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

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

  1. Ross K

    Ross K Legend

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    Very interesting considering how quite a few complain of the stiffness. Have to say I'm in agreement with you. Compared to something like the PD 2012, the 99s is lush.
     
  2. tennis_nut

    tennis_nut Rookie

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    I'm glad I'm not the only one that thinks the 99S plays plush :)

    I would try 15g gut but I think it might only give me an hour or two extra. The costs of the gut/poly hybrids would get to be too much. Full poly has been lasting me roughly 7-8 hours. I'm in the process of trying out some cheaper polys until I find one I like and then I'm just gonna buy a reel and string my racquets every other week.
     
  3. doctor dennis

    doctor dennis Rookie

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    Hi

    Does anybodies frame make an occasional rattling sound when they hit the ball?

    The enduro strings move a fair bit but I've got a set of ALU rough waiting to go in when they break.

    Has anyone tried ALU rough in this frame yet?

    Absolutely loving this frame!
     
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2013
  4. Centerforward71

    Centerforward71 Rookie

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    Because one finds a racquet as too powerful means they have bad strokes ? AHH ? I dont disagreee that there are alot of bad strokes that cause loss of control but to genearalize is a litte much.

    My contention was that the continous significant loss of tension made control a big issue as the racquet seemed to change continuously. i.e. I strung at 57 and in about 3 days and 3 hours changed to 53, then 49, then 45, then 41-42, and this is with a poly that I have played alot and measured alot and know it keeps tension very well after initial loss. So the issue of control has nothing to do with stroke quality here at least in my analysis but in having to chase a constantly changing stringbed.

    BTW I found the racquet to feel VERY COMFORTABLE during play and not harsh at ALL, but the arm post hitting said different. I barely EVER get any arm pain or discomfort, again this can also be the change in vibration not necessarily the racquet, like I said it feels REALLY nice. Just stinks that the bed changes the way it does. I wouldnt mind restringing alot but man the change is a bit much.

    To reiterate your saying that it isnt for everyone, that is QUOTED FOR TRUTH, that is the end game here. Personal preference and style appropriate.

    I want to see how this racquet spreads to tour players, not that thats the say all, but a good indicator on whether its more toy game improvement than players weapon.
     
  5. PED

    PED Legend

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    Not sure why you quoted me as I was only agreeing with the poster I quoted. I never mentioned strokes, the guy I quoted did, why not take it up with him :)
     
  6. Lakers4Life

    Lakers4Life Hall of Fame

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    I just got my 99s from my friend's tennis shop. I'm going to use 15g Natural Gut. I figure it's already got spin, I might as well go for comfort. I'll post my findings in a couple of days.
     
  7. Ross K

    Ross K Legend

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    tennis_nut - Keep us posted on how you find these various polys to perform for you etc. I'm keeping notes on ppls findings.:)

    PED - drop us a line on how you find the TB/99s match up. That's what I've got slated for the next string-job. Be interesting to discover how long that lasts you in the 99s. I'm finally checking 4G a bit later today. Went for 53 lbs.
     
  8. NLBwell

    NLBwell Legend

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    ^ Interested to see how that goes. What tension are you stringing the racket at? Might be a launching pad, or maybe there will be enough spin and feel to control the ball.
     
  9. Rafaboy

    Rafaboy Rookie

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    Yes, but that sound is the main strings snapping back into place after the hit, not the frame.
     
  10. christo

    christo Hall of Fame

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    just hit with this frame, full bed of 4g, rocket launcher par excellence lol
    This'll be in the bargain bins in a year or so zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.
     
  11. ttwarrior1

    ttwarrior1 Professional

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    so there is no 99 s extended?
     
  12. Centerforward71

    Centerforward71 Rookie

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    Agreed. I think thought that Wilson has something good hear that needs some tweaking. There are alot of good characteristics to this racquet, I dont beleive scrapping it is the way to go but a tweak in either balance, weight, string pattern or perhaps stiffness would make this a better stick. Again some may find it perfect, I just dont beleive its going to be a main stay performance players stick.
     
  13. racertempo

    racertempo Semi-Pro

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    no there is not.
     
  14. Ross K

    Ross K Legend

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    Still need to log much more time on mine to get a more informed idea. Also must say from the off that today's windy weather didn't help matters. Anyhow, just a few random thoughts...

    Huge spin with big laserbeam oomph on groundstrokes - but not uncontrollable... surprisingly handy all court-wise, very nice on short spinny game, droppers, point and shoot volleying (I'm not an all court player but I must say I found it rather effective in this dept)... swings very sweetly (no log here)... saying that, I need to acclimatize re balance/weighting on serve (too much finding the net), though I suspect it's a great serve frame, especially if you can utilize the spin, ... definitely good build and solidness (if not outstanding)... crisp/a bit of give/stiff feel but not PD stiff.

    BTW, found 4G (16 gauge, strung @ 53 lbs) a tad stiffer than I prefer. Played with very good control/power/spin combination none-the-less.

    Look forward to next match when hopefully windy weather will have passed.
     
  15. tennis_nut

    tennis_nut Rookie

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    I was able to play a little more last night with both stringjobs. I've got about 4 hours on the Silverstring racquet and have decided that it's not the one for me. It's gotten a little too springy and the mains are not snapping back anymore.

    On the other hand, I am really enjoying the Iontec Salmon in my other 99S. It's got about 3 hours on it and still feels great. Feel on impact is still solid and the mains are snapping back fine. It feels way better than the Silverstring when blocking back hard shots at the net. Groundstrokes wise, they are about even, with Silverstring having a little bit more pocketing and the Iontec having less of a trampoline feel. There is only some light notching. Looks like it will last a good while longer. Maybe 7-8 hours total.

    I've got a set of Iontec Hexa 1.25 that will replace the Silverstring. If it plays exactly like the regular Iontec salmon but with a liitle more grab, I think I've found the string for me. At $70 a reel(about $4 a set), I would be very happy :)
     
  16. Rabbit

    Rabbit G.O.A.T.

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    A good many posts love more points that not on the frame. It strikes me that the weak points can/will be solved with some time with the frame. There are certain shots that will need an adjustment and, to be sure, string/tension.
     
  17. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    just came back from a hour long hitting session with the Steam 99s and I think it (literally) threw me for a loop! I used a demo that was strung with full 4g and it was awesome. Not stiff feeling at all and nice pockety feel with a little flex to each shot. To my surprise, my one handed backhand was great. I hit some shots that made me question if that was really me that hit them I even hit a high topspin backhand that was above my shoulders for a crosscourt angled winner. I don't think I've ever done that. Anyways, this session now has me totally convinced I need to play with this racquet. Since I switched to a one hander, I was thinking I needed a smaller headsized, more flexible racquet, but I think I might have been mistake. The extra spin I got with the 99s actually helped my 1hbh because some shots that were close to the baseline hooked down and in. So the headsize fear is debunked and the only remaining issue is the stiffness, but I was really amazed at how comfortable the full 4g setup felt. No harshness or stiff feeling at all. And the 99s really does make the game easier. It's effortless to hit deep rally balls all day and wait for the short ball to pounce on. I think I'm sold!
     
  18. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    it's not meant to be a "performance players" stick
     
  19. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    Cant believe you found 4g "stiff"? I just demoed a 99s with full 4g-s and couldn't believe how plush and soft it felt. If you didn't tell me, I would have guessed it had a syngut in there.
     
  20. Ross K

    Ross K Legend

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    Again, I'll be really interested to hear your thought here. I've heard Ion Hexa is awesome. Never tried it myself, just the regular salmon, which I wasn't so sold on in a BLX 6.1, but liked loads more in an APD Original.


    Jack,

    All I said was I found it "a tad stiffer than I prefer." Not saying it was elbow-judderingly killer stiff. :wink:
     
  21. Gaz77

    Gaz77 New User

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    I hope you are getting a commission because it's safe to say that this post will have sold a lot of racquets for Wilson and TW, lol.[/QUOTE]

    Exactly, think you hit the nail right on the head............can no one else see what's going on here.

    Since rackets with an open string pattern aren't anything new is it possible Wilson have slipped this guys a few dollars to write an amazing review just to sell a few more rackets and help promote such an 'amazing new stick' !
     
  22. Stroke

    Stroke Rookie

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    I have bought one of these. I was initially not in favor of the spec, I felt it was too light and stiff, but I did like the swing weight. I added about one ounce to the butt cap, as I like a Gasquet like built up butt cap, and I really like it. It is very solid and plush, and had a big sweet spot.
     
  23. racertempo

    racertempo Semi-Pro

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    I love the frame, both the 99s and the 105s and Wilson pays me nothing. You would think I was on the Yonex payroll with all the frames, gear, shoes, and bag that I have from Yonex, so for me to go to Wilson it was because the frames are great for my game and my style, period.
     
  24. couch

    couch Hall of Fame

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    I'm telling you guys- 4G is the best string for this stick. If your not a string breaker then maybe gut/poly hybrid. If you don't at least try 4G in this stick you are really doing yourself a disservice and won't get the most out of this frame.
     
  25. racertempo

    racertempo Semi-Pro

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    Please let us know how the Iontec feels in the frame in comparison to the silverstring in terms of stiffness. Is the Iontec softer?
     
  26. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    totally agree. I was amazed at the spin and comfort of 4g.
     
  27. CrispyFritters

    CrispyFritters Rookie

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    Adding my review of the 99s. Have about 3 hours of hitting and match play on it. The demo came with a multi which was not a good match for the racquet. Multi strings stopped snapping back after 15 minutes. Cut those out and restrung with full job of Scorpion 17g at 55 pounds. Huge difference in performance and much more spin than the multi. I also added 3G lead split between 3 and 9.

    I'm a believer and a 99s convert for these reasons:
    1)My hitting partner said the ball was getting on him noticeably quicker because of there was more spin. Definite plus to rob opponents of time.
    2)On one memorable shot I was able to generate an angle that was previously impossible for me. Generally, I am able to spread the court better.
    3)In the third set of a singles match, I really appreciated the easy power. Also got a few extra and unreturnables on kick serve.

    When I first started hitting with the stick, I didn't really like it. Ball trajectory was way high and I launched a few into the back fence. Once I got it dialed in, most of those problems went away and I was able to swing freely and generate more racket head speed than the heavy prince original graphite I was using before.

    The only negative is the volleys. Ball does not seem to come off the strings very precisely so I have to aim for bigger targets.

    But it's totally worth the trade off. It feels like cheating when I play with this stick.
     
  28. jonestim

    jonestim Professional

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    My demo from TW came in today strung with 4G 1.25. I hit with it with my ball machine for about an hour and then about 50 serves.

    I am an athletic 3.5. SW forehand. OHBH. I have good court coverage and unforced error too often. My usual setup is around 12.4 oz and a 93". Either a Diablo or POG with full poly and swing weights north of 330 on both. I play at about 4000 feet in very little humidity. Balls fly quickly here which is why I have settled on a lower powered setup. Higher powered and I often hit long or have to reign myself in which causes some net shots.

    I really dug this frame. It does what it says. I had shots that I felt were poorly hit and were going long just to see them dip in at the last second. Most of my shots were nice and deep with really good bounces. I can get a lot of spin with my POGs, but not this much and not as consistently.

    Serves were ok. This has such different balance that it is going to take a bit of work to figure them out. I warmed up with one of my current racquets and was getting better placement, but less pace than with the 99S. I'm sure if I used this exclusively I would have a passable serve for a 3.5.

    I didn't volley a ton. Friday I will be doing my weekly hour and a half doubles clinic and will know more about volleys then.

    The negative - string life. I don't know why TW put 1.25 string in this. I am not hard on strings. I have never broken a poly in my life and they are often only somewhat notched when I cut them out - usually at around 12 hrs. The 4G is notched more in an hour than I usually see for the life of my strings. I checked a POG that I have used for about 6 hrs that has 1.27 Cyber Twirl mains with OSGM crosses and it is notched about half of what these are after an hour. I won't be surprised to see them snap during my demo period.

    The other negative for me is the feel. I like the smoothness of my thin box beam racquets. The reality is though that if I'm playing this much better I can live with the feel.

    I have a bunch of racquets for sale in the classifieds and am tempted to picke up a couple of these when those sell.

    More later.
     
  29. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Well, 18x20's have the longest string life, what did you expect?
    You can get used to thicker beams, with time and experimenting, and consolation.
    You are probably the target customer for the racket.
     
  30. Radical7

    Radical7 New User

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    Was not impressed with the new steam 99S, just didn't have the spin I expected, Wilson may be on to something with the string pattern but its definitely not going to be the next big thing. Not until it gets close to spaghetti string and has enough control to be a player's racquet.
     
  31. tennis_nut

    tennis_nut Rookie

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    The Iontec salmon is a little stiffer than the Silverstring but still very comfortable in the 99S. Both were strung at 56 lbs on a lockout machine. I actually prefer the Iontec because it is stiffer. The Silverstring became too springy after a couple hours of play. The Iontec has stayed firm and solid so far through roughly 4 hours of play. Both strings provide great feel (for polys anyway) and spin potential.

    I've got Iontec Hexa 1.25 strung up now and am hoping the weather is nice tomorrow so I can test it out.
     
  32. tlm

    tlm Legend

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    The club I play at had a new 99s demo in with 4g in it and it still sucked, way to powerful full fledged rocket launcher. These rackets are for 3.0 and under players and those with no power and short swings.
     
  33. couch

    couch Hall of Fame

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    The 99S is for 3.0 -4.0 players who are learning to play and for advanced players who know how to utilize this stick as a weapon. It's funny, I've won my last two matches with this stick and I'm a 5.0. Hmm. Rocket launcher in the wrong hands, full-fledged weapon in the right hands.

    It's funny, the pure drive was known as a rocket launcher too. We have seen that players with appropriate strokes and playing ability use these sticks as weapons. I think the 99S is the same type of racquet as long as its used by the appropriate player with the appropriate strokes and the right strings.
     
  34. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    Funny but the TW playtesters are all 4.0 or higher and they had no problem with the power. They also have full long swings. Obviously you don't know how to utilize the topspin to keep the ball in. If you are driving the ball with a flatter swing then I can see you launching the ball long. I found the 99s no more powerful than other tweeners I have used: Juice 100, Pure Drive 2012, Warrior 100.

    If it doesn't work for you then stick with what does. Simple.
     
  35. dmcb101

    dmcb101 Semi-Pro

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    I just received my contract through Wilson as I am a teaching pro and I chose 2 of the 99S racquets. I will be getting these soon and I will try and add to what I wrote back in October.

    I also ordered a reel of Pro's Pro Concept (co-poly) 1.38mm string in hopes to gain a little bit of duribilty in my poly string and not break the bank. The reel was $47! Even if I break it within 3-4 hours I can just pop in a new set no problem.

    Follow up to come.
     
  36. nickarnold2000

    nickarnold2000 Hall of Fame

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    Totally agree. :) You need to have the racket head speed and use semi to full western strokes to get the most out of this stick.
     
  37. Ross K

    Ross K Legend

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    Good points. Same thoughts/findings with me. I especially agree that it indeed swings very freely.

    Amen to that, brother couch! :)
     
  38. jonestim

    jonestim Professional

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    I often use 14x18 racquets that are "string eaters." This takes it to a new level. The one I mentioned is 14x18 and has 1/2 the wear in six times the playing.

    I agree. I already own my own stringer and am accustomed to the idea of having multiple racquets. I can't imagine anyone paying to have this strung that often at a shop. It would easily be $80-$100 a month.

    I have long strokes and have never used a tweener that I felt like I could play with. All the others I felt like I had to hold back and just dink the shot in. No racquet head speed. Not so with this. I could take a full stroke. Also in my demo box were a few racquets that are more like what I often play with including a Prince Rebel 95 strung with Beast and a Wilson Six.One 95 16x18 with Savage Lime. I was getting good spin with the Rebel - about as much as my Diablo. I sent less shots long with the 99s than either of those and had much more net clearance. I can see it being a problem if you don't hit with spin, but found it very easy to keep it in
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2013
  39. tlm

    tlm Legend

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    There will be very few high level players using this stick. Are you a legit 5.0? or just another TT 5.0 level player like about 98% of the posters here who make that claim. Lets see how many tour players end up using this toy racket.
     
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2013
  40. tlm

    tlm Legend

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    Any good player can adjust and hit with all types of rackets. But let me know how many of these testers switch to the spin launcher.
     
  41. tlm

    tlm Legend

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    I use close to a full western grip and hit plenty of top spin, but this racket is still to powerful. When strung with brand new poly at high tension it can play pretty well for maybe an hour, then it goes to launcher mode.
     
  42. racertempo

    racertempo Semi-Pro

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    Racquets don't launch tennis balls, players launch tennis balls, and JackB1 and Couch have it right here. Even if he was a 4.5 and not a 5.0, that level hits the ball hard and he has not problem controlling it. I am a 4.0 who plays a lot of 4.5 and I love the frame without launching problems.
     
  43. sundaypunch

    sundaypunch Hall of Fame

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    I agree with this. With a full western grip and the proper swing path, you can swing as hard as you want and literally almost not be able to hit the ball long. It just comes down to having the proper game to take advantage of the racquet.

    I liked the racquet but sold it after a couple of weeks. Not because it was a rocket launcher, but because I thought it was too spinny.
     
  44. racertempo

    racertempo Semi-Pro

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    And I am almost the opposite grip with a Eastern/Continental forehand grip, sort of between the two and I have no problem controlling the ball. I also have a 1HBH with an Eastern grip and no issues. Of course I blast a ball of the fence once in a while, but it can happen with any frame. I find far far more control with the Steam 99s and 105s then any other Yonex frame I have ever played, which is why I switched.
     
  45. fibonacci888

    fibonacci888 Rookie

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    Yes, demo is here with a full pacific xcite at 27 kg. Can't wait.

    Tonight is the first run.
     
  46. PED

    PED Legend

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    I tried them back to back today: one with 4G and one with Tour bite soft. Both were 16g.

    The 4G is nice and the control is a touch better but I found I prefer the extra power burst that Tour bite gives. I was using the SOFT TB and it doesn't have as much elasticity as normal TB but still explodes the ball off the bed.

    I'd also like to try them both when it's not 48 degrees and windy :twisted:
    Hard to get a baseline for testing as it was 24 degrees warmer on Tuesday than today.

    The 4G was strung a good bit tighter than the TB and that likely effected things as well. I may get my next 99S strung with 4G when I get it from TW next week to give it a true test.

    Couch, are you using 16 or 15L in the 99?
     
  47. couch

    couch Hall of Fame

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    I'm using 16g at the moment. I do have a few packs of 15g that I will be trying out soon.
     
  48. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    Jason was supposidly switching....but I really could care less if they do or not. If it works for me, that's all that matters. But your stamements like "the racquet sucks, because it launches balls" just makes your tennis IQ look low. You could make the same statements about the Pure Drive, APD or Juice or any powerful tweener.
     
  49. couch

    couch Hall of Fame

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    Yes, I am a legitimate 5.0. At least that's what it states on the USTA website and Tennislink. ;-)

    High-level players use all types of racquets and have the "ability" to use all types of racquets. It boils down to what fits your game and style. I have a friend that played Junior Davis Cup for India that uses a newer Prince Hornet. I have another friend that grew up playing in SoCal and played at an Ivy League school and plays with a blade. So different strokes.....

    I think you may see some female tour players playing with this frame but very few, if any, male pros. Male pros just won't be able to keep strings in these things. And just because you don't see any "pros" playing with this stick doesn't mean it's not a good option for 5.0s and below. Posters on here want to equate a pro's game to their own and that's a big mistake. Even at a 5.0 level you are no where near the level of a male touring pro.
     
  50. Rabbit

    Rabbit G.O.A.T.

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    I don't agree. The frame sold out here in two days after it arrived. The majority of purchasers were NTRP-verified 5.0's.

    Great post. Wilson has already said, or Drak posted, that tour level players won't see any benefit. Their technique and stroke production doesn't need any assistance.

    I'm a verified 4.5 and add me to the list of those who think this stick is great.
     

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