Are you ready for the new line of Wilson tennis racquets that are designed to enhance spin? I’m not talking about the kind of spin one would get from, say, an Aero Pro Drive or other 16×19 string patterned tennis racquets. I’m talking about INSANE amounts of spin, more revolutions per minute than any opponent of yours could handle! There is such a racquet coming to a retailer near you in 2013.
Earlier this year, Wilson released a new line of BLX Pro Staff Six.One tennis racquets; the more popular being Roger Federer’s choice, the Six.One 90. The new BLX Pro Staff came with some new stuff, new paint (woohoo!), and Basalt in the handle to “connect the player with the ball.” Nothing different, not changing the landscape of tennis and the equipment that we play with in any way, it’s just making something we already have look different. A bit disappointing I say. I felt that there was no real innovation the the ProStaff line of racquets.
I wonder if Wilson heard the groans from their market and decided to go back to the drawing board. This time, though, to reinvent the way the tennis racquets affected the tennis balls. But how? Was it possible to change the standard of 19 or 20 crosses? Would they dare to change the normal, “boring” string patterns? There is nothing boring with the new line of “spin friendly” tennis racquets from Wilson.
Wilson takes “spin friendly” to a whole new level
Wilson has always been a leader in new technologies, though this is one of the most daring changes they’ve made in quite some time.
In 2013, Wilson will release the line of Steam tennis racquet, they will feature a minimal string pattern, 16×15, as a standard on the line. That’s right, 15 cross strings! This will be the spin friendliest tennis racquet on the market currently.
But why 15? The 15 crosses and 16 mains will open up the space between the string, allowing for the tennis ball to dwell on the stringbed for longer. The less string density will also give the mains an opportunity to move on fewer crosses, which will give the mains more movement and provide “snap” which gives the ball the forward or reverse rotation (topspin or slice). Wilson calls this SpinEffect Technology.
Is spin friendly really the answer?
Sure, hitting a Nadal-esq topsin forehand or something similar is desirable, though we gotta keep in mind, Nadal has been playing high level tennis for nearly all his life (started age 3). Hitting those types of topspin strokes for us mortals is not very consistent and somewhat unpredictable.
To hit a proper topspin strokes, I believe, is acquired through technique and practice; more than just spin friendly equipment. The equipment will help, to a certain extent, though it’s not the only factor for increased ball spin.
Tennis stringers rejoice with spin friendly technology!
There is a downside for tennis players who will be acquiring these spin friendly tennis racquet from Wilson (Steam 99s). Players will likely go through tennis strings more often.
With the strings (mostly mains) moving more frequently, the saw effect will take place. Essentially, the mains moving about will cut into the cross strings much faster than traditional string patterns.
This is a bummer for the tennis player, but an added bonus for tennis stringers! Less strings + faster breakage = more string jobs! This could be extremely costly if not a pro, especially if you use natural gut tennis strings.
Is it really worth it to have such a spin friendly tennis racquet? Sure, if you don’t care much for control or have enough money to keep up with the frequent string breakage. Sure, this could be a fun racquet to use, but it really doesn’t seem like an economical choice and the Wilson Steam 99s is not going to be the “magic bullet” for players who want more spin. I say focus on improving your technique instead of falling for gimmicks.
The Wilson 2013 Steam line of frames will be available for pre-sale at Tennis-Warehouse.com on January 15, 2013.