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-   -   The Wilson Steam 99s review everyone has been writing. (http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=454323)

J011yroger 02-10-2013 08:32 AM

The Wilson Steam 99s review everyone has been writing.
 
Hit for maybe 45 minutes with the Steam 99s yesternight.

I've gotta say, the thing is a darned nice racquet which will serve a lot of players quite well. I would put it on the 2013 must try list for almost everyone. Even if you don't seriously consider playing with it, the frame is just enjoyable to play with.

Groundstrokes: Easy, effortless, ball goes in the general direction of where you want it to, swing faster, the ball does more. Topspin, slice, whatever. You know, kind of like how a racquet is supposed to be. Feels way soft due to the open pattern, the hoop is fairly stiff for good pop, and if you starch a ball, you can feel the frame bend just above the pallet (I didn't like that, but I don't think it will be an issue for the majority of players.) It swings heavier than its listed spec, but is not at all sluggish. My ball seemed spinny, or fast, but certainly not heavy. If I had to pick a down point, it would be that targeting didn't feel very precise.

Groundstroke grade: A-

Volley/Forecourt: More than capable, nice soft feel, maneuverable. The bottom line is that it gets the job done, and doesn't feel bad. Let's face it, the vast majority of players who are considering the switch to these frames are not looking for wizardry up at the net, they are looking to knock off some easy balls coming in behind attacks of short balls, or to play some dubs, and for that, it is more than adequate.

Volley/Forecourt grade: B-

Serve: Yee-Ha. Serving with this thing was a breeze, throw the ball up in the air, take a rip at it, try to contain your childish glee. My serves probably weren't terribly heavy, but they went fast, and jumped high. Would love to take some video and radar of my serves compared to my normal frames.

Serve grade: A

Final thoughts: This is one of those rare frames that the vast majority of tennis players could play well with. Most advanced players couldn't afford to keep string in the thing, and most who have been playing for a long time likely will play better with their own racquet. Personally there is nothing that this frame does for me better than my normal racquet, but that won't stop me from acknowledging that it is one heck of a nice racquet and would be great for a lot of people.

The only reviews I could expect to hear on this frame would be either "Wow, this thing is great, I will have to seriously consider it." or "Well, it isn't for me, but it is still nice."

J

corners 02-10-2013 08:46 AM

Jolly, what was your string setup? Any plans to try Kevlar/stiff poly at higher-than-your-usual tension?

JGads 02-10-2013 09:11 AM

Another total agreement. Jolly's on a roll.

Everything feels very easy with the 99S. It's the string life that's terrible. I got three hours before it snapped on me.

J011yroger 02-10-2013 09:16 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by corners (Post 7204149)
Jolly, what was your string setup? Any plans to try Kevlar/stiff poly at higher-than-your-usual tension?

It was a K-Gut/4G hybrid my friend had in there, and the frame was nice in spite of that.

It would be sweet with my BBO/ALU job in there at maybe 48ish?

I don't think it has the integrity to hold up to Kevlar at any tension for terribly long, certainly not at 70# I played it at.

J

Lilguy1456 02-10-2013 09:17 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by J011yroger (Post 7204212)
It was a K-Gut/4G hybrid my friend had in there, and the frame was nice in spite of that.

It would be sweet with my BBO/ALU job in there at maybe 48ish?

I don't think it has the integrity to hold up to Kevlar at any tension for terribly long, certainly not at 70# I played it at.

J

Jolly, just curious. What's your current stick of choice? I noticed how much you hated the boardy Blade 93 and liked the spinny 99s. What do you currently use?

J011yroger 02-10-2013 09:18 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JGads (Post 7204199)
Another total agreement. Jolly's on a roll.

If I could only find a way to turn profit from this skill...

J

corners 02-10-2013 09:19 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JGads (Post 7204199)
Another total agreement. Jolly's on a roll.

Everything feels very easy with the 99S. It's the string life that's terrible. I got three hours before it snapped on me.

Still don't think anyone has tried Polymaster in the crosses. That could be the ticket to decent string life in these things.

pshulam 02-10-2013 09:20 AM

Quote:

Personally there is nothing that this frame does for me better than my normal racquet
Out of curiosity, what's your normal racquet?

J011yroger 02-10-2013 09:28 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Lilguy1456 (Post 7204218)
Jolly, just curious. What's your current stick of choice? I noticed how much you hated the boardy Blade 93 and liked the spinny 99s. What do you currently use?

Quote:

Originally Posted by pshulam (Post 7204228)
Out of curiosity, what's your normal racquet?

Sorry, I thought my legend had reached the furthest recesses of the TW galaxy, and that I needed no introduction.

My regular frame is a heavily modded Wilson 90 (have played with them all).

Currently experimenting with the IG Prestige Mid also heavily modded (as detailed in my "Basalt Wars: A New Hope" thread)

J

J011yroger 02-10-2013 09:29 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by corners (Post 7204224)
Still don't think anyone has tried Polymaster in the crosses. That could be the ticket to decent string life in these things.

Tried it? I've never even heard of it.

J

Power Player 02-10-2013 09:31 AM

Agree, this is pretty in line with my review as well.

Buford T Justice 02-10-2013 09:48 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by J011yroger (Post 7204114)
and if you starch a ball, you can feel the frame bend just above the pallet (I didn't like that, but I don't think it will be an issue for the majority of players.)

Im happy to hear someone else say they noticed this.

I have felt that a number of times....its almost like you can feel the frame distort, then bounce back. It honestly reminded me of an old Arthur Ashe Head frame I have where you can very easily feel the racquet resonate after each stroke. The 99S doesnt do that all the time like the Ashe racquet of course, but it does happen enough to notice it. It also doesnt bother me at all, but I was surprised to feel this is a frame that is reported to be so stiff on the flex scale (69 I believe).

J011yroger 02-10-2013 09:51 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Buford T Justice (Post 7204276)
Im happy to hear someone else say they noticed this.

I have felt that a number of times....its almost like you can feel the frame distort, then bounce back. It honestly reminded me of an old Arthur Ashe Head frame I have where you can very easily feel the racquet resonate after each stroke. The 99S doesnt do that all the time like the Ashe racquet of course, but it does happen enough to notice it. It also doesnt bother me at all, but I was surprised to feel this is a frame that is reported to be so stiff on the flex scale (69 I believe).

Agree, plays waaaaay softer than the measured spec.

J

Buford T Justice 02-10-2013 09:52 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by J011yroger (Post 7204114)
Serve: Yee-Ha. Serving with this thing was a breeze, throw the ball up in the air, take a rip at it, try to contain your childish glee. My serves probably weren't terribly heavy, but they went fast, and jumped high. Would love to take some video and radar of my serves compared to my normal frames.

Serve grade: A

yes yes yes.

This frame has cut down on my DFs big time. I have wicked confidence serving with it. Ive never hit better slices serves. They used to be my lowest percentage serve and now its like I cant miss them.

I am still working on the flat serves with it, but honestly I hardly ever want to hit any when using this frame. It seems too logical and easy to just slice and kick away.

Buford T Justice 02-10-2013 09:56 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by J011yroger (Post 7204114)
Final thoughts: This is one of those rare frames that the vast majority of tennis players could play well with. Most advanced players couldn't afford to keep string in the thing,

The string is def the issue.

My approach to this is......buy a reel of cheap poly (Gosen Polylon 16)and restring often (its ~$1.70 in string per job). I like the frame enough to put up with the BS string wear.

If I was paying $16-17 a pop for string, Id definitely give this frame up, as regardless of whether one can afford it, it would be lunacy defined for someone playing frequently. You also need about 10 frames (which I am sure there are many of this board who already do!) Based on your tennis bag size in a recent photo Jolly, you are probably one!

gplracer 02-10-2013 10:12 AM

My 16 year old really likes this frame but it eats string. We were using gut/4g because it is cheaper for us than nxt/4g because the string lasts so much longer. He broke the gut/4g combo after playing 3 doubles matches. ouch!

J011yroger 02-10-2013 10:13 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Buford T Justice (Post 7204298)
The string is def the issue.

My approach to this is......buy a reel of cheap poly (Gosen Polylon 16)and restring often (its ~$1.70 in string per job). I like the frame enough to put up with the BS string wear.

If I was paying $16-17 a pop for string, Id definitely give this frame up, as regardless of whether one can afford it, it would be lunacy defined for someone playing frequently. You also need about 10 frames (which I am sure there are many of this board who already do!) Based on your tennis bag size in a recent photo Jolly, you are probably one!

Wilson Enduro Gold baby!

J

J011yroger 02-10-2013 10:14 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by gplracer (Post 7204333)
My 16 year old really likes this frame but it eats string. We were using gut/4g because it is cheaper for us than nxt/4g because the string lasts so much longer. He broke the gut/4g combo after playing 3 doubles matches. ouch!

Try my BBO/ALU job about 10# lower than you string the Gut/4G, and tell him to take a rip at the ball.

Let me know what he thinks, and how long it lasts.

J

J011yroger 02-10-2013 10:18 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Buford T Justice (Post 7204285)
yes yes yes.

This frame has cut down on my DFs big time. I have wicked confidence serving with it. Ive never hit better slices serves. They used to be my lowest percentage serve and now its like I cant miss them.

I am still working on the flat serves with it, but honestly I hardly ever want to hit any when using this frame. It seems too logical and easy to just slice and kick away.

I hit more of a hard topspin first serve, the thing had a ton of MPH, and hit the back curtain seemingly head/shoulder high and still rising.

I'll have to see if I can get a quick video.

J

Buford T Justice 02-10-2013 10:18 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by J011yroger (Post 7204336)
Wilson Enduro Gold baby!

J

Dang....just did a quick check of the big auction site and saw 10 packs for 11 bucks!


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