or wrist anymore. Since I play more casual tennis now, I might pick up a couple if I can find a good deal.
 
Today the friendly replacement of the PS 85 is the Pro Kennex Ki Q + Tour Pro (325) 2019, when I say friendly is in comparison to the RF 97A stiffness.
Instead of the 3 & 9 PWS, gets four of them at 2,10,5 and 7, similar heft, precision , SW, highly recommend it, I have a 41/2 and 43/8, grip sizes proportional to my PS 85, put for sale the 43/8 and will keep the 41/2 because is the one I favor . Try them will be surprise.
 
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