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

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

  1. doctor dennis

    doctor dennis Rookie

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    No. I tried 4G and that lasted around four hours iirc. It was pretty good but didn't blow me away. Even if the s version was twice as durable its still not a big increase on what I'm doing now. I did consider it though.
     
  2. doctor dennis

    doctor dennis Rookie

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    Its funny you mention that. My mate literally was on about doing that when we played earlier. I might give it a go.
     
  3. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    Its a good racquet if u can get a freshly strung one every week.
     
  4. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

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    We had a serve speed contest over the week at the shop where I work. The owners son-in-law came by to visit, and we forced him to serve a few to find out how fast he served. He played number 1 at UM a few years back, so we knew he could bring some serious heat. Anyway, he went inside and picked up the first demo he saw..... a Steam 105s strung with 4g. I was able to get one of his serves on my iphone.

    This one was 115. His fastest was 121. Mine was a measley 107:(

    Sorry for the crappy quality.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1AL7IURVMpI
     
  5. Ross K

    Ross K Legend

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    v-verb, pardon my ignorance but what precisely would WD40 do here?

    Dennis, another one here belatedly giving a shout out to 4GS.

    Good, so Jensen and Panetta. Wonder if there are others? Maybe Nadal should give it a go lol - it would suit him IMO.:)
     
  6. v-verb

    v-verb Hall of Fame

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    hi Ross,

    Hopefully the WD40 would help avoid notching and facilitate sliding of the mains across the crosses. Less notching should = longer string life but I won't know until I try it.

    Won't get the racquet until Friday so can't report until the weekend.

    Cheers
     
  7. Rabbit

    Rabbit G.O.A.T.

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    I love that guy's motion. It is ultra-simple and effective.
     
  8. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

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    And he hits barefoot. Haha. He is a seriously good player. Monster serve.
     
  9. comeback

    comeback Professional

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    ok Racer, I read every post here and i think i am ready to try and become a member of the Steam Team. I think after reading your posts i might love the 105 . I just got a 105 demo with Luxilon..The 4 3/8 grip is a really a 4 1/2..so after first hitting with it tomorrow i will probably order one asap. Do you know if all the grips are a size off? I've had arm problems (but rehabbed them) however never used Poly. After i get my own racket i will experiment with Gut/poly..Will report back soon
     
  10. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    Murphy is using the 99...not the S.
     
  11. racertempo

    racertempo Semi-Pro

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    I have not noticed a grip difference but I know a few others have mentioned that on here. I have the 3/8" with an overwrap and it feels like the right size. I look forward to hearing back about your experience, but don't give up on it too quickly. Many people seem to give up quickly without making some minor tweaks to get used to it. I am afraid that with a hybrid setup that you will not like what you see, but judge for yourself......likely too much string movement and not snapping back into place correctly.

    You might want to consider a softer poly in this as it plays softer then most.....MSV Focus Hex Soft was great in this frame....and Spin Cycle is not a stiff/harsh string by any means.
     
  12. comeback

    comeback Professional

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    I just came back from drop hitting and serving by myself. So far so good. I have a McEnroe game and played at the 5.0 level and now teach partime and at 62 years old now play 4.5 level. Adjusting to the racket was easy as i can pick up pretty much any racket and play well with it. Just this year i switched my forehand to SW so this racket was perfect timing for me..Great power and spin. Tomorrow morning i play a light singles match. Then Sat a tougher league match. Will give a much more detailed report. I'm trying to not get overly excited but this 105 is almost cheating..Thanks Racer i don't think i'll even test the 99s if this turns out the way i think it will..
     
  13. doctor dennis

    doctor dennis Rookie

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    Hi Ross. What Blade are you using? How does it compare to the 99s, particularly the string durability.
    Also, does anyone else know how this compares to a IG Prestige Pro or 16*19 Blade?
    The Blade and the Prestige interest me a little.
    Any comments would be appreciated thanks.
     
    Last edited: May 9, 2013
  14. Ross K

    Ross K Legend

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    16x19 Blade (though I'm also a fan of the closed pattern gold/black.)

    Blade= plow, lush solid impact feel, control (more so than 99s), medium power, crisp/stiff, trajectory/type of ball is more driving, quite weighty in the head, great from all over the court, you have to bring your A game with this frame (i.e., for me personally, a tad demanding... but I do love the particular solid feel.)

    99s swings easier, serves a little zippier, a lot more spin/trajectory higher, less control, more power, generally a bit easier to use.

    I'm not a big string breaker, but Blade suits a number of strings (unlike 99s!) though and playability (duration of) is great.
     
  15. doctor dennis

    doctor dennis Rookie

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    Do you sell cars? If not, you should. Lol.

    The Blade sounds even more appealing now. Another plus is its extremely pretty too.

    The concern for me which you mention is bringing my A game. I do suffer with lazyitis which could be a problem. Not sure about the balance either. I'm not used to a balance so neutral.

    I need to find out a little more about the Prestige Pro first though as the specs indicate I'd like it. I doubt I'd go for the new APD. The swing weight seems really low compared to what I'm used too.

    I'm gonna decide over the next to weeks I think. It'll either be, get a 3rd Steam, PP or Blade.

    I really can't fault the Steam other than the string breakage. Every week and a half isn't funny anymore, its getting a tad frustrating particularly as I'm not a massive hitter.

    Decisions decisions.

    Oh, and thanks for the review.

    I'm looking to decide
     
  16. The Dark Knight

    The Dark Knight Legend

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    Mcenroe was the furtherst thing from a SW grip. Maybe you meant that you used to have a Mcenroe type game?

    I do agree that the 99s is great for learning topspin with SW grip.
     
  17. comeback

    comeback Professional

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    I am demoing the 105s but Yes correct Dark Knight, i HAD an old McEnroe game and have been working for almost a year now on the SW topspin forehand so this racket is perfect timing for me to try and own that shot..It's hard to go from an old McEnroe game (strategy wise) to a Ferrer game but I'm trying with the 105s..Besides if you watch the senior tour McEnroe became more of a baseliner now also! My wrist/forearm is sore so we'll see how the racket performs in a real match tomorrow.
     
  18. The Dark Knight

    The Dark Knight Legend

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    Well I don't want to hi jack this thread but I completely disagree.

    I was sitting front row in Florida in February to watch him on the tour. I even met him and took a photo with him. The man is still and absolutely incredible serve and volleyer and still is very much so.

    Secondly although SW is great for ferrer and everyone on the tour.....at your age the continental has a distinct advantage over the SW....

    For SW you have to be fast.....you have to get in preparation early and have your racquet do a big ripping topspin swing.

    With continental however you can still get to the ball and you barely have to swing because your racquet face is open. In other words you don't have to be as fast.

    But I digress.....the 99s is like training wheels for topspin......perfect stick for you! Enjoy :)
     
  19. comeback

    comeback Professional

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    ok first real match today against a player i always beat easily and did again. It was a perfect first match for the 105s. Serves and forehands were great, much harder and spinnier than i could ever hit before. Actually seldom if ever have i hit a ball past someone or it spins totally away from them until now. It's a great feeling but where i stand on the baseline, the height i hit the ball, the height i hit over the net all need adjustments. Return of serve too is different because of how i played for many years. But so far i am loving hitting big serves and forehands. My game will eventually fall into place. I have NEVER used poly and my arm with full 4g poly is tender but holding up ok...I purchased a reel of Golden Set Power Cord after researching soft poly strings and will order the anti vibration Wilson replacement grip to help my arm. So far i am ALL IN with this racket. A tougher league match tomorrow, will do another report.
     
  20. v-verb

    v-verb Hall of Fame

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    thanks Comeback, looking forward to further reports
     
  21. Anton

    Anton Hall of Fame

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    You already have a beautiful Saint Vincent 85 and two little PS 85" children at home.

    Aren't you ashamed of yourself? :neutral:
     
  22. v-verb

    v-verb Hall of Fame

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    LOL very ashamed Anton!

    PS85's are my singles sticks. LOVE them - just a joy to play! I usually baseline so the 85 sq inch area isn't a huge issue. But in doubles I'm all over the place and 85 just isn't enough.

    For doubles my old Yamaha Secret 04 (100 sq inches) with Spiky Shark 17 at 35 lbs was unbelievable. Wondering if the Steam 99s will give it a run for the money
     
  23. The Dark Knight

    The Dark Knight Legend

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    I'm playing with my st Vincent for the first time tomorrow. Is there any difference in the feel from the regular ps85 ?
     
  24. comeback

    comeback Professional

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    Rain today so no match to report on the 105s..Can anyone tell me where to put lead on the Wilson Steam 105s to help all cut down on shock/vibration? (i'm trying to stop arm problems i've had in the past)...Someone told me to just put a heavier grip on to stabalize..
    ps. 1'm already addressing the different string options..thanks
    Head Size:
    105 sq. in. / 677.42 sq. cm.
    Length: 27.5in / 69.85cm
    Strung Weight: 11oz / 311.84g
    Balance: 6 pts HL
    Swingweight: 332
    Stiffness: 69
    Beam Width: 24.5mm / 25.5mm / 25mm /
    Composition: Basalt
    Power Level: Low-Medium
    Stroke Style: Medium-Full
    Swing Speed: Medium-Fast
     
    Last edited: May 11, 2013
  25. doctor dennis

    doctor dennis Rookie

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    Got a Blade 98 (16*19) and IG Prestige Pro being delivered for demo early next week.
    They are going to have to be pretty good to dislodge the 99s though.
    I just did a count and I've broke the strings 15 times since 18/01!
    I know others have probably gone through more but that is not good.
    As its summer now I'll be playing even more so I'd be going through even more.
    Not sure I can deal with that but I won't change if there is nothing worthy to change to.
     
  26. Rabbit

    Rabbit G.O.A.T.

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    Doctor Dennis - I have been fighting this malady with one of the guys I string for. The prescription is a thicker gauge and/or lower tension. He's pretty resolute in his string choice (cost mostly) so I've been working with him on tension. He was stringing his at 58. I let him hit with one of mine at 49/47 and he couldn't tell any real difference. So I've been easing down on his tension for a little over a month. The result is he's getting more sets out of a set.
     
  27. doctor dennis

    doctor dennis Rookie

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    Rabbit
    I'm at 56lbs with Focus Hex in its thickest gauge.
    I'll try your exact tension and see how I get on with it. If I can get a lot more durability out of this stick I'd have no reason to change but its getting really frustrating at the mo.
    I dont want to change string either as Focus Hex really does tick all the boxes for a string.
    Ill see what a drop in tension does.
    Cheers
     
  28. The Dark Knight

    The Dark Knight Legend

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    Everyone makes such a big deal about breaking strings.

    It's part of the game . The pros break only use one set if strings per match if not more and then change them.

    How often you break strings should not be an issue. It's about playing well .

    However a 15 gauge string should solve the problem
     
    Last edited: May 11, 2013
  29. doctor dennis

    doctor dennis Rookie

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    Pros don't pay for strings or stringing. We do, so it is an issue. Its now one that is pretty much forcing me away from this racket.
    15 gauge is an option that I will explore but I'll be going down the route of trying a big bunch of strings out again as I don't think focus hex comes that thick.
     
  30. The Dark Knight

    The Dark Knight Legend

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    Understood . I don't think strings should break every match or switch strings every match as the pros.

    But you should expect strings to break . It's part of the game....they were not meant to last for 6 months .....

    Even if they don't break they become dead and lose tension very quickly . You should have a rotation of rackets.
     
  31. syke

    syke Professional

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    It's not just strings breaking. The tension loss on these is just way too fast.
    Polys become spaghetti like after an hour or so...
    I love playing on these, but I really can't afford the constant re-stringing.

    Mine were sold...
     
  32. doctor dennis

    doctor dennis Rookie

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    Are you now using the racket in your sig?

    How different / similar is it to the 99s?
     
  33. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

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    Actually, they do pay.

    Many do get strings for free and/or discounted, but the vast majority pay for their strings. And, they definitely pay for stringing. Upwards of over $30 per string job.

    That said, I do understand that this racquet does come with a hefty price if you are use to using strings that last a few months in your frame before breaking.

    Tension loss on the 99s or 105s is no different than other frames. Poly loses tension super fast in any frame. Difference is, one could actually feel that drop in tension easier in these frames if you are not use to changing strings frequently.
     
    Last edited: May 11, 2013
  34. Rabbit

    Rabbit G.O.A.T.

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    Do you also think lower tensions to start lose less tension? I also noticed 4G and newer polys in general seem to have less tension loss.
     
  35. The Dark Knight

    The Dark Knight Legend

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    Now that is a first .

    I have never heard anybody else claim the tension loss on these sticks are more than any other sticks.

    In fact I don't even understand scientifically why there would be any more tension loss at all ?
     
  36. dknotty

    dknotty Semi-Pro

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    So I had another good session with my demo rackets yesterday. Totally clear I'll be going for the apd over the 105s. It has so much more control.
     
  37. syke

    syke Professional

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    Different. Less spin, less power (especially on the serves), less pop, but lots more control, predictability on the XForce.

    Both have similar great feel, and plow through (Mine is modified though).

    The thing about the 99S, once your opponent gets accustomed to the high bounce, every ball is just going to be a sitter waiting to be crushed.
     
  38. syke

    syke Professional

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    It just feels more pronounced on the 99S. I have to adjust my strings in between points like they were multis.

    The same amount of tension loss on the 99S just seems magnified compared to some other racquet.

    I do like the 99S. But stringing was a big issue.
     
  39. syke

    syke Professional

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    I agree. I just can't deal with the hassle and the cost of the constant re-stringing.

    Other than that, they were a nice hit.
     
  40. doctor dennis

    doctor dennis Rookie

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    In my opinion I didn't notice any extra tension loss in the string bed compared to my APD. Now, is that because the strings weren't going dead because they were breaking quite quickly or, because Focus Hex holds tension very well. It could be a bit of both.
    I havent noticed any of my opponents crush anymore of my shots with this racket either. If i hit a bad shot it gets the treatment it deserves but thats not due to the racket. My regular partners are now no longer fooled by the topspin and have adjusted accordingly. Even so, they still dont manage to attack unless i hit a bad shot which i hit less of with this racket to be fair.
    I 100% agree about the constant re-stringing though. You know its bad when your stringer suddenly turns round and recommends that you get a stringer. Lol.
    Its a great racket still but with that comes a price.
     
  41. Rabbit

    Rabbit G.O.A.T.

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    Yeah you are spot on. If anything the extra spin helps way more than it hurts. Once you get accustomed to the frame you can drive the ball like any other frame.
     
  42. jackcrawford

    jackcrawford Professional

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    drak, good point, and most of the guys on the Challenger/Futures tour make less money than many of us on the boards, so it can be a considerable expense.
     
  43. doctor dennis

    doctor dennis Rookie

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    I doubt we will see many 99S's in challengers or futures then.

    Nice choice of string Jack.
     
  44. Blitzball

    Blitzball Semi-Pro

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    People wouldn't have to worry about restringing so often if they'd just use 14g strings and put worm dampeners on their racquets after the tensions starts dropping.
     
  45. racertempo

    racertempo Semi-Pro

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    I am telling you that the 99s is not even worth looking at if you like the 105s this much, which is exactly how I feel. Unfortunately I cannot help with the lead tape thinking, but I am glad to see your feedback. Many people on here have just put a blanket statement of "rocket-launcher" on the 105s either without hitting it or after a 15 minute session. The 2 local shops here tell me that they are selling twice as many 105s frames compared to the 99s, I think it is the most underrated frame out there right now for sure.

    Let us know how the Power Cord string does, I have considered a reel of that same string but I have not pulled the trigger. I think getting a softer string in there is crucial for you, get that 4s out of there and the vibration will get better quickly. What tension are you using right now?
     
  46. comeback

    comeback Professional

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    Thanks for your support and recommendation Racer, i would have never tried this 105s if not for your posts. I am still using a brand new freshly strung105s demo from a club who got it from a Wilson Rep..4g must be around 55lbs..Yesterday i got a 99S demo from a different shop also with 4g but only hit against wall, drop balls and serves..I didn't like the 99s at all and the vibration was terrible compared to the 105s..It could have been dead 4g but i had to get the 99s out of my system. Yesterday's league match was rained out so today with the 105s i played doubles with a 3.0 against a 3.5 and 4.0. We lost the first set 2-6..the 2nd set i started taking every ball i could, crossing over and in the air. The 105s was awesome as i had power on deep overheads and backhand overheads i used to have difficulty putting away. I changed my position on return of serve from the forecourt and was spinning forehand returns against the side fence. The racket is not the greatest for precision volleys but who cares. I can open up the court or spin a high forehand that always seems to land near the baseline. From the weak returns i get the rest is easy. I hit a topspin lob outright winner today that i have never hit like that before. I haven't hit many flat shots but flat serves are great. Is the 105s a toy, or rocket launcher as decribed by many here?. YES, but if learned to use properly it improves the 2 biggest shots in tennis, the serve and forehand. And slices are good too..As far as the stringing, i am lucky to have a stringing machine so every other week doesn't seem so bad. The 105s is a great racket for levels 3.0 to 5.0. My season just started and i have yet to play a really tough singles match so we'll see..i will report them all here. I s/b getting my own 105s soon. I'm getting a brand new
    105s for $135 and i can't wait to put the Golden Set Strings and Wilson Shock Grip on it so stay tuned.
     
    Last edited: May 12, 2013
  47. The Dark Knight

    The Dark Knight Legend

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    How is the 105 on volleys? I'm not talking about doubles volleys where your the net man .....but rather serve and volley ?
     
  48. The Dark Knight

    The Dark Knight Legend

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    It's not because of tension loss that you have to adjust your strings.....rather its the technology of the whole steam idea.

    The string have less crosses allowing the strings to move and "slingshot" the ball.

    The strings are supposed to move ....but the tension remains the same as in any other racquet .
     
  49. rlau

    rlau Professional

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    Yet the dynamic stringbed stiffness in this 16x15 pattern drops a lot faster than in say a 16x19 pattern....
     
  50. comeback

    comeback Professional

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    Funny you should ask Knight, Today another doubles with a 4.0 against a college D3 4.0 and a D3 5.0 on red clay. I used my old head microgel with multi since i didn't want to test my arm with 5 straight days of poly..we lost the first 2 sets. My shots were off and obviously underpowered after playing exclusivley with the 105s. In the 3rd set i played with the 105s and everything was much better and we won. To answer your questions about the moving volleys. Yes the 105s is not small and there is less manuverability and precision on quick exchanges but it's not so bad. Half volleys are great with it's size and power. Balls just land near the baseline with just a short swipe at the ball. The pluses i get from the 105s far outweigh the minuses. The 3 best shots i hit are wide serves to either side with spin that takes opponents off the court. And the crosscourt forehand that does the same. If you need more power and spin (which i do) this racket works. I officially ordered my 105s today and got a 4 1/4 since i read the Wilson Shock Absorber grip i plan to put on is bigger than normal..I can't wait to get my own and play some tough singles matches..will keep reporting
     

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