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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    I'll have to read up on Vortex. I confess I know zero re their strings and frames.
     
  2. The Dark Knight

    The Dark Knight Legend

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    Don't worry nobody has. They are a small company who came out with the 99s string pattern long before the 99s came out. (14 x 17 pattern and as open as 14x15 on some models)

    Having said that .....so far I do like the 99s better....but it's only been one day.

    The point is that they have been at this longer than Wilson has and therefore have developed a wide selection of strings that will not break easily with such a wide pattern.

    What's funny to me is that Vortex users have been saying this idea of an open string pattern is great but no one listened or would even try it . And now that Wilson has come out with it the laughter has stopped and it's now the greatest thing since sliced bread . ( by the way what's so great about sliced bread)? :)
    Check them out here:

    http://store.vortextennis.com/
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2013
  3. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    DO they hold tension past 1 week? My issue with the 99s wasn't breakage.
    It was that after around 5-6 hours, the strings lost a lot of tension and starting playing very erratically.
     
  4. john hempel

    john hempel Rookie

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    Has anyone tried Lux M2 Pro in the Steam 99S? Results?
     
  5. The Dark Knight

    The Dark Knight Legend

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    They hold tension as well as any other stick .

    But the key to vortex and I suspect Wilson as well is that the tension should be very loose. The looser the better.....Vortex usually comes strung around 45 pounds .

    I string the 99s at 56 but I'm going to down to 45.....then you really can feel the slingshot effect the best in my opinion.
     
  6. The Dark Knight

    The Dark Knight Legend

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    Part 2 of day 1.....

    I just hit another 1 1/2 with the 99s.

    My shots seem effortless with this stick but there just not as much heft or plow through as there is with the vortex.

    I'm liking my results with the stick though so I'm still very much on the fence .

    It's really close between these two sticks.....really close.
     
  7. usta2050

    usta2050 Rookie

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    i just tried the 105s with Luxilon 4g at 60lbs...it feels like a kzero. why did I spend 200 on a 105s when I can get a kzero for under 100...
     
  8. The Dark Knight

    The Dark Knight Legend

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    Well that's a 118 square inch racquet . So you are getting the benefits of a 118 with a head size of 105.....that's pretty amazing .

    But thanks because I wanted to try the 105 but I get so much power from the 99s that I don't need to .

    The 99s also feels like a much bigger racquet....but I'm still concerned over the heaviness of the ball. It doesn't pack the same punch as my Vortex....and the ball seems to sit up very high with the 99s allowing my opponent to hit a winner.

    Like I say the battle of the open string patterns is still raging. I'm just not sure between the 99s or the vortex tour. It's close.
     
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2013
  9. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    this is a common theme among the 99s threads.
     
  10. rlau

    rlau Professional

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    I guess with the 99s depth is crucial -- you need to keep the ball deep, i.e. close to the baseline, otherwise it'll sit up too much and give your opponent a chance to go for the winner.
     
  11. The Dark Knight

    The Dark Knight Legend

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    Well not really because I have hit the most amazing drop shots of my life with this stick.

    It's a really tough decision and only time will tell for sure.

    I played a match last night but my opponent was really not that strong . Some balls dod sit ip for him but i was able to run enough down until he made an error. a betyer player would not make those same errors.

    I won 6-1,6-3 on a very fast hard court. I was not that happy with the result but a win is a win ....right?
     
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2013
  12. usta2050

    usta2050 Rookie

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    tried the 105s again today. it does have a bigger spot and swing and had my friends test it too. it's jsut too big.
     
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2013
  13. The Dark Knight

    The Dark Knight Legend

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    Oops .

    Sorry
     
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2013
  14. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

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    Yeah this frame is a 99s on steroids. very powerful, and even more spin. Its way over the top, but is selling very well in my area.

    dark knight, any more updates?? Rabbit???
     
  15. morandi

    morandi Rookie

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    I don't find my balls sit up at all with the 99S. They are just flat out nasty and heavy. I think the plow through is phenomenal. Granted mine are tailweighted to 12oz so that might help.
    Anybody try low tension 4g in the 99s? I have been stringing mine with 4G or 4GS at 58 or 60lbs and have had good success, but have been scared to try lower tension for fear that it will make the racquet too erratic. Also everyone I spoke tells me to string them tight, so like a mindless drone I do.
     
  16. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

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    ^^ I tension mine at 45lbs. No problems with the lower tension, especially considering im using 15 gauge.
     
  17. Ross K

    Ross K Legend

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    Last outing with 99s was pretty disappointing with fresh Xcite @ 55lbs tbh. Feel just seemed meh, and surprised by slight lack of oomph. I also found some of my long running slight issues with the frame to the fore, like that floaty sitter and unpredictable spin behaviour. Anyhow, thinking re this set up ^ dropping quite a few pounds might have worked better for me.
     
  18. dknotty

    dknotty Semi-Pro

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    I'm getting back into tennis after a very long hiatus. Loving the sound of the Steam spin series. What is the main difference between the 105s & the 99s? Why would I buy one over the other?
     
  19. The Dark Knight

    The Dark Knight Legend

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    The 105 has much more power and spin and takes a lot less effort.

    Your stroke can be far more compact than with the 99. It's like the difference between driving an automatic or stick shift .

    At net for serve and volley the 99 is way more maneuverable and probably a better choice however for doubles if you just standing still at the net then the 105 may be the better option.

    The 99 is lower powered and more controlled . It all depends on your swings ....if you have shorter compact strokes and more of a baseline game then the 105 may be a better choice . However if you have long text swings and like to really rip the ball then the 99 is the way to go.
     
  20. dknotty

    dknotty Semi-Pro

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    Thanks for the reply. How do you mean rip the ball? Does that mean the 105 is much harder to control?
     
  21. The Dark Knight

    The Dark Knight Legend

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    Well....do you have a big long stroke ? A really long hard swing ? Similar to the PROs?

    Basically "ripping" the ball is done by better players. Most higher level players will not play with anything over 100 square inches but there have been a few exceptions.

    But if you have a shorter more compact swing .....then 105 is for you.

    Yes the 105 has less control if you are swinging very hard ; however if you are "pushing" the ball then the 105 is the better stick for you .
     
  22. Rabbit

    Rabbit G.O.A.T.

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    The honeymoon is over and......it's still a love affair. :)

    I have tried the following strings in mine:

    1. Wilson Spin Cycle
    2. Genesis Black Magic 17
    3. Solinco Tour Bite Soft 17
    4. Luxilon Ace 18
    5. Yonex Pro Tour Soft 1.25
    6. Luxilon 4G 1.25
    7. Luxilon 4G 1.30
    8. Luxilon 4G 1.41

    and the winner is.....

    Luxilon 4G 1.25

    despite all the naysayers, I find this string has the most playability of any poly I've tried in this frame. Control, spin, comfort, are all off the charts for a poly. I get about 6 hours out of a set of 1.25 which is fine by me and it feels great the whole way through.
     
  23. The Dark Knight

    The Dark Knight Legend

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    ^^^^

    I'm telling you go to the Vortex website and get their poly strings in 15 gauge. It's a small investment but you won't believe the return.

    They developed just for these open string patterns. ....they based it all on Woodfordes strings .
     
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2013
  24. The Dark Knight

    The Dark Knight Legend

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    I'm still on the fence between the 99s and the vortex tours.

    It's freaking close.

    The 99s seems to be more consistent as to getting balls over the net....but they are not nearly as heavy or damaging as the Vortex.

    It's a really tough call......but right now the 99s has a slight lead .

    The ease of using the 99s is addictive . The frame however is a bit light and doesn't pack the same punch as the vortex .

    I have to play a few more matches with both .
     
  25. dknotty

    dknotty Semi-Pro

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    Think it's going to be the 105s for me then! Not down with all the new lingo - I don't know what 'pushing' the ball is!

    Would any strings in particular give more control than others?
     
  26. gameboy

    gameboy Hall of Fame

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    I play 105s. I recommend 105s if you are primarily a doubles player. It is phenomenal at the net and serving with it is great. I've tried 99s and I didn't notice a huge increase in power. It may give you a bit more spin as well.
     
  27. The Dark Knight

    The Dark Knight Legend

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    "Pushing " means exactly what it sounds like ....you "push" the ball instead of hitting the living day lights out of it like Federer or Nadal .

    You "push" the ball just to get it back over the net .....not trying to hit a pure all out laser beam winner.

    I think you are making the right choice by the way.

    The recommended strings for the racquet are luxilon 4g and rabbit another poster here loves them.

    The down side of polyester is that it's hard on the arm. But polyester is definitely the way to go ...on this racquet. Anything else will snap.

    Personally I like a small company called Vortex tennis. They have string plus you can uses their multi filament string and it won't break . It's very soft on the arm.

    Hope that helps.
     
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2013
  28. racertempo

    racertempo Semi-Pro

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    I am glad to hear that you have stuck with the 105 after a slow start Gameboy.....and dknotty, you will like the 105s for sure. Try Spin Cycle strung in the low-mid 50s. I am at 50# in mine and love it.
     
  29. Nostradamus

    Nostradamus G.O.A.T.

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    you mention nothing about Power ? why ?
     
  30. Rabbit

    Rabbit G.O.A.T.

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    Simple oversight


    POWER ROCKS!
     
  31. The Dark Knight

    The Dark Knight Legend

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    Update on the 99s versus the Vortex racquets.

    To be clear I'm comparing the vortex tour 95 & 100 to the 99s.

    I'm still on the fence as the 99s seems to hit with far less errors than the Vortex sticks although not as damaging and a heavy ball.

    However I have noticed one area where the Vortex 95 beats out the other two sticks badly. And that is in serve accuracy.....not power but accuracy.

    The Vortex tour 95 is simply outstanding in this department ; however by the same token it does not fair very well on serve returns. The 99s and Tour 100 really shine here. This has pretty much made up my mind that I'm not even going to try the 105 for my game.

    I'm not looking for power but rather accuracy on serves.

    Anyway the jury is still in deliberation and it's a really tough choice. I just don't know what the hell to do yet.
     
  32. Rabbit

    Rabbit G.O.A.T.

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    I tell you this....it is a blessing to have limited choices.

    Back in "the day" the choices were:
    Dunlop Maxply or Slazenger Challenge 1 or Wilson Kramer Auto or Wilson Kramer ProStaff?

    Or Vantage I or II or Blue Star or Natural Gut.....

    You can simply drive yourself insane. I debated buying a reel of Luxilon 4G until it became nearly obsessive. I kept trying just 1 more string. And, none were as good for me right now as 4G.

    I am really glad I've settled on a racquet, string, and tension. All combine to form a really superb playing experience for me at this point in my life. :)
     
  33. The Dark Knight

    The Dark Knight Legend

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    LOL.....ok I feel you :). I won't bring it up again.

    Enjoy the stick!
     
  34. gameboy

    gameboy Hall of Fame

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    I don't know if I am a better player with this racquet, but I hit a few shots during the match that brings smile to my face. That feeling is addicting.
     
  35. gameboy

    gameboy Hall of Fame

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    I have a question for you guys. I am fairly well adjusted with this racquets when it comes to ground strokes, serves, and volleys. But I still have a rough time with service returns. Anything other than a block have tendencies to sail long.

    Any advice?
     
  36. fibonacci888

    fibonacci888 Rookie

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    follow through, finish your stroke and the balls won't sail.
     
  37. JGads

    JGads Hall of Fame

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    Digging your ongoing comparison, as everything you say rings true to my experience on the 99s: incredible 'ease of use', but a certain lack of PUNCH on the medium/rally balls compared to others (in your case the Vortex) Keep it going.
     
  38. Rabbit

    Rabbit G.O.A.T.

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    My bad! I didn't mean it as a put down. I'm just glad I decided to quit funding my search. Please continue your posts. (Your descent into madness is entertaining!)

    Seriously, please continue, the Vortex is an interesting frame and your posts are good and what the boards are all about!
     
  39. Mongolmike

    Mongolmike Professional

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    Rabbit, why do you call yourself Rabbit with a picture of a dog and the word GOAT above the dog?

    Other than that, I have nothing to contribute except I think the 4G works very well in the 105s... but I do not like it in my other racquets. I also do not like the price of it, or the color with this frame.

    I strung 4G at 55# last night, but have experimented with it at 52#, 54#, 59# and 63#. Gonna hopefully hit serves with it tonight and will play a match with it tomorrow. I have one more set of 4G to experiment with.
     
  40. lostinamerica

    lostinamerica Semi-Pro

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    After more testing

    I've been testing this racquet for 3 weeks and I have to say this thing is unreal. When taking a full swing with topspin. I struggle to hit it long. I am hitting a seriously heavy ball when previously I did not. I am a pretty big hitting all court player. When I had less than penetrating strokes, I am able to take a bigger swing at the ball keep it in and now I have groundstrokes that are pushing opponents back.

    At first, I was struggling to keep a flatter ball from sailing but once I began the adjustments I am hitting a very penetrating heavy ball.

    The biggest negative is keeping strings in the thing. I have gone to Ashaway Kevlar 18 gauge. The kevlar does not spin as much as the poly but it does not break in less than an hour.

    The area of the game I was concerned with was the volleys yet I am volleying better than with my Head Speed I was using.

    I imagine Head/Babolat/Prince and the usual suspects will be rolling their own open string pattern frames out later this year. This is truly a game changer. I have always detested Wilson rackets but I am now finding myself changing to one... albeit, I am increasing my string budget a bit.
     
  41. lostinamerica

    lostinamerica Semi-Pro

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    G.O.A.T. stands for Greatest of All Time and means he has about a zillion Talk Tennis posts. It has nothing to do with domestic or barnyard animals.
     
  42. Rabbit

    Rabbit G.O.A.T.

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    Rabbit was what my dear old dad used to call me. :) It's a pun on my first name, Robert.

    And kindly refrain from referring to my soul mate as a "dog". :) She's a shih tzu we rescued from a puppy mill. Best "dog" we've ever had too. I couldn't think of a better picture to put up, she's easy on the eyes.

    G.O.A.T. is also a TW thing. Yeah, I have 11K posts, but I've been on here since they started about 15 years ago! Breaking it down, that's not too many a day. :)
     
  43. jackcrawford

    jackcrawford Professional

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    G.O.A.T. is well-deserved both for the beautiful shih tzu and Rabbit. May there be many happy years for you together!
     
  44. Ross K

    Ross K Legend

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    Haha that's just got to be the line of the day.:)
     
  45. The Dark Knight

    The Dark Knight Legend

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    Wilson 99s loses a lot of steam

    I wanted to like it better I really really did but after tonight the 99s lost a LOT of steam and my trusty vortex is back in the lead a lot.

    My suspicions of the vortex tour hitting a heavier ball seemed to be true.

    I played a guy last week in my league and I beat him 7-6,7-6.

    Tonight I switched to the steam and I lost 6-4,6-0.

    But we had time for another set and I switched back to the vortex and I won 6-4.

    Upon testing both sticks the vortex just seems like an iPhone and the Wilson seems like a cheap Chinese copy.

    The steam just seems so hol and cheaply made compared to the vortex tour.

    My decision is not yet completely made but it's damn close and vortex looks like it's gonna be the winner .

    It's match point now in the fifth set .....I'm going to try the 4g in the Wilson and of that doesn't work then I'm selling my steams.

    For Wilson to win this it's going to have to be a joker return at match point .
     
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2013
  46. souledge

    souledge Semi-Pro

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    Which vortex gives the most spin in a non-oversize frame?
     
  47. The Dark Knight

    The Dark Knight Legend

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    Well what do you classify as non oversize ?

    The vortex tour 100 has more spin than the tour 95 but the 95 has more control.


    The variety of racquets that Vortex has is far larger than Wilson's super open racquets .

    For example the Vortex ES 100 and ES 105 is very similar to the Wilson steam 99s and 105s. NOTE: I said "ES" NOT "TOUR"

    You need to be careful of whether the sticks say tour or ES....the yours are more "player" sticks.

    The tour versions are thinner than the steams And more solid than the steams By far.
     
  48. Rabbit

    Rabbit G.O.A.T.

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    Thanks, Mr. Crawford. I hope you have a great week.
     
  49. Ross K

    Ross K Legend

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    What a difference a few days makes...

    Played with the above again after finding my Blades swinging just a tad sluggish and lower powered, and - bingo! Played really nicely for me.

    Most notable features were ease and fluidity of swinging. Serve pop. Groundstroke oomph.

    And thus it continues... :)
     
  50. Mongolmike

    Mongolmike Professional

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    Thanks, I know that.... just yanking his chain (which means I am teasing him... for no apparent reason)
     

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