Seeing as though I have recently made the switch between using the Wilson RF97 to using the Wilson Clash 98, I thought I would do a comparison article on the Wilson Clash 98 vs RF97 in terms of racket specifications and playability.
The Clash 98 isn’t currently endorsed by any ATP or WTA pros and I am not sure why this is the case. It might be because the clash series of rackets are more designed to suit the needs of recreational players and would not be a good fit for a professional tennis player.
The Wilson RF97 currently on sale is V13 whereas the Clash 98 is V2.
It is likely that V14 of the RF97 will be released in 2022 but this has not been confirmed yet.
Comparison of the Wilson Clash 98 and Wilson Pro Staff RF97 Autograph
Racket Specs – Wilson Clash 98 vs RF97
In terms of specs, both rackets are very similar as both have a racket length of 27in and a similar HL balance.
The main differences between the two rackets besides the different head sizes is the strung weight and the swing weight with the strung weight of the Clash 98 being 31g less than the RF97.
The lower strung weight of the Clash 98 will mean it is less tiring on your arm after a long match.
Both rackets have similar swing weights with the RF97 having a swing weight of 333g and the Clash 98 having a swing weight of 327g so they should feel similar to swing.
The Clash 98 has a ticker beam and a much lower stiffness rating than the RF97.
The Clash 98’s thicker beam will help generate more easy power than the RF97 but this will be at the cost of control.
The Clash 98’s lower stiffness rating also means that it will be the more arm friendly racket of the two.
|Wilson Clash 98||VS||Wilson PS RF97|
|326g (11.5oz)||Strung Weight:||357g (12.5oz)|
|8 pts HL||Balance:||9 pts HL|
|60 RA||Stiffness:||68 RA|
|Black, Grey, and Red||Racket Colours:||Black|
|16 Mains / 20 Crosses||String Pattern:||16 Mains / 19 Crosses|
|21-26kg / 48-58lbs||String Tension Range:||22-27kg / 50-60lbs|
|Check Price on Amazon||Price:||Check Price on Amazon|
If you are undecided on whether you should purchase the Wilson Clash 98 or the Wilson Pro Staff RF97 Autograph, then I have listed some recommendations below based on different player types.
I would not recommend that you buy either of these rackets if you are a tennis beginner. Instead, I would recommend that you look at a Wilson Clash 100 or Wilson Clash 108 as these rackets will be more forgiving and will help you generate more top spin on your shots.
If you are an intermediate tennis player, then I would highly recommend that you opt for Clash 98 over the RF97 as the RF97 gives you very little help with your shots as you need to have a full swing, good technique, and be able to generate your own power to be successful using it.
In my opinion, advanced players should be able to make either of these rackets work for them.
However, if you have had any issues with tennis elbow then definitely go for the Clash 98 and it is much less stiff than the RF97.
One Handed Backhand Players
Although both rackets would work well with a one handed backhand, I would have to give the edge to the RF97 as there is something special about hitting your one handed backhand with this racket.
Players with Tennis Elbow
If you have any sort of tennis elbow or arm/shoulder issues then hands down the Clash 98 is the winner when it comes to which is the most arm friendly racket.
As someone who has suffered from tennis elbow in the past, I can highly recommend the Clash 98 over the RF97.