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Wednesday, January 16, 2013 The New Wilson Steams (and Spin Effect Tech) Are Here!

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Wilson BLX Steam was introduced to much fanfare in 2012, and quickly saw success in the hands of players like Petra Kvitova and Kei Nishikori. For 2013, Wilson has made some buzz-worthy enhancements to the Steam line that are destined to excite players everywhere.

Enhancements Abound: The 2013 Steam line has come a long way from last year’s single-model series, with the introduction of four new frames, along with an innovative new string pattern designed to take spin production to the next level. Wilson has expanded the head size offerings in the Steam line to cover a broader spectrum of players, with 96, 99 and 105 square inch models in addition to the original 100 square inch model. Each has its own special features, so let’s look at them individually.

The Original Remains: The original Steam 100 is still around, with all the great features that made it one of 2012’s most popular frames. Designed to provide Next Gen players with a lighter, easier-swinging frame with added power and spin, the Steam delivered in spades. Replacing the BLX Tour, the Steam was designed with a larger (100 vs 95 square inch) head size, but kept its predecessor’s 23mm beams, 27.25” length, 16x20 string pattern and tweener weighting. It features a more headlight balance and lower swingweight to help increase racquet head speed and spin, making it better suited to the modern game. This model is still here for all of you who have come to love it.

Petra Kvitova Steam

Kei Nishikori Steam

Steam 96: The Steam 96 is designed to provide aggressive all-court players with a solid, controlled response. One of the lightest Steam frames (unusual for such a small head size), the 10.8 oz. (strung) Steam 96 packs a 1-point head heavy balance to add stability and increase “plow through” effect from the baseline, enabling it to fight off hard-hit shots with ease while still providing maximum racquet speed (it’s also perfect for customizing). The narrowest beams (22mm) and most dense string pattern (16x20) help with control, and Basalt construction combines with an Amplifeel handle and Double Hole grommets to dampen shock and increase feel.

Steam 99: The new Steam 99 not only has a larger head size than the 96, but comes with wider (24mm) beams, a more open 16x18 pattern, and a half-ounce more weight for added power and stability. Length is down ¼” to a standard 27 inches, allowing the slightly heavier frame to have comparable maneuverability to its lighter counterparts. Basalt and Double Hole grommets combine with Wilson’s new Amplifeel 360 handle to provide a perfect blend of power, control and feel. The Steam 99 will be Flavia Pennetta’s racquet of choice (right) on the WTA Tour in 2013.

Flavia Pennetta

Wilson Spin Effect Technology

The Big Deal: The modern game centers on using spin to control the ball’s direction, to open up angles and to harness the power of today’s big swings. Wilson has devised a way to increase spin markedly with their new, patent-pending Spin Effect Technology: an innovative 16 main/15 cross-string pattern that provides 3.3 times more string movement and 69% faster string “snapback” for previously unheard of levels of spin (this is best achieved with monofilament strings like Luxilon 4G or Babolat RPM Blast, or performance monofilaments like Ashaway Zyex Monogut). Spin Effect Technology has the added benefits of a softer feel and extra power that all open string patterns provide. Wilson has used Spin Effect Technology in two new Steam models, one an enhancement of a current model, and the other a totally different animal.

Steam 99S: The Steam 99S takes all of the Steam 99 features and adds Spin Effect Technology for maximum spin and control. Combined with Basalt, Amplifeel 360 and Double Holes, the Steam 99S should provide the ultimate hitting platform for aggressive baseline play.

Steam 105S: The Steam 105S brings Spin Effect Technology to its peak with a larger 105 square inch head size for the most spin potential in the line, and a lower 10.8 oz. strung weight for maximum racquet speed. Its 27 ½” length increases leverage for added power, reach and spin, as well. A higher modulus graphite construction and 26mm Dual Taper Beam design reinforce the racquet’s structure for top-level power potential and stability. Basalt, Double Holes and Amplifeel 360 combine to eliminate any harshness that might result, making the Steam 105S the ultimate in power, spin and feel.

Generational Shift: Wilson has correctly identified what Next Gen players want: maximum power and spin without harmful vibrations. They’ve given it to them in the new Steam series for 2013. Four models let Next Gen players of all levels and styles choose the exact amount of power and spin they want, making the Steam series Wilson’s ultimate racquet line for the modern game. Demo all of the BLX Steam frames at Tennis Express and find the one that’s right for you.

Wilson Next Gen


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