had my first hour and a half of play with the Steam 99s
setup: 59.5 lbs of Pacific Xcite
strung weight: 325 grams
35 years, with good pace on the forehand and reasonable one handed backhand with spin. Likes to hit a hard ball from the baseline, which causes failure sometimes because not every ball is suitable for those shots. Opportunitist.
Good pace on first serve, spin on second. Level compared to US. About 4.5
Racket: Tecnifibre TFlash 315 with 57 lbs Xcite. Strung weight 345 grams
The racket comes with very easy acces to power. The sweetspot appears to be huge and lets you really rip the ball. Trajectory of the ball is indeed a bit higher but a little adjustment lets you place the ball easilly near the backline. Hitting the winner takes some getting used to because the spin takes out some speed.
Best part of the racket is getting your opponent from corner to corner with your inside out spin balls. Super!
Concern is the durabillity of the tension of the strings since you can feel them move. I'm not a real stringbreaker.
Easy access to spin but struggled a bit with pace. My current rackets are 20 grams heavier and i missed a bit of pace. Did hit a killer spin second serve ace. Didn't hit enough serves to get a solid verdict on this one.
Racket feels really stable with volleys. Easy to get into place, and great for overhead smashes. I found challenges in placing a hard return deep in the court. Control was a bit missing due to ball trajectory out of the racket. Takes some getting used to.
Hitting a a good dropshot or touch slice backhand to the back of the court takes some getting used to. Balls can sail long or come short due to the stringbed. On short volley or feedback of the racket it feels great. The feedback is solid and gives enough feel for delicate shots. Just need practice.
conclusion so far
- Needs a string that keeps it's tension longer than avarage.
- Hitting the "winner" needs practice
- pace on serve
Very, very interesting racket. This could be my new stick if i work/train on my concerns. It suits my type of play, so it seems, but will need to test more.
I'll test some more and share my thoughts with you guys.