Vortex Extreme Spin Rackets

Discussion in 'Racquets' started by BlaackSheeep, Dec 29, 2009.

  1. Sander001

    Sander001 Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2012
    Messages:
    2,524
    Location:
    In the place where there is no darkness.
    No, negative publicity is bad for companies and their reputations. I digress.

    Wilson's new idea is that there are less crosses than mains. Vortex doesn't have that.
     
  2. schenkelini

    schenkelini Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2008
    Messages:
    494
    Location:
    Chino. CA
    I just received a Steam 105S to demo. I will report back how it compares to the Vortex's. I spoke to Tom from Vortex recently and told me that they are waiting on new Pro 116's that are a bit stiffer than the one I have. He was not happy with the stiffness of the one I am using. The are also going to be receiving a Pro 120+ racket. He said I could be one of the one's to demo it.
     
  3. BalboaNoah

    BalboaNoah New User

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2010
    Messages:
    76
    other new Vortex models?

    Hi,

    their site shows the "Coming Soon" models. Besides the 116 will the two new versions of the 100 be coming out, as well? I love the Tour 95, and am tinkering with an ES108.

    Thanks!
     
  4. tlm

    tlm Legend

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2004
    Messages:
    7,526
    Ya they have less x's than mains but it is the open pattern that makes all the spin. The 99bs racket is copied off the vortex, I have played with both and to me the vortex was better.
     
  5. schenkelini

    schenkelini Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2008
    Messages:
    494
    Location:
    Chino. CA
    So I tried out the Steam 105. It felt like a toy compared to the Vortex. It just didn't feel solid. What came to mind as I hit with it was that it felt hollow, kind of like a shell of a racket without everything else. It did have a lot of spin, but not as much as the Vortex. I could play with it if I had to, but I don't think I could ever grow to like it. No wonder so may Steams are showing up on the For Sale forum.
    I used to change rackets every 6 months or so. In June it will be 3 years since I switched to Vortex. I don't see myself changing any time soon. I am looking forward to trying the new Pro 116 to see how it compares to the prototype that I have.
     
  6. tlm

    tlm Legend

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2004
    Messages:
    7,526
    Exactly all this hype and the vortex is a much better racket than the 99BS or 105BS.
     
  7. mad dog1

    mad dog1 Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2010
    Messages:
    4,995
    how'd the Vortex ES100 work out for you? what you described above is exactly how i felt about the ES100. i hit w/ my buddy's Steam 99S demo and thought it felt very solid. haven't tried the 105 yet.
     
  8. schenkelini

    schenkelini Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2008
    Messages:
    494
    Location:
    Chino. CA
    I haven't used it much. I strung it up too tight and just haven't taken the time to dial in the correct tension for me. I will add that to my list of things to do.
    I just found out that the Pro-116 frames will not arrive until late June.
     
  9. The Dark Knight

    The Dark Knight Legend

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2012
    Messages:
    6,341
    I use the Tour 95 Vortex and I absolutely love it.

    But I am very intrigued by the 99s. I have bought one and I cannot wait to try it.

    From holding the two sticks side by side I can tell you that the Wilson feels very hollow.

    All of the non tour Vortex racquets however seem extremely hollow as well.

    The stringing pattern on the 99s is more open than the Vortex tour 95. I would think that being a larger frame and with a more open pattern it would be much more powerful but less control?

    Can't wait to give my review :)

    The ES 100 is a great stick but EXTREMELY hollow. I switched first to the tour 100 and then to the 95. I love it .....the 99s will have a hard time on beating it .
     
  10. DaveInBradenton

    DaveInBradenton Rookie

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2013
    Messages:
    165
    Location:
    Bradenton Fl
    Define "hollow". I don't think I've seen this term used in a racket review before.

    Is "hollow" good or bad? What's the synonym?

    Are Vortex rackets "arm friendly"?

    Dave
     
  11. The Dark Knight

    The Dark Knight Legend

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2012
    Messages:
    6,341
    Hollow means empty space inside the racquet . The opposite of solid .

    Donnay for example came out with a racquet that injects a substance to make it solid . Some other use "solid core " technology but I forget which company?

    The old Sampras racquet also felt completely solid with no emptiness inside .

    Hollow is neither good or bad ....it's what you like .

    I like a solid feeling racquet rather than a racquet that feels flimsy and is about to break in your hand .

    Solid racquets are heavier than hollow ones so there is less maneuverability with a solid racquet. However a solid racquet deliver a much bigger punch and you can rip the felt off the ball.

    Federer and Novak and Murray all play with solid racquets . Nadals racquet however is a bit on the hollow side but not nearly as hollow as compared to the 99s or the 100s.

    The tour vortex racquets are Solid while the ES versions are extremely hollow.

    I find them all to be arm friendly.
     
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2013
  12. schenkelini

    schenkelini Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2008
    Messages:
    494
    Location:
    Chino. CA
    I finally found my tension on the ES-100 (53lbs) and I am very happy with it. It plays........well.......very Vortex like. I can switch back and forth between my 3 rackets without a lot of trouble. I kind of like that. It doesn't feel hollow to me like the Steam. It is less solid than the Pro-116, but more solid than the ES-116.
     
  13. The Dark Knight

    The Dark Knight Legend

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2012
    Messages:
    6,341
    Wow ...the steam is that hollow?? Because the ES does seen hollow to me and yet stable. I think it's because of the wide throat?

    Maybe you mean the steam feels flimsy and unstable ?

    On another note Vortex is out of the tour 95. They are on back order . I would be in the market for two.
     
  14. BalboaNoah

    BalboaNoah New User

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2010
    Messages:
    76
    i use the tour 95 and love it, too. i've tried the 99s, and without intending to influence your playtest feelings either way on the 99s:

    the tour 95 is much more solid and comfortable, especially when shanking a ball. the 99s hits a naturally loopier ball than the tour 95. the 99s slices well like the tour 95, but i feel that the tour 95 is more versatile in that it outputs what you put in. if you heavy topspin it will do it, flat is no problem, slice is awesome. the tour 95 ball is more penetrating than the 99s ball. i also have not experienced the string issues w/the tour 95 that people are experiencing w/the 99s. i sometimes even use 18g Gosen OGSM w/the Vortex and get decent life. still, the 99s is a fun racquet to use. personally i would like to lead one up and try again.
     
  15. The Dark Knight

    The Dark Knight Legend

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2012
    Messages:
    6,341
    Wow!! Thank you !

    I'm trying to not prejudge it either.

    Lifting the two sticks the Wilson just feels cheap comparing to the tour 95.

    I love my vortex but I'm willing to try the steam . I'll string it up shortly and give a review .

    I'd love to see your review comparing the two sticks.

    By the way vortex is out of stock of the tour 95's. I have a tour 100 if you want to trade ?
     
  16. JGads

    JGads Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2010
    Messages:
    4,343
    What are the specs of the tour 95?
     
  17. BalboaNoah

    BalboaNoah New User

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2010
    Messages:
    76
    my tour 95 is my Excalibur. though i'm a racketaholic, if i'm super serious about a match i use the tour 95. i'm kind of curious about the Pro 100, but it's not arriving until May.


    Hi Gads, here's what the website says, though i immediately added a bunch of weight to the handle, none to the head, no overgrip on mine, so just tweaked until i liked the balance. i haven't taken measurements other than it's about 13.25 oz now:

    Length: 27 in.
    Weight: 11 ounces unstrung
    Balance: 12 pts HL unstrung
    Pattern: 14m x 17c
    Flex: 70#RA
    Beam: 21.5mm straight beam

    Gads, i know you've been curious about the tour 95 for a while now. all i can advise is just try one. you might love it, might hate it. you have 30 days to tweak, etc. and if you don't like it just return it and get a refund. Tom the owner is in San Clemente (i think you're in LA?).
     
  18. JGads

    JGads Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2010
    Messages:
    4,343
    That's correct. I for one really like the Steam. A more full feeling Steam sounds lovely.

    How's serving? I actually find serving to be the most effortless part of the Steam experience so far.
     
  19. BalboaNoah

    BalboaNoah New User

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2010
    Messages:
    76
    serving for me is more than great (topspin and the bomb, i'm not great at the super wide slice), but maybe Dark Knight's input might be more relevant since i've upped the weight on mine heavier than many peoples' sticks.
     
  20. JGads

    JGads Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2010
    Messages:
    4,343
    Right on. Ok, vortex 95 definitely added to the racquet bucket list.

    It's been a very large bucket.

    And Noah, if you ever want to meet up for a hit, let me know. (I believe you're a SoCaler yourself)
     
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2013
  21. The Dark Knight

    The Dark Knight Legend

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2012
    Messages:
    6,341
    I couldn't agree more ! And I'm so glad there is someone else on this earth who validates me. It's so rare to even find someone else that uses this stick much less who loves it as much as me.

    I don't think the steam is going to come close just from the specs and my holding the two but I'm going to give it a fair try .

    Is the pro 100 different than the tour 100 ?

    I had a hard time choosing between the tour 100 and the tour 95 ....VERY hard . In fact sometimes I still doubt myself . They are almost the same stick.

    It's funny how I came upon the Vortex tour 95....basically I kept using the same stick and just enjoying an open and more open string pattern and that's why I'm interested in the steam 99s as it's even more open than the tour 95.

    I started off my journey with a blade 18x20 string pattern. I then tried the Donnay pro one which is a blade with a 16x19 pattern and I loved it even more.

    I was so happy and thought I found my Excalibur and then came the tour 95 & 100 which was basically the same racquet as the blade & Donnay but even a
    More sparse string pattern. I was sold and fell In love .

    It was a very difficult choice between the 95 &100.....but I settled on the tour 95.

    And after this long journey ......just when I was happy .....Wilson comes put with the steam 99s .....an even more sparse string pattern.

    Except this time the racquets seem to have different specs . The vortex , blade , and Donnays seem like a much more solid racquet.

    But so far the sparser the string pattern the more I enjoy the stick .
    So the Jury is still out.

    I just pray that no one comes out with yet another version .....but now you mention the Pro 100???? No more pain please!! WTF?? I have to look
    This one up .
     
  22. The Dark Knight

    The Dark Knight Legend

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2012
    Messages:
    6,341
    I'm in love with the tour 95 and the 100
    For that matter.

    I add nothing to the stick. It's just perfect .

    The tour 100 is a really great stick and I've always played with nothing smaller than a 98.

    But with the vortex I can actually go down to a 95. That's never happened to me before .

    It's a Kblade on crack! I absolutely LOVE it.

    The only downside is return of serve for me. I can return serve better with the tour 100.....but that's it.

    If you enjoy the Kblade and similar sticks you will LOVE the tour 95. It's the same stick just simply MORE.
     
  23. Sander001

    Sander001 Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2012
    Messages:
    2,524
    Location:
    In the place where there is no darkness.
    quoting for new page

    1 day later:
    [​IMG]
     
  24. Hitman99

    Hitman99 Rookie

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2012
    Messages:
    190
    Location:
    Annandale, VA
    Nice to see that this thread hasn't died---I've been following it off and on for a couple of years.

    I've been playing with the Vortex 133 for the past two years. I also tried the 108 and the 116, but I find I get the best results with the 133. PLUS, it totally freaks out my opponents. Most of them can't get over how BIG it is. I have a 4-7/8" grip on it, which also causes some eye bulging.

    I am a 68 year old USTA 4.0, only play doubles. So, in that regard, I'm out of the mainstream for this forum, as 99% of the members who post here seem to be only interested in "players" rackets, hitting big forehands with massive topspin, etc. In other words, Nadal wannabes.

    My epiphany with the Vortex came when I learned to quit trying so hard to generate spin with it, and just let the racket do its thing. One earlier post mentioned that the racket does extremely well on "reflex" shots. AMEN to that! I always had trouble with service returns against big servers. Now I just let the racket feed off the service power, and the returns just float back to the baseline as if by magic.

    Same goes for lobs. The Vortex seems to have some sort of built in radar that causes all lobs to land on the baseline. VERY comforting to me, infuriating to opponents.

    In my age group, I don't have to face many serve/volley style opponents. In fact, I am the only consistent serve/volley player I know of in my age group (older than dirt).

    Here's what the Vortex has done for my game.
    1. Consistent slice serves to the deuce court, topspin kickers to the ad court. Neither serve has wicked pace or apparent big spin, but they handcuff opponents.
    2. Consistent groundies, especially off the b/h. LOTS of underspin and bite, very effective sidespin down the line shots, and wicked drop shots on occasion. Topspin forehands tend to be "looped" semi-lobs, but they are always deep, and keep the opponents back, back, back --- giving plenty of time for me to wander up to the net for a putaway.
    3. Biggest advantage is that many of my younger and more talented opponents don't know quite how to handle my shots. There is no pace for them to feed off of, the ball is jumping around at odd angles, and as a result, they can't hit their normally reliable hard groundies. When they do manage to hit a forcing shot, I can often block it back at an angle, or hit a semi-offensive lob that puts them back on the defensive.

    Anyway, I just bought three new (demo) Vortex rackets off the internet. One is a 133 so that I will have a backup racket, but I also got a 116 and a 108 to revisit, experiment with a bit. Can't wait to learn some new tricks!
     
  25. racertempo

    racertempo Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    May 17, 2011
    Messages:
    661
    Location:
    Charlotte, NC area
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Vortex Tour 95
    I'm a 35 year old 4.5 player with a true all court game.
    1 day later:
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Vortex Tour 95
    I'm over 40 and a bit slower now.

    That was a great catch, and absolutely hilarious.
     
  26. The Dark Knight

    The Dark Knight Legend

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2012
    Messages:
    6,341
    That 133 is just insane . I love that stick.

    The only downside as you say is big strokes. You basically have to just jab at the ball and the stick just does everything else on it's own.

    The 116 is a lesser version of the 133 and you can take a slightly bigger stroke.

    For return of serve there is no better racquet than the 133 on the market .....period.

    I'll rank my thoughts for each stroke and each model:

    Return of serve:

    1- es 133
    2- es 116
    3- es 108
    4- es 100
    5 - tour 100
    6- tour 95

    Volleys

    1- es 116
    2- es 133
    3- es 100
    4- es 108
    5- tour 100
    6 tour 95

    Topspin ground strokes

    1- es 100
    2- es 108
    3- tour 100
    4- tour 95
    5- es 116
    6- es 133

    Slice -

    1- tour 95
    2- tour 100
    3 - es 100
    4- es 108
    5- es 116
    6- es 133

    Serves

    1- es 108
    2- es 100
    3- tour 100
    4- tour 95
    5 es 116
    6- es 116

    Lobs

    1- es 116
    2- es 133
    3- es 108
    4- es 100
    5- tour 100
    6- tour 95

    Drop shots

    1- tour 95
    2- tour 100
    3- es 100
    4- es 108
    5- es 116
    6- es 133
     
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2013
  27. schenkelini

    schenkelini Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2008
    Messages:
    494
    Location:
    Chino. CA
    Hi Guys

    The Vortex Pro 116 Racquets are in stock. I just received mine last week and plan to string it up tonight. I know the website still shows them unavailable, but it just has not been updated yet.
     
  28. schenkelini

    schenkelini Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2008
    Messages:
    494
    Location:
    Chino. CA
    I have have spend a good amount of time with the new Pro-116 racquet. I strung it with BHB7. This is my first time using these strings, but I don't think that will have impact on my impressions. Per Tom at Vortex this racquet is stiffer than the prototype that I have been using. I believe the prototype was rate rated at 65 and the production racquet is rated at 70. I find the new racquet is just a little sharper in pretty much every way. The difference is not night and day, but noticeably better. My serves go in easier. My ground strokes are going hitting where I want a little more often. My volleys are a little more solid. I am very happy.
     
  29. The Dark Knight

    The Dark Knight Legend

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2012
    Messages:
    6,341
    Great news . Solid stick. People don't laugh at the technogy now that Wilson has come out with the "S" models.
     
  30. Hitman99

    Hitman99 Rookie

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2012
    Messages:
    190
    Location:
    Annandale, VA
    Haven't been on the board for a while, but thought I would check back in on this thread. I am still playing with the 133 3X/week, loving it. I bought three demo rackets off of that auction site a few months ago, so got a second 133, plus a 108 and a 116. I sold the 116 to one of my 4.0 female friends, and she is just terrorizing her opponents with it. She always hit with power and topspin, mostly due to a radical western grip, which she hits with off both sides. Now her topspin is just wicked. She would really like to get a backup racket, but I haven't been able to find one. Guess she will have to pay retail.

    I still have the 108, sitting in my basement. Nice stick, but not for me. Unfortunately, my backup 133 developed a crack in the frame (may have already been there when I bought it), and it broke in half a month or so ago.

    I play once a week with a men's doubles group, against a senior 4.5 league player. He was so impressed with my improvement in play that he ordered two new 133 rackuets from Vortex, is extremely pleased. His game has picked up, and when we play together, we never lose.

    I'm still learning how to best play with the 133. One thing I have learned is to slice all my service returns, even 2nd serve sitters. I can place the ball deep to the corner, or at my opponents feet whenever I want. I also can lob off the serve very well. Most of these are underspin floaters, but lately I've been working on a cross-court topspin lob. When it goes in, it's always a winner.

    Only real issue I have is that the racket is hard on my shoulder. I've tried different strings, including 15g gut (lasted 2 hours), a poly/gut hybrid setup (lasted 1 hour), Tecnifibre Black (OK), Babolat Lightning (most comfortable), and my latest - Volkl poly (jury is still out).

    It's all good. I just hope that Vortex NEVER gets very well known or popular, and that they get slammed on forums like this one. Secret weapons are the best.
     
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2013

Share This Page