Wilson Pro Staff 97 v13 Review
Pros and cons of Wilson Pro 97 v13 Tennis racket
- It offers improved control and ergonomics owing to the denser string bed.
- It provides increased comfort because of lower unstrung weight.
- It enables greater speed and maneuverability.
- It gives enhanced stability, power, and plow-through.
- It is more consistent in response
- It lacks dampening technology
- It is unsuitable for players who block returns and take them inside the baseline.
- It does not generate its own power.
- The sweet spot is comparatively small.
- The stiffer frame can be hazardous to players who are prone to tennis elbow.
- It is a bit underpowered for some tennis players.
- Matte/velvet finish might be vulnerable to scratches.
Summary of the racket
Wilson is one of the leading brands globally, and to preserve its reputation, it always believes in introducing the latest versions and series of sporting goods to its users.
Pro Staff Series is one of the latest additions to Wilson’s goods family. Roger Federer, the world-famous tennis player, has been using the Pro-staff series since 2014. He has played an important role in spreading the popularity of the Pro-Staff series to intermediate and advanced tennis players.
Precisely, Pro Staff 97v13 is comparatively more flexible than other series.
It also has an excellent hold and a classic and buttery response that eases the player’s stress during the game.
With the introduction of 45 braids, the racket’s graphite and Kevlar fibers have been purposefully woven at a 45-degree angle for improved feel, stability, and pocketing.
Also, with its string mapping technology, it offers a denser hitting area for a more controlled and predictable response.
Not only this, because of its speedy swing weight of 321, it comes around fast on groundstrokes while maintaining stability against a high level of speed.
In comparison to other models of Wilson, it is more user-friendly when hitting shots while running.
This racket has a commendable balance between stability and speed. Conclusively, this racket holds every feature which a fast-paced player is looking for in his racket. A controlled power with an overwhelming feeling is the key characteristic of this racket.
Key Features of Pro Staff 97 v 13 Tennis racket
Version 13.0 comes into prominence rapidly after following the footsteps of a premium model of Pro Staff series-RF97, but this time with advanced features.
Wilson again proved its competency on 14th September 2020 by introducing Pro Staff’s 13th generation with greater precision and control.
- User Benefits
More control and greater stability are the key features of this racket; it combines precision and power in a unique design.
With a weight of 11.7 ounces, 315 grams, and a balance of 31 cm, the Pro Staff 97 enables powerful players to hit the ball with great force without harming accuracy.
Players experience enhanced control over the game because of smaller head sizes, 97 in² (626 cm²), and a thin frame made up of graphite.
- Player Type
Best suited to powerful players, precisely for advanced players who are looking for exceptional control.
Braided Graphite: Kevlar and graphite construction of frame controls vibrations and helps in boosting playing comfort and ball control. Braid 45 construction is a clever move, an intentional arrangement of Kevlar fibers at 45 degrees to enhance stability, consistent feel, and sensations at play.
Countervail technology: this maximizes the energy and precision in the game.
String mapping: This provides a denser hitting area with the idea to improve feel and accuracy.
Ergo End Cap: This provides enhanced comfort and playability.
Comparison With Competing Rackets:
This new Pro Staff 97 is pretty different from its closest competitor, the Yonex V Core 98. The launch angle of the Yonex V Core 98 frame is very high, and it might take time to get used to it.
Pro Staff 97, however, has a very consistent string bed, and it does not take long to feel confident about being able to hit precisely because of that denser string bed. The new drill layup also helps in this regard.
This model has a very stiff frame as compared to the Zus frames. It measures at 6.4 mm SI, which is the in-house method of Wilson for measuring the stiffness of a racket.
However, this method of measurement is still better than the traditional way used on the Babolat RDC machines.
Even though the Tecnifibre TF40 305 is one of the best control-oriented rackets in the market, the Pro Staff 97 v13 is still better than the TF40 in terms of enhanced stability and pocketing. In contrast, the latter is more whippy and maneuverable.
The players who want greater control and stability can use the Pro Staff 97, though it might miss the power and spin.
The Pro Staff 97 v13 is much like the previous Countervail model, and playing with it also feels pretty close, but this racket is just a little better in every department.
This racket is a close match for the Prince Textreme Tour 95, with some added power and spin. It can also be considered a more comfortable version of the Head Graphene 360 Radical MP.
Comparison With Previous Generation Rackets:
Wilson's Rackets Comparison Based On Performance
The Pro Staff and the Blade share various similarities, but in comparison to both, the blade gives a bit less power and topspin to players. Also, the feel which PS97 offers is the key point that majorly distinguishes these rackets.
The Blade has a lower stiffness and a thinner beam. This model of rackets offers maximum flex, comfort, and added feel. It keeps more weight in the racket’s head. On the contrary, Pro Staff keeps the weight in the handle, maintaining extra solidity.
The Pro Staff provides exceptional control and precision. However, the Ultra gives excessive power, managed through heavy topspin, most suited to the players with power-baseline style.
The Ultra is more approachable than the Pro Staff due to its lighter head size of 100 in² (645 cm²). However, lightweight rackets often cause arm problems since the player has to channelize his/her own power for heavy shots.
Wilson launched the Clash with an improved and innovative approach to construction and material. In the Wilson family, the Clash is deemed the most successful racket. It is available for all ranges of players, starting from beginners to intermediate to advanced players.
In comparison to the Pro Staff, it is lighter and flexible. But it might feel too soft for some tennis players, and it could use the extra length to see a benefit. Overall, it is an arm-friendly racket.
Wilson's Rackets Comparison Based On Specifications
The specifications of the latest Wilson model, Pro Staff 97 v13, combine for a racket that is not only responsive but can also deliver exceptional control.
However, several specifications of this racket are very similar to that of its prior generations.
Though this model maintains the head size of 97 in² (626 cm²), length of 27-inch, and the string pattern 16×19 of its previous generation models, the unstrung weight differs from its immediate predecessor, the Pro Staff RF 97 v13 Tennis Racket.
PS97 is a lighter version of RF97 with an unstrung weight of 314g compared to the 340.19g of the RF97.
The swing weight of Pro Staff 97 is 321, which is much less than that of RF97, whose swing weight is 335. Lower unstrung weight and swing weight make the Pro Staff 97 a much better racket that is easier to use and maneuver.
The stability of a racket comes from more weight and lower stiffness ratings.
Though the PS97 has a stiffness rating of 66, since Pro Staff RF97 has a stiffness rating of 68 and a higher unstrung weight, this tennis racket model can reduce the shock and vibration and allows the player to play comfortably with this racket for an extended period.
Overall, the Wilson Pro Staff 97 v13 is much easier to handle than the Wilson Pro Staff RF97 v13. That is because of the added maneuverability that comes from lower weight.
This racket feels comfortable and confidence-inspiring to use from any area of the court. It also gives greater stability for all shots owing to its strong frame.
Wilson's Rackets Comparison Based On Technologies
The thirteenth generation of the Pro Staff incorporates many familiar technologies that players have come to expect from this line of rackets.
However, unlike the prior version, some noteworthy changes have been made to the racket that can directly impact the racket’s feel and performance.
The construction of the latest model of Pro Staff 97 has been improved. This racket features a braid 45 construction that uses graphite and Kevlar fibers braided together at an angle of 45 degrees. This new technique helps enhance the feel and ball pocketing.
Though this racket maintains the 16×19 string pattern of its predecessors, the string bed’s density has been adjusted so that the space between the strings is reduced to achieve a tightly woven sweet spot.
A denser string bed can improve the racket’s consistency and enhance the control and feel.
Wilson has also introduced a new style of red butt caps with rounded edges in the PS97 model that provides increased comfort and ergonomics.
Another technology used in this racket is Wilson’s Perimeter Weighting System (PWS) because the head has a distinct style. This technology strategically places extra weight on the racket’s head at three and nine o’clock to reduce twisting and reinforce stability.
Wilson's Rackets Comparison Based On Cosmetics
The latest V13 model is similar in looks to the most iconic racket of all times, the original Pro Staff 85 used by Roger Federer at the beginning of his career.
However, in this model, the elements of that previous design are combined with a modern matte velvet finish and carbon fiber, making it one of a kind.
When brands like Babolat go for the louder designs, the Pro Staff 97 maintains a classy, minimalist look with a colorful throat and exposed carbon fiber weave between 3 and 9 o’clock on the hoop.
It looks extremely slick and stylish because of the stenciled ‘W’ on the strings and the white overgrip. Nevertheless, the matte velvet finish has a soft feel, which can be vulnerable to scuffs.
Wilson Pro Staff 97 v13 Tennis Racket Review Summary
Overall, the Pro Staff 97 v13 is an outstanding racket to play tennis.
It not only retains the time-tested lively feel, accuracy, and performance that every player expects from the Pro Staff lineage but also offers additional player-friendly maneuverability.
Also, Wilson’s world-class Braid 45 and String Mapping technologies help enhance the racket’s formula. On all groundstrokes and returns, it gives superior power and excellent precision.
Also, its denser string bed allows for greater control, and its slender head enables a faster swing, which is perfect for handling opponents using bullet serve.
Using some muscle, a player can get plenty of power for the deeper shots with this racket. It also has the option to customize weight for personalization. Additional nuances include the red butt caps with rounded edges and the synthetic grip.
The Pro Staff 97 is roughly an ounce lighter than its previous model, making it easier to maneuver and swing. It hardly gives any wobble and just plows right through the ball.
The contact felt is also sublime. In short, PS97 v13 provides the control, speed, and maneuverability that allows a player to work on the game and take the ball out a little bit earlier in the front hit.
This racket offers an all-court style of play, and it is ideal for intermediate to more advanced level players who value precision and control.
Players who enjoy playing with a stiffer frame, the aggressive baseliners who prefer to take big swings on deep shots, doubles players, and those who like to serve and volley, also find this racket good to play.
However, it might not work well for all styles of play. The aggressive baseliners who bank on free power and maximum topspin might find it difficult to play with this racket.
The stiffer frame of this racket might prove unsuitable for players with tennis elbow. If such a player still wants to play with this racket, then he/she can get the right strings and adjust the string tension properly to have a better experience.
As per the playtesters of Tennis Warehouse, the overall score of the Wilson Pro Staff 97 v13 is 85. The highest scoring quality was control, with a score of 87. Comfort and feel both were given a score of 86, highlighting how nicely the racket sits in the hand.
Slice and maneuverability came in closely behind, achieving a score of 85. Volleys and topspin sit at 84, while returns and groundstrokes scored one point lower at 83. Serves achieved an 82, and the lowest scoring quality was power, with a relatively lower score of 79.
What they liked:
- It has a clean and crisp feel.
- It is easily maneuverable and has a generous sweet spot.
- It is spin-friendly and easy to play with for a Pro Staff racket.
- It has amazing stability and plow-through.
- The best part is its pinpoint precision.
- It gives the feeling of total control of the game off the ground.
- It gives flexibility and confidence to the player to play with an all-court style!
- The vintage throwback for the cosmetic style is also a plus.
What they didn’t like:
- It is a little light on volleys, returns, and while driving slices.
- It does not allow enough free power, and the player might get somewhat pushed around against bigger hitters.
- It might not suit every player’s game style. Some of them might feel difficulty maneuvering, especially those who want more speed and spin.
- It might be hard for the player to take advantage of an opponent with such a low power level.
- There can be some minor instability toward the edges of the racket. Adding a leather grip and some weight at 3 and 9 o’clock might help.
- Some aggressive players feel that they tend to slice or play slower while playing with the Pro Staff 97.
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To conclude – There is no doubt that this model will resonate among long-time enthusiasts.
In the end, it might be too heavy and demanding for most tennis players. However, it can be an amazing racket that produces one of the greatest swings of all time on the court.