Wilson Steam 105S Spin Racquet Customer feedback

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Please include any relevant information such as string type and tension, skill level and style of play.

Comments: First thing to say is this racquet has lots of power. It's stiff and at its stock weight, I found it was lacking stability and harsh on my arm against heavy hitters. I have added about 30g of silicone to the handle and the racquet has transformed. Stable and no longer harsh on the arm. Terrific spin and for a 105 square inches, it has the most pop of any out there. I suspect it is not for everyone. But for me it makes a "difference." There are not many racquets you can truly say that about. Always believed it was the archer, not the bow. No longer sure that is true! Well done Wilson -- brave and different.
From: John, 8/16

Comments: I have found that I like the spin I get from my serves. The kick is great. I do have issues with the hairline cracks from the eyelets on the sides of the racquet, it does not like the heavy and hard swings It can't be helped because of the spin your trying to generate. I play at the 4.5 level.
From: Greg, 6/16

Comments: Bought the Wilson Steam 105S after demoing a variety of other racquets. My go to racquet has been the Wilson Blade 98 18x20, which I've been very happy with, but wanted to see if I could find something a bit more spin friendly. I wasn't particularly looking for a larger head size but wanted to give some a try. For me this racquet instantly felt amazing. My serve improved as well as my net game. I'm a dedicated doubles player and I think the added length definitely helps my game. I've been dealing with tennis elbow for a number of months and I strung the 105S with Technifibre X-1 Biphase. Within two weeks the strings were ready to break. I'm disappointed because the Techniifbre played awesome. I'm now using Luxilon Big Bangor and so far my arm is tolerating it, but I feel that it isn't as responsive as the Technifibre. Overall, I'm very happy with this racquet, but I now understand the problems associated with open string patterns eating up string.
From: Eric, 4/16

Comments: It has power and control. It help me on my wrist pain due to its flexibility. Awesome racquet.
From: Ed, 8/15

Comments: Nice racquet, great spin for a 4.0 player. I can get some different angles on my kick serve. The main benefit -- it is easy on my golfers elbow (pain on inside of elbow). The only problem with the racquet is the very open string pattern causes string to break quickly. Get string life extenders!
From: Mr. Epson, 6/15

Comments: Great racquet! It gives me extra power and spin. I never lose matches since I have made the switch to this one.
From: Sophie, 5/15

Comments: Playing with this racquet feels like cheating because there's so much power and spin. The backhand slice is very easy to control and give it that extra curve spin that messes up your opponent. This racquet is good for anyone at any level, but if you are strong 4.0+ this racquet may make your opponent think you're a spin master.
From: Dat, 5/15

Comments: I had a Babolat Pure Drive which was very solid however was looking for more spin. I ordered this racquet after doing a lot of research on it and after playing with it I felt a big difference in my strokes. With the additional spin I was able to execute on drop shots and my backhand was able to produce a lot of spin and slice. The additional power and larger head frame gave me a bigger sweet-spot on put away volleys and first serves without sacrificing control. Not to mention the design looks pretty sweet. I recomend this racquet to any intermediate or andvanced player wanting more power and spin.
From: Will, 3/15

Comments: Ordered one of these guys a couple weeks ago, and boy, I am impressed. I'm a 4.0, and until recently, a fairly flat ball hitter. I don't usually have much margin for error when playing. I have been having a blast with all the spin this racquet generates. My old mantra was tighter strings so my forehands don't sail long! This racquet has given me the opportunity to change my game. I didn't have to change my forehand stroke at all, and it's like the court has gotten a whole lot bigger. My forehand drives have all been landing inside the baseline, and my serves have added power and spin. My backhand now needs some retooling, as they are tending to sail long on me unless I really brush up on them. Overall, this racquet is a blast to play with and if you're looking to change your flat game to a spin game, this racket is a must try.
From: Ron, 3/15

Comments: I feel as Wilson made this racquet just for me. It has improved my strokes, serve and returns. My returns and strokes were my few strengths before I bought this racquet. It did not matter I lost a little on my volleys and net play because I have never been good there anyhow. I have always done my damage from the baseline learning the game on the red clay I already had ridiculous topspin so all the 105S did was enhance it to an almost unfair level. I bought three and committed to them last year forever. I had played at the 4.5 level years ago but stopped playing for several years then self rated at 3.5. I got bumped up to 4.0 and won our club's doubles championship. Recommend using rubber bands as dampeners hence I have not had a big string breakage problem. If you fit the mold, this racquet can make you the king of the baseline again.
From: Johnny, 2/15

Comments: This racquet is awesome for baseline. Tons of spin and depth. But very hard to control volleys and hard to hit flat balls. Anyone have any advice on that?
From: Mike, 1/15

Comments: I'm not sure why everyone is so surprised about string breakage. Any racquet with an open pattern such as the 105S or 99LS or any racquet with an open pattern strings will break quickly . That's the sacrifice you have to make to get increased spin.
From: Pat, 1/15

Comments: I've used many racquets (the 99S, APD, 99LS, Ai 98, etc.). I still come back to this 105S. Why? Because I can rip a 1 handed backhand with confidence. The secret? Spiky Shark at 45 lbs with Mono Gut ZX at 45 lbs. Try it.
From: Moe, 12/14

Comments: I'm a solid 4.0 player. I've used this racquet for about 6 months. This is a very powerful racquet with very good spin. Good for serves, baseline shots, volleys that need more depth. Even mishits go back in with better velocity. Everything will have more power. People will notice your increased power and spin. The negatives are equal however. There is a big trampoline effect due to the open string pattern. If youre used to hitting a forehand approach with big topspin, you'll see it fly occasionally. It feels like the strings grip the ball and send it long. Maybe a tighter string tension would work better to counter the trampoline effect. Also, I suddenly lost my drop shot. It's like my touch went away. Strings break with this racquet often. I'm playing about 4-6 hours per week and restringing about every 3-4 weeks. The longest lasting string that I've used is the Prince ProBlend with kevlar mains. This lasted about 8 weeks. Be wary, this is also a very stiff racquet. I'm feeling a bit of tennis elbow. If you have a slow swing speed, this racquet may be good for you. But if you have a fast swing speed, maybe this isnt the best one.
From: Ed, 11/14

Comments: I have has this racquet for about 4 months. I didn't care for it at first, then liked it, and now am not sure? Before I was using nCode nPro 96 with RPM Blast strung at 50 lbs. My teaching pro moved me to the Steam 105S and said it gives me more power, spin, and depth. He is right, but I have never used a racquet this size and feel my swing speed has slowed too much. On the upside, any aches and pains anywhere in this old body have disappeared. So, I am going to check out the newer Head Radical Pro? What can I say, it's a constant racquet quest, but overall, a very nice racquet.
From: James, 8/14

Comments: I've used this racquet for 15 months or so and I love it. I'm a 61 year old 4.5 USTA league player and noticed added power and spin immediately. I think I added up to 10 mph on my serve so now I am topping out at 90 mph (I have access to a radar gun). I tend to hit all my shots flat so this added spin was a huge plus. Touch with full poly wasn't as good as I liked, so I experimented with a hybrid setup. Now I use 16 gauge Babolat RPM Blast in the mains at 56 lbs and 16 or 17 gauge Wilson NXT in the crosses at 58 lbs. Other string combinations did produce more wear however.
From: Dave, 7/14

Comments: Love this racquet at the baseline. I didn't have any touch on my volleys, but it was almost worth losing my volley control for the intense power I had at the baseline. You can really rip your groundstrokes with a lot of topspin and a satisfactory pop. One warning though, I think it's required that you use a full poly string set, otherwise you'll likely be burning through strings on a daily basis. With the open string pattern though, the polys don't have as drastic of an impact on your arm as they might with a closed string pattern.
From: Mary, 4/14

Comments: I'm a 45 year old 5.0 senior player in Sweden. I've played with the Prince O3 white for years and tried 10+ strings at different string tensions. People put to much emphasis on racquet frames. Strings makes a bigger difference. Compare the same frame with a multifilament or a stiff poly strung at the same string tension. It's two different racquets. Anyway, I love the Wilson Steam 105S. Why? The one-handed backhand suddenly has some topspin added to it. It has power. I can counter-punch 2 meters behind the baseline with the forehand. My lefty serve gets added kick. I string my own racquets with Signum Pro Plasma Power. I've gone from 1.28 to 1.33mm at 26 kg on the main string. For the cross string I use 1.25mm at 24 kg. Now it's stiff enough to get the right snap-back. The Steam adds consistency to my game, faster swing speed and I love what it does with the slice. The trajectory is so low, it's ridiculous. Finally a frame that makes a difference.
From: Jan, 4/14

Comments: I have had strings break on me within two weeks, twice now. Seems the strings are sawing into each other. I've just installed string savers Tourna Cross Sampras Tennis Racquet String Saver. I am hoping this increases the life of the strings. Amazing to me how a racquet can significantly increase the wear on the strings, but that's technology for you!
From: Ron, 3/14

Comments: I have used this racquet for three months with great results. I am a 4.0 senior player. Per recommendation printed on the racquet (Luxilon 125 4G) strung at 40 pounds and I haven't broken a string. Teaching pros break string regularly. Heavier hitters likely have the same problem. Actually, at medium swing speed I get good pace. I haven't decided when I should replace strings. I tried the 99S when it came out, but I didn't get nearly the amount of spin or pace.
From: Jesse, 2/14

Comments: I am a wannabe 4.0 senior player and stringer that hits lots of drop shots, lobs and angles. I boiught two of these 16x15 racquets. My NRG2 17g lasted only 3-4 outings, so I convrerted to poly mains with NRG crosses which lasts about 2 weeks, playing 4-5 times a week. But now after almost 7-10 months, I began to notice hair line cracks on the bridge on both sides. Sent one back and waiting for feedback from TW and Wilson. Like these racquets but, I'm not sure on their durability.
From: Tomas, 2/14

Comments: I've had the Steam 105S for about two months now. First, if you hit with any velocity at all and don't string your own racquets, you may not want to demo this one. For reference, my 2nd serve is about 75mph and I hit moderate spin with a semi-western grip, and 17 gauge strings last less than 5 hours of play for me (I've tried Lux 4G 16L, Cyclone Tour 17, Enduro Pro 17, and Wilson Spin Cycle 16L, all with the same results). These strings lasted 20+ hours on my modified kSurge. That said, I love the racquet. The marketing materials comparing trajectories of the spin effect vs other racquets is dead on. You get higher net clearance and more spin, so it is easier to hit deeper balls with confidence. It also has a big wonderful sweet spot that my kSurge did not have, which makes a big difference to me (guess I'm just too often that much off-center).
From: Ty, 1/14

Comments: I'm a 4.0 player and this racquet is a real spin monster -- no question about it. But it has very little control for serves and everything. It's also very stiff and light.
From: Tom, 12/13

Comments: I got this racquet about a month ago. I demo'd it and loved the spin and and depth I was able to create. I used a Prince Hybrid 100 before. Once I got the racquet, I strung it with RPM Blast. It has improved every part of my game (serves, volleys, overheads and baseline play). The only area I am still getting accustomed to is the mid-court ball where I want to drive it into a corner. It has the tendency to sail if I don't hit it just right. Worth working on. As for the string breakage you've been hearing about, it's real! I just sent it in to get strung for the 5th time. I am using 16 gauge all RPM and am breaking strings every 5-6 days. I play about 5 times a week.
From: Anon, 11/13

Comments: This racquet is great. I swing with lots of topspin and was not getting the power with my former racquet that had a 98 square inch head size. The 105S gave me more topspin and power. After just one month, I am beating players I once struggled to keep even with. This is a game changer. I am a 4.0 player and am using Luxilon 4G strings. It is easy on my arm and it hits with authority.
From: John, 11/13

Comments: Strung it with RPM Blast 18 at 54 lbs after trying different strings including Luxilon 4g. I finally found the string and tension where I can feel spin and power without destroying my arm and wrist.
From: Jose, 11/13

Comments: A follow up review after 2 months of use -- Still enjoying the excellent spin on groundstrokes and serves. This is really a unique feature of the 105S to me as no other stick can produce such spin. Problem is it is a bit heavy to swing (despite the head light specs) so I can't always get it going. Control is an issue as well, more shots sail long than usual and it could be due to the open string pattern. I am using RPM strings, may change them to my regular Gamma Hybrid for more bite to see how it goes. On the whole, I still find it a very enjoyable racquet for what it does. Hoping for a Blade Spin in Oversize though.
From: D, 9/13

Comments: I'm a USTA 4.0 (+) player. Love the racquet, but the strings break every 2-3 weeks for me. I'm using the recommended string, Luxilon 4G S. I tried it at 57 lbs and 62 lbs. I still keep breaking within 2-3 weeks. My play frequency is 5-6 days a week, 3 hours per day.
From: CP, 8/13

Comments: I get so much spin on my forehand that many players swing and miss on relatively easy shots (4.0 players, like me). I get the best result with Black Widow strings (using two dampeners). Have not broken strings yet after about 10 matches. With other strings, I had experiences like many other reviewers -- I popped them very quickly and the strings moved a lot after shots. No such movement with Black Widow and dampeners, strung tightly at 65 lbs. It's crucial to try out different strings and tensions with this racquet, especially if you're a heavy topspin player.
From: Anon, 7/13

Comments: This racquet is clearly not for everyone, but it's good for me. I hit hard and flat on both sides and seldom venture to the net. It has added a lot of speed and spin to my shots, serves are friendly as well due to the head light balance. In a way it feels a bit different from the tighter string patterns but overall I like this racquet a lot. However, if I were a touch player with regular forays to the net, I guess I would find the open string pattern a problem. As of now, it's a keeper!
From: D, 5/13

Comments: This racquet is really light for 4.0+ players. You can hit with lots of spin but the ball may sit up and you will get killed. The 99 S is better. I tried the 105 S with 4G and it's very stiff. You need to make sure to lower the tension a bit.
From: George, 5/13

Comments: I am a 4.5 player and I really like the feel of this racquet. For me, the strings don't last more than two matches before breaking them. I am using Solinco Tour Bite 16 gauge. I generate my own pace so wanted a dead string. I am going to try the new Luxilon 4G S 15g but did not like the thinner version of this string as it provided too much pop with this racquet and it costs a fortune. This racquet has an open string pattern different from many other racquets, so be warned if you are a string breaker, this one will cause your strings to break.
From: Tom, 5/13

Comments: I have been using this racquet since they were first available and am very pleased with the extra spin it generates. It has excellent power when returning serves and driving the ball to the baseline. I have been using Genesis Twisted Razor in the mains and a synthetic gut in the crosses at the mid-tension range for the racquet. My biggest concern is that the mains move all over the place during play and I'm constantly re-aligning them between points. I've been advised to try natural gut in the crosses to help hold the mains a little better and will leave additional feedback afterwards. If anyone out there has a recommendation for hybrid combos that generate spin and don't move, let me know. Otherwise a really sweet racquet.
From: Chuck, 2/13

Comments: Great racquet but hit with it twice and it now has a 12 inch hairline crack that has appeared on one side of the frame. It starts about half way up the face and ends at the base of the throat. Is anybody else having this problem?
From: Dave, 2/13

Comments: Please don't buy this racquet. I want to be the only one that uses it. On the serious side, this racquet has more power than my 110 Prince Hybrid. It is also a very stiff racquet sporting a harsh feel with a full poly string bed. I tried a hybrid with poly mains and multi crosses and it is much more easy on the arm. The other thing is that it chews up strings like crazy because of the open string pattern. I love this stick! I am going to try to get used to it, because it is weird/different. It is not easy to control but the spin is huge. If you are young and strong, work with the 99s instead.
From: Anon, 1/13

Comments: This is an excellent racquet for spin, great touch and serves. Control is definitely not the same as 100 head size racquets but better than usual 105 head size racquets. However, if you are aiming for the lines or corners, it might take a while to dial in. My only issue and this was a really big one was, after 3 sets my elbow began to burn, which was a deal breaker for sure. But if you are used to stiff racquets and are a physically strong player, this is definitely a good racquet. But one important thing to remember is, please don't buy without demo'ing cecause this racquet is different from usual racquets in a lot of ways. The stiffness, the 16x15 string pattern and the head size. Good luck.
From: Sriram, 1/13

Comments: This raquet is unique and truely a game changer. I'm usually not a fan of longer frames but this one has quickly changed my mind. I can hit out with this and not fear losing control. It has a huge sweetspot and nailing corners to either side was simply effortless. I found I was able to impart killer spin both top and slice. Absolutely worth a demo!
From: Allan, 1/13

Comments: Two words to sum it up...Game Changer!
From: Matt, 1/13

Comments: I just started hitting with it, but so far so good. I used to play with the BLX 104 and this frame feels somewhat similar but just a touch heavier with a bit more mass and plowthrough. I'm still getting used to the extra spin and I would say it probably adds about 10%-20% more spin than what I was used to. I had been experimenting with stringing poly in the 30s and 40s and I find this racquet (strung at 60) has a similar feel. Flat shots do fly, and I haven't been able to locate my flat serve yet, but spin serves are working fine and I like the touch at net (which is where I struggled when stringing in the 30s). It's also very comfortable on the arm (so far) as I could return hard shots without much vibration at all. After a week, I like it a lot, but I think the challenges are whether I can figure out how to control flat hits, either on serves, or to put away short balls.
From: Jon, 1/13

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