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. martini1

    martini1 Hall of Fame

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    It's a toy for me as it will probably not replace my main stick. However I won't call it useless. It is still fun to play with. People who does not have arm issues can certainly do full load ground strokes with it all day.
     
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2013
    #51
  2. g4driver

    g4driver Hall of Fame

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    Agreed with couch on his assessment. He's a 5.0 guy. I'm well below his level. This frame can be a weapon in the hands of a player who's style of play and skill utilize it. For guys use to 16x18 and 16x19 patterns, the switch is simply enough. Yep, I send some shots long due to a poor swing, but shot after shot dive a foot in, that appear to be going two feet long. But this frame can hit shots that are not available with my Wilson Pro Opens.

    My only issue with the frame is the stiffness, so I will be adding silicone to one of the handles as my attempt to use this frame 12-15 per week continues. Right now, my elbow doesn't like this frame for more than a few sets a day. Playing four to five sets a day with my Pro Opens three days straight is not a problem. Playing four sets a day with the Steam 99S and I feel the pain instantly.

    What would be the affect if Wilson made a more arm friendly (64-66 flex) version with a 16x16 pattern? ???

    http://www.tennis-warehouse.com/lc/selectingracquet/selectingracquet.html

    More flexible = more control so maybe a 64 Flex version of a 99S would help. Maybe this is simply the beginning for Wilson and other companies to start experimenting in various patterns (16x15 and maybe 16x16) with more arm friendly flex ranges and standard weight ranges (300, 310, and 315 gram frames). This seems exciting to me that the Steam 99S and 105S may simply be the launch of something much bigger than just two frames. The Steam 99S / 105 S could be the equivalent of the first generation poly strings.

    Kudos to Wilson!

    This was the first attempt by a company with 15 crosses to my knowledge. Yes, I know about Vortex, but Vortex uses 14 mains and 18 or 19 crosses. This is different, just like gut mains/poly crosses vs poly mains / gut crosses. The latter doesn't generate snap back like that first.

    http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=394623&page=26

    From Strings and Spin: Applying What We Know About Copoly" by Joshua Speckman

    Federer's setup actually bears some resemblance to spaghetti strings, as that invention also used natural gut in the mains and a synthetic in the crosses. Many players find the combination of extremely elastic gut mains with stiff, hard and slick copoly crosses to be as, or more, spin-friendly than a full bed of copoly, while also being more comfortable, powerful and giving better feel for the ball.

    In string-on-string friction tests, tennis equipment researcher Crawford Lindsey found that gut mains slide with less friction along copoly crosses than any other string or string combination. And he found that - unlike other strings, where notching ramps up friction and disables the snapback mechanism – inter-string friction actually gets lower as the notches get deeper.

    Why? Lindsey and Cross speculate that natural oils seep out of the gut at the notches and lubricate the string intersections. This suggests that a gut/poly hybrid might retain its spin-generating potential for longer than any other string or combination. Well, at least until the gut breaks.

    Surprisingly, the opposite configuration – poly mains/gut crosses – slides much less easily. Lindsey says the two materials are sticky in reverse perhaps because the surface of the gut crosses quickly abrades, pulling up microscopic fibers that get hung up on the copoly mains as they try to slide.

    The reason poly strings initially became popular with professional players was because of their inherent durability. Although modern copolymer strings are softer than "1st generation" polyester strings, they are still stiffer and harder than nylon or gut, and typically take longer to notch and break.
     
    #52
  3. Buford T Justice

    Buford T Justice Semi-Pro

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    Thats actually a good way to look at it.

    I would be one of those who probably plays with a poly too long.

    As soon as I note that the mains are out of place, I dont like the stringbed, but have tended to use it a few more times "just because". I know its not good for the arm and this 99S may be like an "accountability partner"......LOL. It wont let me use dead poly as it can never get that old!
     
    #53
  4. Buford T Justice

    Buford T Justice Semi-Pro

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    Thats another valid point.

    In the past, Ive usually strung my racquets a tad high, disliked them for the first hour or so of use (too harsh), so that they could "settle in" to the range I actually liked (and thus get maximum play time from the strings).
     
    #54
  5. Power Player

    Power Player G.O.A.T.

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    I can make the ball bend with 18x20 patterns so when I go real open, it is too much for me.

    I thought the 99s was the best tweener stick out there though. Nice feel, but not for me.
     
    #55
  6. maggmaster

    maggmaster Hall of Fame

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    If they made a flexier version I would buy one to try.
     
    #56
  7. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    the 99s is definitely a solid, well made racquet and it's not a "toy or a gimmick" by any means. Take away the open pattern and it's still a solid racquet. But whether or not the 16x15 pattern works for you is a a personal thing. Hard hitters WILL go through a lot of strings. People that already have enough topspin probably won't benefit from it either.
    For me, it was great, but I have moved away from the stiffer tweaner types of frames for now. The racquet definitely will benefit some people and hurt others. You just need to try it, but to make a defining black/white statement, like this poll calls for is pretty useless IMO. It's like asking " Is a 12 oz. racquet too heavy or too light"? No real answer.
     
    #57
  8. jjs891

    jjs891 Semi-Pro

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    Very well stated imo.
     
    #58
  9. jonestim

    jonestim Professional

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    I believe that (a softer 16x16) is what Prince is coming out with this summer. One of their junior players has been using a 16x16 "EXO3 Tour ESP" since last year. Their current EXO3 Tours are really soft.
     
    #59
  10. doctor dennis

    doctor dennis Rookie

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    To be honest when I had an O3 tour it ate strings for fun. In an even more open pattern I can see people needing to take out a bank loan to pay for all the restrings.
    I bet it will be nice though.
     
    #60
  11. maggmaster

    maggmaster Hall of Fame

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    If this is true I will probably be switching, I use the exo 3 tours right now.
     
    #61
  12. jonestim

    jonestim Professional

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    TW started shipping the demos today. Seems like with the speed people are breaking strings TW may need to restring the demos almost every time they go out the door. That may get spendy for them.
     
    #62
  13. Rabbit

    Rabbit G.O.A.T.

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    I was thinking the exact same thing. It's about time for a racquet smart enough to break those arm-breaking polys before they get evil on you. :)
     
    #63
  14. pshulam

    pshulam Hall of Fame

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    That's hilarious. Stringers really love the 99S because of increased business.
     
    #64
  15. tlm

    tlm Legend

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    That is more than hilarious, now i do agree that a lot of players use poly way to long but this is ridiculous. Like I said before the string companys are the ones that hit the home run with this racket.
     
    #65
  16. GoaLaSSo

    GoaLaSSo Semi-Pro

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    I am demoing it right now and it definitely puts out more spin or at least gives you a loopier trajectory.

    If you have a fast swing with a windshield wiper stroke then you should notice a difference. My friend and I that hit western noticed a bit more of a difference than another friend who hits semi western. We were also demoing the new aeropro and a few other racquets, but none of them could reproduce the same effect.

    The spin it adds is kind of odd. For me, the ball loses some pace, but goes over the net quite a bit higher and dives down more quickly than usual toward the end of the trajectory. It bounces up higher off the court, but it doesn't feel much heavier than my usual shots because it doesn't penetrate the court as much. I definitely played more consistently with it, especially on my aggressive shots. Even when I flattened out my shots the ball would still dive into the court before it went out.

    I was surprised at how much I enjoy volleying with it. I suspected I would dislike serves and volleying, but I am indifferent about serving and pretty pleased with the volleying capabilities.

    I currently play with the pb 10 mid for comparisons sake, but I demoed the steam alongside some other similar racquets like the new aeropro. I greatly preferred the steam to the aeropro in almost every aspect, but my friend thought the opposite. I guess it just comes down to preference, like most racquets.
     
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2013
    #66
  17. CrispyFritters

    CrispyFritters Rookie

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    Couch, I'm really curious about why you think the gut/poly hybrid is not as well suited for higher level players? Can you explain?
     
    #67
  18. jcollura4

    jcollura4 Rookie

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    In my view, it's a stick for players that cannot generate their own spin. Spin is 20%equipment 80% technique
     
    #68
  19. quest01

    quest01 Hall of Fame

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    I used the 99s for a few months before deciding to go back to my roots and switch to the aeropro drive which is the line I've been using for years. The problem with the 99s is that strings would break so fast and I was practically forced to use only a 15g string that provided no power. I just got tired of using only 15g strings, felt as though I wasn't able to experiment with anything else due to lack of durability.
     
    #69

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