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

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

  1. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    Of course any company is going to recommend something from their own company (Luxilon is owned by Wilson), so it means nothing that Wilson recommends the 15g Lux 4G string to me. The reason they came out with this 15g string was to deal with all the string breaking that they anticipated occuring with the 99S and to capitalize on it as well. It's smart business.

    Super thick poly strings are not appealing to me. I have moved on from the Steam 99s and have zero desire to revisit it. I have come to realize racquets designed for all court play fit my game much better than baseline sticks like the 99s or APD. I also don't rely on heavy topspin for my game.
    I play lots of S&V, droppers, short angled touch shots, drop volleys, lobs, forhand & backhand slice and need a more well rounded racquet.
     
  2. Rabbit

    Rabbit G.O.A.T.

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    Luxilon is NOT owned by Wilson. Wilson is the United States distributor for Luxilon. Luxilon is an independent company.

    If you look at the Wilson site, they recommend Spin Cycle, a Wilson string, on the site. On the frames, they recommend 4G.
     
  3. The Dark Knight

    The Dark Knight Legend

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    Fair enough but then you also have no right to comment about it because you tested with the wrong strings .

    You may feel that it's a marketing gimmick but it is NOT.

    The first player I know of that used this open of a pattern is Woodforde . Possibly the greatest doubles player of all time .

    He used a 15 guage string . Why ???? Was he marketing ??? No it's because that's what works best with this type of pattern.

    The vortex came out based on the woodforde racquet . They also came with a 15 guage string .

    Now Wilson by no surprise does the same thing .

    You really shouldn't be commenting if you are not using the stick as it was recommended to be used.

    I also suspect that you may have not actually played with the stick at all. The reason I say this is because you are simply so angry . How do you get angry over a tennis racquet ?

    Fine you don't like the stick but to keep posting and making a campaign against a piece of graphite is just strange to me.

    You don't like the stick ....that fine . It's not for everyone .....but go away .....otherwise you are nothing but a hater......a hater against a piece of graphite .....which is just weird dude.
     
  4. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    OK, but either way they have a vested interest.

    Luxilon strings are also packaged with Wilson's in prepackaged hybrids.
     
  5. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    You keep asking me questions or commenting on something I said, so I reply. Saying that I cannot comment on the frame because I tried it with 16g 4G instead of 15? That's ridiculous. That would eliminate probably 80% of the posts in this thread if everyone else was held to it.

    So if you don't want me to respond, don't ask me. Simple.
     
    Last edited: May 29, 2013
  6. Darkness

    Darkness New User

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    Wilson Steam 105s and Luxilon 4gs 15g

    Alright. After going through string like crazy I finally strung the 105 S with the new 4Ggs by Luxilon. I was using Solinco 16L previously but it would break after about 4-5 matches. I find the 4GS very stiff and feel like there is not as much bite when hitting the ball...as to be expected as it is a 15 gauge string. I am having it strung at 60 lbs. My opponents are stating there is still lots of spin on my balls though. However, I am noticing major tension loss after my first match. No way to verify this but it definitely feels like there is some tension loss occurring. So far, I have played two matches...lets keep your fingers crossed that it will last longer than 4-5.

    Anybody else have an experience with the new 4gs? Or other recommendations?
     
  7. Rabbit

    Rabbit G.O.A.T.

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    removed..........by me
     
    Last edited: May 29, 2013
  8. doctor dennis

    doctor dennis Rookie

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    With quite a heavy heart ive sold my 99S's.
    Great racket as it was, the only flaw was string durability which was starting to burn a hole in my back pocket.
    On to the Extreme Pro 2.0!
     
  9. The Dark Knight

    The Dark Knight Legend

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    Fair enough .
     
  10. v-verb

    v-verb Hall of Fame

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    thanks Jack - apologies I missed that point.

    btw I saw a few in Toronto - sold pre-strung with Lux 4G. I wouldn't want to buy Pre-strung stick at $200
     
    Last edited: May 29, 2013
  11. v-verb

    v-verb Hall of Fame

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    how is it at 40? I'm tempted to string gut/poly in it at 40.
     
  12. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    This is very similar to what I've stated about tension for the avg guy, but must
    say I use more of a compromise since I can string more often, having reels &
    a string machine. I tend to string as tight as I can live with and it quickly drops
    to a nice tension after a set or 2, then is good for a week or so till getting too
    dead.

    BTW, anyone try big ace on this stick?
    I'd like to demo it, but figure it's sort of a waste if I can't use my string and
    tension.
     
  13. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    you will always have a big tension loss after stringing and then again after playing.

    imo, breaking after 4-5 matches seems near perfect! :)
     
  14. Fuji

    Fuji Legend

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    Entering the Steam Room this week as I have the 99S in hand. Lets see how this stick holds up to my heralded PSC6.1.

    -Fuji
     
  15. Ross K

    Ross K Legend

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    Well, not much compares to the tennis ball crushing, insanely solid (and hefty) PSC. But for many of us the 99s really is a bridge between the tweener-type stick and player's frame - a racket which has a good mix of solidness, manoeuvrability, decent feel and very good all court performance. However, I think it's the unique groundstroke performance, along with of course the stringing issues, that's the deal breaker for many. Keep us posted on how you like it (or not, as the case may be), Fuji.
     
  16. Fuji

    Fuji Legend

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    Definitely will do Ross! I'm trying to go in with as little preconceptions as possible, just to see how the stick holds up. I want to play it stock for the first few hits, and then lead it up to an average play spec for me after! I hope I can get this stick to shine.

    Stringing issues don't bother me too much since I restring so frequently as is, since I've been using syngut the last few months almost full time haha. Heck, if I get 4-5 hours a bed I'd be happy!

    -Fuji
     
  17. rlau

    rlau Professional

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    Syn gut won't work in this frame -- it needs and shines with full poly. Haven't tried gut/poly yet.
     
  18. Ross K

    Ross K Legend

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    What poly are you liking best in your 99s rlau?
     
  19. Fuji

    Fuji Legend

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    Oh for sure. I have it with 15g 4G @ around 50lbs. :)

    -Fuji
     
  20. rlau

    rlau Professional

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    I haven't tried that many yet, just Signum Pro Hyperion 1.25mm, Yonex Poly Tour Pro 1.30mm and Topspin Cyber Blue 1.25mm. I like SPH best so far, but will try a few other polys. I think it works best with a stiffer poly.
     
  21. Darkness

    Darkness New User

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    Yonex Poly Tour Pro

    Oooooohhhhh....finally...Please elaborate on how the Yonex Poly Tour Pro did? Did it last longer than the other strings? Tension loss?

    Thanks!
     
  22. rlau

    rlau Professional

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    YPTP kept it tension better than the other, thinner strings. It performed nicely, good spin and decent control considering the very open pattern.

    I intend to try a textured poly (MSV Hepta Twist) next week.
     
  23. The Dark Knight

    The Dark Knight Legend

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    You complete me. :).

    Guys try the recommended string first . If you don't like it than by All means try something else.
     
  24. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Congrats Steam 99S! You are now a best seller on TW.
     
  25. Rabbit

    Rabbit G.O.A.T.

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    It has been for some time
     
  26. doctor dennis

    doctor dennis Rookie

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    I'd give Focus Hex a try too as well as Xcite.
     
  27. fibonacci888

    fibonacci888 Rookie

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    Xcite is the way to go!
     
  28. doctor dennis

    doctor dennis Rookie

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    Just got back from using my Extremes. Not had enough of a hit with them to really make an accurate judgement yet. I can see areas where the 99S is better and vice versa.
     
  29. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

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    Broke the Kirschbaum Super Smash yesterday. Wanted to give an update before leaving on vacation. String lasted over 8 hours, which is good for durability in this frame, and more or less what I get with a "regular" frame before the strings snap. Control was great. However, spin and pop left something to be desired compared to other strings I've tried. I believe spin was diminished because the string didn't freely slide, rather, stayed stuck.

    Anyway, when I get back, I will be trying out the Tourna Big. Will report back. Hope everyone has a great weekend.
     
  30. v-verb

    v-verb Hall of Fame

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    Thanks for the update Drakulie - hope your weekend is great as well!
     
  31. The Dark Knight

    The Dark Knight Legend

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    Update as well.....I watched a tape on how to create more topspin.

    The way to do it is to put string savers all along the mains but skip each main .

    In other words every other main.

    The results have been quite incredible. I've notices more spin on every shot . I've also noticed that the strings last really long . That's a really good by product of the idea .
     
  32. Anton

    Anton Hall of Fame

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    Oh? And I thought it was something I had to do :)
     
  33. The Dark Knight

    The Dark Knight Legend

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    That's always a better way. :)
     
  34. Fuji

    Fuji Legend

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    Hey all,

    I played with the 99S yesterday against a really good player. Needless to say, it needs more testing tonight to see if what I did was repeatable. I'll post more later today! ;)

    -Fuji
     
  35. v-verb

    v-verb Hall of Fame

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    Sounds like you kicked some butt?
     
  36. Fuji

    Fuji Legend

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    Haha! Well he's a solid 5.5 player, so I do get my butt kicked pretty easily, but my ball was he most consistent and repeatable it's ever been. The biggest thing for me was how easy it was to recreate a perfect arch on the ball without any issues what so ever. The feel was good, and it really surprised me how well my play was with it.

    That being said, when I did switch back to the PSC6.1, my ball was absolutely heavier and it hit through the court way more, but the slight inconsistency in flight path really made me like how the 99S hit.

    This was all with dead 4G 15g. I'd like to try it strung up fresh sometime soon!

    -Fuji
     
  37. SC in MA

    SC in MA Semi-Pro

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    FWIW. Here's my limited experience with the 99s.

    As a little background, I'm a USTA computer ranked 4.5. I play an all around game, with speed, consistency and forehand my strengths. I mostly use a one-hand backhand, both slice and topspin. I sometimes return with 2 hands. I've been a long time 12oz+ racket user, mainly the Wilson 6.1 95 nCode and now the 6.1 95 BLX (the first one).

    I bought a 99s back in Feb, but didn't commit to it until about 3 weeks ago. I initially strung it with 16g Pacific Tough Gut in the mains and 4G in the crosses at 58/52. The gut was chewed up in no time, so I went with a full 16g 4G at 52lbs. Over the past 3 weeks, I've played 7 or 8 sets of very competitive 4.5 doubles. I also did a bit of drilling.

    The good.
    Overall, the 99s has been a real game improvement racket for me for the most part. It's easier to play with than the heavier, less manuverable 12oz 6.1 95. The biggest improvement is in my backhand and especially backhand returns, where I'm more consistent. Backhands are just easier to hit.

    Serves were really nice with the 99s, especially spin serves. A lot more action than with the BLX, but not as forceful. Volleys were also very good. Overheads are much easier with the 99s than the BLX. Around the net, the 99s is a lot more manuverable than the 6.1 95 BLX, which I really like.

    The not-so-good.
    My forehand is my best shot. With the 99s, I really notice the less solid feel, less plowability as compared to the 12 oz racket. I didn't notice this as much with the other shots, however. Also, while my 99s forehand is not bad, it doesn't have the solid precision that I get with the 6.1 95. While I miss that more solid forehand, the other positive playability aspects of the 99s mostly make up for it.

    The bad.
    While I like the playability of the 4G poly, especially when freshly strung, my shoulder is slowly starting to have a lingering ache. I tried poly strings (mostly Big Banger) around 7 years ago with the result being that the poly really affected my shoulder to the point I had to give up tennis for a good number of months. My shoulder is starting to feel like it did initially back then. Since that time 7 ago, I've mostly used a nat.gut/syn gut hybrid. In fact, I think this is the first time I've used poly strings since then. I love the playability of fresh poly. I wish my shoulder can handle it, but it appears that it can't.

    Another possiblity is that my shoulder achy-ness is also related to going from a 12+ oz racket to a 11+ oz racket.

    Going forward.
    Because I think the 99s requires poly, I regretfully think I need to move on from it. Where to go from here ?

    I know I like the playability of the lighter 99s vs the 6.1 95, so I'm wondering if I should give the 99 (non-S) a try. With the the non-S, I could use my normal nat gut/syn gut hybrid string setup. If I continue to have shoulder issues with the non-S, then I guess that would tell me the lighter racket is a problem.

    Any thoughts on that ? Any feedback on the non-S ? Has anyone successfully switched to the non-S ?

    Another thought I had was to give the EXO3 Tour 100 a try. I haven't hit with a Prince for many years and never with their current technology. I was thinking of this racket because from what I understand, it would be lighter and more manueverable than the 6.1 95 and its supposed to be very arm friendly, though I don't have elbow issues, just the shoulder. Has anyone hit with the both the 99s and EX03 Tour 100 ?

    Thanks for any feedback.
     
  38. v-verb

    v-verb Hall of Fame

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    Nice report Fuji!

    I checked the tension on mine again with RT. TW strung it up with Luxilon Monotec at 45 lbs when I got it 3 weeks or so ago, and I've hit probably 10 hrs with it so far.

    I use silicon spray each time I play and there is very little notching - almost none. And my tension just measured at 43 lbs which is about 1 lb less than I first measured it at. Unbelievable actually!

    So there you go. For me it's not a string eater and it's maintaining tension extremely well. Perhaps it's the Luxilon Monotec 16L which is a super cheap poly at only $4.99 from TW
     
  39. v-verb

    v-verb Hall of Fame

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    Before you give the Steam S up - would you consider trying poly at 45lbs or less, or a gut/poly hybrid? My next string move is Klip Legend Gut/Klip K-Boom hybrid in my 99S
     
  40. The Dark Knight

    The Dark Knight Legend

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    Agreed.

    I cannot stress enough that this stick really needs to be strung at 45 or lower and a 15 guage string any 15 guage except gut. In fact even better string at 45 and go to vortex tennis and buy their 15 guage miltifilament .

    I have been playing with a vortex for years before switching to the 99s. The vortex is a 14x15 pattern.

    They recommend 45 pounds and they even have their own multi filament .

    I do not know why people using this stick do not use a 15 guage string ?

    I highly recommend going to the Vortex site and buy their strings for the 99s!!! They have been at this a lot longer than Wilson and have way more variety.

    Vortex has a 15 guage multifilament that has GREAT durability.

    I'll post the website when I have a chance .
     
  41. SC in MA

    SC in MA Semi-Pro

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    Yes, my next string job will be all 4G at 45lbs (I previously went with 52lbs), but based on my past poly experience, I'm not optimistic that lowering tension will help with the shoulder.

    I previously tried a Pacific Tough Gut/4G hybrid, but the gut was chewed up pretty quickly (and I'm not usually much of a string buster). Also, I thought the all 4G setup played much better for longer.

    I'll be interested in hearing how your Klip hybrid plays and lasts.
     
  42. The Dark Knight

    The Dark Knight Legend

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    Here are the Vortex strings . All of their 15 guage a even multifilament would work great on the 99s with no durability issues.

    I strongly urge all of you to try them:

    [​IMG]
     
  43. v-verb

    v-verb Hall of Fame

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    Hope your shoulder feels better soon - ice frequently. That helped when I had wrist issues.

    I'll post my Klip hybrid experience when I re-string - hopefully next couple of days.

    I always lube my strings which I bet makes a huge difference. With the gut/poly I'll probably use baby oil on the gut to make it last longer I hope
     
  44. Fuji

    Fuji Legend

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    Thanks!

    Tonight's hit was a little more reassuring on the 99S honeymoon! I ended up winning a match against a regular hitting partner 6-1, 6-0, 6-3. (We usually play 5 sets.) The first two sets were great tennis on my part with the 99S. Plenty of spin, but the most amazing part was the accuracy on my shots. Never before have I had such pinpoint precision on my strokes, whether it be serves or groundies. I must have painted the lines on at least 15 shots, not to mention all the winners I had. Another great thing was how few unforced errors I had. So here is my report thus far:

    The Good:

    - Spin is nice and consistent like it was the other day. All my groundies were solid and repeatable with ease.
    - My backhand was unreal. I felt like Paire out there today! While my forehand is a big-ish shot, my backhand is much bigger, and with the 99S I noticed way more loop then normal. Even my partner asked me why my backhand was so heavy today.
    - I had less than 10 UE's in over 3 sets of play. Simply astounding given how much I go after the ball. Usually I am at least double that in a match.

    The Bad:

    - Not too sure of the string life yet, and I'm not sold on this whole 4G business. My arm is a little tired right now, and I'm not sure if it's due to the deadish poly or just too much tennis etc. Lots of factors that are going into it.

    - My serves are still quite iffy with it. I get a decent amount of RHS as it, and the 99S feels quite fast through the air, but I'm not getting any real plough on my serves. I think this issue might be sorted out with a bit more practice, but I did hit a few more doubles than I would have liked to tonight. Going after big first serves was tough, and I found myself hitting way more kickers as firsts than normal. While this might be good for my game, I'm not too crazy about it at the moment.


    The Ugly:

    - My shoulder is sore, which is no good. Again, same issue as the poly business. Need a little bit of time off to see what's going on with that.

    - Drop shots were straight up ugly with this frame. I couldn't hit a short one to save my life, as most of them were floating really deep into the court. Definitely need to hit a few more to determine what the heck is going on with that.

    - I'm honeymooning so hard right now. I have to have a few more hits to really see the downsides of this frame. I definitely know there are going to be some, at least one major one, and I'm waiting for it to pop up. This makes me very anxious as I never really get this much consistency and easy wins out of a frame!

    I'll definitely keep you guys posted!

    -Fuji
     
  45. Ross K

    Ross K Legend

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    SC in MA

    Interesting that you ask as for me I've long thought Exo Tour 100 and 99s are indeed similar frames in the sense they both hit with pronounced spin, they both swing really easily, and both are the kind of frames that suit playing defensive, Ferrer-like, long points - a lot of running from side to side. However, the Exo 100 is more like that than the 99s. It has less put away and definitely less serve oomph. I personally found nothing was given free in the power dept with the Exo, whereas the 99s, though perhaps erratic, it is there... just my view anyhow. Oh, and BTW, if soft feel is something you are after the Exo 100 is very very soft, although saying that, I find the 99s way softer than the specs would seem to indicate.


    Dark Knight

    You make a compelling case for these Vortex strings. I may do a bit of research here, and hope others who've investigated them can chime in too.


    Fuji

    Sounding good, F... sounding good. :)
     
  46. rlau

    rlau Professional

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    That is my experience too. I just want to add that I felt that the 99S feels more solid and has better plowthrough.
     
  47. Rafaboy

    Rafaboy Rookie

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    If you really like the 99s, try another string gauge. My wrist was getting bamged up and my shoulder too, but after correction my technique, it doesnt bother me any more also.
     
  48. Stroke

    Stroke Rookie

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    I think the best thing to do with this racquet to make it more arm/shoulder friendly is simply tailweight it. The swing weight is high enough, so adding weight to the handle just makes it more headlight, solid, and arm friendly.
     
  49. The Dark Knight

    The Dark Knight Legend

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    Hit with it today and really getting the hang of it.

    This stick has the greatest topspin lobs I have ever seen.
     
  50. v-verb

    v-verb Hall of Fame

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    I played my 99S tonight - the backhand and forehand slices are freakin' killer with this stick
     

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