Discussion in 'Racquets' started by drakulie, Oct 16, 2012.
I don't know of any pro that would turn down extra 200 rpm on their ball.
Probably those who need to drive the ball more. Spin is nice for dropping the ball in, but when you need to get it past a guy like Djokovic or Monfils who can run everything down the spin makes the ball sit more, thus giving these speed demons more time to run down the ball. Although it may help on slow clay as it would bounce up real high...thats a thought!
Well the more spin the more margin you get and the harder you can hit the ball.
Problem with this racket for pros would mostly be that the extra spin wouldn't make up for the higher launch angles from such open pattern.
The harder you hit the ball does not equal greater ball speed. Like mentioned a few posts ago, any shot at the pro level with a lot of spin will be run down without issue. It is the flat shots that are the winners, the spin shot keep you in point at their level.
Running it down is not the only issue. Nadal's extreme spin also does a lot to force errors from his opponent. The number of errors still (and will always) exceeds the number of winners. Anything then you can add to your game to force an error is a bonus.
As I posted, last week I hit for two hours against a 5.0. My shots had much more spin on them and dropped much more sharply. The 5.0 had trouble timing them and really didn't adjust within the 2 hours. The increase in spin then forced errors from him.
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.
Needs a string that keeps it's tension longer than avarage.
Hitting the "winner" needs practice
pace on serve
conclusion so far
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.
Sorry accidently also posted in the string section
I agree, but I was responding to the statement that this racquet gives you more spin which means you can swing the racquet harder. Harder does not equal more ball speed by any means, that is why pro males will not use this frame, they can generate spin on their own then it is necessary.
The pure drive+apd I have used and yes they are powerful, but they seemed easier to control than the 99s. I tested the 99 for a good week with different strings and tensions.
Like I mentioned before with new poly at high tension I could play pretty well with it but after only a hour you could tell it started losing its control. But I know I am not near as good as the rest of you and have low tennis IQ. According to the other thread on this racket the poll says the majority feel as I do.
Whoa! Rabbit I said no such thing, perhaps you are referring to Drakulie? I liked the frame, it just bothered my surgically repaired and tempermantal shoulder so I sold it.
Wow a racket with this open pattern bothered your shoulder? I know you have had shoulder problems, but you obviously play with other rackets, so that does not say much for the comfort level of the 99s.
Here is a post from a poor guy trying to find strings for the 99s that will play decent for more than an hour. Glad to see there are others with my exact experience with the 99 s rocket launcher.
String for Steam 99s?
Since getting my Steam 99s I've tried strings like Solinco Outlast, Isospeed Pulse, Polystar turbo 15, and Genesis Twisted Razor at tensions ranging from 55-65lb. Guess what, all of these lose so much tension within an hour or two of hard hitting (4.0-4.5) that the racket becomes an unplayable rocket launcher. Big surprise with this racket, right? So below are the strings that I am looking at trying out now. Which do you guys think has the best chance of holding up tension loss wise in the toy? I string with an electric constant pull tension head (Wise 2086) by the way.
Signum Pro Poly Megaforce 16
Babolat Revenge 16
Tourna Poly Big Hitter Blue Rough 16
Tourna Poly Big Hitter Blue 16 (is tension loss with this string about the same as the rough version?)
My update on my 105s... my second one just arrived at my club today. That is where I demo'd this stick, liked it, and knew I'd get two... so I ordered one thru TW, and ordered the second one thru the club as appreciation for the opportunity to demo the stick a number of times... gotta say, my club charged the exact same price as I paid TW (not including sales tax). Figured they'd bump it $10-$20 and I was ok with that as part of buying local... but they didn't. Good for them.
For a quality check, I weighed both racquets unstrung and with no grip (I do not like the fat white grip the stick arrives with).... racquet #1- 9.680oz, racquet #2- 9.635oz close enough for me.
String wise to those with these racquets... DO NOT use a multi-sided extruded string... i.e. Dunlop Black Widow (7 sided). These multi sided strings work really well for about 15 minutes, then start to notch, and within an hour or two you'll have some serious notching to the extent that it affects the ability of the string to slide. I cut out the Black Widow with about 4 hours of play on it because I don't want it snapping during my session tomorrow... and I am not a string breaker at all, but these looked like they are on the verge of popping.
I am trying Kirschbaum Pro Line II @54# in one, MSV Hepta-Twist @ 54# in the other. I've never used the Hepta-Twist before, and I tried the Pro Line long ago and thought it was decent... I think I used it in my Becker S.E. (which is a much heavier racquet). By the way, the red Pro Line looks decent, but is not a perfect match with the frame, but the Hepta-Twist is white and looks really sharp.
Always ready to experiment with strings and tensions... the Luxilon 4G was ok, but I need to try it lower. Tho for the price, I'm not that concerned about trying it again because I'm sure I'll find a go-to string that costs a lot less. I tried it at 62# and 59#... will try at 55# in future. Liked the Black Widow, but this won't last long as I stated above.
Strings I have on hand to try: Babolat Revenge, Boris Becker Bomber, Yonex Poly Tour, and 2 more packs of Lux 4G. I also have a partial reel of Tourna Big Hitter Black 7... but that is multi-sided too, and also a couple of packs of Dunlop Juice 16... again, multi sided (and yellow...ugh). Also got a "free" pack in my RSI magazine today... I don't feel like getting up to verify, but I think it was a set of Prince... have to give that a shot too. (Edit: it is Head Sonic Pro)
After those I'm gonna try packs of string that also come in cheap reels... see if any of those suit my style.
That might be why I don't like it because I hit off my back foot a lot.
sorry, yes, i was referring to drakulie....my bad
I finally got around to stringing my 99s with Global Natural Gut at 58 lbs. I think I should of strung it higher. I did not have time to hit with it fully other than feeding some balls. I was expecting the patter to be much wider (open), but it reminds me of an OS pattern in a MP frame.
Give that man a cigar. Some peeps want to deem anybody who tries to swing a pro's racquet as nothing but a wannabe poseur. But the haters also want to de legitimize any stick that a pro is not using as a useless toy. What the pros do or don't do has got nothing to do with it, anybody with common sense sees that pretty clearly.
there is an old adage, "one man's ceiling is another man's floor". Instead of simply saying the frame wasn't for you, you used some pretty incindiary language; i.e. rocket launcher, etc.
Simply put, there are no bad frames or strings, only bad choices. The entire tennis world said the T2000, another Wilson product, was unfit for anything but club level tennis. In 1974, Jimmy Connors won everything in sight. After that, every pro was testing or playing with a T2000. Connors kept the T2000 until his supply ran out.
Babolat launched a frame specifically designed and targeted for 3.0 - 3.5 women. A couple of pros tried it and liked it. It is now one of the most popular frames on the pro tour, the Babolat Pure Drive.
Will the 99S or 105S become a staple on the pro tour? I don't know and frankly don't care. The tennis I play has very little in common with theirs. But, the 99S is fun to play with and gets me excited about playing tennis, so it's a good thing for me.
And again, when you start using terms like 'rocket launcher' and making blanket statements like this frame is suited only for beginners and people who don't know how to play (paraphrasing) you have to expect some push back. Just because it doesn't work for you doesn't mean it won't work for everyone else.
natural gut on crosses has been found to be inferior for spin compared to having it on the mains..
The T2000 was actually a Lacoste invention and only marketed in America as a Wilson.
If you hold the 99s and the Babolot PD or APD side be side, it is clear thatthe 99s has a much thinner beam, no matter the TW specs.
yes, I knew that
Just got my pair of 99s on Wednesday. My concerns over it being a "toy" were unwarranted. This thing is for for real and my first impression was just how solid it felt overall. I was hitting with new Blade 16x19 and even though the Steam is a completely different hit, the weight/balance wasn't that far off from what I'm used to. Yes, lots of tinkering around will be required with technique and strings, but I just don't care right now. My one questions is has any dared try it with natural gut? I'm not a string breaker and usually use 17G Babs VS. Thinking 16G might work like a charm for and I won't have the concerns over tension loss. Sorry if the question has been answered in this thread, but I don't have time to look through the 77 pages of posts. What's the record for longest thread? This has to be getting close. I've not seen this level of excitement before on the boards.
Yeah, I strung a couple of Head Graphene Speed MP's last night. I weighed them and they weigh the same as the 99S. The 99S is in line with some frames that have gotten more respect.
I used to be a 5.5 college player but now I am 4.5 240lbs hack who recently just got bumped back up to 5.0, don't know why
Anyway, you all know me, I bought the frame and tested it with free wilson 16g at mid, the strings moved like crazy and it was powerful, had issues with directional control on some flatter shots, cut strings off and installed lux original at mid, strings did not move, frame was a little better but not my cup of tea. My wife who played 3.5 nationals did not like it as well, she said it was heavy and powerful. My son who is 10 and nationally ranked did not like it as well. OTOH We all like the new 2013 babolat aero lite with a little lead, very soft and muted frame,
I am going to strip the bumper on the 99S and add lead at grip to make it more HL and less weight, install 17g copoly and give it one last try before it goes out for sale. had issue with grip not long enough for THBH, frame seemed too throaty for a lack of a better word,
and now our friend Tim is quoting ever other post where someone posts negative stuff about the 99s, looking for other fellow haters to join his bandwagon. EVERY FRAME OUT THERE will have people that like it, people that hate it and everything in between. The thing is this 99s is creating a lot of interest, so EVERYONE is trying it, so naturally it will get mixed results.
Normally I think it's best to just dismiss anyone that uses termonology like "this racquet sucks..."
Since the biggest issue with the 99s seems to be poly tension loss, maybe the optimum setup for it is natural gut mains and copoly cross? Nat gut is the BEST string for retaining tension and will help to "mask" the copoly when it starts losing tension. The key then is to find the best tension for this hybrid, since it will have a lot of power.
I am thinking around 64/58? Has anyone else tried a nat gut/copoly setup and what were your results?
I've got some Babs 16G VS on the way and am going to take a leap of faith and string full bed at mid tension. The cheap,free 16g syn gut that TW strings with feels pretty good at mid and that is where I'm going to start. I'm not a string breaker and have had good luck with 17G VS in my 16x19s, so I don't this will be horrible. Even though gut is more expensive, still seems to be a cheaper path than having to restring poly so fast. I'll report back on the gut, but it will be next week before i'll get it in and be able to hit withit. Meanwhile, I'll keep a close eye on 99s posts to see if anyone has cracked "the code". Man, I'm having fun right now.
It's definitely more of an issue with string breakers and harder hitters. I had a 99s demo that was strung with Black Widow mains and NXT multi cross and used it for a week without any issues, even though you would think this was far from an optimum setup.
tennisnut, you seem to be the only one who has tried a gut/copoly setup. What tension did you try? I would think you need to go up to around 63,64 with the gut and around 56-58 with the copoly crosses, sicne the tension range is 55-65 on the 99s. I am not a string breaker, so I am wondering if a gut/copoly hybrid might work better for me than full 4g?
I am surprised there has been almost no one using a 15L gut for the mains, I was going to try that but I sold the frame because my shoulder was giving me trouble. The 16 gauge I tries I liked and it lasted at least 5-6 hrs before i sold it.
i tried JGads' TW demos when we hit and i completely agree with this. i had a few WTH balls that launched and landed long, but overall, it hit well until the mains started moving like crazy. it's very solid for sure and offers good meaty feel. lacks the hollowness that is characteristic of the Babs APD and PD sticks.
I was going for comfort, and I did not have any 16 guage poly (that I liked). I'm going to try Ashaway Mongut ZX next time for the mains next time.
The pacific Xcite 1.25 felt really comfy, and far from harsh.
Certainly no lack of power.
Next setup will be 4G 1.25
Anyone try the IsoSpeed 15L in there yet? It stinks that it is not sold by TW in individual packs to try out, but at $39 a reel it might be worth the look.
This is exactly what I noticed about this frame as well.
I started playing tennis in 2007, really enjoyed it for a few years, started getting alot better (ended in KSwiss 5.5...before I get flamed, this is NOT NTRP 5.5, most guys in it, IMHO would be 4.5 to low 5.0), played leagues, etc then backed off playing as much (as I started playing another sport).
For the past few weeks as Ive been using this 99S, Ive decided, or maybe remembered, how much fun tennis is, and also have been seeing how I can hit some shots with this thing that I absolutely cannot with another frame.
It also just has a fun feel to it that seems somehow effortless to play with.
So much so, that I actually decided to join back up in the league and really commit to playing more. Which is a good thing as if I dont commit to playing more the fellas in the division I am in are going to seriously kick my posterior!
I havent tried that, but I did take a similar (similar as in el cheapo route) for a reel of Gosen Polylon ($33.95 at TW). I played a few sets with it this morning, and honestly, Im sold. Its hard to believe this string is so inexpensive. It really plays great IMO and for the $, its more or less ridiculous. TW seems to agree based on their review of it as well.
I'm really waiting for someone to try 15g natural gut mains with 15g poly crosses on this frame at like 65lbs. And see how it works out. Because i think that would be an idea setup for this frame.
I'd do it myself, but I really can't stand high launch angle rackets, so I don't want to spend the big $s on 99s.
Ah, great feedback, that was the other reel I was considering. What color did you buy.....I am assuming it was the 1.29mm/16g reel right? Looks like it is $34.95.....same one?
Sound like it is pretty soft which I like for a thinker gauge.
Yes, I bought 16g in black.
And....I swear it was $33.95. I bought it on 1/25 and just checked my receipt......it was $33.95! So...price has gone up a measly buck....still a bargain!
Ytex has a 1.30 reel on their website that is marketed as durability for $59.99 which is not too bad....I have had good luck with their string.
Still, not much out there above 1.30 in the Poly category for a reel, and 4gs is an insane price for an individual pack. I might try that Iso just to get the 1.35mm
Hi Jack, I tried both gut/4g and gut/rpm in 16 and 17 gauges. They all played fantastic but did not last long. Roughly 5-6 hours of mostly doubles play. The guts were strung around 58-60 and the polys were strung around 54-56. The setups were powerful but still contollable.
I have since moved on to cheaper polys. With Iontec salmon I am getting 6 hours of good playability for only $7, compared to almost $30 for the gut/poly setup.
I can't remember, did anyone try SPPP in the 99s? A good choice?
dont think so. SPPP is one of the softest poly's out there and not noted for durabilty.
I would recommend any of these:
Lx 4G 16g or the "S"
Prince Beast 16g
Solinco Outlast 16g
Gamma ZoVerve 16g
these are all durable and hold tension well
Ah, okay... "HE SAYS NOTING IT ALL DOWN."
Any thoughts on Kirschbaum Super Smash 16 (1.30) Orange? TW is offering 4 packs for $16 right now, pretty good deal for Kirschbaum, but does it hold tension well?
Also, One of my favorite all time Polys is now in 1.30 at TW from Yonex, the Poly Tour Pro in black and yellow. I love the 1.25 in yellow, I would imagine that the 1.30 of this string will do well in the 99s.
And for what its worth, Weiss Cannon's Scorpion 16 is a 1.33 which is essentially a 15L gauge, any experience with Scorpion?
Oh, 1 other one, KLIP Hardcore 1.30, looks like it might do well with the Steam, any thoughts?
Sorry for being a little random, going to load up on 1.30-1.35 string soon.
How come nobody ever tried or has tried the Xcite? Is it the price?
I found it a soft poly with easy power. Compared to signum tornado, beast xp and poly force.
yep, been thinking of PTP as well.
Re Scorpion, it stark contrast to what I was expecting, posts I'd read etc, it played just horribly for me in a PD. Just one of those string experiences where your just left dumb-founded.
I was hitting with it a little today, it pockets real nice. I still did not get a good workout since I had to run some drills with the kids and such. The string did move a bit, but not too bad. I had waxed the gut when I was stringing, it helps a lot. I use some left over Global Natural gut I had laying around, so I'm not too concerned with it breaking ($10 a set). Also it's more like 15G (1.35-1.40) because of it's unevenness. Though I did have trouble tying off the last cross at T7, so I tied off at T11.
As for High Launch angles, as long as you know it's possible, it's easy to adjust. I naturally hit the ball low, so it suits my swing.
Hey Jack. I'm a USTA computer rated 4.5. I hit with the 99S today using 16g Pacific Tough Gut in the mains and 16g 4G in the crosses strung at 58/52. Today was the first day I was able to hit/drill with another 4.5 player. (I hit briefly earlier in the week with a 3.5 in windy conditions and the 99s was strung with full Wilson Enduro (?) at an unknown tension. The racket played squishy, which I didn't like at all). I thought this gut/poly string setup had great control and good power. I didn't find the 99s to be a rocket launcher at all, though I'm not a player who normally blasts away.
My main stick is the somewhat older Wilson 6.1 BLX (the red/blackish 12+ oz one), which I've played with for at least a couple of years now.
I had no trouble adjusting to the 99s. The gut/poly strings made a huge difference over the full Enduro. However, after just one hit, I don't know how long they'll hold tension or last. I'm not normally a string breaker (I don't hit with a lot of extreme spin). I haven't looked closely at the strings since my hitting session, but I'm thinking of putting in some string savers to try to extend the life of the strings.
I didn't actually get a lot of extra spin on groundstrokes that I noticed, but I did on spin serves. My hitting partner didn't notice that I wasn't using my normal racket (I didn't tell him and apparently he didn't notice). He said I was getting great action on my serves and asked what strings I was using (thinking the strings were giving me the extra action). Volleys were surprisingly good.
Overall, I found the 99s is easier to play with than my 6.1 BLX, though it doesn't quite have the solid feel of the 6.1 BLX. I need more time with the 99s, but it could be a game improvement racket for me, if it doesn't eat the gut/poly strings too quickly and if I can actually use the poly in crosses without having arm issues. (I normally string my BLX with gut/syn gut).
I'll be playing some pretty competitive doubles on Sunday, which should be a good test for me with the 99s.
I kinda rambled, but I hope the little bit of feedback on the gut/poly string setup is helpful.
my LUX ORIGINAL WENT SOUTH IN ONE DAY, it was a rocket, indeed you need tension holding setup on the thick side at high tension
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