Why no love for the 97S?

Discussion in 'Racquets' started by HunterST, Jul 13, 2017.

  1. HunterST

    HunterST Hall of Fame

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    I am demoing several racquets including the RF97, PS 97, and PS 97S.

    I have to say, the 97S, to my surprise, is my favorite. The plow through was lacking with the regular 97, and the RF was just a little bit cumbersome. The 97S felt perfect. I thought I would like it the least since it is the lightest and I usually like a heavier racquet. Plus the reviews for it seemed very lackluster. The TW review described it as a bit erratic, and others on here seemed underwhelmed by its performance.


    Again, I thought it was a near perfect blend of maneuverability, plow through, control, and power. How come it doesn't get more love on here!?

    Any other big fans of the 97S out there?
     
    #1
  2. CopolyX

    CopolyX Hall of Fame

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    Great stick, just not my number one.
    For me, need customizing ...more HL and more weight @ 12
    The more important thing, is it is yours!
     
    #2
  3. Fxanimator1

    Fxanimator1 Professional

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    If you liked that one you should give the Blade 98 a demo.
     
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  4. Braxton Wallis

    Braxton Wallis New User

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    I love it! My current choice of racquet

    Sent from my HTC6500LVW using Tapatalk
     
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  5. time_fly

    time_fly Semi-Pro

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    I wanted to like the 97S but couldn't. It felt nearly as hard to use as the RF97 but a lot less rewarding. Despite the "S" it didn't generate much spin and had less power than a regular PS97, probably due to the thin beam. It did feel relatively plush and stable, I will give it that. It seemed like an orphaned Blade.
     
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  6. Anton

    Anton Hall of Fame

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    Are you talking the red-gold one? Or new black-red?
     
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  7. HunterST

    HunterST Hall of Fame

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    Definetly agree that "spin effect" is a misnomer. It's more just "unique string pattern." The spin is fine on it, but feels just like a standard 16x19.
     
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  8. HunterST

    HunterST Hall of Fame

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    I have that one also! Haven't given it a try yet, but I did notice that it's specs were almost identical to the 97s
     
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  9. HunterST

    HunterST Hall of Fame

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    2017 black and red. I never used the old version.
     
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  10. Fxanimator1

    Fxanimator1 Professional

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    Except it has a 16x19 string pattern (the one I'm using) which actually provides more spin than the 97"Spin" racquet, and more power.
     
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  11. Anton

    Anton Hall of Fame

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    The older version was also 97s but was different in balance/SW and flex, so important to distinguish the comments about the two.

    Anyway, newer 97s is a great all-court stick - nice feel, good control, fairly stable. Needs a bit of lead to get to all out beast.
     
    #11
  12. HunterST

    HunterST Hall of Fame

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    That's a compelling point about the string pattern. I'll have to try it out. I'm not really sure where the idea for an 18x17 pattern comes from.
     
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  13. Braxton Wallis

    Braxton Wallis New User

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    Where would you suggest to put the lead at?

    Sent from my HTC6500LVW using Tapatalk
     
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  14. time_fly

    time_fly Semi-Pro

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    Good point. I was talking about the newer black-and-red one.
     
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  15. TennisHound

    TennisHound Hall of Fame

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    It's funny, I've never hit with one. I've heard it was closer to the low powered Pro Staff 95spin.
     
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  16. HunterST

    HunterST Hall of Fame

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    To me, the way the PS 97 and the 97S play were the exact reverse of what I expected. The regular 97 felt light and lacked plow through and stability. The 97S had much more control and plow through despite being a lighter racquet.
     
    #16
  17. hotasice

    hotasice Rookie

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    my local pro shop is selling off the original PS 97S's for >60% off, so I was tempted into buying one.

    I pulled out about 2-3 inches of foam from inside the handle and filled it in with Blu-tac. The result is the racquet has a static weight of 345g strung with an overgrip and is 8 pts HL.

    It hits beautifully with the customization. Stable, more than enough power, lots of spin. I still might put a gram or 2 of lead at 3 and 9 o'clock, but I'm pretty pleased with my buy.
     
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  18. Anton

    Anton Hall of Fame

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    I'd try a bit on V throat and slightly above 3+9

    For strings 17g cyclone at 52 works really great
     
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  19. JSummers

    JSummers Rookie

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    That's a recipe spec. for great feeling racket. I've modded mine similar to yours and liking it too. In sum: The PS 97s is a good platform racket.
     
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  20. SpinToWin

    SpinToWin Talk Tennis Guru

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    I'll disagree 100%. The Blade to me produced very little spin and was anemic in terms of power, even when modded up substantially.
     
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  21. SpinToWin

    SpinToWin Talk Tennis Guru

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    It's a great frame, underrated surely.
     
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  22. racket king

    racket king Professional

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    You must be physically very weak.
     
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2017
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  23. SpinToWin

    SpinToWin Talk Tennis Guru

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    You must be mentally be challenged.
     
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  24. racket king

    racket king Professional

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    Look at the specs:

    320g
    3HL
    66 RA
    326 SW

    This is not one of those 260g women's 'lite' rackets. Power is reasonable and the Blades have always had a head weighted orientation geared towards driving through the ball. You only have to add a couple of grams of lead, and the swingweight in the 330s. There are players at college, ITF, Challenger and ATP levels who absolutely torch the ball using retail versions of this racket.

    If you can't generate power with this racquet "even when modded up substantially" then you must have some sort of physical impediment or physical weakness that's holding you back.
     
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2017
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  25. Fxanimator1

    Fxanimator1 Professional

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    "Disagreeing 100%" is fine, but that's your opinion or experience using it, not mine.

    I actually did "mod" it up some, by putting 9gms of weight into the handle. That brought its static weight to 335gms and changed the balance to be less head heavy. I find this racquet almost as potent as the RF79A with the same spin potential, but much easier to manage and still has pin-point accuracy.

    I used both 97S racquets extensively, but preferred the RF97A to them both and the Blade 98 over all of them, because overall, it suits more things about my game collectively.
     
    #25
  26. ReopeningWed

    ReopeningWed Professional

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    I used to play with one. Strings broke every 4 hours I played. Never going to use a Wilson S pattern again.
     
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  27. TennisHound

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    The Blade 98 16x19 is anemic and uncontrollable in stock form, however for me it worked the best stock (I used it about 1 year). It simply is not good for singles. The new CV one is also anemic and uncontrollable, but feels like a dead club.
     
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  28. SpinToWin

    SpinToWin Talk Tennis Guru

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    Never stated anything else (regarding it being your experience). Just wanted to point out that there are varying kinds of experience with the Blade. I wrote an extensive review of the frame and others agreed with my assessment so I'm not alone on this one. Heck, for all we know it may be QC issues making individual frames play completely differently.
     
    #28
  29. racket king

    racket king Professional

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    Who are they? 3.0s and 3.5s? The Blade is not known for having "anaemic power". The only people who might describe it that way are frail old guys or low level hacks who arm the ball.

    Manufacturing variance isn't going to be an issue given that you say that you've "modded up substantially".

    I suspect that its not the racket that's the problem, it's you.
     
    #29
  30. SCRAP IRON

    SCRAP IRON Professional

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    I use the 97 LS Black. It is even better because its ease of use. I simply put a leather grip on and it's good to go with the overall weight around 330 grams. I like my rackets head light and putting the weight in the handle accomplishes that task. You will have to try this one out if you are currently using the heavier 97s. The string pattern is 18x16 which provides more spin and power than your 18x17 pattern. It is one of the best rackets, with some customization, that I have ever used.
     
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  31. Notirouswithag

    Notirouswithag New User

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    I'm in the same boat. I've tried all 3( PS 97/ PS 97S/ PS 97ls) and I did not care for the 97 at all. contrary to what I read I struggled with it and it seemed way too head heavy for my shots. I had trouble connecting on my groundies, serves were good and my volleys felt a bit off. It came down to the 97S and 97 LS and while I loved the 97S with a ALU power/NXT hybrid the 97LS won me over in terms of playabillity. My biggest struggle was getting the spin on my second serve but everything else felt great including volleys and my OHBH. Everything else with the 97 LS was very easy and felt more stable

    Currently have 2 97LS', some lead tape at 3 and 9 o'clock for a little extra stabillity and strung with the same ALU power/NXT hybrid and a wilson sensation overgrip.

    I also used to use a 2015 blade 98 16x19 strung with a full bed of Luxilon ALU power or 4G and the same sensation grip
     
    #31
  32. dgoran

    dgoran Hall of Fame

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    I love the racquet for one hander. But In my testing I found that it's harsh With poly so imho it's designed for gut poly hybrid or anything but full poly and that is the reason I am not using it today (I need poly) otherwise I loved it
     
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  33. SpinToWin

    SpinToWin Talk Tennis Guru

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    Really? Huh, I found it rather comfy myself... Funny how differently individuals perceive these things.
     
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  34. dgoran

    dgoran Hall of Fame

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    I mean let me put this in perspective this is comparing it to my soft racquets I usually play with (tec315 and tc95) where I can misshit and play with even dead poly and no issues.

    With 97s I definitely feel mishits and poly stiffness.

    I'm not saying it's pure drive or anything
     
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  35. SpinToWin

    SpinToWin Talk Tennis Guru

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    Seen the new Dimi frame? If that's the CV PS 97S I'm tempted by that PJ alone.
     
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  36. kabob

    kabob Hall of Fame

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    I play with the 97S, too, now that I'm deep into my 30s. It still has a very old school feel from my high school and college days which I love but it does have the drawback of not having enough weight to it. I can't get that plow unless I really drive through my strokes. Although surprisingly, for me, it's not as weak on volleys as I thought it would be. It really needs to be about 11.8 to 12 oz instead of 11.4 oz strung. Biggest caveat, and it's a mystery that's been noted by multiple play testers, is that despite being part of the Spin Effect line and having an open 18x17 string pattern, it actually doesn't produce any more spin than the traditional Pro Staff 16x19 string pattern. I think having those two extra strings on the mains completely negates the extra spin properties.
     
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2017 at 8:36 PM
    #36
  37. Notirouswithag

    Notirouswithag New User

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    I've got bad shoulders( fractured clavicles, so I do have some limitations when it comes to full poly set ups, especially on a frame like this


    I played with it for about 2 months when we first got them in at work, the first month I did a full bed of ALU power at 48 pounds and my arm definately felt the off center hits from the stiffness of the frame. The second month I cut out the ALU power and did a full bed of 4G soft and it when I managed to mis-hit it was a little more forgiving.

    I restrung the same 97S about a month ago and did a hybrid of ALU power mains/ NXT crosses at 52/54 and the racquet plays like a dream now, even the offcenter hits arent as jarring on my arm and it feels comfortable all around from my serves to volleys and ground strokes
     
    #37
  38. esgee48

    esgee48 Legend

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    ^^^ Completely agree with Kabob. The best spinning frames are the 16x15 patterns according to my sources. These guys tried the 18 main versions and they can't get anywhere near the same amount of spin. I don't know why Wilson thinks 18 main S series would produce more spin than the 16x19 or 16x18 in a MP. Best spin frames were the 14x18 Princes.
     
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  39. kabob

    kabob Hall of Fame

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    Agreed, you definitely need soft strings in the 97S. I hybrid with gut and co-poly though I can't remember offhand (because I'm an old) which I have in the mains and which is in the crosses. Additionally, I string at the bottom end of the range (50 lbs) to make up for the lack of power and plow.
     
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  40. dgoran

    dgoran Hall of Fame

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    See it don't like anything white on my racquets. Like you said different strokes for different folks.
     
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  41. David Le

    David Le Professional

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    No, he was talking about Grigs potential new PS97S CV PJ. I made a thread on it.
     
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  42. Sander001

    Sander001 Hall of Fame

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    Wilson pulled some bait and switch on it in my experience. I demoed the racquet and it was incredible, loved it so much, it was like a modern Pro Staff 85. The feel is superb, it gave me so much confidence.

    The one I bought had none of that. I tried 5 million different combination of strings, tensions, hybrids, grips, weights, balances but could not come anywhere close to replicating the demo. I feel ripped off and I don't think I'll ever buy another Wilson racquet as long as I live.

    I've since gone back to Yonex.
     
    #42
  43. PeterFig

    PeterFig Professional

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    Here is how the "S" string patterns are meant to be seen:
    • 16x15 is a more spin friendly version of the 16x19 pattern
    • 18x17 (or 18x16) is a more spin friendly version of the 18x20 spin pattern
    I don't think Wilson every "thought" the 18x17 would produce more spin than the 16x19 - I'm not sure where you are getting that assumption from. Again it's meant as a more spin friendly version of the 18x20 frame. So maybe the best way is to think of it as "controlled spin" .
     
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  44. dgoran

    dgoran Hall of Fame

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    But that swhat I was talking about too. I saw your post and racquet looks like its white on 3 and 9
     
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  45. HunterST

    HunterST Hall of Fame

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    You know, the ones I've purchased don't quite seem to have the magic of the demo either. To be fair, I had a different string set up in my purchased one than the demo had. I'm going to match the string set up and hope that works.

    Do you really think the demo could have been different than the ones we purchase? I assume demos are just a random racquet that a club sets aside to be used for customers. It seems like a fairly elaborate hoax for Wilson to release a few great racquets to be used as demos and then a different, lesser racquet for sale. My racquet did feel different from the demo, though.
     
    #45
  46. kabrac

    kabrac Semi-Pro

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    I think demo racquet are " kinda broken in" by many play testers the same way a baseball glove gets broken in continuously over time. I have experienced the same thing with demo racquets and how they differ from new racquets.
     
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  47. racket king

    racket king Professional

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    His assumption is perfectly reasonable. It's yours (and Wilson's) that doesn't really make sense, or at least it's a failure by Wilson to explain it properly in their sales material.

    Pro Staff 97 - the standard racquet
    Pro Staff 97S - the natural assumption would be that it's the "spin" version of standard racquet ie more spin.

    Since there is no 18x20 Pro Staff 97, it's one hell of a stretch for you expect a typical customer to magically assume that the 97S is simply a more spin orientated version of a non-existent 18x20 Pro Staff 97 frame.
     
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  48. SpinToWin

    SpinToWin Talk Tennis Guru

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    LOL if that's the problem y'all can buy the two used ones I have left :D
     
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  49. PeterFig

    PeterFig Professional

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    I think we are talking about two slightly different things. I was talking about string patterns and not specific models or model names.
    The "S" refers to SpinEffect which is very specifically when there are more main strings than cross strings allowing for more main string movement to produce more spin. Regardless of number model, string density, etc.
    I do see your point specifically in terms of the ProStaff 97 though. Makes sense in that regard - however it's not always possible to be so clean cut as there aren't always all versions of all string patterns per model.

    EDIT: Just to clarify - the 'S' refers to a racquet having the SpinEffect pattern and not necessarily it producing more spin between two different string patterns (ex: 16x19 vs 18x17). It is however meant to produce more spin than a comparable racquet with the same number of mains.
     
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2017 at 9:38 AM
    #49
  50. kabrac

    kabrac Semi-Pro

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    How much? And pictures...
     
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