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

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

  1. D-money

    D-money Rookie

    Joined:
    May 16, 2011
    Messages:
    161
    Location:
    Northern CA
    So I got my 99s and strung it up with pro hurricane tour 16. Went for a hit today and I'm thoroughly impressed. I've don't normally buy rackets without a demo or two but I figured I'd have no problem getting rid of it if I didn't like it. As others have said the launch angle is noticeably different and the topspin is incredible. It's definitely going to take a long time to get used to on serve because it swings much lighter than the club I have been hitting with and as of now it's a little tough to control. I also don't notice much more kick than normal but once I get it dialed in I'm sure I'll be getting some launch off the court. I'm not sure about the hurricane as a string for it I'm thinking 4G might be a great string for this stick even though my initial review of it for the playtest was t necessarily glowing.
    What are some full poly jobs that people have used with this and how were they?
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2013
  2. wmilas

    wmilas Rookie

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2010
    Messages:
    242
    I noticed that Wilson doesn't have the recommended string patterns up for the 99s. Anyone have a clue as to how to string this thing 2 piece? Mine will be here Thursdayish and I want to string it before I play on Friday :)
     
  3. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

    Joined:
    May 3, 2004
    Messages:
    24,466
    Location:
    FT. Lauderdale, Florida
    Haven't tried that set up. Mostly gut/poly set-ups, and id hit with full bed of 4G and full bed of black magic 15L.


    They don't play/feel as stiff as the rating would indicate.

    If you are going full poly, string it low,,,,,,,, like in the high 40's, low 50's.

    Good luck, and have fun.

    Try Black Magic 15l. Will solve the durability issue, and also adds some control. Still powerful, comfortable, and the spin is still there.

    Just string it normal. No special stringing is required. have fun and let us know your feedback.
     
  4. TroutSc

    TroutSc Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2012
    Messages:
    470
    A friend had one this weekend as a demo. He played it and decided that it pretty much needed full poly. It hit good but with a hybrid the strings moved a lot and didn't snap back right. He cut em out and was using full poly instead. I passed up hitting it due to the high stiffness rating and full poly. (I'm going through and elbow phase so being careful). Looking forward to see what else follows regarding the open string patterns.
     
  5. D-money

    D-money Rookie

    Joined:
    May 16, 2011
    Messages:
    161
    Location:
    Northern CA
    I had a match today and the problems I had on serve are still there but I'm getting the feel for volleys and overheads. My groundstrokes, however, are fantastic with this this stick. The net clearance like everyone has said is noticeably higher and the kick off of the court and late movement on the ball is like no other racket I've hit with. The babolat pro hurricane tour 1.30 is not playing like I'd like. In a string pattern this open it seems the PHT has a plasticky feel. No loud thwack that I usually get from that string. I'm thinking I might try Drak's suggestion with the genesis or maybe I'll try 4G in this. I was speaking with a Wilson rep that suggested 4G as well. She said that the frame was designed to work with it and in the context of our conversation I doubt she'd make give me a bunch of marketing bs. Also the 4GS might be worth a hit when it's available.
     
  6. dmcb101

    dmcb101 Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2009
    Messages:
    578
    I think its available now...
     
  7. racertempo

    racertempo Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    May 17, 2011
    Messages:
    661
    Location:
    Charlotte, NC area
    My demo experience with a hybrid setup was the exact same, after just 1 set the multi was not snapping back properly and I ended up moving a lot of string after every point. Full poly for sure.
     
  8. drak

    drak Professional

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2004
    Messages:
    1,256
    Drakulie? what's your experience with your different string combos? U probably have more experience with this frame than just about anyone here. How are the gut combos working - give us a string review.

    Thx in advance
     
  9. srvnvly

    srvnvly Professional

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2004
    Messages:
    1,054
    Drakulie, will you also comment on multi's, for both the 99 and 99S? I keep reading full polly is the way to go, but there is so much non-agreement as to which should be used, plus I have been using full-bed X1B 17 for the past few years that I'm leery of going to a polly. I appreciate your feedback, thanks.
     
  10. D-money

    D-money Rookie

    Joined:
    May 16, 2011
    Messages:
    161
    Location:
    Northern CA
    Where is 4GS available now?
     
  11. Mongolmike

    Mongolmike Professional

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2009
    Messages:
    996
    Location:
    Ohio
    I think there is only the 4G 16 and 16L. Wasn't aware that there is a Luxilon 4GS.

    By the way, I have 4G 16 in my new Steam 105s. It is the recommended string for that stick too... I strung it at 62#... I'm going to cut it and try it at 59#.

    Even tho the 99s and the 105s are similiar, I don't think they are THAT similiar to compare the same string/same tension between the two sticks.... so I can't help you there other than I think full poly in either stick is the way to go for most people.
     
  12. D-money

    D-money Rookie

    Joined:
    May 16, 2011
    Messages:
    161
    Location:
    Northern CA
    The S is specifically for the Wilson "S" rackets like the 99s and 105s I'll go with the regular 4G though I really don't think durability is going to be an issue for with such a durable poly. The S is a 1.43 or something crazy. I only break 18g polys in 16x19 patterns I've never broken a 17 or 16g poly before it was time to cut it out anyway.
     
  13. ChicagoJack

    ChicagoJack Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2005
    Messages:
    2,270
    Ha Ha, No worries Mongolmike. No big wacky matches for me in quite a while. I have decided to use my superpowers as a force for good and not evil. --Jack
     
  14. ChicagoJack

    ChicagoJack Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2005
    Messages:
    2,270
    deleted double post
     
  15. wmilas

    wmilas Rookie

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2010
    Messages:
    242
    I only string for myself and friends, I don't have the experience with the number of racquets you do. I'm guessing by "normal" you mean tie mains off at 6T, start cross at 8H tie start at 5H?! and tie cross end at 10T or 11T.. I'm guessing 10T? Skip 8's.

    I guess is the cross start tie and end tie that are confusing. 5H looks reasonable for start but I'd guess 11T for end as that's the traditional 3rd cross tie off but its SOOOO far up the side of the frame. 10T looks more sane but that's only 1 cross up.
     
  16. racertempo

    racertempo Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    May 17, 2011
    Messages:
    661
    Location:
    Charlotte, NC area
    The TW Specification section does states to skip 8s
     
  17. Mongolmike

    Mongolmike Professional

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2009
    Messages:
    996
    Location:
    Ohio
    Post #1085 is my experience with stringing a 105s with the G4... isn't the 99s recommended to be a 1 pc also? Why did you go 2 pc?
     
  18. racertempo

    racertempo Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    May 17, 2011
    Messages:
    661
    Location:
    Charlotte, NC area
    Even thought it recommends 1 piece I always like to string via 2 piece, just easier in dealing with the string and if there is a break I might not have to redo the who thing, so when my 99s and 105s are do for restring I will 2-piece those. Not only that, but obviously anyone doing a hybrid needs to do a 2-piece string job, so I hate when a company only specifies 1-piece stringing like most Wilson frames.
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2013
  19. arche3

    arche3 Banned

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2009
    Messages:
    5,389
    I want to see nadal use the 99s.
     
  20. corners

    corners Legend

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2008
    Messages:
    5,441
    Hey Scotus, I've done this too. I think you didn't get your tension high enough, which just results in the mains sliding too far to snap back in time, producing a high rebound angle without any extra spin, or even less spin. I describe my attempts here: http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showpost.php?p=6976465&postcount=271

    The papers linked at the bottom of that post explain why "too much" string movement results in less spin and high rebound angle.
     
  21. LarryJ

    LarryJ New User

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2010
    Messages:
    15
    From a quick look I took online, it appears its out in Canada. I say appears as the seller of the string on the big auction site was located there.
     
  22. Mongolmike

    Mongolmike Professional

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2009
    Messages:
    996
    Location:
    Ohio
    Trust me....lol... I get the hybrid side and the supposed ease of 2 pc... tho I find 1 pc is faster. I was more wondering if he did 2 pc because he thought he was getting a more even tension, or what.
     
  23. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

    Joined:
    May 3, 2004
    Messages:
    24,466
    Location:
    FT. Lauderdale, Florida
    The gut/poly is awesome. Much more spin, power, and comfort than a full poly. That said, durability is less. Using gut with a poly that is thicker than the gut is the way to go. Much more durability, and no noticable loss in spin or power, but more control.

    Right now I'm using the older version of the Prince Gut, which is a bit stiffer than babolat/wilson, and is playing awesome. Stringing with Black Magic 15L in crosses.

    haven't tried the frame with a multi.
     
  24. couch

    couch Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2004
    Messages:
    1,896
    Switched back to the Steam 99S tonight (had been hitting new Speed MP) and this will be my new stick. Just felt really comfortable with the stick after not having played with it for the last few weeks. Hit big serves and made just about every return against a pretty big server.

    Did find myself trying to put a little extra spin on the ball to bring it back down in the court though. Part of that was the courts we played on are hard courts (almost like a carpet) on the second floor of a building so the balls are fast and the feel is dead with it being on the second floor. Always feels like the balls have a tendency to fly in this facility.

    When I hit whith the 99S before I felt like I was driving through the ball more but that probably had a lot to do with the court (a slower, higher bouncing hard court).

    The only issue I see that I might have with this racquet is with string durability. I was breaking 16g 4G after about 3-4 hours. Want to try the 15g in mains and 16g in the crosses with 4G. Been string it at 58lbs on CP machine. Feel like I can/should string a couple pounds tighter with 16g but a little nervous to do that. Thinking 15g/16g combo may be best at same tension.

    I do have a set of 15L Code Black that I'm gonna try. Anybody tried a 15L or 15g poly in the 99S? I was gonna ask Drak about the gut/poly hybrid durability but sounds like it's less than the 4G poly.

    Also, think I might keep a regular Steam 99 in my bag for emergencies only. :)
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2013
  25. AlfaAce

    AlfaAce Rookie

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2012
    Messages:
    278
    Location:
    Northern CA
    Hey Drakulie - What gauge is the Prince Gut that you are using with the BM 15L? Do you typically recommend 1 gauge difference between the NG mains and poly crosses regardless of the frame? Or is this more specific to the 99S? What about tensions?

    Thanks!
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2013
  26. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

    Joined:
    May 3, 2004
    Messages:
    24,466
    Location:
    FT. Lauderdale, Florida
    Hi.

    The gauge difference I recommend is specifically for this frame. Not sure if it works well with other frames, but I have found there is increased durability with the gut, specifically in this frame when doing it this way. As for tensions, the lower the tension, the better the durability. I'm currently stringing between 45-48lbs. At 55 or more, the durability of the gut dramatically decreases.

    Also, the Prince Natural Gut is 16 gauge, with the black magic being a 15.
     
  27. HacknSlash

    HacknSlash New User

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2011
    Messages:
    32
    Location:
    Cincinnati, OH
    I had the chance to hit with a demo 99s tonight. I have to say, surprise, that I enjoyed it.

    I'm not a racquet afficionado (however you spell it), but I can compare to what I normally play, Prince Exo3 100 16x18.

    This is unfortunately not an apples to apples comparison as when I picked up the 99s today, I was very disappointed to find they had strung it with syn gut. I tell you what, w/o the crosses to keep it in check, the syn mains just jacked up and stayed put where they went. After every point I was pulling the mains back in to place. Even with the mains not snapping back, I could still tell there was spin to be had.

    I preferred the 99s for groundstrokes. It is supposed to be slightly lighter than the Prince, but with a higher SW? At any rate, it just felt (wow...really subjective) to be grooved better when I was swinging. There was more behind it. Returns were the same...just was more solid.

    Serves were all over the place. I didn't have a chance to warm up, and we were playing doubles. My flat serve certainly was going with more pace..however with no chance to dial in a new racquet, it was pace that never found the box... Spin serves, top or slice (surprise) to me seemed to have much more bite.

    At the net, I preferred the Prince. There just seemed to be more touch than the 99s, of course I've played with them for a year as well.

    Finally, the 99s had a good bit more pop than the Prince. I've had multi's and syn gut and gut in the Prince in the past (TB/ogsm hybrid currently), and even with those, the 99s had more punch. I have to say, I kinda liked it.

    I do not really want to dump $400 on a couple new ones, but I really enjoyed hitting with it. It would have been a much easier decision though if I'd actually had the chance to play with poly in there to see what the real deal is. I will likely end up buying them after I wait long enough for the guilt over the purchase to be mitigated by time spent telling myself I can't get them. Estimate about 2 weeks...if that.
     
  28. AlfaAce

    AlfaAce Rookie

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2012
    Messages:
    278
    Location:
    Northern CA
    Durability is kind of an afterthought for me. What about power relative to control?

    With this low tension, gut/poly, gauge combo, you find "control" to be:

    1. Touchy
    2. OK
    3. Average
    4. Exceptional

    And "power"???
     
  29. couch

    couch Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2004
    Messages:
    1,896
    hacknslash- you really have to experience an all poly set up or a gut main/poly cross set up to get the most out of this frame. I couldn't imagine playing this frame with synthetic gut or multi. The strings would be all over the place with no snap back. If you liked it with a synthetic gut you will absolutely love it with a poly or gut/poly combo. Even stringing full bed 4G the frame feels nice and soft. At least to me. :)
     
  30. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

    Joined:
    May 3, 2004
    Messages:
    24,466
    Location:
    FT. Lauderdale, Florida
    I'm use to the low tension so control is no problem once I got used to the nuances of the frame. That said, with a thicker poly in the crosses, it seems to perform much better in the control dept.


    agree, agree, agree.

    One really needs to experience this frame with either full poly or with a gut/poly hybrid. Even a multi/poly hybrid I imagine would be great,,,,,, but with a full multi set up, I just don't see this frame performing as well.
     
  31. drak

    drak Professional

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2004
    Messages:
    1,256
    anything on the grip size question gents? is a 4 3/8 really a 4 3/8 or is it a size bigger
     
  32. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

    Joined:
    May 3, 2004
    Messages:
    24,466
    Location:
    FT. Lauderdale, Florida
    It may feel a tad bigger, but take into consideration the grip is new vs a grip that is worn in.
     
  33. AlfaAce

    AlfaAce Rookie

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2012
    Messages:
    278
    Location:
    Northern CA
    Any idea when TW will offer demos?
     
  34. g4driver

    g4driver Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2009
    Messages:
    1,887
    I have played with a Wilson Pro Open size 4 3/8 for 2.5 years. I played 4 sets of singles and 15 sets of doubles the past four days with the 99S, and I thought I was going to buy a 4 1/4 based on previous posts about the grip size.

    Picking up two 4 3/8 today as I feel the grip size is the same or so close I can't tell.

    Wilson only sent the store two demos on Friday. It was originally strung Poly/NRG2. But after two sets with it on Friday, I called the store owner and told him it was horrible, cut it out and restrung full poly and it was a completely different experience in a great way.

    Drakulie thanks for the advice on gut / poly setups. Going to string up the gut / poly today.
     
  35. Federerkblade

    Federerkblade Professional

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2009
    Messages:
    1,151
    Location:
    Uk
    gd driver pls tell us about your experience as i am a pro open player
     
  36. g4driver

    g4driver Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2009
    Messages:
    1,887
    Ferererkblade,

    my pro opens are similar to yours with most of the extra weight in the handles. I have four of them that weigh roughly 335 grams. (I took a few grams off of one to make it lighter for tournaments when playing the 4th match of the day).

    I love the Pro Open and have never found a suitable replacement (Wilson Steam, Yonex VCore 100S or VCore 98D, BB London or Yonex RDiS 200 (which I do think is the closest, but in the end, there was no reason to switch frames).

    I play singles and doubles and have a different style for each. In singles, I tend to stay on the baseline and run guys side to side and flatten out my forehand when they give me a short ball. I put the ball back in play, and patiently wait for the right time to rip flat shots. If in trouble or playing deep shots , I try to resit the point by hitting to the middle of the court to avoid angles from my opponent. In doubles, I am aggressive at the net and poach relentlessly on balls that float don't have any zip. I generally hit ROS flat and away from the net guy, and come in immediately. I play doubles with a 6'5" 4.0 player (former 3.5 partner) and with another shorter 5'11" 3.5 partner, in tournaments and on various teams. These guys have different style of play, and I hit with both of them over the weekend singles and doubles. The 3.5 guy has a cannon for an arm on forehands, volleys and overheads, so hitting with him is not much different than the 6'5" guy. They are both great partners in doubles.

    The Steam 99S was an easy switch for me. I love the spin off the forehand, but where I think this frame shines the most for me is my 2HBH and serve. I can generate more topspin on the backhands and it has more pop with the full poly. I have always played hybrids due to arm issues and while I don't prefer full poly, the Steam 99S isn't designed for mulitifilament crosses strings and it is very apparent if you try them as crosses.

    On the ROS, the Steam 99S allows for much more topspin and it was easier to dig out those very spinny serves that stayed low. One guy has a very different style of play with a lot of hard backspin that keeps the ball very low. He is a teammate, but he gives opposing teams trouble with these shots and they are so very different from most players on the courts. The Steam 99S made dealing with his cut shots must easier.

    If you like the Pro Open, my guess is you will love the Steam 99S. My doubles partner who plays with the RDiS 200 is switching to the Steam 99S also. He hits more topspin than me, and after one set and some drilling with it, ask me to get him two. lol

    After 19 sets against hard hitting 4.0s / very strong 3.5s all weekend, my arm feels it. The gut/poly setup should help that cause.

    Pick one up asap if you can.
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2013
  37. couch

    couch Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2004
    Messages:
    1,896
    Oh yeah, forgot to mention that the second 99S I picked up came in at 304 grams. Exactly on spec for both racquets.
     
  38. wmilas

    wmilas Rookie

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2010
    Messages:
    242
    If you want a hybrid (gut mains) you have to string two piece. If you want to vary the tension on the mains compared to the crosses you should (although don't have to) string two piece.

    If you are stringing a poly that has bad coil memory sometimes its easier to string it two piece.
     
  39. Federerkblade

    Federerkblade Professional

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2009
    Messages:
    1,151
    Location:
    Uk
    g4 id like to thank you for the extended reply and review !!
     
  40. g4driver

    g4driver Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2009
    Messages:
    1,887
    Drakulie,

    Have you tried a multi main / poly cross setup? Thoughts ? I know there is no equivalent to gut, but just would like your take on multi / poly .

    The poly main / NRG2 setup didn't work well at all .

    Thanks
     
  41. Mongolmike

    Mongolmike Professional

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2009
    Messages:
    996
    Location:
    Ohio
    Yeah, I understand the hybrid and the tension difference.... are you stringing 2 different tensions?

    lol... bad coil memory is just that... I think I string 1 pc faster, but this G4 was the worst I've had in a long time. I've got 3 more packs that I'm experimenting the tension with and I will still string 1 pc... I'll just be careful and not pull as fast.
     
  42. nickarnold2000

    nickarnold2000 Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2006
    Messages:
    1,611
    What do you guys think about poly mains and a 15 gauge syn gut? Will the thicker syn gut give me reasonable durability and snap back? Due to a sensitive arm I"m not a fan of full poly and using gut/poly will break the bank.
     
  43. wmilas

    wmilas Rookie

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2010
    Messages:
    242
    I string gut mains at 54-6 and poly crosses at 48 normally. If its a very soft poly I'll string the crosses at 50.

    If you are asking do I string poly mains with poly crosses at different tensions, no, But I know a few people who do.

    As far as coil memory, I suck at pulling that stuff through. Drives me nuts.
     
  44. Mongolmike

    Mongolmike Professional

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2009
    Messages:
    996
    Location:
    Ohio
    I've strung polys at 2# different tensions between mains-crosses in the past... couldn't really tell the difference... but I can tell the difference between in a full poly bed strung 1 pc at 52# and an identical racquet strung at 55#. In fact I'm dropping the G4 in the 105s from 62 to 59... which is still way higher than what I've used polys in the past.
     
  45. drak

    drak Professional

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2004
    Messages:
    1,256
    I got a 99S coming, anyone try 15L gut for the mains? using a Poly cross of course. I ordered some Tonic 15L and I'll give it a go.
     
  46. Federerkblade

    Federerkblade Professional

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2009
    Messages:
    1,151
    Location:
    Uk
    im going to order a 99s and string champions choice gut in mains.

    im gonna go 57/53 what do ppl think. I think the gauge on champions choice is 1.30 am i right or wrong ? or does it come in diff gauges


    I know drak goes as low as 45lbs all over but im afraid of going that low just yet
     
  47. Federerkblade

    Federerkblade Professional

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2009
    Messages:
    1,151
    Location:
    Uk
    final question for the stringers .

    Each length of champions choice is 6.1m . if i ask Tw to string the racquet will the spare of the string be enough to string another racquet???
     
  48. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

    Joined:
    May 3, 2004
    Messages:
    24,466
    Location:
    FT. Lauderdale, Florida
    Not yet.

    Yes, tried the Tonic with black magic 15l, and also with 4g in crosses. Played great with both, but lasted longer with the 15L black magic. Would imagine would last as long with 15 gauge 4G.

    unfortunately, it won't be enough :(
     
  49. syke

    syke Professional

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2012
    Messages:
    1,356
    [​IMG]

    Got one just to see what the hype is all about.

    A little disappointed with the weight (strung) is 316g. That's 4 grams off the 320g as mentioned on TW. Poor QC.
     
  50. JGads

    JGads Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2010
    Messages:
    4,343
    ^^
    4 grams off and it's a Wilson? You should be popping the cork off a bottle of champagne right about now.

    Plus, TW lists the average specs from a collection that they randomly pick out and test. There are loads of frames that are where your stick is, a good handful of frames that are even lighter, and the same goes for the other side of that weight spectrum.

    If you didn't pay the 10 dollars extra for an exact spec requirement, four grams off of average is great, especially for Wilsons which fluctuate wildly.
     

Share This Page