Wilson Hits Homerun with Wilson Steam 99S (mini review)

Discussion in 'Racquets' started by drakulie, Oct 16, 2012.

  1. tlm

    tlm Legend

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    He was at a demo session at our club with a Wilson rep that comes to our club every month or so to have players try out future rackets. He did not say what string it had in it and he is a solid 4.5 player with excellent ground strokes.

    I am glad you found it to have less power than the juice which I consider a high powered racket. But as you would say were they strung with the same string and tension as the juice? Without this info and the specifics it means nothing.
     
  2. racertempo

    racertempo Semi-Pro

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    I have posted before my thoughts on them comparatively. With the exact same string job, (local shop puts the same string in all demo frames) the 105s was less power then the Juice 100. Compared to my Ezone Xi100, I only use full poly beds and the the Xi100 was still more power and tougher to control then the 105s and the 99s, and the Xi100 has been the best racquet I have ever hit for control on my strokes.
     
  3. racertempo

    racertempo Semi-Pro

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    So we still don't know what string or tension, so labeling a frame as a Rocket-Launcher when not knowing the type or tension does not tell many people much. And a rocket launcher for a good 4.5 who swings for the fences normally does not mean much or help many people on here.....as mentioned by nickarnold2000, many people are using racquets like there, but many better people will always label them as launchers.....no string, no tension, means you cannot blame the frame, at least not with the current evidence.
     
  4. corners

    corners Legend

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    I don't want to disturb your honeymoon w/ blade in black evening dress, so let's finish this discussion after you've left her for the steam room.
     
  5. tlm

    tlm Legend

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    A lot of it is what you are used to, what I think is to powerful you and others might think the same racket has great control. But my friend who has been playing and coaching for years is a very good player which by the way a good player does not swing for the fences.

    Are you saying that you need to be above 4.5 level to know what a powerful racket is? As far as the strings go I agree that it can make a huge difference, but I still trust my friends opinion on the power level of a racket he demoed.

    When these rackets become available I will give the 99s a demo and then I will be able to see how powerful it is for me. Last year I tried the steam and the juice and both are to powerful for my liking, but to some I am sure they are fine.
     
  6. thecrusher956

    thecrusher956 Rookie

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    Tried Steam 105s today...felt really flimsy on contact, but serves were monsterous. Definetley not the racquet for me.
     
  7. Power Player

    Power Player G.O.A.T.

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    Ill have a 99s tomorrow so we shall see. But im defintley not honeymooning with the blade 98 (not black one). It is a great match for my game.
     
  8. Boricua

    Boricua Hall of Fame

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    Blade series is classic. It is like Prestige in Head.
     
  9. racertempo

    racertempo Semi-Pro

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    I never said that, but power is mostly derived from string type and tension. I have found in my area that shops like to string for high power to try and help sell racquets as it seems like most amateurs always like the thought of more power (me included :) ) So my only statement was about you hearing from a guy that it was a rocket launcher and stay away needed more detail about the string job, that's all.

    I believe a lot of the recent posts about the 105s, especially about it being a monster on servers. However, I have been playing frames with area of specification for some time now so comparing it to those frames it did not feel flimsy to me....now compared to a 12 oz players frame i could see where it feels flimsy, and even compared to the 99s. Any frame around that weight will feel flimsy compared to heavier smaller heads, that is the nature of the technology; however, it has its own advantages is my only point.

    I just think everyone needs to demo it and see if it is for their liking and I think Wilson will sell as many of these as they have sold for the Juice for sure. They have a winner here, in terms of the frame and the marketing.
     
  10. Federerkblade

    Federerkblade Professional

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    pls video yourself
     
  11. Volley123

    Volley123 New User

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    Not sure if this question was asked but what was the string set up? One of the reviews has stated that it needs a poly bed?
     
  12. TennisTodd

    TennisTodd New User

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    I will update my post regarding string type and wear as soon as I receive my frames (should be around Dec. 14). I plan to string with 4G mains and multi crosses @ 56 lbs. I normally restring poly on my current Prestige every two weeks and when I use multi only I usually get about 3 hours out of NXT 17G.
     
  13. bertrevert

    bertrevert Hall of Fame

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    Trouble with the multi, unless I am mistaken, is that it will gum up the snap back effect from the poly mains - which majorly contributes to the spin. This thread has some discussion thereof...
     
  14. Power Player

    Power Player G.O.A.T.

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    ill try. Some courts I use have windscreens and I simply cant set up the cam.
     
  15. thecrusher956

    thecrusher956 Rookie

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    There are already some vids up.
     
  16. Power Player

    Power Player G.O.A.T.

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    Ok, i hit with the mythical 99s.

    This is a nice racquet, it has a very wilsony feel to it. It still is stiff, and there is no doubt about that. I do find it more comfortable than the apd, so when i say stiff i mean that it plays stiff. It is a pretty powerful racquet.

    The specs are great and it is easy to hit very relaxed with depth. When i dialed it up and took a rip, it unleashed a very nice deep ball with nice kick on the end of it. Was it spin that will change tennis as we know it? Not really to me. As stated i hit with a lot of spin anyway, so i can bend the ball down easily as sharp with my blade (4g mains/ogsm crosses).

    Positives are that the trajectory is nice and high. Negatives are that the trajectory is nice and high. What i am getting to is this really will boil down to personal preference. I am really into the djokovic or agassi style of play so i just love the lower more penetrating trajectory of the tighter patterns. And the facts are that the blade is a more accurate racquet for my game. I also prefer the feel of the blade as more strings makes me feel more connected to the ball.

    All that aside i think this is a fine stick by wilson and very possibly the new tweener of choice for many fans of this type of racquet. If you prefer control sticks or already hit with a lot of spin, i am not sure what you will get out this racquet. You will have to use full poly and restring on a weekly basis to protect your arm.

    This racquet does not have the same amount of control that i am used to with the blade. To me, great control and placement is more valuable than heavy topspin since i already generate that. You can hit flat with this racquet, but it is not ideal for that style unless your swing speed is not very high. You will want to be rolling over the ball more often with this stick like you would with the apd.

    Which leads me to the real comparison as comparing it to my blade is not really ideal. I have now hit with the apd 13 and the 99s. I believe the spin level with the 99s IS higher, but not by an incredible amount. If you are trying to get the most topspin possible though, the 99s wins. In comfort, the 99s is definitley easier on the arm (mine was strung with full 4g and the apd was full rpm blast). In terms of feel, i love the feel of wilsons and this reminds me a little of the 6.1 in the sweet spot. It just clearly is in the wilson family in terms of feel. Solidity wise, it is more solid than the apdc, but not in the class of the blade. The blade is the benchmark for solidity in a lighter stick imo. Power wise, it is right up there with the the apd..so if you like to roll over it or brush more than crush, the racquet will give you the extra oomph to keep the balls deep.

    Finally, serves are very easy to spin in. I didnt notice a huge difference except the blade hits a bigger flat serve for me. I like serving with the 99s over the apdc easily.

    I know there have been some rave reviews and i am sorry to not be as excited. I do not think this racquet will make anyone better at tennis or change the game or leave racquets in the dust..etc. it just doesnt work that way. BUT i do see this racquet becoming a huge seller in the club ranks because it feels great and basically does everything the apd does for rec player - just better. So if you are a fan of the pure drive or apd, definitely try this stick. I think it is a fantastic tweener.

    If anything changes over the next few days while i have it, i will post, but im not switching from my blade.
     
  17. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

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    Power, nice write up and comparison for the folks reading between the APD, Blades, and 99s. Thanks for sharing. I included a link to your review on the first page.
     
  18. parasailing

    parasailing Hall of Fame

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    How does this 99S compare to the Pure Storm Tour GT? And have you tried the new Wilson Blade 98 with 16x19 string pattern?
     
  19. Power Player

    Power Player G.O.A.T.

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    Thanks drak!

    The 99s is a lot faster through the air and easier to use than the ptsgt. The spin is higher as well. The pstgt hits a very heavy, driving ball and has a fantastic feel. It is a different class of stick that leans much more towards the player side than the 99s.

    I have not tried the new 16x19 blade. I may give it a run next, but i really am into tight patterns more now so i may just grab a new 18x20 and call it a day.
     
  20. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    PP, I have to say I agree with everything that you said about the 99s...everything. I am loving it though. I played 4 times now with it and it has elevated my game slightly. I hit a few shots every set that I wouldn't have with other tweeners. I hit a high DTL looping forehand tonite from deep in the deuce corner, straight to the far DTL corner. The net player was powerless to stop it since it was so high out of his reach. It was a beautiful thing :)

    The 99s feels very solid on impact...moreso than my Juice. Plus I can use it stock, whereas the Juice badly needs weight in the hoop. My kick serve has never been better and I get about an extra 6" to a foot in height. Everything else is clicking too....volleys, serves, touch shots, droplets...you name it. I'm sold.

    The 99s didn't wow me immediately...but once I learned how to use it and adjusted more to it, I can see how it does everything spin related, just a little bit better. Its definitely not a good fit though for players that drive the ball more flat or those that can't use the spin to harness the power. Its DEFINITELY not for everybody.
     
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2012
  21. El Zed

    El Zed Banned

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    Power Player - as you're an Agassi fan, have you tried the old bumblebees (or even the Donnay)? Seems a cheaper option, and would love to know if you have and still prefer the blade.
     
  22. Power Player

    Power Player G.O.A.T.

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    Zed i wish. I would love to try an old bumblebee.


    I did have a donnay pro one OS Agassi reissue and i hate myself for sellling it. It had such nice flex and i loved hitting with that pink beauty but it was not as ideal for my game. Few things about me that i dont copy from agassi is i prefer midplus heads, i hit with much more of a wiper finish instead of over my shoulder and therefore the weight of the blade is a lot easier for me. In fact i have a theory that fast racquethead speed, a healthy sw and a closed pattern is absolutley an incredible combo that many people may not know about , but ill save that for the blade thread ;)
     
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2012
  23. El Zed

    El Zed Banned

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    Thanks for the response, PP - have to admit, was really looking forward to your review on the 99s as I had my concerns that it was really geared for flat hitters hoping to capture (some) spin rather than those already hitting with spin. Believe your thoughts affirm that concern somewhat.

    I'm about to try my first oversize racquet - bought an old PT280 OS (basically a U.S. PT690) and should be getting it in over the next few days. Perhaps similar to what you're experiencing with the Blade, but the PT280 MP delivers an absolutely wicked, heavy ball (with a low post-first bounce trajectory) when utilizing a windshield wiper stroke and a full western grip (utilizing BHB7 at 47M/50C lbs). With the OS, I'm hoping to still have that bite, but with more racquet area to impart more spin. You probably could pick up a nice MP bumblebee for less cost than a new (non-pink) blade.
     
  24. realplayer

    realplayer Semi-Pro

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    Finally a more realistic and very helpful review of the 99s. I think this racket doesn't suit my style of play.
     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2012
  25. PhrygianDominant

    PhrygianDominant Hall of Fame

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    Great write up. Thanks PP
     
  26. Ross K

    Ross K Legend

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    PP - Nice write up. From what you say it sounds like a must demo for me.

    Jack - Please could you say a bit more re differences between J100 and 99S.
     
  27. Federerkblade

    Federerkblade Professional

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    I think it must be appreciated Wilson are being realistic with th hype.

    They are not making massive claims . They have said the court will increase by 10 inches in length and the net will be 2 inches lower.

    To me from pp review is realistic. The racquet will simply help people like myself
     
  28. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    They are quite similar. Like I said....the 99S has a more overall solid feel upon impact and it has slightly more swingweight and plow. Power is about the same, but I get a little more of spin with the 99s. I notice the ball dipping at the end more and I seem to be hitting the back baseline a lot more often.
     
  29. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    I have to agree with that. I think people blow this out of proportion...not Wilson.
     
  30. bad_call

    bad_call Legend

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    are u saying that drak and TennisTodd are "exaggerating" a bit but Wilson makes no such claim?
     
  31. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    No, this is their claim. The court dimensions changing is based on the spin and trajectory, so it could sound absurd if you visualize it literally.

    Their claim of 200 to 300 rpm spin increase and a higher launch angle providing a foot of more net clearance was correct, for me, and for the others I witnessed.
     
  32. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    I didn't name anyone specifically. I think its hard to put your own opinions into exact words sometimes. Bottom line is everyone's miles will vary and you need to test it out yourself.
     
  33. bad_call

    bad_call Legend

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    oh ok. wasn't sure if i was reading it correctly (misinterpreting) and thanks for confirming.
     
  34. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    My point was to take the Mfg claims with a grain of salt. Go try for yourself.

    IMO the Steam 99s is a wonderful tweener. It won't make a 3.0 a 4.0 though.
     
  35. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Very few rackets can improve a player's level even from 4.5 to 4.6.
     
  36. Federerkblade

    Federerkblade Professional

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    I think form and technique will allow and indiviudal to maximise the 99s strengths. i have not play tested in UK. We have no demos in the UK at all > However AFter reading the reviews and Awaiting the formal video reviews from TW I may very well buy a pair. 10 inches of extra court length is a fair bit if used properly
     
  37. Nostradamus

    Nostradamus G.O.A.T.

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    I am hoping this racket would take me from 5.0 to 5.5. Thanks
     
  38. Doubles

    Doubles Hall of Fame

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    It won't happen.
     
  39. mad dog1

    mad dog1 Hall of Fame

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    just as in auto or motorcycle racing. sticking a less skilled driver/rider in a faster vehicle doesn't automatically guarantee faster lap times. the driver/rider has to have the necessary skills to be able to exploit and use the extra potential of the faster vehicle. it's very similar in tennis.

    the new wilson is just another racquet. for anyone to expect this to be a 'game changer' is just not realistic. simply increasing spin by 500 rpms is not going to make a player 'better'. at the end of the day, it all comes back down to the player wielding the stick. if the player has difficulty generating spin, hitting angles, and hitting with control due to poor technique and footwork, the steam is not going to magically correct these flaws. this type of player won't have the skills to exploit the higher potential performance that this stick is capable of delivering. for someone w/ poor technique, it might only increase spin by a hardly noticeable 50 rpms where as for an advance player, it might increase spin by 300-500 rpms.
     
  40. Power Player

    Power Player G.O.A.T.

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    Exactly, and more importantly is the question of IF you need that much spin.

    Some people may like it. I like Todd's example that he can hit more relaxed and get the same amount of spin he likes to generate with his current sticks. That makes sense to me and is one of the most solid reasons for someone to get this racquet.

    For me, it is overkill and works against me. Balls that kicked away or at opponents now sit up.

    So I think when you demo a stick you need to know your strokes well enough to realize if you are changing from your preferred grip and swing path to accompany the new racquet.
     
  41. El Zed

    El Zed Banned

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    With all due respect, and while your point about this not being a magic stick is one I don't necessarily disagree with, I think you have it slightly backwards in terms of how demanding this stick is. This racquet doesn't appear to be marketed by Wilson as a demanding player's stick requiring expertise to harness its capabilities. Rather, it appears as though it's a stick designed (and somewhat successful) in imparting spin to shots delivered in a manner traditionally resulting in flatter trajectory (i.e. those using a more traditional stroke).

    In re-reading Todd's post, it appears as though the racquet doesn't provide any additional spin but merely makes the ceiling level easier to come by. I'm somewhat confused as to the benefit of having the same access to spin with less "effort" since to me, it is this effort (or force) that gives your shot pace and heaviness. Perhaps I'm wrong?
     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2012
  42. TennisTodd

    TennisTodd New User

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    That's all I was trying to say in my original review...
    The racket isn't a magic wand and your game won't be like Nadal's.

    The facts for me is it takes less effort to impart the same amount of heaviness on your shots without losing as much control is I had assumed. Over the length of a 5.0/National level singles match the trade off in loss of control versus the gained effort is worth it; in my opinion.

    As with any significant purchase; try before you buy!
     
  43. mad dog1

    mad dog1 Hall of Fame

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    and to PP's point, even if the player has the skills to exploit the added spin, depending on the player's stroke style, they may not want it.
     
  44. mad dog1

    mad dog1 Hall of Fame

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    yep...since the open string pattern makes is easier to generate spin, you are now able to get the same amount of spin as before with less racquet head speed. makes sense to me.
     
  45. mad dog1

    mad dog1 Hall of Fame

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    of course wilson is marketing this stick in the way they feel will appeal to the masses. after all, their goal is to sell as many of these sticks as possible, no? that's why companies have dedicated marketing departments with huge marketing budgets.

    i remember when i was racing motorcycles. every new 600cc sportbike that was released was being marketed as the bike to redefine the supersport class. well, it did for those riders with the skill and ability to push the limits of the bike and ride at 95-100% of the machine's potential. in fact, some of the REALLY fast pro riders on 600cc bikes were not only able to challenge pro riders on 750cc supersport bikes. but the reality was that avg joe club racer who was only getting 70-80% out of their existing bike wasn't going to see a marked improvement by trading up to the new bike. riding either bike at 70-80% of it's max potential equated to about the same level and same lap times. you might shave 0.5 to 1 secs per lap off your time but if you were running in 10th place, that might only move you up to 9th place. and even then there was still no glory in finishing 9th.
     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2012
  46. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    How about "same amount of control" ?
    How about,"some amount of string durability?
    What about hard hitters? That's what 18xTWENTY is supposed to be for.
    What about short stroke slow swingers?
     
  47. El Zed

    El Zed Banned

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    Wilson's marketing on this appears expectantly opportunistic. On the one hand, you see the racquet being discussed/considered/reviewed on the grounds it providing more spin. In proverbial fine print, however, is the caveat that it's more spin without the need to alter your stroke. I'm inclined to believe that both may be correct, but with the latter far more significant than the former. Moreover, with the former, you also see the problem of possibly having too much spin resulting in the reported issue of the ball sitting-up after the first bounce (which those hitting w/ heavy spin will agree is an absolute deal-breaker). While this issue may also present to those hitting with a traditional stroke, it's telling how the post-bounce trajectory issue is being reported by those using a more extreme western grip and WW forehand.
     
  48. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    EVERY single sport has some marketing manufacturer who says his newest version is not only the latest and greatest, but it will add something positive to your enjoyment of the sport.
    From snowboards to golf clubs, racket's, paddles, tires, reef valves, masts, fins, it don't matter, they tell you their stuff is better to sell it to you.
    In the end, if you can play tennis as well as BrianGottfried did in 1979, you will beat every single tennis player short of 6.0.
     
  49. El Zed

    El Zed Banned

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    Of course, that's not in dispute. It's sad, really. As opposed to additional years of "research" leading to an improved product, it more frequently leads (largely) to a cheaper product for the manufacturer (sadly, though, not the consumer). Again, this racquet could very well be wonderful for those looking to capture some spin, while utilizing a flat/traditional stroke, there's some benefit there.
     
  50. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    There's arguably "some benefit" to each and every change any one of us can make, in any direction. Change is not always a negative, nor is it always a positive.
    But do we need to chase every marketing promotion that comes out, when history tells us VERY few new ideas pan out in reality?
     

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