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

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

  1. Rabbit

    Rabbit G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2004
    Messages:
    12,576
    Location:
    at the bottom of every hill I come to
    so that's what that means all these years and I never saw a dang chain ;)
     
  2. Mongolmike

    Mongolmike Professional

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2009
    Messages:
    967
    Location:
    Ohio
    lol... I was going to type "...just yanking his chain (which means I was pulling his leg.... for no apparent reason)"... but I thought the "pulling his leg" statement would take things even further off course!

    BTW, rescue pups are the best... good on you! So is her name "Goat"?
     
  3. Rabbit

    Rabbit G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2004
    Messages:
    12,576
    Location:
    at the bottom of every hill I come to
    No, after we had to put our 17-year old border collie down, I was out of the dog business. My wife mandated this puppy...and named her....Bella
     
  4. Pheniox

    Pheniox New User

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2013
    Messages:
    13
    Traditionally I have used heavier "player" sticks like the 4D 200 tour, prestige mid, and the old ROK 93 before that. I finally broke down and decided to demo a stick for the player I am instead of the one I think I am. The difference has taken a while but the commitment has payed dividends as I can hit out without over hitting, a balance I had more trouble with on the heavier sticks. My playing partners comment on the better defense I can play throwing up high spinners with confidence they will come down. The only downside is it is 16 gauge or snap as I was going through my traditional 17s like water. Right now the spiky shark is playing quite well but I may swap the cyclone out for something slicker. Also, the 30 lbs feels like what this racket was built for. To give this thing even more snap back should be illegal and it makes it much easier on the arm. I am only 5 sets in on the low low tension but I can't imagine going back.
     
  5. Ross K

    Ross K Legend

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2006
    Messages:
    8,232
    30 lbs?! :shock: In the 99s?... wow.
     
  6. mrj1813

    mrj1813 New User

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2012
    Messages:
    27
    I have tried Lux 4g 16 gauge, pacific xcite 16 gauge, yonex polypro tour 17 gauge, and Gosen sidewinder 16. All at 55-60 pounds.

    My fav so far is the gosen. just as much spin as the lux for a little less, holding it's tension very well, and just looks flat out nice with the orange color. very slippery string, great snapback.

    just my 2cents

    sam
     
  7. Ross K

    Ross K Legend

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2006
    Messages:
    8,232
    Interesting shout re Gosen Sidewinder. Not a string I know at all. May look into this one. Anyone else have any thoughts on it they'd care to share?

    BTW, Xcite played better for me yesterday than first outing. Think I got the wrong gauge though. Seems kind of 'chunky' somehow.:)
     
  8. The Dark Knight

    The Dark Knight Legend

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2012
    Messages:
    6,340
    I have found low tension to work on these low patterns in theses open patterns like the vortex and now the 99s to work much better .

    I'm at 45 but I can understand 30 as well.
     
  9. Mongolmike

    Mongolmike Professional

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2009
    Messages:
    967
    Location:
    Ohio

    I know it is all relative, but how is serving with low tension? Would you say you were accurate with your serves at a normal tension, and if so, how is your accuracy at 30? If you just try to get your serves in, then I guess may question is moot.
     
  10. Rabbit

    Rabbit G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2004
    Messages:
    12,576
    Location:
    at the bottom of every hill I come to
    Regarding the emboldened text, ain't it a wonderful thing?

    I had a forced break from tennis due to a pesky Achilles problem. I was playing with a C10 that came in at around 13 ounces. After I came back it wasn't that I wasn't as strong, but my timing was gone. A friend of mine and I were hitting and he broke strings and asked to borrow one of my frames. He remarked several times at how heavy they were. I began to 'regress' my knowledge from what is common here on the boards. I began to stair step my racquet weight down to an appropriate level.

    It makes a difference, doesn't it? :)

    I'm at 47/44. I love the feel.

    Yeah, exactly. You have reached enlightenment. The published tension range on racquets means nothing now given the variety of string materials. I also think the snap back thing and high tensions may be a bit overstated. It may help, but on the other hand, I don't find the tension loss using low tensions that other claim using high tensions.

    I'm super happy at 47/44 and don't feel the need to go any lower, but I might try it just for hits and giggles.
     
  11. Rabbit

    Rabbit G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2004
    Messages:
    12,576
    Location:
    at the bottom of every hill I come to
    With the 99S, it is great. I'm at 47/44 and serves have lost nothing. I routinely play with a good friend of mine who is a couple of years older than I. He plays with a Wilson Six One strung with Synthetic Gut at 66 pounds. He asked me about my frame and string. He was aghast at my tension and the fact that my racquet was so light. Change is not always bad... :)
     
  12. Pheniox

    Pheniox New User

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2013
    Messages:
    13
    I would say I am still adjusting but showing promise :). I now exclusively go 1 to 7 and 11 to 5 with varying tosses. I see a tremendous increase in action on the slice, still not consistent with either. Placement is tough to call as finding the T on both sides has never been my strong suit and at my level, into the body and out wide usually are the only 2 I have to hit to win consistently on first serves.
     
  13. The Dark Knight

    The Dark Knight Legend

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2012
    Messages:
    6,340
    I can't take the credit....Vortex who has been at this a lot longer than Wilson actually recommends 45 pounds .

    I'm fact it's part of their technology and on the vortex it's printed something like
    "Low tension dynamics"
     
  14. Mongolmike

    Mongolmike Professional

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2009
    Messages:
    967
    Location:
    Ohio

    47/44 is obviously not as extreme as 30#... but none-the-less... have you noticed any loss of serve accuracy at the lower tension? I ask because I have been slowly adding tension, rather than lowering it, and service accuracy is important for me... I could easily string one up at 45 or even 30 and drop a bucket of balls to see how my serve is... but was just curious. I've got the spin on my serves, with or without the Steam, but am not willing to give up the serve placement at all.
     
  15. Rabbit

    Rabbit G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2004
    Messages:
    12,576
    Location:
    at the bottom of every hill I come to
    I absolutely have not. Using 4G, I don't see a drop off which resulted in it being more difficult to hold serve like i used to using other strings. I can hit both corners of the box, pace is great, spin is great, etc. The 99S is a fine serving frame and the stirngbed setup doesn't affect it adversely at all.

    I was just like you. I'd start low and then something made me try to ease my tension up. A hitting partner of mine kept telling me to go low. He is stringing his Prince EXO Rebel 98 18X20 at 45 pounds with a full bed of Solinco TB 17. He kept saying how comfortable it was and was better than natural gut.

    I finally relented and strung one of mine at 47/44. After hitting with it, I completely abandoned all the notions I had acquired through 40 years of playing tennis. Playing with poly tension rules as we knew them just don't apply! I also find that the string lasts longer and is way better around the net. So, I ordered a reel of 4G 1.25 and am sold. If anything, if I get bored, I'll drop my tension 3 - 5 pounds and retry. :)
     
  16. The Dark Knight

    The Dark Knight Legend

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2012
    Messages:
    6,340
    I think it all depends on the style of play.

    Mcenroe strung I believe in the 40' but Borg was like in the 80's.

    If your playing with continental or you have a touch game them lower tensions I think may be better.....but a violent topspin I think you have to go with higher tensions.

    Usually I string at 56 but with these sticks I go down to 45
     
  17. Rabbit

    Rabbit G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2004
    Messages:
    12,576
    Location:
    at the bottom of every hill I come to
    Yes, but now McEnroe and Borg are at more "normal" tensions. McEnroe I know strings at 58 - 60 now with natural gut. I'm not sure about Borg, but you don't hear the high pitched sound that was so characteristic of him. So I don't know that I agree with a generalization of tension as it relates to game type.
     
  18. The Dark Knight

    The Dark Knight Legend

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2012
    Messages:
    6,340
    Well both Borg and Mac has styles at completely different ends of the spectrum and their racket tensions couldn't have been more different either .
     
  19. Rabbit

    Rabbit G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2004
    Messages:
    12,576
    Location:
    at the bottom of every hill I come to
    Right but their tension choice doesn't necessarily reflect their game. I just don't believe the two parameters are associated.
     
  20. Ross K

    Ross K Legend

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2006
    Messages:
    8,232
    Hmm, reading the above posts makes me think perhaps I should dip my toe in the water and step out of my comfort zone of 55 lbs. Watch this space then. I, too, need to reach enlightenment. :)
     
  21. The Dark Knight

    The Dark Knight Legend

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2012
    Messages:
    6,340
    Well who really knows ?....but if you think about it logically it sort of makes sense ....here's why.....

    First lets agree on their styles .....

    Mcenroe used a continental/ australian grip and had amazing touch at the net.

    Borg used either a semi western or western and was known for having possibly the greatest topspin of his day.

    Now if you break that down ....lets say Mcenrpe tried to hit an amazing touch drop volley with a tension of 80 pounds on that tiny little racquet. The racquet would be like board and the ball wouldn't really go very far would it? ...tight racquets feel boards.

    Borg on the other hand his a violent topspin shot and was like a brick wall....he could hit the ball forever . Topspin is in part created by a fast swing . The faster and more violent the swing the more topspin you get. If the tension on Borgs racquet were really loose and he swing really hard then the ball would fly out of the court . The trampoline effect would take over and the ball would fly ....Borg would not be able to swing as hard.

    Looser strings = more power .....so if you swing harder the ball will logically fly more . To keep the ball in Borg would hold back a bit on his swing. He wanted to swing as hard as possible and still keep the ball in. He needed a high tension with a board like feeling .

    By the same tole Mcenroe did not swing very hard at all in comparison to Borg
    and he needed the power of looser strings .


    I'm not saying that I'm right but I think I am because it makes logical sense.
     
    Last edited: May 1, 2013
  22. ttwarrior1

    ttwarrior1 Professional

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2005
    Messages:
    1,145
    Location:
    kentucky
    Hit with 110 s yesterday and I love it. Strings move but move back easy. In fact buying the sucker. Didn't look 110. Want the greatest at hard shots hit to me at the net, but likely that was me. Serve , slice, control was great. I don't hit a lot of top spin. I don't know how to kick serve, but tried some and was good at it. Perhaps because of the bigger head
     
  23. rlau

    rlau Professional

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2008
    Messages:
    1,234
    Location:
    NL
    Maybe because it's a 105?
     
  24. racertempo

    racertempo Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    May 17, 2011
    Messages:
    661
    Location:
    Charlotte, NC area
    :) ha ha, 105 and 110 is a nice little difference.
     
  25. The Dark Knight

    The Dark Knight Legend

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2012
    Messages:
    6,340
    Your girlfriend told you that five inches doesn't make a difference only to make you feel better . :)
     
  26. Rabbit

    Rabbit G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2004
    Messages:
    12,576
    Location:
    at the bottom of every hill I come to
    My point is that both guys now have the same game, Borg big top, McEnroe touch. And yet, both are playing with reasonable tensions, probably about the same or within 10 pounds of each other. You can rationalize anything.

    If you look at Nadal today, he's stringing at 54 and playing with as much topspin as anyone ever has. Sampras played with his racquets strung at 70 and had plenty of touch around the net. Agassi strung his OS at 68 and hit more top than Sampras. Stefan Edberg strung his 85's at 58. Navratilova strung her frames very tight, most recently her Bosworths were 70 - 74 pounds.

    In short, it's all what a player gets used to. To me, this is the same argument that some put out about the Wilson PS being a S/V racquet. And yet, Chris Evert, Mary Pierce, Aaron Krickstein and Jimmy Connors all used it to great success. It's more about personal preference than anything fitting a particular game type.

    I'm really not trying to be argumentative, but I just don't see this as logical. There are those on the boards who've said that the 99S can only be used at higher tensions by those with extreme grips. And yet I'm swinging with an Eastern grip at low tensions. I just prefer open string patterns.
     
    Last edited: May 1, 2013
  27. The Dark Knight

    The Dark Knight Legend

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2012
    Messages:
    6,340
    Actually I think the 99s should only be used at lower tensions !

    The 99s premise is the "sling shot affect "
    Sort of like a spaghetti string racquet which was by the way unbelievably loose.

    Now Mcenroe does NOT hit as much topspin as anyone . I've seen him in person .....the guy hits with continental and yeah he can put some topspin on
    The ball from hitting low to high ......but nothing like courier or wilander .

    To hit with huge topspin you need at the very least am eastern grip and absolutely a windshield wiper forehand......which Mcenroe absolutely does NOT have .....no way!!!

    But I didn't know some of the things you said .....Nadal strings at 54???? Really ???

    If so that does go against my premise.

    I still THINK I'm right .....but I don't KNOW that I'm right .

    To me it makes sense for someone with touch to string looser and tighter for topspin.....but that's just my personal opinion and may in fact be wrong .

    I suppose a good stringer would know better ?

    Anyway .......no worries :)
     
  28. ttwarrior1

    ttwarrior1 Professional

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2005
    Messages:
    1,145
    Location:
    kentucky
    lmao your right, its 105
     
  29. Rabbit

    Rabbit G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2004
    Messages:
    12,576
    Location:
    at the bottom of every hill I come to
    Simpatico.

    I don't believe I said he did.

    I have seen him "live" many times as well and agree.

    Yes, really! :) I know one guy in particular who strings for the pro tour. He says the running joke in the stringing room is to ask Nadal when he brings his frames in what tension he wants...Nadal always thinks and says "54". I have read he'll bump it up/down a pound, but he doesn't vary much more than that.

    I understand. It's just hard, in the face of two such like players as Nadal and Borg, to state an absolute like that. Before Nadal, everyone on tour was amazed at how much spin Roger Federer produced. Navratilova hit with him and said she'd never seen that kind of spin from anyone and Federer strings his frames at 48.

    My point is, you can cite examples of players who use this or that and have an attribute in their game. But it's very like the discussion about spin and gauge. While gauge may help spin, the overriding determinant for spin is technique. Borg was used to high tensions and was comfortable playing with them. McEnroe "revolutionized" the sport when he came around with his then ultra low tensions. I remember because I was stringing my Jack Kramer ProStaffs at 65. When it was revealed McEnroe strung at 44, I had one of mine restrung at 44. I then had it cut out and restrung at 65. BTW, I in the days of wood, everyone played S/V and I was no exception.

    Again, it's all what you get used to.

    And all I was trying to say was that you can rationalize anything. ;)

    Cheers!
     
  30. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

    Joined:
    May 3, 2004
    Messages:
    24,466
    Location:
    FT. Lauderdale, Florida
    Interesting discussion about spin vs tension and if those two have some sort of relation as to what their respective outputs might be.

    If I may chime in.......

    To date, the highest recorded spin off a ground stroke in the pro game was a Federer backhand slice recorded at over 5,300 rpms and he strings at approx 48 lbs. He has also been recorded at over 4,400 rpms on his FH, while Nadal has been recorded at up to 4,900.

    Sampras on the other hand could hit a second serve at over 5,000 rpms and he strung at nearly 80 lbs.

    Bottom line is, technique and racquet head speed are always going to be the determining factor of how much spin one could get.


    On another note,,, no tennis for me the last few days. Been raining here like crazy with no end in sight. 90% chance of rain tomorrow. :(
     
  31. P.Floyd

    P.Floyd Rookie

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2013
    Messages:
    370
  32. The Dark Knight

    The Dark Knight Legend

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2012
    Messages:
    6,340
    Personally I believe that racquet head speed is the deteriming factor . The harder you swing the more spin......and therefore you need higher tension strings .

    Because if you swing really hard with loose strings then the ball will fly over the fences .....at least that's my opinion.
     
  33. martini1

    martini1 Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2008
    Messages:
    3,173
    Last monday I was able to hit a super spinny serve that landed inside the first half of the service box behind the net (wanted to say the first 1/3 but don't want to seem exaggerating). The serve has good pop and kick. I totally felt the strings pocketed and moved on impact.

    I do not have this kind of serve. It was just a good brush on the ball with the 99s. It is amazing to see this kind of stuff happens (even once in a while) with this racket.
     
  34. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

    Joined:
    May 3, 2004
    Messages:
    24,466
    Location:
    FT. Lauderdale, Florida
    again, I gave two different players, with two widely different tensions, and both hit shots with over 5000 rpms of spin. Both have double digit slams, so they learned to control their shots.

    That said, I definitely understand your position. Its sometimes hard to believe. I always strung super high (in the high 60's), yet slowly began stringing looser when doing durability and tension loss testing and somehow in the middle of that ended up stringing regularly in the mid 40's. All a matter of simply adjusting.
     
  35. Rabbit

    Rabbit G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2004
    Messages:
    12,576
    Location:
    at the bottom of every hill I come to
    You know, it is amazing. The one thing I knew I missed in my equipment was the 'feel' of the ball sinking into the strings. I realized it again when I went low with poly. Today, I feel the ball better with 4G at low tensions than I have...well since I can remember.

    Like real estate is location, location, location. tension is what you get used to.
     
  36. fibonacci888

    fibonacci888 Rookie

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2012
    Messages:
    204
    Location:
    Netherlands
    So after ready all you guys about lowering the tensions, i put in a full bed of Xcite at 52lbs.

    What a nice feeling, the racket felt alive and I had great touch on my strokes. I did feel an increase in power from the strings and not sure wether that's a good thing.

    Curious as to what this will do when tension starts dropping, but i'm pretty sure i'm sticking with lower tensions. Perhaps do another stringtest at these tensions.
     
  37. Nostradamus

    Nostradamus G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2011
    Messages:
    13,071
    Location:
    In the future
    but Wilson lab has proved you can add even more spin with 99spin or 105 spin. so If Nadal used these rackets, can he get up to 10,000 RPM's ?:confused:
     
  38. Nostradamus

    Nostradamus G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2011
    Messages:
    13,071
    Location:
    In the future
  39. Rabbit

    Rabbit G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2004
    Messages:
    12,576
    Location:
    at the bottom of every hill I come to
    I think Wilson said "up to 200 more RPMs"
     
  40. Rabbit

    Rabbit G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2004
    Messages:
    12,576
    Location:
    at the bottom of every hill I come to
  41. Ross K

    Ross K Legend

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2006
    Messages:
    8,232
    For those who've tried both, how would you briefly summarise the differences between the 99s and 99 (non-s)?
     
  42. The Dark Knight

    The Dark Knight Legend

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2012
    Messages:
    6,340
    Yes you did bit spin is not everything . You don't know why Nadal for example spins at 54?

    He may want less spin ? Especially on a hard court .....too much spin is not good either ....especially on a Nadal topspin where a ball can sit up to high for a soderling or a Djokovic .

    We also do know that Nadal has tried to actually flatten his shot out a bit.

    But this is all theory ....there is no right Answer.

    But I subscribe to the school of thought that if racquet head speed determines the amount of spin then logically a higher tension string be would allow for higher racquet speed to impart spin and still keep the ball inside the court .
     
  43. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

    Joined:
    May 3, 2004
    Messages:
    24,466
    Location:
    FT. Lauderdale, Florida
    I never said spin was everything. Also, I do know why nadal gets spin at 54 lbs tension.......... His technique, which I already mentioned.

    As I have always said on these boards regarding these matters,,,, go with what is most comfortable for you.
     
    Last edited: May 3, 2013
  44. The Dark Knight

    The Dark Knight Legend

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2012
    Messages:
    6,340
    And I never said you stood for the proposition that spin is everything .

    And Nadal is able to get loads of spin at 54 ....however if he strung at 70 I believe he would get even more spin because of his technique .....but I don't think he wants that much spin because the ball would sit up to high. He wants just the right amount of spin so that the ball doesn't spin to high and a soderling can tee off on his shots .

    At least this is my opinion .....doesn't mean it right .
     
  45. The Dark Knight

    The Dark Knight Legend

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2012
    Messages:
    6,340
    It's the reason I have not even tried the racquet .

    I have never been able to volley well with anything over 100
    Square inches ....

    **** note there are two types of volley....for serve and volley you need a maneuverable stick.....but as a net man in doubles i think the 105 is actually better.

    I would use the 99s for singles and the 105 in doubles .
     
  46. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2009
    Messages:
    14,049
    Location:
    Atlanta GA
    99 has slightly less spin, stiffer feel and feels like a more head heavy Juice 100.

    99s has nicer pockety feeling due to more open pattern...more spin of course.

    both have the same weight and swingweight
     
  47. morandi

    morandi Rookie

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2008
    Messages:
    171
    Its been my experience with the 99s, that the higher the tension the more I like it. I'm going out to play today at 62lbs, was at 57lbs, before that at 53lbs. Granted I have not had the balls yet to try it a 45lbs or below, so I cant comment on that.
    BTW using 4G
     
  48. ricardo

    ricardo Professional

    Joined:
    May 12, 2009
    Messages:
    828
    Which generate the most spin: open face, close face or perpendicular?

    Which generate the most spin: open face, close face or perpendicular?


    In your experience, does string tension affect how you hit the ball? (close/open/perpendicular).

    I often hear that low tension allows you to hit the ball with a close face because of high trajectory. Any thoughts on this?
     
  49. The Dark Knight

    The Dark Knight Legend

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2012
    Messages:
    6,340
    Wow that's some question.

    First of all it depends on the type of spin ...slice or topspin ?

    I'll assume topspin? For topspin clearly a closed face creates the most spin.

    As far as which type of tension is the best.....no one agrees on this .....

    My personal belief is that it all depends on your stroke or racquet head speed.....

    If you have a really big stroke then I think a tighter tension will give you more spin because you can swing for the fences and still keep the ball in the court as higher tension is less powerful .

    For slice it's a completely different story .....

    But I think it all comes down to your stroke and how much spin you actually want? Too much spin is not a good thing ....especially on a hard court where you want to flatten your shots out a bit.
     
  50. jackcrawford

    jackcrawford Professional

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2004
    Messages:
    836

Share This Page