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

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

  1. tennis_nut

    tennis_nut Rookie

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    Hi Rabbit, I have moved on from the 99S to the Blade 98S but I haven't found a string setup yet that I have been completely happy with. I want to try your string setup in the 98S. How are you stringing the hybrid? Poly in the mains? What tensions? Thanks!
     
  2. Rabbit

    Rabbit G.O.A.T.

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    I am stringing poly in the mains. Tension is set at 58 pounds. Do NOT be afraid to string this combo up tight. It plays great at your normal tension.
     
  3. tennis_nut

    tennis_nut Rookie

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    Thanks Rabbit! It just so happens that I have two packs of the hybrid from like years ago. I'm gonna string it up tonight and see how it goes. :)
     
  4. Rabbit

    Rabbit G.O.A.T.

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    ^^^^^^
    Your experience is eerily similar to mine! I had 2 packs, strung one of them up for a guy, and then replenished my supply. The guy had me put it in at 60. At that point, I said what the hey....
     
  5. bdawg07

    bdawg07 New User

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    Rabbit, how does this setup compare to the Lux 4G you keep going back to? Why the tighter tension? Why not string in mid-upper 40s?

    I also remember from your earlier posts that you were a firm believer in full poly for this frame for optimum string sliding and snap back. How is the syn gut doing in this regard?
     
  6. Rabbit

    Rabbit G.O.A.T.

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    Well, I may have been drinking the Kool-Aid. :) I don't think I ever said I agreed with the snap back concept though.

    To me, Lux 4G isn't the most arm friendly string out there. Specifically, when I hit with a new string job, it does impact my wrist. I have been looking for a softer string hence my dalliance with BHB7. I did go back to recommended tension (within the range). I did it because a couple of guys I string for use this and they both said that this setup can be strung as high as you want. The result of this is, as with BHB7, more racket acceleration because my wrist doesn't suffer at impact.

    The results so far have been really nice. For me, at least, higher tensions result in better net play and much better serving. The launch angle isn't as severe off this setup and I've had to do some adjusting, but it never ceases to amaze me how this is a natural process.
     
  7. 3forcarter

    3forcarter New User

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    Hi Rabbit, I was hoping you could answer a few questions if you don't mind regarding your setup.

    I had originally strung my 99s with luxilion 4G @57 when I bought it recently. I am going to restring it for the first time this week. I was thinking about trying something new and came across your posts.
    I'm fairly new to the whole stringing thing (when I was using a hammer 6.2 when i was younger, I would just tell the shop to string it with whatever tbh. I had no idea strings would make that big a difference, I just wanted to play)

    Anyways, if I were to try your setup, does that mean I am asking the shop to string 4G at the mains and choosing any syngut string for the crosses? Also what gauges would you recommend? Would the tensions be the same for mains and crosses? Or is your setup one type of string and not a hybrid setup?

    Thanks!
     
  8. Rabbit

    Rabbit G.O.A.T.

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    No problem!

    I string mine with the poly in the mains and the synthetic in the crosses. Both mains and crosses are strung at 58 on a Prince Neos with a Wise tension head set in constant pull mode.

    The Prince hybrid comes with 17 gauge poly and 16 gauge synthetic. I wouldn't put 18 gauge in the 99S. I do like the 17 gauge in there though. Use any synthetic you'd like. It will serve to soften up the feel. One caveat, I think the Prince poly is on the softer side. If you use Lux 4G, just take that into consideration. If you like 4G at 57, then you should probably try 57 first with the syn gut crosses at 57 as well.
     
  9. Rabbit

    Rabbit G.O.A.T.

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    Personally, I like the Prince Tournament Poly and Prince Synthetic in this frame. But it's hard for me to suggest a poly for someone else without knowing what they like.
     
  10. The Dark Knight

    The Dark Knight Legend

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    I cannot believe this but my love affair with open string patterns has ended .

    I've used 16x19 since I started playing tennis and I was addicted to the power. I moved over to the Vortex and was even more blown away by an even more open patter. And then the holy grail Wilson 99s came out and I was really blown away.

    But as I didn't have my normal stick with me today I used a Donnay pro one 18x20.....OMG......

    What a freaking difference . The control is just so much better . Not as much power but incredible control comparing to looser patterns.

    All these years and I never even tried an 18x20.

    So now I'm completely confused ! I can't believe I'm saying this .....but I think I actually like a denser string pattern.

    The Wilson will get more balls back over the net .....but it's not as heavy a ball . It sort of floats waiting for the the opponent to put it away.

    The 18x20 just feels right ....or pinpoint should I say.

    This may be a honey moon period so I don't want to say to much to fast.....but the Donnay pro one 18x20 is an amazing stick if you can provide your own power.
     
  11. Ross K

    Ross K Legend

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    TBH something rather similar has happened to me of late. Maybe not to the same extreme as you, but I've definitely edged away from big open pattern, big power and spin preference to slightly more low powered, slightly more closed pattern frames where directional control is paramount.
     
  12. v-verb

    v-verb Hall of Fame

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    I'm looking for even more open patterns. I had and really liked a Donnay X-Paltinum 94 with the 18 x 20 pattern, but it was such a change from open patterns that I swore off close pattern frames

    I'm hoping to get a Snauwaert Hi Ten one day - 12 x 13 baby!!
     
  13. Problx

    Problx New User

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    From Tennis Warehouse

    Head Size:
    99 sq. in. / 638.71 sq. cm.
    Length: 27in / 68.58cm
    Strung Weight: 11.4oz / 323.18g
    Balance: 3 pts HL
    Swingweight: 333
    Stiffness: 69
    Beam Width: 22.5mm / 24mm / 23.5mm /
    Composition: Basalt
    Power Level: Low-Medium
    Stroke Style: Medium-Full
    Swing Speed: Medium-Fast
    Racquet Colors:
    Red/ White/ Black
    Grip Type: Wilson Sublime Grip
    String Pattern:
    16 Mains / 15 Crosses
    Mains skip: 8T 8H
    One Piece
    No Shared Holes
    String Tension: 54-64 pounds
     
  14. Problx

    Problx New User

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    Put some lead tape on the sides of the 99s at about 2-5 oclock, then try it. I could not hit a bad shot. Flat, drive, topspin, incredible. And I mean with power.............
     
  15. Problx

    Problx New User

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    What is your contrast/comparison between the 99s and the 98 blade? I thought the 98 had a catapult affect without enough control. What didn't you like about the 99s?
     
  16. Problx

    Problx New User

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    I tried it with lead from 2-5 o clock positions. Couldn't hit a bad shot. Drive, flat, looping topspin, everything was great and with power.
     
  17. The Dark Knight

    The Dark Knight Legend

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    Thanks for the validation man :)
     
  18. taylor15

    taylor15 Rookie

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    I tried this stick out yesterday strung with 4g. Although I could tell a difference in spin, my control was erratic. Serving was fun with it, and my backhand was great but when I tried for a flatter forehand winner I hit all over the place. Happy I tried it, but 16x19 is open enough for me.
     
  19. 3forcarter

    3forcarter New User

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    Would you know of a comparable string to the Prince Tournament Poly that is produced by Wilson, Head, or Luxilon?

    Thanks.
     
  20. Rabbit

    Rabbit G.O.A.T.

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    That's a great question. I have tons of poly laying around, but so far, I can't think of anything I could substitute. Maybe someone else could chime in.
     
  21. drak

    drak Professional

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    I contine to play with and really like my "home made" 98S, using the older gold and black Blade 98 I simply skip every 4th cross and use a Poly/syn hybrid (48/52). Still get very good control with the 18 mains but an added benefit of a softer/bigger sweetspot string bed with increased spin.

    BTW I have experimented with skipping crosses on 16 main rackets and the results have not been nearly as good, the 18 mains make the difference.


    Drak
     
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2013
  22. The Dark Knight

    The Dark Knight Legend

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    That's a really smart thing! I LOVE it!

    But I think you should post this in the blade s section as its more similar.

    As a side note ....I can see where you are coming from.

    I was using the 98s and accidentally tried a donnay pro one 18x20.......which is just about the exact same racquet as the blade.

    I was addicted to the control with the donnay/blade.

    I am now really intrigued with your statement that the 18 mains makes a huge difference and I'm wondering what the blade s is like now.

    I'm done with the 99s as I've opted for more control in an 18 pattern.

    But I'm wondering what the control is like with the blade s....really intrigued now.
     
  23. fibonacci888

    fibonacci888 Rookie

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    Hi Rabbit,

    I know you used to play with the Prince Tour Team. Due to a sore arm i'm thinking on moving. Any thoughts on how it compares to the steam? (if possible?)

    thanks
     
  24. Rabbit

    Rabbit G.O.A.T.

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    Sure. The Prince's feeling, while I liked it, was very vague compared to other frames. I liked the frame and payed well with it. I never got the feeling, however, that I was 100% comfortable with it; it never became an extension of my arm. The C10 and 99S seem to have that missing whatever it is that enables me.

    The Prince, IMO, was supremely arm friendly. I strung mine with a variety of different string, but pretty much used Ace in the mains and NRG in the crosses.

    Good luck and hope this helps.
     
  25. Fuji

    Fuji Legend

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    I've been using the 99S again for the past few weeks. I've used a couple different strings jobs, but my favourite right now is ALU Power @ 62lbs. I might bump it up a couple more pounds up to the 65 range, but I really like the way its playing right now.

    -Fuji
     
  26. bertrevert

    bertrevert Hall of Fame

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    Yes, what is that feeling, and where the heck does it come from?

    My not-so scientific opinion is simply it's all weight and swingweight.

    To get that "wand that can do anything" feel I think comes from a really conducive weight germane to your own strength and stretch, and then a swingweight that is always-ok no matter what part of the court or situation you find yourself in.

    Never-strained is what I am translating comfortable to mean therefore.

    Or is it stringbed responsiveness and flex, that elusive "feel" of a racquet?

    There are definitely some ineffables that somehow go in to making a racquet feel like an extension of the arm...
     
  27. Rabbit

    Rabbit G.O.A.T.

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    And the really weird thing is there are players who get that feel with the Prince, but not the Wilson!

    I have arrived at the conclusion that while I can play with anything, there is certainly an advantage to be had in a frame that jives with your arm.
     
  28. Ross K

    Ross K Legend

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    Rabbit and bertrevert

    Fascinating discussion... Is it indeed stringbed responsiveness/flex/feel, or weight/sw, as mentioned? Also, the C10 Pro and 99s, for me, swing just so through the gears so beautifully (especially C10) - and yet specs-wise these are different beasts.... I wish I knew the answer! :)

    On a different matter, having not posted on this thread for a while, seems to me a few of you have gone up in tensions... so what happened with the very low tensions a good few were raving about earlier this year?
     
  29. Rabbit

    Rabbit G.O.A.T.

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    Yes indeed. In a different thread, TripleB inadvertently got me to retry the C10. If you look spec-wise, the C10 and 99S they are within 10 pts swing weight. Everything else is basically different. Anyway, I strung one up with the same string I'm using in my 99S and took it out. The launch angle was the big difference between the two, that and the weight of shot the C10 provided. In the end, there was too much water under the bridge for me to even think about going back. I like the 99S as much as the C10.

    You are correct, I have upped my tension, but the reason is the Prince Tourna Poly/Syn Gut hybrid that is friendly for that. My old arm just couldn't do 4G at the same tension (58#). As I suspected, I also don't see the benefit of the all-poly snap back. With the poly/syn gut combination, I find more pocketing, comfort, power, and about the same control. Spin is probably the same, the guys I play against still b!tch about my racquet not being legal.
     
  30. Fintft

    Fintft Hall of Fame

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    To me the feels comes mainly from the weight/swingweight.
    The strings, flex, materials etc are a bit secondary.
     
  31. AR15

    AR15 Professional

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    I was not a huge string breaker before I started playing with this racquet, but now I am. I broke several Luxilons except G4. I broke other poly's too.

    I found a string I don't seem to break, that still delivers good spin and decent power: Yonex Poly Tour Pro. I recommend you give it a try if you haven't already. It is not like any other poly I have tested.
     
  32. phanker

    phanker Rookie

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    What guage and tension? Black or yellow YPTP? Thanks.

     
  33. bdawg07

    bdawg07 New User

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    Time to bring this thread back to the top....
     
  34. racertempo

    racertempo Semi-Pro

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    I cannot believe that it went 10 weeks without a post. I am still loving my 105s and bought a second one to keep in the bag.
     
  35. gameboy

    gameboy Hall of Fame

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    I was hoping 105s would be on sale by now to pick up my second one...
     
  36. racertempo

    racertempo Semi-Pro

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    I found a brand new one, still wrapped handle and never strung on the bay for $154 shipped so I grabbed it since it won't go on sale :?
     
  37. parasailing

    parasailing Hall of Fame

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    In case anyone is curious about the Steam 99LS, it is a lighter version of the Steam 99S and if you looking for a sub 11oz racquet, this one is like the Steam 99S. A very solid and stable racquet designed for those that want some customization to it.
     
  38. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

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    Hope everyone is enjoying the holidays. I've been so busy haven't had much time to post. Been playing quite a bit with the blade 98s. Really enjoy the control and feel, but miss the extra power and spin offered by the steam 99s.

    anyone else have comparisons between the two?
     
  39. v-verb

    v-verb Hall of Fame

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    Hey drakulie

    Hope you had a great holiday season! Haven't tried the 98S, but wondering if you've taken the PS 95S for a hit? I'm curious about that one. Had a Steam 99s - killer stick but too wide beam wise for me.
     
  40. Power Player

    Power Player G.O.A.T.

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    No but I have finally gotten into the Steam a year later and am really liking the 1.30 and up polys in it at around 50#s. Have any suggestions for someone wanting 8-10 hours plus some feel? I am using Ripspin right now and it delivers, but the feel of the string is not the greatest.
     
  41. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

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    I did hit with the pro staf 95s, but didn't like it. Like the regular 95, it just seemed too flimsy, although the feel of the racquet is excellent.


    Agree about the ripspin, it definitely lasts a bit longer than other strings, but not the greatest feel over a period of time. I know that Prince has a few strings coming out that are a bit thicker gauge, Have you tried any of those?? They seemed ok in some of the new Prince frames, but I haven't had a chance to try out the string in other frames.
     
  42. maxpotapov

    maxpotapov Hall of Fame

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    Swingweight: 305

    That's probably why... Nothing that leadtape can't fix?

    What was excellent about feel? Was it more raw or muted, firm or plush?
     
  43. v-verb

    v-verb Hall of Fame

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    Thanks for the feedback drakulie!
     
  44. RollTrackTake

    RollTrackTake Semi-Pro

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    I have the Blade 98 S but prefer the Steam for the power & insane spin. The Blade does have a bit more control and feels a bit more arm friendly. I added lead to the Blade to help me with power. Volleying is easier w/98S. I felt my backhand slice was easier to command with the Blade as well. The Steam wins the other categories. Serves, power from the baseline, defense & spin. I've been unable to sell my 98 S so I'll continue to mess around with setups when the opportunity arises.
     
  45. Power Player

    Power Player G.O.A.T.

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    I have Prince XC coming and I was curious if you tried Cyberflash's 1.35 gauge?
     
  46. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    I have my sets of Ripspin cut out. It seems like a 2nd generation poly to me. My bet is you'll like the Prince better.
     
  47. Power Player

    Power Player G.O.A.T.

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    So you already tried it and hated it that much, or you mean you cut them for stringing?

    I definitely am not a huge fan of the price. It should be a $7 string really, like a $90 reel.

    Pretty confident the Prince will be better since the Steam can get away with a little more soft of a poly than the Pumpkin most likely.

    The cyberflash definitely will be ordered by me to compare. That is a heck of a string in the right racquet, but it has also played too stiff in others. Definitely worth a try though.

    I love stringing this racquet. It takes like 30 minutes. Really fast and easy, so that is a nice bonus.
     
  48. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    I cut my sets out since I always string 2 piece. It just feels like the older more plasticky polys.
     
  49. Anton

    Anton Hall of Fame

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    I like it because it comes in 15g and I get a lot of spin and tight control, but yea, it's a stiff string, so not for everyone.
     
  50. Power Player

    Power Player G.O.A.T.

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    The Prince XC is a nice string. I got the 1.41 gauge and I think thats too thick. Honestly, I am wondering if 1.35 is too thick in terms of feel as well.

    So I ask you folks, for those who hit pretty heavy and break strings..can you get 10 hours out of any 1.30-1.35 gauge poly string? I read that no one really likes black magic in this stick so I have yet to try.

    I am looking for nice pocketing, even a bit of launch, nice spin to control it, and price around 7-$11 a set.

    I like to string the 99s at 50#s. I can say that the prince xc seemed low powered even at that tension for a while. The ball came off the strings without much pop compared to other setups. The feel is not bad though. It is a very comfy setup. I just am not sold yet to where I want to buy a reel. Still experimenting.

    Something like Black Widow in a 16 gauge could be awesome..I have no experience with it though, just going by description.
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2014

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