The Wilson Steam 105 S represents a giant leap forward in spin potential. This is because of the Spin Effect Technology, which uses a string pattern with less cross strings than main strings. The Spin Effect string pattern enables main strings to slide out of position further on a spin shot and then snap back into position providing added kick to spin shots as they leave the stringbed. The result, as confirmed by our playtesters, is massive spin. Also enhancing spin potential (and power!) is the extended 27.5 inch length. From the baseline our playtesters found a generous sweetspot with a stable and lively response. This is partly due to the Amplifeel 360 Technology, which reduces shock while increasing power. For our team the Steam 105 S proved to be the perfect weapon for hitting heavy shots with explosive bounce thanks to the huge spin potential. At net the 105 square inch head provides a luxurious hitting area, while the stability and power make it easy to stay aggressive on service returns. The added length is a genuine asset on serves where we discovered some serious pop and heavy action on slice and topspin serves. Best suited to 4.0+ players looking for easy power and more spin than you thought possible.
I have to say this is by far one of the funnest frames I have ever had the pleasure to demo/play with in my 10+ years of playing the game. Most recently I upgraded from the Wilson K-Fierce FX to the Wilson Pro Staff Six.One 100. My back-up frame is the Yonex EZONE Xi Team Plus 102.
At 11oz it is definitely the "heaviest" racquet I have use for an entire doubles or singles match. I demo-ed it during a doubles instructional clinic and then a pro-set of singles. Personally the adjustment period was rather short, I play with a Full and Fast swing so it was a matter of adjusting my swing's acceleration and I was able to keep my swing "length" unchanged.
Power like WHOA. Spin CONSTANT. I think because my game predicates itself in spin/heavy strokes my opponents mentioned the balls were not necessarily heavier but they all found the back of the court with unnerving consistency. With the Six.One 100 I was hitting spin heavy balls but some were landing in the shallow part of No Man's Land ... with the 105S I was able to hit a foot from the baseline consistently without it feeling like I was exerting myself. Power on the other hand ... it just generated itself effortlessly. Swinging at about 85 to 90% of my full swing speed (with the Six.One 100) I was able to generate the same pace, which made for a much better arm experience.
I was honestly hesitant to go back up to an 105 head from a 100 sq in frame, but because I had been playing with a 105 for over a year prior to acquiring the Six.One 100 over Black Friday weekend I think the instincts came right back. As I said before from the baseline it felt so natural and so right to hit those heavy spinners and watch the ball land right at the baseline and kick-up on my opponent. What was more surprising to me was the stability I found at the net. When my mechanics and my timing were on-point I was hitting clean winners that I couldn't with the smaller Six.One 100 frame. It is very "poppy" and prone to "fly balls" if you're racquet face isn't angled properly, so I guess in that sense it is less forgiving in volleys and half volleys.
I'll be honest ... if I had the funds to purchase this frame I would do it on the spot. But for now, I think I might continue playing with the Wilson BLX Pro Staff Six.One 100 until I can sell a couple frames I have laying around and round up the funds.
For full disclosure, currently in my racquet bag:
- Wilson BLX Pro Staff Six.One 100
- Yonex EZONE Xi Team+ 102
- Wilson K Fierce FX (2 frames, 1 at mid-tension, 1 at lower tension).
I'm an aggressive baseliner rated 3.5 by the USTA and for the past year or so I've been working intensely at sharpening my transition game since I've been playing in a couple USTA doubles (3.5 League Play) and mixed doubles leagues (8.0 Team Play).