Author Topic: Wilson ProStaff 6.0 - St Vincent?  (Read 10674 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline grasshopper_nam

  • Tennis Player
  • **
  • Posts: 18
Wilson ProStaff 6.0 - St Vincent?
« on: October 02, 2008, 02:38:10 AM »
Ok, so I've recently started doing some indepth research into tennis rackets. Mostly out of boredom really. I've come across this quite infamous stick, the Wilson ProStaff 6.0 - St Vincent Model. Apparently Pete Sampras would only use this model. So, I'm just wondering, is there a difference between this model and ProStaff made in some other factory? I mean, if say someone found one online and bought it. How would they tell it was a genuine St Vincent model, and not some other model which probably looks identical.

Offline Tennis4you

  • Administrator
  • Tennis God
  • ******
  • Posts: 24886
  • Gender: Male
    • Tennis4you
Re: Wilson ProStaff 6.0 - St Vincent?
« Reply #1 on: October 02, 2008, 08:33:03 AM »
Hmmm, I figured his were pretty darn custom to his liking.  I have never heard of the St Vincent Model.  Maybe Dmast can shed some light on this one.
Good Luck on the Court!!!
Scott Baker
http://www.tennis4you.com

Offline monstertruck

  • Tennis God
  • ******
  • Posts: 12367
Re: Wilson ProStaff 6.0 - St Vincent?
« Reply #2 on: October 02, 2008, 08:58:50 AM »
Links for Pete's stick:
http://www.hdtennis.com/grs/pro_racquet_specs.html
http://homepage.mac.com/gregraven/tennis/PhotoAlbum21.html

If I remember correctly, Pete's reason for using the St. V's was due to consistency out of the factory.
From what I've gathered he was a fanatic about equipment and wanting his frames to play consistently day in and out.  No suprises there! :)
CONK da ball!!!

Offline dmastous

  • Tennis God
  • ******
  • Posts: 15270
  • Gender: Male
    • http://www.tips4tennis.com
Re: Wilson ProStaff 6.0 - St Vincent?
« Reply #3 on: October 02, 2008, 08:59:23 AM »
Not much light to shed. Pro Staffs were originally made in St Vincent Island in the Carribean. There used to be a site that had the history of the Pro Staff, but basically they moved the manufacturing to China and the result was, as is normally the case with moves to China, less quality control. This is from the Tennis Warehouse main site (http://www.tennis-warehouse.com/Reviews/60/StVincent.html)

Quote from: TW
This ex-Wilson factory would likely be a footnote in the history of racquet production were it not for Pete Sampras. It has become common knowledge among Sampras fans and ProStaff officianados that Pete only plays with racquets that were made in St.Vincent, a Carribean island in the Grenadines.

The island of St. Vincent was originally chosen as a manufacturing site by a group of Wilson VPs who were touring the Carribean region, searching for a suitable factory site. Why the Carribean? If you've spent a winter in Wilson's hometown of Chicago, you wouldn't need to ask. Ken Sherman, ex-Wilson engineer explains more seriously, "the Caribbean region was attractive as a manufacturing location due to its tax-free status. No taxes were paid on materials going in and no taxes paid on finished products coming out. At the time, St. Vincent was already manufacturing clothing, gloves, etc. There was a factory shell that had been originally built to produce Maidenform bras but Wilson ended up buying it in 1982 to finish and assemble raw frames produced in our Chicago factory. In 1983, Wilson changed it into a manufacturing house and it produced a variety of models, including the ProStaff Original. When we started, there were 50-60 workers finishing and assembling racquets. When the factory closed in mid-1991, there were over 450 direct laborers manufacturing, finishing and assembling Wilson racquets."

What made St. Vincent ProStaffs so special? Ken responds, "it was a combination of factors. One difference was that the workers had no previous experience and thus had no bad habits. We trained them how we wanted racquets made and they followed our instructions to a tee. They were loyal, hard workers and competed against each other for the lowest number of rejected racquets, keeping work areas neat, etc. As a result, our reject rate was close to zero. Also, each frame was bar-coded and tracked from start to finish through the manufacturing process. Consequently, if a racquet was too heavy, we could determine where the error originated. This resulted in very high quality control." David Price, former Engineering Manager at the St. Vincent factory from 1989-1991 continues, "the key to our quality and consistency was the sophisticated tracking system. We had huge amounts of statistical data from measuring raw materials and racquets up to 20 times during the manufacturing process. Our quality control was second to none in the industry at that time." Rich Janes, a former colleague of Sherman and ex-Wilson engineer adds, "there was also the molds. Over time, they became worn and a little loose and they wouldn't close completely. As a result the ProStaff Original came out at 18mm, instead of 17mm." Nobody at Wilson can confirm this but it adds to the St. Vincent factory's mystique. Whatever the real reasons, a few top players just prefer the feel of ProStaffs manufactured in St. Vincent. Who's gonna argue with Pete Sampras?


I used to know how to tell the difference between the two, but I don't remember all the little things that mark the difference, but in the end it really doesn't matter. Is it possible to find a St Vincent? Yes, but if you do find one, you are going to pay big bucks for it. Then you have to be sure it's a St Vincent. It's to the point where if you do get one, you won't want to play with it. So what's the point?
When it's all said and done, that model Pro Staff is a solid, but dead racquet. I actually had one back in the late 80's and it was like playing with a board. You are better off finding an nCode 6.1, or KFactor 90. Same weight, balance, and design, better responsiveness (from the material), and less stress (in finding and vetting it). The K Factors are still priced in the $150-$200 range. But the nCode version is affordable.
The bottom line is the St Vincent is a museum piece. A historically great racquet, but the effort to get one, and the expense just isn't worth it.

Is a tree as a rocking horse
An ambition fulfilled
And is the sawdust jealous?
I worry about these things .

Kevin Godley & Lol Crème (I Pity Inanimate Objects)

Offline monstertruck

  • Tennis God
  • ******
  • Posts: 12367
Re: Wilson ProStaff 6.0 - St Vincent?
« Reply #4 on: October 02, 2008, 09:01:35 AM »
Ok, so I've recently started doing some indepth research into tennis rackets. Mostly out of boredom really. I've come across this quite infamous stick, the Wilson ProStaff 6.0 - St Vincent Model. Apparently Pete Sampras would only use this model. So, I'm just wondering, is there a difference between this model and ProStaff made in some other factory? I mean, if say someone found one online and bought it. How would they tell it was a genuine St Vincent model, and not some other model which probably looks identical.
I finally found the link I was looking for.
This should answer your questions a bit better than my previous post.
Good luck and enjoy!
http://www.tennis-warehouse.com/Reviews/60/StVincent.html
CONK da ball!!!

Offline grasshopper_nam

  • Tennis Player
  • **
  • Posts: 18
Re: Wilson ProStaff 6.0 - St Vincent?
« Reply #5 on: October 02, 2008, 09:07:10 AM »
Thanks for all the replies folks. So there's not TOO much difference between the one from St Vincents and elsewhere I guess. I;m not actually looking to buy one by the way, was kind of just wondering what all the hype was about. I've seen some people on other forums and stuff going "If you do find a St Vincent Pro Staff, BUY IT!!!!!!" Kind of got me curious.

Offline thejackal

  • Tennis God
  • ******
  • Posts: 2203
Re: Wilson ProStaff 6.0 - St Vincent?
« Reply #6 on: October 03, 2008, 02:39:30 PM »
the st vincents are a bit heavier and thicker (im talking about a 1mm difference here) than the other prostaffs, since the mold they used was slightly different than the later versions.
« Last Edit: October 03, 2008, 02:40:05 PM by thejackal »
official blogger

tennisconnected.com

Offline HarryWild

  • Tennis God
  • ******
  • Posts: 709
Re: Wilson ProStaff 6.0 - St Vincent?
« Reply #7 on: November 04, 2008, 01:13:18 AM »
The St. Vincents are now a collector's racket!  You can find them on Ebay for around $200 to $800 depending on the condition and bidding!  I have 1 St. Vincent and 5 of the China made ones and will continue to use the Chinese model them until the KProstaff 88 comes out!  I have remember that the St. Vincent was just slightly more stiff but really don't notice it - really!

Offline monstertruck

  • Tennis God
  • ******
  • Posts: 12367
Re: Wilson ProStaff 6.0 - St Vincent?
« Reply #8 on: November 04, 2008, 05:10:34 AM »
The St. Vincents are now a collector's racket!  You can find them on Ebay for around $200 to $800 depending on the condition and bidding!  I have 1 St. Vincent and 5 of the China made ones and will continue to use the Chinese model them until the KProstaff 88 comes out!  I have remember that the St. Vincent was just slightly more stiff but really don't notice it - really!
I have 2 of the China models and one Aggressor (same mold with fiberglass instead of Kevlar) but no St. V's yet.  I actually hit the Aggressor this past weekend and it definitely felt different though the strings are different than what I have in the PS 85's so am not sure if it's really the racquet itself.
CONK da ball!!!