Wilson PS88 pointless, 85's best racquet of all time

asifallasleep

Hall of Fame
I've recently begun using the old PS 85's and just love them. Today I demoed the PS 88 and to me it is a completely useless racquet. I don't get it. My PS 85's are far superior. With all that extra weight, additional head size, and "updated technology", I was expecting the PS 88 to pay some dividends beyond the 85. NOT.

Why wreck my arm or shoulder lugging that club around when there's no improvement in performance over a frame made over 20 years ago?

And I actually prefer heavier racquets. I felt the BLX Tour 90 in stock form was too light and I had to add weight to them. I did the same with my KFactor Tour 90's.

But Wilson and every manufacturer has to make money by continuing to repaint and tweak the same wheel to keep making money and getting everyone to buy a new racquet.

I bought the ncode 90, the kfactor 90 and the blx 90. What a sucker for advertising I've been.

It's back to my old 85's. The best racquet of all time!!!!
 

tennis005

Hall of Fame
Instead of a k88, they should have just re released the 85. Im sure they still have the molds and everything to start them up again.
 

anirut

Legend
LOL. Talking about older generations of rackets, last night I reverted to the original PK Black Ace and I felt young again.
 

pyrokid

Hall of Fame
I dunno, I really didn't like the 85 as much as the 88.
Yeah, it's a solid, basic, no frills stick, and I love that. But it also lacks spin compared to it's 90 sq. in. counterpart, and I can get much more pace with the 88. The 85 had a bit more control the way they were when I used them, but it was negated by the fact that I lost tons of control with the topspin it didn't have.

If you hit flat though, I could totally see where you're coming from.
 

asifallasleep

Hall of Fame
I dunno, I really didn't like the 85 as much as the 88.
Yeah, it's a solid, basic, no frills stick, and I love that. But it also lacks spin compared to it's 90 sq. in. counterpart, and I can get much more pace with the 88. The 85 had a bit more control the way they were when I used them, but it was negated by the fact that I lost tons of control with the topspin it didn't have.

If you hit flat though, I could totally see where you're coming from.
If the 88 works for you that's all that counts. I just believe that currently there are loads of racquets that are far superior to the 88 and that can generate far far more spin.
 

mutantducky

Semi-Pro
I have the 85 as well and it is a blast to hit. never felt that with the 88. k90 only at times. If the 85 was a woman I'd knock her up:twisted:
 

asifallasleep

Hall of Fame
i was going to trade my blx 90's for ps 88's. i'm sooo glad i demoed the 88. i don't like the blx but i dislike the 88 even more. 85's for me.
 

Keifers

Legend
Once you've played with the 85 and found you like it, everything else falls short.

Many of us here were hoping the 88 would be an 85 clone -- everything the same, just with a slightly larger head. Obviously, it wasn't.. But having said that, the 88 is a stupendous performer in its own right. In the right hands, it can absolutely dominate any incoming ball and crush serves (flat or spin). Problem is: not that many people can wield it properly on a regular basis.

The 85 is still the one I suggest everyone should try at least once (unless your game is full western). It's a superb stick, and my only complaint is the small head size (most noticeable to me on returns). I'm still waiting for a 90" version -- now THAT would be something really special!!

..
 
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Ripper014

Hall of Fame
I cut my teeth with the PS 85, it was my racket of choice from 84 til 95 when I stopped playing... when I started up again this last summer it was the racket I pulled out of the closet. That all being said... I tried a friends KPS88 and was very impressed with it. He was struggling with the racket and was determined it was string related. My PS 85's have always been loaded up with lead tape and since I have long classic strokes the weight of the 88 was not an issue for me. I found the 88 a very nice clean hitting frame... in a single word "solid". I would have no problem using it for an everyday frame... I still love hitting with my PS85 but currently I am using a PS Tour 90 and I am happy with it... but occasionally I still go back to the PS 85 to re-live the sweet clean feel of a classic frame. Like you said there is nothing like the PS 85...
 

asifallasleep

Hall of Fame
Once you've played with the 85 and found you like it, everything else falls short.

Many of us here were hoping the 88 would be an 85 clone -- everything the same, just with a slightly larger head. Obviously, it wasn't.. But having said that, the 88 is a stupendous performer in its own right. In the right hands, it can absolutely dominate any incoming ball and crush serves (flat or spin). Problem is: not that many people can wield it properly on a regular basis.

The 85 is still the one I suggest everyone should try at least once (unless your game is full western). It's a superb stick, and my only complaint is the small head size (most noticeable to me on returns). I'm still waiting for a 90" version -- now THAT would be something really special!!

..
the amount of work required to hit the ball just right every time with the 88, over a long match or even in an extended rally is crazy. yeah, i could crank my serve and crank my groundies, but, i like a racquet that feels like an extension of my hand, not a club in it. with the 85, the racquet itself is not even a part of the equation. It's automatic. i can just think strategy and movement and the ball hitting just comes natural. The maneuverability of the 85 is sublime. Effortless.
 

UCSF2012

Hall of Fame
The problem is your expectations of a racket. When you expect the same racket, you should buy another of the same model. Not a similar model, but the exact same model. I bet many of you guys wouldn't be happy with the PS 6.0 95 too.

The 88's a heavier, stiffer, more spin friendly version of the 85. The Saint Vincent 85 at that. The weight distribution of the 88's different from the Chinese 85 but very similar to the Saint Vincent 85. I grew up playing the Chinese 85, and when I tried the Saint Vincent 85, I couldn't use it.

The 88's suited for a different type of game. The 85 just cannot produce the level of topspin shots as the 88. If you hit flat, then the 85's for you. If you hit with loads of spin, then the 85 is misery for you. It's taken me a couple months to adapt to the 88, and I had much trouble with it the first month. Once I've adapted, my shots have improved over the 85.

You can't just demo the 88 and pass judgment over the 85. The 88 has a different center of mass, and you have to adjust your coordination slightly to compensate. Whatmore, the 88 borrowed the string pattern from the Federer rackets, directly. It's designed to contact the ball slightly higher up.
 
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Keifers

Legend
the amount of work required to hit the ball just right every time with the 88, over a long match or even in an extended rally is crazy. yeah, i could crank my serve and crank my groundies, but, i like a racquet that feels like an extension of my hand, not a club in it. with the 85, the racquet itself is not even a part of the equation. It's automatic. i can just think strategy and movement and the ball hitting just comes natural. The maneuverability of the 85 is sublime. Effortless.
Well said. The combination of scalpel-like maneuverability and solid, solid hitting oomph and excellent touch/feel is unique.
 
UCSF2012 has a great point. They both are great racquets but the KPS 88 feels a lot more solid especially when your opponent on the other side is hitting balls to you with massive topspin and power.

The stability of this racquet is second to none.
 

pyrokid

Hall of Fame
If the 88 works for you that's all that counts. I just believe that currently there are loads of racquets that are far superior to the 88 and that can generate far far more spin.
I actually don't use either, but I was just saying I preferred the 88 to the 85.
 

Keifers

Legend
...

The 88's suited for a different type of game. The 85 just cannot produce the level of topspin shots as the 88. If you hit flat, then the 85's for you. If you hit with loads of spin, then the 85 is misery for you. It's taken me a couple months to adapt to the 88, and I had much trouble with it the first month. Once I've adapted, my shots have improved over the 85.

...
UCSF2012 has a great point. They both are great racquets but the KPS 88 feels a lot more solid especially when your opponent on the other side is hitting balls to you with massive topspin and power.

The stability of this racquet is second to none.
I agree. The 88 does provide (way) more spin potential. And it can deal with heavy, heavy balls like no other stick, including the 85. So it's not "pointless" -- its audience is smaller than the 85's, that's all.
 

asifallasleep

Hall of Fame
I have an all court game with a lot of finesse and power when i need it. I'm wondering if those of you who like the 88 are more power bashers from the baseline. Just curious as if that is the case, it would explain somewhat your positive thoughts on the 88? Seems to me if you're cranking from all angles all the time than perhaps that frame might be good. Although i think for that type of game other high tech racquets would be even better.
 

UCSF2012

Hall of Fame
I have an all court game with a lot of finesse and power when i need it. I'm wondering if those of you who like the 88 are more power bashers from the baseline. Just curious as if that is the case, it would explain somewhat your positive thoughts on the 88? Seems to me if you're cranking from all angles all the time than perhaps that frame might be good. Although i think for that type of game other high tech racquets would be even better.
One reason why I like the 88 more is because it doesn't flex as much as the 85. My 85 got flexy after 6 months, and after a year it's dead soft. With lead tape, the flex is dramatic. I hate using the 85 after a year for that reason. I still have a new Saint Vincent (1 hr court time from when I took the plastic off the grip) that I keep around for no reason. You just bought 4 PS85's, and I would not be able to use any of them because they're likely dead frames.

The 85's a good frame. Still one of my favorites. But I don't use it, because I think it's not as well suited for the modern game. After switching to the 88, I can make certain shots I've never been able to before, namely the serves out wide. I'm just cutting sharper angles in the service box, and the 88's string pattern is what's letting me do so. On my ground strokes, I can swing away more because the topspin keeps the ball in.

It took me a month and a half before I adjusted to the 88 and am able to produce better shots than the 85. At this point, I wouldn't care whether Wilson re-released the 85.
 

spacediver

Hall of Fame
ucsf:

1) are you sure that the ps 85's get flexier over time, or was this just a one time thing for you?

2) what's the disadvantage of too much flex?
 

UCSF2012

Hall of Fame
ucsf:

1) are you sure that the ps 85's get flexier over time, or was this just a one time thing for you?

2) what's the disadvantage of too much flex?
It's material fatigue that makes the graphite flexier over time. Every one of my PS85 went thru the transformation, and it's a noticable change. I play with 2 PS85's for a year, then I'd buy 2 new ones the following year. New ones were noticably less soft and flexy. I'd buy new PS85's every year for this reason alone. EVERYone of them underwent this change. Used 85's are useless to me.

Pro's change out their rackets every month or so, partly because they hit all day. I begin noticing a change after about 6 months, and by one year it's gone. Of course, I use lead tape, so the racket's not as noticably flexy without it.

For me, the flex affected directional control. There's more of a spring effect, and the shots go wider than I intended.
 
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movdqa

Talk Tennis Guru
I have never used the 85 outside of hitting with one for five minutes a long time ago.

Do you use a semi western grip or an eastern. If the former, then hitting hard topspin shots is effortless. If you are hitting hard, flat shots, then the ball may sail long. I come from the Pure Drive Roddick and K90. If you have used the Pure Drives, then you may feel quite at home with the KPS88 except for the smaller head.

I do not like the polarized feeling of the K90 but it is a very versatile racquet. I am happy with the 88 as it is a current model and does a lot of what I want in a racquet. Could there be improvements for me? Sure. I do not want to hunt down old frames anymore and I do not want to make the effort to switch frames in the near term unless the improvements are significant.
 

spacediver

Hall of Fame
interesting - thanks for the info UCSF. I own a few pro staffs myself including a couple st vinnies. Never knew about this issue before. Have you heard of anyone else noticing the same thing you did?
 
If they re-released that frame it would sell out!!!
Ok granted the PS 85 is one of the best rackets ever made, but all everyone who thinks they are good enough to play with an 85 square inch head is on another planet.
It's bad enough people try to play with the Six.One Tour with a 90 head.
That racket is not made for the general public, you have to be able to hit the ball really clean, which I doubt even most pros these days would be able to hit with a 85 head.
People need to start playing with rackets that enhance their games
 

movdqa

Talk Tennis Guru
> That racket is not made for the general public

The BLX 90 is for sale at my local sporting goods store. I was amazed as they haven't sold players frames for a few years.
 

spacediver

Hall of Fame
Ok granted the PS 85 is one of the best rackets ever made, but all everyone who thinks they are good enough to play with an 85 square inch head is on another planet.
I've only been playing seriously for about 10 months, and I've had some very good matches with my ps 85. It's not as impossible as people make it out to be, although if you're off your game it's hard to use.
 

KenC

Hall of Fame
Guys, take a trip back in time and you will notice everyone played with 70in. wooden racquets. Prince was scoffed at when they started making oversize racquets at 85in., and 95in. was just TOO BIG. It is very easy to play tennis with a 85in. head, it just demands that you hit the ball in the center of the stringbed.

I use a friends PS85 every now and then and it is a magical racquet. It is so head light it is ridiculous, but this makes it so maneuverable and with a good bit of heft at the same time. There is no racquet available today that is that head light. The KPS88 is a great racquet but it isn't even close to how the PS85 plays. It is nowhere near as head light and just feels heavy period. The PS85 feels a lot lighter than it really is.

The problem most people have with the PS85 is that is is very underpowered compared to today's typical racquet. The closest thing to a PS85 today is the Bab Pure Storm Limited, but we're only in the ball park here, and not even very close. The K90 and the BLX90 have much more power.

I too wish Wilson would revive the PS85. I would switch in a NY second.
 

asifallasleep

Hall of Fame
Guys, take a trip back in time and you will notice everyone played with 70in. wooden racquets. Prince was scoffed at when they started making oversize racquets at 85in., and 95in. was just TOO BIG. It is very easy to play tennis with a 85in. head, it just demands that you hit the ball in the center of the stringbed.

I use a friends PS85 every now and then and it is a magical racquet. It is so head light it is ridiculous, but this makes it so maneuverable and with a good bit of heft at the same time. There is no racquet available today that is that head light. The KPS88 is a great racquet but it isn't even close to how the PS85 plays. It is nowhere near as head light and just feels heavy period. The PS85 feels a lot lighter than it really is.

The problem most people have with the PS85 is that is is very underpowered compared to today's typical racquet. The closest thing to a PS85 today is the Bab Pure Storm Limited, but we're only in the ball park here, and not even very close. The K90 and the BLX90 have much more power.

I too wish Wilson would revive the PS85. I would switch in a NY second.
Applause!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Andre Agassi was never considered to be a really big hitter. However he hit on the rise like no other. How many matches did we see Andre right up on the baseline with stronger, younger and harder hitting opponents pinned way behind the baseline while Andre picked them apart? I know he never used as 85. However, the maneuverability of the 85 allows you to hit on the rise. I believe that as Andre demonstrated, hitting early and on the rise, can beat more powerful players or those with more powerful racquets. Does anyone remember widebody racquets? Ha ha.
 
Applause!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Andre Agassi was never considered to be a really big hitter. However he hit on the rise like no other. How many matches did we see Andre right up on the baseline with stronger, younger and harder hitting opponents pinned way behind the baseline while Andre picked them apart? I know he never used as 85. However, the maneuverability of the 85 allows you to hit on the rise. I believe that as Andre demonstrated, hitting early and on the rise, can beat more powerful players or those with more powerful racquets. Does anyone remember widebody racquets? Ha ha.
I'm not having a go at you but having written the above, have you considered why Andre never used an 85 and played with OS racquets?
 

asifallasleep

Hall of Fame
I'm not having a go at you but having written the above, have you considered why Andre never used an 85 and played with OS racquets?
Actually you make a very good point. Not a good example by me to discuss the maneuverability of the frame. I tend to think it was mainly Andre's incredible hand eye coordination. I'm sure his bigger racquet did help.

However, when Pete was winning all those titles, NO ONE overpowered him. In fact he was overpowering everyone, Andre included with his little 85's. Everyone else had larger and more powerful racquets but Pete still won.

Fed does rather well with his low/mid powered 90's while everyone else wields larger and way more powerful racquets.

So this argument that the smaller frames can't handle the larger more powerful frames i think is a product of what the industry has put in everyone's hands.

People have grown accustomed to playing with the larger frames as that is now the standard. Everyone uses them. The tennis industry in the 80's began creating larger more powerful racquets to enable people who otherwise would not be able to effective play to enjoy the sport. They sought to make it easier and more available to the masses. It wasn't done at the request of the pros. Most pros continued to use their old frames and painted them. The industry wanted to sell more racquets and grow the sport.

If you're fundamentally sound, you can beat loads of people with a 85 or a 90. No problem.

Larger, more powerful racquets are easy to many as that is all they've known. They don't have to be fundamentally sound to hit the ball.

However, the two most accomplished players in the history of the sport (Fed with his 90 and Pete with his 85) used little racquets and are two of the most fundamentally sound players ever.

They are consistent, balanced and powerful. All with little racquets against bigger racquets.

Players today are bigger, stronger and faster. If all junior coaches taught their students on smaller frames and then perhaps switched them many years later to a larger one or not, the players would get even better.
 

movdqa

Talk Tennis Guru
Pete's racquet was heavily leaded up so it wasn't a low-powered racquet. He usually did not do that well at the French Open so he did not overpower others everywhere.
 

asifallasleep

Hall of Fame
Pete's racquet was heavily leaded up so it wasn't a low-powered racquet. He usually did not do that well at the French Open so he did not overpower others everywhere.
True but my point is on the racquet head size. The complaint most people have is that they can't compete against the larger frames. Yeah the slow red clay pretty much mutes power and it becomes a matter of endurance and familiarity with the surface. Completely different argument.
 

UCSF2012

Hall of Fame
True but my point is on the racquet head size. The complaint most people have is that they can't compete against the larger frames. Yeah the slow red clay pretty much mutes power and it becomes a matter of endurance and familiarity with the surface. Completely different argument.
Watch some more recent Sampras matches. Sampras was more lethal with the nCode than the 85. His shots (esp is backhand) had a noticable kick. Watch some old Sampras matches and you'll see that his shots were almost entirely flat with the 85. I really wonder what Sampras could have done had the modern rackets been available back then.

When Sampras moved from the 85 to the Tour 90 series, you can't help but wonder if the 85's still better.
 

The Baseline

Professional
Watch some more recent Sampras matches. Sampras was more lethal with the nCode than the 85. His shots (esp is backhand) had a noticable kick. Watch some old Sampras matches and you'll see that his shots were almost entirely flat with the 85. I really wonder what Sampras could have done had the modern rackets been available back then.

When Sampras moved from the 85 to the Tour 90 series, you can't help but wonder if the 85's still better.
K90 or the Ncode 90 Tour-which do you feel is better
 

asifallasleep

Hall of Fame
Watch some more recent Sampras matches. Sampras was more lethal with the nCode than the 85. His shots (esp is backhand) had a noticable kick. Watch some old Sampras matches and you'll see that his shots were almost entirely flat with the 85. I really wonder what Sampras could have done had the modern rackets been available back then.

When Sampras moved from the 85 to the Tour 90 series, you can't help but wonder if the 85's still better.
Pete's tremendous record speaks for itself. I'm not sure I believe that he would have won more with a larger more modern racquet. The 85 suited his game perfectly. Can you really compare a much older Sampras using a more modern larger racquet vs a younger and in his prime Sampras with the 85? Too many other variables in addition to the racquet discussion.
 

UCSF2012

Hall of Fame
Pete's tremendous record speaks for itself. I'm not sure I believe that he would have won more with a larger more modern racquet. The 85 suited his game perfectly. Can you really compare a much older Sampras using a more modern larger racquet vs a younger and in his prime Sampras with the 85? Too many other variables in addition to the racquet discussion.
There will always be many variables involved. The biggest variable I'm considering is that he seems to be playing better in many respects with the modern rackets, namely the nCode. He added a lot of spin to his backhand, and his weakest shot appeared to be a bigger threat. I think Sampras played better with the N90 than the 85, and I think he was right in dumping the 85.
 
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