Wilson will release RF85

Just picked one of these up for the hell of it. I even put in a full bed at VS gut. It's definitely not a daily driver for me, but it was a blast to hit around with!
 
Just picked one of these up for the hell of it. I even put in a full bed at VS gut. It's definitely not a daily driver for me, but it was a blast to hit around with!
I'm still waiting for mine. TW's already got it delivered at my friend's place, but gotta wait until Sunday for him to arrive in Bangkok.
 
I ripped two insane kick serves and then shanked the other one so far that it hit a house across the street. Just like the old PS85, this thing is a scalpel. There's very little room for error.
LOL. Done that in the past, too!

I grew up with woodies and, for my age, an 85 head is already big. I'm going to compare the RF85 (L3) with a Chicago (L4) and the SV's (L4 and 2x L3) and see how they all feel like. Same string set up of course. The difference that I can not control is the grip size. And that could make a lot of difference in feel.

Also the Chicago grommets are all broken and I will have to replace the grommets with the newer set that's got "bumper", which the Chicago never had. However, one of the three SV's that I have has no bumper, probably an earlier version of SV (if the grommets were never changed).
 
LOL. Done that in the past, too!

I grew up with woodies and, for my age, an 85 head is already big. I'm going to compare the RF85 (L3) with a Chicago (L4) and the SV's (L4 and 2x L3) and see how they all feel like. Same string set up of course. The difference that I can not control is the grip size. And that could make a lot of difference in feel.

Also the Chicago grommets are all broken and I will have to replace the grommets with the newer set that's got "bumper", which the Chicago never had. However, one of the three SV's that I have has no bumper, probably an earlier version of SV (if the grommets were never changed).
That sounds like an awesome comparison. Keep me posted! I played the PS85 for about a year back in the early 90s before switching to the PSC 6.1 so I do have some experience with the smaller racquet. I've played the Prestige mid quite a bit, which is 89.5. Stoked to take the PS85 out again tomorrow. The full bed of VS gut is sooooo buttery.
 
That sounds like an awesome comparison. Keep me posted! I played the PS85 for about a year back in the early 90s before switching to the PSC 6.1 so I do have some experience with the smaller racquet. I've played the Prestige mid quite a bit, which is 89.5. Stoked to take the PS85 out again tomorrow. The full bed of VS gut is sooooo buttery.
Wish I could afford that! I'm only going to use Gosen Sheep for the comparison.
 
Ahhhh ... I just got the RF85.

The pictures don't do justice to the actual beauty of this stick. Kudos to its designer! The combination of the graphics and the texture really make this stick sublime.

I'll have to wait another three weeks before I'll get it strung up. We'll, patience is a virtue, isn't It?
 
I checked it out locally today and it looks amazing. I already have a bunch of original st vincent ps85's so I won't be buying this new iteration. It does look great tho.
 
Ahhhh ... I just got the RF85.

The pictures don't do justice to the actual beauty of this stick. Kudos to its designer! The combination of the graphics and the texture really make this stick sublime.

I'll have to wait another three weeks before I'll get it strung up. We'll, patience is a virtue, isn't It?
Being patient sucks! Forgive my language but what are you waiting for? It's for use not for viewing!
Have some fun and stop teasing who think about it but didn't find the price justifiable and let us know it's real performance. I hold my st. V. Bumperless yesterday and told myself, if I have the real thing, why should I consider a duplicate? It's good for those don't have it or had it but it's been damaged or missing gromments. Personally, I really want to find f it's better than the st. V. Model. But for most other people, I think it's worth to spend the money on the rf97a instead of the rf85. This is why a hands on evaluation is more important here. Of course, if it's a Sampras 85, a lot more people would already bought it. Federer is great and achieve a lot more than anyone else, but Pete is non replaceable.
 
Being patient sucks! Forgive my language but what are you waiting for? It's for use not for viewing!
Have some fun and stop teasing who think about it but didn't find the price justifiable and let us know it's real performance. I hold my st. V. Bumperless yesterday and told myself, if I have the real thing, why should I consider a duplicate? It's good for those don't have it or had it but it's been damaged or missing gromments. Personally, I really want to find f it's better than the st. V. Model. But for most other people, I think it's worth to spend the money on the rf97a instead of the rf85. This is why a hands on evaluation is more important here. Of course, if it's a Sampras 85, a lot more people would already bought it. Federer is great and achieve a lot more than anyone else, but Pete is non replaceable.
LOL. I'm not teasing. I'm out of town on a military mission and there are no stringers in this part of the country. And I just got the stick from a US Marines whom I know to carry it all the way from my orders with TW, to drop the order at his place, and get the goods half the world over here.

I'll certainly compare the RF with the SV and Chicago.

Now, is it a duplicate? Well, IF (yes, a big IF) it feels really, really close, then I would think it's justifiable because of several reasons. One of the reasons being the grommets. The current grommet set available does not fit on a Chicago easily enough. I had to split some at the shoulder. I haven't changed grommets on an SV, yet, so no comment on that.

Another reason I justify my purchase is that it's readily available, at least for now, and with current grommet set that fits.

And as for Fed and Pete thing, that was never in my head. I don't buy sticks because someone uses or endorses it. I buy it because I like playing with it.

But if we were to bring the subject of players up for discussion, well, then, a-once-upon-a-time-young-kid beat a legend with the same model of the stick that the legend was using and got so far to become a legend himself. That'd be quite an interesting talk. :)
 
LOL. I'm not teasing. I'm out of town on a military mission and there are no stringers in this part of the country. And I just got the stick from a US Marines whom I know to carry it all the way from my orders with TW, to drop the order at his place, and get the goods half the world over here.

I'll certainly compare the RF with the SV and Chicago.

Now, is it a duplicate? Well, IF (yes, a big IF) it feels really, really close, then I would think it's justifiable because of several reasons. One of the reasons being the grommets. The current grommet set available does not fit on a Chicago easily enough. I had to split some at the shoulder. I haven't changed grommets on an SV, yet, so no comment on that.

Another reason I justify my purchase is that it's readily available, at least for now, and with current grommet set that fits.

And as for Fed and Pete thing, that was never in my head. I don't buy sticks because someone uses or endorses it. I buy it because I like playing with it.

But if we were to bring the subject of players up for discussion, well, then, a-once-upon-a-time-young-kid beat a legend with the same model of the stick that the legend was using and got so far to become a legend himself. That'd be quite an interesting talk. :)
Hiya! Thanks for the reply. Last thing first! I prefer a non endorsed PS85 too. I only mention Pete since he was the one using it to win grand slams. I pick up ps 85 because it was popular at my age when I was in high school. I was using ultra 2 at HS and later bought PS85 because it's more menuverable and available.

Grommets is one big issue and another is crack. One of mime shown a hairline inside at 7,8 o'clock. Don't feel a thing but it's a warning. Of course, I had 12+ as back ups just for that. In this manner, a $250 solution is much much cheaper than my 14+ back up plan and it's way more reliable too because all those 14s are likely to crack and more fragile. Not even considered dear space saving! Well I am way pass that concern at 40s racquet range.

Thus please bring on test results. I think a lot of us are waiting for. I am just curious why tw don't put up a review on it. What are they afraid for?
 
Hiya! Thanks for the reply. Last thing first! I prefer a non endorsed PS85 too. I only mention Pete since he was the one using it to win grand slams. I pick up ps 85 because it was popular at my age when I was in high school. I was using ultra 2 at HS and later bought PS85 because it's more menuverable and available.

Grommets is one big issue and another is crack. One of mime shown a hairline inside at 7,8 o'clock. Don't feel a thing but it's a warning. Of course, I had 12+ as back ups just for that. In this manner, a $250 solution is much much cheaper than my 14+ back up plan and it's way more reliable too because all those 14s are likely to crack and more fragile. Not even considered dear space saving! Well I am way pass that concern at 40s racquet range.

Thus please bring on test results. I think a lot of us are waiting for. I am just curious why tw don't put up a review on it. What are they afraid for?
It should play just like the last TW re-issue PS85 as it's from same mold / composition. I love love love hitting one handed backhands with it. Such lovely feel and precision. There are times where I'm tempted to use it as my go to frame. But despite having a strong connection / liking for the PS85, there is something to be said about the fact that frames like the RF97 and PS97S and Blade 98 do play 'easier' and have some obvious advantages.

I'm not sure I understand your comment about TW being "afraid". Could you explain?
 
I checked it out locally today and it looks amazing. I already have a bunch of original st vincent ps85's so I won't be buying this new iteration. It does look great tho.
Ahhhh ... I just got the RF85.

The pictures don't do justice to the actual beauty of this stick. Kudos to its designer! The combination of the graphics and the texture really make this stick sublime.

I'll have to wait another three weeks before I'll get it strung up. We'll, patience is a virtue, isn't It?
I'm glad you guys like how it looks. It's my favorite design I did with Wilson. Lots of sentimental connection for me with that design. I wasn't sure if it would be produced when i first created the design so I'm very happy to see it being sold. Let me know how it hits!!!!!!
 
I'm glad you guys like how it looks. It's my favorite design I did with Wilson. Lots of sentimental connection for me with that design. I wasn't sure if it would be produced when i first created the design so I'm very happy to see it being sold. Let me know how it hits!!!!!!
I've liked all of your designs so far Peter, great job. But I will say after receiving the Six.One 95 18x20 reissue last week that I am starting to find the recent Wilson paintjobs to be a little too "neat" and "clean" with no "pizzazz". Generally speaking, I like clean and neat - my favorite paint jobs ever are the PS Tour 90 (yellow inner rim) and the N90 (red white and black with a tiny bit of yellow accents). Both had clean lines, but they also had some excitement with the yellow inner rim on the PST90 and yellow accents on the N90. The red on the N90 was also a deep, bright red (the Wilson logo red). The Six.One 95 reissue, on the other hand, had bands at 3 and 9 that were pinkish red (more red than pink, but definitely not a true red) and it just didn't look "bold". Frankly, it looked like a ladies racquet. I was disappointed by the red, especially since the red at 3 and 9 didn't even match the red of the buttcap. Not sure if this colorway was intentional or not. Anyway, I still have way more compliments than criticisms for the recent RF97/PS97 and other similar paint jobs /designs, but I do hope that the next generation of racquet models have slightly bolder styling bc some of the recent ones are starting to get a little too blase.
 
Of course, if it's a Sampras 85, a lot more people would already bought it. Federer is great and achieve a lot more than anyone else, but Pete is non replaceable.
I'm pretty sure that a Sampras 85 would sell worse than a Federer 85, hence Wilson is marketing it as the latter and not the former. I think the buyers of this racquet will consistent entirely of 1) collectors and 2) players who don't already own a PS85 and are curious about how it plays. I don't think anyone is buying this stick to try out as their day-to-day racquet.
 
It should play just like the last TW re-issue PS85 as it's from same mold / composition. I love love love hitting one handed backhands with it. Such lovely feel and precision. There are times where I'm tempted to use it as my go to frame. But despite having a strong connection / liking for the PS85, there is something to be said about the fact that frames like the RF97 and PS97S and Blade 98 do play 'easier' and have some obvious advantages.

I'm not sure I understand your comment about TW being "afraid". Could you explain?
I think TW has a mix feeling about this. Normally TW would endorse and be honest about an item. I think they keep,quiet not because of budget of filming but unwilling to add anything extra than manfufacture would. So the sales result will have nothing to do with their opinion/review.

The TW replicate is a nice racquet by itself. It's easier and comfortable than the original. But the feeling is completely different! There are a small group of people may be looking for replacement of the aging racquets. There are other groups of people buying for souvenir. It's to a point that any major restaurant can cook Filet mignon, but it won't be the same. It's not the same. Cook, same ingredients, same cow, or same ranch if we just ignore the other hardware and atmosphere issues. Same is here. A PS 85 need to be an old PS85 to be valuable. Well, it's very hard since most PS85 vary by itself. I never seem two feel the same.

I also want to point out the new black rf97 give most people impression of fancy painting and cosmetic lifting. But actually it's a better racquet despite it looks very similar to the early version. This is why people are expecting hands on review. Because it maybe more than just a new paint.
 
I've liked all of your designs so far Peter, great job. But I will say after receiving the Six.One 95 18x20 reissue last week that I am starting to find the recent Wilson paintjobs to be a little too "neat" and "clean" with no "pizzazz". Generally speaking, I like clean and neat - my favorite paint jobs ever are the PS Tour 90 (yellow inner rim) and the N90 (red white and black with a tiny bit of yellow accents). Both had clean lines, but they also had some excitement with the yellow inner rim on the PST90 and yellow accents on the N90. The red on the N90 was also a deep, bright red (the Wilson logo red). The Six.One 95 reissue, on the other hand, had bands at 3 and 9 that were pinkish red (more red than pink, but definitely not a true red) and it just didn't look "bold". Frankly, it looked like a ladies racquet. I was disappointed by the red, especially since the red at 3 and 9 didn't even match the red of the buttcap. Not sure if this colorway was intentional or not. Anyway, I still have way more compliments than criticisms for the recent RF97/PS97 and other similar paint jobs /designs, but I do hope that the next generation of racquet models have slightly bolder styling bc some of the recent ones are starting to get a little too blase.
Thanks for sharing your thoughts. While I'm no longer involved in future Wilson designs I can maybe shed some insight into the current one and 'possible' trends in the future. The current designs are "neat" and "clean" very intentionally. It's a direct response to two things:
1. Racquet designs in the industry as a whole that were more about 'busyness' and technology promoting designs - than a clean and consumer focused design language.
2. The overall product design trend in other industries that focused on clean, beautiful and user-centric designs that spoke more to the emotional side of consumers.

Just as a small side-story. When I first presented the all-black design (along with designs of the Blade and red/black Pro Staffs) to that Roger guy ..... I pulled out a last generation Wilson racquet, and one from two other manufacturers. Between just those 3 racquets there were 47 !!!!!! different brand and technology logos on them ... 47 logos on just 3 racquets. It was a sign of the trend to focus on various technologies and not on making the consumer fall in love with the look of the racquet but rather try to overwhelm / sell the consumer on the technologies. It wasn't a "Wilson thing" ... it was an industry trend. We instead with these new design wanted to focus on making a much more direct / visual connection with the consumer. Technology is still a very important factor - but now it's an underlying solid base, and the design is the emotional and consumer facing element. I like that balance. Roger loved the clean design and understood it well. Especially since he's been exposed to design-focused products through some of his other sponsors. If you for example think of a car like a Mercedes. Your typical Mercedes car has MANY more technologies inside of it than a tennis racquet, but you don't see the exterior of the car littered with technology promoting design elements. The designs are clean and simple, but under the hood are a huge range of technological advancements. The auto industry has a good balance of both - we wanted to bring a similar balance to racquets. It's a confidence in the fact that the racquets play well, balanced with a look that is more brand and consumer focused.

In terms of next / future designs. I can't really give you any direct insights into them as I have no involvement or insight into it, but hypothetically I can see taking the current clean, bold, and model-specific designs and adding in an additional level of sophistication to it. I'm just as curious to see what future designs will hold as you. Not just from Wilson but industry wide.
 
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I think TW has a mix feeling about this. Normally TW would endorse and be honest about an item. I think they keep,quiet not because of budget of filming but unwilling to add anything extra than manfufacture would. So the sales result will have nothing to do with their opinion/review.

The TW replicate is a nice racquet by itself. It's easier and comfortable than the original. But the feeling is completely different! There are a small group of people may be looking for replacement of the aging racquets. There are other groups of people buying for souvenir. It's to a point that any major restaurant can cook Filet mignon, but it won't be the same. It's not the same. Cook, same ingredients, same cow, or same ranch if we just ignore the other hardware and atmosphere issues. Same is here. A PS 85 need to be an old PS85 to be valuable. Well, it's very hard since most PS85 vary by itself. I never seem two feel the same.

I also want to point out the new black rf97 give most people impression of fancy painting and cosmetic lifting. But actually it's a better racquet despite it looks very similar to the early version. This is why people are expecting hands on review. Because it maybe more than just a new paint.
I appreciate your reply but I think / know that you have some assumptions that are not true and just based on random guesses. I am sure TW has nothing to 'hide' by not doing a RF85 review. There are many other racuqets they have not reviewed in the past - especially if they are similar / same in terms of specs. No conspiracy theory here.

Same applies to the RF97. Just logically speaking if the new RF97 did play better / had improvements Wilson would be shouting from the rooftops about it. Instead it's been made clear it's the same racquet under the paint.
 

gino

Hall of Fame
Thanks for sharing your thoughts. While I'm no longer involved in future Wilson designs I can maybe shed some insight into the current one and 'possible' trends in the future. The current designs are "neat" and "clean" very intentionally. It's a direct response to two things:
1. Racquet designs in the industry as a whole that were more about 'busyness' and technology promoting designs - than a clean and consumer focused design language.
2. The overall product design trend in other industries that focused on clean, beautiful and user-centric designs that spoke more to the emotional side of consumers.

Just as a small side-story. When I first presented the all-black design (along with designs of the Blade and red/black Pro Staffs) to that Roger guy ..... I pulled out a last generation Wilson racquet, and one from two other manufacturers. Between just those 3 racquets there were 47 !!!!!! different brand and logos on them ... 47 logos on just 3 racquets. It was a sign of the trend to focus on various technologies and not on making the consumer fall in love with the look of the racquet but rather try to overwhelm / sell the consumer on the technologies. It wasn't a "Wilson thing" ... it was an industry trend. We instead with these new design wanted to focus on making a much more direct / visual connection with the consumer. Technology is still a very important factor - but now it's an underlying solid base, and the design is the emotional and consumer facing element. I like that balance. Roger loved the clean design and understood it well. Especially since he's been exposed to design-focused products through some of his other sponsors. If you for example thing of a car like a Mercedes. Your typical Mercedes car has MANY more technologies inside of it, but you don't see the exterior of the car littered with technology promoting design elements. The designs are clean and simple, but under the hood are a huge range of technological advancements. The auto industry has a good balance of both - we wanted to bring a similar balance to racquets. It's a confidence in the fact that the racquets play well, balanced with a look that is more brand and consumer focused.

In terms of next / future designs. I can't really give you any direct insights into them as I have no involvement or insight into it, but hypothetically I can see taking the current clean, bold, and model-specific designs and adding in an additional level of sophistication to it. I'm just as curious to see what future designs will hold as you. Not just from Wilson but industry wide.
Wonderful post @PeterFig - always delighted to hear your insight on the design elements and thought behind the latest Wilson designs.

It would seem they have settled into the strong color blocking at 3/9 - which is a Wilson mainstay:

Call it what you will - it's distinct and warms my heart to see the new 6.1 with strong color blocking





 
I'm pretty sure that a Sampras 85 would sell worse than a Federer 85, hence Wilson is marketing it as the latter and not the former. I think the buyers of this racquet will consistent entirely of 1) collectors and 2) players who don't already own a PS85 and are curious about how it plays. I don't think anyone is buying this stick to try out as their day-to-day racquet.
Yes.
 
Wonderful post @PeterFig - always delighted to hear your insight on the design elements and thought behind the latest Wilson designs.

It would seem they have settled into the strong color blocking at 3/9 - which is a Wilson mainstay:

Call it what you will - it's distinct and warms my heart to see the new 6.1 with strong color blocking





Yes the 3&9 element has a long history within Wilson (even the location of the PWS is at 3&9) ...plus the visual examples you posted. So for this generation the intent was to really use that as a unifying design element among the various models. The color differentiates the models. The design element unifies it as a Wilson racquet. This has been quite evident (and very much intentional) when you watch tennis on TV the past year or so. It's so much more clear to see who is playing with a Wilson frame. In addition you can really take notice now just how many players are actually playing with a Wilson frame.
 

gino

Hall of Fame
I think TW has a mix feeling about this. Normally TW would endorse and be honest about an item. I think they keep,quiet not because of budget of filming but unwilling to add anything extra than manfufacture would. So the sales result will have nothing to do with their opinion/review.

The TW replicate is a nice racquet by itself. It's easier and comfortable than the original. But the feeling is completely different! There are a small group of people may be looking for replacement of the aging racquets. There are other groups of people buying for souvenir. It's to a point that any major restaurant can cook Filet mignon, but it won't be the same. It's not the same. Cook, same ingredients, same cow, or same ranch if we just ignore the other hardware and atmosphere issues. Same is here. A PS 85 need to be an old PS85 to be valuable. Well, it's very hard since most PS85 vary by itself. I never seem two feel the same.

I also want to point out the new black rf97 give most people impression of fancy painting and cosmetic lifting. But actually it's a better racquet despite it looks very similar to the early version. This is why people are expecting hands on review. Because it maybe more than just a new paint.
I had to reread this post to try and make sense of it. Didn't work. Oh well.

Let me say this. For years many serious players/racquet experts have had these distinct problems with racquet companies:

1. Faux layup tech
2. PAINTJOBS
3. Lack of retro releases (Wilson did PS85 (og cosmetic), PS85 (blacked out), Wilson 6.1, and the Pro Staff 95 mould was brought back multiple times 2010-2014)
4. PAINTJOBS
5. Noisy/inorganic cosmetics

Wilson did the following:

  • Released multiple pro stock racquets in a retail format:
    • RF97
    • Wilson 6.1
    • Wilson Ultra Tour (H19)
  • Went to a very basic/traditional/logical paint scheme - color blocking at 3/9
  • Avoided adding faux tech to layups and went back to graphite/kevlar (with the exception of CV - which actually dampens the response - maybe too much IMO)

What exactly are you expecting from Wilson? They're kicking Babolat, HEAD, and every other manufacturer's assess right now
 
I had to reread this post to try and make sense of it. Didn't work. Oh well.

Let me say this. For years many serious players/racquet experts have had these distinct problems with racquet companies:

1. Faux layup tech
2. PAINTJOBS
3. Lack of retro releases (Wilson did PS85 (og cosmetic), PS85 (blacked out), Wilson 6.1, and the Pro Staff 95 mould was brought back multiple times 2010-2014)
4. PAINTJOBS
5. Noisy/inorganic cosmetics

Wilson did the following:

  • Released multiple pro stock racquets in a retail format:
    • RF97
    • Wilson 6.1
    • Wilson Ultra Tour (H19)
  • Went to a very basic/traditional/logical paint scheme - color blocking at 3/9
  • Avoided adding faux tech to layups and went back to graphite/kevlar (with the exception of CV - which actually dampens the response - maybe too much IMO)

What exactly are you expecting from Wilson? They're kicking Babolat, HEAD, and every other manufacturer's assess right now

Well said. :)
 
I had to reread this post to try and make sense of it. Didn't work. Oh well.

Let me say this. For years many serious players/racquet experts have had these distinct problems with racquet companies:

1. Faux layup tech
2. PAINTJOBS
3. Lack of retro releases (Wilson did PS85 (og cosmetic), PS85 (blacked out), Wilson 6.1, and the Pro Staff 95 mould was brought back multiple times 2010-2014)
4. PAINTJOBS
5. Noisy/inorganic cosmetics

Wilson did the following:

  • Released multiple pro stock racquets in a retail format:
    • RF97
    • Wilson 6.1
    • Wilson Ultra Tour (H19)
  • Went to a very basic/traditional/logical paint scheme - color blocking at 3/9
  • Avoided adding faux tech to layups and went back to graphite/kevlar (with the exception of CV - which actually dampens the response - maybe too much IMO)

What exactly are you expecting from Wilson? They're kicking Babolat, HEAD, and every other manufacturer's assess right now
They have me wanting to buy an Ultra Tour.
 
In terms of next / future designs. I can't really give you any direct insights into them as I have no involvement or insight into it, but hypothetically I can see taking the current clean, bold, and model-specific designs and adding in an additional level of sophistication to it. I'm just as curious to see what future designs will hold as you. Not just from Wilson but industry wide.
Thanks for the color Peter, very interesting and helpful. I completely agree that clean lines and less emphasis on cryptic technologies is the right way to go. But I think having a bold look should be an equally important part of the Wilson styling as well, especially for its flagship Pro Staff line (and I consider the 6.1 as part of that line). "Bold" is hard to describe... One way I would do it is have ample use of red (and the right SHADE of red), maybe black, with bright accents added in a clean, not busy way. I think the first version of the RF97 did all of this quite well. The black RF97 is also bold, in a Darth Vader kind of way. In Gino's post above, the PS95 is great as well, with my one criticism being the gold lines in the white blocks at 3 and 9 being too busy. However, the Six.One reissue (not sure if you had input on that), is something I hope Wilson stays away from. Too much white, not enough red, and the wrong shade of red just makes the racquet look like a toy. Anyway, I realize this is my opinion which I can sometimes get carried away with so I'll stop there. Keep up the good work.
 
Thanks for the color Peter, very interesting and helpful. I completely agree that clean lines and less emphasis on cryptic technologies is the right way to go. But I think having a bold look should be an equally important part of the Wilson styling as well, especially for its flagship Pro Staff line (and I consider the 6.1 as part of that line). "Bold" is hard to describe... One way I would do it is have ample use of red (and the right SHADE of red), maybe black, with bright accents added in a clean, not busy way. I think the first version of the RF97 did all of this quite well. The black RF97 is also bold, in a Darth Vader kind of way. In Gino's post above, the PS95 is great as well, with my one criticism being the gold lines in the white blocks at 3 and 9 being too busy. However, the Six.One reissue (not sure if you had input on that), is something I hope Wilson stays away from. Too much white, not enough red, and the wrong shade of red just makes the racquet look like a toy. Anyway, I realize this is my opinion which I can sometimes get carried away with so I'll stop there. Keep up the good work.
I totally appreciate your views. Yes I did design the 6.1.
That's the interesting thing about design - it is in the end subjective. The 6.1 is a bit of a unique beast as it's not a main line racquet ... it kind of sits between the main franchises and the lower-priced offerings. It is meant to share some of the design language of the main line racquets (pro staff, blade, burn, ultra) but in a way have it's own identity. Hence the white base, the additional subtle design elements (carbon fiber decal, etc). The price point is also a factor here. No metalic lettering, no velvet paint, etc.

Thanks for your post. I like hearing other people's opinions.
 

gino

Hall of Fame
I want to see if that Ultra Tour plays like a Pro Tour 630. I love the fact there's no BS marketing tech with the Ultra Tour. That's something in this day and age.
It was based on the PT630 mould if I'm not mistaken?

The weight distribution will be undoubtedly off without proper comparison with an old trusty PT630's

It's great. Platform racquet. PJ used by pros who actually use the damn frame. What a concept. Take notes @HEAD Penn Official @Babolat Official
 
I hope Wilson never strays from the current designs too much; I love the simplicity, and it's quite obvious what the designs are trying to convey--a quick visual way to distinguish between one model from another via the colours at 3 & 9.

My only issue is that the Wilson logo at the throat and at 12 chip too quickly. On my RF97A, the Wilson logo has chipped to the point where it looks like the logo was written in cursive.

Why they didn't just laser etch the Wilson logo like they did with the 'Pro Staff' on the other side of the throat is beyond me.

The frame at 12 looks like an outbreak of syphilis, and the only thing it's made contact with is a tennis ball.
 
Yes, Peter, as a branding consultant & graphic designer myself, I agree with your observation on brands promoting 'technology' through busy designs -- which I'd rather call them as 'noisy', instead.

In fact, talking about racket graphics, one design that I really like is the Volkl V Engine 10 mid. It's got a good balance of loudness and silence. The black, yellow and silver were nicely combined. The yellow Volkl branding on the beam was big, but designed in such a way that's very sporty. The racket's got the look of a sports car, something like a Lamborghini, not the look of a racetrack machine with flashy and noisy colors and lines like other rackets of late.

But, certainly, I'm all for a nice simple and subtle design. Just like a famous (real or not, I don't know) da Vinci quote that says: "Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication."
 
Thanks for sharing your thoughts. While I'm no longer involved in future Wilson designs I can maybe shed some insight into the current one and 'possible' trends in the future. The current designs are "neat" and "clean" very intentionally. It's a direct response to two things:
1. Racquet designs in the industry as a whole that were more about 'busyness' and technology promoting designs - than a clean and consumer focused design language.
2. The overall product design trend in other industries that focused on clean, beautiful and user-centric designs that spoke more to the emotional side of consumers.

Just as a small side-story. When I first presented the all-black design (along with designs of the Blade and red/black Pro Staffs) to that Roger guy ..... I pulled out a last generation Wilson racquet, and one from two other manufacturers. Between just those 3 racquets there were 47 !!!!!! different brand and technology logos on them ... 47 logos on just 3 racquets. It was a sign of the trend to focus on various technologies and not on making the consumer fall in love with the look of the racquet but rather try to overwhelm / sell the consumer on the technologies. It wasn't a "Wilson thing" ... it was an industry trend. We instead with these new design wanted to focus on making a much more direct / visual connection with the consumer. Technology is still a very important factor - but now it's an underlying solid base, and the design is the emotional and consumer facing element. I like that balance. Roger loved the clean design and understood it well. Especially since he's been exposed to design-focused products through some of his other sponsors. If you for example think of a car like a Mercedes. Your typical Mercedes car has MANY more technologies inside of it than a tennis racquet, but you don't see the exterior of the car littered with technology promoting design elements. The designs are clean and simple, but under the hood are a huge range of technological advancements. The auto industry has a good balance of both - we wanted to bring a similar balance to racquets. It's a confidence in the fact that the racquets play well, balanced with a look that is more brand and consumer focused.

In terms of next / future designs. I can't really give you any direct insights into them as I have no involvement or insight into it, but hypothetically I can see taking the current clean, bold, and model-specific designs and adding in an additional level of sophistication to it. I'm just as curious to see what future designs will hold as you. Not just from Wilson but industry wide.
The game is changing! Even roger has to adopt the change to win. His ball selection and trijectory is clear different from 2006/2007 to this Wimbledon. Of course, new string, new court surface matter too. Soon the new tennis rule will make a lot more difference coming.

Do we want a racquet that helps us to win or do we want a racquet that help us to advance our skill and enjoy every shot we make when it was played at our management level range? What is the pleasure of playing tennis coming from? From every ball hiting, from a fancy shot, or from conquering or torturing our foe? What is the role of the racquet in this process?

Of course, I wouldn't dare to try a racquet if it's name sounds too stupid like juice, etc.
 
I want to see if that Ultra Tour plays like a Pro Tour 630. I love the fact there's no BS marketing tech with the Ultra Tour. That's something in this day and age.
Will be really interested to hear your thoughts on this and also in comparison with the Angell TC 97 18x20 which you think is the closest to the PT 630.
 
Yes, Peter, as a branding consultant & graphic designer myself, I agree with your observation on brands promoting 'technology' through busy designs -- which I'd rather call them as 'noisy', instead.
The term we used to describe the new Wilson designs was 'uncontaminated'. I kinda liked it.
It reflected the push with this generation of racquet designs to strip away all the unnecessary design elements and instead focus on core and fundamental elements. This went well into the details including simplified and modernized specs details inside the throat. A smaller less obtrusive Wilson hologram sticker. A smaller and simplified grip size sticker, etc etc...
 
The shape of the H19 is very different than the PT630. Its like comparing the Wilson Blade 98 18x20 (even though its a different shape and the headsize is smaller than the H19 ) to the Head Prestige MP.
 
What are you all stringing your 85s with? I have 3 of the reissued 85s from a few years ago all with a full bed of Wilson natural gut. Probably my favorite racket I've ever used. Is there a significant difference between Wilson gut and babolat vs gut? Probably getting them all restrung soon. My current string has been in there for a long time.
 
OMG! This is one the best comment ever on user's racket review. It's a review of Gamma Bubba 137. I just went LMAO.

See how the comment can be related to the RF85.

Comments: I have been playing with this racquet for quite some time and have found success with it. I am 78 and I love to hang out at the net. I have a compact stroke and can hardly move. However I recently tried the Wilson Pro Staff 6.0 85 model and all of a sudden I am beating everyone in my local club. I am getting a lot of phone numbers from the ladies at my club too. Yesterday my dream girl (Doris, my 84 year old doubles partner who happens to be a widow as well) finally asked me out on a date. Thank you Wilson!
From: Hank, 9/16

From: http://www.tennis-warehouse.com/feedback-BUBBA.html


So, I'm only 51. I hope I can still get some calls like this gentleman, too, by using the 85 head!
 
OMG! This is one the best comment ever on user's racket review. It's a review of Gamma Bubba 137. I just went LMAO.

See how the comment can be related to the RF85.

Comments: I have been playing with this racquet for quite some time and have found success with it. I am 78 and I love to hang out at the net. I have a compact stroke and can hardly move. However I recently tried the Wilson Pro Staff 6.0 85 model and all of a sudden I am beating everyone in my local club. I am getting a lot of phone numbers from the ladies at my club too. Yesterday my dream girl (Doris, my 84 year old doubles partner who happens to be a widow as well) finally asked me out on a date. Thank you Wilson!
From: Hank, 9/16

From: http://www.tennis-warehouse.com/feedback-BUBBA.html


So, I'm only 51. I hope I can still get some calls like this gentleman, too, by using the 85 head!
I sure wish my grandpa knew how to use a computer.
 
TESTED
RF85 (L3) 351.0 grams
SV85 (L3) [JYQ] no bumper guard 347.0 grams
Chicago (L4) [GOI] "trimmed off" bumper guard 365.2 grams

Got them strung up with Head PPS 17 at 52 lbs on a Wilson machine. The weights shown are strung weights.

Not a decisive comparison, yet, because:
- Grip size differences
- Bumper guard differences

After two hours of rallying, switching between them at random, like 3 to 5 minutes playing each racket, the RF85 feels like it's got the same stiffness, but a tad more comfy, less raw. It does not feel flexy like the previous reissue.

Later, I will add weight to the head area of the no bumper rackets. I will add 3.6 grams to match the weight of the bumper guard and see if that weight will make a difference in feel. (3.6 grams is what I measured after trimming it off.)

My hitting partner also tested the sticks, so it's a 2-man opinion, and something we agreed upon. My hitting partner even said his Redondo, with a full bed of multi (60 lbs), felt more raw than the RF85.

More to follow ...
 
Last edited:
TESTED
RF85 (L3) 351.0 grams
SV85 (L3) [JYQ] no bumper guard 347.0 grams
Chicago (L4) [GOI] "trimmed off" bumper guard 365.2 grams

Got them strung up with Head PPS 17 at 52 lbs on a Wilson machine. The weights shown are strung weights.

Not a decisive comparison, yet, because:
- Grip size differences
- Bumper guard differences

After two hours of rallying, switching between them at random, like 3 to 5 minutes playing each racket, the RF85 feels like it's got the same stiffness, but a tad more comfy, less raw. It does not feel flexy like the previous reissue.

Later, I will add weight to the head area of the no bumper rackets. I will add 3.6 grams to match the weight of the bumper guard and see if that weight will make a difference in feel. (3.6 grams is what I measured after trimming it off.)

My hitting partner also tested the sticks, so it's a 2-man opinion, and something we agreed upon. My hitting partner even said his Redondo, with a full bed of multi (60 lbs), felt more raw than the RF85.

More to follow ...
Any more thoughts around how the RF85 compares to your other Pro Staffs?
 
Been playing with the org PS's for most of my life including ATP competition. Still using them today as a HP Tennis Professional. Every time i pick up one them 'modern' sticks, I realize why the 85 is a special racquet. Havent hit the RF85 as yet, but to me, this should have been a Sampras tribute stick. Evidently its about profits for wilson using Federer's name, but its an interesting move, since most players will hesitate in using a 85. Its a confidence thing.
 
[...]Havent hit the RF85 as yet, but to me, this should have been a Sampras tribute stick. Evidently its about profits for wilson using Federer's name, but its an interesting move, since most players will hesitate in using a 85. Its a confidence thing.
Why is it so hard for everyone to understand the concept behind this Racquet? It's not "Let's release a Pro Staff 85 out of the blue and promote it through whom we think most people regard as the best model to endorse this Racquet": it's "Let's release a limited edition of Federer's first Tour Racquet to associate with what's probably going to be his last (obviously no love for the frame in the middle, as usual)". It's something that starts from Federer, not from the 85, so it's obvious no one else will be the poster boy. Besides, not only Federer is (far) more marketable than Sampras, but can Wilson even put the latter's face on one of their products without specifically paying him for it? Because not only Sampras is not sponsored by Wilson, he's using a Babolat on the Champions Tour, unless he switched in the last months. It would seem weird to me they could do it, but if you played at ATP level you probably can explain me better.

Also, it's far from a confidence thing in my humble opinion. I highly doubt Wilson released this frame with the purpose of selling it to new potential customers who may want to use it in League Level. It seems specifically directed to two branches of customers: die-hard Pro Staff 85 fans who may think of it as their last chance to get their hands on one of these frames in good conditions and collectors who won't even ever take it out for a spin (as I said, the concept is to have Federer's first Tour Racquet and his last one side by side; besides, it's a Limited Edition item). If anything, Wilson would like people who are used to >97 squared inches Racquets and who are too impatient to adapt to different frames to try it out so that they blame the headsize for their poor performance as usual, thus enforcing the idea that any Racquet which headsize is smaller than 97 squared inches is either unsuited to today's game or flat-out unplayable (because for most people what's hard to play with for them is totally impossible to win with for anyone) which they're relentlessly promoting ever since Federer gave them the chance by switching to the 97.
 
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