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

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

  1. The Dark Knight

    The Dark Knight Legend

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    Nope have not bought the 105 yet.....but very interested I'm the stick. VERY!!
     
  2. comeback

    comeback Professional

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    Charlie, are you talking about the 99s or 105s ?
     
  3. The Dark Knight

    The Dark Knight Legend

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    I took the 99s for a spin today.....I'm starting to really get used to it.

    I can really see the extra spin potential now . There's a learning curve with this stick .

    I'm using 15 guage string and so far no signs of breakage .

    The 99s is plenty powerful and I've decided against trying the 105. I simply don't need any more power.
     
  4. tvizz

    tvizz New User

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    It seems like you guys are trying tensions in the upper 40's. I have mine at 53 with lux alu rough and I think that is borderline too much power when it is fresh. Would you still recommend I try it?
     
  5. The Dark Knight

    The Dark Knight Legend

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    I'm enjoying 45 on the 99s.

    In the end it doesn't make all that much difference . After a week your 53 loses tension anyway.

    I thought about this quite a bit and I know this sounds nuts but I think dead strings for recreational players are better than live ones ......hear me out before crucifying me please!

    The pros use fresh strings constantly ...but they only use it for a set or two. The reason is because the tension changes after that but by constantly changing sticks they can keep the tension constant .Recreational players can't really do that.

    After just one match your 53 tension drops quite a bit. Your better off putting some string savers in after the tension drops and stick with the strings . Because once they are dead they will stay that way and not lose anymore tension.

    I think the trick is to get it to a tension you like and to keep it there relatively constantly . So for example of you like 53.....you need to string at least at 63 and then play with it for an hour against a backboard until the tension drops . At that point put some string savers in to keep the tension constant . You will have the approximately the same tension for a longer period.

    But if you think your playing at 53 you will be surprised....after just one match I would guess you are down to 45.

    Now this is only a theory and I'm sure some guys on the board will enlighten me.

    I enjoyed 45 today though a lot. Some sick spin .
     
  6. souledge

    souledge Semi-Pro

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    I find that as soon as they die.......I start praying everything long. The only way I can keep them in is to start hitting very high topspin, almost as if I'm topspin lobbing all my forehands.

    2 Days......twice! Never had such a short string life before. Glorious 2 days though when the strings were live.
     
  7. The Dark Knight

    The Dark Knight Legend

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    I think....and repeat I think it's because when you string at 53 the strings are still fresh and that's the perfect tension for you. Once they lose tension them its not right .

    So the trick I think is to string higher until they lose tension to 53.....or you can do it your way by just restringing as the pros do.

    But whatever racquet you use , the tension will go way down after just one match .....especially with polyester.
     
  8. tvizz

    tvizz New User

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    Yeah, but dead string isn't the same as loosely strung string. 53 fresh is springy, 53 dead is dead.

    I wonder if power will go down if I drop to 45.
     
  9. The Dark Knight

    The Dark Knight Legend

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    Personal taste. I like dead string better.....it's the same always. With new string it keeps changing .

    My first choice would be to have a new set of strings after every set....but that's not gonna happen. So if you play with fresh strings for one set by the second set it already plays differently .....but dead string is a constant.

    But to each his own . Different strokes for different folks.

    On another note played with my 99s more . I'm liking is better than the vortex which is a shocker .
     
  10. doctor dennis

    doctor dennis Rookie

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    Hi

    Anybody out there using a full bed of focus hex? How long you getting out of it?
    Also, anybody have any experience of the extreme pro 2.0 that can compare it to the 99S?

    Cheers
     
  11. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    True...but with the 99s, the effect is magnified because of the WIDE open drill pattern.

    Also....if you string higher, the tension loss effect is also magnified. Tighter strings to begin with will loose more tension because the initial forces are greater. That is why some experienced 99s users (Rabbit and others) in this thread have been recommending lower tensions to start.
     
  12. The Dark Knight

    The Dark Knight Legend

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    Maybe yes maybe no . I just don't see any data on that . I'm not saying your wrong ....I just don't know.

    I don't think that's why at all....but you can ask Rabbit himself.

    I also recommend lower string tensions but for a different reason. I've been playing with vortex prior to the steam and they have always recommended lower string tensions . The vortex actually comes strung at 45.

    I believe the reason is something to do with the snapback effect . Some how the looser the strings the more if the affect.

    Spaghetti strings created more spin than any racquet ever made. Those string were quite loose as well.
     
  13. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

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    Now trying out Super Smash from Kirschbaum. 16 g at 45 lbs. Doesn't feel too bad, but power and spin is definitely diminished,,,, perhaps due to the strings sticking (mains to crosses).
     
  14. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

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    I recommend lower tensions, simply because the playability is better (especially if you use full poly) in this frame, IMO.

    That said, I understand your point.
     
  15. The Dark Knight

    The Dark Knight Legend

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    That's a good point . Poly is a very stiff dead string . I think you get a bit more power with lower tensions on a poly....no?
     
  16. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

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    I believe so. If you want more control from a poly, you string it tighter, being that it is by nature a dead string. String it looser and it tends to be a bit more playable and lively, and yet there is not *a lot* of loss of control.... respectively.

    Additionally, from my testing of poly strings, as is in its nature,,,, it loses tension dramatically,,,,,,,,,,,,,, and the tighter it is strung, the higher percentage of tension loss. So, for example, if one strings it at say 60, and it loses 10 lbs in 24 hours, you will be at 50 lbs. However, if you string it at 50, it may only drop to 47 and hasn't lost as much elasticity, so it would be wiser to string it at the lower tension and retain some of its elasticity, and be at more or less the same tension as if it is strung at 60, minus the loss of string life/elasticity.
     
  17. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    since the 99s came out on day 1, there are countless posts about how it loses tension very quickly and then playability goes out the window.

    it doesn't really matter how or why...it just is. If you want to use this racquet you just have to restring more often than normal or you will struggle with it. That's really the bottom line.
     
  18. Rabbit

    Rabbit G.O.A.T.

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    ^^^^^^
    I really hate to be a stickler on this, but I don't find myself restringing it any more frequently than I did the C10. I also don't find a loss of playability. I actually am thinking of dropping tension from 45 because I like it after I've hit with it for a couple or three sets.
     
  19. The Dark Knight

    The Dark Knight Legend

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    Thanks for that. Do you find that Poly loses tension in the 99s quicker than in other racquets ?

    I personally have not.
     
  20. The Dark Knight

    The Dark Knight Legend

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    I don't think there are "countless" ....I'm sure you can count them.

    In fact of the comments on the TW feedback I have not seen even one

    There are a lot of haters out there .....even about sticks . It's amazing .

    Anything different is automatically disparaged by some. It's a strange phenomena in out sport but exists.

    So I'm not really sure why you feel soooooo strongly about it ? Did you actually ever hit with the 99s?

    I mean there are racquets I don't like .....but I don't even bother posting about them. You seem to really care a LOT.
     
  21. Rabbit

    Rabbit G.O.A.T.

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    I agree, there are those who like to personify racquets. Truth be told, there are no bad racquets (or other equipment) just bad choices. And choices are as individual as noses.

    From my perspective, the 99S is the first racquet I've played with which actually made poly feel good. Now, I don't know for sure if that's due to the frame or the drop in tension that I've recently adopted. Nonetheless, it seems (and is advertised as) made for polyester.

    I also agree that not everyone has a complaint about string life, or playability. I think this falls into the old "you hear 20 complaints to 1 compliment" rule that usually accompanies society.
     
  22. The Dark Knight

    The Dark Knight Legend

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    That's a well thought out response
     
  23. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

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    No. From my testing, which includes my Babolat RDC, ERT 300, and string meter, its about the same.

    On the RDC I measure the SBD (string bed deflection), ad it comes out approximately the same. Same thing goes for the ERT.

    As I have stated, the tension loss is simply more magnified.

    well put.
     
  24. jackcrawford

    jackcrawford Professional

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    I think it was Vic Braden who said "any racquet can play better than you can, it's all about if you like the feel of ball against strings."
    I have tried my V1 at 40 w/Focus Hex and liked it just as much if not better than 45. I went to 35 and did not like it at all, so I found a limit to how low I like tension on my frame.
     
  25. Rabbit

    Rabbit G.O.A.T.

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    That's exactly right.

    Yep, I have decided 45 is my number as well. :)

    I have also "migrated" a buddy of mine I string for who coincidentally uses the 99S. He insisted on 58 to start. His string life was two sets. I asked if he'd just keep an open mind and let me handle it for him. He's now down to 50, getting 6 sets and can't tell the difference. And this is with a 16L string. Had we gone up in gauge to a 15L, he'd probably be getting close to what he was getting with his APD.
     
  26. The Dark Knight

    The Dark Knight Legend

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    I was just looking at the TW review for the 99s.....

    It got a 98 out of 100 in the topspin department.

    Has any racquet ever obtained a score this high ever before?
     
  27. tvizz

    tvizz New User

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    I don't think so. Just curious what level swing style(also double or singles) are you guys stringing at 45 with the 99s. I have mine at 52 and USTA season is upon me in about a week. Is it worth trying it? I like 52 I'm just not sure if I want to experiment more or not change things being as I have matches coming up.
     
  28. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Topspin is just one tiny aspect of the tennis game. Obsessing with it is like focusing on the chemical makeup of your tennis shoe soles.
    You need flat shots for baseline winners. You need slice for volleys and time saving groundies. You need topspin for the majority of rally balls from the baseline. You need CONTROL to hit your hardest shots.
    So where does that leave topspin? 20% of your worry list, no more.
     
  29. tkoziol

    tkoziol Rookie

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    Make that 60% and you would be correct sir!
     
  30. The Dark Knight

    The Dark Knight Legend

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    Don't change for matches . Play with what you know !

    When your are screwing around you can give it a try.
     
  31. Rabbit

    Rabbit G.O.A.T.

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    I'm a long-time 4.5 (too long). I played with a freshly strung one yesterday and thought about knocking 3-4 pounds off.
     
  32. naturallight

    naturallight Rookie

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    I've been using the 99s for a few months after play testing several different rackets, but I'm not sure I'm sold yet.

    Pros: With good preparation, can indeed generate lots of spin. Helpful for adding more spin the backhand. Surprisingly solid volleys and backhand slice due to higher swingweight. Very comfortable, even with full poly. Quick and easy to string.

    Cons: between the higher swingweight and the trampoline effect of the open string pattern, this racquet offers a lot of power, which can make consistency tougher when taking big cuts. So the temptation is to slow down the swing speed to keep it in, but then you lose the spin. Not really seeing the added spin on serves yet. Higher launch angle is making returns (esp for doubles) tricky. Will need to spend a lot of time practicing serves and returns to get match tough. Need to use 1.30 poly for any semblance of durability.

    I think the 16x15 tech is legit, but it would be nice to see it in a few more frames. Great to see a major racquet company thinking outside the box.
     
  33. Ross K

    Ross K Legend

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    No, do be a stickler on this - it's just so refreshing to hear! :)
     
  34. The Dark Knight

    The Dark Knight Legend

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    Sure ok.

    The 99s scores really high in every other dept.....

    But a 98 for topspin ?? It beat out the APD!!!!

    I think they would have given it a 100 but wanted to leave room for some other racquet......

    I can't believe it got a 98 for topspin. That is completely insane !
     
  35. rlau

    rlau Professional

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    I think a 95 would be more realistic :twisted:
     
  36. Rabbit

    Rabbit G.O.A.T.

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    Maybe as a compromise 96.5?

    The only thing I don't have dialed in on this frame is my sliced backhand. I get some good ones, and then I get some not so good ones. I'll get there. Hitting everything else is great.


    Ha ha...thanks!
     
  37. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    I struggle sometimes with very open patterns getting my slice backhand to stay low. Think it's the higher launch angle? Closed patterns seems to be easier to keep that slice low and skidding.

    Also, Ross remember Rabbit's "normal" restringing time is 8-10 hours if I remember correctly and for me that would mean restringing the 99s every week, which just isn't realistic for me. I get a month out of my 104 w/ multi/poly hybrid, without losing control.
     
  38. The Dark Knight

    The Dark Knight Legend

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    "Would" and "probably ". Until you try it you will never really know for sure.
     
  39. botticelli

    botticelli New User

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    I have a Steam 99s and have tried it out every now and then. My normal racquet is the Aeropro Drive 2013 model. The Steam hits a good ball, but the slice off the steam does not compare to the Aeropro. Also against big hitters the steam racquet makes me work more in the point compared to the aeropro. I have been stringing the steam at 55 pounds, but may try somewhere in the 40's. Has anyone here strung the steam in the forties? If so how does it play?

    Also I would like another opinion from anyone on here that has both the steam 99s and the aeropro drive 2013 model. Would be nice to view your feedback between the two racquets.

    thanks
     
  40. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    I have tried the 99s quite extensively. I actually wrote a pretty detailed review on it. I liked it a lot but ultimately moved on due to the tension loss/control issue. I played with it for about 3 months.
     
  41. The Dark Knight

    The Dark Knight Legend

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    Ahhh.... Ok then .
     
  42. The Dark Knight

    The Dark Knight Legend

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    I have been an APD user since it was solid black....actually I think it's better than the later cortex models.

    The APD is just an incredible stick and I LOVE it.

    99s or APD .....tough tough choice.

    I will have to say the steam beats the APD because I just have to work so much less.

    The APD may do more but you have to try a lot harder .
     
  43. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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  44. v-verb

    v-verb Hall of Fame

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    Good review Jack!

    I just checked my strings on the 99S after about 10 hrs of hard play.

    Barely any notching at all - actually very little wear at all. Luxilon Monotec 16 L at 45 lbs, and siliconed before every hit.

    So string life can be extended but you have to lube it up.
     
  45. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    My personal issue wasn't with string wear, notching or breakage. It was was tension loss and then the stringbed played very unpredictable. But with a fresh stringjob, the racquet played brilliantly. I just got tired of the ups and downs. Things have been much better for me since swithing to the Blade 104. My game is much more steady and predictable now. It may be that I just don't do as well with open patterns?
     
  46. Rabbit

    Rabbit G.O.A.T.

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    I have moved my tension down another 5 pounds, 40.
     
  47. The Dark Knight

    The Dark Knight Legend

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    Did you play with the recommended string ? Or at least a 15 guage poly?

    Personally I don't believe this stick works unless you use a 15 guage string.

    This open string pattern was really modeled a bit after woodforde . In his incredibly open pattern he used a 15 guage string .

    The Vortex sticks also come with 15 guage string . I very strongly recommend a 15 guage poly strung loosely. If you have not done so then you will not realize the full potential of the stick .
     
  48. The Dark Knight

    The Dark Knight Legend

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  49. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    I tried the 15g 4G in a demo, but mostly played with the 16g 4G.
     
  50. Rabbit

    Rabbit G.O.A.T.

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    I am actually using the 1.25 in mine and love it. I have tried the 1.41 as well. If you have beakage issues, then the 1.41 is for you.
     

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