Has anybody ever hit a ball long with the Steam 99S?

Discussion in 'Racquets' started by Deuce Bag, Feb 19, 2013.

  1. Deuce Bag

    Deuce Bag New User

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    Just wondering has anybody who has played with the Wilson Steam 99S ever hit a ball long?

    From what I read it just drops in every time like a magnet to the baseline.
     
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  2. Rabbit

    Rabbit G.O.A.T.

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    Yes.......
     
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  3. racertempo

    racertempo Semi-Pro

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    No......every single shot I hit is short of the baseline with the Steam S, it is pure magic.
     
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  4. Buford T Justice

    Buford T Justice Semi-Pro

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    Its still obviously possible to hit the back fence with this racquet, but there are definitely a number of balls that land in, that would have otherwise gone out.

    Wilson made a claim about how much this frame lengthens the court, but I dont recall what the value was. I do recall that they claimed it effectively lowered the net by ~2 inches (as in one can clear the net by that much more and still have the ball land in)?
     
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  5. racertempo

    racertempo Semi-Pro

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    Lower the net by 2" and add 12" to the baseline was the claim. I have never missed a shot with the Steam.
     
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  6. Buford T Justice

    Buford T Justice Semi-Pro

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    That sounds about right (well everything but never missing! LOL)....I know Ive had a number of balls that I thought..."Oh no! I overcooked that one!" That ended up landing in. Plus, extremely defensive shots that are hit while falling backwards and "loop" way over the net, also have a higher percentage that land in.
     
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  7. acura9927

    acura9927 Semi-Pro

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    Since I cant afford a new Ducati I am going to buy this toy. This place is bad for my wallet.
     
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  8. Buford T Justice

    Buford T Justice Semi-Pro

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    Yes......I was content with my 1980's Wilson ceramic frames, and Babolat Duralast poly until I started frequenting this place......... :)
     
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  9. dman72

    dman72 Hall of Fame

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    Just take your current 16X20 frame and skip every other cross.

    You can send me a check for the money I saved you later.
     
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  10. ChicagoJack

    ChicagoJack Hall of Fame

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    Hi Deuce Bag -

    One thing I noticed right away when hitting with this frame (and most open pattern frames) is that the ball pops off the string bed and takes a pretty high arc over the net. I think what comes next is a matter of both perception and adjustment.

    Player A: Will see that high arc, and think that the racquet is just producing low powered fluffers that land short for the opponent to pounce on. If the player makes no stroke adjustment, the demo will probably end on a sour note with the idea that the racquet lacks power.

    Player B: Will see the high arc over the net, and will adjust to that by closing the racquet face, which will create even more spin. Once the player sees that the ball is diving sharply down into the court, with several feet to spare, and has little fear of sending the ball deep, that's when the player might make another adjustment and will start to swing a little more freely and with more oomph. I think that second adjustment is where the magic is. When your technique opens up, and you are swinging freely with confidence, thats the golden zone right there.

    I know what people mean when they say you cannot hit it deep. Balls seem to drop in that have no business dropping in. But yes you still can hit it deep. I've seen the racquet in the hands of 3.5 - 4.0 players who hit fairly flat, and this racquet seems not to matter much in that scenario. But in the hands of somebody with decent top to start with, the additional spin is easily noticeable.

    Jack
     
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  11. ChicagoJack

    ChicagoJack Hall of Fame

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    That's a common refrain as of late. This actually has been tried by a number of posters over the years here, dating back to TravelerAJM's experiments in 2008-2009 I think. None of those early, or more recent experiments have proved successful. The trouble is that skipping every other cross creates a very soft string bed, so much so, the racquet has to be strung extremely tight, in the high seventies to get any kind of predictable rebound response. Thats the same road Mark Woodforde went down 30 years ago, with his super high tensions, (hence the name Snauwert Hi Ten) requiring super fat string. Wilson has created a frame that allows the mains to slide freely at more typical typical tension ranges.

    -Jack
     
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2013
    #11
  12. dman72

    dman72 Hall of Fame

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    I'm thinking if you get some 15L poly and string it relatively tight in a 100 or smaller head the results wouldn't be THAT far off from the 99S. Maybe put in some prince tournament nylon and grease it up before stringing.

    Of course 15 vs 10 crosses is significant, but it's the same idea...if you use the thickest strings available it might de-mush the string bed.

    But yes, I think Wilson is definitely doing some pioneering here. Others will follow suit shortly I assume.
     
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  13. coachrick

    coachrick Hall of Fame

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    Does all this mean a heavily sliced ball will never land?

    Sounds like if you install Prince TopSpin strings, the ball would roll to the net!

    Where's that 'funkiest technology' thread when we need it? :)
     
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  14. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Great racket for a target specific customer base.
    Flat hitter reap little benefits.
    Strong topspin hitters reap little benefits.
    Target is 4-5.0's with good strokes, but not fast strokes like pro mens.
     
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  15. Buford T Justice

    Buford T Justice Semi-Pro

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    Probably a good assessment. If one had Nadals swingspeed, probably no need for this frame.

    I would say though that even strong topspin hitters will notice a difference. I have alot of trouble flattening out a ball (and rarely do it) and this frame still makes my shots better. Those few extra rpm are just enough. If I was already hitting 5000 rpm, then 5200 probably wouldnt matter. But (and I am guessing here) that the average rec player who hits what would be called "heavy topsin" is maybe 2000-2500 rpm????, and therefore 200 rpm increase is noticed.

    Now, rec players can probably exceed those rpm numbers, but at the expense of significant pace, as there is only so fast we can swing the racquet reliably.
     
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  16. Rabbit

    Rabbit G.O.A.T.

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    yeah, I think Wilson stated that above a certain level, there were definitely diminishing returns with this frame. translation, they have such good technique that they won't benefit and probably would wind up changing frames every 3 games due to breakage.

    but for us mortals who love an open string pattern, it's definitely a boon!
     
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  17. dgoran

    dgoran Hall of Fame

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    As a matter of fact I cannot hit over the net this piece of crap has so much spin that ball suddenly dips in to the net every time :rolleyes:
     
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  18. Deuce Bag

    Deuce Bag New User

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    Thanks for the detailed response Jack. I have one on order so I will take your comments into consideration.

    Cheers, Ben
     
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  19. dman72

    dman72 Hall of Fame

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    Federer averages around 2500 rpm.....
     
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  20. syke

    syke Professional

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    if you are flat hitter... don't bother with this racquet.
    Everything (well almost...) will go long... There will no noticeable difference in spin.

    I hit everything with top spin, and this racquet is amazing... except for the string durability bit and ugly PJ.
     
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  21. slowfox

    slowfox Professional

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    How does the Steam serve?
     
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  22. yonexRx32

    yonexRx32 Rookie

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    You don't need to skip EVERY other cross, skip 3 or 4 crosses in the center. Use a stiff, 93-98 sq in racket. The Yamaha Secret 04 would be about ideal but there are other rackets with dense patterns and high RAs out there. Skipping crosses has been done for as long as tennis has been played.
     
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2013
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  23. tennisBIEST

    tennisBIEST Rookie

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    Here's my take on playing someone with a 99s....every baseline ball hit with depth has to be hit above shoulder height or above. It was frustrating to consistently have to chop up on the ball to return pace and depth. Especially when the 99'Ser is hitting that loopy forehand to my 2hbh!
     
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  24. yonexRx32

    yonexRx32 Rookie

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    Just use a deep low slice (no chopping, which leads to short balls that stay up, ready for picking) and see how your friend with the 99s handles it. My bet is that he won't do very well because he won't be able to get underneath the ball to impart spin and it will fly out.
     
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2013
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  25. v-verb

    v-verb Hall of Fame

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    Very tempting - i have a Secret 04 that is a total cannon - I might just try this!
     
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  26. Boricua

    Boricua Hall of Fame

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    Have you tried a durable string like Luxilon 4g, 15 or 16 gauge, for more string durability?
     
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  27. syke

    syke Professional

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    I am going have the 4G in my next re-string.
     
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  28. Boricua

    Boricua Hall of Fame

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    Tour Bite is also good according to Ross.
     
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  29. Sreeram

    Sreeram Professional

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    I played with JackB recently who is trying this racquet now. I found no increased spin in his shots. I found many of his flat shots going way wide and landing beyond baseline. Also his spin shots have higher trajectory but not much spin at all. But i found nice kick in his flat serve which surprised me, his first serve had way more spin than 2nd serve. Weird!!!

    I also had difficulties handling his slice as I could not determine the depth in the slice. I normally attack when someone slices to me but I found it diffuclt when sliced with stream.
     
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2013
    #29
  30. syke

    syke Professional

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    It's just crazy how much tension loss this racquet gets after the 2 hour mark...

    It plays beautiful freshly strung... but control and ball placement gets erratic with the spaghetti strings.

    I can't be stringing my racquets every week...
     
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  31. Ross K

    Ross K Legend

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    Yes, as I said on the other thread yesterday, loved the performance of TB over 4G. However, the tension did indeed drop a bit too fast for my liking.

    On another note, as someone referred to it previously, one area I'm increasingly finding this frame to be fantastic on is serve. Just such zipping pace and spin. Hitting down the middle is an effortless joy. And taking it out wide definitely working a treat for me ATM.

    Aside from serve, for me the main big pluses of this frame are how sweet and fast it is to swing (that sense that you can really go after the ball very quickly); topspin-heavy groundstrokes (but of course!); all court performance (admittedly I'm no Stefan Edberg, but all court performance seems pretty good to me); and the relative solidness.

    Stringing issues aside (and this a huge thorny area, no doubt about it), the other issue I've encountered relates to sometimes feeling the ball is sitting up too much for my opponent and I'm running about too much David Ferrer-style lol playing a retrieving game, being moved around too much when it's I who usually likes to try to dictate the points. I suppose this indicates I'm not quite putting the ball away well enough, or not with adequate penetration/flatness/directness or whatever. Re hitting long, I'd say I do this a bit, similar to my time with the APD actually, but it's not such a big factor for me. I still haven't quite dialed things in on the bh side. Lastly, though I said the frame is relatively solid (which it is), I do sometimes wish there was a bit more of an authoritative and fuller bodied feel to the frame. Maybe I should try leading up?
     
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  32. syke

    syke Professional

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    I concur... I have the exact same observations.
    Until I find the string setup. these will remain my "fun" racquets.
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2013
    #32
  33. TexasTennisbum

    TexasTennisbum New User

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    Rocket launcher...

    I am play-testing the TW demo with Poly, mostly out of curiosity.

    I hit plenty of balls long and I mean to the fence long, but that was in the beginning with poor technique and an inability to adjust to what I thought was headlight balance.

    I already have deep penetrating topspin forehands, maybe due to loopy swing. The stick did add about 10-15% more spin, but no height compared to my normal forehand, so the technology definitely works. For me the change wasn't big enough to justify switching though, I am going to stick with Prince Rebel 93 (previous generation) or go to a Head Prestige MP.
     
    #33
  34. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    But that sounds like the racquet is just really low powered? I mean it's hard to hit the ball long with most low powered lightweight racquets.
     
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