How It Tested: All-court playtesters with classic and eastern strokes gave the Steam props for its head-light heft and maneuverability. Although some with western grips reckoned the sweetspot was a bit low in the stringbed, all agreed that the Steam could add some pop to volleys. “I lost a bit of depth near the top of the hoop,” one 4.0 playtester said. “But it was otherwise solid from the baseline, and I really liked its stability and control on volleys.” What’s more, playtesters found that the Steam’s extra quarter-inch length gave them the leverage they needed to carve slice backhands straight and true through the court.
Bottom Line: For intermediate, all-court aggressors who like to knife through the ball.