Originally Posted by couch
When this racquet is set up with the proper strings in the proper hands it is definitely a spin monster. The Steam 99S can give a player the added confidence to swing out on a shot and know its going to dip and stay in.
The problem(s) with this racquet are:
People put the wrong types of string in them
They aren't good enough to use the spin and control of spin to their advantage- aka "rocket launchers".
People put too thin a gauge in the racquet- lack of durability
People expect the racquet to just work wonders for their game. No racquet is going to work wonders. A racquet can compliment a player but, as always, it's the ability of the player that makes the racquet.
The better you are a thicker, more durable poly is a must. It's the only way to get the benefits out of this racquet.
A good player may be able to get away with a gut/poly hybrid
A lower level player can probably get away with a softer, thinner poly or gut/poly hybrid.
I'm a 5.0 baseline player who uses topspin to hit the ball with pace. This racquet has allowed me to hit more consistently deep because of the spin. I have no trouble with loss of control, launching rockets, etc. if this stick is used correctly it does exactly what it's supposed to do. It increases your spin and in turn increases the depth and length of the court.
As mentioned string choice is vital in this racquet. I would suggest the following:
5.0- lux 4G in 16g or 15g
4.5- lux 4G in 16g
4.0- lux 4G in 16L, or any 16g poly that holds tension well. Gut/poly hybrid
3.0-3.5- softer poly that holds tension well. Gut/poly hybrid
I string mine at 58lbs with 4G 16g and it lasts me anywhere from 4-6 hours depending on whether it's a hitting session, doubles, or singles. 15g will probably last 6-8 hours when I try it. The strings do start to lose the snap back ability at the end but I don't feel like there is a huge tension drop with 4G that would magnify this that much. I truly believe 4G is a must for this racquet. To me it seems to be one of the most durable polys and holds its tension extremely well. Everything you need in this stick.
Excellent post. I string all my sticks up with Cyclone 17 @52, so that's what I did with my 99S. I haven't hit with it yet (again, weather). Do you think that setup will work? As for restringing after 4 - 6 hours, that's just simply not an option for me. Frankly, I wonder if anyone who actually does that holds a job, has a wife/kids, or anything else to do other than restring their sticks. Seems obsurd to me.
Anyway, I'll post after I hit with an update...