Wilson will shut down Vortex

Discussion in 'Racquets' started by The Dark Knight, Oct 7, 2012.

  1. The Dark Knight

    The Dark Knight Legend

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2012
    Messages:
    6,340
    Wilson Goes For More Spin With Steam Rackets

    Written by: Staff on 21st September 2012

    Wilson has announced what it calls the newest in tennis racket technology for 2013 with the launch of Spin Effect Technology, its patent-pending racket technology that its said to dramatically increase spin. It is said to be the first racket system enabling players to add over 200 RPMs on their shots without needing to change their swing. Two rackets, the Steam 99S and Steam 105S, feature Spin Effect Technology and will debut in January 2013.

     

    “This racket design is a significant breakthrough,” said Jon Muir, general manager for Wilson . “Our R&D and Product teams spent significant time testing, analyzing technologies and developing different racket designs that enhance spin and playability. We have something really special in the Steam 99S and Steam 105S. In the end, players will see their degree of spin increase. It is essentially the same as lowering the net by two inches and extending the court by a foot. The bottom line is that more shots make it over the net and stay in play.”

     

    Wilson investigated the correlation between string pattern, racket design and spin and discovered that fewer cross strings were a key driver of maximizing string movement along with faster snapback speed to generate more spin.

     

    John Lyons, Global Products Director for Wilson noticed that players don’t want to shorten their swing, but still want increased spin, so Wilson went for a complete racket redesign.  The Steam is said to be the first racket that provides up to 3.3 times more string movement and 69 percent faster snap back.

     

    Lyons added they will recommend that players using the Spin Effect Technology also use the Luxilon 4g string to get the most out of the technology. This is the string that Serena Williams switched to, at least on half her strings, earlier in 2012.
     
    #1
  2. LanEvo

    LanEvo Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2007
    Messages:
    2,656
    So then... I wonder how big those headsizes will be...
     
    #2
  3. zapvor

    zapvor Legend

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2006
    Messages:
    9,132
    Location:
    tennis courts
    this was posted like a week ago........
     
    #3
  4. The Dark Knight

    The Dark Knight Legend

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2012
    Messages:
    6,340
    Really....where?
     
    #4
  5. The Dark Knight

    The Dark Knight Legend

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2012
    Messages:
    6,340
    I counted the pattern an it's 16x15

    The vortex es 100 i14 x 16
     
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2012
    #5
  6. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2004
    Messages:
    43,461
    I say - BAN IT NOW!!!

    Are there no limits? What's next? A racquet that plays for you while you sit in the shade sipping an iced tea?

    It's out of control. We need to go back to wood racquets and gut strings so that it's only the player himself that generates all the power and spin without all of this "technology" doing it for you. Or else how do we know who the better player REALLY is instead of just who's using the better technology/equipment? It should be YOU that's generating the spin, NOT your strings nor your racquet.
     
    #6
  7. Pete.Sampras.

    Pete.Sampras. Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2007
    Messages:
    515
    I totally agree with that. It should be all about the player. Besides, the game does not need more spin that it already has...
     
    #7
  8. Justin-JP

    Justin-JP Rookie

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2011
    Messages:
    109
    I would hope that is tongue-in-cheek. There is nothing new about fewer crosses allowing the mains to move more freely (at the expense of some control, typically). I can imagine the only R&D Wilson spent on this was down the coffee shop thinking up the next gimmick.
     
    #8
  9. uk_skippy

    uk_skippy Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2004
    Messages:
    2,048
    Location:
    Waterlooville, Hampshire, UK
    It's not like Prince already had this type of system in production about 6 months ago, and had a junior using it since before Wimbledon.

    Also, can't see how less (cross) strings can be patented by Wilson unless the frame contains other technology; but then why call it part of an existing line and not a separate new line.

    Regards

    Paul
     
    #9
  10. themitchmann

    themitchmann Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    May 29, 2007
    Messages:
    2,619
    Good point. Also, if Wilson really believes in this "tech," why are they only releasing 2 frames with these patterns?
     
    #10
  11. uk_skippy

    uk_skippy Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2004
    Messages:
    2,048
    Location:
    Waterlooville, Hampshire, UK
    Not convinced of it yet?

    I know Prince have at least 3 frames ready, plus a 'special' string for these racquets. If Wilson recommend using 4G, then players are going to rip through it quickly and then moan at the extra expense of stringing more often.

    Still, shouldn't complain if I get more business from it ;-)

    Regards

    Paul
     
    #11
  12. The Dark Knight

    The Dark Knight Legend

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2012
    Messages:
    6,340
    Your right ....the racquet is actually modeled after the woodforde racquet .

    He used a snauwert hi ten and then Wilson took it over as well way back then.

    Nothing revolutionary here.
     
    #12
  13. The Dark Knight

    The Dark Knight Legend

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2012
    Messages:
    6,340
    Omg prince as well????

    I'm going to have to change my quote. The vortex secret is out now. My secret is over and my friends will now beat me. :-(

    I wonder what will happen to vortex ? I don't see how they will compete with Wilson and prince ?

    The only thing Vortex has going for them is that they have an even more open string pattern at 14x16. Also the string pattern is in the shape of a "V".

    It truly does make quite a difference .

    Maybe now that Wilson and Prince have copied the Vortex technology maybe more people will be accepting of Vortex? But I doubt anyone is going to choose Vortex over Wilson or prince.

    Vortex does have a jump start because it has more models......but if you want a sneak peak at the Wilson or prince try a vortex.......I absolutely love this technology .

    I have tried almost all of them. My favorite is the tour 100.....

    But here's a quick rundown of the different models inhabe tried:


    Es 100....thick beamed all around racquet . Its a babolat APD plus on steroids

    Es 105- same as the 100 but with more spin

    Es 116- doubles stick. Chip am charge baby

    Es 133- a far better big bubba. Fun to hit with . Could not stop laughing .

    Tour 95- the same as a Kblade or donnay pro on just better in every way.'

    Tour 100- my racquet of choice. Just a bit more power than the tour 95.
     
    #13
  14. Rock Strongo

    Rock Strongo Legend

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2010
    Messages:
    7,690
    Location:
    Sweden
    I should remind you of the Snauwaert Hi-Ten of the 80's.
     
    #14
  15. The Dark Knight

    The Dark Knight Legend

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2012
    Messages:
    6,340
    I agree and I don't know how Vortex patented its pattern either . They claim the pattern is "V" shaped??? But I don't see how you can patent that either ?

    I think the reality is you can patent anything . The patent office is more than happy to take your money and patent anything .

    However if the patent is challenged then you have a problem. Wilson basically has copied Vortex and I don't think Vortex can do anything about it . If vortex sues Wilson then wilson will defend itself by saying that Vortex created nothing unique and the racquet should never have been patented in the first place.

    R.I.P. Vortex. :-(
     
    #15
  16. SFrazeur

    SFrazeur Legend

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2006
    Messages:
    6,480
    Location:
    Arkansas
    I agree! Let's retroactively BAN all late '70s and '80s Prince racquets with 14x18 string patterns! YEAH!

    Oh wait. . . that would be stupid.

    -SF
     
    #16
  17. Chotobaka

    Chotobaka Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    May 19, 2012
    Messages:
    2,497
    Thank you. Ninja'd me, but thanks nonetheless. Knowledge of racquet history and perspective is sadly lacking in these parts.
     
    #17
  18. Power Player

    Power Player G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2008
    Messages:
    19,992
    Location:
    On my iPhone
    This is a joke right?

    As stated, Prince sticks were like this back in the 80s and 90s. Honestly, I dont see a major advantage to patterns that open anyway. If you like blazing through strings every 2 days then enjoy. Personally I dont see the need for that much spin since I am happy with what I get now.
     
    #18
  19. Larrysümmers

    Larrysümmers Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2009
    Messages:
    3,995
    Location:
    1313 Mockingbird Lane.
    this is exactly what Fed needs to get back to his supreme championship form.
     
    #19
  20. Ronaldo

    Ronaldo G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2004
    Messages:
    14,220
    99 and 105 inches?
     
    #20
  21. zapvor

    zapvor Legend

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2006
    Messages:
    9,132
    Location:
    tennis courts
    eh if you search you will find it.
     
    #21
  22. esgee48

    esgee48 Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    May 30, 2010
    Messages:
    2,358
    Location:
    SF, CA
    I'm sure Vortex will dispute the patents. There's too much prior evidence of racquets with 'similar' patterns. If a patent is disputed before it's granted, then it is cheaper to just point to the older frames. What Wilson could do is have new frame technology that 'could be' patented, but I think it will be difficult with doing it only for a string pattern.
     
    #22
  23. cmb

    cmb Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2005
    Messages:
    790
    and the tour players will need 12 rackets strung before each match, rackets will last about 4 games before breaking strings hahahaha
     
    #23
  24. BalboaNoah

    BalboaNoah New User

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2010
    Messages:
    76
    i doubt the big guys are that worried about a regional niche market racquet provider. what about Angell/Vantage, or even the blatant knock off guys like Pro Supex, etc? they seem to still be able to sell racquets.
     
    #24
  25. OnyxZ28

    OnyxZ28 Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2004
    Messages:
    2,143
    Unfortunately searching the PTO database for pending applications assigned to "Wilson Sporting Goods" didn't turn up anything; it could be because the application is less than 18 months old, or because no assignment of the app have been recorded. Until then it's impossible to guess at what the patent app claims. Although I will say that the racket/bottle opener app is awesome!

    Once the app and file wrapper are published it will be interesting. If Wilson has filed a "petition to make special" due to ongoing infringement then we'll know that they're eying targets for potential litigation.

    http://appft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-...rting&FIELD1=AS&co1=AND&TERM2=&FIELD2=&d=PG01
     
    #25
  26. PBODY99

    PBODY99 Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2005
    Messages:
    3,212
    So the NEW Technology Is..."

    A more open pattern, when strung with a nice co-poly yeilds a string bed stiffness that is able to match what Mark Woodforde used years ago, 21st century HI_TEN.
    I find the lawsuit threat based on patten infringement as an example of what is wrong with technology today.
     
    #26
  27. The Dark Knight

    The Dark Knight Legend

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2012
    Messages:
    6,340
    No .....my vortex sticks last as long as any conventional string pattern.
     
    #27
  28. The Dark Knight

    The Dark Knight Legend

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2012
    Messages:
    6,340
    I don't think they can because Wilson actually came first.

    There was the snauwert hi ten but after that Wilson started to make the racquets for woodforde I believe.
     
    #28
  29. Power Player

    Power Player G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2008
    Messages:
    19,992
    Location:
    On my iPhone
    I cant see how this is possible. Even wilson admitted that these setups were mainly geared towards people using full poly.

    So if you hurt your arm or need a soft string, these patterns are so open that if you have good racquet head speed, the durability simply will not be there.
     
    #29
  30. Sander001

    Sander001 Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2012
    Messages:
    2,385
    Location:
    In the place where there is no darkness.
    Copy Vortex? The idea of these Wilson frames is that they have fewer cross strings than mains. Vortex doesn't have that.
     
    #30
  31. Ronaldo

    Ronaldo G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2004
    Messages:
    14,220
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2012
    #31
  32. The Dark Knight

    The Dark Knight Legend

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2012
    Messages:
    6,340
    I started out with full set of poly with no problems.

    Switched over to multi ....prince synthetic gut and vortex reccomends a really low tension.....I string at 45.

    I have no issues with control .

    Interestingly enough Wilson came out with a Wilson os 7.5 for woodforde with a 12x16.


    The vortex are I believe 14x15 or 16.


    The new Wilson steam will have less crosses and more mains.....I think 16x15....which is a new twist in the open string pattern market.

    I'm very excited to try it. I have loved Vortex since it first came out. Its a huge advantage and up to now it was my secret weapon. I know this idea works.....it works really well......but what Wilson has done is even newer. I cannot wait!!
     
    #32
  33. The Dark Knight

    The Dark Knight Legend

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2012
    Messages:
    6,340
    Interestingly enough the original vortex models .....the es versions are not oval. They are square like yonex.

    The oval pattern tightens things up a bit.

    I personally like the new vortexes better . I play with the tour 100 and it is oval shaped.
     
    #33
  34. Gasolina

    Gasolina Professional

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2010
    Messages:
    969
    I checked the Vortex website and TBH the specs sorta looked like someone playing the OG Diablo in the PC. Everything was geared towards spin and power. Obscenely open patterns, very stiff, very light. Like the racquet was made to do one thing and do it well.

    Anybody have experience hitting with these? Will the open string pattern cut some discomfort away from the over-70 stiffness ratings and thick poly strings?
     
    #34
  35. The Dark Knight

    The Dark Knight Legend

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2012
    Messages:
    6,340
    Well I do but I think you want to hear from someone else besides me.

    There are a few threads with people who tried them out.

    The es versions were a bit to powerful for me but the tour versions are just right .

    Sort of like a kbalde on steroids :)
     
    #35
  36. tailofdog

    tailofdog Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2007
    Messages:
    497
    I had 3 The ES 100, ES 108, and the ES 116.
    Nice racquets. Some benifit in spin and, stop volleys but, just so stiff.
    I tried a few different things to get a softer string bed to no avail!
     
    #36
  37. The Dark Knight

    The Dark Knight Legend

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2012
    Messages:
    6,340
    You should try the new tour versions....big improvement .

    Real players stick way more solid......

    But I have a feeling that these Wilson's are going to be amazing so I wouldn't buy any vortex's till those pups come out.

    I wish I could preorder !
     
    #37
  38. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2004
    Messages:
    43,461
    You're right. Fewer crosses is nothing new. They had them back in the 1970's and it was called "spaghetti strings". They were quickly and promptly banned by the ITF for producing too much spin. So I don't see why they shouldn't ban this new racquet from Wilson. Oh, and they should ban ALL poly strings while they're at it for producing too much spin, which is the same reason they banned spaghetti strings 35 years ago.

    And, no, my post was not tongue-in-cheek but quite serious.
     
    #38
  39. royfrombigd

    royfrombigd Rookie

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2009
    Messages:
    178
    Just marketing...won't have any effect on the game.
     
    #39
  40. Justin-JP

    Justin-JP Rookie

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2011
    Messages:
    109
    A 16 x 15 pattern is nothing like a spaghetti string setup; I'm not sure how you came to that conclusion.

    The less crosses the less friction, allowing the mains to move more freely. That's it, nothing too exciting or radical about that. If you've ever used a Wilson 95 16 x 18, you will know how lively and unpredictable that string bed can be; now take away three more crosses and you get a little more potential spin and even less consistent response from the string bed. Not something I'd be jumping to try and it's not like these patterns don't already exist, more or less.

    Wilson are in the business of selling rackets, this is what they do and this how they hype the market. Obviously you fell for it and almost see this gimmick as an evolutionary jump similar to graphite or poly.
     
    #40
  41. SFrazeur

    SFrazeur Legend

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2006
    Messages:
    6,480
    Location:
    Arkansas

    Your post has more agenda than truth. I expect you know better about said stringing.
     
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2012
    #41
  42. The Dark Knight

    The Dark Knight Legend

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2012
    Messages:
    6,340
    I'm jumping to try.

    My vortex has 14x15 and I love it. But what's intriguing about the Wilson is its 16x15 .....less cross strings ......this allows the mains to move more freely and "snap" back at the ball.....sounds really cool.
     
    #42
  43. Bartelby

    Bartelby G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2005
    Messages:
    12,564
    I can't wait for linguine stringed racquets.
     
    #43
  44. The Dark Knight

    The Dark Knight Legend

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2012
    Messages:
    6,340
    The 99s.....the s by the way stands for sweeeeeeeet!


    [​IMG]
     
    #44
  45. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2005
    Messages:
    35,057
    Relax. It is just a more open string pattern.
     
    #45
  46. Ronaldo

    Ronaldo G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2004
    Messages:
    14,220
    Is it illegal to just skip a few crosses and create your own 14X8 racquet?
     
    #46
  47. ChicagoJack

    ChicagoJack Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2005
    Messages:
    2,266
    Yes, that's exactly it. I was thinking out loud about a similar idea for more mains and fewer crosses back in January. Low inter string friction, increased spin etc...

    tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=409992

    Jack
     
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2012
    #47
  48. dmcb101

    dmcb101 Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2009
    Messages:
    572
    I am fairly curious about these new frames as you may have guessed if you have seen some of my previous posts. I read about how they tested these frames and to me it seems hard to dispute the results that they found. I would be interested to see the results of all of their performance frames and see the difference in spin potential with all the same variables. It seems to me that these new Steam frames do actually produce more spin but a lot of people here believe it is a marketing scheme.

    I am not easily swayed into believing marketing schemes but after reading the article that was posted on this forum it seems hard to deny that these racquets do actually produce more RPM's on the ball.

    What are the Prince frames that supposedly have this type of technology? Anyone else have an opinion on whether it is actual technology or just a marketing scheme? Provide examples why you think so!
     
    #48
  49. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2005
    Messages:
    35,057
    It seems it does not work and that was part of the Wilson research, I was told by a guy who knows. You need to redesign the whole racket.
     
    #49
  50. PBODY99

    PBODY99 Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2005
    Messages:
    3,212
    To keep it legal you want the pattern to be fairly regular. By spacing out the drilling to evenly divided the cross string coverage, you should get the same type of response with whatever increased spin benefit. You don't get that by dropping a couple of the outside crosses.
     
    #50

Share This Page