Wilson Steam; 99S or 105S?

Discussion in 'Racquets' started by gameboy, Jan 19, 2013.

  1. gameboy

    gameboy Hall of Fame

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    I am really excited about this new racquet as my game is all about spin. I can't hit flat even when I want to. I am seriously thinking about getting this racquet (perhaps even before the club tourney on Thu!).

    However, I can't decide which model to get. I currently play 2012 PD, but until PD, I mostly played Prince OS racquets (NXG OS is still near and dear to my heart).

    The TW review seems to knock the 105S for stability, but I am guessing I can just use lead tape to make the racquet feel just like my old NXG.

    Or should I just go with 99S since that is the model that everyone seems to love?

    What do I DO????
     
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2013
    #1
  2. Francis27

    Francis27 Semi-Pro

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    I would get the 99S because the 105S was too powerful for me unless you need some power then the 105S is a good choice. But i like the 99S because it gives me controlled power and spin.
     
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  3. racertempo

    racertempo Semi-Pro

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    I demo'd and ordered 1 of each, if you are used to an OS frame I would go with the 105s. Is it more powerful then the 99s? Of course it is, but the specs are almost identical in swing weight and total weight, and it is actually even more head light then the 99s. It just has a larger sweet spot then the 99s and a very slightly thicker beam, but otherwise it is an amazing frame. It is very hard to find a 105 frame that is very head light like this one as most are even or HH, and most OS frames do not have a SW above 310 or 315 tops.....yet the 105s has a 333.

    I do love them both, and my plan is to use the 99 in singles and 105 in doubles for the extra size and extra HL for net play which I prefer, so you cannot go wrong in your decision.
     
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  4. gameboy

    gameboy Hall of Fame

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    Racertempo, thanks for the info.

    I am definitely leaning towards 105s as with very little modification, I think I can get it playing like my old Prince OS racquets (with more spin!!!).

    Damn, and I just switched over to Pure Drive too...
     
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  5. racertempo

    racertempo Semi-Pro

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    I know I know.........I ended up doing 1 of each because I could not decide, the 99s has a shockingly nice size sweet spot for Wilson and a 99in, and I play Yonex normally due to the sweet spot size. But like I mentioned, it is so hard to find a 104-105in frame with that kind of total weight, SW, and balance. Obviously more power will be there, but you will like it after you get used to the fact that you have to trust that the spin is there and will drop the ball. My biggest problem is that hitting my normal stroke with this frame drops the ball far too short in the court from the spin, but just 1 ball machine session I was trusting it and hitting deeper and harder.

    Serves with this thing are the best part, much more kick and spin. Just make sure to get the right string combination for what you like. The recommended tension for the 105 is 57-67, but many people have posted that they did 50 with much much success. I had mine done with full poly at 52, I selected MSV Co-Focus 16g for the 105 and it has a nice soft feel. Too much power, crank the tension up around 60 or 62.
     
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  6. tlm

    tlm Legend

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    It depends do you want rocket launcher or super rocket launcher?
     
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  7. couch

    couch Hall of Fame

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    Don't worry. If you can play tennis these racquets aren't racquet launchers. Just put some good 16g poly in the racquet and have fun. The racquet hits with lots of spin and the ball will dip in if you know what you're doing.

    Personally, if you've played the PD in the past the 99S, I think, would be a better fit for you. Just demo both of them and see which one you like the most. My bet is on the 99S. Really good stick.
     
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  8. tlm

    tlm Legend

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    I can play tennis with no problems, but if you have full strokes even with a lot of spin these rackets are a little to powerful. Unless you really don't know how to hit the ball hard and you need the extra power. To me it had good power and was pretty good on approach shots, you just have to let it go and rip it and with enough spin the ball goes down pretty well. But on average rallys or on the slice backhand it was easy to float the ball long.
     
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2013
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  9. gameboy

    gameboy Hall of Fame

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    Got my 105S today!!! I really want to get out there and hit tonight, but my wife is out of town and I need to stay home with my daughter.

    Got it strung with 4G at 65lb. Based on the feedback, I figure going towards the higher end of recommended range should tone down the power a bit.

    The swingweight feel pretty similar to my NXT OS, but the head does not look very large. I probably would have believed it if the graphics said 99S.

    I am just itchin' to try out this bad boy. Will report back after my first impression.
     
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  10. couch

    couch Hall of Fame

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    Looks like you have come around a little on the 99S in the other thread. A nice thick poly, full bed, in this thing works wonders. These sticks, set up how they are supposed to be, are nice weapons in the right hands.

    I am getting more and more accustomed to my 99S. The last singles match I played my opponent said he kept thinking balls were going to fly out but they kept dipping in at the last moment.

    racertempo- enjoy the 105S. Keep us posted on your findings.
     
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  11. tlm

    tlm Legend

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    I am trying to make this racket work because it can do some really good things, it is just wether I can get it to the level of control that I like.
     
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  12. gameboy

    gameboy Hall of Fame

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    I finally got to hit with my brand spanking new Steam 105s tonight!!!

    I took it to my club tourney and promptly got waxed 1-6, 1-6.

    Yes, taking a brand new racquet that you have never tried before to a match is probably not the best idea, but there was no way I was leaving this baby in the bag.

    I see why the ladies at TW and others are not fond of this racquet. You REALLY need to hit with authority to get this racquet to perform. Any half-ass swing results in a floater that sails long. If you are a flat-ball hitter, you will hate this racquet. But when you swing with authority, the ball just pops and it is heavy with almost effortless power.

    The main reason I couldn't do anything with it was because I didn't have a single service game where I didn't double fault at least 3 times. I just couldn't figure out how to serve with this racquet. Everything I hit was going long. I think this will take me awhile.

    The other thing that killed me was my slice back-hand. When I hit a slice with my Pure Drive, it is driving and low. With Steam 105s, it was floating a lot and sailing long. When I try to drive it more, it was hitting the tape a lot. Again, I need some adjustment time here.

    The forehand was fabulous. Good control, depth, and power. It is quite addicting. The swingweight is perfect. I don't think I am going to mess with any lead. It is almost like hitting with my old NXG OS, but easier.

    The volleys are also quite good. Good touch and nice response from short strokes.

    Also, the racquet is surprisingly comfortable. Even with it strung at 65lb with 4G, it felt flush. It was more comfortable than my Pure Drive strung with Hurricane at 55lbs.

    I have another match tomorrow and hopefully I will figure out my serving woes. Wish me luck.
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2013
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  13. racertempo

    racertempo Semi-Pro

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    I spent an hour with it on the ball machine before taking it to a match and had similar issues, but I am a flat ball hitter by nature with very very low net clearance usually. SO my adjustment was that EVER ball was dropping very short in the court or into the net. It really took me the better part of the hour to trust my strokes and learn that I can shoot for the baseline and it would drop well in, but deep in the court like I needed.

    Backhand slice and serve were not an issue for me like you had, but I don't really attack those shots as much as many others probably do. My mentality if probably different then most with a new frame.......I turn the "volume" of my game down significantly and turn it up little by little to see what I can do with it. Most others that I play with just swing like they always do and that seems to be really giving 99s and 105s people some fits because it is SO SO much different.

    I also only plan on the 105s during doubles for the easy power and quick play, I feel like I would have similar issues as you if I played singles it. I eventually will when the weather is better for the comparison, but that might be a few weeks with our weather right now. Let us know how the next one goes.
     
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  14. gameboy

    gameboy Hall of Fame

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    Oh, boy, this is definitely an experiment...

    This morning I went against the best player in my flight. I was able to work out the double fault issues mostly, but ended up losing 2-6, 3-6.

    The opponent hit pretty hard and when we were trading blows, it was great. But I had no backhand. Everything floated long on my backhand and I just couldn't get any rally going. However, there were several balls where I was sure I hit long and gave up on the play but my opponent kept playing on. That was definitely unusual.

    In the second match, I went against the opponent that I probably could have beaten with my regular racquet, but ended up losing 4-6, 2-6. I just couldn't hit more than 3 shots in a row. Pretty much every defensive shot I hit was going long. I just couldn't control the depth on my service returns.

    It got to the point where I was trying to brush up so hard that I started mis-hitting and dumped a ton of balls into the net. It was not pretty.

    Man, I do see a ton of potential with this racquet. My volleys are just solid and few of my kickers were going over the shoulders of my opponent. But I am not sure if I can get as consistent with this racquet as I can with my Pure Drive.

    I definitely will keep using this racquet for my doubles matches. Will have to see if I can tame this beast for singles. I have one more match tomorrow. Let's see if I get any better.

    BTW, after 3 hours or so, 4G is starting to move around. Pretty disappointing as all poly string jobs usually don't slide this much this early for me usually. I think I am going to need to experiment with other strings.
     
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  15. racertempo

    racertempo Semi-Pro

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    I would not worry about trying to brush up too much and just let it do its thing, I hardly brush up at all and it helps. You have played three singles matches so I am not surprised with the string moving too much considering the number of balls you have hit in the past 2 days. Keep working on it, like you said, it is a beast that once tamed is an absolute weapon, and if you play any doubles you will love it there with such a crisp/sweet feel on volleys as you have noted.

    Maybe i am rare in this thinking, but I like different specs and frames for singles and doubles. It is 2 different games and 2 vastly different playing requirements, so why not use different frames to compliment each game is my thinking, and that 105s has easy power and great feel, exactly what I want in doubles.
     
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  16. gameboy

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    Just finished the final match. Lost 1-6, 3-6.

    The match was actually a lot closer than the score indicates. Most of the games went deuce or 40-30. I really concentrated on my wrist snap and that helped bring the ball down. But my backhand was still very inconsistent and my slices let me down time and time again.

    I am still learning how to serve with this racquet and as such, I was not putting much pace into my serves and I really had a tough time holding my serves. Most of the games I won came from breaking my opponent's serves.

    I feel like I am getting closer to understanding what this racquet can/cannot do, but it will take me awhile before I can play as well as I can with my Pure Drive.

    The only question is deciding whether or not the additional time and effort that will be required for me to get proficient with this racquet is worth the investment. I am not sure. If I was just demoing this racquet, I don't think I would have purchased it. I am having a bit of buyer's remorse right now.

    This is a very finicky racquet, with very little margin for error. Unless you hit shots with authority, you are going to make a ton of unforced errors. I am having a devil of a time trying to get into a rally where I can hit more that 2 or 3 shots in a row. I've never had this much problem getting used to a new racquet before.

    I want to play more doubles and see whether or not this racquet can do for me what it could not in singles.

    After the match, my opponent (who uses a Pure Drive) took a few swings with my racquet and out of 4 swings he took, 2 of them hit the curtains. At least I can get it down before the curtains now... :)
     
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  17. Lakers4Life

    Lakers4Life Hall of Fame

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    A client of mine, was using a Triad 4.0, decided to pick up a Steam 105s. I was surprised that the 105 is lighter than the 99s, even though it has a thicker beam. He also opted to use Lux 4G at @ 62 lbs. This is going to be fun. BTW I recently picked up the 99s, and it's a fun racket to hit with. Though I have not played a real match other than rally and hit a few serves.
     
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  18. racertempo

    racertempo Semi-Pro

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    Larger frames with bigger beams are 95% of the time lighter then the smaller head sizes and beams. The surprising and different thing with the 105s is that it is actually so heavy compared to other 105" head sizes. Most are 9.0-10.5 strung. Additionally, most are even balance or a little head heavy....but the 105s is 8HL.....those specs are exactly why I bought one.
     
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  19. Mick3391

    Mick3391 Professional

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    The 99S is HORRIBLE. You better demo it before you buy it because you'll hat it. I guess some might like it, but I can't imagine who. Better spin for me with anything.
     
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  20. ttwarrior1

    ttwarrior1 Professional

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    surprised i cant find anything on the 105 here on the forums really. I only use extended rackets
     
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  21. gameboy

    gameboy Hall of Fame

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    I probably should post some updates.

    I broke my bed of 4G after about 5 hours. Did not like the string at all. It had no feel and spin production was modest at best. Babolat Hurricanes are stiff too, but at least they give you some sweet spin, 4G is just meh all around.

    Replaced 4G with a full bed of ALU Power (16L) and that was just sweet. Played great right up to the break about 3 hours in. If I was going with a full poly job on this racquet, I am going to stick with ALU Power.

    I have replaced the ALU with a Klip Nat Gut main and ALU crosses (60lbs). Took it out to the USTA doubles match and won. I may stick with the hybrids on this racquet for awhile and see how it goes (just ordered a whole lotta strings from TW!).

    I REALLY like this racquet for doubles play. My volleys are just solid, even reflexive ones. This stick is just built for the serve-and-volley game.

    The groundies are great on full stroke and I am getting more used to them. But when I short arm service returns, I am sailing most of them long. I really need to put a good stroke with this racquet.

    When ALU broke I was hitting with a teammate and when I switched to PD, I definitely noticed that the balls were a little shorter and had little less spin. I was causing more opponent errors with the Steam 105s.

    It's a good thing I mostly play doubles in USTA...
     
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  22. ttwarrior1

    ttwarrior1 Professional

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    how do people break strings all the time, never broke one ever
     
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  23. racertempo

    racertempo Semi-Pro

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    because you are amazing.
     
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  24. racertempo

    racertempo Semi-Pro

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    Thanks for the update, I was wondering what your thoughts were as you were not loving the 105s and I remember saying to give it a go good in doubles play. I feel the exact same about my 105s, I struggle with reflexive serve returns and defensive ground strokes, but the frame is great for volleys and the serve volley game, which I live on.

    I think I am going to try the Gosen Polymaster string that is rectangular in there soon, the one that is 1.02x1.46 in size.
     
    #24
  25. jmac999

    jmac999 New User

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    Pure Drive

    If you have any arm issues stay away from the Pure Drive. Even if you don't, unless you have a very consistent perfect swing you soon may have. As great as this racquet hits, I think there are better choices with less stiff racquets.

    After having elbow surgery, during my 90 day recovery, I researched racquets and strings daily. Most seemed to say 67 stiffness was the most anyone should go if they have any arm or elbow issues; moreover they seemed to point to frames with low 60 tensions. I currently have been playing with a 99S and have 105S on order. Like some others I think the 105 will be a great doubles racquet.
     
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  26. racertempo

    racertempo Semi-Pro

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    I played singles recently and ended up liking the 105s quite a bit more then the 99s, just fits my game better. I wish I had bought 2 of the 105s and not the 99s, but maybe I'll work into it over time.

    Check out this link to the power-map from TW:

    http://twu.tennis-warehouse.com/cgi...etD=WJ100|100|Wilson|BLX:Juice:100|RCWILSON|x

    I am shocked how high the 99s rates and even more shocked how that the 105s is even higher, the size of the sweet spot is one of my biggest things. I tried many other Wilson frames and other brands but could not find one with a sweet spot as big as my Yonex frames. But these Steam S models do the job for sure, biggest sweet spot I have ever played with.

    The Juice has a higher number at the far end of the head and the throat, but at every other location the steams are higher ratings, including the far ends at 3 and 9 on the frame. Love them!
     
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  27. gameboy

    gameboy Hall of Fame

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    I never had arm problems with PureDrive nor 105s (I do have a partially torn rotator cuff, but that happened long before with much flexier racquets). I have played a lot of flexy frames in the past (Prince POG OS, NXG OS, etc.) and honestly, I feel no difference in pain between stiff and flexy frames. I usually play with gut, so that probably helps, but even with full bed of poly, I don't get elbow pains.

    Back to the 105s string jobs, ALU broke after about 4 hours, but it played great right up to the break. Next, I tried Klip Natural main with ALU cross. That was just sublime. Great feel, control, plenty of spin, pretty much nirvana. It lasted longer than 4G as well. I got 6 or 7 hours on it. If I had an important match coming up, I would go with gut/ALU hybrid.

    Currently I have Gosen Sidewinder (full bed) on the frame and I am liking it. The color matches the frame really well and it is a very soft poly with performance similar to ALU. Hopefully, this will last a bit longer than ALU.

    My game is a bit inconsistent with this frame. The volleys are great and is definitely the thing that I like most about this frame. The ground strokes are fine and there is plenty of spin, but my service returns and serves are very erratic.

    The thing that you really notice about this racquet is that you cannot be lazy with your swing. Whenever I make a lazy swing, the ball floats and sail long. I have to make sure I make an authoritative swing and drive through the ball. That goes double for the serves. Sometimes, when I get a little tight, my service swing slows down (nervous about trying to get it in). That almost always results in a long serve. If I don't make sure I swing hard through the ball, the serves are very hard to control. I can get away with so much more with PureDrive, but not so much with 105S.

    I played PD while my string was broken and MAN is that racquet easy. It was just so much easier to hit all the shots that it was quite addicting. I almost thought about just getting rid of 105S.

    But today's doubles session was very good and this racquet is just fun enough to keep drawing me back in.
     
    #27
  28. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    If there's 1 word that describes this the 99S the best I would say its "erratic".
     
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  29. usta2050

    usta2050 Rookie

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    what you describe sounds like 105 doesn't have much of a feedback to the hitter. 99s has a little feel but it's not flat beam. I guess when Wilson coms out with the flatbeam 15/16s, we will all be switching. LOL. Good marketing plan.

     
    #29
  30. purple-n-gold

    purple-n-gold Professional

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    The 105s have sold out at my club this week, everybody loves this racket.
     
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  31. racertempo

    racertempo Semi-Pro

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    I love the 105s, played 3 sets of doubles with it yesterday from the deuce side, and I normally only play the AD side in doubles. The reason I prefer ad is it keeps my forehand in the middle, but mainly the serve return is easier IMO. I HATE the serve return from the deuce because you really have to commit and hit a solid forehand cross court, across your body.

    I hit that ball amazing all day with the 105s, I am so darm confident and comfortable with this frame, it just fits my game so well. We won a 4.0 league match 6-1, 6-1, and won a third set for fun at 6-3 since the first 2 went so fast. The serves are what feels best for me with this frame though, adds good spin, but the flat one has great pop for me. Anyone want to buy my 99s :)
     
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