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

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

  1. Power Player

    Power Player G.O.A.T.

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    I agree with that. I actually tried the Blade because the specs looked good and I found that I hit just as hard with it as my 345ish yonex. But the extra racquet head speed really helps a lot with control and timing.

    And there is no doubt you can return huge serves with a lighter stick, it is all about timing really. Good timing is what gives you that free power.
     
  2. bigmalik76

    bigmalik76 Rookie

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    Mikeler and dmcb101 Thank you both for the reviews and information you have shared with us. Really looking forward to giving this racket a try when it becomes available to test for commoners :)
     
  3. realplayer

    realplayer Semi-Pro

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    Obviously there is a trend to lighter frames but isn't a lower swingweight not more important for playing the modern game?
     
  4. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    The Blade which Filip uses has a SW of 335 because it is less HL. Lighter but with somewhat higher SW is probably the winning combination these days, till you get to the pros who can have high numbers for both.
     
  5. bad_call

    bad_call Legend

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    homerun? the ball clears the fence? ...lol
     
  6. Power Player

    Power Player G.O.A.T.

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    I think it is as well. the higher SW is easily manageable because the racquet is lighter, and basically you get the best of both worlds. The main challenge is you need to catch your volleys out in front and have good hands since the stick will not be as stable if you are late. As long as you are on time and the racquet is moving forward, the volleys are just fine..its just a little tougher with the balance how it is - but these sticks are made for baselining.
     
  7. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

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    Suresh, thanks for your great post and sharing with us. Sounds like you had a lot of fun.

    Question,,,,,,,, did you find that most playtesters had an increase in spin using the 99S over the other frames??

    Also, did you or anyone else compare the spin potential of the 105S with other frames? If so, what was the outcome?

    Thanks.
     
  8. jackcrawford

    jackcrawford Professional

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    You played with the Prince Teams for over a year - treat yourself to a couple of the Steams when they come out! Hope you're fully recovered from the pneumonia.
     
  9. Ross K

    Ross K Legend

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    I do find this a very note-worthy development. Makes sense to me.

     
  10. Roforot

    Roforot Professional

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    Yeah, I could be a smart aleck and whine about wanting Spin+Comfort (granny stick) or Comfort+Control (serious player's stick) but I like their overall schema.
     
  11. tistrapukcipeht

    tistrapukcipeht Professional

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    It needs to be reminded that you are no Filip, nor 99% of the people here, there is only 2 players in this forum that are/will be professional athletes, a whole new level.

    It works for him because, He spent 1000's of hours perfecting his technique and is still perfecting it, the big shots don't come in 5 years, but it takes a long time, that's why all pros pretty much practice everyday, including Federer himself, you can give him 280g racquet He will still be able to produce a lot of power because of him, while most will need to get the weight of the racquet to help generate extra pace.

    Now, whenever Filip makes to the Pro level it will take him a while to be solid, everything comes faster and harder and He will need extra weight as he is already messing with lead, completely different from our level, I am at 4.5-5.0 when I hit with 6.0 I can hit, but whenever I need to put it together I barely win 2 games, they just do everything better with more power and consistency :( . I mentioned this many times, 4-6 months ago I saw 2 X 6.0 players going at it with the stock Vcore 98D, they still use and crack the ball.

    To me lighter powerful racquets have helped me a lot, excellent stability, a lot of free power and easy to swing, so it means a lot of racquet head speed, specially on second serves where I can generate a lot spin due to lower weight, easier to swing and the racquet priveds a lot of free power.

    I agree, super heavy racquets for 5.0 or lower makes no sense, I beat 4.5 -5.0 with Federer's racquet almost 8 out of 10.

    Regarding this Steam 99S, I don't think it is usable for higher level players, I'm not going to be brushing the ball 100% of time to get it in, I need variety, flat shots, spinny shots... when enough is enough???

    Just like seeing a woman with 2 Lbs of slicone on each breast thinking that she will be more attractive putting another half pound, enough is enough. The Steam while it looks a nice attempt , it doesn't change anything to me.
     
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2012
  12. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Don't know about 105S in particular.

    Regarding the increase in numbers, all the people in my group posted an average 200 rpm increase. From what I heard, others (in other groups) were also saying the spin increased, though I don't know because only the currently playing group is near the computer. But if 5 out of 5 people in my group got extra spin hitting as they usually do, everyone probably saw the increase too.
     
  13. sundaypunch

    sundaypunch Hall of Fame

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    It's not for everyone, but will probably be a massive seller and money-maker for Wilson. Spin is what sells at the moment. The fact that they have addressed this in a scientific manner is really good business sense.
     
  14. 2ndServe

    2ndServe Professional

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    why not just skip holes while stringing your 18x20 racket.
     
  15. goober

    goober Legend

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    How good of a doubles racquet would this be? I find that I try to hit a lot more flat and slice shots in doubles than I do in singles so I am not sure if this racquet would help out much other than on serves.
     
  16. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    That supposedly doesn't work. The holes have to drilled in a specific pattern to make the racket perform overall.
     
  17. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    That is a good point. I should have observed the serve more carefully. But due to the juniors in my playtest group hogging the court, I was reduced to serving alley to alley on the same side and difficult to tell the spin increase from that.
     
  18. cknobman

    cknobman Legend

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    Hmmm I do the opposite.

    In singles I hit flatter to try and penetrate the court more and increase the chance of hitting a winner/non returnable.

    In doubles I use more spin to make the ball dip more after crossing net and increase the difficulty of the person volleying at the net. Dipping shots force you to volley up.
     
  19. goober

    goober Legend

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    Dipping passing shots with topspin are not easy to pull off for me- especially on the BH side. A dipping passing shot has to be hit perfect to work or it is too easy to put away. For me it is much easier to slice or hit flat and keep the ball low so it is harder to volley. My topspin shots tend to have a much higher net clearance and are easy pickings for the net player.
     
  20. treo

    treo Rookie

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    Instead of skipping holes, you can alternate weaving every two cross strings making it like a 18x10. Illegal, but a fun experiment that produces lots of spin. You need to string a lot tighter.
     
  21. corners

    corners Legend

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    If you skip every other cross you end up with 18x10. The racquet is designed to have nearly equal combined tension from the mains and the crosses. Therefore, when skipping crosses you must double the tension of the crosses to avoid badly distorting the frame. So you could string it up with mains at 50 and crosses at 100 pounds. But tennis strings can't handle 100 pound tension. Another option is to use kevlar mains, which are more than twice as stiff as copoly strings. Using kevlar, you could string the mains at 35 pounds and then use copoly at 70 pounds for the crosses. Because the kevlar is so inherently stiff, the mains will be a little stiffer than the crosses, even though they are pulled to only half the tension. This will not distort the frame, but those of us that have tried it have found that 10 is too few crosses. The poster Travlerajm has experimented with skipping crosses for two years and has found that with this number of crosses at these tensions the main strings move too much, which results in a very high and somewhat unpredictable launch angle. To solve this problem the tension has to be increased, but he has been unable to find a copoly that will last more than a short time when strung over 80 pounds. Here is a thread recapping his various experiments with skipping crosses: http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=378484

    I've tried 16x10 as well and found the same problems.

    Wilson has solved this problem by a) designing the frame so that you can string it normally - both mains and crosses at the same tension - without distortion, and b) reducing the number of cross strings to 14. 14 cross strings is apparently enough to promote greater main string motion and snapback, but not too much. With 11 crosses you have to string very tight. Apparently with 14 crosses you can string at normal tensions and still get a controllable response.

    An experiment that I'm working on now is stringing up an old Pro Kennex Micro 20x25 midplus as a 20x13. I will have to use kevlar mains with copoly crosses to avoid frame distortion, but I'm hoping that the total of 33 strings will allow for lower tensions than what we have observed with patterns like 16x9 and 18x10, and that the high number of mains will increase control. But this is just for fun. Maybe I'll find that 20x13 is awesome, but it's probably best to wait for the 16x15, which seems to work and doesn't require messing with kevlar or worrying about frame distortion.

    For a better understanding of how string pattern, and especially reducing the number of crosses, impacts spin generation and rebound angle, please see these two papers by TW's own "Professor", Crawford Lindsey. These papers are certainly where Wilson got the idea for their new "technology". (They will not give him credit though as they are trying to patent this idea.)

    http://twu.tennis-warehouse.com/learning_center/stringpattern.php

    http://twu.tennis-warehouse.com/learning_center/spinandstiffness.php
     
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2012
  22. goober

    goober Legend

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    Not sure how they can patent that idea. It seems like this stuff was already known and not at all new. Seems implausible- but even if they could patent it, what are they going to do sue other companies for having open string patterns in their racquets?
     
  23. ollinger

    ollinger Legend

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    ^^ patents for something that is a matter of degree (14 cross strings instead of, say, 19) rather than a completely new technology or device are tricky. You may need to convince a patent judge that the difference in quantity constitutes a real difference in functionallity, as Prince did 35 years ago when they patented large racquet heads (they specified at that time a range of something like 85 to 125 square inches, eventually yielding some at the lower and eventually higher ends of the range).
     
  24. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    They said their patent is pending
     
  25. corners

    corners Legend

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    Yeah, that means they have applied for it and are waiting for a determination from the patent office. It will be a while. From what I gather they are trying for a utility patent and according to some other posters they probably will not get it because the idea had already been tried and applied before they applied, notably by Travlerajm and other posters on these boards.
     
  26. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    US Patent Law changed recently. It is now first to file, not first with the idea (and who can prove that prior art existed). I don't know much about it, so some lawyers need to chime in.
     
  27. TenFanLA

    TenFanLA Hall of Fame

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    Apple is already getting ready to file a suit against Wilson because their rackets look too similar to the iPad.
     
  28. OnyxZ28

    OnyxZ28 Hall of Fame

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  29. srvnvly

    srvnvly Professional

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    Google search on the 2013 Blade; French site, page 3, about 4/5 of the way down the page are pics of the Steams and Blades. I don't want to get banned, but there have been pics published by Wilson, as well as others
     
  30. Federerkblade

    Federerkblade Professional

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    are they the ones that are laid on the floor
     
  31. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Tried the BLXSteam100 yesterday.
    Guy who had it couldn't hit beans with it, so went back to his Babs cheapo.
    I noticed it was long, so choked up a bit immediately, before the first ball.
    Felt OK, similar to my LMRadMids from Head. Kinda stiff head, kinda med shaft. This one was strung with 16 guage nylon, like what I use, typically.
    Needed more energy to swing than my 200 Dunlops, I think.
    Needed tons more energy and input than my 500 Dunlops.
    I hit 4 serves, maybe 20 groundies, and 5 volleys.
    Kinda reminded me of the old ProStaff 6.0's, the black ones with yellow and orange lines.
     
  32. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    ^^^ That is not a Spin Effect racket, in case any body is confused. Those have the suffix S.
     
  33. corners

    corners Legend

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    Copy and paste from http://www.uspto.gov/aia_implementation/faq.jsp#heading-5

    "Question FITF3: Once the first-inventor-to-file provisions take effect on March 16, 2013, would someone who copies my idea and files a patent application on the subject matter before I do be entitled to a patent?

    No. Only inventors are entitled to a patent. Someone who copies another’s idea cannot be the inventor."
     
  34. Federerkblade

    Federerkblade Professional

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    sooooo excited about this stick need it in the UK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
     
  35. Hankenstein

    Hankenstein Professional

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    I got a bag with 12 black Wilson-frames to playtest during November. All strung with Luxilon 4G. Yesterday I tried every racquet and I have 3 favourites. Steam 99, Steam 99S and Blade 98 18/20 (did not get the 16/19, will get it next week)

    The Steam 99S is a winner , hands down!! The ex college-player i played with said he had big problems with the spin when i used the 99S, the ball had a really nasty bounce after it hit the court and many shots he though was going long dipped inside the baseline.

    It will be extremely nice when i can play this frame with my gripsize, right replecementgrip under the tourna grip, right strings and tension etc because in this sample-form the frame was already performing on a very high level!
     
  36. El Zed

    El Zed Banned

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    Any thoughts as to how the Steam 99S matches up against the new APD that I believe you were testing (apologies if i'm incorrect)? Thanks.
     
  37. Hankenstein

    Hankenstein Professional

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    APD has a MUCH stiffer feel compared to 99S. The open string pattern of the 99S makes it feel very soft in the flex. Its much more bite in the ball in 99S but power is a tad more in APD.
     
  38. Automatix

    Automatix Hall of Fame

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    And the Steam 96? Very light stock but it could be a great platform for customizing.
     
  39. El Zed

    El Zed Banned

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    Thank you for the reply. I apologize for the confusion, but when you say "bite" do you mean movement/severity of spin (as opposed to sheer velocity)? If so, would it be safe to say that it's the exo tour 100 (hopefully w/ better control) vs. apdgt battle on a higher level? Thanks again.
     
  40. Hankenstein

    Hankenstein Professional

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    Steam 96 felt like a BLX Tour. Same "hammer" type of frame. Not at all the same feel as the 99 and 99S or the current BLX Steam 100.

    With Bite i mean the racquets ability to grip the ball with the strings.

    The Steam 99S is much different to the EXO3 Tour 100. It feels more solid at impact compared to the Tour 100 and has a crispier feel.

    The Steam 99 is also very good but not the same spin as the 99S (ofcourse..) but the 99 also feels a bit more stiff compared to 99S. I played 2 balls at the time with 99 and the 2 balls 99S and if you are a flat hitter the 99 is better but if you like to hit spin and slice and specially kick and slice serves, the 99S is wicked. I hit some crazy kickserves that curved like crazy into the box.

    I´m longing for January so i can stock up on this frame actually. Only problem might be the strings will snap very quick. The 4G´s was pretty well worn after the approx 45 minutes i used the 99S
     
  41. Automatix

    Automatix Hall of Fame

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    Too bad Wilson doesn't want to release any extended (+0,5 inches) players sticks.


    On my last chat I was really angry when every 5 minutes I heard: There's no market for extended frames...
     
  42. Federerkblade

    Federerkblade Professional

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    Hank thank you

    are you able to give a detailed review on each stroke for the 99s?
     
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2012
  43. Federerkblade

    Federerkblade Professional

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    what is your preferred set up hank.. in regard to strings and tension ? for this racquet

    It will be extremely nice when i can play this frame with my gripsize, right replecementgrip under the tourna grip, right strings and tension etc because in this sample-form the frame was already performing on a very high level![/QUOTE]
     
  44. volleynets

    volleynets Professional

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    WTF? It has a 16 by 15 string pattern??
     
  45. Hankenstein

    Hankenstein Professional

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    Grip 4 (sample in grip 3) with a Babolat Syntec Grip and Tournagrip XXL on top.
    Signum Pro Tornado 1,23 mm in 50 lbs is my current string of choice in a Head IG Speed Pro, but that string will snap to fast. Maybe Sigum Pro Poly Plasma in 1,28 or Poly Plasma Hextreme 1,30 will work nice in the 99S
     
  46. Power Player

    Power Player G.O.A.T.

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    Hank is the new blade the same as the last one? I'm really interested in your thoughts. Post in the blade thread if you'd like. Steam 99s sounds really fun.
     
  47. Hankenstein

    Hankenstein Professional

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    Just tried it a couple of minutes but will try it more during this weekend. Initial thought is that it´s a very solid feeling frame.
     
  48. El Zed

    El Zed Banned

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    Thank you again for your replies and thoughts - definitely looking forward to the racquet.
     
  49. Rabbit

    Rabbit G.O.A.T.

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    Now I'm getting worried that old farts like me are going to be forced to golf. :(

    I hate to be a Polly Put Down, but it sounds like we're changing the nature of the game now.
     
  50. goober

    goober Legend

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    No need to be alarmist. No advance in racquet and string technology has caused you to take up golf previously. A different string pattern definitely won't. :)
     

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