TW Reviews: Wilson Steam 99S, 105S, 99 and 96

Discussion in 'Racquets' started by TW Staff, Jan 4, 2013.

  1. TW Staff

    TW Staff Administrator

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    #1
  2. gplracer

    gplracer Professional

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    nice reviews thanks!
     
    #2
  3. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Is Siobhan's accent UK or Australian?
     
    #3
  4. souledge

    souledge Semi-Pro

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    Sounds like oz.
     
    #4
  5. Bartelby

    Bartelby G.O.A.T.

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    new zealand accent
     
    #5
  6. 000KFACTOR90000

    000KFACTOR90000 Professional

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    New Zealand
     
    #6
  7. usta2050

    usta2050 Rookie

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    +1.

    Didn't see you guys hit topspin lobs though? I think I can hit that all day long with the kind of spins you guys mentioned.
     
    #7
  8. db10s

    db10s Hall of Fame

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    A 98 on topspin!? Yeah. Ok then. I'm tempted to string up some extremely open pattern on a frame that has good feel, and see what happens. 50 years in the future we'll have 1 x 1 string patterns and a flex of >100.
     
    #8
  9. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    How is it different from Oz accent?
     
    #9
  10. aimr75

    aimr75 Hall of Fame

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    Like any difference in english accent, the words are pronounced differently. Chips/chups, six/sux
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2013
    #10
  11. aimr75

    aimr75 Hall of Fame

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    Drinking games with the 99s review every time they use the word spin ;)
     
    #11
  12. hooksem

    hooksem New User

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    I see that the Luxilon 4G strings are recommended for the 99s. I'm curious to know which strings were used throughout the play tests, at what tensions, etc. Also, what was preferred by each tester (string and tension)? Thanks!
     
    #12
  13. Ess

    Ess Guest

    So, nothing in addition to the open string pattern that allows for this crazy spin? Will we no longer see 18X20 patterns for sale in the near future if this is the next big thing?
     
    #13
  14. Bartelby

    Bartelby G.O.A.T.

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    It may be another niche product with its own loyal audience, but I think that's about it.
     
    #14
  15. db10s

    db10s Hall of Fame

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    Probably that, at a mid tension.
     
    #15
  16. carlosoki

    carlosoki Rookie

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    98 in topspin the 99s and only 88 in topspin the 105s which has the same 15x16 but in bigger head???????

    I thought the 105s will generate best spin.
     
    #16
  17. Tennisguy3000

    Tennisguy3000 Semi-Pro

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    Anybody tried low tension on this frame. Worried about the stiffness & hoping some low tension 4G could soften it up.
     
    #17
  18. fibonacci888

    fibonacci888 Rookie

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    Anybody know when the pre-sale in Europe starts?
     
    #18
  19. pshulam

    pshulam Hall of Fame

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    Since the S99 receives such a rave review saying that it's a game changer and spin monster, would any of the play testers actually switch to this racquet? I definitely would give it a try.
     
    #19
  20. sundaypunch

    sundaypunch Hall of Fame

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    I think the 99s is likely to be one of the best selling racquets of 2013.
     
    #20
  21. v-verb

    v-verb Hall of Fame

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    I think you may be right. If I can hold on, they will probably flood the used market. I expect the string pattern in other frames - or new frames. The Steam 99s is the beginning
     
    #21
  22. sandiegoman

    sandiegoman Rookie

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    Is anyone pre-ordering this racquet?
     
    #22
  23. coolblue123

    coolblue123 Hall of Fame

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    I think I am going to demo as well. this racquet fits a certain type of hitting style. just would hate to make my game fit the stick instead of the other way around.


    but J was hitting some insane topspin shots. nice job!
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2013
    #23
  24. klementine

    klementine Hall of Fame

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    I wanna serve with this bad-boy. Nice reviews T-dub.
     
    #24
  25. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Didn't know that. Very interesting.
     
    #25
  26. racertempo

    racertempo Semi-Pro

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    Pre-ordered a 99s and a 105s after a long demo session with each.
     
    #26
  27. Bartelby

    Bartelby G.O.A.T.

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    That may be true for this year because of the novelty effect, but I still can't see it spreading although these two models may survive for many years.



     
    #27
  28. pshulam

    pshulam Hall of Fame

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    It is very plausible that others will hop on the bandwagon.
     
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  29. Mongolmike

    Mongolmike Professional

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    Pre-ordered a 105s after two decent (2 hour) demos which went really well for my game. (I like the lighter weight.)

    I string my own and am confident that I can find the right string at the right tension to dial it in for my game (the concern about too much power and launching shots).

    Ordered it unstrung and then ordered some Lux 4G in 16g, and a variety of other strings I am interested in experimenting with in this racquet.

    Will probably also get a 2nd stick through my club when they come in... since that is where I demo'd... gotta give them some repay for that, and since I usually get 2 identical sticks of what ever I'm using... 1 from TW, 1 from the club.
     
    #29
  30. Dgdavid

    Dgdavid Professional

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    I've got a blacked out 99S in the UK strung with Sonic Pro mains and Addiction crosses. Played doubles with it and it was a promising session. Got an indoor singles match with it this evening. Shame I can't keep the blacked out version, they all have to be accounted for...
     
    #30
  31. pshulam

    pshulam Hall of Fame

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    I wonder if TW simply returns the demos to Wilson? If so, what will Wilson do with the returns?
     
    #31
  32. Mongolmike

    Mongolmike Professional

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    I would doubt they return them. Why would Wilson even want them? I would guess (curious to know) that TW has a certain number of sticks they have exclusively for demo, and after a while they sell them as used sticks? If they did return them, there might be a close inspection, then they are probably offered to employees or destroyed.
     
    #32
  33. Nostradamus

    Nostradamus G.O.A.T.

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    GREAT reviews. but the high Swingweight does worry me some. With such high SW, there isn't much room for customization unless your name is Pete Sampras.

    I might just go with Babolat 2013 aeropro drive. but I am not 100% on that yet either. I played a live league match with the Demo frame after trying it for 2 hours on previous day and lost the match. I was playing with a partner with weak volleys but still, the match loss with the demo frame worry me a little.

    Am I being too critical on the new racket ?
     
    #33
  34. Dgdavid

    Dgdavid Professional

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    Looking forward to playing with it tonight. I have tried the APD 2013 for one 3 set singles match only and I honestly did not find it any different to the previous model. Was reminded of the good characteristics and the reasons I left it (shoulder discomfort mainly plus I sometimes struggle with court penetration with it).

    My first impression of the 99S from a doubles game was my shots kick forward with it rather than up which is promising but who knows? I have come to realise that (in my case), no impressions of a racket are valid until I have used them in a tough singles match but your head speed can go missing through nerves and pressure.

    Feels much more solid than tweener class rackets to me, I was a surprised.
     
    #34
  35. pshulam

    pshulam Hall of Fame

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    You may be right that TW might sell them as used racquets albeit I have not seen the black-out racquets for sale.
     
    #35
  36. Dgdavid

    Dgdavid Professional

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    So, played a 3 set singles match with the 99S tonight against our Number 2 seed. Not enough to form too many conclusions but combined with my doubles games with it (just club social/mix ins), it was promising and a good racket but I am not specifically blown away by some magical spin capability it has. Taking away any hype or reputation, what it was for me was a nice combination of solidity, stability and controlled power. Despite comments to the contrary, my flat game was fine with it, serve and groundstrokes (certainly compared to the APD 2013) yet the "spin" game was not an order of magnitude different to other rackets of the same class although it was noticeable on some occasions but not "game changing" for me. Could be me of course, i am a flat hitter in general yet liked it. Surprisingly, felt more like a forgiving players racket than tweener class. A key point for me was I was not leaving sitters at the other end for my opponent which happened more often that I liked with the APD or Yonex 100S. Court penetration was good.

    I noted in our Facebook group that I may have been hampered by the fact I was over thinking its alleged ability to drop all manner of shots in the baseline that would go out with other rackets. Well, I hit plenty long in the first set going for margins that were too tight. It wasn't until I started hitting my normal strokes that the general good feeling of the racket came through. I am not talking about super SPIN, just a nice overall combination of solidity etc. Hit some lovely flat winners but the spin was likely a contributing factor even if i did not think i was specifically using a pronounced brushing motion as I felt I needed to with the APD 2013.

    Nice racket and it is possible I could love it but time will tell. I probably know enough to say I will definitely buy it on UK release but whether it becomes the main singles racket for me is yet to be decided. Definitely a close contender.

    ps. racket was strung with Sonic Pro mains and Addiction crosses, newly strung by the shop at mid tension (not my choice of string - my favourite is RPM Blast 17).
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2013
    #36
  37. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Quit playing doubles
     
    #37
  38. NLBwell

    NLBwell Legend

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    I know she's from New Zealand, but I keep thinking she's Irish.
     
    #38
  39. NLBwell

    NLBwell Legend

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    I'm thinking there should be a rule made that rackets must have as many cross strings as main strings. The game is already getting so much like ping-pong (table tennis) now with the heavy spin and baseline rallies. More spin will even lengthen the rallies and make the points more and more like a Harold Solomon/Eddie Dibbs matchup on early 1980's clay. Offensive tennis will not be rewarded and a game of attrition will result.

    They did put a limit on racket length and golf just changed the rules on putters; it can be done.
     
    #39
  40. TW Staff

    TW Staff Administrator

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    @NLBwell,

    Yes correct! I'm from New Zealand although I do get asked if I'm Australian or British a lot. There are only 4.5 million of us in the world though, so we are a rare breed and therefore I don't mind some cases of mistaken identity.

    @sureshs,

    I just spoke to your doctor, he said the only way to remedy your ailment was to watch many, many more of my reviews to be fixed of your disastrous state of confusion.

    Siobhan, TW
     
    #40
  41. Dgdavid

    Dgdavid Professional

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    Siobhan, have you fully switched to the APD 2013 now?
    Did Jason/Spencer switch to the 99S?
     
    #41
  42. TW Staff

    TW Staff Administrator

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    @Dgdavid,

    Yes that's the racquet I play with outside of any playtesting - I feel the most comfortable and aggressive with it on court. Now I just need a tournament to play..

    Siobhan, TW
     
    #42
  43. maverick1981

    maverick1981 New User

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    The stiffness & swingweight..combined with the mentality that players are going to strive for ultimate spin...anxious to see the physical effects on club players on arms, shoulders etc...

    On another note, cannot wait to demo. Been using the Wilson BLX Tour 95(2012). Not sure if this 'S' stuff remains a gimmick or real game changer, even after TW's in depth reviews and playtesting. You would think if it was such a changer, pros would be flocking like they did for poly's, and all these testers would drop their current sticks for it.
     
    #43
  44. NLBwell

    NLBwell Legend

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    Current pros won't want to change their strokes to take advantage of the new technology. It will be the next generation that fully utilizes it and may make the game unwatchable.
     
    #44
  45. maverick1981

    maverick1981 New User

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    true..good insight, seems like you might have to change your game for this type of stick
     
    #45
  46. TW Staff

    TW Staff Administrator

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    @NLBwell,

    The point is that you play your normal tennis and the spin is increased without you having to try and produce more spin consciously or by changing your strokes (although yes, it does play on your mind more).

    As we mentioned in the review, this is more cohesive to some techniques than others - for example, those that have western or semi western grips. Something to note is that it's not necessarily about the technology - some of us loved the S technology, but didn't enjoy the frame itself so that may have some influence as to why everyone isn't switching to this racquet. I, for one, loved the spin created, but didn't like the Steam itself as much as I like others such as my APD. Food for thought.

    Siobhan, TW
     
    #46
  47. maverick1981

    maverick1981 New User

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    like Siobhan said - if this racket can lift your game simply by the fact of the tech in the frame/string setup, that is one thing, and cant be ignored. If i step on the court, play my game the same exact way, and this frame makes me better, that would be something to think about - just like any other frame change for the better.

    I just cant help but think people are going to get all funny when they try this one and attempt things that deviate from their game. Reebok pumps didnt really help - but I think the 99s is something more at the end of the day than just a gimmick, the string pattern is not an entirely new idea/invention in tennis.
     
    #47
  48. sundaypunch

    sundaypunch Hall of Fame

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    Makes you wonder what a 16x15 APD would play like........
     
    #48
  49. Dgdavid

    Dgdavid Professional

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    Nail on the head Maverick. That is precisely what I found myself doing in the first set yesterday. It wasn't until my head was on the game and not the racket that my natural stroke came to the fore and I noticed some of the nice qualities it had. For my part, I am also going to try the APD PLUS 2013 before making any decisions although the 99S is a v good racket (just not a magical spin beast in my hands).
     
    #49
  50. quest01

    quest01 Hall of Fame

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    I definitely want to give the Wilson Steam 99S a try when it comes out. I use the Babolat apdc currently and I'm curious to know how this racquet will compare to it. The TW review was great even though one of the testers gave it a bad review lol but that doesn't detract me from trying this out.
     
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2013
    #50

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