Steam 99S...Boom or Bust?

Discussion in 'Racquets' started by Lilguy1456, Jan 26, 2013.

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Steam 99S...Boom or Bust?

  1. Game changing spin monster

    47.2%
  2. Useless toy that loses tension instantly

    52.8%
  1. Lilguy1456

    Lilguy1456 Semi-Pro

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    In the short time this stick has been out, I cannot BELIEVE the differences in opinions. Some are saying it's a game changing spin monster, and others are saying it's a toy that loses tension instantly. So...which is it?!
     
  2. tlm

    tlm Legend

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    Useless toy that loses tension instantly is the perfect description. I get nearly the same spin out of my prince rebel with 10 times the amount of control.
     
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2013
  3. Buford T Justice

    Buford T Justice Semi-Pro

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    Can it be both?!?!?!

    It definitely hits balls in a manner that I could not hit before but it definitely also destroys strings in a shockingly fast manner.
     
  4. TroutSc

    TroutSc Semi-Pro

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    I didn't demo due to the stiffness, my friend bought one and I hit with it a few minutes the other night. Things that would normally go long for me still went long. A good hit though felt really good, but I didn't feel all of the sudden "better". He says he's getting better with it the more he uses it but is taking a beating at touch/volly/net but groundstrokes and serve seem better for him. I think my wife's gonna give it demo from all the buzz. Curious to see the next iterations and frame choices.
     
  5. pshulam

    pshulam Hall of Fame

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    Possibly. The open pattern is not really that revolutionary as Vortex, a much smaller company, has already introduced this technology for a few years already. The uniqueness of Wilson's open pattern (16 x 15) is that the number of crosses is less than that of the mains.
     
  6. Centerforward71

    Centerforward71 Rookie

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    Neither but much closer to overhyped. More toy than weapon for higher level players.
     
  7. Lilguy1456

    Lilguy1456 Semi-Pro

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    I wonder though...

    Would pros be more apt to use it than rec players for the simple fact that they can have many racquets with fresh strings at their disposal? For us, it's super annoying to restring constantly. Pros don't have that concern though...
     
  8. Buford T Justice

    Buford T Justice Semi-Pro

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    I am no tennis equipment historian....but this string pattern looks to be movements towards this (now banned) idea of yesteryear?

    http://www.physics.usyd.edu.au/~cross/SPAGHETTI STRUNG RACQUETS.htm
     
  9. Buford T Justice

    Buford T Justice Semi-Pro

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    I was wondering the same thing.....
     
  10. tlm

    tlm Legend

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    I had a vortex and this is nothing but a wilson vortex, the 1 less x's means nothing it is not unique in any way. That is just a way to say it is different than the vortex.
    The difference is it is mainstream and highly advertised by Wilson something vortex could not due. It is the open pattern that makes it play the way it does.
     
  11. Buford T Justice

    Buford T Justice Semi-Pro

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    As with most things in life......follow the money!!!!!

    :(
     
  12. pshulam

    pshulam Hall of Fame

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  13. pshulam

    pshulam Hall of Fame

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    Most likely that other manufacturers will jump on the bandwagon .. more open pattern racquets.
     
  14. Lilguy1456

    Lilguy1456 Semi-Pro

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    Even split in the poll so far, as expected. Odd how there can be two ends of the spectrum so adamently expressed already. I need this Northeast weather to get reasonable so I can experiment more.
     
  15. couch

    couch Hall of Fame

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    When this racquet is set up with the proper strings in the proper hands it is definitely a spin monster. The Steam 99S can give a player the added confidence to swing out on a shot and know its going to dip and stay in.

    The problem(s) with this racquet are:

    People put the wrong types of string in them

    They aren't good enough to use the spin and control of spin to their advantage- aka "rocket launchers".

    People put too thin a gauge in the racquet- lack of durability

    People expect the racquet to just work wonders for their game. No racquet is going to work wonders. A racquet can compliment a player but, as always, it's the ability of the player that makes the racquet.

    The better you are a thicker, more durable poly is a must. It's the only way to get the benefits out of this racquet.

    A good player may be able to get away with a gut/poly hybrid

    A lower level player can probably get away with a softer, thinner poly or gut/poly hybrid.

    I'm a 5.0 baseline player who uses topspin to hit the ball with pace. This racquet has allowed me to hit more consistently deep because of the spin. I have no trouble with loss of control, launching rockets, etc. if this stick is used correctly it does exactly what it's supposed to do. It increases your spin and in turn increases the depth and length of the court.

    As mentioned string choice is vital in this racquet. I would suggest the following:

    5.0- lux 4G in 16g or 15g
    4.5- lux 4G in 16g
    4.0- lux 4G in 16L, or any 16g poly that holds tension well. Gut/poly hybrid
    3.0-3.5- softer poly that holds tension well. Gut/poly hybrid

    I string mine at 58lbs with 4G 16g and it lasts me anywhere from 4-6 hours depending on whether it's a hitting session, doubles, or singles. 15g will probably last 6-8 hours when I try it. The strings do start to lose the snap back ability at the end but I don't feel like there is a huge tension drop with 4G that would magnify this that much. I truly believe 4G is a must for this racquet. To me it seems to be one of the most durable polys and holds its tension extremely well. Everything you need in this stick.
     
  16. Lilguy1456

    Lilguy1456 Semi-Pro

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    Excellent post. I string all my sticks up with Cyclone 17 @52, so that's what I did with my 99S. I haven't hit with it yet (again, weather). Do you think that setup will work? As for restringing after 4 - 6 hours, that's just simply not an option for me. Frankly, I wonder if anyone who actually does that holds a job, has a wife/kids, or anything else to do other than restring their sticks. Seems obsurd to me.

    Anyway, I'll post after I hit with an update...
     
  17. Buford T Justice

    Buford T Justice Semi-Pro

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    I agree with you there. The only reason I don't mind all this stringing chicanery is because I have a young chap (if 26 counts as young) who lives down the street from me to whom I drop off my racquets to for stringing and he does them for 10 bucks if I provide the string.

    Otherwise, I'm with you...there's no way in h$&@ I'd spend time stringing racquets after every few times of use.
     
  18. Buford T Justice

    Buford T Justice Semi-Pro

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    I agree...great assessment. I also liked the 4g 16 but I am too cheap to spend that much for the strings! Even at reel price......it's pretty heady per racquet.
     
  19. couch

    couch Hall of Fame

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    It just depends on your ability. If you're a decent 4.0 I don't think the 17g will last real long for you. Maybe 25% less than what you're getting now. What kind of stick do you currently have? I would definitely look at using a thicker gauge string. Cyclone 16g at about 54-55lbs may be a good option. You can string it tighter because of the open string pattern. I normally use 17g poly at 55lbs and I'm string 4G 16g at 58lbs in my Steams and its working well.

    If you know what the racquet is designed to do then you should be able to match a good string based on the racquets attributes and your abilities.
     
  20. Lilguy1456

    Lilguy1456 Semi-Pro

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    I think some of the guys on these forums use the time their strings last as some kind of d!ck measuring contest...e.g. "this string only lasted me 2 hours!"..."i hit with so much pace, I broke these after 27 minute" etc...

    lol
     
  21. Buford T Justice

    Buford T Justice Semi-Pro

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    Ha...yes...you might be right. Im new here so not sure of the overall vibe, but i take this place to be a recreational tennis forum for the most part.

    I'm glad I'm just a hacker! I like tennis as its good exercise (beats running around the block), is sociable, I've made some good friends through this medium, etc.
     
  22. Lilguy1456

    Lilguy1456 Semi-Pro

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    I stick with my polys probably a bit longer than I should...That said, i've never broken a poly string...only guts and multis (guess i'm not such a huge hitter). So i'll see how it lasts
     
  23. couch

    couch Hall of Fame

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    Yeah, I hear you. We need to find a good, cheaper, alternative to 4G. The BC 15L broke on me tonight after about 2 hours of hitting. There needs to be a 15/15L poly that is durable out there that would be a nice cheaper alternative.

    I wonder if string companies will start coming out with thicker polys for sticks like this. Sounds like Prince is coming out with a similar racquet and I bet others will follow. These racquets will not be successful if you can't find a string cheap enough or durable enough to make it worth your time and money.
     
  24. Buford T Justice

    Buford T Justice Semi-Pro

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    Possible current option may be Golden Set Power Cord? On their site they claim " similar to Luxilon 4g" and it's $77.22 a reel.

    I also think there will be a bunch of 15 (maybe 14?) gauge strings coming out soon......
     
  25. nickarnold2000

    nickarnold2000 Hall of Fame

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    Absolutely the other string companies will be coming out with their longer lasting 15 gauge poly versions(and cheaper!) - it's money to them but it takes a little time. For those of you who don't like to use such big head sizes, Wilson(and hopefully other racket companies) will be offering the open pattern in smaller head versions and heavier frames.
     
  26. MesQueUnClub

    MesQueUnClub Rookie

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    Has anyone tried full bed of kevlar strings on these strings. I am wondering how a 18 g kevalar string at 45 - 50 lbs range would feel on this racquet ?
     
  27. ttwarrior1

    ttwarrior1 Professional

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    How is this racket for a drop shot artist and slice returner?
    And for someone that normally plays the same no matter what racket he uses?
     
  28. Centerforward71

    Centerforward71 Rookie

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    Dude you just answered your own question. Player who Plays the same no matter what racquet he uses. Your the type of player who probably strings his racquet once a year so the issues here are null and void. With that said why would you spend that kind of money on a stick like this ?
     
  29. neil1b

    neil1b Rookie

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    I think it will be a game changer in the mind of the masses......which is hat Wilson wanted. I used it for a while and I can hit more spin with my reg stick. I think the racquet hits horrible and have tried many different string combos and tensions.
     
  30. Lilguy1456

    Lilguy1456 Semi-Pro

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    What's wrong with you man? The guy asked a legit question, and you start hating on him and assuming what 'type of player he is.' THEN, you question why he's spend the money on the racquet...

    So again, what the hell is your problem. #1 You don't know what kind of player he is, or how often he restrings. #2 You DEFINITELY don't know how much MONEY this guy has, as he may be independently wealthy, or at the very least, have more money than YOU do. So, I think you need to cool it bro.
     
  31. couch

    couch Hall of Fame

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    It's so funny that people who use a dense string pattern say this racquet hits horribly. I have typically used a 16x18 pattern and that's what my game has been grooved on. For me the Steam 99S is an easy and natural fit. My business partner hits a blade and he simply said he was leaving balls short in the court because it doesn't suit his style of play. That doesn't mean it's a horrible racquet. Different strokes for different folks.

    This racquet, in the right player's hands, can be a real weapon. It hits an extremely heavy ball and explodes off the court. This racquet will play well for a 3.0-5.0 if you ask me, but for different reasons.

    A 3.0 - 4.0 will generate more spin, have nice power, more control and less UE if used correctly. A 5.0 who is used to a Pure Drive type racquet can make this racquet do whatever they want but with more spin and action on the ball.

    That's my take on this racquet.
     
  32. v-verb

    v-verb Hall of Fame

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    Interesting proposition! Kevlar lasts forever (sorta), 18 ga will lessen the stiffness.

    If I do get a 99s one day, I'll try this out.

    Anyone try this combo yet?
     
  33. racertempo

    racertempo Semi-Pro

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    Probably the reason he posted a reply like that was because that same person started a thread stating that he has demoed 100 frames and they ARE ALL THE SAME. So this guy is looking for bites posting like he did in this thread. Based on what he has already stated it does not matter how the 99s plays, this guy will say it is no different.
     
  34. tlm

    tlm Legend

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    I tried 18 gauge kevlar with a poly cross and it helped the control some but still not enough for me, after that experiment I knew I was done with this racket.
     
  35. Lilguy1456

    Lilguy1456 Semi-Pro

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    I read that thread, and it seems that he said he sees no difference in his game from frame to frame...but that reply saying he's a hacker who shouldn't bother spending his money was a bit much...
     
  36. quest01

    quest01 Hall of Fame

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    I used the steam 99s strung with luxilon alu power for the first time yesterday and it felt great. In comparison to the babolat apdgt which is the racquet I usually use, I was generating considerably more spin with the 99s. I didnt notice a drastic difference power wise. Ive never broke a full poly job in a racquet so hopefully the 99s won't be my first.
     
  37. v-verb

    v-verb Hall of Fame

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    Thanks Tim! I appreciate the feedback
     
  38. nkbond

    nkbond Rookie

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    I don't believe you are familiar w/ ttwarrior1...
     
  39. Ross K

    Ross K Legend

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    ^ Mine too. :)
     
  40. Nostradamus

    Nostradamus G.O.A.T.

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    it is NO good. spin is not noticeable to already nadal like player like me. and swingweight is too high. It only helps intermediate players that struggle making topspin.
     
  41. bad_call

    bad_call Legend

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    glad to read that you toned it down a bit otherwise i'd be flaming on you. :)
     
  42. Nostradamus

    Nostradamus G.O.A.T.

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    Can Wilson make a lighter version of 99S called 99S Lite ?
     
  43. Rabbit

    Rabbit G.O.A.T.

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    I've got two ordered and a 5.0 friend of mine has some. I just ordered all 3 gauges of 4G to try. I agree, if this takes off, you're going to see thicker, softer polys to go in this.

    And a great one it is. I much prefer open patterns. I think this frame will be good with any string, poly, hybrid, or synthetic for the kind of player you and I are. And, the 99S plays a lot softer than a Pure Drive IMO.

    No, this is patently untrue. I'm a 4.5 and saw lots more spin, different trajectories, and "bending" balls. The racquet serves like a demon and when set up to my likes, should be a ton of fun to play with.

    But if it's "NO good" why would you want a lighter one?
     
  44. doctor dennis

    doctor dennis Rookie

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    I also came from an APD GT. The extra spin is definitely noticeable and a welcome arsenal to my already topspin orientated game.
    For me its a winner but for others it won't do anything to there game. Luckily there's a racket out there for everyone.
     
  45. Nostradamus

    Nostradamus G.O.A.T.

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    Well, if it is lighter and have lower Swingweight then I can customize it so I can like it.
     
  46. tennisnut09

    tennisnut09 Rookie

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    I've said this before. This is the smartest way to get people spending more money on strings. The racket may be great if you have fresh string on it. The string life would be cut in half when you have it on this racket.
     
  47. Centerforward71

    Centerforward71 Rookie

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    Than you racer. at least Someone is reading and comprehending not just jumping to conclusions. I could care less in he's a beginner or an ATP player if all racquets the same then buy the cheapest, right ??

    This is the same as the guy giving string type and tension advise and stating that he's looking for a string to last at least 8-12 months. I make this statement because its important to weed out the information that's not useful if we are to keep this forum somewhat useful and legit.
     
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2013
  48. quest01

    quest01 Hall of Fame

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    Personally I think it's great for my game. I used the 99S today for the second time and the spin is just incredible; I'm hitting Nadal like spin from all areas of the court including my serve and my forehand cross court is like Chinese water torture. The angle I can create going cross court with my forehand is devastating.

    The only downside is tension loss. I strung the 99S with a full bed of Luxilon ALU power at 59/60 and using the racquet for the 2nd time, the strings were moving all over the place where I had to constantly reposition my strings.
     
  49. couch

    couch Hall of Fame

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    The thing about poly is most people keep it in their racquets way too long and then they wonder why they aren't getting any power, balls are flying, and their elbows and shoulders are killing them. At least with the Steam 99S the strings will break and you will avoid a trip to the doctor. :)

    I look at it this way. I would play 2-3 times with poly or a poly hybrid and after that the strings would go dead and I would cut them out and restring. Now the strings break at about the same time my previous string jobs would go dead. Seems like a reasonable trade off to me for the additional spin.

    The one potential downside is that for hard hitters 4G seems to be the best string for this racquet based on tension maintenance and durability. One thing people might have an issue with is the cost of 4G when in standard racquets there are cheaper alternatives. As I said, hopefully there will be some companies coming out with string that will rival 4G at a more reasonable cost. But then again, people spend money on Alu power when there are better/cheaper alternatives out there.

    Anyway, just one mans thoughts.
     
  50. Centerforward71

    Centerforward71 Rookie

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    Agreed but that's not the issue here. The issue is that even within the normal 4-6 hours of play that I expect from a poly during that whole time the tension never seems to settle. That meaning I can only get about 1-2 hours of in the range play because I have to either string above and let drop or string at and play for not long. It's the changing throughout that's not working for me but may work for others.
     

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