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

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

  1. AlfaAce

    AlfaAce Rookie

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    4 grams different and you are "disappointed"?!?! TW states that they average several frames before publishing frame weights. Besides, it's no secret that Wilson is INFAMOUS for QC.

    Regardless of weight, what about "all the hype"? Spin, control, feel, etc?
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2013
  2. syke

    syke Professional

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    LOL... :) I am spoiled by Yonex's quality...

    I will probably bring along a weighing scale if I ever decide to stock up on them.

    I will be trying it out later today. Will let you guys know.

     
  3. syke

    syke Professional

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    Just played 2 hours with the Steam 99s.
    It's a SPIN MONSTER!

    There is a lot more power compared to my Vcore 100. Much bigger sweet spot, ROS is forgiving. Control and serve could be better though. Very muted feel, balance is a little weird, but the spin is amazing... It's almost like cheating. I could stay on the baseline all day just hitting topspin shots.

    Think I will dumping my Vcore Tours on the resale market.
     
  4. martini1

    martini1 Hall of Fame

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    I got one too, at the stringers now. Will pick it up Fri. Damn TT. After reading all the hype I got to pick one up.
     
  5. drak

    drak Professional

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    what did you string it with and at what tension?
     
  6. Federerkblade

    Federerkblade Professional

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    yes what string and tension ??

    and do you think the control and the serve is an issue in singles matches. If you cant control the serve its not a match play stick ??
     
  7. wmilas

    wmilas Rookie

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    Wilson responded back to an email I sent to their customer service. They forwarded me the official stringing PDF for the 99s along with the normal pictorials (the ones ya find in the book) Verbatim:


    String Length
    One 35' (10.7m) length (ss: 9'5") or 19' (5.8m) mains and 16' (4.9m) crosses. Start mains at throat.
    Mains Skip 8T and 8H. Tie of mains at 6T
    if one-piece stringing: Start Xs at bottom at 8T. Tie off Xs at 5H.
    if two piece stringing: Start Xs at top 8H. Tie off Xs at 5H and 11T.

    Tension:
    54-64 lbs (24-28 kgs)

    Hope this helps someone :) It helped me.
     
  8. racertempo

    racertempo Semi-Pro

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    Wow, interesting to see 11T. Even surprised to see 6T for the mains and not 7T, mine were 1 piece strung from TW but when I redo them I will follow these instructions, thanks so much for sharing the reply from Wilson!
     
  9. Federerkblade

    Federerkblade Professional

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    ok now my stringer never looks at stringing instructions for my wilson and i doubt he does for any racquet he strings

    How serious is it to not go by stringing instructions. what effect will it have ?
     
  10. dmcb101

    dmcb101 Semi-Pro

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    Hello TT Readers,

    I know this is probably a little bit soon, but has anyone though of customization for this frame? When I play tested this racquet back in October I liked the balance and weight of the racquet but was interested in the thought of how the racquet may perform given some extra weight. I currently play with a 2012 Six.one 95 18X20 which is a bit different in balance and weight to the 99s (12.3 oz compared to 11.4 oz/ 8pts HL compared to 3pts HL). I really like the heft and balance of the six.one 95 and was curious how the 99s would perform under similar specs. As most of you know, any racquet that has a higher swingweight/static weight will produce a heavier ball compared to a lighter/lower swingweight racquet. I was thinking that an increase in weight would force the "snap-back" to occur more violently thus producing even more spin.

    What are all of your thoughts on this idea? Again I want to stress that I did like the 99s stock and not saying that I would change it once I get my racquet through my teaching pro contract, but interested in the idea and keeping this option open.

    Thanks for reading!
     
  11. sundaypunch

    sundaypunch Hall of Fame

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    Extra weight always helps if you can maintain your racquet head speed. The optimal weight / balance will vary depending on the person.
     
  12. wmilas

    wmilas Rookie

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    In reality, probably not a whole lot if you are one hole off. In theory the racquet is designed so that the stress at the tie off holes is managed correctly. In reality it doesn't matter much at all with a one piece as long as you pick sane holes and for a two piece it only matters if you are silly and pick two holes right next to each other which could cause a stress fracture.

    The problem I was having is that 10T is REALLY close to the main tie off but 11T looked like really far up the racquet. But, wilson confirmed 11T is correct :)
     
  13. dmcb101

    dmcb101 Semi-Pro

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    Yes this is true. I am thinking that this would create more snap back in the strings because the extra weight would force them to move more. Anyone else consider customization?
     
  14. syke

    syke Professional

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    Black code 17 @ 54 lbs.

    At this point of time, yes it's an issue. But I reckon it's probably because I need some time getting used to it.
     
  15. Ross K

    Ross K Legend

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    So what are ppls preferred poly of choice, tension(s) - and gauge - with this frame. TIA
     
  16. shogun90

    shogun90 Rookie

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    I ordered a 99S strung with Luxilon 4G @53# on Tues and will receive it Friday just in time for a doubles match and mixed on Sat.
     
  17. couch

    couch Hall of Fame

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    Just curious but did you weigh the frame unstrung to see if it was 304 grams? That would probably be a better representation of QC. As I mentioned before, I have two of them and they both weighed 304 grams unstrung.
     
  18. couch

    couch Hall of Fame

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    I've been hitting the 99S with 4g 16 gauge at 58 lbs and that seems to be working for me. Durability is a concern since I have been breaking that after 3-4 hours of singles/hitting. Probably will settle in on 15 gauge 4G mains and 16 gauge 4G crosses at 57 or 58. I think 4G is a pretty good match for this frame.

    I also have a set of Code Black 15L that I want to try.
     
  19. drak

    drak Professional

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    Couch, are you normally really tough on strings? 3-4 hrs of breaking 4G seems incredibly fast in a 16G. What's your USTA level. and can you give us a quick review of the frame. TIA
     
  20. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

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    amazingly, both frames I have come across are right on spec.
     
  21. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

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    as couch mentioned, better to check the specs when unstrung.
     
  22. sundaypunch

    sundaypunch Hall of Fame

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    4 grams is nothing. There will always be some variation, particularly when you consider different grip sizes and strings.
     
  23. couch

    couch Hall of Fame

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    I'm a 5.0 player that hits with quite a bit of spin. I have played with a Volkl Tour 8 (the original one) that is about 11.1 strung and somewhat headlight. I strung with SP Tornado and a synthetic cross and didn't break a lot of strings due to the lighter racquet and headlight balance. Biggest thing is I would cut the strings out before they broke because they were dead. The 4G tends to hold it's tension really well and with the extreme open string pattern and combination of hitting with spin the strings notch very quickly.

    I have played the 99S the last couple times out and this will be the racquet I play with from here on out. I hit a down-the-line winner the other night with so much side spin it curved in and then spun out like a kick serve. It was pretty incredible. You could literally see the ball kick out to the right.

    The only thing you have to get used to is the launch angle of the ball. You know it's going to hit with extra spin but trusting it will come with time. This is such a fun racquet to hit with.

    I gave a review that is posted in the first post by Drakulie. He posted links to a lot of the reviews from different players in this thread.
     
  24. Ross K

    Ross K Legend

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    Thanks. Interesting.

    Just wanting to get the lowdown on gauges with 4G (other polys too), ppls impresions, etc.

    Also curious how the rac performs with other polys as 4G seems to be so frequently used with this.

    I wonder how something like Tour Bite might perform in the 99s. Or Pro Poly Tour. Signum strings.

    Anyone played quite a few different polys in it care to feed back their thoughts? Also, what's the consensus re gauges?
     
  25. racertempo

    racertempo Semi-Pro

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    Interestingly, I noticed on the official Wilson website last night that the recommended string for this S frames is Wilson Spin Cycle. I know 4g is stamped on the frame, but surprised they would list Spin Cycle like that on the website. Spin Cycle is one of my top 3 favorite polys and I have lots of it, so I will try it with that next for sure.
     
  26. Federerkblade

    Federerkblade Professional

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    i think tour bite would be immense 16g but like at low poundage
     
  27. drak

    drak Professional

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    Drakulie, what tension did you use for the gut mains/Poly cross set ups? did you experiment and find a tension you preferred? Thx in advance
     
  28. PED

    PED Legend

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    Great reviews, every time I want to dismiss this stick, you or Drakulie make a comment that drags me back in ;)

    Is the Steam S good for hitting a heavier, lower trajectory ball? When using the YT Radical Pro a few years back, it had a massively wide open drill pattern for a 16X19 and I sometimes felt limited by the SW.

    I try and camp out on top of the baseline and take it early, am a bit worried that the SW of the Steam may not work well for that type of game.
     
  29. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    The Steam definitely hit's a higher trajectory ball, so I would say no. You can hit flat with it, but that is not the strength of the stick or what it's designed for. For lower trajectory, try the regular 99.
     
  30. PED

    PED Legend

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    I probably wasn't as clear as I should have been in my question.

    I'm not looking to hit "flat" per say, I try to hit a tightly spun ball that really cuts through the court and is on the other guy in a hurry :) There's plenty of spin on it still, just not loopy.
     
  31. fibonacci888

    fibonacci888 Rookie

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    If you look at the racket review video you see Andy hit the balls your looking for. Not loopy, just over the net, with full pace.
     
  32. PED

    PED Legend

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    Well spotted, that's exactly the ball I'm talking about.

    If Andy keeps at it, one day, his ball might penetrate like mine do....lol

    Seriously though, his strokes are textbook, great to watch in the vids.
     
  33. fibonacci888

    fibonacci888 Rookie

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    so no more excuses :)

    can't wait for my demo
     
  34. barry

    barry Hall of Fame

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    I hit a few balls with the 99s today and have to say it is an impressive frame. My shots are mostly flat, but was able to keep the ball in play; none on the back fence. The racket was strung with lexilon at 60 pounds, thought it would be a board, but the open pattern absorbs a lot of the stiffness.
    It was lighter than I am use too; but stable. Ground strokes were lively and the racket felt even balanced. Coming from 18 x 20 BLX Blade, it was very easy on my arm and shoulder.
    Plan to play a few sets with it over the weekend, but starting to get hooked!
     
  35. drak

    drak Professional

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    interesting that even at 60 with a full Lux if felt relatively comfortable to you, I'm thnik if I gut/Poly it I may go up to high 50's or even 60 with the gut mains.
     
  36. goober

    goober Legend

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    They really need to come out with some versions with a lower SW and also lower stiffness. The SW is a bigger deal for me though. 333 just doesn't work out well for me over long matches. I had the impression the S versions (especially the 105) were geared more to recreational players so they should make more recreational level specs IMO.
     
  37. racertempo

    racertempo Semi-Pro

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    Oddly the specs of the 105s are exactly why I wanted one to go along with the 99s. I love a 105 frame with a weight around 11oz that is 4-8HL, but they are very very hard to find, most 105 frames tend to be around Even balance and in the low 10s for weight. I love that I get good plowthru with the 105 frame and feel stable with it at the baseline.
     
  38. Federerkblade

    Federerkblade Professional

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    seems like the racquet enjoys poly strung at 50 s tensions and gut in 60 odd.

    each to their own though
     
  39. corners

    corners Legend

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    I think Wilson wanted mass in the head to help with the main string snap back effect. The 105S is 27.25" so if you want a lower swingweight you can cut off 1/4" and thereby drop the swingweight by about 8 units.
     
  40. souledge

    souledge Semi-Pro

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    Someone strung gut / poly at Gut 60 Poly 55?
     
  41. Federerkblade

    Federerkblade Professional

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    whos that then
     
  42. Ross K

    Ross K Legend

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    Fedkb - I'm sure I'll check out full TB at something like 50 lbs pretty soon.


    Okay, just had my induction into the steam room. Must say that along with the spinny high-booming ball that everyone has mentioned (and generally I tend to favour - though the spin did seem more pronounced with the 99s than 'normal' rackets), I thought the ball did indeed cut and zip through the court too, ie,. the trajectory could be varied. It somehow seemed more responsive to varying it up than something like an APD or J100, for me at least. And I didn't find the SW onerous (recently been playing J100 and APD/O of course.) In fact, what with that and the balance and weighting, I thought it swung really sweetly. Add in a certain Wilsonian solidness, good build quality, decent control, and what I'd call a kind of clean feel, well, I'm highly impressed thus far I have to be honest, H.
     
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2013
  43. Federerkblade

    Federerkblade Professional

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    Ross K where are you based in the UK again ?? Did you get a demo and where from ?
     
  44. Ross K

    Ross K Legend

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    Will PM you (providing I can do so via your profile).
     
  45. Federerkblade

    Federerkblade Professional

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    let me know if any problems ross k but i think you can email me
     
  46. PED

    PED Legend

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    Thanks for the review, you and I tend to like the same thing, so I'll try to get the demo tomorrow.
     
  47. Buford T Justice

    Buford T Justice Semi-Pro

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    Curious as to how these racquets hit.......my TW package arrived earlier today. For a standard test, I went with the recommended Lux 4g 16 at 59 lb (middle of rec range) and see how it goes.

    I am suspectig a rather large difference from the 1980's Wilson Ceramic 95's that have been my staples!
     
  48. atatu

    atatu Hall of Fame

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    Took mine out for a hit today, strung with Xcel mains at 58 and Luxilon at 55 in the crosses. First off, I'd say this frame is pretty comfortable, it does not feel stiff at all to me. It swings pretty easily also, so I wouldnt let the swingweight scare you off. My best shot with the frame was my 2 handed backhand, it felt great. On the forehand side, I had the same experience where balls I thought were going out dropped in. I'm not sure I like the feel, especially on the volleys, but one thing I have learned over the years is to never judge a frame after one hitting session, so I'll take it out a couple of more times before I decide whether to switch or give up and try the Blade 16x19.
     
  49. fibonacci888

    fibonacci888 Rookie

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    Xcel isn't that a multi? Why?
     
  50. Rabbit

    Rabbit G.O.A.T.

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    Just to let you know....I have a pristine Slazenger Challenge 1 that's never been strung when you get through fooling around with these "sissy' frames ;)
     

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