Wilson Steam 100 (vs The Juice) - Thoughts & Pictures

Discussion in 'Racquets' started by AA5B Tiger, Dec 14, 2011.

  1. AA5B Tiger

    AA5B Tiger New User

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    I demoed the Wilson Steam 100 in a singles and doubles league match this week -- and thought I would share my thoughts as well as pictures.

    I'm a strong 3.5 - weak 4.0 player, 6"2' 200lb, big serve and groundstrokes, counter-puncher, run everything down. I currently play with a Prince Black but have been on the lookout for something different -- namely more stability at the net and more feel, especially at the net.

    I demoed the Wilson Juice 100 this past weekend and truly loved it (despite not wanting to, wanting to get a 2011 closeout cheaper, hating The Juice's paint job and name). The Juice has a very unique, good feel to -- one of the few racquets I've personally come across where I felt I could swing all-out on groundstokes and just have fun placing the ball. My only gripe with The Juice: it was strung with NXT 16 @ mid + 2 and seemed to have just a tad too much power for me. I think a couple of more pounds of tension and/or something with less pop than NXT will fix that.

    Nevertheless, instead of dropping $190 X 2-3 on a new racquet, I thought I would check out Wilson's other new racquets - particularly the Steam since it is supposed to be more "control" than the Juice... I thought that may help with my tendency to slightly hit out with the Juice.

    My quick summary: For my game the Juice seems like far-and-away a much nicer fit. The Steam weighed in 0.3 oz less than the strung Juice (11.1 vs 11.4). However, it felt heavier -- I guess due to the weight distribution.

    Flat serves were great; however, I didn't feel like I could tap into spin on the kick and slice serves like I could with the Juice.

    Groundstokes were the big difference for me between the 2 racquets. I hit fairly open with topspin on my forehand. On the backhand I hit both 1 and 2 handed, both more flat and hard -- really depending on a good followthrough to spin the ball down in the court. While every shot with The Steam felt solid and well-controlled (what the racquet professes to be), I felt I could do more with The Juice -- especially on defensive shots where I'm on the run and not balanced. If I could totally get in place and set-up, follow-through, and step in to the ball fully, The Steam was fine; however, with the guys I play I'm rarely given such a luxury.

    I felt too The Juice was quicker and more stable on the net. I never had The Juice spin in my hand once, yet I had The Steam do so many times (with the same size grip).

    Of course, better players may find exactly what they're looking for in The Steam, but for me, I found The Juice highlighted what I do well and gave me forgiveness on what I'm lacking. It's not at all a bad racquet -- and reminded me a lot of the Wilson Blade, which I know a lot of people love... So I guess if you are a move grooved player and/or like the Wilson Blade, the Steam is worth checking out.

    Here's some pictures:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
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  2. canuckfan

    canuckfan Semi-Pro

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    Thanks for your thoughts and the pics. I am interested in playtesting both these frames next year, and I expect that many others are as well. Is the steam 27.25 inches?
     
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  3. El Diablo

    El Diablo Hall of Fame

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    Every few years Wilson pulls out all the paint left over from the original HPS Surge 5.1
     
    #3
  4. BagelMe

    BagelMe Semi-Pro

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    Blehhhh....that thing is hideous!
     
    #4
  5. dParis

    dParis Hall of Fame

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    Yikes!

    10 Barfs...
     
    #5
  6. Hominator

    Hominator Hall of Fame

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    It would be interesting to see how racquet companies decide on paint jobs. I would imagine that a large company like Wilson conducts studies on which paint jobs sell best for which age group/sex. I'd love to know the demographics for the Steam and Juice. "Interesting" that this paint job made the final cut...
     
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  7. dParis

    dParis Hall of Fame

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    Next time Wilson conducts a group sex study, I'd like to know about it. I'm starting to see how they came up with those names, now.
     
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  8. AA5B Tiger

    AA5B Tiger New User

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    I believe the Steam is supposed to be 27.25"; however, it measures a little over 3/8" longer than my Prince Black 27"....
     
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  9. ThomasTerrible

    ThomasTerrible Rookie

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    Haha good point!

    Some marketing enthusiasts with very orange skin claim that all attention is good attention. Perhaps Wilson have taken this literally. I wouldn't be so sure about their tactic...
     
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  10. AA5B Tiger

    AA5B Tiger New User

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    At first I thought The Steam copy I was demoing was heavily used due to all the paint chipping off up at the top of the hoop -- then I see the plastic on the handle and realize it's never been used... I then look more closely at the hoop and realized they meant to paint it that way / it's just the "overspray" from the word "steam"... Without looking closely you'd think it was heavily chipped / used. See picture below.

    As for the names, I really don't get "The Juice". Even without the obvious (and very bad) OJ Simpson reference, my mind still goes stuff like "steriods" -- e.g. Barry Bonds was juicing in his last years in the MLB...

    I'm not sure many indepth marketing studies were performed... And with the tennis players I know, a name / paintjob won't make a player buy a racquet, but it sure could make someone think about *not buying* it... In my mind racquets are just a tool, like a wrench in a toolbox. I don't care if my wrench is painted all sorts of colors, I just care if it works dependably each time. Ditto for racquets. Heck, if it was named "Tennis 2012, Model D 100" with a simple paintjob, I'd buy it without reservation if it hit well. As is, I really, really, really have to love the racquet beyond name of "The Juice" and Miami Vice paint scheme to buy it...

    [​IMG]
     
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  11. ThomasTerrible

    ThomasTerrible Rookie

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    The matching between name and design is also interesting. I kind of get the Juice having that design, with a name like that. I can't understand the Steam though. It would imagine it being a grey-ish colour that changes gradually over the racket's length or something like that, but not the eyesore that it truly is.


    No wonder if it's called Steam if it was developed in group sex studies!!! :)
     
    #11
  12. gramdacious

    gramdacious Rookie

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    Who approved that paint job? Vomit must be the new black.
     
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  13. JGads

    JGads Hall of Fame

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    Wasn't impressed at all with the Steam. Harsh feeling stick (even with multi) and a bit uncontrollable. Felt like a Babolat to me. Hoping the Juice and especially the Juice Pro will be better, and, given that it has a heavier weight and the PWS system (something the Steam lacks), thinking it must be. Plus, a ton of respected TTers here and guys at the local shop have claimed good things about the Juice.
     
    #13
  14. Agent Orynge

    Agent Orynge Professional

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    That stick looks like somebody gave it a Cosby Sweater.
     
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  15. martini1

    martini1 Hall of Fame

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    Very 70's pj.
     
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  16. Ross K

    Ross K Legend

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    "Baffling" and "bewildering" for me what Wilson are doing here - and it was the same with when they decided to name a line BLX. But at least the BLX line look all right... THE PICTURES ABOVE ARE HORRIFIC!:eek: I should think that to play with that, the wearing of sunglasses would be compulsory.:)
     
    #16
  17. ThoughtCrime

    ThoughtCrime Rookie

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    Oh man, the racquet looks like it went through a rainbow and a pile unicorn crap, same with the Juice. But at least they play well. I just don't understand the thinking behind the color scheme, what the actual ****?
     
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  18. Scribbles

    Scribbles Rookie

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    I don't know if its just the light and white grip playing tricks on my eyes....but does that racket handle only have 4 sides? o_O
     
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  19. nalvarado

    nalvarado Semi-Pro

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    Notice the recommended string of Spin Cycle, aka Wilson Test String A.
     
    #19
  20. AA5B Tiger

    AA5B Tiger New User

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    It's a standard grip -- the flash hid some of the bevels.
     
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  21. ThomasTerrible

    ThomasTerrible Rookie

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    Totally!:)
     
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  22. Geology_Rocks!

    Geology_Rocks! Semi-Pro

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    I agree it does not look good, but IMO the blx pro staff is taking ugly PJ to a new level.

    I was really looking forward to these new wilson frames but the PJs are a real disapointment.

    And the argument that these colorfull PJs should bring the younger players might be wrong, I'm 21 (ok, not THAT young) but I know guys around 14 that also don't like it.
     
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  23. ThomasTerrible

    ThomasTerrible Rookie

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    Do we know what older women think about them? The only time I've used something that ugly was some clothes back in 1984, and then I was in a baby carriage and was, according to old ladies passing by, adoring:)
     
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  24. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    I tried both racquets today and totally agree with everything the OP stated. I liked them both but slightly preferred the Juice. Had a measured swingweight of 325 and the Steam was 330. The Juice is very easy to use and seems perfect for anyone in the 3.0-4.0 level. Very reminiscent of my own Becker DC Pro. Has that smooth impact feel that all of the BLX models have. Good power and spin with a solid feel for an 11 oz racquet. Couldn't find any real faults with it other than the paintjob and the slightly thick beam. This stick is also similar to the Organix 8-300 and the Pure Drive. Seems targeted towards the Babolat crowd.
     
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  25. Hominator

    Hominator Hall of Fame

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    I hit with my Juice 100 yesterday for the first time last night and thought you might like this frame. It seems right near your preferred specs. I thought the Juice 100 was surprisingly soft and comfortable. What did you think?
     
    #25
  26. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    I only hit with it against a wall, but I immediately felt comfortable with it.
    Can't wait to try it on the court. It seems like a very user friendly stick.
    It seems like one of those racquets that almost anyone could use.

    How did you get one so soon? Is it a demo? I was told it wasn't coming out until mid Jan?
     
    #26
  27. ollinger

    ollinger Legend

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    It's simply not a new racquet offering until JackB1 has baptized it!
     
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  28. Hominator

    Hominator Hall of Fame

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    No, it's not a demo, it's mine - I gots my sources ;)

    I only hit with it for a few minutes warming up, but it's supremely comfortable and very spinny. It's also very maneuverable. I'm liking my Donnay Pro One (at the moment), however, so I didn't hit with the Juice 100 much. I'll take it for another spin next week and try to put it through its paces.

    If I were into tweeners, I'd definitely take a hard look at the Juice 100.
     
    #28
  29. srvnvly

    srvnvly Professional

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    Jack - TW just posted their specs on Racquet Finder and the swing weight is markedly different than your 325 and 330; thoughts?

    Juice: http://www.tennis-warehouse.com/descpage-WJ100.html

    Steam: http://www.tennis-warehouse.com/descpage-WS100.html
     
    #29
  30. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    those aren't TW's specs, those are the mfg's. They may be with no overgrip and a lighter string? But I measured both on a RDC machine and they also felt like 325 and 330 while playing with them. TW also has 311 for a Becker London, and I had about 5 or 6 of em and they all measured 325 or more swingweight.
     
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  31. srvnvly

    srvnvly Professional

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    interesting; I like your numbers much better, indicates better plow-through
     
    #31
  32. couch

    couch Hall of Fame

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    The manufacturer's specs on the Juice are 11.3 oz and 4 pts. HL and the Steam's are 11 oz. and 5 pts. HL.

    TW has the Juice's strung weight at 11.3 and 6 pts. HL with a SW of 311. TW has the Steam's strung weight at 11 oz. and 4 pts. HL with a SW of 311. Seems a little off based on Wilson's specs. I know, I know, Wilson QC. Maybe the similar SW is because the Steam is .25" longer?

    I have only held them and swung them in our store but I would venture to guess the steam is closer to 311-320 SW than 325-330 but that is only speculation on my part. I would venture to guess the Juice is closer to 325/330 SW. But again, that is speculation based on holding and swinging them in the shop.

    Jack, I have hit with the Becker London, albeit a while ago, I thought it had a fairly low SW. I would agree with TW's SW of 311 on the London.
     
    #32
  33. Castalia

    Castalia Guest

    I'm not sure if anyone has mention this, but I compared a Steam to Blade Light and they look like they be from the same mold. Also, the grommets in the bridge for both rackets seem to be exactly the same...unique on the blade light because they are white.
     
    #33
  34. Castalia

    Castalia Guest

    Editing...
     
    #34
  35. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    My findings are similar to what u are guessing for the swingweights of the Juice (325) and the Steam (330). As far as the London, I measured every one on the machine and they were all around 325 swingweight.
     
    #35
  36. couch

    couch Hall of Fame

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    It just seems like the Juice should swing heavier than the Steam based on published specs and shadow swinging in the shop. I know, I know, I'm really doing a scientific study here with exact variables and measurements. :)

    JackB1- what kind of RDC machine do you have? Just curious.

    Maybe with some poly an over grip and dampener a London can get put to about 325 SW. They just seemed to swing lighter than that when I demoed them. Oh well.

    I am excited about these two sticks for some odd reason. I think the Steam may be an eventual replacement for my old Volkl Quantum Tour 8. They have very similar specs on paper. Plus, it's time for a change.

    A couple buddies and I own a tennis shop in town and I think we have decided to carry Wilson, Prince, and Head exclusively so we all feel like we need to play with something we carry. ;-) We will be carrying both of these racquets and counting on them to sell well. (fingers crossed).
     
    #36
  37. Andyroo10567

    Andyroo10567 Professional

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    Too colorful for meh Lol
     
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  38. Virtua Tennis

    Virtua Tennis Semi-Pro

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    The steam and the juice looks like crap in pictures and in person but the blx prostaffs look way better in person than in pictures.
     
    #38
  39. Hominator

    Hominator Hall of Fame

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    My Juice 100 with overgrip and dampener, strung w/multi, comes in at 11.22 ounces. It swings extremely light, too.
     
    #39
  40. couch

    couch Hall of Fame

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    That seems a little light compared to Wilson's strung specs. I would assume strung, with an overgrip, and a dampener the Juice should come in around 11.4/11.5 oz. I won't mind the lower swingweight but sure hope/wish the weight is just a bit higher.

    I sure hope the Steam doesn't come in under 11 oz. strung with a dampener and overgrip. :-( I guess I can always slap a little lead on it.

    Castalia- I haven't hit with the Steam yet but I think the Steam just might be a slightly less demanding Blade 98. It seems to have a very similar mold to the blades. Especially the feel in the throat. Kind of like a straight-beamed "players" tweener/Pure Drive.
     
    #40
  41. Hominator

    Hominator Hall of Fame

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    The static weight along with the balance makes the racquet feel really light. It doesn't suffer any lack of plow on groundstrokes, though. It's a pretty impressive frame, but probably not for me. We'll see...
     
    #41
  42. couch

    couch Hall of Fame

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    I've never quite understood the whole "lack of plow through" thing myself. I think any racquet around 11 oz., with good swing speed and hitting the sweet spot consistently, will have good plow through. I've used a racquet that's 9 years old, around 11 oz., and haven't had issues playing against other 5.0 players. I would think the racquets today would have even better plow through given some of the advances in materials/technology. I'm not saying there is a huge difference year-to-year but over nine years there's probably been some advancements in racquet technology. :) I think the big advancement has been in strings though.
     
    #42
  43. El Diablo

    El Diablo Hall of Fame

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    ^^ the larger issue with plow is on shots where a well executed swing isn't always feasible. I increased the lead on my racquet recently and find groundstrokes to be not very different, BUT return of serve and reflex volleys are now vastly improved as a result of the greater "plow." That, and serve, are where the greater mass really tells. I've never been able to return or volley consistently well with an 11 ounce setup.
     
    #43
  44. srvnvly

    srvnvly Professional

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    I think the BAPDGT and BLX Blade 98 have good plow through, tho the BLX Blade 98 was a bit tough on my arm; conversely, the Kobra Tour and Dunlop 400 Tour have good static weight, but not good plow through
     
    #44
  45. couch

    couch Hall of Fame

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    I'm sure a lot of it depends on what you are used to and your style of play. I think guys with faster swings and hit with lot's of topspin can get away with a lighter racquet. I think stiffness also plays a part in that. My racquet is lighter but it's fairly stiff and is 27.5" long too. Lot's of variables involved.

    Anyway, how bout that Steam??? :)
     
    #45
  46. roundiesee

    roundiesee Hall of Fame

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    Sorry to resurrect this thread. Thought I would just add my 2 cents and say that the OP was absolutely spot on with these 2 rackets! Just tested the juice 100 and the steam, and ugly paint jobs notwithstanding, they absolutely played very well indeed. The juice was strung with full poly and the steam had nxt. Both very comfortable and I had no pain after playing. Strangely they both played very similarly and I would challenge anyone to say which was better. My friend who loaned me the sticks came to a great decision and got both of them because they played so well. Would encourage those who like tweeners to give these 2 a play test , :)
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2012
    #46
  47. colababy

    colababy New User

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    I found the steam to feel a lot more solid than the juice. The juice felt very hollow and empty...for lack of a better description.

    However, neither felt as solid or as heavy as my k pro open, which should be almost the same specs
     
    #47
  48. darklore009

    darklore009 Professional

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    The Wilson Steam 100 isn't a bad racket. It's a friendly racket and get the most out of it. I love it's maneuverability and spin. I didn"t care about it's paintjob. Though many people hates it.
     
    #48
  49. PowerPlay

    PowerPlay Rookie

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    Best line of the day....lol.
     
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  50. Relinquis

    Relinquis Hall of Fame

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    This is my new racquet. There are many like it, but this one is mine.

    I bought the Wilson Steam 100 four weeks ago, after doing no research or testing. I was travelling and needed to play tennis so walked into a sports store and asked for something that I can use as I get better, use control and that is within my budget. It's light, it's powerful*, it feels good and the paint job is, for lack of a better expression, 'character building'...

    I've just returned to tennis after playing it in my early teens for a couple of years. The first thing I noticed was how light these new racquets are, compared to what I played with as a skinny teenager in the 90s. Then I hit a ball with it; So much power!

    The biggest surprise for me was how large the sweat spot feels. I guess this is the major improvement in design in the past 20 years. It is also a bit larger than my old stick. It feels very headlight to me** which feels good at the net. Yes, I still play that kind of tennis. It's not like Nadal is on the other side of the net to counter with passing shots and topspin lobs on the run. Anyway, I feel like I can volley deep and change direction quickly with this stick.

    I have a one-handed backhand and this racquet feels great one both slice and topspin backhands from the baseline to various angles.

    I can't comment much on the serve, as it is the weakest part of my game. There seems to be a lot of power on tap, but my accuracy is lacking. This is due to my natural abilities / technique. I'm working on it with my coach, so don't hold it against the racquet.

    All in all, I'm happy with this stick. Will probably try natural gut when I restring. I think if you are an intermediate player or returning to the game you should demo it. If you get it, make sure you buy the flashiest fluorescent over-grips. Might as well embrace the look.

    * Wilson Sensation 16g string
    ** 32.0cm / 8Pts HL is written on the throat, whatever that means
     
    #50

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