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

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

  1. racertempo

    racertempo Semi-Pro

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    Thanks for the full bio of your tennis last year.....but beating 2 benchmark players does not mean as much as you placed emphasis. By definition, a Benchmark player "advanced to a local playoff or further". This DOES not guarantee a bump however. If the 2 Benchmark guys you played went to a local playoff for 3.0 and they had a good record, they would become a 3.5B. That does not mean they are any better then other 3.5 players. The B simply prevents them from appealing down for 2 seasons, that one and the next.

    My 4.0 team went to states, only 3 guys got bumped to 4.5 and they are all now 4.5B players and are stuck there for 2 seasons......the rest of us are 4.0B to prevent us from appealing down to 3.5. I guarantee that the 4.5 guys who beat these new 4.5B players next year. Sorry for the long reply, just irks me when people say "I beat a benchmark so I am screwed". Your rating for a 3.5 is actually between 3.00 and 3.49, so what affects your rating is how you play against people and how badly you beat or lose to them (not counting 0&0 matches). But the B has NO EXTRA meaning at all, and does not necessarily mean their rating is a 3.40-3.49.
     
  2. g4driver

    g4driver Hall of Fame

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    Racetempo,

    3.5 has one of the largest group of players with a vast difference in ability. Much more so in my experience than 4.0

    The resume wasn't meant as a boast but rather to give one guy, Drakulie, my level of ability at 3.5. There are lot of players playing with frames that don't compliment their games (whether to light or too demanding).

    One of the 3.5s I beat went to state, and won all his singles matches and was bumped.

    I lost one match at 3.5 this year. I played injured during that match, couldn't run due to a knee injury, but I played doubles and lost. I don't care what my rating is. I do care about my game,my teams, and my frames.

    I understand fully what a B rated player is and have played 4.0 for years before walking away from the game for ten years, then having two titanium screws placed in my back for a herniated disc. I self rated 3.5 after all of that.

    Thanks for your input.
     
  3. g4driver

    g4driver Hall of Fame

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    And racetempo,

    Both 3.5B were B rated from their 3.5 Playoffs in 2011, and both 3.5Bs were bumped to 4.0 this year. They weren't 3.0s bumped to 3.5.

    Hope that clears up my post for you.
     
  4. racertempo

    racertempo Semi-Pro

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    Thanks for the biography and medical history as well. Sounds like you self rated as a 3.5 to sand-bag since your record was about 50-2......which would mean you should have been a 4.0, or at least been bumped to 4.0 after the 50-2 season that you just had.
     
  5. racertempo

    racertempo Semi-Pro

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    Oh, and posting your record from 2012 does nothing to tell someone about your level of play in terms of frames or strings, it just says your record. Telling someone the style of play would be more helpful, like do you hit a flat or topspin ball, are you a guy who is a defender or an attacker? Especially at 3.5.....I was a 3.5 (all doubles) who was 18-0 in tourneys and and 10-0 in 7.0 mixed, and 9-0 in 3.5 league in 2011, but my game was was to block balls and charge the net. I hardly swung the frame from the baseline, but we had similar records at 3.5, and finished #1 in the state for 3.5 doubles and #2 in the USTA South Region for 3.5 doubles. But that might lead you to think I hit a hard ball or have a huge serve.....I had neither at the time.

    I am athletic and kept EVERYTHING in play at 3.5 and attacked the net with vengeance and my 6'4" height. My partner was a huge topspin heavy hitter, so I just literally was a bumper and get myself to the net player, and it worked greatly. I loved 105" frames with little weight (around 10-10.3oz) and very head light for net maneuverability. What would my record show someone looking for a frame like mine? However, my style might show someone that the reason I love the Ezone 107, or SFit-3, they might think I was an old fart wanting more size and easier power, not that I am 35 and huge, just wanting a light board to get in the way of a shot at the net.

    Just trying to show that a post about your style of play and strokes means much more to readers then posting your records, and the records of your opponents.
     
  6. g4driver

    g4driver Hall of Fame

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    Racetempo,

    I gave my style of play in the post, you glazed over it.

    Do you have any idea what an L4/L5 fusion to a back does to your ability to walk? run? Or play tennis?

    I hadn't played tennis in seven years and three months into a return, severely herniated a disc and had two surgeries (laminectomy and a fusion ) after eight steroid injections into my back, all while missed 15 months of work due to the surgeries. My profession is riddled with back injuries and my company had 150 guys out of work in 2008 with the same injuries when my back snapped.

    I didn't pick up a frame for 20 months post surgeries. I didn't sandbag. I started over. Walking, running, then playing. I got my butt handed to me in fall of 2009 and in the spring of 2010. I sucked and it was a long slow recovery. It wasn't like you wrote at all.

    But I keep working my butt off and keep hitting and working, and improving. My record with my 3.5 doubles partner isn't just USTA. We played ladder matches that the USTA doesn't see. Tennis does exist outside the USTA.

    For whatever reason the USTA hasn't bumped me.

    I asked for Drakulie's input and got your wraith. Thanks. You seem like a very angry 6'4 35 year to me.

    Get you facts together before you go postal on someone. You know very little about me.

    Did I threaten you with my post ? My questions ? If so, maybe you need to seek therapy for your anger.
     
  7. racertempo

    racertempo Semi-Pro

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    Ha, I have no anger at all, just stated that it was nice to read your full tennis record, then medical record, now career information, and your recovery record.

    I play tennis tons outside of USTA, and in leagues. You just listed that your beat benchmark players like it was a badge of honor, when it is no different then beating another player, the B means nothing special compared to a C. I did not glaze over your post, but you had 1.5 sentences about your style of play then 1.5 paragraphs about your record. I just wrote a reply about the benchmark issue.

    You got very defensive, then in a reply decided to further boast about your record saying you only lost a match after an injury, not being able to run anymore. Your details about EVERYTHING BUT your style of play is just what I find funny as I read your posts.

    And for the record, not only do I not know, but I could not care less about what a Z5-K4 fusion does to a body, not my issue and not my problem, and neither does it add to explaining your style of tennis. But, it does do a great job giving details on your medical history, so thanks again for the full bio. I wanted to make a point that posting more and more detail on your style of strokes helps more then a novel about everything else, medical, career, and your record.

    I might sound to you like an angry 6'4" guy, but you sound like a 5'2" injured old man who just wants to tell war and surgery stories to anyone who will listen or read, then gets sensitive when someone stops paying attention to you explanation about the amount of back injuries in your profession.

    With that said, I am done with this, sorry for hurting your feelings, you were the one who took my post in a negative light when I defined Benchmark, sorry you took it that way and got so sensitive and defensive....maybe you need therapy for getting your feelings hurt because a person challenged your posting on a computer forum.
     
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2012
  8. g4driver

    g4driver Hall of Fame

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    You explained Benchmark to someone who fully understands it.

    Just put me on your ignore list please.

    I hope you never have a fusion.
     
  9. racertempo

    racertempo Semi-Pro

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    Played a singles tournament match last night and today for the 99s with MSV Focus Hex Soft 17 as a full bed and loved it. It was a demo that the owner allowed me to restring to my liking for the tourney because he needed to restring anyway, so he is just going to cut mine out after for his hybrid restringing.

    Much more noticeable kick on the serves then my Rdis 200 lite which is similar in weight specs, but is a 16x19. Great control and comfortable feel, which might be from the amplifeel and the softer poly. After 2 matches I had no noticeable string movement which was a major positive. When I demo'd 3 weeks ago it was a hybrid and the poly mains were not snapping back to place after just an hour play, they were sticking out of place and I had to adjust after every point.

    To me, Focus Hex Soft is gear shaped, but not as sharp as some others I use I Pro Super Blue gear and Wilson Spin Cycle, and it snapped back to place even in the last few games of the second set of the second match. I loved the feel of the full poly and felt like so much more spin and control compared to the hybrid setup from before.
     
  10. srvnvly

    srvnvly Professional

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    racer tempo, have you tried the Steam 99 (non-S)? I like the TW listed swing weight of 328, vs. the 333 for the S version - in your opinion, do you think the S swings in the low 330's? Thanks!
     
  11. pshulam

    pshulam Hall of Fame

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    I hate to be a party pooper. Didn't most Prince 90 racquets in the 80s have 18 x 14 string patterns for spin access?
     
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2012
  12. purple-n-gold

    purple-n-gold Professional

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    yep..old is new again, think Wilson has had some very open ones as well in the past.
     
  13. nickarnold2000

    nickarnold2000 Hall of Fame

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    Excellent! Here's hoping that other racket companies also come out with their own very open string patterns.
     
  14. racertempo

    racertempo Semi-Pro

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    Unfortunately the local shop has not even seen the non-S version. They really don't even have the demo's in, but the local Wilson guy gave the shop "his" S frames because the shop sells tons of Wilson frames. I agree with just about everyone else on here who has commented on the SW, there is no way that it it is low 330s. I think someone on here a few pages ago did his own measurement on a machine and got mid-high 320s. I usually play frames in the 310s, my Rdis200 Lite is a 316....and the 99s really feels ind the mid 320s to me. If you normally play a 328 I know you will find this SW to feel the same, maybe a tiny tiny bit lower from the S.
     
  15. Bartelby

    Bartelby G.O.A.T.

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    This racquet will run out of steam even before it's launched with all this hype.
     
  16. drak

    drak Professional

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    what tension did you string it?
     
  17. pshulam

    pshulam Hall of Fame

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    That's funny! :):):)
     
  18. Anton

    Anton Hall of Fame

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    yes, but poly strings, 99" head size and stiffer, lighter racket spec was not in the 80s.
     
  19. gd!

    gd! Rookie

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    ...invented by Wilson, too...:)

    I agree with bartelby; looks like a kind of the hare and the hedgehog race...it wants to be the hare and it will end as the story tells.... ;)
     
  20. racertempo

    racertempo Semi-Pro

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    Sorry, should have included that, 50 pounds on the 99s.

    Played 4.0 doubles in the tourney today and went back a forth a little with the 99s and the rdis 200 lite. Really went back and forth a little just to see where they stood and the SW felt in the better and the racquet felt so much more precise then my Yonex, and I love that Yonex and have a lot of confidence with that frame.

    So much of the game is between the ears, and I just had a little more confidence with the control and spin from the steam for my game, especially on serves. I am a normal flat ball hitter just starting to add good spin the last few months, but not a flat ball that is pounded. If anything, the Steam forehand for me drops a little too short due to the spin. I almost never flirt with the baseline on groundstrokes, so the Steam is dropping even far shorter. I just need to tell myself every point right now to hit the ball deeper then my body is used to right now.

    Once i get my own and get hours on the ball machine the depth will come, so so happy with this frame.
     
  21. AndrewD

    AndrewD Legend

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    In the early 90's (around 93) Sfida produced a stiffer, lighter version of the Snauwert Hi-Ten 50 (100sq head size) and the standard string of choice was poly (I think the brand was Polystar). Naturally, not as light as the Steam but only a bit over 11oz.
     
  22. ChicagoJack

    ChicagoJack Hall of Fame

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    1. LOL. The Steam 99s is like the Leonard Cohen of tennis. Both very likely to be misunderstood without the proper introduction.

    2. The Prince frames of the 80's - 90's with the very open patterns (POG Classic, Micheal Chang Titanium, Micheal Chang Longbody, the Prince Precision 730, Prince Spectrum 630, Thunder 750, Graphite Comp LX and XB, CTS Approach) were all 14 x 18, not 18 x 14. By the way, Prince seems to always have an open pattern somewhere in the lineup, hence the more current EXO3 Warrior DB Team at 14x18. The Steam 99s (16x15) has fewer crosses than mains. The typical string patterns 14x18, 16x18, 16x19 16x20 and 18x20 all have more crosses. The open patterns of the 80's - 90's were created out of the concept that high ball to string friction (ball bite) is tantamount to spin enhancement.

    3. What we've learned in the past few years, (beginning with high speed film study in Japan 2005-2008, followed by research done by the ITF, followed by more study by our very own Crawford Lindsey 2009-2011) is that ball to string friction, "bite" is only one of two factors. It has been observed in all three studies that additional spin can be imparted to the ball if the mains slide and snap back as the ball exits the string bed. Having fewer crosses facilitates the mains sliding over the Xs. In a way, this is not Wilson's concept at all. They are just the first to exploit what the Tennis Physics Community at large has been piecing together since 2005. It has also been observed that gut mains with poly crosses have the among the lowest COF (coefficient of friction) of any string combination, even lower than than full beds of the slickest Polys.

    Funny really, a random bit of video posted on a website in Japan by two dudes just hoping to make a quick buck by inventing a spray to revive old, notched strings, caught the eye of the Tennis Physics community in a big way. What was revealed in that one low budget video, (strings sliding and snapping back) might seem intuitive now. But back then it was a world shaker. Wilson had nothing whatsoever to do with the early discoveries, but we know know that they took some of those concepts back to their in house R&D for implementation, are now currently seeking patent rights.

    4. The central design concept of the 99s is not based merely on concepts of the 80's ... high string to ball friction, it also seeks to implement the much more recent concept of low inter-string friction to add incremental spin.

    By the way, nice frame. I cant quite call it comfortable, but it's way more comfy than you'd expect from a 71 ra. A lot more head heavy than I'm used to, but it seems to work somehow. One thing really memorable from the demo event, even mishits way outside the sweetspot near the edges of the hoop seemed to drop in with spin. I don't think I hit a single ball out long the whole time. At one point I was just trying to hit moon balls as deep as a could, my partner and I were both laughing it up at the crazy arcs I was able to get, 10- 15 feet over the net and still dropping in. When a player has little fear of hitting long, that's the golden zone right there. That's when you can really open up your technique and let em rip. Unfortunately, my arm is not happy with that frame at all. Great stick, just not for me. Different saddles for different butts dontcha know.

    Jack
     
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2012
  23. pshulam

    pshulam Hall of Fame

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    What I meant was 18 cross & 14 main.

    Thanks for the detailed explanation of the subtle difference between the two open patterns. Reduction in number of crosses as a way to increase spin potential does not appear to be an innovative breakthrough - sorry to disappoint. :confused:
     
  24. ChicagoJack

    ChicagoJack Hall of Fame

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    I don't sense confusion (ie, blue frowny face with question marks) anywhere this thread. I sense a high level of bitter skepticism and cynicism in the thread. Wilson did not discover the effects of low interstring COF. They are just the first to design and sell a racquet around that discovery. Yes, they are attempting to market that discovery. No argument over that. When people (myself included) feel they are being "marketed to" there is often a deep, gut level reaction. I've exactly zero interest in persuading those of you who have stopped in here for a quick sneer and giggle, likely operating from that reaction. The central issue at hand is that, reducing the number of crosses dramatically reduces string bed friction. There is nothing to believe or disbelieve about that statement. It's just a confirmed, observational fact.

    -Jack
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2012
  25. gplracer

    gplracer Professional

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    What is the swing weight of the 99s?
     
  26. Disneos

    Disneos New User

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    I would love to try it, but I'm a but of a hipster when It comes to racquets, I don't like to have the same racquet as every other player and it seems like this racquet might become just that, though it seems like it would compliment my game very well so I'll be trying it out regardless once it available for demo.
     
  27. racertempo

    racertempo Semi-Pro

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    TW told me on the phone a little while ago that they expect the Steam 96, Steam 99s and 105s in on January 17th. She said it is usually a couple of days before they are strung and shipped out from there, so should be January 20-22 before they are in our hands as our own and not a demo :)
     
  28. thecrusher956

    thecrusher956 Rookie

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    Theres a steam 96? What are the specs anyone know?
     
  29. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    If you go to TW's "racquet finder" and search for the Steam 99s, you'll see a link to the written review. Seems like almost all the playtesters are ecstatic about the extra spin. Also some comments about the racquet's swingweight being an issue. This has me a little worried. My demo felt perfect to me but I am worried if I buy a couple new one's, I could end up with one heavier than I would like.
     
  30. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    Couch....what does 304 turn into when strung with overgrip and dampener?
    My demo was 330 fully dressed and I want to order a new one exactly the same but don't know what to ask for unstrung?
     
  31. gplracer

    gplracer Professional

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    I cannot find this
     
  32. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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  33. gplracer

    gplracer Professional

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    Thanks! I really appreciate it.
     
  34. Bartelby

    Bartelby G.O.A.T.

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    I wonder what an 18x17 pattern would be like??? Only marginally greater spin or more spin plus control??? Will they make such???
     
  35. pshulam

    pshulam Hall of Fame

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    I am NOT bitter or skeptical about what you said at all. You have provided an excellent explaining the effect of reduction in string-bed friction. My point is that the concept does not appear to be that revolutionary as claimed by Wilson, "Spin Effect Technology is a ground breaking technology exclusively developed by Wilson.
    The new Steam 99S & Steam 105S are the only two rackets to feature Spin Effect Technology, designed to give you crazy amounts of spin so you can play like the pros without changing your swing."
    Hope this clarify my point.
     
  36. ChicagoJack

    ChicagoJack Hall of Fame

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    ^^ Wow. That is amongst the worst bit of copy ever written. I get it. And it serves to underscore my earlier comment that consumers often have a deep, gut level reaction when the feel they are being "marketed". Verbiage like that is going to be a huge turn off for lots of folks. The phrase "... so you can play like the pros, without changing your swing" is deserving of every drop of the skepticism backlash it generates. It's a damn shame because it only obfuscates the legitimate science and innovation behind the design.
     
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2012
  37. Bartelby

    Bartelby G.O.A.T.

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    If 16x15 becomes the new 16x19 this pattern may indeed be revolutionary, but this will take two or three years to happen if it happens at all.
     
  38. Bartelby

    Bartelby G.O.A.T.

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    I can see groundstrokes benefiting from the pattern, but not for volleys, returns and any shot where you need to bleed the pace off the ball. Directional control could be lacking on serves.
     
  39. Dgdavid

    Dgdavid Professional

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    I dunno about being marketed at but they had me at "new for 2013". Damn racketoholism :-(
     
  40. racertempo

    racertempo Semi-Pro

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    You would think, but volleys and servers are very very strong with this frame. If groundstrokes would benefit why would serves not........from every single player review on here that I can recall, all had the same think in common, monster servers with this frame with more kick.

    I am a net charger with aggression and I love this frame at the net. But I don't take huge monster cuts like some, so I could see control being trouble for those types of people.
     
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2012
  41. pshulam

    pshulam Hall of Fame

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  42. Bartelby

    Bartelby G.O.A.T.

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    Double-entendre?



     
  43. corners

    corners Legend

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    Yeah, some guy once said, "If you're in marketing, you should kill yourself."

    BTW, your summary of the research timeline leading up to Wilson's Spin Effect frames in an earlier thread was spot on, Jack.
     
  44. tlm

    tlm Legend

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    The fact is the racket made by Vortex already has been using this technology for a few years now, so Wilson is not revolutionary in any way with their new spin rackets.
     
  45. pshulam

    pshulam Hall of Fame

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    It appears that they are still in business.
     
  46. tlm

    tlm Legend

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    Yes they are they just don't have a big name like Wilson.
     
  47. ChicagoJack

    ChicagoJack Hall of Fame

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    Hi Tlm - Yeah cool, but the open pattern concept predates the Vortex company by several decades. Of the seven Vortex racquets currently in production, none has fewer mains than crosses. Vortex is simply reading from the same script that has been around since the early eighties.

    This thread is now 50 pages deep, and I think just about every open pattern frame ever produced since the beginning of the graphite era has been mentioned three times over. To the best of my knowledge, none of those frames has fewer crosses than mains. For more on why that might be an important distinction, you might want to look at my brief timeline found on post #973 the previous page. If fewer mains isn't a big deal for you that's fine with me. I don't have a dog in the fight surrounding any Wilson product. I'm a Donnay fanboy LOL, what do I care! Just be clear that is the key distinction here.

    And just to re-iterate, I think Wilson is just shooting themselves in the foot with this over the top copy writing. It's left those of us who simply want to inform about what low inter string friction is all about, and how it came to be discovered, deflecting a lot of arrows in the process.

    Hi corners - Cool, thanks for the confirmation. I always swing by to see what you've got to say in a thread whenever I see your name on the big board. Always good stuff from you here.

    -Jack
     
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2012
  48. tlm

    tlm Legend

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    Ya you are right the vortex does not have fewer x's than mains, but it does have huge spacing with its 14x16 pattern on a 100 sq inch head size. Which to me is what is creating the monster spin not how many mains to x's it has.

    In other words okay the wilson has fewer x's than mains but I really don't think it makes as big a difference as the big gaps in the string bed and I don't think it will be much different than the vortex. But I will see for myself when I get a chance to demo one.

    I am afraid that it will pose the same problem of being to powerful, just like the vortex was.
     
  49. ChicagoJack

    ChicagoJack Hall of Fame

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    Ah yes, the big gaps thing. Big gaps = ball bite = more spin. That idea has been around been quite a while. At least since the days when Mark Woodforde played with a Frankenracquet inspired by his old Snauwert Hi-Ten built from a PS 7.5 mold with a custom 12 x 16 drill pattern.

    It's big topic that could fill many chapters in a book, but I will just kick out the quickie version before heading off to bed. By the way, if it sounds remotely intelligent, it's probably just the words of Crawford, Lindsey, Brody, Goodwill or Hawke rolling around in my head. I'm just a dumb jock who reads tennis physics as a substitute for OTC sleep aids.

    Ball to String Friction, and Spin : Prevailing Concepts (1980 - 2005). Players have developed dozens of concepts about how to increase spin over the past several decades. From the graphite era until somewhere in 2005-2008, nearly all of those ideas centered around increasing ball to string friction. Out of this basic, and largely unchallenged premise, dozens of concepts have emerged. Interestingly, almost any quality of string could be made to be consistent with any mental imagery about ways to increase ball bite, witness:

    - Thick strings have more surface area, therefore more bite.
    - Thin strings dig into the ball, therefore more bite.
    - Stiff strings (Kevlar, Poly) squash the ball more, therefore the ball pancakes into the string bed more, therefore more bite.
    - Elastic strings deform more, so strings wrap around the ball more, therefore more grab.
    - Textured, shaped, rough strings means more ball bite.
    - Open patterns dig into the ball more.
    - Closed patterns have more surface area contact, therefore more ball bite.
    - Longer dwell times means the ball sinks deeper into the string bed, therefore the strings wrap around the ball more, therefore more grab.
    - Shorter dwell times means stiffer string, therefore the ball sinks less deeply into the string bed, but the ball deforms more, therefore more ball bite.

    Notice The Pattern? Increasing ball to string friction, and cooking up new (and experimentally untested) mental imagery about how to achieve that is the only game in town for 25 years.

    What Happened In 2005 - 2011 : In 2005, Yoshihiko Kawazoe, and Kenji Okimoto were working on developing a spray to revive old and notched string beds. They were just two dudes trying to make a buck, with minimal interest in advancing tennis physics. They published a video on an obscure website in Japan demonstrating that strings do in fact slide and snap back as the ball exits the string bed. The entire physics community instantly took notice. It might seem intuitive now, but back then, it was a world shaker. I for one was elbow deep in all the heated debates that took place right here at TW, Mid 2005 on the subject of string movement. For the record, I was positioned on what has turned out to be the losing side of those epic debates. I had been observing the University of Sheffield study that concluded (falsely) that strings make little difference with regards to spin. Mmy thinking back then was that strings did snap back, but that the ball was long gone by the time this occurred.

    Inspired by those early, low budget video postings, the ITF followed up with a flurry of studies on the matter, followed by the research currently found in the TW university by Crawford Lindsey circa 2009-2012. All came to the same conclusion. Strings that slide and snap back, create additional spin as the ball exits the string bed. We can now assume, that Wilson brought some of those published insights back to their own in house R&D for implementation, and are apparently currently seeking a patent.

    On Impact Angles And Ball Deformation: In the sport of table tennis, where typical topspin strokes occur at at very extreme contact angles, and the ball does not deform, ball to paddle/rubber friction is a very, very big deal. But in the sport of tennis, top spin shots occur at racquet face angles between 0-50 degrees, and the ball deforms on impact. It is possible that if the impact angle occurs at an angle greater that 50 degrees, the ball will not bite and slide across the strings. But this situation rarely occurs except in the case of extreme topspin lobs. It has also been observed via ultra hi speed video camera studies performed by the ITF, that the if the impact forces are great enough, the ball can be squashed to nearly flat, with the back of the ball actually bouncing off the front of the ball! When you see what really happens at impact, the tennis world is a very strange and beautiful place indeed. The ball wobbles, it shakes like a bowl of jello. The ball deforms into a whole bunch of odd shapes, but what one shape it is not, is round. And yes, even novices hit the ball with enough force to cause ball to deform to roughly 40-60 percent of the original size.

    What Deformation and Impact Angle Means To The Ball "Bite" Issue: You cannot have any more, or any less ball bite, when the ball is already squashed into the string bed like a bug on a wind shield. One hundred percent ball bite occurs, every time you hit the ball, no matter what strings you use. What can be said is that there is biting a little bit sooner during the 3-5 milliseconds impact, and there is biting a bit later as the ball exits the string bed. However, this biting a little bit better as the ball leaves the string bed is important to spin production only if the mains have traveled over the crosses, leaving them positioned for the snap back. See photos [a] provided below. Link here.

    Quote [1] "String manufacturers have always marketed tennis strings according to their ability to grip the ball via sticky coatings, rough/grabby surfaces, or "biting" shapes. The underlying theory is that greater friction between the string and the ball will cause more spin. This was universally accepted as true until it was demonstrated that for all impacts less than 50 degrees away from perpendicular, the strings will bite the ball to the maximum extent possible, no matter the texture, shape, or material of the string. This is important because when biting occurs, friction ceases. This result assumes that the stringbed is laterally rigid — i.e., the strings do not move sideways, or, if they do, they do not snap back into position. This was the situation in the pre-polyester string days. As we will see below, polyester changed everything" [1] - Crawford Lindsey, How Ball to Spin Friction Affects Spin, Feb 2012. Link here.

    Quote [2] "Friction is important to spin, but not in the sense that most people think it is. In the past, two assumptions were the foundation for the conventional wisdom that (1) a rough string surface creates more spin by increasing the string's bite, grab and push on the ball, and (2) that inter-string motion would lessen that grabbing and thus should be minimized. So, to gain maximum spin, the goal was to use a string with both a high ball-string friction and a high string-string friction to create a rigid surface parallel to the string bed. As so formulated, both of these assumptions have proven incorrect. First, experiments show that for a tangentially non compliant surface, the spin will be nearly the same for all magnitudes of string-ball friction for impact angles typical for tennis shots. For reasons explained below, both rough and smooth strings will produce the same spin on a laterally rigid surface. (2nd paragraph deleted for brevity) The role of ball-string friction in this process is that it influences both the amount of lateral string movement and the torque the snap-back exerts on the ball (though the magnitude of its contribution is yet to be ascertained by experiment). It is here that ball-string friction contributes to the difference in spin performance between string models, but only if the strings move. Otherwise, ball-string friction produces about the same spin for every string. And whether the strings move or not depends on the static and sliding friction between strings. [2] -- Crawford Lindsey, August 2010, Revised February 11. Link here.

    corners - Feel free to jump in here on this, in case I've missed anything important with my quickie thumbnail explanation. I've noticed you have a pretty good handle on this stuff.

    Photo [a] Link Here

    [​IMG]

    Photo Link Here

    [​IMG]

    -Jack
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2013
  50. kaiser

    kaiser Semi-Pro

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Holland - Belgium
    Very, very nice summary Jack, thanks!
     

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