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

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

  1. Rabbit

    Rabbit G.O.A.T.

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    For some reason, I'm having nightmares of balls coming over the net like whiffle balls. I don't think prior to this, there has been an advance quite like this.
     
  2. parasailing

    parasailing Hall of Fame

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    Keep us updated when you get a chance to hit with the new Blade 98 with 16x19 string pattern. Have you hit with a Pure Storm Tour GT and how does it compare to the Steam 99S?

    From all the great reviews, I am also looking forward to get the Steam 99S and put gut mains and poly crosses to see how much more spin this would produce.
     
  3. corners

    corners Legend

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    According to the lab numbers cited by Wilson, the 16x15 pattern gives a 10% increase in spin over conventional patterns.

    According to lab data from the ITF and TW University, the best copoly strings produce a little better than 40% more spin than the average nylon string.

    So copoly is definitely the greater advancement. (Although by reducing the number of cross strings you also get some shot speed back that you normally lose by switching from nylon to copoly.) But essentially, reducing the cross stings is just squeezing more performance out of copoly. You're definitely right though - these technologies are changing the way the game is played.
     
  4. goober

    goober Legend

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    On the rec level people who use poly strings are not getting 40% more spin than those that don't. That advancement mainly affected the 5.0+ crowd. This advancement will seem to work for rec players, but I have to see it with my own eyes before I believe that it will be that much of a difference.
     
  5. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    I have trouble buying the 40% more spin from co-poly. I'll agree polys give you more spin but that seems a little too high.
     
  6. Power Player

    Power Player Talk Tennis Guru

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    %40 does seem rather high. I don't know, it does make a difference or I wouldn't use it. But 40% of a difference is a dramatic change.
     
  7. athleticstennis

    athleticstennis Rookie

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    I think 40 percent is right for the most spin friendly poly as corners described. If I am not wrong, I think the average spin in polys is about 26 percent more than nylons.
     
  8. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    I'd say the number is somewhere between 10-20% just based on my own observations.
     
  9. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    I think so too. I think the fundamental deficiencies of adult club players will outweigh technological improvements, for a given base level of technology (i.e. graphite with 90+ heads). The big difference might come in the juniors.
     
  10. Power Player

    Power Player Talk Tennis Guru

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    Sureshs, it has been over a week..do you want a Steam 99s still, or did you ever after hitting with it?
     
  11. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    I would love to try it again, and I will demo it from the local shop when it comes in. I think the PS 85 is a burden these days. I am actually very impressed with the BB Sportster with which I hit several times. So it might turn out that I will dump the PS 85 and go for a lighter frame, and in that case the Steam 99 and the Sportster will be candidates. I am not using the PS 85 like Sampras as a "laser" for "pinpoint control" and "aggression," so why stick with it just because it feels good?
     
  12. corners

    corners Legend

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    Yeah, that's about what the TW Professor reported in this paper.
     
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2012
  13. corners

    corners Legend

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    The 40+% number comes from the labs: clamped racquets with balls fired at fixed speed and impact angle. On-court results will vary. :) It would be very interesting to hear what numbers Wilson has come up with using their new on-court tracking system with real players using nylon vs. copoly in the same racquet.
     
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2012
  14. xFullCourtTenniSx

    xFullCourtTenniSx Hall of Fame

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    I'll tell you the weakness.

    Given my standard Tonic+ Gut/Luxilon Alu Power Rough setup, instead of getting 10 hours, I'd get like 3.

    That thing will MURDER your strings.

    Nothing comes with pure upsides... Even comparing Gut/rough setups to multi/rough setups, gut has a higher down payment, though otherwise it outshines the multi in everything (power, spin, control, durability, cost efficiency, feel).

    If you can afford the reduced string life, then yeah for sure, this racket will probably be a beast. I can't imagine weighing it up and putting in strings to give it even more spin... It would be... It SHOULD be illegal...
     
  15. ChicagoJack

    ChicagoJack Hall of Fame

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    I've received an invitation to the Chicago area event on Friday the 9th.

    Question: I quick read through reveals that in the Florida event that Drak describes here, they had a Babloat Aero, and HEAD MP Speed as comparison frames. I'd be more interested in how the 99s compares to my current racquet. Does anybody know if you can bring your own racquets for the demo?

    I'm super stoked about going to this event, (mostly just to see the testing equipment that can track rpms and velocity in real time) but extremely cautious about going anywhere near a 71ra frame. My brief stint with the 2012 PD+ left me with my first case of TE that I'm just now recovering from, roughly 5 months later. I know the open pattern will soften things up quite a bit, I'd likely put Gut/Co-Focus or full Gut in a stiff frame like that, but that's my main concern.

    - Jack
     
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2012
  16. El Diablo

    El Diablo Hall of Fame

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    ^^ You won't be able to remember how your own racquet plays??
     
  17. ChicagoJack

    ChicagoJack Hall of Fame

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    Ummm yeah... I'm very particular about how I play test. What most here search for is the Holy Grail racquet. I'm not after the Holy Grail Racquet. What I am in search of is certainty. Just a passing observation, but I've noticed that most people here have play testing methods that create a racquet switch about once every 4-5 months. I've succumbed to that temptation on occasion myself. IMO, making comparisons from memory is a big part of that flawed demo methodology.

    Reason #2: This demo event is unique. I'd be able to find out my max RPMs and velocity digits in real time. That's an opportunity that's exceedingly rare, and I'd like to have my current frame on hand for that side by side comparison opportunity.

    Reason #3: I'm happy to consider Drak's experience using the 4G string as a constant. But I'm curious how my Gut/Poly or Black Widow 18 full bed would alter the scenario. Yeah, it's sort of apples to oranges here, but that would be highly valuable info for me, and perhaps, others as well.

    -Jack
     
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2012
  18. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    No. One coach started hitting with his own frames here, and he was reminded that the idea was to test the rackets provided to him.

    Having said that, outside of the doppler camera courts, there is not much supervision, and you may be able to sneak out your frame to compare.
     
  19. Power Player

    Power Player Talk Tennis Guru

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    Jack, hope you have some cash saved up because you will most likely go through gut poly in record time with this frame. I was going through it in 6 hours or so with the yonex 200 and it just made it a far too expensive setup for me.

    Regardless i hope you have a good time at the event. It sounds awesome.
     
  20. PED

    PED Legend

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    So true, the yt radical pro had a wide open pattern and it broke 16g poly in three hours or less. I can only imagine the steam willl burn thru a reel.
     
  21. ChicagoJack

    ChicagoJack Hall of Fame

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    Surehs, PP -

    Cool, thanks for your reply info, much appreciated. When i win the lottery, I'm not buying a fancy sports car, a room full of female escorts and an 8-ball. This equipment geek will be buying this doppler testing thingy, a Babolat RDC machine, and 1000 packs of VS team 17 ha ha.

    - Jack
     
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2012
  22. corners

    corners Legend

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    It's better than exceedingly rare. It's unique and unpredented. And they tell you trajectory too. The doppler thingy is the holy grail.
     
  23. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    I will stop stringing my own when I win the lottery. Maybe.
     
  24. Rabbit

    Rabbit G.O.A.T.

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    Not me! I love stringing.
     
  25. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    Yeah, who am I kidding.
     
  26. parasailing

    parasailing Hall of Fame

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    Don't forget about the Wilson Bairdo or Babolat Sensor stringing machine.
     
  27. ChicagoJack

    ChicagoJack Hall of Fame

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    I know right! That's the thing I'm most exited about actually. I'm skeptical anything will pry my hands offa my beloved Pro Ones at this point, especially not a racquet that's 70+ ra. But the doppler thingy has got me all a twitter. I guess testing equipment has come along way since the University Of Sheffield, Goodwill & Hawke days. Whaduya mean shoot miles of high speed film and spend months analyzing it ... 2004 called and wants it's lab equipment back lol.

    Maybe you could hire an editor, and two research assistants, but don't ever stop doing your string reviews. On second thought... , I win the lottery, I will hire you to do that full time. The job would entail 2 hours of writing, and 4 hours of tennis per day, with a 2 hour nap in between.

    Duly noted! that's going on the lottery list as well. I'm really looking forward to attending this thing. I'll post whatever there is to post about afterwards for sure.

    -Jack
     
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2012
  28. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    This will be used in a court of law if you win the lottery. :)
     
  29. Hankenstein

    Hankenstein Professional

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    This frame dont feel like a RA70+ frame. It feels a lot more flexy then that. The extremely open string pattern softens up the frame very much.
    My father in law asked "what frame is that" and he tried it 10 minutes and then just said "you have to get me one of those. Have to! That was so extremely good!"
     
  30. Federerkblade

    Federerkblade Professional

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    http://blog.tenniswarehouse.com/archives/

    Which racquets are you playtesting?

    Wilson BLX Blade 16×19 and 18×20, Wilson Steam 99 S and 105 S

    I’m currently hitting the new Wilson Blade 98 racquets, both the 16×19 and 18×20 as well as the Wilson Steam 99 S and 105 S. I like these new Blades over the previous versions because they seem to have better ball pocketing and feel better; the feedback is more comfortable. It is a bit tough to judge these Blades because for the two sets we received, the swingweight difference was over 20 points.

    I think the real stars are the S racquets (although the S doesn’t stand for “star”). The amount of spin I am able to get is ridiculous. Dare I say, almost illegal? I dare. Dare I say nasty? I dare. I thought with the 16×15 pattern, I would lose control and the stringbed would be trampoline-like, but that was not the case at all. The control was there, and I could just take huge cuts at the ball. I was able to hit shots higher over the net for higher percentage shots and they would still land in because of the spin.

    We first hit these with the Wilson team and they brought along a NLG (neat little gadget) that could track the spin on our shots. I am happy to announce that I maxed out at 3,200 RPMs on my forehand with the Steam 99 S. Take that, Rafa! They are strung up at a bit higher tension and use a thicker gauge string made specifically for these racquets, the Luxilon 4G S. I just wish there was just a bit more weight to the Steams, but other than that, these racquets could be my next racquet of choice. They’re really that good!
     
  31. Ross K

    Ross K Legend

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    Federerkblade, Hankenstein, others,

    Okay I hear the spin is off the scale and it's a unique frame. However, in other ways or whatever, is it maybe similar-ish or reminiscent to any other racs you'd care to mention?
     
  32. Hankenstein

    Hankenstein Professional

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    Not really what i can think of. The word that I think of to best describe the 99S is "pro stock"!
    The feel is very solid and unique! Hard to describe actually. Maybe I can in a way compare the control and feel of the old Pro Staff 6.1 16/18 but more spin and power.

    In a way it feels to good to be legal! Normally i hit pretty heavy topspin with new balls but have to flatten out my game as the balls wear out, but with this frame it is possible to get wicked spin out of the ball even when its starting to be well used.
     
  33. Federerkblade

    Federerkblade Professional

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  34. Torres

    Torres Banned

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    Interesting that the 99S seems to need(?) a thicker string to suit. From the TW Jason blog:

    "If you read my comments above for the racquets, which I’m sure you did, then you know I’ve been hitting the new Luxilon 4G S. It’s a 1.41mm (15 gauge) string. I love the regular 4G and was glad to see them come out with the thicker version for these racquets. Without them, none of us would be able to hit the Wilson S racquets because Andy would break the regular gauged strings in his one hitting session. Jerk."

    Looks the 17g polys will need to be put back into the cupboard.....
     
  35. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    From Jason's blog

    I think the real stars are the S racquets (although the S doesn’t stand for “star”). The amount of spin I am able to get is ridiculous. Dare I say, almost illegal? I dare. Dare I say nasty? I dare. I thought with the 16×15 pattern, I would lose control and the stringbed would be trampoline-like, but that was not the case at all. The control was there, and I could just take huge cuts at the ball. I was able to hit shots higher over the net for higher percentage shots and they would still land in because of the spin.

    We first hit these with the Wilson team and they brought along a NLG (neat little gadget) that could track the spin on our shots. I am happy to announce that I maxed out at 3,200 RPMs on my forehand with the Steam 99 S. Take that, Rafa! They are strung up at a bit higher tension and use a thicker gauge string made specifically for these racquets, the Luxilon 4G S. I just wish there was just a bit more weight to the Steams, but other than that, these racquets could be my next racquet of choice. They’re really that good!
     
  36. Stokke

    Stokke New User

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    Glad to hear that!

    I suspect that Wilson have neglected their younger, potential, customers... When my son plays 12U tournaments (he is 10) none, yes NONE of them, plays with Wilson racquets. You`ll see alot of Babolat and Head, but NO Wilsons.

    A very popular racquet is the Babolat PD Light (275 grams unstrung, 100 sq. in.)

    No serious 10-12 year old would like to play with an oversized "amateur" racquet, nor is it good for them to play with too heavy a racquet.. - so what does Wilson have, or will have, to offer the up-and-comming?
     
  37. gplracer

    gplracer Professional

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    It depends on where you play. My son is 10 and plays southern level 3's with a Wilson. We do see some Wilson rackets but not as many as some other brands. If you get near Hilton Head there are lots of kids playing with Head rackets. Th real question is whether or not this 99s would be appropriate for a 10 year old. Granted mine is big at 5'2" but it is not a real light racket.
     
  38. corners

    corners Legend

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    The 105 is very light though.
     
  39. gplracer

    gplracer Professional

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    I will take a look at it. Currently he plays with a Wilson Blade Lite.
     
  40. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

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    Sorry, I have left this thread unattended but I have a quick update I want to provide:

    Put a Steam S on my Babolat RDC today. Here are the specs:

    Srtung with 4G at 57lbs.
    Weight: 320 grams
    Balance: approx 3.5 pts HL
    SW: 325
    Flex: 69

    enjoy!
     
  41. couch

    couch Hall of Fame

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    The steam 96, blade 104, 6.0 team,ps 100,steam 99s, steam 99, eer. What exactly does Head have to offer that's better than Wilson? So tired of the Babolat drones. :roll:
     
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2012
  42. Automatix

    Automatix Hall of Fame

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    I don't know why Wilson didn't go for a dark red for the accents on the Steams.

    [​IMG]

    It looks much better, unfortunately in real life it is a lighter shade of red.
     
  43. Torres

    Torres Banned

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    Pure tweener specs. Not sure I would like that, but its certainly in the APDC / Pure Drive range. Looks like Wilson are clearly targeting that market sector. If Wilson can put together a good 'spin, spin, spin' based marketing campaign, along the lines of the original APDC/Nadal adverts, I'm sure that they'll put a huge dent in Babolat's market share.
     
  44. Federerkblade

    Federerkblade Professional

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    hey Torres where did drakulie post those specs

    as on the first page says 2pts HL

    found the page thanks
     
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2012
  45. Nostradamus

    Nostradamus G.O.A.T.

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    What was the Swingweight and static weight ? and stiffness ? What tech is exactly giving this racket this much spin ? it is scary to think how much spin Roger would put on the ball then ?
     
  46. Nostradamus

    Nostradamus G.O.A.T.

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    I am thinking this racket is in line with Yonex rackets which always has been known to impart insane spin more than any other
     
  47. Automatix

    Automatix Hall of Fame

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    Last post on the previous page.
     
  48. macG3X

    macG3X New User

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    I am already thinking about the best strings for this racquet ... Babolat Pro Hurricane Tour in gauge 16 could be very nice in this stick ... lot's of control, ideal for this string pattern.
     
  49. Ross K

    Ross K Legend

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    Ah... sounds right in my zone.:)
     
  50. srvnvly

    srvnvly Professional

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    Drakulie - Thank you, again, for providing information on new 99S!
     

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