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

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

  1. KFwinds

    KFwinds Professional

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    This may be, but with the price of Luxilon and the discomfort I experienced during the playtest I'm not really inclined to try it again. There are several other polys out there for half the price that I know I can play with comfortably either as a hybrid or full bed. The one thing I will say is that the 4G did seem to enhance the characteristics of the open pattern frames like the Steam 99s, so I imagine a lot of people will be sold on this.
     
  2. parasailing

    parasailing Hall of Fame

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    I am not that impressed with Luxilon 4G and there are many other strings you can use instead.

    When I can purchase both the Blade 16x19 and Steam 99S, I will be putting a hybrid setup of natural gut mains and Ltec co-poly crosses in them to see how they hit.
     
  3. cluckcluck

    cluckcluck Hall of Fame

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    If you're going to use L-Tec, you should use Os or 4s as the cross. I would say 4s with 4g.
     
  4. TennisJC

    TennisJC New User

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    The narrowest gap between crosses is 14mm (near center) and largest gap is ~19mm (not counting the last outer strings)...

    Putting the 18x20 blade next to the 16x15 steam you can immediately see the difference in "Shape" of the gaps. On the blade, the center cells/gaps looks squares (1:1), where as on the steam you immediately notice they are ALL rectangles (roughly 1:1.5-1.8) (w:l)...therefore you can probably do the math on that the area WxL and see that each cell is significantly larger on this "Super Open" pattern - that difference only increases dramatically when you compress/expand a co-poly like a trampoline in slow-mo video...

    Btw, I need to do 720p video on YouTube (sorry about the 480p stuff I uploaded earlier) - I'm going to do another set of recordings and upload them
     
  5. parasailing

    parasailing Hall of Fame

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    That's the plan is to use 4S as I find it slightly better than 0S but it's a pain to string compared to 0S though.
     
  6. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

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    Hankenstein, thanks for your input.

    I agree that the 99s dosn't feel as stiff as its flex rating. Dare I say, it is much more comfortable than that number would suggest. Your findings mirror mine.

    Can't wait to playtest the frame with gut mains/poly crosses. Should do a few things:

    1. Enhance feel
    2. Enhance power
    3. Enhance spin
    I also believe the gut mains may even last as long in this frame (in lower tensions) than in a regular 16 X 19 frame.

    We'll see.
     
  7. TennisJC

    TennisJC New User

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    Also for the record, I only playtested the 99S and the Blade 18x20 (also strung with 4G in the low 50's)...I really liked the Blade for its control and weight. Actually wished the Steam 99S was a tad bit heavier - I'll do a full write up on them both soon, and also took some video of my playtest today (hope to be able to visually see the evidence of extra height off bounce, loopiness, etc in the video...)

    I'll post it up playtest of both rackets on YouTube asap...
    http://www.youtube.com/user/JCTennisPro[/QUOTE]

    Here's another video I took this morning 11-12 of my warmup with Steam 99S. This time its in 720p - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lw_xh5pxzIU

    I've noticed it has a lot higher avg net clearance when hitting than with my Radical for example. I think this racket with the proper strings/tension can make some moonballers very dangerous...just by hitting a lot of "kick-serve" height balls to a 1hbh would win 50%+

    Btw, I have a video of actual match played completely with this racket ...uploading next (will be on channel soon)
     
  8. zapvor

    zapvor Legend

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    thanks for the new video! where was this?
     
  9. Ross K

    Ross K Legend

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    TennisJC,

    Thanks for posting the vids up. Awesome stuff. :cool:

    That really does look like some insane spin and height over the net going on. I'm curious, would you say you ordinarily hit with very big top most of the time?

    I'm also curious if you've ever played an Exo Tour 100 (maybe the spinniest frame I've ever played). If so, just for reference, how would you compare the two for spin etc?

    TIA
     
  10. Veninga

    Veninga Rookie

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    WOW, this is massive. The biggest margins I have in my database are TFLASH 300 and EXO Tour 1618. Both 14 x 15 mm. This is a massive open pattern.
     
  11. Federerkblade

    Federerkblade Professional

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    Thanks for the vid JC however it impossible for me that video to see any real difference as your swing speed is too slow. are you a 3.5 - 4.0

    Please dont take offence. any chance you can put in the hands of a 5.5 to 6.0 and video them.

    Thanks for the video anyway

    Here's another video I took this morning 11-12 of my warmup with Steam 99S. This time its in 720p - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lw_xh5pxzIU

    I've noticed it has a lot higher avg net clearance when hitting than with my Radical for example. I think this racket with the proper strings/tension can make some moonballers very dangerous...just by hitting a lot of "kick-serve" height balls to a 1hbh would win 50%+

    Btw, I have a video of actual match played completely with this racket ...uploading next (will be on channel soon)[/QUOTE]
     
  12. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    I can immediately see the higher launch angle
     
  13. Federerkblade

    Federerkblade Professional

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    true but i wanna see some 5.5 6.0 full bloodied strokes hit with this stick
     
  14. cluckcluck

    cluckcluck Hall of Fame

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    Great vids JC, it just doesn't seem to have the 'weight' that some other racquets/strings tend to produce. It seems like a very lightweight ball coming off your racquet.
     
  15. Broly4

    Broly4 Rookie

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    Ditto, thanks for the video anyways.
     
  16. Torres

    Torres Banned

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    Somewhat OT drakulie, but I was curious as to whether you were still playing with the Pro One's and whether your views about that stick had changed?
     
  17. Federerkblade

    Federerkblade Professional

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    i think thats due to JC 's slow swingspeed. However JC thanks for the video and close up video of the racquet would be nice
     
  18. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    The racket by itself is light.
     
  19. Federerkblade

    Federerkblade Professional

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    sexy siobhan gives her opinion

    What racquets are you playtesting?

    Wilson Blade 104, Babolat AeroPro Drive and AeroPro Drive +, Wilson Steam 99 and 99 S

    I just finished the Wilson BLX Blade 104 playtest, which holds a special place in my heart because I played through college with the Team (the previous model, that doesn’t have the new name, paint job and Amplifeel that the new 104 does). It’s a great racquet and although I feel like I have moved on as a player and it’s not my #1 racquet of choice anymore, I still really love playing with it. With my fast swings, it’s maneuverable and it whips through the air really quickly. It allows me to access great power and spin and as I’ve always previously been drawn to the bigger head size, the sweet spot is large and comfortable. May I also mention, the new paint job is sick. Sick, as in: This. Is. Boss. It’s black and silver and is so cool it doesn’t even need another color. The entire line is actually really slick. Trust me on this one.

    I’m also playtesting both the new Babolat AeroPro Drive and AeroPro Drive+ which I am really enjoying. Both of these racquets have new technology called Active Cortex which adds a cleaner, less interfered response to your shots. I’ve played a bit with the older AeroPro Drive GT a little, and this is more comfortable too. I definitely prefer the new model over the old, as the improved feel, response, and comfort are top notch (skating over the original reason I love this racquet, such as the power, control and spin potential).

    I’ve also had a little play around with the Wilson S racquets (I’m on the playtest for the 99, and the 99 S). I need to put a lot more court time in with these but the response from these racquets is really cool. The 15×16 string pattern really gives you that extra spin – I was able to really rip my baseline balls, and where some shots would normally fly out, this time they drop in. They really respond to my faster swing-speed and heavier spin style of play and I can’t wait to get out on the court more with them.

    Editor’s note: Siobhan just gave you another sneak peek at the new Blades that will be available on our site for pre-sale Nov. 15. The Babolat AeroPro Drive and AeroPro Drive+ go on pre-sale November 23. The new Steams will pre-sale Jan. 1, 2013.
     
  20. TennisJC

    TennisJC New User

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    Thanks Ross! It was awesome opt to be able to playtest with this racket the whole weekend =) The tennis gods must have been smiling, as it was mid 60's here in the DC area, hehe. I felt like hitting with the 4G strings outside when it was warm gave the best feel.

    In my next video, I hit with my regular Radical at the end (closed pattern) so you can see much flatter ball with more speed but less arch. To be honest, I wasn't *trying* to loop the ball *that much*...but the 16x15 seems to amplify the trajectory. I have hit with 16x19's before but actually prefer closed 18x20 (also like the LM Instinct).
     
  21. TennisJC

    TennisJC New User

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    Hey sureshs - yes, racket says 10.7 oz unstrung and personally if Wilson would let me, I would put a tad bit of lead tape at 3 and 9.

    The next new racket I'm demo'ing is actually the new Babolat Aero Pro Drive (Nadal's 2013 racket). AeroPro 2013 definitely feels lighter than the Steam 99S and more maneuverable but nowhere near the spin the 99S put out.

    I cannot release any pics/videos on the Babolat yet...but if you check back later (or subscribe) I'll post it live on my YouTube channel, as soon as Babolat gives me the OK
    http://www.youtube.com/user/JCTennisPro
     
  22. zapvor

    zapvor Legend

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    where in dc do you play? thanks for uploading the sneak previews
     
  23. TennisJC

    TennisJC New User

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    Hehe, I do not have a Nadal-swing so I'm sure Rafa could put 4K-5K with the Steam 99S if he wanted to with Poly/RPM :) Also I'm 5'5 - no worries about saying I have slow swing speed (trying to improve) or thinking I'm a 3.5 player.

    I just really like the sport, helping other tennis fans save some money, and consider myself a "tennis alchemist" when it comes to new tech: http://www.Tennis-Bargains.com
     
  24. Federerkblade

    Federerkblade Professional

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    cheers buddy for putting the videos up, were still waiting in the Uk to even get a playtest . even the shop owners dont have them.

     
  25. Federerkblade

    Federerkblade Professional

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    Interesting as a canadian retailer is releasing pics.

    Does look nice

     
  26. TennisJC

    TennisJC New User

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    Np, zapvor!

    I actually play all around VA/MD/DC; I actually scrimmaged against the USTA 4.0 Men's National Team singles players on this same court - they won in AZ few weeks ago! :)

    Ok, finally uploaded match play with Steam 99S video after 3 attempts!! Playing against USTA 4.0 opponent who actually beat me in a tourney earlier this summer. Near the end, I hit with my YouTek Radical MP, give you a comparison...btw, got 2 of these puppies at 40% off at TW 40th Anniversary Sale* :)

    http://youtu.be/vnb4DTiDdag

    Hope you guys found these videos helpful! I'll try to put more info up if I get more time to demo the rackets indoors (getting kinda cold this week outside).
     
  27. TennisJC

    TennisJC New User

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    Sorry - here's the correct link!
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jlXY22dzi_4

    Ok, finally uploaded match play with Steam 99S video after 3 attempts!! Playing against USTA 4.0 opponent who actually beat me in a tourney earlier this summer. Near the end, I hit with my YouTek Radical MP, give you a comparison...btw, got 2 of these puppies at 40% off at TW 40th Anniversary Sale* :)

    Hope you guys found these videos helpful! I'll try to put more info up if I get more time to demo the rackets indoors (getting kinda cold this week outside).[/QUOTE]
     
  28. zapvor

    zapvor Legend

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    yea because i was going to say maybe i have seen you on court before, but i am not 100% sure...couldnt tell what courts they were from the vid. anyways very cool to watch!
     
  29. MikeHitsHard93

    MikeHitsHard93 Hall of Fame

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    Would you say you're a high, mid, or low 4.0? I think I've been a bit hard on myself with my NTRP...
     
  30. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

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    Torres, I string so much for work, that when I get home, last thing I want to do is string my own frames. With that in mind, I play with whatever is in my bag,,,, typically a blx 90. My opinion of the Donnay has not changed in the least. Great frame, with great feel.
     
  31. Roforot

    Roforot Professional

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    Thanks for the video. I actually preferred how you hit the ball w/ the Radical MP! The sound and the drive of the ball looked better.
    I honestly wasn't paying attention to the score. The Steam 99S looked good but I wouldn't have guessed you were using a "secret weapon." How tall was your opponent? What did he say about the frames?


    Are you selling of your radicals to switch to the Steam?
     
  32. Thepowerofchoice

    Thepowerofchoice Semi-Pro

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    Chrismas came early for me. Here are some pics!

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  33. Thepowerofchoice

    Thepowerofchoice Semi-Pro

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  34. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

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    Thanks for photos. Much appreciated!!! I'll post a link to them on first page.
     
  35. klementine

    klementine Hall of Fame

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    The Power Of Choice!!!

    Nice!

    Please write-up a little something, serves?.. volleys? As usual, nice pics!
     
  36. Thepowerofchoice

    Thepowerofchoice Semi-Pro

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    You are very welcome. Great looking racquet!

    I sure will.
    I'm taking it out for a match tomorrow along with my original AeroPro Drive (non-cortex). Will report back.
     
  37. tennis_nut

    tennis_nut Rookie

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    How'd you get one already? I want one!
     
  38. Ross K

    Ross K Legend

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    TennisJC and powerofchoice,

    Really looking forward to reading how you find the APD/99S match up for you guys.
     
  39. Torres

    Torres Banned

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    Interesting videos from TJC. That's one heck of a loopy, up/down ball trajectory that's being produced. It's difficult to tell whether there's any real heaviness to the ball. Unless you have the power of Nadal, I'm not sure what those sort of balls do against a higher level player.

    Any chance of some videos of someone trying to flatten out the ball and finish points?
     
  40. Federerkblade

    Federerkblade Professional

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    the steams pics look nice
     
  41. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Interesting question is whether Wilson will bring out a heavier frame for the pros with the Spin Effect technology.
     
  42. Fed Kennedy

    Fed Kennedy Hall of Fame

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    Pro staff tour 93 in 16 by 15 with 345 sw would be nice
     
  43. corners

    corners Legend

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    Hear, hear! (although at 345 SW you'd probly havta string at 80#)
     
  44. racertempo

    racertempo Semi-Pro

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    Got the 105S in my hands right now strung with Wilson NXT 16 and Lux 4g at 62 lbs.

    Specs as listed on the racquet are quite different from what I have read online, racquet shows:
    Weight: 289grams
    Balance: 8 pts HL


    But this is based on unstrung, anyone know if stringing would bring the head weight/balance to 4 pts HL like I have been reading, guess that makes sense?

    Going to hit it for 30 minutes tonight with my ball machine......about 500 balls should give me a good idea about this frame.....and if it will replace my Yonex RDIS 200 Lite or Yonex EZone XI 100 (16x18).
     
  45. danix

    danix Semi-Pro

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    OK, how is this "new technology" different from what Mark Woodforde had in his frame back in the day?

    From an old post:
     
  46. sundaypunch

    sundaypunch Hall of Fame

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    Woodforde = 14 mains, 16 crosses

    Steam 99s = 16 mains, 15 crosses

    Any other questions?
     
  47. Tennusdude

    Tennusdude Rookie

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    Drak, Thanks very much for sharing your experience with us It really sounds exciting! I recently left out the outside main strings when stringing my Pro Kennex 15g Reach with Babolat VS Touch 16g @ 33 pounds. I was pleasantly surprised at the extra spin and power as well as the greatly enhanced sweet spot. When hit the ball near the frame it became nonreturnable for my opponent because the bounce was totally unpredictable. Most of the time after the ball would bounce it would not continue its forward progress. It also would bounce extremely low at times. Maybe the lack of outer main causes some sort of knuckle ball effect when ball is struck to the side of the racket.

    On another occasion I skipped every other main string and it also provided excessive spin potential, however the racket head was elongated because of the higher amount of pressure of stringing all the cross strings. The racket also had too be strung a minimum of 65 pounds to prevent the mains from moving too much when you struck the ball.

    At any rate, if you string at lower tensions you may be able to leave out the outer main string on each side without damaging the frame. Drak, how high could you go without the outer mains without damaging the frame?
     
  48. 2ManyAces

    2ManyAces Rookie

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    ^^ really interesting read. Would this damage the frame?
     
  49. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    I think what you did is illegal as per the rules. Stringing must be uniform.
     
  50. Tennusdude

    Tennusdude Rookie

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    I believe it was uniform. I left one main out on each side. That is certainly uniform. actually if you have 16 mains and 15 crosses as the new wilson steam does, is that uniform in your opinion?

    What does uniform mean exactly? :)
     

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