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drakulie
10-16-2012, 08:04 PM
Was invited to the Wilson SET (Spin Effect Tour) event yesterday, where the highlight of the upcoming Wilson Products for the 2013 Year was surely the Wilson Steam 99S.

Specs:
99 square inches
27 inches length
strung weight: 11.3
balance: 2 pts HL
string pattern: 16:15
cross section: 24 mm

All attendees were able to hit with all the 2013 Wilson frames, but what made this event special, was being able to demo the 99s. Not only that, but be able to actually find out if it does in fact provide more spin.

Wilson set up one court with a computerized tracking system to determine the amount of spin, pace and height hit on ground strokes.

Racquets provided for this play test were the Babolat Aero Pro Drive, Head Speed MP 315, and Steam 99S. All were strung with Luxilon 4G. And balls were fed with a ball machine.

Here are my test results:

Most pace (average):
1. Head Speed MP
2. Steam 99S
3. Aero Pro Drive

Highest Net clearance (average):
1. Steam 99S
2. Aero Pro Drive
3. Head Speed

Most Spin (average):
1. Steam 99S
2. Head Speed
3. Aero Pro Drive


My average spin on the Steam was over 2800 RPMs, reaching up to 3,300 RPMs on a few shots.

Average on the Head was 2,500 with highest being 2800 RPMs on a few shots.

Average on the Aero was 2,300 RPMs with a few shots at 2600 Rpms.

A few more notes:

Hit a few fhs with the steam a little over 80 mph (which were the fastest I recorded), and average height over the net was 63 inches.

The frame was incredibly comfortable to swing and hit with. Has a great cushiony, but very responsive feel at impact. Easy to generate power, tons of spin, and surprisingly, easy to control the shots. Great to volley with and serves were simply amazing. The heaviness of spin shots was just sick. This frame is going to be very attractive to a very wide range of players, from recreational, to mid level players, to advanced. As far as I could tell, frame really has no weaknesses.

I definitely believe this racquet is going to absolutely dominate public courts everywhere. This frame truly is a SPIN monster. Wilson absolutely knocked it out of the park with this one and Hit a Home Run.

One more note:
Every tester I saw, hit with much more spin with the 99S than with any other frame. This was backed up by the data of every playtester.

Sorry for the short review, I'll try and answer as many questions as I can.


Video of ex UM player hitting 115 mph serve with a Steam 105s.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1AL7IURVMpI

Photos can be found here (thanks to ThePowerof choice):
http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showpost.php?p=7015222&postcount=432
http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showpost.php?p=7015223&postcount=433

EDITED TO INCLUDE OTHER PLAYTESTER REVIEWS FOUND HERE:

DMCB101:
http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showpost.php?p=6965544&postcount=144

suresh:
http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showpost.php?p=6973617&postcount=231

Hankenstein:
http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showpost.php?p=6989460&postcount=285
http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showpost.php?p=6989507&postcount=290

TennisTodd:
http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showpost.php?p=7042975&postcount=624

Power Player:
http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showpost.php?p=7047140&postcount=667

couch:
http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showpost.php?p=7054943&postcount=811

MongolMike:
http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showpost.php?p=7065024&postcount=872

dgdawg:
http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showpost.php?p=7070396&postcount=903

TW Tennis Warehouse Review:
http://www.tennis-warehouse.com/REVIEWS/STM99S/STM99SReview.html

Rabbit:
http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showpost.php?p=7143670&postcount=1296

klementine79
10-16-2012, 08:09 PM
Thanks for the review Drak. It's on like donkey kong!

Is that 24mm constant? or tapered?

drakulie
10-16-2012, 08:10 PM
^^Good question, but unfortunately, don't know. Sorry. But did I say it creates an insane amount of spin? :)

klementine79
10-16-2012, 08:13 PM
Yeah, I think you mentioned it somewhere. ;)

Sounds like a very interesting frame. Looks like wilson was trying to promote the 4g string as well. Nice string by the way.

canuckfan
10-16-2012, 08:23 PM
Were you still able to flatten the ball out when you wanted to? How was the maneuverability -- what would you estimate the swingweight to be? Thanks for the review!

JGads
10-16-2012, 08:27 PM
Wow, great stuff. And coming from Drak, that's a nice endorsement.

Drak, did you or others playtest the new Blades at all? Was the Steam still most people's fancy? First Steam was just awful, I thought, nice to see they went somewhere very different with this one to create a cool new alternative for people.

Power Player
10-16-2012, 08:34 PM
Very interesting stuff. For me too much spin has been detrimental in the past. Since i think you use s prestige a lot, how does the control compare or did you get enough time to really get a feel for that?

drakulie
10-16-2012, 08:45 PM
Were you still able to flatten the ball out for more court penetration when you wanted to? P.S. Do you have a one-handed backhand? I ask because I also prefer a onehander. Thanks for the review!

Yes, I was able to flatten out shots with the frame when I was playtesting it. However, for the on-court test, I did not concentrate on hitting flat shots. Also, YES, I use a one-hander.


Wow, great stuff. And coming from Drak, that's a nice endorsement.

Drak, did you or others playtest the new Blades at all? Was the Steam still most people's fancy? First Steam was just awful, I thought, nice to see they went somewhere very different with this one to create a cool new alternative for people.

Yeah, hit with all the new blades as well. Really enjoyed hitting with the 16X19 blade. Much livelier than the 18X20. Paint job on all 4 new blades are really nice.

Very interesting stuff. For me too much spin has been detrimental in the past. Since i think you use s prestige a lot, how does the control compare or did you get enough time to really get a feel for that?

Once I got dialed into the balance and swing weight of the frame, control wasn't too much of an issue. One of the great things about the frame was shots that typically go long were falling in. :)

Power Player
10-16-2012, 08:50 PM
Oh man you hit with the new blades too...what a day..lol. I love the control and power of the 98 that is out now. 16x19 being more lively sounds like possibly too much boom for me. Did it feel like the new ones flex out about the same?

drakulie
10-16-2012, 09:02 PM
They felt a tad bit livelier, and flex nicely. I would say same as the prior.

Ross K
10-16-2012, 09:29 PM
Was invited to the Wilson SET (Spin Effect Tour) event yesterday, where the highlight of the upcoming Wilson Products for the 2013 Year was surely the Wilson Steam 99S.

Specs:
99 square inches
27 inches length
strung weight: 11.3
balance: 2 pts HL
string pattern: 16:15
cross section: 24 mm

All attendees were able to hit with all the 2013 Wilson frames, but what made this event special, was being able to demo the 99s. Not only that, but be able to actually find out if it does in fact provide more spin.

Wilson set up one court with a computerized tracking system to determine the amount of spin, pace and height hit on ground strokes.

Racquets provided for this play test were the Babolat Aero Pro Drive, Head Speed MP 315, and Steam 99S. All were strung with Luxilon 4G. And balls were fed with a ball machine.

Here are my test results:

Most pace (average):
1. Head Speed MP
2. Steam 99S
3. Aero Pro Drive

Highest Net clearance (average):
1. Steam 99S
2. Aero Pro Drive
3. Head Speed

Most Spin (average):
1. Steam 99S
2. Head Speed
3. Aero Pro Drive


My average spin on the Steam was over 2800 RPMs, reaching up to 3,300 RPMs on a few shots.

Average on the Head was 2,500 with highest being 2800 RPMs on a few shots.

Average on the Aero was 2,300 RPMs with a few shots at 2600 Rpms.

A few more notes:

Hit a few fhs with the steam a little over 80 mph (which were the fastest I recorded), and average height over the net was 63 inches.

The frame was incredibly comfortable to swing and hit with. Has a great cushiony, but very responsive feel at impact. Easy to generate power, tons of spin, and surprisingly, easy to control the shots. Great to volley with and serves were simply amazing. The heaviness of spin shots was just sick. This frame is going to be very attractive to a very wide range of players, from recreational, to mid level players, to advanced. As far as I could tell, frame really has no weaknesses.

I definitely believe this racquet is going to absolutely dominate public courts everywhere. This frame truly is a SPIN monster. Wilson absolutely knocked it out of the park with this one and Hit a Home Run.

One more note:
Every tester I saw, hit with much more spin with the 99S than with any other frame. This was backed up by the data of every playtester.

Sorry for the short review, I'll try and answer as many questions as I can.

Wow, sounds great. As long as it has some oomph behind it and isn't just all about the spin (like some ppl find the Exo 100, for example), well, I'd be curious to check one of these out.

mctennis
10-16-2012, 09:43 PM
drakulie, thanks for the post review. I'm normally not a big Wilson fan. However, I will look forward to trying this racquet out. Sounds really promising. Maybe Wilson has struck pay dirt with this racquet. Good post.

UCSF2012
10-16-2012, 10:21 PM
thanks for the info.

Currently, I get the most spin from the 88, with the 2nd runner-up not even close, so mass has more effect than string spacing. I'm curious what the heavy weights are for Wilson next year.

2ndServe
10-16-2012, 10:55 PM
what kind of technology is making for such gains in spin?

mykoh
10-16-2012, 10:57 PM
no tech, just a really open 16*15 string pattern.

not a wilson fan myself, but i can't wait for it and the new blades to come out! thanks for the FR drak!

Bartelby
10-16-2012, 11:48 PM
I wonder whether its the Head's rounder shape that creates a better spin result compared to the Babolat's aero shape.

Automatix
10-16-2012, 11:57 PM
Thanks for the review Drak. It's on like donkey kong!

Is that 24mm constant? or tapered?

^^Good question, but unfortunately, don't know. Sorry. But did I say it creates an insane amount of spin? :)

This is the info I got. The only doubts I have are for the 96.

Model - Unstrung weight, headsize, string pattern, beam
Steam 96 - 289g, 96 sq. inch., 16x20, 22mm
Steam 99 - 304g, 99 sq. inch., 16x18, 22-24-22mm
Steam 99S - 304g, 99 sq. inch., 16x15, 22-24-22mm
Steam 105 - 289g, 105sq. inch., 16x19, 24-26-24mm
Steam 105S - 289g, 105 sq. inch., 16x15, 24-26-24mm

The specs for the 99s seem correct since Drakulie did write that the strung weight is 11.3oz which is ca 320g. So about 304g unstrung.

Cheers!

P.S.: Couch has the catalogue IIRC so he can verify the info I posted in September.

kimbahpnam
10-17-2012, 12:02 AM
No undercover pics? :)

Fed Kennedy
10-17-2012, 12:11 AM
Totally getting one.

pepka
10-17-2012, 02:02 AM
drakulie, thanks for the post review. I'm normally not a big Wilson fan. However, I will look forward to trying this racquet out. Sounds really promising. Maybe Wilson has struck pay dirt with this racquet. Good post.

Same here. I was sold on testing the new Blade 98 but now it sounds like i will have to add another racquet (actually two 16/18 and 16/15)... and let me just say, that testing sticks in Europe/Poland is PITA:evil:

mmk
10-17-2012, 02:12 AM
Drak,

How about control with the very open string pattern?

Thanks

Mig1NC
10-17-2012, 02:12 AM
Still curious to know the swingweight.

I hope they kept it low enough so you can customize it the way you want.

sundaypunch
10-17-2012, 03:28 AM
Was invited to the Wilson SET (Spin Effect Tour) event yesterday, where the highlight of the upcoming Wilson Products for the 2013 Year was surely the Wilson Steam 99S.

Specs:
99 square inches
27 inches length
strung weight: 11.3
balance: 2 pts HL
string pattern: 16:15
cross section: 24 mm

All attendees were able to hit with all the 2013 Wilson frames, but what made this event special, was being able to demo the 99s. Not only that, but be able to actually find out if it does in fact provide more spin.

Wilson set up one court with a computerized tracking system to determine the amount of spin, pace and height hit on ground strokes.

Racquets provided for this play test were the Babolat Aero Pro Drive, Head Speed MP 315, and Steam 99S. All were strung with Luxilon 4G. And balls were fed with a ball machine.

Here are my test results:

Most pace (average):
1. Head Speed MP
2. Steam 99S
3. Aero Pro Drive

Highest Net clearance (average):
1. Steam 99S
2. Aero Pro Drive
3. Head Speed

Most Spin (average):
1. Steam 99S
2. Head Speed
3. Aero Pro Drive


My average spin on the Steam was over 2800 RPMs, reaching up to 3,300 RPMs on a few shots.

Average on the Head was 2,500 with highest being 2800 RPMs on a few shots.

Average on the Aero was 2,300 RPMs with a few shots at 2600 Rpms.

A few more notes:

Hit a few fhs with the steam a little over 80 mph (which were the fastest I recorded), and average height over the net was 63 inches.

The frame was incredibly comfortable to swing and hit with. Has a great cushiony, but very responsive feel at impact. Easy to generate power, tons of spin, and surprisingly, easy to control the shots. Great to volley with and serves were simply amazing. The heaviness of spin shots was just sick. This frame is going to be very attractive to a very wide range of players, from recreational, to mid level players, to advanced. As far as I could tell, frame really has no weaknesses.

I definitely believe this racquet is going to absolutely dominate public courts everywhere. This frame truly is a SPIN monster. Wilson absolutely knocked it out of the park with this one and Hit a Home Run.

One more note:
Every tester I saw, hit with much more spin with the 99S than with any other frame. This was backed up by the data of every playtester.

Sorry for the short review, I'll try and answer as many questions as I can.


Thanks for this detailed review. I am particularly impressed that Wilson was able to back up their claims with the on-court computer analysis. The initial thread that popped up here on this racquet had many, many skeptics that thought the racquet was a gimmick. They are silent now.

I hope you are getting a commission because it's safe to say that this post will have sold a lot of racquets for Wilson and TW, lol.

Torres
10-17-2012, 03:38 AM
It sounds interesting. Doubt that it would be my type of stick, but its interesting nonetheless.

The one doubt that I would have with this type of stick is whether you would have to change your natural stroke mechanics too much in order to flatten out the ball, and hit through the court.

srvnvly
10-17-2012, 03:41 AM
Awesome info, Drak, thank you! I'm curious about 1) swing weight; and 2) can you compare it to the current Steam and Juice 100 (nothing über detailed, even a short reply would be great). I'm also psyched about the new 16x19 Blade!!!

tedescm1
10-17-2012, 05:02 AM
What is the RA.

tx.:)



Wow, sounds great. As long as it has some oomph behind it and isn't just all about the spin (like some ppl find the Exo 100, for example), well, I'd be curious to check one of these out.

drakulie
10-17-2012, 05:03 AM
Just wanted to add a couple of notes here based on some questions you all are asking:


I didn't find any problems with control, although it did take some "getting used to".
I would estimate the swing weight ot be in the 320's.
the racquets spin comes from the 16X15 string pattern.Lastly, I spoke with one of the engineers and asked if they tested durability of string compared to 16X19 or 18X20 string patterns. I was informed durability was a bit less, although I would guess depending on the string and tension, this could potentially be a problem if you don't use poly.

Federerkblade
10-17-2012, 05:05 AM
Drakulie Many thanks for the reviews. Any further comments on the blades alone. The look, the feel anything.......cant wait for them

Power Player
10-17-2012, 05:10 AM
Drak you nailed it. I was about to ask about string durability. This is plain and simple a full poly racquet. It sounds a lot like a tfight 320 that is even more open. I would go through strings with it in no time and hybrids only lasted 3-4 hours.

That being said, I am rather sure there is mega spin with this thing.

TimothyO
10-17-2012, 05:11 AM
Just wanted to add a couple of notes here based on some questions you all are asking:


I didn't find any problems with control, although it did take some "getting used to".
I would estimate the swing weight ot be in the 320's.
the racquets spin comes from the 16X15 string pattern.Lastly, I spoke with one of the engineers and asked if they tested durability of string compared to 16X19 or 18X20 string patterns. I was informed durability was a bit less, although I would guess depending on the string and tension, this could potentially be a problem if you don't use poly.

I'm attending the Atlanta SET this Friday and was wondering how they were going to string the 99S. 4G is a very good choice and may explain how one can control such an open pattern.

Can you see the frame being strung with a multi or gut/poly hybrid or would one lose too much control? Seems like full poly is the only practical setup for this frame.

How was comfort? Will my arm be hurting after the test session or was it comfortable?

tedescm1
10-17-2012, 05:16 AM
How stiff is the Steam 99S (RA).

Is this going to be another arm breaker with aa RA in the 70's.?



Was invited to the Wilson SET (Spin Effect Tour) event yesterday, where the highlight of the upcoming Wilson Products for the 2013 Year was surely the Wilson Steam 99S.

Specs:
99 square inches
27 inches length
strung weight: 11.3
balance: 2 pts HL
string pattern: 16:15
cross section: 24 mm

All attendees were able to hit with all the 2013 Wilson frames, but what made this event special, was being able to demo the 99s. Not only that, but be able to actually find out if it does in fact provide more spin.

Wilson set up one court with a computerized tracking system to determine the amount of spin, pace and height hit on ground strokes.

Racquets provided for this play test were the Babolat Aero Pro Drive, Head Speed MP 315, and Steam 99S. All were strung with Luxilon 4G. And balls were fed with a ball machine.

Here are my test results:

Most pace (average):
1. Head Speed MP
2. Steam 99S
3. Aero Pro Drive

Highest Net clearance (average):
1. Steam 99S
2. Aero Pro Drive
3. Head Speed

Most Spin (average):
1. Steam 99S
2. Head Speed
3. Aero Pro Drive


My average spin on the Steam was over 2800 RPMs, reaching up to 3,300 RPMs on a few shots.

Average on the Head was 2,500 with highest being 2800 RPMs on a few shots.

Average on the Aero was 2,300 RPMs with a few shots at 2600 Rpms.

A few more notes:

Hit a few fhs with the steam a little over 80 mph (which were the fastest I recorded), and average height over the net was 63 inches.

The frame was incredibly comfortable to swing and hit with. Has a great cushiony, but very responsive feel at impact. Easy to generate power, tons of spin, and surprisingly, easy to control the shots. Great to volley with and serves were simply amazing. The heaviness of spin shots was just sick. This frame is going to be very attractive to a very wide range of players, from recreational, to mid level players, to advanced. As far as I could tell, frame really has no weaknesses.

I definitely believe this racquet is going to absolutely dominate public courts everywhere. This frame truly is a SPIN monster. Wilson absolutely knocked it out of the park with this one and Hit a Home Run.

One more note:
Every tester I saw, hit with much more spin with the 99S than with any other frame. This was backed up by the data of every playtester.

Sorry for the short review, I'll try and answer as many questions as I can.

Jocke
10-17-2012, 05:36 AM
How stiff is the Steam 99S (RA).

Is this going to be another arm breaker with aa RA in the 70's.?

My stringer has a Babolat RDC-machine, and the Steam 99S measured 71 unstrung. I have no idea if it will be the same when released.

Roddickulous
10-17-2012, 06:06 AM
This Steam 99S, if it really does have an RA of 71, it is the best chance wilson will ever have of getting me to switch away from my beloved APD's, although considering I've already hit with the new APD and absolutely love it, I am going to have to be "wowed" by the extra spin of the 99S

sureshs
10-17-2012, 06:35 AM
That is pretty stiff. Is it good for the arm? Are there some special shock absorbing mechanisms in this frame to compensate for the stiffness?

mikeler
10-17-2012, 06:38 AM
Drak touched on string durability. That would be my only concern.

Roforot
10-17-2012, 06:46 AM
Three questions:

1) Do you have to use a Poly/Copoly to see these benefits? (I know you can just give an opinion)

2) Have you served w/ the Pure Drive Roddick? How would this compare?

3) Will you be switching to this frame?

Thanks.

realplayer
10-17-2012, 06:46 AM
I'm only using synthetic gut. How good is the steam 99s with this set-up? Durability is not an issue.

corners
10-17-2012, 06:55 AM
Just wanted to add a couple of notes here based on some questions you all are asking:


I didn't find any problems with control, although it did take some "getting used to".
I would estimate the swing weight ot be in the 320's.
the racquets spin comes from the 16X15 string pattern.Lastly, I spoke with one of the engineers and asked if they tested durability of string compared to 16X19 or 18X20 string patterns. I was informed durability was a bit less, although I would guess depending on the string and tension, this could potentially be a problem if you don't use poly.

Hey Drak, Do you know how the 99S was strung? Do you know what string and tension range they are recommending?

Thanks for the review.

pepka
10-17-2012, 07:09 AM
Drak touched on string durability. That would be my only concern.

This... and the 71RA :(

mikeler
10-17-2012, 07:14 AM
This... and the 71RA :(

Yes, but the open pattern may negate the stiffness. Drak said it was comfy.

drakulie
10-17-2012, 07:34 AM
Not sure what the stiffness rating on the frame is, however, it feels nowhere near a 71. Not even close. I think the open string pattern makes the head feel flexy/cushiony even with a full poly stringed. This is one of the more surprising aspects of the frame,,,,, how comfortable it felt.

Someone asked a question related to the frames ability to produce spin with something other than a poly. Please remember that spin is generated by techinque and could be magnified by a string or frame. That said, I could almost guarantee this frame will produce more than other racquets regardless of string.

mikeler
10-17-2012, 07:39 AM
Great info. Thanks for the review.

Broly4
10-17-2012, 07:44 AM
Please don't be so naive.
How on Earth can you hit with a Head speed mp faster than with an APD, assuming you swing equally hard, only possible explanation is different string, tension o just fake data provided by the biased company.

drakulie
10-17-2012, 08:03 AM
Please don't be so naive.
How on Earth can you hit with a Head speed mp faster than with an APD,

the 315 speed mp has more mass. Also, I wasn't aware the APD was a monster in the power department as you are making it seem.

Chotobaka
10-17-2012, 08:22 AM
Did you get a chance to serve with the 99S Drak?

drakulie
10-17-2012, 08:27 AM
Did you get a chance to serve with the 99S Drak?

Yes. Great pop and obviously lots of spin. Keep in mind I didn't serve with it so long as our time was limited. I'm hoping to playtest it again and giving a more thorough review.

Broly4
10-17-2012, 08:31 AM
the 315 speed mp has more mass. Also, I wasn't aware the APD was a monster in the power department as you are making it seem.

Seriously when it comes to power, there is no comparison possible between those two, everybody who has played both knows it, you can also check their power level at TWU

drakulie
10-17-2012, 08:38 AM
Seriously when it comes to power, there is no comparison possible between those two, everybody who has played both knows it, you can also check their power level at TWU

I have played with both. I've never felt like the aero pro drive was an overly powerful frame.

Gemini
10-17-2012, 08:39 AM
I'm curious to know how they (the engineers) were measuring pace? The other two categories I can understand but what's the unit of measure for pace?

sansaephanh
10-17-2012, 08:44 AM
What was strung in the racket for this playtest?

Assuming that you are worlds better then I am (based on your scores and that you didn't complain about much) do you think it would be liked by higher level players who play a much flatter type of game?

How was the power level?

Can you steal one for me?

Why is bacon so delicious?

Do you think this racket will also be ruined by Wilson QC?

With that being said do you think this stick has to potential to take over the modern tennis scene and break into the top 5?

if you to chose one racket this racket FEELS similar to, which would it be?

Stormcrow
10-17-2012, 08:46 AM
Drak, thank you for the info. Were you able to hit with the Steam 96?

corners
10-17-2012, 08:47 AM
I'm only using synthetic gut. How good is the steam 99s with this set-up? Durability is not an issue.

The 16x15 string pattern was chosen to reduce inter-string friction and allow the mains to stretch, slide and snapback with maximum energy and speed to put more spin on the ball. Strings that don't have slippery, hard surfaces don't do this in more conventional string patterns and probably won't do it in this string pattern either. Syngut quickly notches and "locks" up due to the sawing action of the crosses on the soft-surfaced mains, and that will probably happen in a 16x15 pattern too.

This string pattern was designed for slippery, hard copoly strings, although gut mains/copoly crosses should also work (although the reduced number of cross strings means the stringbed will be less stiff that usual, and a player would probably want to increase the tension of both the gut mains and the copoly crosses with this pattern.)

Broly4
10-17-2012, 08:52 AM
I have played with both. I've never felt like the aero pro drive was an overly powerful frame.

Sorry but it actually is, in the same league that the PD or Extreme ( no so much but close) Speed mp is clearly underpowered by those standards, so the string or the tension weren't the same at the test if you allow me.

drakulie
10-17-2012, 09:02 AM
Sorry but it actually is, in the same league that the PD or Extreme ( no so much but close) Speed mp is clearly underpowered by those standards, so the string or the tension weren't the same at the test if you allow me.

Go compare the pro staff 90 power level to the aero and pure drive on TWU and I'm certain you will be shocked to find out it has more power.

Fed Kennedy
10-17-2012, 09:06 AM
I was only mildly interested in this frame but after this review I am salivating...what is the tension range and string recommendation?

corners
10-17-2012, 09:10 AM
It sounds interesting. Doubt that it would be my type of stick, but its interesting nonetheless.

The one doubt that I would have with this type of stick is whether you would have to change your natural stroke mechanics too much in order to flatten out the ball, and hit through the court.

In theory at least, that would depend on your string type and tension. As long as you are hitting with a steep swingpath and/or a closed racquet face the mains will slide tengentially producing spin and a higher launch angle. And because incoming balls almost always have topspin on them (the friction between the ball and the court applies topspin on the bounce, even if the shot was perfectly flat before bouncing), combined with the fact that we rarely hit a ball at the exact top of the bounce, when it's neither rising nor falling, means that the angle between the ball and the strings will always be slightly more acute than perpendicular. Therefore, the main strings are going to slide and snapback to some degree on almost every shot and the launch angle will be somewhat different each time, depending on how far those strings slide.

This would be minimized to some degree with stiffer strings strung at higher tension.

However, the same thing happens with copoly strings or gut/copoly hybrids in conventional string patterns and people seem to be able to adjust for this and flatten out the ball.

But certainly, if the strings did not move at all, if they were locked at the intersections, the launch angle would be much more consistent and independent of the incoming shot parameters and therefore more "predictable" from shot to shot by our brains' targeting computer.

I would think the spin effect frames would be best for heavy spin hitters who play from the baseline with very fast swings, and rather poor for flat hitters and those who come to the net a lot. The shot to shot launch angle variability of slippery strings is magnified on shots where you swing slowly - on volleys and returns - because then the launch angle is more dependent on the incoming shot parameters. On the other hand, Drak reports that the 99s volleyed well, so this string pattern, combined with whatever string and tension Wilson set it up with, might be OK.

Shaolin
10-17-2012, 09:10 AM
Good to see racquet companies finally starting to try out new types of string patterns instead of just developing new garbage to infuse with graphite year after year (intellifibers, nano-whatever, microgel ad infinitum).

Broly4
10-17-2012, 09:16 AM
Go compare the pro staff 90 power level to the aero and pure drive on TWU and I'm certain you will be shocked to find out it has more power.

No need, I knew it, but that is not the stick we're talking about, so now you've checked the non sense of the data provided, thank you

Fed Kennedy
10-17-2012, 09:33 AM
Drak, how did it perform on slice bh?

kimbahpnam
10-17-2012, 09:42 AM
i think i heard nadal just switched to wilson

sureshs
10-17-2012, 09:42 AM
Drak touched on string durability. That would be my only concern.

That would mean more business for him, so he will not be concerned :-)

Chotobaka
10-17-2012, 09:49 AM
Yes. Great pop and obviously lots of spin. Keep in mind I didn't serve with it so long as our time was limited. I'm hoping to playtest it again and giving a more thorough review.

Thanks, man. I imagine this will be a serving monster. I am sure at least one 99S will find its way to my bag despite my lack of fondness for current Wilson racquets and the 71RA -- my Pacific is a super-comfy 58. Second serves ought to be fun with the 99S.

klementine79
10-17-2012, 09:54 AM
In these tough economic times, Wilson releases a racquet that needs less string to string and less stencil ink to stencil.

Something both sides of the aisle can agree on.

Thank you Wilson.

SFrazeur
10-17-2012, 10:00 AM
Drak, how did it perform on slice bh?


That's where I cansee people not liking it.

Mig1NC
10-17-2012, 10:28 AM
In these tough economic times, Wilson releases a racquet that needs less string to string and less stencil ink to stencil.

Something both sides of the aisle can agree on.

Thank you Wilson.

It'll be classified as an "assault racquet" and banned.

TheOneHander
10-17-2012, 11:57 AM
No need, I knew it, but that is not the stick we're talking about, so now you've checked the non sense of the data provided, thank you

Did someone tinkle in your Lucky Charms?

sureshs
10-17-2012, 12:03 PM
I received an invite today for the Wilson event next Wed at a local country club.

I suspect my spin and pace numbers will be 5000 rpm and 100 mph. I will update later.

sureshs
10-17-2012, 12:05 PM
In these tough economic times, Wilson releases a racquet that needs less string to string and less stencil ink to stencil.

Something both sides of the aisle can agree on.

Thank you Wilson.

If it breaks more often, it will require more string. You also have to analyze the break-even number of hours for the initial racket price purchase to be recovered by savings in strings and stencil (if true).

smarulanda
10-17-2012, 12:12 PM
Getting my stringing clamps on the crosses of my 16x18 seems tough enough, can't imagine how much harder it'll be on such an open(er) pattern.

sureshs
10-17-2012, 12:49 PM
I am one of 24 VIP guests. Drinks and appetizers to be served.

hoodjem
10-17-2012, 12:50 PM
Yes, I was able to flatten out shots with the frame when I was playtesting it. However, for the on-court test, I did not concentrate on hitting flat shots. Also, YES, I use a one-hander.
Long live the 1HBH!!

bad_call
10-17-2012, 01:15 PM
In these tough economic times, Wilson releases a racquet that needs less string to string and less stencil ink to stencil.

Something both sides of the aisle can agree on.

Thank you Wilson.

LOL... on a serious note - doubt strings will last very long.

LeeD
10-17-2012, 01:39 PM
Gaining one aspect of technique doesn't mean's it's for everyone.
PureDrives serve great. We all need better serves. Few of us use PD's.
Weeds are great for stabbing defense. We all could use a dose of defense. Few of us.....
90 sq inch rackets are accurate and pinpoint, easy to swing, very precise. Few of us.....
Soft rackets are great for our bodies, allowing us to swing hard and not injure ourselves, giving us CONFIDENCE, a huge factor in tennis. A few of us use soft rackets, a few use stiff rackets.

sureshs
10-17-2012, 03:29 PM
I see that none of you were impressed with my VIP invitation. That is OK. I will just keep my sorrow to myself and go my own way. Have a good day.

Bartelby
10-17-2012, 03:52 PM
Its just Guru-envy, which is no relation to the Freudian version.

LeeD
10-17-2012, 04:17 PM
You live long enough, you learn not to be impressed, BAH HUMBUG!

Mig1NC
10-17-2012, 04:21 PM
I see that none of you were impressed with my VIP invitation. That is OK. I will just keep my sorrow to myself and go my own way. Have a good day.

Well, I'm a dude that digs chicks, but if you still need a date, I can clear my calendar and shave my legs :)

But I warn you, this could get ugly fast.

drakulie
10-17-2012, 04:35 PM
Sorry but it actually is, in the same league that the PD or Extreme ( no so much but close) Speed mp is clearly underpowered by those standards, so the string or the tension weren't the same at the test if you allow me.

The tool you cited clearly shows the MP 315 is more poweful than the Aero Pro Drive.

I'm curious to know how they (the engineers) were measuring pace? The other two categories I can understand but what's the unit of measure for pace?

They have some hightech sensors all around the court (think of hawkeye) that tracks the ball.

drakulie
10-17-2012, 04:47 PM
Drak, thank you for the info. Were you able to hit with the Steam 96?

yes, but not long enough to give an honest assesment. One thing I will note, is I liked it enough to give it another look when it is released.

Drak, how did it perform on slice bh?

Once again, lots of spin/bite. However, that said, you really need to get dialed in because the shots do in this case tend to sail if it gets away from you. You need to make sure you really swing thru the slice, and not just downwards.



By the way, if any of you are able to playtest it at the SET, please provide your feedback. Would love to see your results and read your thoughts into the racquet.

Roforot
10-17-2012, 05:49 PM
Gaining one aspect of technique doesn't mean's it's for everyone.
PureDrives serve great. We all need better serves. Few of us use PD's.
Weeds are great for stabbing defense. We all could use a dose of defense. Few of us.....
90 sq inch rackets are accurate and pinpoint, easy to swing, very precise. Few of us.....
Soft rackets are great for our bodies, allowing us to swing hard and not injure ourselves, giving us CONFIDENCE, a huge factor in tennis. A few of us use soft rackets, a few use stiff rackets.

This is remarkably wise. I just bought a pure drive roddick. Oh well I waited till the hype on the PDr was gone. Will check again in 2 or 3 years to see if theres still buzz about 16x15. Maybe my racquet head speed will be sufficient to use poly.

LeeD
10-17-2012, 06:46 PM
I hit with my buds PDR maybe once every other month, just to see....
I use a lighter weight DunlopAero500. Not sure if any differences can't be made up by the indian in this case. PDR has more inherent power, more plowthrough, is 1.5 oz heavier, but not that much difference. He thinks the same thing, and always wants to hit with my racket for a few minutes, before going back to his.

Power Player
10-17-2012, 06:53 PM
There is a lot to be said for just having good control. Sometimes that power gets tough to be accurate with.

drakulie
10-17-2012, 06:58 PM
By the way, the stytem used to collect all the data in "real time" was something similar to TrackMan, a system used in pro golf.

srvnvly
10-17-2012, 06:58 PM
Drak (or anyone who's played with the new line), how are volleys?

LeeD
10-17-2012, 06:59 PM
Seems like Wilson wants to make Babolat like rackets.

drakulie
10-17-2012, 07:05 PM
Seems like Wilson wants to make Babolat like rackets.

NO. In regards to the Steam S line, Wilson wants to make a new line of Wilson racquets with technology that is not a gimmick, and actually does what they claim it will do, and in the process leaves every other racquet in the market in the rear view mirror.

bertrevert
10-17-2012, 07:18 PM
Hi, is there any particular current racquet out there you might compare it to?

Just wondering if there is any point of reference that would help me understand it (without having a demo).

So about 320 grams static, and swingweight also "in the 320s" would you describe using it as... whippy?

couch
10-17-2012, 07:26 PM
Thanks for the review Drak. It's on like donkey kong!

Is that 24mm constant? or tapered?

22 mm in throat, 24 at head, and 22 at tip. Dual tapered beam. Saw these racquets yesterday and, like drakulie, I think Wilson has a hit on it's hands. I can't wait to play test the new 99. I think the 99S may be a little overkill in the spin department for me but I will definitely hit with both.

I think Wilson has done a tremendous job with their new racquets, footwear, clothing, and accessories. Really a one-stop-shop kind of company.

drakulie
10-17-2012, 07:31 PM
Hi, is there any particular current racquet out there you might compare it to?

Just wondering if there is any point of reference that would help me understand it (without having a demo).



Not that it is the same, but I would suppose the closest frame I could think of would be the Mark Woodforde frame, Snauwaert Hi ten 30:

http://i13.photobucket.com/albums/a287/K_K_Bucket/P1010057.jpg




So about 320 grams static, and swingweight also "in the 320s" would you describe using it as... whippy?

Not "whippy", but definitely well balanced and a frame in which the head gets thru the strike zone easily.

dmcb101
10-17-2012, 08:14 PM
I am a tennis pro in Wisconsin and our club will be having a demo night tomorrow. I will put down some thoughts on the racquet.

Is there anything anyone wants me to check out in particular?

Excited to see the new line especially because I endorse Wilson and they give me sweet deals!

drakulie
10-17-2012, 08:18 PM
I am a tennis pro in Wisconsin and our club will be having a demo night tomorrow. I will put down some thoughts on the racquet.

Is there anything anyone wants me to check out in particular?

Excited to see the new line especially because I endorse Wilson and they give me sweet deals!

look forward to reading your thoughts. Thanks in advance.

I'm sure you will be pleased with the entire line, and how Wilson is going to pursuing promoting their products in 2013. It was a great presentation.

chopstic
10-17-2012, 08:20 PM
So when can we expect to see these new wilson racquets for sale?

dmcb101
10-17-2012, 08:34 PM
look forward to reading your thoughts. Thanks in advance.

I'm sure you will be pleased with the entire line, and how Wilson is going to pursuing promoting their products in 2013. It was a great presentation.

Yes I think I will be pleased as well. A few people on this forum read that Wilson was making a 16X15 string pattern racquet and just wrote it off as Marketing stuff. I read all about the science behind it and was actually very interested because I knew this was not any old racquet but one that had lots of thought go into it.

I will review the best I can on it as I will be working a lot of the demo feeding balls but I know that the Pro's at the club will also get a chance to hit. The 99s will probably be the only racquet I pick up because it is the one with the newest technology.

Thanks and let me know if you want me to test anything in particular TW forum readers!

dmcb101
10-17-2012, 08:35 PM
So when can we expect to see these new wilson racquets for sale?

January, you will see them with some players at the Australian Open. (Paint job of course!)

JGads
10-17-2012, 08:57 PM
Yes I think I will be pleased as well. A few people on this forum read that Wilson was making a 16X15 string pattern racquet and just wrote it off as Marketing stuff. I read all about the science behind it and was actually very interested because I knew this was not any old racquet but one that had lots of thought go into it.

I will review the best I can on it as I will be working a lot of the demo feeding balls but I know that the Pro's at the club will also get a chance to hit. The 99s will probably be the only racquet I pick up because it is the one with the newest technology.

Thanks and let me know if you want me to test anything in particular TW forum readers!

Big thing for me would be to see if you can truly flatten the ball out during a kill-shot type of putaway. Drak said you could, but I'd need more proof from more people.. just hard to believe that you'd be able to do anything other than spin it into a corner rather than drive it there.. Also, the slice. That's the other shot that would seem difficult, as others have noted, so as for requests, mine would be just to really try to hit drives and slices and see if they're doable on a regular basis with such a crazy open pattern.

hersito
10-17-2012, 09:12 PM
Is there anything anyone wants me to check out in particular?

About the 99s, is it harder to do drop shots?
Can you take a look at blade 98 2013 18x20 and if you have used blade 98 compare it to the old line?
Thanks!

galain
10-17-2012, 10:07 PM
Will poly strings be a 'must' with these frames?

Bartelby
10-17-2012, 10:47 PM
I can't see too many people around here like this string pattern, so if there are mass conversions it will be a revolution.

cork_screw
10-17-2012, 11:38 PM
Good review Yoda. Maybe roger can pick one of these up and use it at roland garros to beat nadal and counter all the spin he's getting from that aeropro dr.

cork_screw
10-17-2012, 11:39 PM
BTW, did you get a chance to snap a pic with an iphone?

corners
10-18-2012, 02:00 AM
Big thing for me would be to see if you can truly flatten the ball out during a kill-shot type of putaway. Drak said you could, but I'd need more proof from more people.. just hard to believe that you'd be able to do anything other than spin it into a corner rather than drive it there.. Also, the slice. That's the other shot that would seem difficult, as others have noted, so as for requests, mine would be just to really try to hit drives and slices and see if they're doable on a regular basis with such a crazy open pattern.

As long as your strings aren't too loose the slice should be fine. Strings that slide and snapback readily tend to launch the ball on a higher trajectory on topspin shots. But because the strings snap back in a different direction on slice shots, towards the court, the ball will leave the strings on a lower trajectory. This may take some slight adjustment, but once dialed in slices should be naturally low and nasty.

Mig1NC
10-18-2012, 03:08 AM
Drak, do you think gut/poly will work well in this frame? I don't hit hard enough to really take advantage of full poly but am really excited about this new stick.

dmcb101
10-18-2012, 07:20 AM
Big thing for me would be to see if you can truly flatten the ball out during a kill-shot type of putaway. Drak said you could, but I'd need more proof from more people.. just hard to believe that you'd be able to do anything other than spin it into a corner rather than drive it there.. Also, the slice. That's the other shot that would seem difficult, as others have noted, so as for requests, mine would be just to really try to hit drives and slices and see if they're doable on a regular basis with such a crazy open pattern.

Yes I will.

It is important to note that high level/professional players put a nice amount of spin on the ball when they "flatten out" the ball. I think trying to strike the ball with less spin is fairly dangerous and most high level/professional players still spin the ball but just don't drop their racquet head as far under the ball and instead "drive through it" more.

Any one care to comment on this thought?

dmcb101
10-18-2012, 07:23 AM
About the 99s, is it harder to do drop shots?
Can you take a look at blade 98 2013 18x20 and if you have used blade 98 compare it to the old line?
Thanks!

I can't promise you that I will do this but if I find some time I will. As I said in my previous post I will be most interested in the 99s because of the ACTUAL new technology. I used to play with the old K-Factor blade 98 and liked it more than the BLX version so my best comparisons will go back to the k-factor version but if I do try it I will let you know how it relates to the BLX version.

Rabbit
10-18-2012, 07:35 AM
Great thread, Drak...you're making that a habit. I am a little mad now that I pulled the trigger on a couple of Warriors. Doesn't Prince have a like string pattern coming out? Does anyone know?

I personally have always liked more open string patterns and looks forward to demoing these new patterns when they come out.

corners
10-18-2012, 07:41 AM
Great thread, Drak...you're making that a habit. I am a little mad now that I pulled the trigger on a couple of Warriors. Doesn't Prince have a like string pattern coming out? Does anyone know?

I personally have always liked more open string patterns and looks forward to demoing these new patterns when they come out.

Yeah, someone mentioned in a recent thread that Prince already has the 16x16 100 square inch "Exo3 Tour ESP" in the hands of some top juniors. As Drak experienced, removing cross strings from the pattern reduces stringbed stiffness considerably, so I would imagine the ESP is a significantly stiffer frame than the regular Tour but still probably retains the soft feel the line is known for.

Power Player
10-18-2012, 08:11 AM
Yeah, someone mentioned in a recent thread that Prince already has the 16x16 100 square inch "Exo3 Tour ESP" in the hands of some top juniors. As Drak experienced, removing cross strings from the pattern reduces stringbed stiffness considerably, so I would imagine the ESP is a significantly stiffer frame than the regular Tour but still probably retains the soft feel the line is known for.

I used that stick in a rather open pattern (16x19) and I found that it was a great racquet for moving the ball around, but normal winners were tracked down.

Like Gads is saying, I have used pretty open patterns in the tfight 320 and yonex 200, and while they are both amazing sticks, my strokes produced "too much spin" many times and those types of balls never gave a player higher than 4.0 much of an issue. Now thats just on me and how I hit, I have always generated a lot of spin off my forehand. I just notice with a little tighter pattern in the BLX Blade, that my attacking shots are more often clean winners than before. Adding in this stiffness factor of the racquet I question if that much spin would really help my game personally.

Bartelby
10-18-2012, 08:30 AM
Yes, you can have too much of a good thing and spin is no exception.

sureshs
10-18-2012, 08:44 AM
Are you saying that a racket which can produce more spin will produce less pace as a trade-off? Or are you saying that the player will try to produce more spin since the racket can do it, and will end up putting less pace?

Power Player
10-18-2012, 09:00 AM
Are you saying that a racket which can produce more spin will produce less pace as a trade-off? Or are you saying that the player will try to produce more spin since the racket can do it, and will end up putting less pace?

Are you asking me? Regardless I can try and answer. It is tricky because everyone hits differently.

I believe some players will get less pace and penetration from this racquet. Most likely I will be that guy. That being said the racquet is rated very stiff so the power is probably high and it could balance things out. It's a tough call, but this is just my experience with racquets that are more open. I have tried a billion racquets and there is no perfect setup, but it seems like I benefit more from a little more of a tight pattern and more control. It results in a little lower trajectory and more pace.

This is all just speculation. Until more people get the stick in their hands, we will have to wait and see. Drak has definitely made it sound like this racquet is the best release of the year though and since I know he prefers more classic sticks, I find it very interesting.

drakulie
10-18-2012, 07:29 PM
Drak, do you think gut/poly will work well in this frame? I don't hit hard enough to really take advantage of full poly but am really excited about this new stick.

I think a gut/poly hybrid in this frame would be simply incredible, and the spin potential would be even higher than full poly. Only problem is the question of durability and costs.

Great thread, Drak...you're making that a habit. I am a little mad now that I pulled the trigger on a couple of Warriors. Doesn't Prince have a like string pattern coming out? Does anyone know?

I personally have always liked more open string patterns and looks forward to demoing these new patterns when they come out.

I think you'll love this frame, considering you enjoyed the o-ports frames.... I believe the Black???


I believe some players will get less pace and penetration from this racquet.

I think players will actually get more penetration, as evidenced by the height trajectory shown in all the playtesters data. That said, I do think the average mph will be lower.

Remember, not only does this racquet create more spin, it also creates more lift over the net, resulting in deeper shots.

Broly4
10-19-2012, 12:37 AM
The target of this stick is players whose strokes don't produce top spin naturally, it might have some appeal, but if you have any problems flattening your forehand with an 16x18, with an 16x15 will be simply utopian

Fed Kennedy
10-19-2012, 01:07 AM
The target of this stick is players whose strokes don't produce top spin naturally, it might have some appeal, but if you have any problems flattening your forehand with an 16x18, with an 16x15 will be simply utopian

Is it really? Maybe its for people who love spin already....

corners
10-19-2012, 02:41 AM
I used that stick in a rather open pattern (16x19) and I found that it was a great racquet for moving the ball around, but normal winners were tracked down.

Like Gads is saying, I have used pretty open patterns in the tfight 320 and yonex 200, and while they are both amazing sticks, my strokes produced "too much spin" many times and those types of balls never gave a player higher than 4.0 much of an issue. Now thats just on me and how I hit, I have always generated a lot of spin off my forehand. I just notice with a little tighter pattern in the BLX Blade, that my attacking shots are more often clean winners than before. Adding in this stiffness factor of the racquet I question if that much spin would really help my game personally.

Wilson claims that the data they have from players - they collected a whole new batch of data from Drak and whoever else participated in that playtest - showed an average increase of 141 rpms of topspin AND an average addition of 1.4 miles per hour to those shots. Usually extra spin comes at the cost of speed (switching from nylon to copoly strings, for example, might give you an extra 150 rpms but rob you of 2-3 miles per hour). But if you get both there is no downside, as long as control doesn't suffer.

Rabbit
10-19-2012, 05:00 AM
I think you'll love this frame, considering you enjoyed the o-ports frames.... I believe the Black???

I was using the EXO3 Tour and have recently changed to the Warrior. Although, a recent bout with pneumonia has kept me off court.


Guys, I think what we're seeing here is an (r)evolution. The racquet guys are finally figuring out how the masses can use poly without killing their arms. This "new" design goes straight back to Mark Woodforde and his frames. I wouldn't be surprised, if this takes off, to see 14 X 14 frames in the near future that are strictly "poly" tuned.

realplayer
10-19-2012, 05:05 AM
Willl a thinner string have the same effect as playing with a more open string pattern?
Cause if that's the case then i have an idea if this racket will suit me or not....

Rabbit
10-19-2012, 05:08 AM
Willl a thinner string have the same effect as playing with a more open string pattern?
Cause if that's the case then i have an idea if this racket will suit me or not....

No, I don't believe so. The theory with these new patterns is that a reduced number of crosses decreases the "tension lock" on the mains. This allows the mains to move more freely back and forth enhancing/creating spin. A regular pattern, regardless of gauge, won't do this.

teh_firestarter
10-19-2012, 05:22 AM
@drakulie

Have you ever tried a 14x18 pattern racquet like a Prince Graphite II ?

I'm asking this because I found an old one in the closet and played a couple times with it. It feels so smooth compared to my 4d 300 tour (18x20)...

tistrapukcipeht
10-19-2012, 05:32 AM
Personally I think I will be hitting home runs with this racquet, so I will pass a mile away from it, that is just too open for hitting any winners, or flattening out shots. It may be a spin machine at the cost of directional control, the ball will sail long, not to mention controlling other peoples shots when under pressure, that is why I found my racquets to be the best match to me, I hit flat or with a lot top spin with high rebound and get the best of what I need, too much topspin can be a detriment, plus against tall players the balls might sit right on their strike zone.

Bartelby
10-19-2012, 05:36 AM
It sounds like an attempt to out-market the babolats on the spin front, so even if the tech did something it will live or die as a marketing device.

mikeler
10-19-2012, 05:49 AM
I was using the EXO3 Tour and have recently changed to the Warrior. Although, a recent bout with pneumonia has kept me off court.


Guys, I think what we're seeing here is an (r)evolution. The racquet guys are finally figuring out how the masses can use poly without killing their arms. This "new" design goes straight back to Mark Woodforde and his frames. I wouldn't be surprised, if this takes off, to see 14 X 14 frames in the near future that are strictly "poly" tuned.


The Exo Tour is a comfy spin monster. I could actually see using poly again 1 day with it.

tistrapukcipeht
10-19-2012, 05:50 AM
It sounds like an attempt to out-market the babolats on the spin front, so even if the tech did something it will live or die as a marketing device.

Yeah, I found the Yonex Ezone Xi team plus to have more topspin than any other racquet I tried, VCore 100S with just a little more than aero pro drive, but both Yonex have better quality.

The snap back theory has gone out of proportion, still what finishes a point is a flat forehand or back hand, I doubt anything with with that much topspin can hit a nice flat winner of a short ball, where you need strings to control it.

Changing direction of the ball may be a trouble as well going close to the line, on a windy day will be impossible to play.

Kick serves however must be a joy, I wish I could hit a serve and change racquets right after, I definitely buy it.

corners
10-19-2012, 06:23 AM
No, I don't believe so. The theory with these new patterns is that a reduced number of crosses decreases the "tension lock" on the mains. This allows the mains to move more freely back and forth enhancing/creating spin. A regular pattern, regardless of gauge, won't do this.

Main string sliding and snapback happens with regular patterns too, as long as you use slippery strings that don't dent or notch too much. It's just that the interstring friction is reduced dramatically with fewer cross strings and so the mains slide more easily and snap back more quickly and with more energy. The direction this will go is more mains for control and fewer cross strings for less interestring friction and more power (fewer crosses reduces the total stringbed stiffness, increasing the coefficient of restitution in the normal (perpendicular to the stringbed) direction).

Thinner strings also reduce interstring friction by reducing the "angle" of the weave. If you had super-thin strings there would be very little friction between the strings. On the other hand, thinner mains probably reduce ball-string friction. So in these reduced-cross patterns the ultimate will be very thin crosses paired with thicker and/or textured mains. However, one problem with this approach could be reduced spin and inconsistent response on sidespin and gyrospin shots, where the crosses are actually sliding along the mains to some degree.

Broly4
10-19-2012, 08:27 AM
Is it really? Maybe its for people who love spin already....

It's not about what you like, it's about what you have and need, if you have power, you'll need a control racket, on the other hand if you don't have it, a stick with easy power will suit you better, with spin production it's the same.

Pet
10-19-2012, 10:04 AM
The problem is that snap in the mains give more spin and less consistency.

Fed Kennedy
10-19-2012, 10:15 AM
It's not about what you like, it's about what you have and need, if you have power, you'll need a control racket, on the other hand if you don't have it, a stick with easy power will suit you better, with spin production it's the same.

Really? Why does any pro use a babolat then? Rafa needed to bump up his power and spin?

sstchur
10-19-2012, 10:26 AM
The Exo Tour is a comfy spin monster. I could actually see using poly again 1 day with it.

I think it's a little sad that you've moved from the PK :-(

Gotta use what works for you I guess though. I tried several of the Exos a while back but I really disliked the feel of every racquet I tried with the O Ports.

AlpineCadet
10-19-2012, 11:36 AM
Seems like a great stick but I can imagine what it'd be like to swing out on a ball without brushing up. :oops: All fence!

realplayer
10-19-2012, 11:43 AM
Seems like a great stick but I can imagine what it'd be like to swing out on a ball without brushing up. :oops: All fence!

I hope so then i won't be tempted to buy one.

Anton
10-19-2012, 02:39 PM
Anyone know where to buy 15g poly? :twisted:

corners
10-19-2012, 02:40 PM
Anyone know where to buy 15g poly? :twisted:

Vortex sells some.

VGP
10-19-2012, 03:07 PM
hi drakulie - you said in your original post you were able to use the Steam 99S, Head Speed, and Aero Pro Drive. Were you able to use other frames and to measure your performance with those as well?

What I'm getting at is how old style frames (PS85, Prestige Mid, PSBLX90) stack up when you've got a way to quantitate performance.

You know I'm stuck in the past (using a Wilson Graphite Force Mid) and I haven't been coming around here as much lately.

themitchmann
10-19-2012, 04:20 PM
Anyone know where to buy 15g poly? :twisted:

I've heard there will be some new 15g choices in 2013.

mikeler
10-19-2012, 05:03 PM
I think it's a little sad that you've moved from the PK :-(

Gotta use what works for you I guess though. I tried several of the Exos a while back but I really disliked the feel of every racquet I tried with the O Ports.

Before I became an equipment junkie, I used a purple Prince O3 Royal from Sports Authority and played some of my best tennis with that frame. The bottom line is my arm. I still get a twinge or two of pain during a match but afterwards my arm feels fine.

drakulie
10-19-2012, 05:46 PM
Anyone know where to buy 15g poly? :twisted:

Luxilon 4G will be available next year in 15L gauge.

hi drakulie - you said in your original post you were able to use the Steam 99S, Head Speed, and Aero Pro Drive. Were you able to use other frames and to measure your performance with those as well?

What I'm getting at is how old style frames (PS85, Prestige Mid, PSBLX90) stack up when you've got a way to quantitate performance.

You know I'm stuck in the past (using a Wilson Graphite Force Mid) and I haven't been coming around here as much lately.


One coach there brought his 6.1 Pro Staff Classic and tested it against the other frames. He didn't get as much spin with it as the 99S, which provided him way more spin, but did get more spin with it than the Aero. To add, it was strung with PSG.

I remember him stating he had been using the Classic since it first came out, but it was time for him to finally switch, and he was so impressed with the performance of the 99S, that he was strongly considering it.

drakulie
10-19-2012, 05:50 PM
@drakulie

Have you ever tried a 14x18 pattern racquet like a Prince Graphite II ?

I'm asking this because I found an old one in the closet and played a couple times with it. It feels so smooth compared to my 4d 300 tour (18x20)...

I have played extensively with the POG Mid, which has a very open pattern, and have even written a review on it here on TW. Frame is powerful, extremely spin friendly, great control, and very stable,,,,,,,, so I would imagine it has similarities to the frame you are referencing.

klementine79
10-19-2012, 06:15 PM
^What racquet are you hitting with regularly nowadays Drak? Or is there no 'regularly'? :smile:


Your taste for frames is forever legitimized, thanks to that MgPresMid thread you started a while back.

Gonna have to demo this 99s now as well.

roundiesee
10-19-2012, 06:50 PM
Thanks for the review drak! Coming from you, the frame must be good, :) ; will definitely try to demo this frame.

Kenzik
10-19-2012, 07:08 PM
So what's going to happen in the future then? Do you think other companies will begin to make racquets with similar string patterns?

pug
10-20-2012, 05:54 AM
Drak,

Thank you for the info. Appreciate you taking the time to share with us.

raging
10-20-2012, 06:59 AM
Luxilon 4G will be available next year in 15L gauge.




One coach there brought his 6.1 Pro Staff Classic and tested it against the other frames. He didn't get as much spin with it as the 99S, which provided him way more spin, but did get more spin with it than the Aero. To add, it was strung with PSG.

I remember him stating he had been using the Classic since it first came out, but it was time for him to finally switch, and he was so impressed with the performance of the 99S, that he was strongly considering it.

Found this comment make me want to try it.
(As coach who has changed contracts from various companies over the last 30 years).
I used 6.1 Pro Staff as well, also Head Prestige, later Radical MP & now Babolat Pure Drive. I think it is possible to change strings & get the racket to do what I want but I will still be testing the Wilson 99S. If only to have a bit of fun!:)
Actually think it is great Wilson have redesigned something & maybe improved it. It keeps all the other companies on their toes.

darklore009
10-20-2012, 07:01 AM
Interesting, a 16x15 is extreme. Wouldn't it translate to more likely to break on the strings

Roforot
10-20-2012, 08:24 AM
Found this comment make me want to try it.
(As coach who has changed contracts from various companies over the last 30 years).
I used 6.1 Pro Staff as well, also Head Prestige, later Radical MP & now Babolat Pure Drive. I think it is possible to change strings & get the racket to do what I want but I will still be testing the Wilson 99S. If only to have a bit of fun!:)
Actually think it is great Wilson have redesigned something & maybe improved it. It keeps all the other companies on their toes.

Yes the way Wilson's going about this seems like they have a real game changer rather than the usual technojargon companies throw at us w/ new lines. I'm not aware of any other companies doing demonstrations allowing other frames and objectively quantifying spin/pace.

I will be curious to see how this line of racquets is perceived come March/April when the novelty has worn down.

dmcb101
10-20-2012, 08:45 AM
Hello TW Forum readers,

As promised I have tested the new Steam 99S and I have a few things I would like to share. I will give a mini review on my overall impressions, serves, ground strokes (topspin & slice), volleys, drop shots, and interestingly playing against the 99S.

After reading the review given by drakulie, I will second his thoughts. For topspin, this racquet makes the ball do things that I did not think I could do. When hitting my forehand with my focus being on spin, the ball moved through the air almost like a wiffle ball dipping at an extraordinary rate. I hit a few shots that made a couple other pro's at my club (I am also a teaching pro) almost swing and miss because of the immense jump off the court due to the increased spin. Now to specific shots review.

Serve

Because this racquet is geared towards topspin, I naturally tried my kick serve first. I noticed a great deal of spin as the ball bit the court and kicked up high to my opponents shoulders. Comparing it to a 16X20/16X18 I was not blown away, but that being said I did notice that I gained more spin with this racquet.
I am happy to report that flat and slice serves were also great and I got great power on my flat serves. I was a little nervous at hitting shots without spin but found I had no problem what so ever with hitting slat serves.

Groundstrokes

Forehand This stroke is the highlight of the mini-review. The topspin forehand with this racquet was no less than impressive. I am an ex-D3 college player with a 4.5 NTRP and a teaching pro so I would assume most all of you know that I hit with the appropriate amount of topspin; that being said, I have never hit with this much topspin. I could not help but think that hitting with this much topspin reminded me of watching professional tennis at the masters in Miami and being impressed with how much the ball moves in the men's game. My ball was dipping in when I was sure it was going at least a foot out and I was basically swinging as fast as I could. This to me is the selling point for this racquet as I felt I could swing out more and not feel the consequences of hitting just long.

Hitting flat was another potential issue but I found no issues here. I will say that I do not hit very flat when I play, but one of our other pros at the club does and he was absolutely spanking the ball! It looked to me that even his flat shots had a bit of spin that helped him control the ball even more. He commented by saying that he felt he could swing out more in this department which I would agree (especially being on the other end of it!)

Backhand

For your information I play with a two-handed backhand but I can hit a good one-handed backhand. Also, I tend to hit with less spin on my backhand than on my forehand but I would assume that is how most two-handed backhand players play. The backhand was great for me and I only felt like I was hitting a little long when I was on defense just trying to punch the ball back. Other than that, when I swung out all was well. I really liked hitting angles with this stroke as you might imagine because of the increased dipping abilities.

The slice with this backhand appears to be one of the concerns as the string patters is so open and I believe that drakulie said that you really needed to go after your slice to insure the ball would not float and he is totally correct. There were a few times where I would not try and put a decent amount of bite on my slice and the ball floated long. After seeing this outcome I just drove through my slice a little more and all was good. I think with any racquet there are certain shots that take a little adjusting too and for this racquet I believe the slice will be that stroke.

Volleys

This is another stroke that I felt might be a bit subject to error but I felt absolutely no difference when hitting volleys than I would with my current six.one team (leaded to the same weight as this racquet coincidentally!) I hit a few kick serve and volleys on the Ad side (i'm right-handed) and had to dig out some tough low volleys that I placed nicely to the open court. I was afraid that I would lose control in this department but no worries as all was good here.

Dropshots

Before reviewing this stick someone on the forum asked me to check out dropshots with this racquet so I decided to try these out when the chance came during some point play. The dropshot reminded me of the slice in the sense that you needed to give it a little stick in order to hit an effective drop shot. I did just this and the ball checked very nicely and I actually hit three winners this way, so that was nice! Overall I liked hitting dropshots with this racquet because you could be confident in the stroke and gain rewards with the extra bite after it contacted the court.

Playing against the 99S

I feel like this part of the review is important because I had a unique chance of fighting fire....with fire! Another pro and I hit against each other with the 99S's and it was almost comical. The rallies simply looked different. While in the rallies it looked like we were playing ping-pong as the ball was dipping and diving at such an extreme rate. We both tried to only hit heavy topspin and was incredible how much the ball moved. The other pro I was hitting with even got on the outside of the ball while hitting topspin and the ball was almost bouncing like a kick-serve; just nasty!

I also hit against another pro who was trying the new 93 blade (awesome, awesome paint job by the way) and I was making hit mishit all day long. My spin simply just put him on his heels.

Wrap-up

My opinion of this racquet is no secret. In the gear article on tennis.com they state that this racquet will specifically help recreational players which I agree with but I would also add just about anyone up to 5.0-5.5. The spin science that went into this racquet is no gimmic, it is actual truth. For those who say it's marketing are incorrect as they have never tried this stick or probably have not read up on the actual data behind the racquet.

One thing that I will say that concerned me was the stiffness of the frame as it felt more stiff than my current racquet but I also string my poly's in the low 40's and I believe that the demo was strung in the recommended range which was probably 55lbs or so.

For me this racquet opened up different parts of the court that only players on the tour are capable of, so for that, I thank Wilson for their research and development of this racquet.

Power Player
10-20-2012, 08:54 AM
Great review. That racquet sounds like a lot of fun. The stiffness and fact that you will need to string more often with full poly is not ideal for me though. I am sure my forehand will be obnoxious with this thing though..lol.

Definitely cool that wilson is doing this just because as stated it is real tech and not a gimmick.

dmcb101
10-20-2012, 09:02 AM
Great review. That racquet sounds like a lot of fun. The stiffness and fact that you will need to string more often with full poly is not ideal for me though. I am sure my forehand will be obnoxious with this thing though..lol.

Definitely cool that wilson is doing this just because as stated it is real tech and not a gimmick.

It was a lot of fun. I could totally understand that having to restring for you would be a problem. For me, I pretty much get free string and our stringers at our club string for us, so its no big deal. I think if you are committed to tennis and are willing to get a reel of poly, it is not to big a deal. But I can completely understand concerns on that point.

Power Player
10-20-2012, 09:14 AM
Im definitley willing to get a reel and restring. I guess my main issue is full poly in a stiff racquet can be a bad experience sometimes if you are not dilligent in your restringing. I have the open pattern yonex 200 and ended up going full poly with it as everything else broke too fast. Some weeks i get busy with work and get behind in my stringing, which you just cant do with full poly.

Ill put it like this..i think another unfair advantage in many ways is gut mains and poly crosses. Maybe not as much spin in a tight pattern racquet, but the court penetration combined with the spin is very precise and allows for consistent hitting into tight windows. That is a setup that just would not last at all in the steam, but is definitely another awesome way to enhance your game.

Im still definitley going to demo this racquet as i love wilsons, and it sounds like it is a whole lot of fun.

dmcb101
10-20-2012, 09:27 AM
All great points. Something to consider before making a purchase

realplayer
10-20-2012, 09:30 AM
It was a lot of fun. I could totally understand that having to restring for you would be a problem. For me, I pretty much get free string and our stringers at our club string for us, so its no big deal. I think if you are committed to tennis and are willing to get a reel of poly, it is not to big a deal. But I can completely understand concerns on that point.

I'm very sensitive to poly so i only use a low powered synthetic gut. If i use a thick gauge synthetic would that be a good combination with this racket?
the most open pattern racket I used was a rds003 and it felt too open and powerful with a 1.30 gauge and i didn't like it.
I can only think that this racket is too powerful and not suited for my serve and volley style but I would like to know what's your opinon about this.

Power Player
10-20-2012, 09:33 AM
You know that is a great question..15 gauge syn gut in the 99s could last a decent amount of time and still provide really nice spin. Unfortunately the string movement may be pretty bad as syn gut does not snap back that well.

I think it is safe to assume that this stick is really best with full poly.

Larrysümmers
10-20-2012, 09:40 AM
yeah best with poly, but that doesnt mean it wont still be good with a synthetic. you may have to dial in your strokes but thats to be expected with every new racket switch.

dmcb101
10-20-2012, 09:40 AM
You know that is a great question..15 gauge syn gut in the 99s could last a decent amount of time and still provide really nice spin. Unfortunately the string movement may be pretty bad as syn gut does not snap back that well.

I think it is safe to assume that this stick is really best with full poly.

Exactly true. I talked with my Wilson rep for a while and said this was basically poly only racquet

srvnvly
10-20-2012, 10:17 AM
Exactly true. I talked with my Wilson rep for a while and said this was basically poly only racquet

So, am I screwed because I would have it strung with a multi (Tecnifibre X-One Biphase 17)?

dmcb101
10-20-2012, 10:55 AM
So, am I screwed because I would have it strung with a multi (Tecnifibre X-One Biphase 17)?

Not screwed but you will probably not be able to produce as much spin as if you were to have a poly in there.

JackB1
10-20-2012, 11:05 AM
I'm attending the Atlanta SET this Friday and was wondering how they were going to string the 99S. 4G is a very good choice and may explain how one can control such an open pattern.

Can you see the frame being strung with a multi or gut/poly hybrid or would one lose too much control? Seems like full poly is the only practical setup for this frame.

How was comfort? Will my arm be hurting after the test session or was it comfortable?

where was this at? How did you find out about it?

El Zed
10-20-2012, 11:16 AM
Found this comment make me want to try it.
(As coach who has changed contracts from various companies over the last 30 years).
I used 6.1 Pro Staff as well, also Head Prestige, later Radical MP & now Babolat Pure Drive. I think it is possible to change strings & get the racket to do what I want but I will still be testing the Wilson 99S. If only to have a bit of fun!:)
Actually think it is great Wilson have redesigned something & maybe improved it. It keeps all the other companies on their toes.

In contrast, this comment significant hinders my interest. Not only independently, but particularly when coupled with the following marketing bit found on the web (sounds like its marketing speak directly from Wilson) - "[t]he Steam 99S and Steam 105S available in January 2013 will be the first racquets to employ Spin Effect Technology or (S.E.T.) that will allow players to add over 200 RPMS on their shots without having to change their swing." Not to disparage, but this leads me to believe that this racquet is more appropriate for those with flat strokes looking to obtain some more rpms of topspin rather than those using a WW/modern forehand and using something like the APD - which is a shame.

corners
10-20-2012, 11:30 AM
You know that is a great question..15 gauge syn gut in the 99s could last a decent amount of time and still provide really nice spin. Unfortunately the string movement may be pretty bad as syn gut does not snap back that well.

I think it is safe to assume that this stick is really best with full poly.

If your strings aren't snapping back - if they "move" in the way people used to talk about strings, which really means they are moving but getting stuck out of place instead of snapping back - this pattern is not going to provide any additional spin. Syngut would be a bad choice for use with this pattern. On the other hand, the fewer cross strings means a signficantly softer string bed, so as someone else suggested in this thread, this racquet might be a good choice for someone who has moved away from copoly but wants to come back. A stiff, textured copoly in the mains paired with a very soft smooth copoly in the crosses would work great in 16x15 and provide surprising comfort. A slippery syngut cross like N.vy might also work in the crosses.

corners
10-20-2012, 11:39 AM
In contrast, this comment significant hinders my interest. Not only independently, but particularly when coupled with the following marketing bit found on the web (sounds like its marketing speak directly from Wilson) - "[t]he Steam 99S and Steam 105S available in January 2013 will be the first racquets to employ Spin Effect Technology or (S.E.T.) that will allow players to add over 200 RPMS on their shots without having to change their swing." Not to disparage, but this leads me to believe that this racquet is more appropriate for those with flat strokes looking to obtain some more rpms of topspin rather than those using a WW/modern forehand and using something like the APD - which is a shame.

The point of the "without changing your swing" statement is to clarify that this racquet produces more spin independent of your swingpath. This is important for them to state, as swinging only 3 degrees more steeply on a forehand will produce an additional 200 rpms of topspin. What they are saying is that even if you swing exactly as usual, you will get an extra 200 rpms, for free. This doesn't mean it's only for people who hit perfectly flat and would like to hit with a little bit (200 rpms) of topspin. It means that you can add 200 rpms of spin to any groundstroke. So if you are already hitting with 2500 rpms you'll be able to get 2700 with this racquet. This is illustrated by the numbers Drakulie reports in the OP: he was getting more spin with the 100S than the AeroPro Drive, without losing any speed on his shots. If you hit with heavy spin this will help you hit heavier.

Stormcrow
10-20-2012, 11:50 AM
dmcb101

Thanks for the review. Did you spend all your time with this one racquet or were you able to try out others like the Blade 98 16X19 or the Steam 96?

El Zed
10-20-2012, 11:59 AM
The point of the "without changing your swing" statement is to clarify that this racquet produces more spin independent of your swingpath. This is important for them to state, as swinging only 3 degrees more steeply on a forehand will produce an additional 200 rpms of topspin. What they are saying is that even if you swing exactly as usual, you will get an extra 200 rpms, for free. This doesn't mean it's only for people who hit perfectly flat and would like to hit with a little bit (200 rpms) of topspin. It means that you can add 200 rpms of spin to any groundstroke. So if you are already hitting with 2500 rpms you'll be able to get 2700 with this racquet. This is illustrated by the numbers Drakulie reports in the OP: he was getting more spin with the 100S than the AeroPro Drive, without losing any speed on his shots. If you hit with heavy spin this will help you hit heavier.

Thanks for the explanation, but I believe you missed my point. I didn't say that it's "only" for those with flat strokes - on the contrary, I believe I clearly indicated that the racquet's upside is primarily beneficial to those with a more traditional stroke. This makes sense when coupled with the represented "data" pertaining to the rpm figures for the Head Speed and the PS 6.1 Classic relative to the APDGT. I've used the Speed and the PS 6.1 and there is no way these racquets have more spin potential than the APDGT when the APDGT is used correctly (WW forehand, Western Grip, etc.). The APDGT does not have free extreme spin - but it doesn't have a very high ceiling when used properly. I believe the logical implication is therefore exactly what I set forth - great for easy spin for those with a more traditional stroke. There's nothing wrong with that, just not for me (although I will clearly try it). Also, claiming that the racquet adds 200 rpms to any ground stroke is just silly - you do understand marketing don't you?

realplayer
10-20-2012, 01:07 PM
Conclusion is that strung with synthetic gut this racket is not better than a racket with a 16 x 19 pattern.

dmcb101
10-20-2012, 02:05 PM
dmcb101

Thanks for the review. Did you spend all your time with this one racquet or were you able to try out others like the Blade 98 16X19 or the Steam 96?

Your welcome! I did spend my short time hitting with just this stick but a couple of the other pro's were commenting on how they liked the blade 98. I can't say they commented on how it differed between the old and new but they did say a bit more spin was evident in the more open string pattern. The PJ's were the best they have been by far. Real sexy!

Torres
10-20-2012, 02:41 PM
What string was the test racquet strung with Drakulie?

Shaolin
10-20-2012, 02:53 PM
What string was the test racquet strung with Drakulie?


He tells you that in the first post of the thread.

Fyrepower
10-20-2012, 03:07 PM
When is this racquet scheduled to release?

Hidious
10-20-2012, 03:22 PM
This racquet sounds like a lot of fun but i disagree that more spin = automatic "improvement". For some players it might be but for others, it's the opposite.

Fed Kennedy
10-20-2012, 03:52 PM
This racquet sounds awesome...disagree with those who think its not gonna be for spin players...sounds to me the opposite, a frame designed for spin...max out the top, angles, great dubs frame

corners
10-20-2012, 04:06 PM
Thanks for the explanation, but I believe you missed my point. I didn't say that it's "only" for those with flat strokes - on the contrary, I believe I clearly indicated that the racquet's upside is primarily beneficial to those with a more traditional stroke. This makes sense when coupled with the represented "data" pertaining to the rpm figures for the Head Speed and the PS 6.1 Classic relative to the APDGT. I've used the Speed and the PS 6.1 and there is no way these racquets have more spin potential than the APDGT when the APDGT is used correctly (WW forehand, Western Grip, etc.). The APDGT does not have free extreme spin - but it doesn't have a very high ceiling when used properly. I believe the logical implication is therefore exactly what I set forth - great for easy spin for those with a more traditional stroke. There's nothing wrong with that, just not for me (although I will clearly try it). Also, claiming that the racquet adds 200 rpms to any ground stroke is just silly - you do understand marketing don't you?

Consider this: If Rafa hits a forehand with 4500 rpms of topspin, puts down his APD, picks up a 99S and somehow hits an identical forehand (impossible, but humor us) it will have more spin on it, according to the data that Wilson (on Tennis.com) and Drakulie have reported. Does Rafa need more spin? I don't know. But if I was playing him and his shots suddenly had more spin but lost no speed I would not be happy. But anyway, no wish to argue here. If you think this is most useful for players with traditional strokes, that's fine with me. You might be right.

srvnvly
10-20-2012, 04:08 PM
Lots of good info; I have 2 questions:
1) Was the 99 (vs the 99S) available to hit with (if ?
2) What good poly is softer/ closer to a multi (yes, I realize this is a completely separate topic, but it was clearly stated that this racquet rocks with a poly, and those of us with past arm issues are piqued by the feedback on this racquet and concerned that it there is a 'poly-only' label associated to the new racquet)?

Thank you all for the feedback so far; it should be an interesting start to 2013, with new Wilson, Head and Babolat sticks!

El Zed
10-20-2012, 04:13 PM
Consider this: If Rafa hits a forehand with 4500 rpms of topspin, puts down his APD, picks up a 99S and somehow hits an identical forehand (impossible, but humor us) it will have more spin on it, according to the data that Wilson (on Tennis.com) and Drakulie have reported. Does Rafa need more spin? I don't know. But if I was playing him and his shots suddenly had more spin but lost no speed I would not be happy. But anyway, no wish to argue here. If you think this is most useful for players with traditional strokes, that's fine with me. You might be right.

I don't mean to argue either - and actually, there is a very simple solution in that the two people who used this stick could clarify the nature of their strokes. If the Wilson indeed performs as advertised - terrific, sounds like a very fun racquet that I will surely demo and likely purchase. My point, however, is that your example probably holds true if it was Federer trying both sticks. My concern, however, is that this wouldn't hold true with Nadal since the stick wasn't apparently designed for this type of use (i.e. nature of stroke mechanics, etc.). Again, the fact that two players were getting more spin out of a Head Speed and (especially) the PS 6.1 Classic leads me to believe that a more conventional stroke was utilized thereby speaking to the performance of the APDGT. Again, hope I'm wrong, as I wouldn't mind trying out a new "fun" stick.

El Zed
10-20-2012, 04:15 PM
Consider this: If Rafa hits a forehand with 4500 rpms of topspin, puts down his APD, picks up a 99S and somehow hits an identical forehand (impossible, but humor us) it will have more spin on it, according to the data that Wilson (on Tennis.com) and Drakulie have reported. Does Rafa need more spin? I don't know. But if I was playing him and his shots suddenly had more spin but lost no speed I would not be happy. But anyway, no wish to argue here. If you think this is most useful for players with traditional strokes, that's fine with me. You might be right.

Also, wasn't able to find anything on it from Tennis.com - would appreciate a link if you can. Again, hope I'm wrong.

Power Player
10-20-2012, 04:27 PM
Consider this: If Rafa hits a forehand with 4500 rpms of topspin, puts down his APD, picks up a 99S and somehow hits an identical forehand (impossible, but humor us) it will have more spin on it, according to the data that Wilson (on Tennis.com) and Drakulie have reported. Does Rafa need more spin? I don't know. But if I was playing him and his shots suddenly had more spin but lost no speed I would not be happy. But anyway, no wish to argue here. If you think this is most useful for players with traditional strokes, that's fine with me. You might be right.

You are going to lose pace with too much spin. Its just how it is.

LeeD
10-20-2012, 04:28 PM
Likely Wilson is telling little white lies, or exxagerating the truth, just like an marketing group would to to promote his product.
To boot, maybe Rafa's arm starts to fall off, with any additional spin to his strokes, or he just plain can't hit accurately with it.

JackB1
10-20-2012, 04:32 PM
why wouldn't someone else do this before?

Bartelby
10-20-2012, 04:37 PM
If Babolat were making this racquet, there would have been gasps of disbelief and cries of shame!

corners
10-20-2012, 04:53 PM
Also, wasn't able to find anything on it from Tennis.com - would appreciate a link if you can. Again, hope I'm wrong.

Here's part II of a four-part interview with John Lyons at Wilson that includes some tech talk and some data: http://www.tennis.com/gear/2012/09/gear-talk-wilsons-john-lyons-part-2/39407/#.UING7ml26zY

My feeling is that they are using these demo sessions with the tracking equipment to gather more data. But Lyons mentions some blind playtests they did earlier with blacked out frames - those results were +141 RPMs and +1.3mph, on average, compared to conventional frames like the Pure Drive.

corners
10-20-2012, 05:04 PM
I don't mean to argue either - and actually, there is a very simple solution in that the two people who used this stick could clarify the nature of their strokes. If the Wilson indeed performs as advertised - terrific, sounds like a very fun racquet that I will surely demo and likely purchase. My point, however, is that your example probably holds true if it was Federer trying both sticks. My concern, however, is that this wouldn't hold true with Nadal since the stick wasn't apparently designed for this type of use (i.e. nature of stroke mechanics, etc.). Again, the fact that two players were getting more spin out of a Head Speed and (especially) the PS 6.1 Classic leads me to believe that a more conventional stroke was utilized thereby speaking to the performance of the APDGT. Again, hope I'm wrong, as I wouldn't mind trying out a new "fun" stick.

I think it would work just as well for Nadal as for Federer, for the same reasons that both get more spin with their current string setups (full RPM Blast, gut/Lux respectively) than they would with syngut. Both those stringbeds enable the main strings to slide and snapback, giving "free" extra spin. The 16x15 pattern just allows the mains to slide further and snapback faster, providing more extra spin. However, you may be right to a degree, as Lyons mentions that the extra spin is somewhat less with top-level players than with rec players.

Anyway, Drak is a good player and very experienced with strings and frames. His review seems to confirm what Wilson's data showed them: greater spin, higher trajectory with no loss of speed, and little to no loss of control.

BTW, if you're not familiar with the research that gave Wilson this idea, check out this paper by TW's own scientist-in-residence: http://twu.tennis-warehouse.com/learning_center/stringpattern.php

This one also includes experiments with racquets with fewer cross strings: http://twu.tennis-warehouse.com/learning_center/stringpattern.php

I suspect that Figure 3 from the second paper made Wilson/Luxilon pretty excited.

Fed Kennedy
10-20-2012, 05:11 PM
why wouldn't someone else do this before?

They have, Mark Woodeforde used one. But tennis is a stodgy traditionalist sport that is averse to innovation. Respect flows top down from touring pros not geeks in a lab.

Just look at this thread, two solid players give this stick a glowing review and people are bugging their eyes out thinking of ways to shoot this down before theyve even tried it.

I saw the same thing happen in the ski industry, all the crusty superior attitudes tried to crap on fat powder skis...saying they were for hacks, five years later everyone is on them, ripping way harder than before.

JackB1
10-20-2012, 05:11 PM
Does anyone know how you find one if these Wilson demonstrations in your area?

El Zed
10-20-2012, 05:22 PM
They have, Mark Woodeforde used one. But tennis is a stodgy traditionalist sport that is averse to innovation. Respect flows top down from touring pros not geeks in a lab.

Just look at this thread, two solid players give this stick a glowing review and people are bugging their eyes out thinking of ways to shoot this down before theyve even tried it.

I saw the same thing happen in the ski industry, all the crusty superior attitudes tried to crap on fat powder skis...saying they were for hacks, five years later everyone is on them, ripping way harder than before.

Nice interpretation of my question... Yes, the author of the thread entitled "Defending Babolat and the Modern Game" is a stodgy traditionalist averse to technological improvements... Some of us like to consider whether the information provided makes sense from a logical perspective - rather than accept what is given as gospel. I believe I made the point that the nature of your stroke may be critical in how much use you get out of the racquet. Not debating that this may be a god-send to those with a more traditional stroke looking to up the RPM-ante. I just have doubts that this would have the same effect for those with a more modern stroke. Thus, I'm not "thinking of ways" to shoot the racquet down, so much as positing a question - which, again, could be easily answered by those who have demoed the racquet. So why don't you lay-off the mischaracterizations or make comment on something you actually understand.

Bartelby
10-20-2012, 05:22 PM
There is no doubt that the data about strings and spin is correct, but every change has its costs and I've yet to read any balanced assessment of the gains and losses from this approach.

No advantage for professional players means we're not putting it in players' frames so already the product is positioned as a tweener racquet.

Why so if it is that truly transformative?

El Zed
10-20-2012, 05:29 PM
I think it would work just as well for Nadal as for Federer, for the same reasons that both get more spin with their current string setups (full RPM Blast, gut/Lux respectively) than they would with syngut. Both those stringbeds enable the main strings to slide and snapback, giving "free" extra spin. The 16x15 pattern just allows the mains to slide further and snapback faster, providing more extra spin. However, you may be right to a degree, as Lyons mentions that the extra spin is somewhat less with top-level players than with rec players.

Anyway, Drak is a good player and very experienced with strings and frames. His review seems to confirm what Wilson's data showed them: greater spin, higher trajectory with no loss of speed, and little to no loss of control.

BTW, if you're not familiar with the research that gave Wilson this idea, check out this paper by TW's own scientist-in-residence: http://twu.tennis-warehouse.com/learning_center/stringpattern.php

This one also includes experiments with racquets with fewer cross strings: http://twu.tennis-warehouse.com/learning_center/stringpattern.php

I suspect that Figure 3 from the second paper made Wilson/Luxilon pretty excited.


Thank you for the link, I appreciate it. While your comment regarding the movement of strings has obvious merit, I think you're overlooking a critical factor found in many "spin" oriented strings - namely, their ridged nature. It's interesting, that the gentlemen from Wilson focuses on the snap-back of the string - that's precisely my point though, in that a WW/western forehand will have dramatically different properties in this regard to a traditional stroke with a continental/sw grip. I'm basically trying to determine if this variable has been considered - I have my doubts given that the APDGT has less spin than either a Head Speed or PS 6.1 Classic...

dmcb101
10-20-2012, 05:30 PM
Does anyone know how you find one if these Wilson demonstrations in your area?

I am not sure you can just go even if you knew about it. I was invited to go by my Wilson rep and I know they are serving lunch for free and stuff. I can not go consequently because I will be on court teaching. I am bummed because I would really like to see how much more rpms I get on my forehand. Any who, thats what I think.

corners
10-20-2012, 05:31 PM
I saw the same thing happen in the ski industry, all the crusty superior attitudes tried to crap on fat powder skis...saying they were for hacks, five years later everyone is on them, ripping way harder than before.

I love the fat ski analogy!

dmcb101
10-20-2012, 05:38 PM
Yeah that is a good analogy. Haters will be haters. For the rest, I guess you can only try it out and see how it works.

Bartelby
10-20-2012, 05:40 PM
Yes, well, boosterism will be boosterism.

realplayer
10-20-2012, 05:45 PM
Yeah that is a good analogy. Haters will be haters. For the rest, I guess you can only try it out and see how it works.

But this is nothing new, is it? The snauwaert Hi-Ten or the prince graphite mid also had very open patterns.
The only difference I see that with the new poly strings it combines better.

Power Player
10-20-2012, 05:49 PM
They have, Mark Woodeforde used one. But tennis is a stodgy traditionalist sport that is averse to innovation. Respect flows top down from touring pros not geeks in a lab.

Just look at this thread, two solid players give this stick a glowing review and people are bugging their eyes out thinking of ways to shoot this down before theyve even tried it.

I saw the same thing happen in the ski industry, all the crusty superior attitudes tried to crap on fat powder skis...saying they were for hacks, five years later everyone is on them, ripping way harder than before.

Yeah but on the other side of the fence i think people need to be real about it. If you get tons of spin with a tfight, exo, etc , you very likely will lose pace to gain spin. Im personally interested enough to demo. Im not closed minded. But im not sure everyone will need all the extra spin for their games. Lets see what happens..unfortunately we have until january.

Fed Kennedy
10-20-2012, 05:55 PM
Nice interpretation of my question... Yes, the author of the thread entitled "Defending Babolat and the Modern Game" is a stodgy traditionalist averse to technological improvements... Some of us like to consider whether the information provided makes sense from a logical perspective - rather than accept what is given as gospel. I believe I made the point that the nature of your stroke may be critical in how much use you get out of the racquet. Not debating that this may be a god-send to those with a more traditional stroke looking to up the RPM-ante. I just have doubts that this would have the same effect for those with a more modern stroke. Thus, I'm not "thinking of ways" to shoot the racquet down, so much as positing a question - which, again, could be easily answered by those who have demoed the racquet. So why don't you lay-off the mischaracterizations or make comment on something you actually understand.

Hey man are you a little touchy about this? I didnt mention you at all in my post. Im not into arguing about racquets online...just pumped for this one.

drakulie
10-20-2012, 06:49 PM
Interesting discussion going on. Before I add my input, I want to thank, dmsb101 for his great review, found here: http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showpost.php?p=6965544&postcount=144


There seems to be some questions/comments/perhaps confusion as to some of the "data" posted so far.

First off, the data of spin comparing the Aero to the Classic 6.1 comes from only one player, whom happened to ask if he could be tested using his Classic. This player, is a teaching pro, and has some great strokes. From what I saw, and the data displayed on the computer in "real time", while the coach was hitting, it was clear he was hitting with more spin with his Classic than with the Aero. Again, this doesn't mean the classic provides more spin than the Aero for everyone.

Secondly, in my testing, with the Trackman providing unbiased data, it was clear the 99S outperformed the Aero in spin, pace, and net clearance. This is based on me swinging the same on each racquet I was provided to test. So, using the same exact swing path, I was getting 500 more RPM's of spin with the 99S vs the Aero.

The aforementioned, was what I witnessed nearly every tester achieve as well...... More spin with the 99S than with any of the other racquets provided.

Now, please remember, in the grand scheme of things, this was a small sample of players, but definitely interesting to say the least, and at least worthy of all of you making up your own minds. I simply wanted to provide you all with what I felt was worthy of a thread, and wanted to share what I feel is a great piece of equipment coming out next year.

Finally, I want to add that I did not have trouble flattening shots, hitting slice, serves, or controlling shots, etc. I did not find the frame to play harsh, rather, was impressed that it felt comfortable.

Again, as always,,,,, demo for yourself, as we all perceive things differently, and what is great for one person, does not make it so for everyone. I'm still awaiting to do a full review, which would include playing sets, and testing different strings, how they perform, and their durability.

Fuji
10-20-2012, 06:54 PM
Just wanted to add in here:

Thanks a ton for the review Drak! Very cool set up and experience! My local shop is excited to have these in, for the fact that they believe everyone buying them will be restringing WAY more frequently then before due to the large snap back effect. :razz:

-Fuji

El Zed
10-20-2012, 07:30 PM
Interesting discussion going on. Before I add my input, I want to thank, dmsb101 for his great review, found here: http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showpost.php?p=6965544&postcount=144


There seems to be some questions/comments/perhaps confusion as to some of the "data" posted so far.

First off, the data of spin comparing the Aero to the Classic 6.1 comes from only one player, whom happened to ask if he could be tested using his Classic. This player, is a teaching pro, and has some great strokes. From what I saw, and the data displayed on the computer in "real time", while the coach was hitting, it was clear he was hitting with more spin with his Classic than with the Aero. Again, this doesn't mean the classic provides more spin than the Aero for everyone.

Secondly, in my testing, with the Trackman providing unbiased data, it was clear the 99S outperformed the Aero in spin, pace, and net clearance. This is based on me swinging the same on each racquet I was provided to test. So, using the same exact swing path, I was getting 500 more RPM's of spin with the 99S vs the Aero.

The aforementioned, was what I witnessed nearly every tester achieve as well...... More spin with the 99S than with any of the other racquets provided.

Now, please remember, in the grand scheme of things, this was a small sample of players, but definitely interesting to say the least, and at least worthy of all of you making up your own minds. I simply wanted to provide you all with what I felt was worthy of a thread, and wanted to share what I feel is a great piece of equipment coming out next year.

Finally, I want to add that I did not have trouble flattening shots, hitting slice, serves, or controlling shots, etc. I did not find the frame to play harsh, rather, was impressed that it felt comfortable.

Again, as always,,,,, demo for yourself, as we all perceive things differently, and what is great for one person, does not make it so for everyone. I'm still awaiting to do a full review, which would include playing sets, and testing different strings, how they perform, and their durability.

Thank you for the follow-up. Not to be obtuse, and apologies if I missed it in any of your posts, but do you typically employ (and particularly, on these tests) a traditional or more modern stroke? I understand that you applied the same stroke to all racquets, but my question is if you indeed utilized a more modern stroke (also encompassing a western grip). Thanks again.

corners
10-20-2012, 07:33 PM
Thank you for the link, I appreciate it. While your comment regarding the movement of strings has obvious merit, I think you're overlooking a critical factor found in many "spin" oriented strings - namely, their ridged nature.

Why do you think I'm overlooking that? But it's tangential to this discussion.

It's interesting, that the gentlemen from Wilson focuses on the snap-back of the string - that's precisely my point though, in that a WW/western forehand will have dramatically different properties in this regard to a traditional stroke with a continental/sw grip. I'm basically trying to determine if this variable has been considered - I have my doubts given that the APDGT has less spin than either a Head Speed or PS 6.1 Classic...

What kind of dramatically different properties are you talking about?

El Zed
10-20-2012, 07:40 PM
What kind of dramatically different properties are you talking about?

Well, the most obvious being the nature of the impact between a straight-ahead shot (traditional) versus a brushing, glancing impact (modern)... Are you saying that the stringbed will react the same to both?

tlm
10-20-2012, 07:42 PM
This racket sounds similar to the vortex that I demoed. It had crazy spin and a 14 main open string pattern. It also had a stiffness of 71 which made it to powerful and non arm friendly which I suspect will be the same for this steam.

drakulie
10-20-2012, 07:46 PM
Thank you for the follow-up. Not to be obtuse, and apologies if I missed it in any of your posts, but do you typically employ (and particularly, on these tests) a traditional or more modern stroke? I understand that you applied the same stroke to all racquets, but my question is if you indeed utilized a more modern stroke (also encompassing a western grip). Thanks again.

I use an eastern FH grip on both sides, and hit with very good spin on both sides, although achieve much more spin on the BH than on the FH. Here is a vid of me hitting, and I can tell you every shot had a lot of spin, and this was with an PS85. You could clearly see every shot me brushing up. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FkOpbDAq2gU

By "modern", not sure exactly if that term really defines what "modern" is. For example, you use "western" to define what a "modern" grip is. However, I would not exactly consider the western grip as modern, considering it has been around for well over 30 years.

To add, in regards to spin, Federer has been calculated to hit with upwards of 4,500 RPM's of spin, and to date, is on record as getting the most RPM recorded (5,300), and that was on a slice backhand. And yet, he doesn't hit with a western grip. To the contrary, hits with a eastern, and sometimes abbreviated semi-western.

Look, regardless of the grip one employs, if the player brushes up on the ball, they will hit with spin. The 99S will enhance and "magnify" that spin by upwards and over 200 RPM's, regardless of the grip.

I know players that use a Aero Pro Drive, and hit so flat, it looks like a knuckle ball. My point is, that one has to first and foremost have a stroke that brushes up on the ball to impart spin.

Would love to read your feedback if you decide to take this frame out for a playtest.

Bartelby
10-20-2012, 07:49 PM
Certainly steam looks like a variation on the vortex approach, which is in itself something that has been used before.

Although improvements can of course lead to better executions of the same idea.

Bartelby
10-20-2012, 07:54 PM
Given that open crosses is the main point then Steam's 16x15 would seem better that Vortex's 14x15.

El Zed
10-20-2012, 07:56 PM
I use an eastern FH grip on both sides, and hit with very good spin on both sides, although achieve much more spin on the BH than on the FH.

By "modern", not sure exactly if that term really defines what "modern" is. For example, you use "western" to define what a "modern" grip is. However, I would not exactly consider the western grip as modern, considering it has been around for well over 30 years.

To add, in regards to spin, Federer has been calculated to hit with upwards of 4,500 RPM's of spin, and to date, is on record as getting the most RPM recorded (5,300), and that was on a slice backhand. And yet, he doesn't hit with a western grip. To the contrary, hits with a eastern, and sometimes abbreviated semi-western.

Look, regardless of the grip one employs, if the player brushes up on the ball, they will hit with spin. The 99S will enhance and "magnify" that spin by upwards and over 200 RPM's, regardless of the grip.

I know players that use a Aero Pro Drive, and hit so flat, it looks like a knuckle ball. My point is, that one has to first and foremost have a stroke that brushes up on the ball to impart spin.

Would love to read your feedback if you decide to take this frame out for a playtest.


Sorry, I thought I set forth my definition of a modern stroke previously - that being a windshield-wiper type stroke coupled with a western or extreme western forehand grip.

I'm legitimately excited about the racquet and will definitely try it out (no reason not to). Nonetheless, I have experienced first hand the dramatic difference in spin that a APDGT can impart through the use of the above referenced "modern" stroke/grip relative to a more traditional stroke (or even a windshield-wiper with a semi-western grip). Frankly, I think the APDGT is a bit of a dud otherwise, and can understand why others are so critical (especially when coupled with the "feel" issues). That being said, I don't necessarily want to get my hopes up under the auspices that this new racquet out-spins and out-paces the APDGT when the latter is not used in its optimum manner (no offense).

drakulie
10-20-2012, 08:07 PM
Nonetheless, I have experienced first hand the dramatic difference in spin that a APDGT can impart through the use of the above referenced "modern" stroke/grip relative to a more traditional stroke

yeah, I understand your point, but quite frankly, any racquet will do this. If you hit with a flatter more "traditional stroke" using racquet X, and then suddenly, begin using a WW FH with racquet X, you will impart more spin. This isn't limited to the APD.

Bartelby
10-20-2012, 08:07 PM
In short, the apd is a power machine that turns power into spin with the right technique.

drakulie
10-20-2012, 08:10 PM
In short, the apd is a power machine that turns power into spin with the right technique.

huh??? ...................please explain what you mean

El Zed
10-20-2012, 08:19 PM
yeah, I understand your point, but quite frankly, any racquet will do this. If you hit with a flatter more "traditional stroke" using racquet X, and then suddenly, begin using a WW FH with racquet X, you will impart more spin. This isn't limited to the APD.

The point I'm trying to make is that the APDGT is not intended for a flat stroke - full stop. Can you use it as such, of course - but it's not going to operate at its full capabilities. Thus, if you compared the APDGT with the Wilson - while using a traditional stroke - it's not really fair to say that the Wilson imparts more peak spin (although I have no doubt that was the case). Unless, of course, you utilized a WW FH and a Western grip while trying out both (in your case, all three) racquets... just trying to determine if that's the case (which I read it as not).

Bartelby
10-20-2012, 08:24 PM
More powerful lighter modern racquets are more conducive to producing topspin, if you have the technique, than the older heavy higher swingweight racquets that produced power differently.

Sure string spacing plays a role, with launch angle in particular, but the new steam looks like a powerful lighter modern racquet with an even more open string pattern.

Bartelby
10-20-2012, 08:28 PM
The apd is not intended for a flatter stroke imho because its powerful, but when you hit a flatter stroke its a pretty good winner.

For a typical rally ball what you get is easy power which, with the right technique, allows you to put spin on the ball in a seemingly effortless way.



The point I'm trying to make is that the APDGT is not intended for a flat stroke - full stop. Can you use it as such, of course - but it's not going to operate at its full capabilities. Thus, if you compared the APDGT with the Wilson - while using a traditional stroke - it's not really fair to say that the Wilson imparts more peak spin (although I have no doubt that was the case). Unless, of course, you utilized a WW FH and a Western grip while trying out both (in your case, all three) racquets... just trying to determine if that's the case (which I read it as not).

drakulie
10-20-2012, 08:29 PM
The point I'm trying to make is that the APDGT is not intended for a flat stroke - full stop. Can you use it as such, of course - but it's not going to operate at its full capabilities. Thus, if you compared the APDGT with the Wilson - while using a traditional stroke - it's not really fair to say that the Wilson imparts more peak spin (although I have no doubt that was the case). Unless, of course, you utilized a WW FH and a Western grip while trying out both (in your case, all three) racquets... just trying to determine if that's the case (which I read it as not).


OK. I'm following you now.

That said, the APD, in my opinion, is not necessarily a "spin" monster or "power" frame. For starters, this BS that Babolat sells to people by claming the APD is aerodynamic and is the reason it imparts more spin, is simply that, BS. To make it aerodynamic, the head, especially as it gets closer to the tip, and not necessarily the shaft/yolk would be tapered. It's not. Its actually normal, which would not allow it to "cut" thru the air as they claim. So this whole argument of WW or "modern" FH need be used to "optimize" it's full capabilities, is Babolat simply Bamboozling consumers.

Bartelby
10-20-2012, 08:34 PM
The apd throat does indeed do nothing for spin, but it is a powerful racquet so it lends itself to using spin if you are trained correctly to hit a modern stroke.

drakulie
10-20-2012, 08:40 PM
The apd throat does indeed do nothing for spin, but it is a powerful racquet so it lends itself to using spin if you are trained correctly to hit a modern stroke.

By modern stroke, I'm going to assume, you mean "topspin"? Anyway, any racquet will get you topspin if you brush up on the ball, including the KPS88 which is head and shoulders more powerful than the APD, so you're not saying much here, and the APD surely hasn't re-invented the wheel.

El Zed
10-20-2012, 08:41 PM
OK. I'm following you now.

That said, the APD, in my opinion, is not necessarily a "spin" monster or "power" frame. For starters, this BS that Babolat sells to people by claming the APD is aerodynamic and is the reason it imparts more spin, is simply that, BS. To make it aerodynamic, the head, especially as it gets closer to the tip, and not necessarily the shaft/yolk would be tapered. It's not. Its actually normal, which would not allow it to "cut" thru the air as they claim. So this whole argument of WW or "modern" FH need be used to "optimize" it's full capabilities, is Babolat simply Bamboozling consumers.

Actually, its from my personal experience testing out some of the most revered frames against the APDGT. I'm not looking to begin a redux of my prior thread, but there is a noticeable difference in how this racquet plays via a WW/Western forehand stroke relative to other racquets. Simply put, I haven't come across a racquet that can match its spin, pace and accuracy when utilizing this stroke. Not the old Prestiges, not the PT630, not the Fischer Vacuums, not the Radicals, not a slew of other racquets. To me, it's not b.s. (and no, I don't have a poster of nadal on my wall). Your perspective on Babolat is well documented, I'm just trying to find out if this Wilson indeed may be a racquet that can take it a step futher....

Bartelby
10-20-2012, 08:50 PM
The lighter, wider-beamed more powerful racquets make the production of the topspin stroke easier for people below an advanced level of play.

There are also types of power and the question of ease of power production that you miss out on in your comparison of the 88 with the apd.

Moreover, there is the research concerning spin window that is also important and why spin has rendered racquets under roughly 90" redundant.

It has also led to rounder racquets.

Wilson has simply reworked the string pattern side of the equation with the steam.

Others worked on the frame by making it more easy-powered.

The pd class of racquets which includes the apd and the juices and the opens and the extremes are just all variations on the theme and one's choice among them is more personal than anything else.

Broly4
10-21-2012, 01:49 AM
This is a girls stick, I hope they use this pattern in more serious frames, no offense

KFwinds
10-21-2012, 04:54 AM
Has anyone posted pics of these new Steam frames?

corners
10-21-2012, 05:23 AM
This is a girls stick, I hope they use this pattern in more serious frames, no offense

Ha, ha. Yeah, I'd like to see a 16x15 in a Pro Staff 90. One of the benefits of "free spin", either from copoly strings or open patterns, is that you can either use your normal swing and get extra spin out of the deal, or you can flatten your swing slightly but still get the same amount of spin as before.

Fed Kennedy
10-21-2012, 02:06 PM
This is a girls stick, I hope they use this pattern in more serious frames, no offense

You can bet they will.

Anton
10-21-2012, 02:31 PM
By modern stroke, I'm going to assume, you mean "topspin"? Anyway, any racquet will get you topspin if you brush up on the ball, including the KPS88 which is head and shoulders more powerful than the APD, so you're not saying much here, and the APD surely hasn't re-invented the wheel.

I disagree with you - if I want to hit full western and maximize high arch big spin on every shot I'd want a racket similar to APD.

It's not that APD is aerodynamic(it's not), but the wider body lets it be more torsionally stable per weight allowing more polarization in overall lighter package and bigger, more round face shape increases margin for big spin game.

klementine79
10-21-2012, 05:00 PM
This is a girls stick, I hope they use this pattern in more serious frames, no offense

Is this a facetious statement?

I did not know there were gender specific racquets.

Bartelby
10-21-2012, 05:06 PM
What about a kblade tour with 18x17?

dmcb101
10-22-2012, 07:01 AM
That would be interesting. I am thinking that it is not as simple as just changing the string pattern but you also need to mess with the racquet head shape. Still an interesting idea.

Geoff
10-22-2012, 11:10 AM
Hi Drak!

Was there any discussion of string and tension recommendations? More specifically was Wilson recommending a higher tension or a thicker gauge? If so, are they selling a specific string under the Wilson or Luxilon brand? Some may remember the Snauwaert Hi-Ten racquets of the 80's. They had two models. One was the Dyno and the other was the Mid. They were strung approximately 10 lbs. tighter with a thicker gauge string made by Snauwaert that was a poly. Snauwaert and Prince both sold a poly in the 80's that was a little before it's time. Thanks for sharing another great review!

KoolTennisKid
10-22-2012, 11:27 AM
so im guessing the unstrung weight is about 10.8? seems a little light. hey drak or anybody else who went to the event, did you try out the new blade 16x19?

hersito
10-23-2012, 06:17 AM
Dropshots

Before reviewing this stick someone on the forum asked me to check out dropshots with this racquet so I decided to try these out when the chance came during some point play. The dropshot reminded me of the slice in the sense that you needed to give it a little stick in order to hit an effective drop shot. I did just this and the ball checked very nicely and I actually hit three winners this way, so that was nice! Overall I liked hitting dropshots with this racquet because you could be confident in the stroke and gain rewards with the extra bite after it contacted the court.


That was me, thanks for the review!

couch
10-23-2012, 07:01 AM
Anyone know what the stiffness is on this stick? The current Steam is 66. Was wondering if its similar to the current Steam or a little stiffer. Drakulie- what were your impressions on stiffness?

dmcb101
10-23-2012, 07:43 AM
Anyone know what the stiffness is on this stick? The current Steam is 66. Was wondering if its similar to the current Steam or a little stiffer. Drakulie- what were your impressions on stiffness?

I know that I am not Drakulie but I also did a review and in my opinion it is stiffer than the original steam. It was also strung a little tighter than I do with poly so that could have accounted for the stiffness but I still think it had to be high 60's.

dmcb101
10-23-2012, 07:43 AM
That was me, thanks for the review!

No problem. If you get a chance, test drive this stick and see what you think, I think most people will enjoy it.

couch
10-23-2012, 07:47 AM
I know that I am not Drakulie but I also did a review and in my opinion it is stiffer than the original steam. It was also strung a little tighter than I do with poly so that could have accounted for the stiffness but I still think it had to be high 60's.

This sounds good to me. I prefer sticks in the high 60s, or right at 70.

Oh yeah, great review by the way. :-) Really excited about this stick. Will probably settle on the 16x18 version but will definitely play test the 16x15 to make sure.

dmcb101
10-23-2012, 01:59 PM
This sounds good to me. I prefer sticks in the high 60s, or right at 70.

Oh yeah, great review by the way. :-) Really excited about this stick. Will probably settle on the 16x18 version but will definitely play test the 16x15 to make sure.

Yeah no problem! Another pro at the club really liked the 16/18 but also liked the 16/15. To be honest when looking at it the holes between the mains and crosses look about the same size which is impressive considering the low amount of crosses in the 99s.

TennisCJC
10-24-2012, 09:14 AM
I tried playing with the prince o white awhile back which was 100" and 16x19 open string pattern with slightly wider beam and fairly stiff. Eventually, I gave up as I felt it was not very controllable. It was great if you got a sitter but not so great for "playing" because you only get sitters a small percentage of the time. But, I will probably demo the 99s out of curiosity.

realplayer
10-24-2012, 09:19 AM
I tried playing with the prince o white awhile back which was 100" and 16x19 open string pattern with slightly wider beam and fairly stiff. Eventually, I gave up as I felt it was not very controllable. It was great if you got a sitter but not so great for "playing" because you only get sitters a small percentage of the time. But, I will probably demo the 99s out of curiosity.

I guess you need thick gauge strings. With thin strings the 100" was uncontrollable for me and with the wilson i probably need wire to control it.

drakulie
10-24-2012, 05:40 PM
Hi Drak!

Was there any discussion of string and tension recommendations? More specifically was Wilson recommending a higher tension or a thicker gauge? If so, are they selling a specific string under the Wilson or Luxilon brand? Some may remember the Snauwaert Hi-Ten racquets of the 80's. They had two models. One was the Dyno and the other was the Mid. They were strung approximately 10 lbs. tighter with a thicker gauge string made by Snauwaert that was a poly. Snauwaert and Prince both sold a poly in the 80's that was a little before it's time. Thanks for sharing another great review!

Geoff, good to hear from you. Hope all is well.

From the engineer I spoke to and some of the other Wilson gurus at the event, the Luxilon 4g is going to be released in a 15 gauge, so many feel this will address two issues related to strings:

1. Tension stability
2. Durability

Personally, I can't wait to try this frame out with gut mains/poly crosses. This set up should really amp up what is already cRaZy spin on this frame. Question will be control and durability.

so im guessing the unstrung weight is about 10.8? seems a little light. hey drak or anybody else who went to the event, did you try out the new blade 16x19?

I did try out the new blades. The paintjobs are amazing as well as the performance of the frames. However, I don't want to bog this thread down with information/discussion about those frames. Sorry.

This sounds good to me. I prefer sticks in the high 60s, or right at 70.

Oh yeah, great review by the way. :-) Really excited about this stick. Will probably settle on the 16x18 version but will definitely play test the 16x15 to make sure.

Couch, I felt like the head of the frame *felt* like it had some flex to it. Not sure if it is the open pattern, or perhaps the string, but I would say this would be my explanation for the comfort I discussed in my OP.

parasailing
10-24-2012, 07:34 PM
Drakulie - Maybe you can post your comments about the BLX Blade in the other thread and I also look forward to getting the Steam 99S and putting gut mains and poly crosses to see how much more spin this will produce.

sureshs
10-24-2012, 07:37 PM
OK so I am back from the Wilson event.

A plug straight-away: Watch for the RUSH PRO shoe they are introducing in February. It is supposed to be the latest technology best shoe in the world.

Did I mention that Wilson is introducing the RUSH PRO shoe in February? Feliciano Lopez is already using it.

After making a dinner of the appetizers and drinks at this exclusive country club, I attended John Muir's presentation (the GM whose name is on every issue of every tennis magazine). You know about Spin Effect so I will not repeat the facts. The other change is that Wilson is moving away from the traditional classification of frames as players vs game improvement, and compact vs long swings. They are going to keep 3 categories: Spin+Control (Pro Staff), Spin+Power (Steam) and Power+Comfort (Juice). They think the old classifications do not reflect how people play these days.

There was a video felicitating Wilson winners in 2012, including Rosol beating Nadal, which I think is supposed to be symbolic of Wilson beating Bab.

I asked the Director of Products about continued supply of the PS 85s to TW, and he said they plan to continue manufacturing it. I have to say that when the staff heard that I use that frame, there were some looks which I can only describe as sympathetic.

Then we hit the court with the Doppler radar technology. Rumor was that it is cheaper and better than Hawk Eye and might replace it. I was in the first group of 5 personally escorted by the head of Sales, which unfortunately included 4 competitive juniors sent by their coach to the event. Tennis Channel was on site, and started filming us. First 8 forehands with a Bab APD and then 8 with the Steam 99S, fed by a guy. The first 2 juniors finished, and showed an improvement of 200 rpm of topspin on average. The range was in the mid-2000s. It is close to Wilson's claim of 300 rpm increase in their blind tests.

Then came my turn. I asked Tennis Channel not to film me, and they agreed, apparently because we had probably not signed the waiver. I did not want Tennis Channel viewers to be jealous of my youthful looks. To popularize the racket among club players and not to induce spin-envy, I toned down my top spin drastically, posting an average of 1100 rpm with the Bab and 1300 with the 99S. To keep it realistic, I also hit one of the 16 forehands into the net.

The other thing to mention is that the launch angle and net clearance is much higher. Wilson's claim of an extra foot of net clearance is not an exaggeration.

After that we headed out to the other courts to hit. I hit with the new Blades, including the 93 and the 98 with 16*19 pattern. The cosmetic of black and gold is very enticing and the juniors really took to this line of frames. It seems to be aimed squarely at them. In fact, the frame was circulated among them during the presentation itself.

I then hit with both the 99S and the 105S. Apart from more top spin and net clearance, the other noticeable feature of Spin Effect is side spin. On higher shots, you can clearly see the ball curving away in the air due to the side spin. It is almost like you expect it to be here, but it actually there.

But all good things must come to an end. I got a $20 gift card and a shorts and shirt is being mailed to me as a free gift.

And did I mention the RUSH PRO shoe coming out in February?

parasailing
10-24-2012, 07:43 PM
Sureshs - I am already jealous that you had a chance to hit with the new racquets:). I can't wait to get one given all the good things mentioned so far about the racquet.

Can you post your findings about the blade in the BLX Blade 98 thread that is up there with this one? I would love to hear you thoughts on that racquet as well given it's back to 16x19 string pattern.

klementine79
10-24-2012, 07:50 PM
Nice write up sureshs, thanks. Wilson has done a number at my local shop. They came in and rearranged half the wall with a carnival like booth, in promotion of the new line.

I second parasailing, please post thoughts of new 16x19 blade in other thread.

couch
10-24-2012, 08:06 PM
OK so I am back from the Wilson event.

A plug straight-away: Watch for the RUSH POWER shoe they are introducing in February. It is supposed to be the latest technology best shoe in the world.

Did I mention that Wilson is introducing the RUSH POWER shoe in February? Feliciano Lopez is already using it.

After making a dinner of the appetizers and drinks at this exclusive country club, I attended John Muir's presentation (the GM whose name is on every issue of every tennis magazine). You know about Spin Effect so I will not repeat the facts. The other change is that Wilson is moving away from the traditional classification of frames as players vs game improvement, and compact vs long swings. They are going to keep 3 categories: Spin+Control (Pro Staff), Spin+Power (Steam) and Power+Comfort (Juice). They think the old classifications do not reflect how people play these days.

There was a video felicitating Wilson winners in 2012, including Rosol beating Nadal, which I think is supposed to be symbolic of Wilson beating Bab.

I asked the Director of Products about continued supply of the PS 85s to TW, and he said they plan to continue manufacturing it. I have to say that when the staff heard that I use that frame, there were some looks which I can only describe as sympathetic.

Then we hit the court with the Doppler radar technology. Rumor was that it is cheaper and better than Hawk Eye and might replace it. I was in the first group of 5 personally escorted by the head of Sales, which unfortunately included 4 competitive juniors sent by their coach to the event. Tennis Channel was on site, and started filming us. First 8 forehands with a Bab APD and then 8 with the Steam 99S, fed by a guy. The first 2 juniors finished, and showed an improvement of 200 rpm of topspin on average. The range was in the mid-2000s. It is close to Wilson's claim of 300 rpm increase in their blind tests.

Then came my turn. I asked Tennis Channel not to film me, and they agreed, apparently because we had probably not signed the waiver. I did not want Tennis Channel viewers to be jealous of my youthful looks. To popularize the racket among club players and not to induce spin-envy, I toned down my top spin drastically, posting an average of 1100 rpm with the Bab and 1300 with the 99S. To keep it realistic, I also hit one of the 16 forehands into the net.

The other thing to mention is that the launch angle and net clearance is much higher. Wilson's claim of an extra foot of net clearance is not an exaggeration.

After that we headed out to the other courts to hit. I hit with the new Blades, including the 93 and the 98 with 16*19 pattern. The cosmetic of black and gold is very enticing and the juniors really took to this line of frames. It seems to be aimed squarely at them. In fact, the frame was circulated among them during the presentation itself.

I then hit with both the 99S and the 105S. Apart from more top spin and net clearance, the other noticeable feature of Spin Effect is side spin. On higher shots, you can clearly see the ball curving away in the air due to the side spin. It is almost like you expect it to be here, but it actually there.

But all good things must come to an end. I got a $20 gift card and a shorts and shirt is being mailed to me as a free gift.

And did I mention the RUSH POWER shoe coming out in February?

Sure it's not the Rush Pro? :-) Great review. Can't wait to get these racquets into our shop. I think Wilson is really taking things to another level with their new line. The Blades and the Steams, I think, are going to be big sellers for next year.

Larrysümmers
10-24-2012, 08:16 PM
when can i preorder this bad boy?

sureshs
10-24-2012, 08:17 PM
Sure it's not the Rush Pro? :-) Great review. Can't wait to get these racquets into our shop. I think Wilson is really taking things to another level with their new line. The Blades and the Steams, I think, are going to be big sellers for next year.

Darn must have been the drinks.

I edited by previous post.

sureshs
10-24-2012, 08:18 PM
Nice write up sureshs, thanks. Wilson has done a number at my local shop. They came in and rearranged half the wall with a carnival like booth, in promotion of the new line.

I second parasailing, please post thoughts of new 16x19 blade in other thread.

They are doing that tomorrow at the local pro shop whose owner recommended me for the event. They are rearranging the wall just like you said.

couch
10-24-2012, 08:19 PM
Darn must have been the drinks.

I edited by previous post.

Excited about the yellow/neon yellow Rush Pros that will be out in March. They also have a black/orange colorway available in March too. May have to wait til then to switch to this shoe. Sweet looking shoe though. Wilson is bringing it!!

sureshs
10-24-2012, 08:20 PM
Sureshs - I am already jealous that you had a chance to hit with the new racquets:). I can't wait to get one given all the good things mentioned so far about the racquet.

Can you post your findings about the blade in the BLX Blade 98 thread that is up there with this one? I would love to hear you thoughts on that racquet as well given it's back to 16x19 string pattern.

Not much to say I am afraid. I hit best with the 93 so that is not very useful. The way it works is that they have many rackets lined up and you grab whatever you find and play, and then exchange it with someone else. Very difficult to remember exactly what you are hitting with. All the frames seem infinitely lighter than the PS 85 so that diminished my sensitivity a lot.

The juniors could not keep their hands off the Blades though. The video also featured the Filip guy who has a thread in the Pro section.

sureshs
10-24-2012, 08:23 PM
Does anyone know how these radar numbers work? The data shows some 20 points. I had several 2000s, including a 2600, but only the last 6 count. I asked whether it measure the spin just after impact and then subsequently, but I was told it is for the entire trajectory, which I don't follow. Is spin contant throughout flight and the 2600->1100/1300 is an eventual convergence to the correct value?

sureshs
10-24-2012, 08:35 PM
Also should mention the huge promotion going on for the 4G string. The consider stuff like that "evolution" but the Spin Effect as a "revolution."

sureshs
10-24-2012, 08:44 PM
Excited about the yellow/neon yellow Rush Pros that will be out in March. They also have a black/orange colorway available in March too. May have to wait til then to switch to this shoe. Sweet looking shoe though. Wilson is bringing it!!

http://cdn.tennis.com/static/upload/img/2012/09/05/2012_09_05_bggs/article.JPG

JGads
10-24-2012, 09:44 PM
Sureshs, you mentioned that your spin was greater and net clearance was higher and such, but you didn't really indicate whether you actually liked the racquet or not - ie, if the hit was good enough to warrant a future purchase, or demo, or whether it was just something interesting but you'll be sticking with the 85.... Is it anything that got you thinking about switching? Could you flatten the ball out enough to actually put the ball away or was it more of a spin machine that couldn't hit through the court like your 85? What about the 'feel'? You're hitting what is probably the best feel stick out there, so wondering if this felt more like a toy by comparison? Seems like you were a lot more adamant about the shoes than any stick.

sundaypunch
10-25-2012, 05:06 AM
Sureshs, you mentioned that your spin was greater and net clearance was higher and such, but you didn't really indicate whether you actually liked the racquet or not - ie, if the hit was good enough to warrant a future purchase, or demo, or whether it was just something interesting but you'll be sticking with the 85.... Is it anything that got you thinking about switching? Could you flatten the ball out enough to actually put the ball away or was it more of a spin machine that couldn't hit through the court like your 85? What about the 'feel'? You're hitting what is probably the best feel stick out there, so wondering if this felt more like a toy by comparison? Seems like you were a lot more adamant about the shoes than any stick.

It sounds like he got to hit a total of 8 shots with the racquet. I would love to try it but it would be hard to base a purchase on 8 shots.

sureshs
10-25-2012, 06:27 AM
Sureshs, you mentioned that your spin was greater and net clearance was higher and such, but you didn't really indicate whether you actually liked the racquet or not - ie, if the hit was good enough to warrant a future purchase, or demo, or whether it was just something interesting but you'll be sticking with the 85.... Is it anything that got you thinking about switching? Could you flatten the ball out enough to actually put the ball away or was it more of a spin machine that couldn't hit through the court like your 85? What about the 'feel'? You're hitting what is probably the best feel stick out there, so wondering if this felt more like a toy by comparison? Seems like you were a lot more adamant about the shoes than any stick.

The shoes were just for a bit of fun as Wilson is really betting on them.

One of the staff members asked me the same question you were asking - will you be switching? For me, it is a matter of weight and what I have gotten used to. The first time I hit with the frames was actually before the scheduled time. I did not mention it in my post. It was during a previous demo session for dealers which was ending as ours was supposed to begin. I sneaked into the courts and ended up hitting against a female college player from the big school around here. On first contact, the Steams seemed very light and I had trouble returning her shots. Then it got better. By the time of the scheduled playtest, I had gotten used to the lighter weight. But please note that the college player was dishing out fast spinny shots with the frames the moment she picked them up.

The PS 85 can never put the amount of spin the Steam can. If you want more heft, you can always lead it up. It is really about the way the game is played these days where spin is the basis of everything.

Edit: Wilson's presentation on the blind test demo included 3 numbers: rpm, mph and net clearance. The average speed was about 2 mph HIGHER than the competitor. If you go by that, you are not sacrificing pace for spin, but getting best of both worlds.

sureshs
10-25-2012, 06:29 AM
It sounds like he got to hit a total of 8 shots with the racquet. I would love to try it but it would be hard to base a purchase on 8 shots.

8 during the radar test, and then a lot of hitting with them for a total of an hour.

realplayer
10-25-2012, 06:43 AM
8 during the radar test, and then a lot of hitting with them for a total of an hour.

But it still doesn't match with a synthetic gut or does it? And is it designed for extreme spin players only? or also for players with a mixed style. Sometimes flat or spin and likes to volley.

Power Player
10-25-2012, 07:10 AM
Suresh is not really a spin hitter going by the RPMs he posted. So it seems as if he probably would not really switch if I had to guess from his rather entertaining post.

Sounds like a pretty sweet day.

sureshs
10-25-2012, 08:05 AM
But it still doesn't match with a synthetic gut or does it? And is it designed for extreme spin players only? or also for players with a mixed style. Sometimes flat or spin and likes to volley.

The recommended string is obviously 4G. But as drakulie had posted before, the rpm increase should happen with any string.

The idea as shown in the video is that at the beginning of impact (horizontal racket), the mains move a lot more, like 3 times more, due to less interference from the fewer crosses. Then at the time of ball exit, they snap back the same distance, biting and spinning the ball. Obviously, strings like 4G which snap back easier will get the most out of the design.

sureshs
10-25-2012, 08:20 AM
Suresh is not really a spin hitter going by the RPMs he posted.

Yes I toned it down a lot to keep it realistic for the posters here.

The juniors were averaging mph of 80 on their shots. I forgot to ask for mine after the test, so had to wait while the next junior finished, and the guy at the computer was very reluctant to tell me my speed and moved the mouse up and down very fast. I think I heard him mutter "40s". Now that was upsetting if I heard him right, but to my defense, this was right after food and drinks, and my entire effort was directed to lifting up the ball with spin and not put even one into the net (I did put one into the net for realism). I also find it difficult to swing something so light as the Bab or the Wilson.

I think the spin and speed are related. If you hit with more spin with the correct technique (i.e., not just upwards but also through the ball), both spin and speed come together. And that is what the modern game is about. It is not about leisurely pendulum swings using the weight of the frame to do the job, and then adding a little spin on top of that. It is about lighter frames which are swung very fast. The Filip guy uses a stock Blade 98 with a strung weight of 11.3 oz and has been in all junior Slam finals and won two of them. That shows why Wilson is moving away from the old classification method. By that method, he would be a 3.5 tweener while I would be a pro. If someone has posted here that you could return Raonic and Cilic serves with a 11.3 frame, you would laugh - but that is what he does when he hits with them.