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

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

  1. Larrysümmers

    Larrysümmers Hall of Fame

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    yeah best with poly, but that doesnt mean it wont still be good with a synthetic. you may have to dial in your strokes but thats to be expected with every new racket switch.
     
  2. dmcb101

    dmcb101 Semi-Pro

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    Exactly true. I talked with my Wilson rep for a while and said this was basically poly only racquet
     
  3. srvnvly

    srvnvly Professional

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    So, am I screwed because I would have it strung with a multi (Tecnifibre X-One Biphase 17)?
     
  4. dmcb101

    dmcb101 Semi-Pro

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    Not screwed but you will probably not be able to produce as much spin as if you were to have a poly in there.
     
  5. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    where was this at? How did you find out about it?
     
  6. El Zed

    El Zed Banned

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    In contrast, this comment significant hinders my interest. Not only independently, but particularly when coupled with the following marketing bit found on the web (sounds like its marketing speak directly from Wilson) - "[t]he Steam 99S and Steam 105S available in January 2013 will be the first racquets to employ Spin Effect Technology or (S.E.T.) that will allow players to add over 200 RPMS on their shots without having to change their swing." Not to disparage, but this leads me to believe that this racquet is more appropriate for those with flat strokes looking to obtain some more rpms of topspin rather than those using a WW/modern forehand and using something like the APD - which is a shame.
     
  7. corners

    corners Legend

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    If your strings aren't snapping back - if they "move" in the way people used to talk about strings, which really means they are moving but getting stuck out of place instead of snapping back - this pattern is not going to provide any additional spin. Syngut would be a bad choice for use with this pattern. On the other hand, the fewer cross strings means a signficantly softer string bed, so as someone else suggested in this thread, this racquet might be a good choice for someone who has moved away from copoly but wants to come back. A stiff, textured copoly in the mains paired with a very soft smooth copoly in the crosses would work great in 16x15 and provide surprising comfort. A slippery syngut cross like N.vy might also work in the crosses.
     
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2012
  8. corners

    corners Legend

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    The point of the "without changing your swing" statement is to clarify that this racquet produces more spin independent of your swingpath. This is important for them to state, as swinging only 3 degrees more steeply on a forehand will produce an additional 200 rpms of topspin. What they are saying is that even if you swing exactly as usual, you will get an extra 200 rpms, for free. This doesn't mean it's only for people who hit perfectly flat and would like to hit with a little bit (200 rpms) of topspin. It means that you can add 200 rpms of spin to any groundstroke. So if you are already hitting with 2500 rpms you'll be able to get 2700 with this racquet. This is illustrated by the numbers Drakulie reports in the OP: he was getting more spin with the 100S than the AeroPro Drive, without losing any speed on his shots. If you hit with heavy spin this will help you hit heavier.
     
  9. Stormcrow

    Stormcrow New User

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    dmcb101

    Thanks for the review. Did you spend all your time with this one racquet or were you able to try out others like the Blade 98 16X19 or the Steam 96?
     
  10. El Zed

    El Zed Banned

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    Thanks for the explanation, but I believe you missed my point. I didn't say that it's "only" for those with flat strokes - on the contrary, I believe I clearly indicated that the racquet's upside is primarily beneficial to those with a more traditional stroke. This makes sense when coupled with the represented "data" pertaining to the rpm figures for the Head Speed and the PS 6.1 Classic relative to the APDGT. I've used the Speed and the PS 6.1 and there is no way these racquets have more spin potential than the APDGT when the APDGT is used correctly (WW forehand, Western Grip, etc.). The APDGT does not have free extreme spin - but it doesn't have a very high ceiling when used properly. I believe the logical implication is therefore exactly what I set forth - great for easy spin for those with a more traditional stroke. There's nothing wrong with that, just not for me (although I will clearly try it). Also, claiming that the racquet adds 200 rpms to any ground stroke is just silly - you do understand marketing don't you?
     
  11. realplayer

    realplayer Semi-Pro

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    Conclusion is that strung with synthetic gut this racket is not better than a racket with a 16 x 19 pattern.
     
  12. dmcb101

    dmcb101 Semi-Pro

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    Your welcome! I did spend my short time hitting with just this stick but a couple of the other pro's were commenting on how they liked the blade 98. I can't say they commented on how it differed between the old and new but they did say a bit more spin was evident in the more open string pattern. The PJ's were the best they have been by far. Real sexy!
     
  13. Torres

    Torres Banned

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    What string was the test racquet strung with Drakulie?
     
  14. Shaolin

    Shaolin Hall of Fame

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    He tells you that in the first post of the thread.
     
  15. Fyrepower

    Fyrepower New User

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    When is this racquet scheduled to release?
     
  16. Hidious

    Hidious Professional

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    This racquet sounds like a lot of fun but i disagree that more spin = automatic "improvement". For some players it might be but for others, it's the opposite.
     
  17. Fed Kennedy

    Fed Kennedy Hall of Fame

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    This racquet sounds awesome...disagree with those who think its not gonna be for spin players...sounds to me the opposite, a frame designed for spin...max out the top, angles, great dubs frame
     
  18. corners

    corners Legend

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    Consider this: If Rafa hits a forehand with 4500 rpms of topspin, puts down his APD, picks up a 99S and somehow hits an identical forehand (impossible, but humor us) it will have more spin on it, according to the data that Wilson (on Tennis.com) and Drakulie have reported. Does Rafa need more spin? I don't know. But if I was playing him and his shots suddenly had more spin but lost no speed I would not be happy. But anyway, no wish to argue here. If you think this is most useful for players with traditional strokes, that's fine with me. You might be right.
     
  19. srvnvly

    srvnvly Professional

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    Lots of good info; I have 2 questions:
    1) Was the 99 (vs the 99S) available to hit with (if ?
    2) What good poly is softer/ closer to a multi (yes, I realize this is a completely separate topic, but it was clearly stated that this racquet rocks with a poly, and those of us with past arm issues are piqued by the feedback on this racquet and concerned that it there is a 'poly-only' label associated to the new racquet)?

    Thank you all for the feedback so far; it should be an interesting start to 2013, with new Wilson, Head and Babolat sticks!
     
  20. El Zed

    El Zed Banned

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    I don't mean to argue either - and actually, there is a very simple solution in that the two people who used this stick could clarify the nature of their strokes. If the Wilson indeed performs as advertised - terrific, sounds like a very fun racquet that I will surely demo and likely purchase. My point, however, is that your example probably holds true if it was Federer trying both sticks. My concern, however, is that this wouldn't hold true with Nadal since the stick wasn't apparently designed for this type of use (i.e. nature of stroke mechanics, etc.). Again, the fact that two players were getting more spin out of a Head Speed and (especially) the PS 6.1 Classic leads me to believe that a more conventional stroke was utilized thereby speaking to the performance of the APDGT. Again, hope I'm wrong, as I wouldn't mind trying out a new "fun" stick.
     
  21. El Zed

    El Zed Banned

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    Also, wasn't able to find anything on it from Tennis.com - would appreciate a link if you can. Again, hope I'm wrong.
     
  22. Power Player

    Power Player G.O.A.T.

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    You are going to lose pace with too much spin. Its just how it is.
     
  23. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Likely Wilson is telling little white lies, or exxagerating the truth, just like an marketing group would to to promote his product.
    To boot, maybe Rafa's arm starts to fall off, with any additional spin to his strokes, or he just plain can't hit accurately with it.
     
  24. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    why wouldn't someone else do this before?
     
  25. Bartelby

    Bartelby G.O.A.T.

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    If Babolat were making this racquet, there would have been gasps of disbelief and cries of shame!
     
  26. corners

    corners Legend

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    Here's part II of a four-part interview with John Lyons at Wilson that includes some tech talk and some data: http://www.tennis.com/gear/2012/09/gear-talk-wilsons-john-lyons-part-2/39407/#.UING7ml26zY

    My feeling is that they are using these demo sessions with the tracking equipment to gather more data. But Lyons mentions some blind playtests they did earlier with blacked out frames - those results were +141 RPMs and +1.3mph, on average, compared to conventional frames like the Pure Drive.
     
  27. corners

    corners Legend

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    I think it would work just as well for Nadal as for Federer, for the same reasons that both get more spin with their current string setups (full RPM Blast, gut/Lux respectively) than they would with syngut. Both those stringbeds enable the main strings to slide and snapback, giving "free" extra spin. The 16x15 pattern just allows the mains to slide further and snapback faster, providing more extra spin. However, you may be right to a degree, as Lyons mentions that the extra spin is somewhat less with top-level players than with rec players.

    Anyway, Drak is a good player and very experienced with strings and frames. His review seems to confirm what Wilson's data showed them: greater spin, higher trajectory with no loss of speed, and little to no loss of control.

    BTW, if you're not familiar with the research that gave Wilson this idea, check out this paper by TW's own scientist-in-residence: http://twu.tennis-warehouse.com/learning_center/stringpattern.php

    This one also includes experiments with racquets with fewer cross strings: http://twu.tennis-warehouse.com/learning_center/stringpattern.php

    I suspect that Figure 3 from the second paper made Wilson/Luxilon pretty excited.
     
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2012
  28. Fed Kennedy

    Fed Kennedy Hall of Fame

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    They have, Mark Woodeforde used one. But tennis is a stodgy traditionalist sport that is averse to innovation. Respect flows top down from touring pros not geeks in a lab.

    Just look at this thread, two solid players give this stick a glowing review and people are bugging their eyes out thinking of ways to shoot this down before theyve even tried it.

    I saw the same thing happen in the ski industry, all the crusty superior attitudes tried to crap on fat powder skis...saying they were for hacks, five years later everyone is on them, ripping way harder than before.
     
  29. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    Does anyone know how you find one if these Wilson demonstrations in your area?
     
  30. El Zed

    El Zed Banned

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    Nice interpretation of my question... Yes, the author of the thread entitled "Defending Babolat and the Modern Game" is a stodgy traditionalist averse to technological improvements... Some of us like to consider whether the information provided makes sense from a logical perspective - rather than accept what is given as gospel. I believe I made the point that the nature of your stroke may be critical in how much use you get out of the racquet. Not debating that this may be a god-send to those with a more traditional stroke looking to up the RPM-ante. I just have doubts that this would have the same effect for those with a more modern stroke. Thus, I'm not "thinking of ways" to shoot the racquet down, so much as positing a question - which, again, could be easily answered by those who have demoed the racquet. So why don't you lay-off the mischaracterizations or make comment on something you actually understand.
     
  31. Bartelby

    Bartelby G.O.A.T.

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    There is no doubt that the data about strings and spin is correct, but every change has its costs and I've yet to read any balanced assessment of the gains and losses from this approach.

    No advantage for professional players means we're not putting it in players' frames so already the product is positioned as a tweener racquet.

    Why so if it is that truly transformative?
     
  32. El Zed

    El Zed Banned

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    Thank you for the link, I appreciate it. While your comment regarding the movement of strings has obvious merit, I think you're overlooking a critical factor found in many "spin" oriented strings - namely, their ridged nature. It's interesting, that the gentlemen from Wilson focuses on the snap-back of the string - that's precisely my point though, in that a WW/western forehand will have dramatically different properties in this regard to a traditional stroke with a continental/sw grip. I'm basically trying to determine if this variable has been considered - I have my doubts given that the APDGT has less spin than either a Head Speed or PS 6.1 Classic...
     
  33. dmcb101

    dmcb101 Semi-Pro

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    I am not sure you can just go even if you knew about it. I was invited to go by my Wilson rep and I know they are serving lunch for free and stuff. I can not go consequently because I will be on court teaching. I am bummed because I would really like to see how much more rpms I get on my forehand. Any who, thats what I think.
     
  34. corners

    corners Legend

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    I love the fat ski analogy!
     
  35. dmcb101

    dmcb101 Semi-Pro

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    Yeah that is a good analogy. Haters will be haters. For the rest, I guess you can only try it out and see how it works.
     
  36. Bartelby

    Bartelby G.O.A.T.

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    Yes, well, boosterism will be boosterism.
     
  37. realplayer

    realplayer Semi-Pro

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    But this is nothing new, is it? The snauwaert Hi-Ten or the prince graphite mid also had very open patterns.
    The only difference I see that with the new poly strings it combines better.
     
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2012
  38. Power Player

    Power Player G.O.A.T.

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    Yeah but on the other side of the fence i think people need to be real about it. If you get tons of spin with a tfight, exo, etc , you very likely will lose pace to gain spin. Im personally interested enough to demo. Im not closed minded. But im not sure everyone will need all the extra spin for their games. Lets see what happens..unfortunately we have until january.
     
  39. Fed Kennedy

    Fed Kennedy Hall of Fame

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    Hey man are you a little touchy about this? I didnt mention you at all in my post. Im not into arguing about racquets online...just pumped for this one.
     
  40. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

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    Interesting discussion going on. Before I add my input, I want to thank, dmsb101 for his great review, found here: http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showpost.php?p=6965544&postcount=144


    There seems to be some questions/comments/perhaps confusion as to some of the "data" posted so far.

    First off, the data of spin comparing the Aero to the Classic 6.1 comes from only one player, whom happened to ask if he could be tested using his Classic. This player, is a teaching pro, and has some great strokes. From what I saw, and the data displayed on the computer in "real time", while the coach was hitting, it was clear he was hitting with more spin with his Classic than with the Aero. Again, this doesn't mean the classic provides more spin than the Aero for everyone.

    Secondly, in my testing, with the Trackman providing unbiased data, it was clear the 99S outperformed the Aero in spin, pace, and net clearance. This is based on me swinging the same on each racquet I was provided to test. So, using the same exact swing path, I was getting 500 more RPM's of spin with the 99S vs the Aero.

    The aforementioned, was what I witnessed nearly every tester achieve as well...... More spin with the 99S than with any of the other racquets provided.

    Now, please remember, in the grand scheme of things, this was a small sample of players, but definitely interesting to say the least, and at least worthy of all of you making up your own minds. I simply wanted to provide you all with what I felt was worthy of a thread, and wanted to share what I feel is a great piece of equipment coming out next year.

    Finally, I want to add that I did not have trouble flattening shots, hitting slice, serves, or controlling shots, etc. I did not find the frame to play harsh, rather, was impressed that it felt comfortable.

    Again, as always,,,,, demo for yourself, as we all perceive things differently, and what is great for one person, does not make it so for everyone. I'm still awaiting to do a full review, which would include playing sets, and testing different strings, how they perform, and their durability.
     
  41. Fuji

    Fuji Legend

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    Just wanted to add in here:

    Thanks a ton for the review Drak! Very cool set up and experience! My local shop is excited to have these in, for the fact that they believe everyone buying them will be restringing WAY more frequently then before due to the large snap back effect. :razz:

    -Fuji
     
  42. El Zed

    El Zed Banned

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    Thank you for the follow-up. Not to be obtuse, and apologies if I missed it in any of your posts, but do you typically employ (and particularly, on these tests) a traditional or more modern stroke? I understand that you applied the same stroke to all racquets, but my question is if you indeed utilized a more modern stroke (also encompassing a western grip). Thanks again.
     
  43. corners

    corners Legend

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    Why do you think I'm overlooking that? But it's tangential to this discussion.

    What kind of dramatically different properties are you talking about?
     
  44. El Zed

    El Zed Banned

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    Well, the most obvious being the nature of the impact between a straight-ahead shot (traditional) versus a brushing, glancing impact (modern)... Are you saying that the stringbed will react the same to both?
     
  45. tlm

    tlm Legend

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    This racket sounds similar to the vortex that I demoed. It had crazy spin and a 14 main open string pattern. It also had a stiffness of 71 which made it to powerful and non arm friendly which I suspect will be the same for this steam.
     
  46. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

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    I use an eastern FH grip on both sides, and hit with very good spin on both sides, although achieve much more spin on the BH than on the FH. Here is a vid of me hitting, and I can tell you every shot had a lot of spin, and this was with an PS85. You could clearly see every shot me brushing up. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FkOpbDAq2gU

    By "modern", not sure exactly if that term really defines what "modern" is. For example, you use "western" to define what a "modern" grip is. However, I would not exactly consider the western grip as modern, considering it has been around for well over 30 years.

    To add, in regards to spin, Federer has been calculated to hit with upwards of 4,500 RPM's of spin, and to date, is on record as getting the most RPM recorded (5,300), and that was on a slice backhand. And yet, he doesn't hit with a western grip. To the contrary, hits with a eastern, and sometimes abbreviated semi-western.

    Look, regardless of the grip one employs, if the player brushes up on the ball, they will hit with spin. The 99S will enhance and "magnify" that spin by upwards and over 200 RPM's, regardless of the grip.

    I know players that use a Aero Pro Drive, and hit so flat, it looks like a knuckle ball. My point is, that one has to first and foremost have a stroke that brushes up on the ball to impart spin.

    Would love to read your feedback if you decide to take this frame out for a playtest.
     
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2012
  47. Bartelby

    Bartelby G.O.A.T.

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    Certainly steam looks like a variation on the vortex approach, which is in itself something that has been used before.

    Although improvements can of course lead to better executions of the same idea.
     
  48. Bartelby

    Bartelby G.O.A.T.

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    Given that open crosses is the main point then Steam's 16x15 would seem better that Vortex's 14x15.
     
  49. El Zed

    El Zed Banned

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    Sorry, I thought I set forth my definition of a modern stroke previously - that being a windshield-wiper type stroke coupled with a western or extreme western forehand grip.

    I'm legitimately excited about the racquet and will definitely try it out (no reason not to). Nonetheless, I have experienced first hand the dramatic difference in spin that a APDGT can impart through the use of the above referenced "modern" stroke/grip relative to a more traditional stroke (or even a windshield-wiper with a semi-western grip). Frankly, I think the APDGT is a bit of a dud otherwise, and can understand why others are so critical (especially when coupled with the "feel" issues). That being said, I don't necessarily want to get my hopes up under the auspices that this new racquet out-spins and out-paces the APDGT when the latter is not used in its optimum manner (no offense).
     
  50. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

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    yeah, I understand your point, but quite frankly, any racquet will do this. If you hit with a flatter more "traditional stroke" using racquet X, and then suddenly, begin using a WW FH with racquet X, you will impart more spin. This isn't limited to the APD.
     

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