Wilson Steam 99S - Anyone else having this issue?

Discussion in 'Racquets' started by JackB1, Feb 11, 2013.

  1. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    please read my post here in my review thread:

    http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showpost.php?p=7205582&postcount=27

    I am curious if I am alone in this issue I am having with the control of the 99S? It's seems like it's either "feast or famine" for me with this stick and I don't know if it's me or the stringbed? I haven't had any of the string breakage issues some are having and I am not sure if this problem is due to the full poly job losing tension after a few hours or not? Maybe I should measure the tension with my iphone app and see how much it dropped since I got it 1 week ago?
     
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  2. jjs891

    jjs891 Semi-Pro

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    I would think its the string losing elasticity sooner than in other racquets.

    Definitely change strings before giving up on the frame. From what I read, it needs fresh string job very often.
     
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  3. Buford T Justice

    Buford T Justice Semi-Pro

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    Not trying to be a broken record....but lube the strings (hand lotion) and try again....if the control you want comes back, its because the strings are able to more back to neutral.

    If it solves your problem, there are 2 choices. Restring every 2-3 hours or hand lotion. I took the hand lotion approach. It seriously seriously works. Plus, if you pick, as I did, my daughters "Night Time Sleepy Lavender Lotion" youll smell nice. Plus, youll have the smoothest, most well conditioned left hand in tennis. (I apply the lotion using my left hand as I am a righty.....)
     
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  4. Buford T Justice

    Buford T Justice Semi-Pro

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    After trying out various tensions, it is my opinion that higher is needed in this frame. Lower tension (35 lb) was for me, unplayable. The strings would not move back to neutral even after the first hit.
     
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  5. Dgdavid

    Dgdavid Professional

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    You smooth hand cream on both sides and rub it in? Does that affect grip on the ball?
     
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  6. Buford T Justice

    Buford T Justice Semi-Pro

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    Yes, just a very light bit (small squirt on fingertip) goes a long way. I apply it maybe every other changeover or so as it only takes maybe 5-10 seconds.

    It will make the strings play literally like new. I dont know how it affects the friction between ball and strings (suspect it is miniscule)...but it most definitely increases the force applied to the ball when the strings move back to neutral.
     
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  7. Buford T Justice

    Buford T Justice Semi-Pro

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    #7
  8. Rabbit

    Rabbit G.O.A.T.

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    I don't find any problems with control.
     
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  9. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    I am not going to restring weekly. I have been getting by (easily) with monthly with my poly/syngut combo in other open pattern racquets.
     
    #9
  10. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    This sounds a little wacky to me. Apply hand lotion to your strings?
    Has anyone else heard of this????
     
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  11. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    Rabbit.....what level are you and how long have you used one stringbed for?
    You didn't see any major ups and downs in your play? Do you swing long and hard all the time?
     
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  12. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    I dont think this is my issue. The strings are staying centered pretty much and appear to be snapping back. I think it's more of a tension loss/power issue.
     
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  13. Rabbit

    Rabbit G.O.A.T.

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    I'm a 4.5. Right now, I've got 9 sets on a set of Wilson Spin Cycle 16L. Your last question is kind of hard to answer. In the 4.5 and below range, I guess I hit as hard as anyone. I played yesterday with a couple of 5.0s and a fellow 4.5, and the 5.0s hit much harder than I do. BTW, the Spin Cycle is about to go I suspect so it's at the end of its life for me. Yesterday though I really didn't see any drop in power or control from when it was new. I served lights out up until the last ball. And groundies were spot on.
     
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  14. Buford T Justice

    Buford T Justice Semi-Pro

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    Its been discussed off and on a few times on TT. I posted a link above to one of the chats.

    Its also been evaluated by ITF and determined to be valid and legal.
     
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  15. racertempo

    racertempo Semi-Pro

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    NO control problems for me on the 99s or my 105s so far. Played 3 sets yesterday and it is just about the same control as the Yonex frames I have played in the past few years. I am playing with a 17g MSV at 52# in the 99s and 54# in the 105s. However, i don't often take big long swings at the ball, I am glued as much as possible in doubles to 1-2' from the net, so yesterday I hit a small amount of strokes from back for 3 sets. I love the volley control on both frames right now.

    I am actually finding more control right now in the 105s actually.....but I that will remain to be seen when string gets a little older in both frames.
     
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  16. Buford T Justice

    Buford T Justice Semi-Pro

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    #16
  17. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    thanks.

    maybe the 99s requires a better player than I thought? It seemed intended for the rec level (3.5) but may require consistent form and footwork to kee p the ball inside the lines?
     
    #17
  18. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    like I said....my strings are not all out of alignment much at all, so I think they are still snapping back.
     
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  19. Buford T Justice

    Buford T Justice Semi-Pro

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    Jack-

    Are your strings notched?

    [​IMG]
     
    #19
  20. Buford T Justice

    Buford T Justice Semi-Pro

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    The above photo is Gosen Polylon 16 after 12 sets, using hand lotion.

    The below photo is Snakebite 17 after 3 sets without hand lotion. Not an apples to apples test of course, but the string wear is definitely alot less per set played in the upper photo.

    [​IMG]
     
    #20
  21. Buford T Justice

    Buford T Justice Semi-Pro

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    The bottom line with this frame appears to be......if the strings are not notching, then this frame is probably not giving you the extra spin (as the mains arent constantly sliding back and forth.). I think the best we can do is limit friction between strings to extend stringbed life.

    Now, if one hits flatter, then such notching is not going to be as bad. But, as many have posted, this frame is probably not a good fit for a flat hitter. Personally, I cant flatten a ball out to save my life so this frame is a good fit.
     
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  22. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    I'll check later, but I remember the crosses were notched on the mains (would click into place), but the mains were still sliding along the crosses.
    This was last time I checked.
     
    #22
  23. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    I hit a semi topspin ball......not loopy but not flat either. I tend to drive it somewhat and not overly brush it. I'll see if I can find a link to one of my videos of myself hitting. Edit: this should give you an idea of how I hit: http://youtu.be/2kDYRzz-8to
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2013
    #23
  24. Rabbit

    Rabbit G.O.A.T.

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    You know, it could have just been the basic "honeymoon" scenario. I think it'll work fine for any level player. The headsize and weight are right in line with what many levels use.

    From my standpoint, after a 4 month layoff due to injury, I think I'm hitting far and away better than I would have had I tried the same with the C10. The 99s is lots easier to play with. Then again, I much prefer more open patterned string beds and racquets that tend to be labeled spinny.

    I semi-disagree. While the snap back certainly does help, the overly open string pattern probably lends more to spin production. I've found that even with the strings notched considerably (near breaking), I'm still getting great action on the ball. The ultimate determiner of spin is technique.
     
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  25. Buford T Justice

    Buford T Justice Semi-Pro

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    Arent these two the same thing?
     
    #25
  26. Buford T Justice

    Buford T Justice Semi-Pro

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    Yes, me too. With the previously mentioned lotion, when they are notched badly and on the edge of breaking, they still play "new" feeling IMO.

    String type may make a difference as well. I am just using cheapo Polylon 16.
     
    #26
  27. Buford T Justice

    Buford T Justice Semi-Pro

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    Ok...thats what you should see. The mains are actually the notched strings (i.e. the strings missing material), and because of that tend to "lock" on the crosses. The crosses themselves are not missing material.
     
    #27
  28. Buford T Justice

    Buford T Justice Semi-Pro

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    Yes....IMO you do hit right in the middle.

    I am (unfortunately or fotunately....not sure which.....) hit less flat and as such I suppose thats why this frame suits me. I counted last night, and in 3 sets I hit like 5 balls long! This frame with a high to low stroke really keeps the balls in. The flipside of course is......it can also leave alot of short balls. But, for me, Ill take that tradeoff as 1) it still makes the other guy hit one more ball (vs giving him the point with a ball that is long) and 2) the short balls it does give up do kick pretty hard (thats the frame not necessarily me) so unless someone catches it on the rise it will not generally be a simple easy ball.
     
    #28
  29. ttwarrior1

    ttwarrior1 Professional

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    u people are unreal, still have same strings from 7 years ago
     
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  30. Ross K

    Ross K Legend

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    Riiiight...

    Okaaaaay...
     
    #30
  31. Mongolmike

    Mongolmike Professional

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    Using the 105s, my strings are noticably notched after about 2 hours play, and after 4-6 hours they look like they could pop anytime. And the deeper they are notched, of course the harder they are to manually move the strings out of the notch to inspect.

    I wonder if this deeper notching is part of the launch problem... if during a match with deeply notched strings, if you take an easier swing or a defensive swing without using a lot of topspin... maybe the strings are "locked" in the notch, giving a trampoline effect rather than the impact energy being put into moving the strings along out of place so they snap back? Newly strung un-notched strings slide easily, heavily notched strings do not slide without sufficient topspin applied?
     
    #31
  32. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    you could be onto something here ??????
     
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  33. ollinger

    ollinger Legend

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    I'm beginning to understand why most of the better players prefer tight string patterns.
     
    #33
  34. mad dog1

    mad dog1 Hall of Fame

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    worn strings don't provide as much spin as new strings because the string bed surface is 'flatter' because the crosses are 'sinking' into the mains due to notching. in other words, the raised ridges at the intersection of the mains & crosses are less pronounced and therefore the stringbed isn't able to grab the ball as well. the same reason why worn tires don't grip or bite as well in the snow as new tires.
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2013
    #34
  35. Buford T Justice

    Buford T Justice Semi-Pro

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    I feel like quoting Dr. Seuss here for some reason..."try it try it, you shall see...." LOL
     
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  36. Dgdavid

    Dgdavid Professional

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    i had baby lotion ready for tonight's match but totally bottled it at game time. i think i would have looked a proper knob so decided against it. i'm sure it works but can't be rubbing cream onto tennis strings, life is too short!
     
    #36
  37. Buford T Justice

    Buford T Justice Semi-Pro

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    The mains stay notched onto the crosses such that the crosses don't move up or down. I don't seem to notice any ill effects from this, but when the mains do not slide back along their notches to the normal neutral position, it seems like the balls start going long, presumably because they have less topspin to bring them down. Who knows......
     
    #37
  38. Buford T Justice

    Buford T Justice Semi-Pro

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    Ha! I make a point to show people I am doing it!

    In fact, some I have shown this to wanted to try it as well and guess what? They now carry hand lotion in their bags.
     
    #38
  39. tlm

    tlm Legend

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    I tried to tell you that a few weeks ago but you thought this overhyped granny stick was perfect.
     
    #39
  40. Rafaboy

    Rafaboy Rookie

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    Ive had the same problem. After a few days of use, my 99s started to feel mushy and not precise. I thought it was just me. But now ,i know it was the strings losening, because i own two 99s, and switched off to the one with the fresh string job,(same strings, tension) and it felt crisp and easy to play again.

    But i also learned to work with the mushy one, as it seemed to be a matter of feel. Still prefer the fresh one, and i will get the mushy one restrung soon.

    poly @ 61#, level 5.0
     
    #40
  41. racertempo

    racertempo Semi-Pro

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    No, you were pushing the idea that the stick was a rocket launcher, and that is not the problem that people are having.
     
    #41
  42. mad dog1

    mad dog1 Hall of Fame

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    the steam 99s just chews up string and spits it out. it'll either break in under 4 hrs or even if it's not broken, it'll be dead. gotta restring this stick often if you expect consistent playability.
     
    #42
  43. hisrob777

    hisrob777 Rookie

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    Hehe. Touché
     
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  44. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    Guys...my issue isn't string breakage and I'm not even sure it's a tension issue or not? I just wanted to see how many may be having similar control issues?
     
    #44
  45. gameboy

    gameboy Hall of Fame

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    This entire thread could be on a porn site with very few words switched out...
     
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  46. mad dog1

    mad dog1 Hall of Fame

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    that's a good idea. maybe you should measure the tension w/ your iphone. i wouldn't be surprised in the least that tension loss is the source of your recent control issues. after all, hard hitters are reporting string movement in the first 30 to 60 mins of hitting and breakage before 4 hours. you might not be a hard hitter, but you're certainly not immune to tension loss. poly strings are equal opportunity tension losers. they don't discriminate by player. ;)
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2013
    #46
  47. hisrob777

    hisrob777 Rookie

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    That's so wrong but I still laughed.
     
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  48. tlm

    tlm Legend

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    The racket will not hold tension for more than an hour and then it is a rocket launcher just like I said.
     
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  49. Rafaboy

    Rafaboy Rookie

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    you were concerned about the tension in your OP, but now you say youre taking a survey? this is annoying, esp after everyone is trying to help your problem.
     
    #49
  50. Broly4

    Broly4 Rookie

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    With the tension loss rate and the mains moving so wildly, one shot is with an 16x15, next 18x15, last 14x15... still fun to play and challenging for your muscle memory.
     
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