Wilson Racquet Recommendation

#1
Aesthetics is important to me so I'm only looking at the options available as custom racquets by Wilson. I'm currently using a Pro Staff 97LS. Why--because at the time I got it, it was the only racquet available in the same all black cosmetic as Federer's RF97A. I love the all-black racquets so whatever I get, it will be all black. So, it wasn't because the 'S'pin Effect 18x16 pattern necessarily suited my game. The RF97A is definitely too heavy for me but I wonder if the 'L'ight 10.2 oz unstrung that I have now is costing me some power.

My goal is to hit with more power and I realize that 90% of that is my technique but if I wanted to get a racquet that would help with the other 10%, what's the best one? I'm a 3.0-3.5 player. I was recently bumped to 3.5 I think because I smoked a 3.0 player but I never beat 3.5 players.

My current racquet: PS97LS: 10.2 oz (unstrung), 18x16, 97 sq in, Mains RPM Team, Crosses Tonic Plus. ~56 lbs typically.

Some questions:

What effect would a 16x19 vs. 18x16 pattern have?

Would a greater area give me more power?

Would a thicker frame give me more power?

Should I consider gut in the mains?

I'm considering:

1. Burn 100s: 10.6 oz, 18x16, 100 sq in. So, 0.4 oz heavier, same string pattern, but slightly larger head.

2. Ultra 100 Countervail: 10.6 oz, 16x19, 100 sq in. So, 0.4 oz heavier, more dense string pattern, slightly larger head.

I do plan to demo these two racquets.

I appreciate any advice and any other racquet recommendations. Thank you.
 
#4
Ignoring all the other bs on this thread, you could try the PS97. Same color as the RF97, lighter, and you won’t have to spend extra on customization. Or the current blade 98 (16x19 perhaps) and customize it all black. Both shouldn’t be too difficult to maneuver and will give you some decent power.
 
#5
Switch gut to the mains cuz gut crosses is basically same as multi crosses. Btw get rid of tonic. If you want something that is actually gut at tonic price point, buy Klip. It's good. As far as rackets, I suggest you to be a little less aware of the brand or color. There are many other brands that make better rackets than Wilson. Wilson seems to be on the low with their countervail BS.
 
#6
check out Yonex VCore 100 or 98 in Galaxy Black colour way. Both are much better racquets than the Wilsons you are looking at.

I will actually answer your questions although I think its dumb you care about the look of a racquet so much.

string pattern = different launch angle (S patterns launch the ball higher, or at a steeper angle than normal patterns)
more area = more power (more like more depth than more ball speed though)
more thicc = more power
gut? try it to find out. all about preference
 
#7
Thank you. I'll do some research into the specs but I agree, I like the way they look. A little magic marker on the green, perfect.
As a proud owner of a Phantom 93P, I actually kinda prefer the aesthetics of the Prince Textreme Tour racquets. Something about the inner hoop green against black body really jives with me. If their aesthetics tickle your fancy, I'd suggest looking at the Prince Textreme Tour 100 (310g), which has received great reviews from TW playtesters and forumers here.
 
#8
As a proud owner of a Phantom 93P, I actually kinda prefer the aesthetics of the Prince Textreme Tour racquets. Something about the inner hoop green against black body really jives with me. If their aesthetics tickle your fancy, I'd suggest looking at the Prince Textreme Tour 100 (310g), which has received great reviews from TW playtesters and forumers here.
But the sweet narrow box beam on the 93p is hard not to love.
 
#10
That I agree. When I play with the tweeners, while at ready position, I find the thick throat distracting.
After a three years with Wilson Blade then onto Phantoms as my primary playing sticks, I tried out my wife's Clash a few times and was keenly aware of the thick throat and how odd it felt.
 
#12
check out Yonex VCore 100 or 98 in Galaxy Black colour way. Both are much better racquets than the Wilsons you are looking at.

I will actually answer your questions although I think its dumb you care about the look of a racquet so much.

string pattern = different launch angle (S patterns launch the ball higher, or at a steeper angle than normal patterns)
more area = more power (more like more depth than more ball speed though)
more thicc = more power
gut? try it to find out. all about preference
Thank you for your suggestion and answering my questions. I don't apologize for my preferences. I obviously acknowledge that racquet specs trump aesthetics.
 

TagUrIt

Professional
#14
I played previously with the Wilson Ultra 100. Really enjoyed this racquet, the weight and power are nice. Comes in three different color schemes too. I had all three, but I always seem to favor the reverse (it’s almost an electric blue color). It’s a 16x19 string pattern with a nice sweet spot too.
 

SpinToWin

Talk Tennis Guru
#17
Stick with the frame and work on the technique. It’s fine at your level really. You can add some weight to it if you want, it’s easy to do on your own with lead tape and blu tack.
 
#18
Stick with the frame and work on the technique. It’s fine at your level really. You can add some weight to it if you want, it’s easy to do on your own with lead tape and blu tack.
Yes, I keep coming back to this in my head. I know it's true. Maybe I should just watch a better player hit with my racquet to really knock the nonsense out of my head. I'm leaning toward trying different string tensions and maybe trying a full bed of gut in my current racquets, and most importantly, hitting the ball machine as much as I can to improve my technique.
 

SpinToWin

Talk Tennis Guru
#19
Yes, I keep coming back to this in my head. I know it's true. Maybe I should just watch a better player hit with my racquet to really knock the nonsense out of my head. I'm leaning toward trying different string tensions and maybe trying a full bed of gut in my current racquets, and most importantly, hitting the ball machine as much as I can to improve my technique.
Useful heuristic: if you can’t hit the ball without actively swinging your arm, something is off. You should be able to hit groundstrokes almost solely through leg/core activation. The rotation you get from your lower body will get the racquet moving just fine. Get your racquet prepped in a raised position well before you hit the ball and then make sure you’re getting your trunk into the shot. The rest will come with time and practice. It’s about getting a feel for the movement and developing some muscle memory
 
#20
Useful heuristic: if you can’t hit the ball without actively swinging your arm, something is off. You should be able to hit groundstrokes almost solely through leg/core activation. The rotation you get from your lower body will get the racquet moving just fine. Get your racquet prepped in a raised position well before you hit the ball and then make sure you’re getting your trunk into the shot. The rest will come with time and practice. It’s about getting a feel for the movement and developing some muscle memory
I think you're talking about kinetic chain. Yes, I'm trying very hard to develop a good unit turn. I can do it pretty well in front of a mirror but the bad well-entrenched habits always return with a live ball.
 

SpinToWin

Talk Tennis Guru
#21
I think you're talking about kinetic chain. Yes, I'm trying very hard to develop a good unit turn. I can do it pretty well in front of a mirror but the bad well-entrenched habits always return with a live ball.
Always start with feeding. I had gotten out of the habit from too much casual play and it’s only come back from a week-long spurt as a hitting partner for a solid junior I know rather well. What brought it back was consistent rallying through the middle with his coach always screaming when you didn’t prep in time. And that hours at a time of course. At some point it starts to feel natural.

So yeah, don’t start with live balls too early or you’re not going to get/maintain the technical progress you want.
 
#22
You are pushing the wrong buttons a bit with the aesthetics and brand over anything and wanting power with a light racket to beat 3.5s. But...

In general, if you want more power from a racket, you are sacrificing control. Get a big stiff racket, string thin gut loose and see the ball fly.

Having less strings or thinner strings on the racket make for more power.
To keep things simple, you can buy lead tape and add weight to current racket and see if that helps. Where you add it makes a difference.
Heavy racket might slow you down, make your swings shorter. Light racket can make your swings bigger. So in effect, you get the power in different way.
Why waste gut on crosses? If you are going to use, use it in mains to get its maximum effect. (I don't use it either way).
 
#23
Why waste gut on crosses? If you are going to use, use it in mains to get its maximum effect. (I don't use it either way).
This is the way my stringer recommended it a few years ago. I know the pros orient their hybrids the opposite way but I think my guy said I'd be going through my strings a lot faster. I just trusted him.
 
#24
Always start with feeding. I had gotten out of the habit from too much casual play and it’s only come back from a week-long spurt as a hitting partner for a solid junior I know rather well. What brought it back was consistent rallying through the middle with his coach always screaming when you didn’t prep in time. And that hours at a time of course. At some point it starts to feel natural.

So yeah, don’t start with live balls too early or you’re not going to get/maintain the technical progress you want.
When you're feeding, do you let the ball bounce before you hit it? I always hit the ball out of the air without bouncing. Does it matter? Maybe I'm not getting enough backswing my way.
 
#25
When you're feeding, do you let the ball bounce before you hit it? I always hit the ball out of the air without bouncing. Does it matter? Maybe I'm not getting enough backswing my way.
It's really up to you. Do whatever you need to ensure you and your partner can start a practice rally. my feeds are more of a tap with a continental grip.
 

SpinToWin

Talk Tennis Guru
#26
When you're feeding, do you let the ball bounce before you hit it? I always hit the ball out of the air without bouncing. Does it matter? Maybe I'm not getting enough backswing my way.
Bounce for sure I'd say. Directly out of the air is something I'd do if practising swing/drive volleys.

Start with somebody feeding you from the side out of their hand. Then gradually let them move away and play the ball to you at speed. Then start rallying only for the sake of consistent, loose rallying. Only then should point play begin.

This is of course the ideal if you want to maximize technical progress, but don't let it hold you up if you're doing it for the fun. I think it's completely fine to play the sport for the joy it brings mainly.
 
#27
You are pushing the wrong buttons a bit with the aesthetics and brand over anything and wanting power with a light racket to beat 3.5s. But...

In general, if you want more power from a racket, you are sacrificing control. Get a big stiff racket, string thin gut loose and see the ball fly.

Having less strings or thinner strings on the racket make for more power.
To keep things simple, you can buy lead tape and add weight to current racket and see if that helps. Where you add it makes a difference.
Heavy racket might slow you down, make your swings shorter. Light racket can make your swings bigger. So in effect, you get the power in different way.
Why waste gut on crosses? If you are going to use, use it in mains to get its maximum effect. (I don't use it either way).
Why are you speaking if you have not a slightest idea of benefits gut mains or crosses ?
 

SpinToWin

Talk Tennis Guru
#28
When you're feeding, do you let the ball bounce before you hit it? I always hit the ball out of the air without bouncing. Does it matter? Maybe I'm not getting enough backswing my way.
Start of the vid is a great example. Of course it’d be a simpler/easier setup if you’re trying to learn or cement some aspects of a technique.
 
#29
Start of the vid is a great example. Of course it’d be a simpler/easier setup if you’re trying to learn or cement some aspects of a technique.
Ok, so you're talking about someone drop feeding to me? I thought you meant simply when I feed the ball to someone across the net in the normal course of practicing/hitting around. Again, yes, I need to take some private lessons. It's been hard to fit that into my work schedule lately.
 
#30
Why are you speaking if you have not a slightest idea of benefits gut mains or crosses ?
If you wouldn't mind giving your perspective, I'd appreciate it. As I said, I just basically went along with my stringer. I knew Federer does the reverse but I really never understood the difference.
 
#31
Why are you speaking if you have not a slightest idea of benefits gut mains or crosses ?
I have played with gut hybrid rackets, and actually most of my experience with a RF97 is with a gut hybrid (Wilson gut mains, poly crosses), but never owned a RF (4 guys I play with used to play the RF model, currently one is using the DR100 and another TT100P, but the other two still play the RF97). But I agree I am not the expert in gut, as to me, it is just too expensive and thus I don't have mine strung with it. Heck, even my ukulele has synthetic strings! As for tennis, I've mainly played with polys (in the past few years), sometimes with syn gut or multi crosses. Currently using the Crossfire ZX, which to me seems a great compromise to me, poly with a bit of give and lacking the harshness.

What I meant was, to me, that the mains are the main component in the feel and performance of the racket, so: 1) Gut is expensive, make most of it. 2) If you want maximun power, use the gut in the mains or use a full gut bed.

But hey, I am here to learn, so please do tell me how you would use gut to maximize what OP wants.

(Me and OP have dissimilar desires in rackets... as for Wilson rackets, I am yet to test the Clash, which might be really suited for me (no it's not all black). I've tested 104SW and the Blade 104 and I preferred the latter (both were poly strung). the 104SW and RF both gave me elbow pain. I think I enjoyed the latter better, the 104SW was bit clumsy in my hands. At some point my fastest ever serve was with a RF97 (strung gut hybrid). I was thinking at point testing the old school small frame version of it, but never got around to it. I've tested some Burn 100 model, but it partly orange, anyway, nothing special, played ok with it, but did not really excel on anything (poly strung). The dark blue Ultra Tour I thought of testing when it came out, but it had 18x20 pattern, so I've been waiting for a 16x19 version (with similar lowish RA)... which I hope the Clash is.
 
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#36
Does that give a false sense of timing?
It does. Even if the time it takes for the ball to get from the racquet to the bounce is the same as a faster serve from the baseline, **after** the ball bounces, it is traveling much slower when served from the service line. It is, however, a good first step in teaching quick recognition of the serve that has to happen before the ball crosses the net.
 
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