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

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

  1. racertempo

    racertempo Semi-Pro

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    That would occur to just about any player when you hand them a frame in the middle of a match that they have never used.....especially one like this that take a little hitting to get used to. The exact same would probably happen if you gave her a Yonex Ezone frame out of the blue.

    But this is just further example that the frame is not as the cover might indicate, open it up and spend a little quality time with it and you may get a great reward. I will be interested to read how things go with it in the coming weeks......sounds like your wallet might hurt with how much of a beating she imposes on string.
     
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2013
  2. Veninga

    Veninga Rookie

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    really interested. also how arm friendly this one is.
     
  3. chris_short1

    chris_short1 New User

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    Is it just me or does the new wilson steam 99s paintjob look very similar to the Kfactor Six one?
     
  4. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    It won't be softer feeling than the more open 99s.
     
  5. Dgdavid

    Dgdavid Professional

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    well fellas, I am delighted with the non-S 99. And that is saying something because I have been very successful with various MG and IG Rads recently result wise (MP and OS), had a great hit with the Volkl PB Mid 10 (beautiful but demanding racket) and had a healthy extended interest in the 99S version. However, the non-S really is a fantastic racket and solves the short comings of the 99S for me and my style.

    I knew I liked the feel and frame of the Steam 99S but have niggling issues with depth, penetration, leaving sitters if not ripping through every stroke etc. Not so with the 99, every shot was strong and finally I have a stick that is easy rallying and with a truly superb response when you pull the trigger to get the ball through the court fast. My opponent was quite taken aback by the difference in a week. Easy win against a strong player. The 99S has a marginal advantage on backhand slice but not significant.

    Veninga, comfort wise it is good simply for this: You must use a poly in the 99S, full bed. IMO, you have no choice. However, with the non-S 99, I played with Wilson Sensation at mid and it felt great. Still tonnes of spin when needed, the 16x18 is already very open but I can't quite believe it myself. A really great racket and finally off Polys at the same time. 99 with Sensation is definitely softer than 99S with Poly but if they had the same strings, I would agree with Jack that the 99S would be slightly softer (or less hard!). However, you cannot put a multi in the 99S.

    ps. my only concern is the QC but I have just ordered two additional ones and plan to send all three to a professional stringer I know who can perfectly match them with the one I already own as the target spec. Got to be done.
     
  6. Veninga

    Veninga Rookie

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    if you are so delighted, i have to be as well. we are both chasing same kind of rackets:)

    one more question about feel. Stiffness is not a problem for me. But jarring/vibrating strings. I read although being stiff, the steam is pretty comfy for its stiffness. Read: not 2 vibrating?

    if so, then i should get one 2. one with a SW 325 gripsize 3, so if you have one?!?
     
  7. Dgdavid

    Dgdavid Professional

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    lol, you know me too well but this time, I am holding on to them!
    Definitely not to vibrating, I am recently pretty sensitive about comfort and solidity and this fits the bill (with a multi). Doesn't hurt that they are pretty cheap too. Just picked two new ones up for £200 including shipping.
     
  8. Veninga

    Veninga Rookie

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    WOW:)

    Good 2 hear David. Hope this honeymoon will last a month or 6 so you can focus on playing this summer (instead of buying and trying to sell them to me:))

    You took the ProKennex train for your arm, but you can handle the Wilson, thats a solid sign about the relative arm-friendly-ness of the Steam. So I will give it a try 2. Thanks for the info.
     
  9. Ross K

    Ross K Legend

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    Feeling happier. It was most definitely a good day for me today in the steam room...

    [​IMG]

    :)
     
  10. Buford T Justice

    Buford T Justice Semi-Pro

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    Excellent! Glad you didnt even have to use your AK :shock:

    Thats classic 90's Ice Cube!
     
  11. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

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    sorry, I have neglected the thread for the last few weeks. busy stringing at a tourney, and now have the miami sony coming up.

    anyway, playtested the following two strings over the last week:

    volkl gut 16 gauge/4G 16 gauge at 48lbs. played really nice. Was very suprprised at how much I liked the volkl gut. much better control-oriented gut, and provided great comfort, and good power/spin combo.

    also, am currently trying out hexonic 16 gauge strung at 55. will provide some feedback in the next few days.

    hows everyone elses set ups going?
     
  12. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    I have recently been feeling a little elbow twinging and throbbing pain now and then from using the steam. It doesn't ever feel stiff to me when I play with it and I'm a little concerned though about this residual pain I've been feeling the last couple days. Has anyone else had a similar experience? It's confusing because the rack it feels soft on impact and there's no pain at all while playing.
    I guess it's hard to get away from a 69 rated stiffness racket without some aftereffects? Though the wide-open pattern does help out somewhat.
     
  13. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    David, you have your 99 strung with full multi? And it isn't too powerful?
    Are you still liking it better than the 99s? I am tempted to try the 99 myself with a softer set up, since I don't like using full poly in the yes but it's a requirement in that version of the 99. I think the regular 99 could also be a great Swenor to compete with the likes of the APD, Pure drive and similar sticks.
     
  14. Rabbit

    Rabbit G.O.A.T.

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    Currently Wilson Spin Cycle @54/52, 9 sets on it and loving it. It pockets the ball really well, has good zip and feels great. I will probably up the tension if I use it again to 56/56.

    please put up a thread about Miami!
     
  15. Rafaboy

    Rafaboy Rookie

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    I have a feeling that the frame somehow transmits an amount of harmful vibration or something, on off hits? i dontknow what it is. my wrist has been hurting since i started playing hard with the 99s. but i am trying to rehab it, while paying strict attention to proper technique, still using the 99s. seems to be geting better.

    You have a tendancy to hit twice as hard with this racket, since it seems you can do no wrong with it.
     
  16. Gemini

    Gemini Hall of Fame

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    I actually got the opportunity to finally hit the 99S for three consecutive days this weekend and yes...I actually noticed the same thing. I was on court for each day for about 2.5 hours. By the third day, my elbow did have some tenderness. The racquet is deceptive in my opinion. When you make good contact, the ball pockets and projects without any real "feedback". For me, the racquet seemed flex pretty hard as compared to a Pure Drive where I don't/didn't notice any flex in the frame. I've decided that the frame isn't for me in its current form but I'd welcome a version that has a stiffness in the low to mid 60s.
     
  17. Ross K

    Ross K Legend

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    drakulie, others,

    Can you please say more re there being different versions (or not, as the case may be) as in what testers (like yourself, drak), players, etc, may have been given to look at as opposed to the retail ones out now.

    Someone has told me the quality seems a bit down on the retail ones in comparison.

    Just wanting to check this.

    THX
     
  18. racertempo

    racertempo Semi-Pro

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    I am very very happy to read this, Spin Cycle is my favorite string but I don't have it in my S frames currently, that will be my next stringing.
     
  19. Dgdavid

    Dgdavid Professional

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    Yes, still liking it and the power is definitely controllable, better for me than the 99S with a poly to me. I have one of my three set up with a poly at 53lbs to see how that goes just in case. I do have the multi strings moving and not snapping back still but not enough to consider creaming them.

    Will report back on poly in the non-s after my evening game. I am more curious than anything as I like the racket a lot with the multi. Just making sure I am not missing anything.

    Jack, I also have a Warrior in the bag again. Fun racket!
     
  20. Rabbit

    Rabbit G.O.A.T.

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    I was amazed. I found it by looking at Wilson's website. Inside the frame, they recommend 4G and 4GS, but on the website, Wilson says Spin Cycle. It has the good qualities of a poly, the comfort of a multi, and the price of a syngut. What's not to love? :) I do think the string, according to the "science" of spin, is not the best because it is textured/shaped. But I find it to be a very good fit for the 99S.
     
  21. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    What tension did u use ??
     
  22. racertempo

    racertempo Semi-Pro

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    I noticed the same thing on the Wilson website, probably because they don't recommend any Lux string in writing on their website and under the Wilson name they don't have a huge line of different poly strings. Cannot wait to try it in there.
     
  23. Rabbit

    Rabbit G.O.A.T.

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    for my initial outing, 54/52. I think when I restring, I'm going up to 56/56
     
  24. Mongolmike

    Mongolmike Professional

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    I've found that these racquets really burn thru the shaped strings... and Spin Cycle being triangular shaped... have you noticed this string notching faster/breaking sooner than a regular rounded poly? I realize you are a higher rated player and likely hit much harder than me.... how often are you restringing the Spin Cycle?
     
  25. racertempo

    racertempo Semi-Pro

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    Spin Cycle claims that it is triangular, but it is twisted to much that you never really notice any triangularity there (I think I just made up a word there). I would wager a bet that it works well because it is so twisted that it does not notch as much as other.
     
  26. Mongolmike

    Mongolmike Professional

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    Ok... I will have to put this on my list of "string to try". So far for me, Kirschbaum Pro Line II has worked the best... and that has no triangularity whatsoever. It has roundocity... and it is red. So more roundredocious.

    I've got to back off on my sugar intake. Even tho it is hyperlicious. :oops:
     
  27. Anton

    Anton Hall of Fame

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    If you like Pro Line II you've got to try the SPP Hyperion. It is similarly soft poly, but it has much better feel and touch (Proline II is really slick and mute)
     
  28. Mongolmike

    Mongolmike Professional

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    Ok, thank you. I just added it to my list!
     
  29. BalboaNoah

    BalboaNoah New User

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    Kevlar/syn gut hybrid?

    has anybody tried Kevlar/syn gut with lower tension on the 99S? perhaps this would defeat the enhanced main string snap-back effect, but, might maintain launch consistency for a longer period of time than what a lot of people are reporting?
     
  30. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

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    will have to try out the spin cycle,,, how is the durability for you?

    Ross, I work at a pro shop, and most of the 99's I have randomly tested (balance, weight, swing weight) are very close to spec. There hasn't been any huge variations.
     
  31. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

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    I've been curious about this. Will probably give it a go when I get the chance.
     
  32. Murray_fan1

    Murray_fan1 Professional

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    Ross,

    Just received my Steam today. Unstrung weight is exactly 10.7. Given Wilson's QC issues of the past I was quite surprised to see it come in spot on.
     
  33. Ross K

    Ross K Legend

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    I see. Yes, I was just curious if before the the retail 99s came out, testers, high level players, etc, were submitted frames to test which differed slightly in materials or whatever to those that later came out. Cheers d.



    Let us know how you find it, Muzza. I need to weigh mine actually. And it would be great to know my balance too. It does seem a bit off to me.
     
  34. Rabbit

    Rabbit G.O.A.T.

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    So far, so good. After 9 sets and no hitting, the string is visibly notched and I expect it to break next match or hit. I guess I'm just not that good a player, while I do see more wear and tear on the strings, I'm not busting them in an hour. ;)

    The two I have are 1 gram apart.
     
  35. dode

    dode Rookie

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    I think that Wilson is using the silicone as a balancing tool. Both of mine were very close in spec stock (within half a gram), but they had differing amounts of silicone in the handle. In face, one of them only had silicone in one side of the handle.

    John
     
  36. John Kawasaki

    John Kawasaki Rookie

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    Having an accurate scale and balance board comes in handy (especially with Wilson and Head sticks). When I purchase a racket I weigh and balance the stick with cardboard hoop insert, plastic handle wrap etc. still on......that way you have a good chance of duplicating in the future. On the Steam 99s's I have checked (about 8 or 9 of them), I have found the static weight (cardboard/plastic wrap still on) to vary in weight from 319 grams to 326 grams......the balance variation from 2 pts Hal to 6 pts hl....all over the map. Because of this the strung swing weight can vary from approximately 320 to the mid 330's (!). Going to this extra trouble can help you find one you like.
     
  37. dmcb101

    dmcb101 Semi-Pro

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    Hello TT readers,

    A long while back I posted my thoughts about this frame when our club had a demo night and I had a chance to playtest this stick. In my initial write up I was very impressed and after receiving my two 99S's I still feel the same way. I am a teaching pro in wisconsin and I have a contract with wilson to endorse their products, so you may want to keep that in mind when reading my posts.

    Regardless of that disclaimer, I am still impressed with this frame. I played a few drop feed games today with a guy who used to play a little bit on tour (ranked in the 500's) but now is around 55-60 years old (still a sweet ball striker). I usually split the games with him, but today I had his number. He likes to come to the net as he is old school and I was creating some cool angles that I just could not do with other racquets. The best attribute that I found with this frame is the ability to get the ball out of peoples strike zone. In my drop feed games today I felt like he was having to work harder to attack me, and I felt much more comfortable rallying. He usually is pushing me back with flat, heavy groundstrokes, but not today.

    I did not notice the high launch angle that everyone is talking about, but I sure do agree about the softness that I feel when hitting; it feels less harsh than my six.one 95. I strung my stick up with Pro's Pro Concept 1.38 at 56 lbs but I will be going up a little in tension as it feels a little bit wild. I will be adding a little lead to the hoop and about 20 grams in the handle via tungsten putty so a higher tension will be needed.

    Hope this is an enjoyable read!
     
  38. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

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    Cool to hear. Will definitely give this a try. I realized I have some of this string I was given last year to demo, and never got around to it. Thanks for the heads up.

    This wouldn't suprise me if they did this. Lots of times companies add something to the handle to get it within tolerance levels (balance, weight, etc).

    Thanks for the upfront honesty.

    I'm curious if the guy you were hitting with mentioned anything to you, as far as your shots feeling different than before?
     
  39. Ross K

    Ross K Legend

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    BIG improvement for me going going full TB 16g yesterday over 4G 16g.

    Getting more in sync and happier with this rac now. Serving much better. Balance issues just about gone. This frame swings lovely, there's a real ease to it... but I do need to nail those winners better.
     
  40. Anton

    Anton Hall of Fame

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    TB? 10 charachters
     
  41. maggmaster

    maggmaster Hall of Fame

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    Tour bite?
     
  42. PED

    PED Legend

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    Correct.

    I moved down size wise in TB from 16 to 16l and really like the extra feel and playability.

    The durability...not so much
     
  43. dmcb101

    dmcb101 Semi-Pro

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    I actually asked him this exact question and he said that he did not really notice all that much. On my side of the net I most certainly noticed it as my passing shots were dipping at an alarming rate; usually he gets a good look at my passes but there was no chance with this stick.

    On another note, I hit with one of our most promising juniors who hits a real heavy ball and he could instantly tell the difference. He told me that he felt my ball was pushing him back and kind of exploding off his racquet. On my side of the net I noticed that because I was hitting such a heavy ball he could not get the ball above my shoulders which he often does. For me, I like that I can hit enough spin and depth to not allow those heavy balls to rise above my strike zone.

    Lastly, I experimented with 20 grams of Tungsten Putty that I put in the trap door and did not like it one bit. I also added 4 grams of lead at 2:30 & 9:30 which I like a bit more. Coming from a six.one tour I was seeing if I could match the specs that I had with that but I am starting to think that just a little lead in the hoop and some counterbalancing is all I will need, as this racquet is great stock.

    Any feedback or comments is appreciated!
     
  44. doctor dennis

    doctor dennis Rookie

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    Got my first singles match with the 99s tonight. I have a fresh set of alu rough at 55lbs in it.
    I wonder how ill get on? It should be fun though.
     
  45. Rabbit

    Rabbit G.O.A.T.

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    Broke the Spin Cycle today, about 5 hours out of it. My other racquet was strung with Isospeed Pulse 17. It is a very, very nice hit. The gauge may be a bit thin for this frame, but the feel was there, just plowed through the ball.

    The more I hit with this frame, the more I like it.
     
  46. Faithfulfather

    Faithfulfather Rookie

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    I am right there with you!
     
  47. TroutSc

    TroutSc Semi-Pro

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    How are the arm/elbows holding up?
    Does the open pattern help compensate for the stiffness level?

    I just ordered some demos, some arm friendly pk's, a pure storm, and a Dunlop bio 500 tour. Threw in a steam 99s as well (wife's been wanting to try one). I have a dumb elbow so have avoided trying it but some of the revs here have me intrigued. I've hit with a friends shortly and liked it tho. Wondering how it would would feel long term with a soft full bed of poly or if it would be a bad choice for any arm concerns. I worry when the demos come in that I'll jump on the steam and get hooked on it.
     
  48. Faithfulfather

    Faithfulfather Rookie

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    I have an extremely sensitive elbow and it does not hurt at all with the Steam 99s. 10 minutes with the 2013 Aero Pro Drive and my elbow was screaming.
     
  49. Ross K

    Ross K Legend

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    Have to say each time I play with it the better its getting, and past concerns are getting ironed out.

    Had great session yesterday, really starting to feel I'm using it effectively and as it was designed to be used from the baseline. Serve is becoming very impressive, very lose and great zip and action. I also have to repeat, I find this thing swings so sweetly, so lightning fast, this is a real attraction.

    I have a struggle on my hands then working out which to go with between the 99s and somewhat different ( but equally impressive) Blade (open pattern.)
     
  50. racertempo

    racertempo Semi-Pro

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    Interesting you broke Spin Cycle so early, how about that Isospeed 15g Baseline string. At $39.99 for a reel on TW it might be worth the $.
     

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