The Pitch: In an effort to eliminate unwanted vibration when you miss the sweet spot, Wilson has constructed the Steam with Basalt fibers, a proprietary material made from natural volcanic rock that resists vibration, according to the company. The Steam also includes Double Holes, or bigger grommets that allow for more string movement and an expanded sweetspot.
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.