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

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

  1. doctor dennis

    doctor dennis Rookie

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    No not yet but they are due a Wilson delivery this week so they may have some in that shipment.

    If you purchase one in store its £104 pounds as they give 20% discount over online purchases.

    I couldn't wait so I ordered one earlier from PD. Plus I can get my name engraved on it which should add more spin and power. Lol.

    I can't wait till it comes.

    Kind regards.
     
  2. doctor dennis

    doctor dennis Rookie

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    Cheers Ross I'll have a look.

    Its a bit late though as I sold my APD GT's on the bay yesterday. No turning back now.

    This will be the first racket I've bought without demoing first.

    Just from the specs its pretty much the same with a more open pattern.
     
  3. Federerkblade

    Federerkblade Professional

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    Wow let us know how you like it although wont have decent strings in it
     
  4. doctor dennis

    doctor dennis Rookie

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    I know but I'm having them cut out straight away and having either:

    Luxillon 4g
    Luxlillon ALU Rough
    Red code or
    MSV Focus Hex

    Unsure which to go for though.

    ALU rough is my favorite. Focus Hex is my string of choice. (Cheap and performs very well). i havent tried 4g and red code looks cool.

    Decisions decisions.

    Hmmmmmm
     
  5. tlm

    tlm Legend

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    Yes there are a lot of positives with it, but the power is what I am having a problem with. Still experimenting to find the right set up to give it enough control.
     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2013
  6. Torres

    Torres Banned

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    You're using the wrong type of strings for this racquet and too low a tension. BHB7 17 is too elastic for this type of racquet.

    You need a string that's stiff, thickish in terms of gauge and which doesn't 'give' much.
     
  7. racertempo

    racertempo Semi-Pro

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    I noticed that after about 2 hours of hitting with the demo a month ago, but it was strung with 4g in the mains and NXT in the crosses which was not ideal. After a hour on a ball machine and 1 set of doubles the mains were sticking out of place every point. My situation was mostly due to the NXT in the crosses, at least that is what I believe, but interesting to hear your occurred with poly at 6-8 hours.
     
  8. doctor dennis

    doctor dennis Rookie

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    M Robs just called and they have them in stock now.
     
  9. Federerkblade

    Federerkblade Professional

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    Lol they have already sold out. They said they had one grip 4 left. more next week
     
  10. doctor dennis

    doctor dennis Rookie

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    Wow!!!

    10 chars
     
  11. drak

    drak Professional

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    I like this frame but my surgically repaired shoulder may not agree, It is not the stiffness but a swingweight/balance issue that has happenned in the past with a few higher swingweight frames (those were flexible and arm friendly and strung with gut). I may give it a bit more time but the more I play (especially with serve) the worse it gets. Bummer
     
  12. tkoziol

    tkoziol Rookie

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    Review

    My review of Wilson Steam 99s:

    Volleys: Seemed very solid to me. Sweet spot hits were responsive and very comfortable (very cushioned feel). More of a baseliner, so not much more to add.

    Topspin: I already hit with a lot of topspin (WW FH) so I didn't notice a large increase. My hitter partner noticed a huge difference in the spin and was framing a lot of shots. My backhand and serve are similar in that they are much more flattened out, but still have a degree of topspin to them. This racquet clearly helped some of my backhand and serves go in. This was evident by my flattened out forehand which went in much more consistently.

    Slice: Got several good drop shots. Backhand slice was great, low enough and accurate enough to pass my hitting partner. The extra bite on the ball can be felt and might bother some people.

    Returns: Big problem for me! With my original APDC I was able to whip a WW or flick a reverse forehand when in trouble. I could NOT do that with the Steam. You have to go for a full stroke, not a lofty topspin flick return. I did have great luck with slowing down my full stroke and driving the ball forward. The ball does launch high off this racquet, so me trying to drive the ball forward slowly produced a lofty spin heavy return. My hitting partner hits every serve over 100 MPH (except for seconds of course), so I did miss my defensive flick shots.

    Groundstrokes: I had great luck with my flattened out shots. Heavy topspin was better when I tried to drive the ball forward. My loopy topspin shots became lobs, so be careful when trying to do high kicking spin. As long as I was aggressive I was just fine.

    Serves: I have a flat serve with only a bit of topspin. Definitely faster with this racquet. Kick serve was ok, but not much improved. Slice serve was also ok, but not much improved. Both already have heavy spin though, so that could be part of the problem.

    Comfort: This is perhaps the most important part of the review and something that a lot of people have skipped over or didn't notice. Sweetspot hits feel AMAZING! This makes the cortex system of babolat seem non-existent. Given that I am a full-time tennis instructor perhaps comfort is more important to me than others. But the new amplifeel 360 technology is no gimmick.

    BTW I am a 5.0 player, full time tennis instructor, played at 50 pounds with Babolat pro hurricane tour 17g. I did add dampeners and lead tape to the racquet head for better plow-through (APD seemed to have better plow-through). I will be purchasing this racquet to replace my tattered old APDC original.

    I would recommend the addition of the lead tape, it real helps reduce the whippy feel of this racquet. Made it more solid and closer to APD or Pure Drive, but with better feel, power, and spin.

    Hope this helps people! Please ask any questions, I'm not a very good review writer...
     
  13. jjs891

    jjs891 Semi-Pro

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    tkoziol.

    Where on the hoop did you add lead?

    Thanks
     
  14. Centerforward71

    Centerforward71 Rookie

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    I have NOT read this whole thread but is anyone experiencing SIGNIFICANT tension less and string movement alot QUICKER than you normally get even with polys you know are pretty durable ?

    I have not strung it past 56 should I go into the 60's ??

    So far my only gripe with the racquet is this. Seems like in about two hours of hitting the launching begins and control diminishes SIGNIFICANTLY.
     
  15. Roberto_spin

    Roberto_spin Rookie

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    I'm also curious where and how much lead you placed on the racket... Do you also know what swing weight (is already high) the racket is after customizing?
     
  16. drak

    drak Professional

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    can't imagine adding lead unless it's low in the handle to make it more HL.
     
  17. Buford T Justice

    Buford T Justice Semi-Pro

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    Yes yes yes. Ive made a few similar comments on various threads. Mine was strung at 59 with Lux 4g 16. I played with it for ~5 hours before cutting it out (mains notched about halfway through).

    After 1.5-2 hrs, I noted the strings were all over the place....no more snapback and the mains were notched quite notably. When the strings were fresh, you could literally hear them snap back. It was pretty wicked.

    Someone else noted that this is likely a racquet which will need to be strung very frequently. The question I have is.....will it be better to string looser (to reduce notching?), or tighter (to try and keep the strings snapping back longer?)......
     
  18. veloduffer

    veloduffer New User

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    I've hit the 99s for about 3 hours (singles and doubles) and here are some quick impressions compared to my current racquet, Head Extreme Pro 2.0; both racquets are strung with a full bed of Solinco Tour Bite 17 (99S at 59 lbs and Head at 57 lbs). FWIW, I am a 4.5 player and my singles partners are all teaching pros at the three clubs that I play at.

    - no significant difference in spin generation. I hit with lots of topspin off both sides and can high or flat with either. It is easier, though, to hit topspin lobs with the Wilson (good for doubles).
    - Head feels a bit more manueverable and lighter than the Wilson, as the Head is more headlight and has lighter swingweight but higher static weight.
    - Head has more power, as you can block serves with power and hit more penetrating defensive shots. The Wilson needs a full stroke to get the ball deep.
    - Similarly, I get more pace on groundstrokes from the Head.
    - Despite the slightly lower swingweight, the Head has better plowthrough as off-center hits are more stable (both groundies and volleys).
    - Pace on serves is about the same for flat and hard slice serves. I may be getting more movement on my big slice serve with the Head but need more time to evaluate.
    - Wilson shape is more elongated compared to the very round Head shape. Wilson grip (4 3/8) is slightly bigger than Head grip (4 3/8); these are stock grips on both.

    I'll provide a full review after more sessions with the Wilson.
     
  19. Ross K

    Ross K Legend

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    Hmm, having never played the Extreme Pro 2.0 but want to, well, I have to say that makes for interesting reading...
     
  20. AlfaAce

    AlfaAce Rookie

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    I've been following this thread closely. From what I've read here:

    1) Many have cautioned about stringing too loose as it will lessen the ability of the string to snap back.

    2) Thicker gauge string is in order. Maybe this racquet (and others to follow?) is why Luxilon just released "4GS" in a 15G (1.41).

    3) Drakulie recommended thicker crosses than mains when using a hybrid combo. FWIW... I'm gonna try 16G NG mains with 4GS (15G) crosses - both around 60#.

    Regardless, it looks like this frame is gonna need restringing more often than others.
     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2013
  21. Federerkblade

    Federerkblade Professional

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    What tension would 4gs be recommended.

    I was thinking gut poly but think it will be a potential waste although probably lovely
     
  22. veloduffer

    veloduffer New User

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    IIRC, Wilson recommends 59 lbs as optimal, which is why I strung mine (with Tour Bite) at 59.
     
  23. Federerkblade

    Federerkblade Professional

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    What gauge of tour bite is that
     
  24. tkoziol

    tkoziol Rookie

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    I tried to add enough to make the racquet closer to 1 or 2 points head light. I prefer a racquet thats almost evenly balanced (odd for most people but I love it). I added about 6 grams.

    Location is very similar to what Marat Safin had. Strips at 3 and 9, and a very small amount at 12.
     
  25. veloduffer

    veloduffer New User

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    Actually they are both Tour Bite 16.
     
  26. tlm

    tlm Legend

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    I think that you are right, it plays great with new strings for a couple of hours then the control goes way down. Thats how these open pattern rackets are though, I had a vortex and it did the same thing.

    I string mine in the mid 60's with no problems, don't even hesitate because even at higher tensions it still feels comfy. This is a money making machine for wilson, the 4G will probably be one of the better strings to go with this racket. With it costing $17 a set and the string not lasting very long in the 99s wilson has a great profit maker set up.

    I am going to try a kevlar main with a poly cross, this should keep the spin and control for a longer period. One thing is for sure this racket is a string eating machine. It should be no surprise, when a pattern is that open the strings are not going to last. It is no different than how a 18X20 lasts longer and does not have to be strung as tight as a 16x19.
     
  27. shogun90

    shogun90 Rookie

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    In searching TW I noticed there is the Isospeed Baseline Long Life in 15L for $39.99. Has anyone considered using this for the 99S?
     
  28. BoingTennis

    BoingTennis New User

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    My experience with string life is similar with most of you.

    Like I mentioned on my previous post, I had RPM Team (1.25) strung @50lbs. After only 2 hours balls were sailing long and control was lost. Tension loss is definitely quicker on this racket than denser ones.
    I do realize that 50lbs is probably too low to begin with. But when the stringbed was fresh, I really liked everything about the racket.

    I will follow the suggestion to use a thicker gauge string. Unfortunately, after playing with the PB10Mid for years, most of my string collections are 17G. I believe there's half a reel of Typhoon 16L somewhere in my closet.
    Will try the Typhoon @ 54lbs.

    If the typhoon is still not good enough at holding tension, the only thing left to try is the Signum Pro Plasma....
     
  29. tlm

    tlm Legend

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    I would suggest finding a decent poly in at least a 15l that is reasonably priced and just get a couple of rackets and spools of string and plan on stringing very often.
     
  30. monomer

    monomer Rookie

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    Yep, it looks like a racquet for someone that owns a stringer. Buy a cheap reel (or two) of poly and plan on cutting out and re-stringing after every match.
     
  31. Centerforward71

    Centerforward71 Rookie

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    $150 per racquet don't cheap out on the strings. Value strings fine, cheap why ?
     
  32. tlm

    tlm Legend

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    Depends on what you mean by cheap vs value. If you have the money then go with the 4G in 15 or 16 gauge. But I think it is going to be more important on how often you change the strings as opposed to how expensive of a string you use. A decent string like pro poly plasma or genesis black magic would be fine.

    I used a open pattern racket like this in the past and the quality of string did not make much difference, but how new the strings were made a huge difference.
     
  33. Centerforward71

    Centerforward71 Rookie

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    Genesis is a quality string cheap I mean a non descript 25$ reel of some poly
     
  34. Ross K

    Ross K Legend

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    Anybody used the 4GS 1.41 string care to pass on any thoughts re performance in 99s, how it contrasts with reg 4G etc?
     
  35. doctor dennis

    doctor dennis Rookie

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    Just picked up my Steam 99s and will be having a blast tonight.

    It has some silver string which I think is Wilson enduro. I'm not sure though.

    If I don't like it I'll chop it out and put red code or BB Rough in on the weekend.

    I'll put a mini review on tomorrow.
     
  36. Dgdavid

    Dgdavid Professional

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    is it tennis weather in Surrey? ;-)
     
  37. D-money

    D-money Rookie

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    I think it had to do with how low I strung it. I've been a fan of stringing polys low but stringing this even in the high 40's with a stiff string just made a mess of the string bed. I've got it strung with 4G now at 55 and I'm hoping to get some more longevity out of the string bed. The PHT was close to snapping when I cut it out so that could have a lot to do with how poorly the strings were snapping back but I guess that it would make sense that the strings would need a certain relative tension to snap back fast enough to have an affect on the ball.
     
  38. racertempo

    racertempo Semi-Pro

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    Let us know how they do......mine are 52# and 54# with MSV Focus Soft and MSV Focus-Co. in them, unfortunately weather has been too cold and wet to get out with them, very very sad.
     
  39. TopFH

    TopFH Hall of Fame

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    How would this compare to the Dunlop 4d 300?
     
  40. sundaypunch

    sundaypunch Hall of Fame

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    They are both tennis racquets. That's about the end of the similarity.
     
  41. aimr75

    aimr75 Hall of Fame

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    Comparison pic of the steam 99s pattern and an 18x20

    [​IMG]
     
  42. Federerkblade

    Federerkblade Professional

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    How you liking the steam amir
     
  43. aimr75

    aimr75 Hall of Fame

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    I havent hit with it yet, it only arrived yesterday. Hitting tomorrow, so will see how it goes then
     
  44. v-verb

    v-verb Hall of Fame

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    Interesting pic - thanks!
     
  45. klementine

    klementine Hall of Fame

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    ^It really is. Ridiculous.


    BTW- I giggle every time I read the thread title.... 'mini-review'. :-o
     
  46. g4driver

    g4driver Hall of Fame

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    Going to add weight in the handles of my 99S fully aware of the 330ish swingweight. I am not sure how much the new grips weigh vs the Pro Hybrid grips that Wilson made, but I think 10 grams under the grip or a leather grip will help my cause. Will experiment this weekend. I prefer modifying my frames to make them more headlight, so this modification is normal for me.

    The extra weight should help the shock I hope. I am use to heavier modified frames, but and have to do something to help with the stiffness my elbow is feeling.

    Maybe save this frame for singles matches and play with my Pro Opens for doubles. Sure wish Wilson would make a more arm friendly (maybe 62-64 FLEX) version of a 16x15 frame 98-100 square inches around 300 to 310 grams next year.

    Love the 99S but I can't put 12 hours a week on the courts with it without my elbow getting hurt.
     
  47. g4driver

    g4driver Hall of Fame

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    Last edited: Jan 24, 2013
  48. aimr75

    aimr75 Hall of Fame

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    ^ dont know if its Wilsons QC but mine swings very easy stock. I have modded it to my usual spec of 345g strung with overgrip and a balance of 32cm. My current frames are 32.5cm but they swing practically the same. Mods are silicone in the handle (10g) and lead at 3/9 (4 x 6inch) and 12 (4 x 4inch). Will be interesting to compare when i hit with it
     
  49. monomer

    monomer Rookie

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    You are a perfect candidate for a Wilson Shock Shield grip. It will add about the amount of weight you want and help dampen the shock.
     
  50. tlm

    tlm Legend

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    I have hit with this racket enough times to know that it is not for me. Have tried different string set ups and I am heading back to my prince rebel.

    The 99s is fun and with brand new poly at high tensions it can play pretty good for a hour or so, but to me this is a toy racket. It is a rocket launcher with a lot of spin, but not much consistent control.

    Maybe for dubs or for players with moderate swings, but not for slugging it out with full swings. I played one set with the spin and one set with my rebel. The 99s can hit some great shots and if you are right on the money it is great, but not much room for error.

    When I played the 2nd set with my regular racket I played much better and a lot more consistent. When it comes to playing matches it is hard to beat consistency. I am sure that a lot of players will play well and get some benefits from this racket but it is not for me.
     

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