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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    How you liking the 99s so far then Rob? Any major concerns or is all pretty good for you?
     
  2. The Dark Knight

    The Dark Knight Legend

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    Interesting .

    I rely on volleys heavily and I have never been able to serve and volley as well with anything over 100.

    But it's not just the volley that presents a problem for me it's also the serve .

    Yes I found anything over 100 to be more powerful but lacking in precision.
    My optimal head size for this is 98.

    I'm considering using the 105 for return games and the 99s for serve games .

    But I'm also loving Vortex with a very similar string pattern as the steams .

    So I'm very confused ....lol
     
  3. The Dark Knight

    The Dark Knight Legend

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    How do you know that?

    In fact I would think the opposite holds true.
     
  4. comeback

    comeback Professional

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    I remember in the 70's some guys used different rackets for serving and returning. I've tried it but forgot sometimes and kept the same racket for the wrong side. I am like you as i relied on precision volleying and pinpoint serving. When i tried the 105s i made the decision to cross over to the dark side of Lendl/Courier big serve/big forehand mindset..It's not easy to change your tennis strategy mindset of moving forward but with the 105s i just hit the serve with as much spin as i can. I'm really not concerned with pinpoint accuracy. Only college 5.0 and above with 2 handed backhands can really drive the returns back on my 105 s serve. So the floating returns i'm mostly getting then set me up for the forehand, Modern tennis strategy i've avoided for years but seems like it will be the future for me. i can still move well and play very good singles. But at my age 62, this is the future, ps, i looked at the Vortex Website and would have liked to demo it but i was given the 105s as a free demo and to buy at a great price.
     
  5. The Dark Knight

    The Dark Knight Legend

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    Funny you should mention the vortex .

    I just came back from a hit with the Vortex ES 116......OMG!!!!

    I was using it as a Joke but I have never volleyed this well in my entire life....not at 20 years old even.

    It's feather light at 9.9 ounces and it's GIGANTIC. It's an absolute monster at the net with zero loss in mobility.

    It's definitely not a ground stroke racquet .......but it's absolutely amazing at everything else.

    I feel like I can serve underhanded and I will still hit a volley winner.

    Return of serves are off the chart.

    So in conclusion ......I'm sold on the 105 steam now .
    I'm going to give it a try.

    The dark knight has crossed over to the dark side :)
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2013
  6. comeback

    comeback Professional

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    Good Luck Knight, one thing i continually need to work on and think about with the 105s is stopping and getting set up for a forehand..
    It takes a while
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2013
  7. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

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    Strung the 99s with Big Banger Original today at 45. To my surprise, was a great pleasure to hit with. Nice pop, great control, and spin was magnificent. Now lets see how long it lasts.
     
  8. Ross K

    Ross K Legend

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    Latest string experiences have seen me reverse what I thought initially. I'm now preferring Xcite over 4GS mainly as the Xcite feels a bit crisper and the 4GS in comparison is a bit more abrasive on the arm.
     
  9. rlau

    rlau Professional

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    You can think whatever you like, but I think actual measurements proof otherwise.

    I measure the dynamic stringbed stiffness (DSS) after each tennis session using an ERT 300 device. With the same string and the same starting DSS value for each frame, say 30, the value drops to 28 in the 99S and to 29 in another 16x19 frame after one session. After two sessions it has dropped to 26 in the 99S and to 28 in the other frame.

    This is the only gripe I have with this frame, which turned out great for me in any other respect.
     
  10. rlau

    rlau Professional

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    Liking it very much indeed! It performs great! The only downside for me so far is string durability and stringbed predictability -- the dynamic stringbed stiffness drops sharply in this frame, especially after the first one or two hours.

    I think you really need your own stringer and nice stock of poly if you use this frame as your main frame.
     
  11. syke

    syke Professional

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    Sorry I don't buy your logic.

    I've graduated from college in Engineering (though in different line of work now), I am absolutely fine with personal preferences, how one perceives feel and what confidence the racquet brings.

    However, statements like these needs to be backed up with data.
     
  12. Broly4

    Broly4 Rookie

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    I share Rlau and Syke view here, the tension loss becomes too apparent, too soon, after 2-3 hours of play it really challenges my muscle memory, too unpredictable.

    Pacific xcite 1.30 is probably the best poly I've tried in this frame, along with the first hour of cyclone. Lx 4g is the next to try.
     
  13. doctor dennis

    doctor dennis Rookie

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    Ross. Did you ever try Focus Hex? I think its the best string for maintaining tension. I think Xcite is better (slightly) for the first 2-3 hours then Focus Hex is better till the end.
    I notice your now no longer blading in the Steam room. Have you given up on the blades?
    My Blade and PP demo have arrived but I won't get to hit till Thursday unfortunately.
     
  14. v-verb

    v-verb Hall of Fame

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    Sweet! That's how my 99S is strung - 45 lbs but with Lux CheapO 16 ga string ($5).

    Dubs Match tonight - can't wait to see how it hits
     
  15. The Dark Knight

    The Dark Knight Legend

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    Well there's no data that there's tension loss or any logic .

    On the other hand I do have the data....and logic proving the mains move on the steam more than any other racquet .

    The steam is the first racquet ever made with less crosses than mains.

    The more mains the less strings move because they hold the strings in place.

    The steams pattern is 16x15.....normally it is 16x19. This is four less crosses and the equal amount of mains.

    As there are less strings holding the mains in place the mains move more than on any other racquet . Surely as an engineer you can will easily understand that more crosses will hold the mains stronger.

    It's simple the tighter you tie something down the more it stays in place.

    The Doppler radar gun proved a 20% increase in spin and confirmed by testers at TW.
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2013
  16. The Dark Knight

    The Dark Knight Legend

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    Strange because I tested it out as well. I tested a babolat APD and the 99s.
    The DSS tensions were identical after the same amount of uses .

    What racquet did you use to compare it to ?
     
  17. Anton

    Anton Hall of Fame

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    Fixing strings IS NOT the point of the less-crosses technology. The point is to allow string to, yes, move more, but also to snap back into place while the ball is still on the string thereby putting more spin of the ball.

    If you have to fix strings then that means frictional forces between cross and mains overcome snap back forces, strings are not snapping back and are not putting as much spin on the ball as would be possible with better string setup.
     
  18. The Dark Knight

    The Dark Knight Legend

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    That's maybe your opinion however the Doppler radar gun proved differently .
     
  19. Anton

    Anton Hall of Fame

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  20. The Dark Knight

    The Dark Knight Legend

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    Yes :


    Gear Test: Wilson Steam 99S tennis racket


    Wilson's new spin-friendly racket will be seen on the ATP & WTA Professional Tennis Tours in 2013.

    Every tennis manufacturer out there claims to use the newest technology to give the best results.

    Thus, every new racket is the "best yet" -- more spin, more control and certainly more power.

    But do they deliver?

    Well, the Steam 99S from Wilson is the latest innovative racket on the scene, with new tech designed to help players put better spin on the ball.

    In this Gear Test, ESPN Playbook enlisted Andrew Carter, the University of Louisville’s three-time Big East champ and current pro, to put the new Steam through its paces and see if the hype is at all justified.

    PRODUCT: Wilson Steam 99S, $219.99; available January 2013

    WHAT IT’S SUPPOSED TO DO: Using Doppler radar technology, Wilson was able to accurately measure the spin placed on a tennis ball when hit.

    By putting fewer strings on the Steam 99S -- the string pattern is a spread-out 16 x 15, as opposed to the more common 16 x 18 or 19 x 18 -- the company believes the racket can boost spin by up to 200 RPM.

    More spin means more room to work the ball. Wilson claims the added spin effectively lengthens the court by a foot while making the net up to two inches lower. In theory.

    What does this mean? Well, pros using the Steam will become spin wizards, and your average club regulars will start hitting shots they never dreamed they could.

    DOES IT WORK? Here’s the good news: Wilson has made one heck of a racket.

    For starters, for a racket that weighs only 10.7 oz., the Steam 99S has oodles of power -- something Carter found when he pummeled some balls.

    “The racket produces a lot more pop,” Carter said. “Much more than usual on a Wilson racket. When you hit it in the sweet spot, it has a lot of pop.”

    Wilson typically makes rackets with smaller head sizes that come with smaller sweet spots -- but everything is that much bigger with the 99S. For players who trade backcourt bombs, the 99S will be a powerful weapon.

    It also delivers slice shots that Carter described as “unbelievable." They’ll stay so low your opponent will be scraping his racket along the floor the whole match, hopefully throwing in plenty of McEnroe-esque cursing to boot.

    But here’s the less good news: It's that spin again. While the 99S definitely generates extra spin, for the elite player it could be the unwanted kind.

    “When Nadal hits the ball, he hits rockets,” Carter explains. “With this [99S], it’s like hitting balloons. When Nadal hits it, the ball goes straight through, but this ball sits up.”

    Translation: You'll get plenty of spin, but the ball may spin up at a higher vertical angle, which could give your opponent more time to hit the ball back. Against a casual player, this effect might be negligible, but against a pro it could make a big difference.

    Another small complaint from Carter about the 99S is that while power isn’t lost because of the light weight, control can be. When hitting off-center shots, the racket can feel unstable.

    “On volleys, if you don’t hit it exactly in the sweet spot, it’s going to twist in your hand because it’s too light,” Carter says. "Someone of a higher ability would probably need to start digging out their lead-weight tape."

    PRODUCT 2.0: Wilson wants you to get oodles of spin using the 99S, and it wants you to use Luxilon strings (made by Wilson) to achieve this.

    Ideally, buyers of the 99S will get it strung with Luxilon strings in lieu of the cheaper generic Wilson strings. Most people buy racquets and yet rarely restring them, but if you want to maximize your Steam experience, make sure you get the strings to do it.

    In conclusion: Wilson has made a very, very good racquet, but like all things in life it isn’t quite perfect -- yet.
     
  21. Anton

    Anton Hall of Fame

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    oooooooooookkkk, so where in this article do you see anything about string snap back or string fixing (no snap back)?

    The answer is still NO.
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2013
  22. Ross K

    Ross K Legend

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    Have started to quite like Xcite. Just wondering if ppl have tried it in different gauges in the 99s and what there observations/thoughts are on this.
     
  23. Sander001

    Sander001 Hall of Fame

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    Is this racquet very tension sensitive?
     
  24. Ross K

    Ross K Legend

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    Is this still the case if you're stringing low, like mid-40's?
     
  25. rlau

    rlau Professional

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    Probably not, or to a lesser extent. I prefer to string it around 55 lbs though.
     
  26. The Dark Knight

    The Dark Knight Legend

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    Not enough? ....here's the description of the racquet from tenniswarehouse :

    Wilson is bringing the heat with the Wilson Steam 105S. Designed with fewer cross strings for a more powerful snap backfrom the main strings, the stringbed provides more spin and a heavier kick from all areas of the court. A generous sweetspot and a larger headsize provide more than enough power, although some of our playtesters wanted a little more control. There was decent stability and feel, especially for a racquet in its weight range. With enough spin to slay any opponent, Wilson's 16x15 string pattern has opened the door for all sorts of racquets to have all sorts of spin. If you are looking to take the spin on your shots to a hard-to-believe level, then this is the racquet for you.

    And from Wilson :

    INTRODUCING THE NEW STEAM SPIN
    The modern game has changed and is all about aggressive spin. Wilson’s Steam 99s & Steam 105S tennis rackets use Spin Effect Technology (S.E.T.) to maximize “snapback.” More snapback means more spin; more spin means more balls in play. The net seems lower and the court feels longer and in a game of inches, more spin can make all the difference.

    Come on man......

    This is the whole idea of the 16x15 pattern . Please don't make me do any more work.
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2013
  27. quest01

    quest01 Hall of Fame

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    I use the 99s with 2 layers of 1/4 inch strips of lead at the 12 and strung with luxilon 4g 15 gauge at around 58 pounds. The 15g offers so much control and dont notice a drop in spin compared to the 16 and 16l of 4g and alu power. I couldnt use a full bed of alu power with this racquet, it was too powerful and I was breaking strings like crazy.
     
  28. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    You have this wrong IMO. The extra open pattern exagerates the effects of tension loss and string movement. Yes the strings are "supposed" to move, but they are also supposed to move back into place. Once the tension drops and the poly strings start to die, the strings don't snap back into place as well anymore and control goes out the window.

    Wilson has a good idea with the S technology, but it's major drawback is that you need fresh poly in there almost every time out if you want optimum results. This makes it a bad choice for rec players that only restring once in a while.
     
  29. lostinamerica

    lostinamerica Semi-Pro

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    I play with this racquet and can tell you that you will be re-stringing more than every once in awhile. The only string I can keep in it for even a few matches is a kevlar.
     
  30. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    that's exactly why it's not a viable option for most rec players.
     
  31. comeback

    comeback Professional

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    I have used the 105s Demo with 4g strung around 50-55lbs for at least 4-5 hours now but have not noticed any loss in control or anything bad yet. I will report back more after i have my own 105s and string it with Golden Set.
     
  32. Anton

    Anton Hall of Fame

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    :confused: Are you trolling me or something?

    YES SNAPBACK IS THE POINT of this technology and if you are fixing strings that means they DIDN'T SNAPBACK.
     
  33. jackcrawford

    jackcrawford Professional

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    Exactly. I don't know if he's joking, but it isn't funny. Any person with a triple digit IQ should get this unless he is having a very bad day.
     
  34. syke

    syke Professional

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    OMG... Please kill me....
     
  35. Rabbit

    Rabbit G.O.A.T.

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    Let's not generalize too terribly much. I play with the frame and I don't have to restring that often. I have tennis buddies who play poly and restring at the same frequency I do (about 2 weeks or 10 hours). Now these guys are poly users just to be clear. I restrung my C10s when I played with Luxilon Timo or Pacific Xtreme in them.

    The boards tend to be skewed in experience and toward "player" type frames. the comments then really aren't geared toward the majority of players. FYI - I'm a 4.5 and have been a 4.5 for a hundred years. I play a good bit of doubles with some younger 5.0s as well including a couple of former D1'ers. I'm just saying that to let you know where I am club-wise.

    I think most rec players are prime candidates for this frame. The frame certainly fits a number of parameters that club players are looking for, it's got great zip, is easy on the arm, and enhances spin.

    I understand that some people are experiencing less string life than they are accustomed to, but again, I think they are not in the majority. And for those people, there is a solution: 1) find a 15 gauge poly and there are some out there and/or 2) reduce your string tension. I've posted this around, one of the 5.0s I string for uses the 99S. He was getting 2 sets out of a string job. I asked him to let me "drive" his equipment to improve this and now he's getting 6 - 8 sets out of the same string. I reduced his tension by 8 pounds over a couple of restringings. It does make a difference.
     
  36. Sup2Dresq

    Sup2Dresq Hall of Fame

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    My only observation.. is that I've hit with Drakulie while he used this racquet.

    Does he hit any different. No. Maybe his shanks fly in more.. but then again i think he has improved a little bit.

    The one thing I did notice is that Drakulie has cursed less (spanish and english) and not thrown the racquet across the court in disgust. There should be bonus points for that.. .
     
  37. doctor dennis

    doctor dennis Rookie

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    Just finished demoing the IG Prestige Pro and Blade 98 (16x19)
    The 99S beats them both for me hands down.
    I'm trying the new APD and if i dont like that i'll be sticking with this string eating racket.
    String life aside, this racket really is amazing and versatile.
     
  38. The Dark Knight

    The Dark Knight Legend

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    Sorry your confused . Let me be a little more clear. Here is your original quote:



    You were wrong as I showed that the technology is all about snapping back. However admitting you we're wrong is something too hard for you to do.

    Now as to the rest of your distorted statement.....let me clear the waters which which you have filled with mud yet again.

    Your original contention was that there was a loss of tension because you constantly had to fix the strings.

    I explained that the reason you had to fix the strings is because they move more than any other string. I did not use the term "snap back" you did . And you asked me to show it to you so I did .

    The term "snap back" is an illustration of what the strings do. The term is not "snap back perfectly into position every time"

    and that is why you have to put them back into place ....and not because of any tension loss .

    Cleared up for you now?
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2013
  39. racertempo

    racertempo Semi-Pro

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    Clears it up for me, but only because you used large bold font, and if anyone uses large bold font then they MUST be right.
     
  40. The Dark Knight

    The Dark Knight Legend

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    Glad to help out.
     
  41. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    2 weeks or 10 hours is fine and, but that's still WAAAYYYY more frequently than most rec players are willing to restring. Most rec players I talk to don't even realize you are supposed to replace poly due to it dying after 8-15 hours. They just wait until it breaks or for the "new season".
     
  42. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    Dark Night....didn't you proclaim the 99s lost out to your other open racquet about a week ago, with another one of your "bold face/huge font" threads???
    Why are you continuing on this rant regarding "snap back" that seems to be annoying everyone? You are so determined to prove yourself correct to an audience that really could care less. Just let it go....
     
  43. The Dark Knight

    The Dark Knight Legend

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    Jack,

    It takes two to tango .

    I didn't rant ....if you look back actually this guy claimed that there was more tension loss than on steam than other racquets and he said he thought this because he had to place the strings back in place.

    I explained that is not the reason but rather that the strings move more on these sticks more than other sticks. That was the entire point . Zero about snap back.

    I was then told to prove it....I listed an article showing that the strings moved more.

    But that was not enough rather HE asked now to prove "snap back".....his words. So I politely posted yet another article .

    After that I was attacked for no apparent reason . So I used enlarged letters .....big deal ? I never hurled insults or did anything offensive and I question why is it that you chose to take his side rather than mine.

    All I said was there was no proof that there was more tension loos on the steam and the strings moving more doesn't really prove anything .

    As far as Vortex or Steam.....I am actually still on the fence .

    I think that truthfully tennis is a very conservative sport and people hate anything different . I have a feeling a lot of people never even tried the steam and just come up with BS.

    If they truly tried the stick and didnt like it why not just move on? Why this campaign ? I personally don't like the blade ....but I never post anywhere about because frankly I don't care.

    But these guys just go on and on with hate.....

    It's the same with vortex .....it was too different and there's a lot of hate towards that . Weird to hate a racquet ......now that Wilson has come out with a similar technology vortex is a little more accepted .....though not quite there.

    But again my friend .....it takes two to tango ......I'm not alone here .
     
  44. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    Yes, but by continuing with an argument that isn't going anywhere doesn't make a lot of sense either...for either one of you. Drop it and the other person will hopefully give it a rest.

    Sometimes we get so intent on proving a point, we go way overboard trying to do so.
     
  45. The Dark Knight

    The Dark Knight Legend

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    True....but you didn't have to answer either .

    It would have already been dropped .
     
  46. MikeHitsHard93

    MikeHitsHard93 Hall of Fame

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    Yep lets just be done with it now. Wouldn't want to spoil such a great thread!
     
  47. arche3

    arche3 Banned

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    Played with 99s strung with 4g full bed at 55. I didn't like it. Launch angle higher than my apdgt. Gave up after 10 min because I didn't want to get used to a New stick and I wasn't really getting any more spin.
    And it felt too light
     
    Last edited: May 16, 2013
  48. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

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    Got about 4 hours with BBO 17 g. Will try 16 g as I really liked the string.
     
  49. charliefedererer

    charliefedererer Legend

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    Have you tried lead on the Steam yet?

    I am up to 4 gms at the top of the handle, 3 grams on the inside throat just above the handle, and one gram at 3, 9 and 12 o'clock on the hoop.

    The frame still seems maneuverable, but less like a too-light tweeners stick.
     
  50. The Dark Knight

    The Dark Knight Legend

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    Ok :)


    .
     

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