Jason: Steam"s stiffness

Discussion in 'TW Questions/Comments' started by Boricua, Jan 22, 2013.

  1. Boricua

    Boricua Hall of Fame

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    HI! Heard you switched to the Wilson Steam 99s. How are you dealing with the stiffness? Are you using a soft poly like TCS to soften the stringbed? And, how does the spin generated by the Steam compare with the one that the new Aeroprodrive helps generate?
     
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  2. TW Staff

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    Where'd you hear that from? TMZ?! But yes, the rumors are true, I have made the official switch to the Steam 99S. The crazy spin I could put on the ball was just too tempting.

    With regards to the stiffness, I haven't really notice any arm pains. I think it might be due to the fact that I do use softer polys like a TCS and also that I don't string it up too tight. Even with the 16x15 pattern, I usually keep it around 55-58 lb range.

    Spin with the 99S isn't comparable to any regular string patterned racquet, not even with the Aero Pro Drive, in my opinion. I love that racquet, but it doesn't put the crazy, last-second-drop-in-right-at-the-baseline spin that the 99S does.

    I'm going to be experimenting with some customization very soon. I want to lower the swingweight just a tad, to the mid to low 320s. We'll see how that goes. But I'm very excited to start customizing the 99S!

    Jason, TW
     
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  3. Veninga

    Veninga Rookie

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    Jason, how are you going to lower the swingweight? Really interested. Thanks.
     
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  4. TW Staff

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    Ha, sorry. Can't really do that. Meant to say, I'm going to change to balance and make it more head light.

    Jason, TW
     
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  5. Federerkblade

    Federerkblade Professional

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    Lol jason.....
     
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  6. ollinger

    ollinger Legend

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    Can't lower swingweight??? Have done it a number of times with my Dremel tool, grinding tiny grooves in the headguard.
     
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  7. KoolTennisKid

    KoolTennisKid New User

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    Just a quick question about string tension, I usually play at around 62-64 lbs so if I ever do decide to get this frame, will I have to go up because of the very open string pattern?
     
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  8. Veninga

    Veninga Rookie

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    Some grooves will lower the weight of the racket only 2 grams or something? So Swingweight will decrease with 4 to 5 points?

    Or remove a bit of the lower sides of the headguard? Then it would be possible to remove more, but the racket could get unstable..

    Jason, tell us?
     
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  9. TW Staff

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    The only real way to lower swingweight would be to remove the head guard and/or grommets. That will reduce swingweight by a significant amount, but then you're playing without a bumper guard.

    Jason, TW
     
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  10. Federerkblade

    Federerkblade Professional

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    Jason have you tried 4gs 1.42 or has anyone on the team
    If so what tension and how was it
     
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  11. TW Staff

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    Yes, tried the 4G in regular gauges and the thicker 1.42 gauge. Loved them all! With 4GS, I could string up the Steam 99S at a lower tension (which is good for making it easier on the arm). Usually around 56-57 lbs.

    Jason, TW
     
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  12. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    Hey J,
    There is A LOT of complaining going on in the racquet forums about the Steam S and poly's. People are saying whatever poly's they put in there lose tension really quickly and then the racquet becomes unplayable until you restring. What have you foound and do you agree/disagree with these accusations? I know people exagerrate a lot and I am hoping this is the case, since I just purchased 2 of these from TW :) Also, what is your favorite setup so far in the 99S?
     
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  13. TW Staff

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    Tension loss does seem to be greater in these racquets than in typical string patterned racquets. Is it as extreme as people say it is? I don't think so. Poly's are polys. They'll lose tension at a higher rate anyways. Right now, I have Luxilon 4GS in mine, and it's holding tension pretty well. But 4G holds tension better than most polyester strings to begin with.

    I will be putting in Weiss Cannon Black 5 Edge in my other Steam 99S today and we'll see how it plays and holds tension.

    As for my favorite string setup, it's 4GS. I love my Polyfibre TCS but the tension lost is magnified in these racquets. I don't think anything but a full bed of polyester would work well in these racquets.

    Jason, TW
     
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  14. hisrob777

    hisrob777 Rookie

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    I'm interested in what customization set up you settle on. Keep us posted!
     
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  15. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    Thanks J. Let us know how the B5E works out. I am thinking that the 4Gs is probably the best choice for the 99s. Glad to hear the 99s is working out well for you. Could u ask Spence how things are going for him with the S and what's his best string setups? I just ordered 2 99s's and can't wait to see how they work out for me in competitive league play. My 1 week with my demo went very well.
     
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  16. Veninga

    Veninga Rookie

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    Stiffness Wilson Steam 99 (s) vs Babolat Aero Pro Drive 13

    Jason, how do they compare?

    I had played the former Drive for a while and loved it. The power, the spin and also the feel. But then, my shoulder got sore. Probably as a result of the period I played with a poly in reserve APDC (which is from nature more vibrating imo).

    How do the Steam and new APD compare in terms of stiffness and feel? And is the new APD really more arm friendly? Or should I find my power/spin/feel somewhere else, for example TFlash 300 or new F5.0 Tour?

    Thanks..
     
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  17. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    thanks!.................
     
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  18. Stroke

    Stroke Rookie

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    I have tail weighted my 99s, adding about 1 oz. Chris did a blog on tail weighting customization several months ago and he really praised the benefits. I think the 99s is a prime candidate for tail weighting.
     
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  19. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    The 99s is a light racquet (11.3 oz) that needs some weight in the head.
    Make it too headlight and you take away that punch. Balance is a very personal and tricky thing. You can't just say "all racquets will play better with weight in the handle". Otherwise racquet mfg's would make all their racquets very headlight if that produced better results.
     
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  20. corners

    corners Legend

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    Jack, the 99S has 335 swingweight. Swingweight is a measure of how much mass is distributed to the head of the racquet. The 99S has more mass in the head than 90% of racquets on the market today. Adding mass to the handle of such a racquet does not reduce "punch"; the mass in the head is still there after adding mass to the handle. Regarding balance being a tricky thing, I agree, but with Wilson's trap door it's very easy to stash 10 grams or so in the buttcap and then remove it if it's not to one's taste.
     
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  21. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    I thought TW had the swingweight at 330? Anyway, I was referring to the static weight as "light". But you'r right, if you want it to feel more headlite than add some weight to the handle. I tried tailweighting some racquets that felt too headheavy to me and adding 5 or 10 g's to the handle just made the overall swingweight feel higher to me. Personal preference I guess.
     
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  22. TW Staff

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    Unfortunately for those who do have arm problems, both racquets are pretty stiff. I notice the stiffness less on the Steam 99S because the sweet spot is go big, it makes hitting a little more comfortable. The new AeroPro Drive does seem to absorb vibrations better than previous models. However, I haven't hit with it long it to be able to give a definite answer.

    If you have arm problems have you thought about trying some Volkl racquets? They are pretty arm friendly.

    Jason, TW
     
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  23. Veninga

    Veninga Rookie

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    Thanks. I have looked at the Organix 8. Did you play this one? And how is it vs APD and Steam? Same amount of power and spin? Probably yes, but what about control? APDGT gave me all the control needed, but the string pattern is not that big. I guess the X8 is much more open (16*18)? Thanks.
     
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  24. TW Staff

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    I have hit with the Organix 8, I like it! It's much more maneuverable than both the Steam 99S and the APD. I also suggest looking at the Volkl Organix V1 Midplus. I used that racquet for a few months after adding some lead tape to it.

    When it comes to spin, the Steam 99S has no equal. Not even the APD can match it, and I love the APD! I'd give a slight edge to the APD for control and power though. But very slight.

    Definitely give these racquets a demo if you can. That's really the only way to tell the difference.

    Jason, TW
     
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  25. Veninga

    Veninga Rookie

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    Thanks, I will.

    One last question. X8 has a 16x18 pattern but on this forum the stringbed has been stated as pretty tight for a 16x18. Even less open than PDGT/APD13. Is that correct, and is spin therefore less easy/more control?

    (I play a very mixed game (spin, slice, short, deep etc) and have a naturally swing with lots of spin, if the stringbed is too open, spin is amazing, but I loose some control. So I want my racket powerfull but with a not-to-open-stringbed)
     
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  26. TW Staff

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    I tend to agree with those statements. It certainly doesn't have a feel anywhere like the feel of the Steam 99S.

    Worth a demo for sure.

    Jason, TW
     
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  27. Veninga

    Veninga Rookie

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    thanks jason, if i can, i will.
     
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  28. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    Could you elaborate on what you menat by that?
     
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  29. TW Staff

    TW Staff Administrator

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    Sure! The amount of ball pocketing and movement in the strings of the Steam 99S is what makes it such an unique feel. And then you factor in the different launch angle of the 99S; how it leaves at a higher trajectory, and you got a racquet that not only performs differently from other traditional frames, but feels different as well.

    Jason, TW
     
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  30. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    Thanks J. Are u still sticking with it? If so we are "steamates" :)
    I am playing as good as I can with my new S. I can honestly say I have
    hit a few shots with it that I never have before in my life! For example,
    I was pulled out wide and deep on my forehand and a hit another hit loopy
    DTL winner to the far, right corner. It went way over the head of the net guy
    and arched down into the corner just inside the lines. One for the highlite reel!
     
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  31. TW Staff

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    We are most definitely steamates! As is Spencer, who switched along with me. There is no doubt I've hit some shots that would 99% of the time go long, but with the Steam 99S, they've dipped in at the last second to clip the line. I'm still playing with it in stock form for now, but can't wait to do some customizing.

    Jason, TW
     
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  32. PrinceMoron

    PrinceMoron Hall of Fame

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    How large are the grips? I usually use Wilsons as my point of comparison so Babolats come up a bit large in comparison. Was not sure if the amplifeel altered the shape/size slightly.

    I was thinking of buying one or two grips too small and shrink wrapping to add tail weight. Sure you can add lead, silicone etc, but I find I can trim down a shrink wrap after fitting to get a perfect balance.
     
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  33. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    The new Wilson's are about 1/2 grip size larger than normal (I measured) and now about the same size as Babalot's. Gor example, this is what I would use:

    Prince, Head: 4 1/2
    Babalot, Wilson: 4 3/8
     
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  34. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    What customizing do u think is needed? I think stock is perfect. Mine both weigh 330 grams with overgrips and are 3-4 pts HL. I would like it a little more HL, but would have to add more weight to the handle, which I don't really want to do.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 11, 2013
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  35. PrinceMoron

    PrinceMoron Hall of Fame

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    Thanks, that is what I suspected.
     
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  36. MarinaHighTennis

    MarinaHighTennis Professional

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    Hey Jason what do you think about stringing the wilson 99s with Solinco outlast 16s? The outlasts are known for holding tension very well as well as durability. How long do you think it'll last on a 16x15 string pattern?
     
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  37. TW Staff

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    Not much. I will be adding some lead tape to the handle to make it more head light. But other than that, I like it as is.


    Jason, TW
     
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  38. TW Staff

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    I haven't tried the outlast in quite some time, but I think it would be a great fit. Little bit stiffer and it holds tension well. Even stiffer strings feel softer in the 16x15 string pattern. As far as how long it lasts, it really depends. Too many factors like how hard you hit the ball, how many hours you play, the tension you use. Tough thing with using polys, especially in the Steam 99S or 105S, is that they lose tension quickly. If it were up to me, I'd probably cut it out in about 3 weeks, 4 weeks max.

    Jason, TW
     
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  39. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    Hey I noticed a little throbbing in my elbow last night after hitting. Do you get any "residual" pain from the 99s? I know you have a more sensitive elbow than I do and I was wondering how this frame's stiffness isn't bothering you? This is the first frame I have used full poly with and I think that's the reason. I normally use a 17g copoly/Nvy hybrid, but am using full 16g 4g with my 99s. Are u using full poly?

    Also...can you recommend a lower powered, soft copoly for the 99s?
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2013
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  40. TW Staff

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    I do use a full bed of poly. I try to use the softer co-polys and string it up a tad lower than I would ideally like. Like you, at times I do feel something in my elbows after a hit. I wouldn't necessarily call it "pain", more like tenderness or an ache. Nothing too bad so far. Good luck to you though!

    Jason, TW
     
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  41. Boricua

    Boricua Hall of Fame

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    Hi Jason! How would you compare the Head IG Extreme Pro 2.0 and the Volkl Organix 8 (300) with the 99s in terms of comfort, spin, power, stability, manuevarability, and in any other aspect that could be relevant?
    Also, how would you rate the cosmetic aspect of the 99s? Is the paint job nicer looking in person if compared to what one may see in the TW site?

    Thanks.
     
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2013
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  42. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    J have u tried anything other than 4g in th 99s? how about Spence? What's he using?
     
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  43. TW Staff

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    I really like the Head Extreme 2.0 Pro racquet and think it's a great comparison to the Steam 99S. Very similar in feel and almost every other aspect, well, except for spin. Like I mentioned before, the access to spin with the Steam 99S has no equal.

    As for the Oragnix 8, it's been a while since I've hit that racquet so I'll have to take it back out. I don't want to give you an answer based on a foggy memory.

    I don't mind the paintjob of the Steam 99S. I think it looks a lot better than the previous Steam models. With the added black color in the painjob, it looks less "circus clown" like. IMO.

    Jason, TW
     
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  44. TW Staff

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    I have. I've used the Weiss Cannon Black 5 Edge string in it and really liked it. Good ball pocketing but plays a bit firmer than 4G. Can't wait to try TCS in here. Whenever there's a reel of TCS in the office, it goes in a week!

    Spencer strung up his two Steam's with 4G. Not sure what else he's trying.

    Jason, TW
     
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  45. Boricua

    Boricua Hall of Fame

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    But, I suppose the Volkl is better comfort wise?
     
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  46. TW Staff

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    You'd be correct.
     
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