Originally Posted by JackB1
Feel on impact is also very important to me and was one of the reasons I recently moved away from tweeners and was enjoying hitting so much with my Dunlop Maxx 200G and Donnay Pro 1. I made the mistake of trying the 99s again and had a great session with it and that changed all my plans. I don't think the 99s has a "bad" feel in impact and it is better than most other tweeners, but it doesn't have the rewarding feel of the P1 or 200G.
Now I have to figure out how I want to proceed? Back to the 200g or keep experimenting with the 99s? I have to say though, when I am "on" with the 99s, it's the best I can play. But when I "lose it", it can be very tough to win with and I lose confidence. One other thing....i started feeling some throbbing in my elbow the other night after hitting with the 99s. That has me a little concerned. I have never used full poly before (always a hybrid with soft crosses) and even though the 99s doesn't "feel" stiff, there has to be some residual effects of a 69 rated frame on your joints?
Like Ross, I am not giving up just yet. But lets just say, I'm not sure the "S" will be a long term resident in my bag or not? I am still trying to figure out if the inconsistencies are due to the racquet's stringbed or due to me?
I feel for you JackB1. I've been a long time 12oz+ racket user. Around 7 or 8 years ago I went thru a long tweener racket trial process. I ended up using the original APD (pre-yellow) version for a year or 2. I actually liked it a lot, but I missed the more solid feel of the 12oz racket. So I gave it up. Since then I've been mainly a Wilson 6.1 nCode and now BLX (the first one) user.
I was intrigued by the 99s write-ups, so I acquired one. I've only used it twice - once in drills and once in competitive doubles. While its pretty solid for its weight, it doesn't have the solid feel of the BLX.
Beside the feel, the other main negative of the 99s for me is the need to use poly strings. During the period I experimented with tweener rackets, I also gave poly strings a try, mostly in a full poly setup. While I loved the poly playability, they slowly and gradually wrecked my elbow and shoulder. So, I gave up poly for a natural gut/syn gut setup, which brough my arm back around. For the 99s, it's strung with Pacific Tough Gut in the mains and 4G in the crosses at 58/52. Both are 16g. I already see fraying of the gut in the 2 middle mains. I haven't really played enough with it to know how the 4G in the crosses would affect my arm.
Not to be all negative on the 99s....on the plus side, I did find it easier to play with overall than the BLX, although I totally struggled with my forehand, which is my strongest shot. This was during the doubles. I just couldn't get the timing right. On the other hand, my backhand was really good, especially hard slice returns in doubles. Serves were really nice with the 99s, especially spin serves. A lot more action than with the BLX, but not as forceful. Volleys were surprisingly good during drills. However, during the doubles, I wasn't getting any weight behind them and hit a number of sitters. Definitely a technique problem on my part. Overheads are much easier with the 99s than the BLX. Around the net, the 99s is a lot more manuverable than the BLX, which I really liked.
Anyway, for me, I've decided to stick with the BLX and maybe hit/drill with the 99s once in awhile to get a better feel for it. I think the transition to this racket would be more time consuming for me than the transition I went thru with the APD way back when (it was actually very seamless). Also, I'm guessing that the 99 (non-s) would likely suit me better than the 99s, but I don't currently have any plans to acquire one.
Good luck with however you proceed.