Originally Posted by Bmr
OK - first progress report after a few hours of hitting:
Steam 99S - Mixed thoughts so far. Like others have said- when you first hit with it your forehands will launch out like crazy until you figure out the power level. I really don't like Tour Bite, never have...so the playtest for me didn't go as well as i'd hoped. I also tend to string my racquets a lot higher than other people. I'd have this racquet strung in the low 60s for sure. I'd guess that it was already low 50s or below. Just waaaay too much uncontrollable power, even for me. Volleys felt a lot better than I would have imagined. Serves and groundies should be solid with the right string setup. All in all, looking for more court time with this.
Blade 98 16x19 - Here's where it gets interesting. I really like this racquet, but I'm not sure how much yet. I finally figured out that the black string is RPM Blast. This is another string that I don't like. I string this in my friend's Aero and I don't like the feel of it at all. The one that thing really stood out to me about this racquet is how you can flatten out your shots and produce a large amount of spin/kick if you desire. It's a tad more head heavy than what I am used to and this caused me to double long on a couple serves, but I can dial that in. Biggest surprise of the bunch so far.
Prince Warrior - I really like the feel of this racquet and served an ace my second time up. However, it is strung with Babolat Revenge (red) and there's no way I'd be using this string. It is so difficult to get a feel for these racquets when you have string in there that you'd never use.
I must also mention that I currently have Speedport Blacks, Wilson Juice and Head Extreme Pro 2 in my bag. Love them all for different reasons. The Speedport Black is still my main racquet, but the Juice has been getting a lot more time lately. Have some lead at the 3 and 9 on that one. The Warrior feels really close to the Black but a tad more weight in the head and a bit more solid feeling. Biggest complaint with the Black is the lack of feel at the net. I think I'm going to try to mess around with string to see if I can compensate for that.
Haha, one funny thing I was thinking about the Blade 98: I can't twirl that thing around my index finger when i'm waiting for someone to serve. Sounds stupid, I know...but if you try it you'll know exactly what I mean.
Interesting. Unfortunately sounds like the strings in these frames has had too much of an adverse effect. Still find it funny we like all/have history with the same frames (exception being SP Black.)
Re your closing comment... yep, Blade isn't really one for twirling round your index finger.