The string pattern is 16 Mains and 15 Crosses which gives a very open string pattern, I used a ATW (Around the World) string pattern to maintain the Head to Throat cross strings. (most rackets should have their cross strings strung from Head to Throat to maintain the integrity of the frame or you can use 2 piece stringing method if you don't mind four knots).
If the main and cross strings are the same tension (and string) then I like to use the ATW pattern as then I only have two knots in the string pattern not four.
Initial reaction to the racket is the very open string pattern, which looks like it will need more restrings because of the string movement. (the whole idea of the open string pattern is to allow the strings to move more and snap back generating the spin, this will cause lots of string wear / sawing / notching, doubt if the strings will last 10 hours. The recommended strings for this racket is Polyester )
I will ask Mike (the owner of the new weapon) to comment once he has played with it.
If I'm playing against Mike I will let you know what it is like to play against, Since I'm playing with a Powerangle racket it could be a battle of the spinners!
(Side note: as always we decided to cut out the strings in the racket (provided by the seller) and put in a string that would suit both Mike and the recommended string specs for the racket (polyester string)
(I don't normally comment on other stringers, but guy's the string tension where all over the show, one half of the racket at 60lbs and the other half at 54Ibs, (this was not factory stringing either!))
Update: Ok I played against Mike in doubles tonight and we got to warm up against each other:
1. The ball coming to me is higher and then dips suddenly and kicks up off the ground (not the same shots that Mike normally plays, more intense!)
2. Definitely more spin (revolutions) on the ball
3. If Mike didn't hit with any topspin (ie flat) then the ball sailed out.
4. All slices and spins were more pronounced (heavy on my racket, tended to push back at you!)
So being on the receiving end:
1. Yes it does produce more spin
2. Not nice to play against
3. Changes the dynamic of the game because anyone can have a heavy topspin , dipping slice, kick server, slice serve
but also alters the flight of the ball a more pronounced dive into the court (so more balls are going to stay in, that look as if they should go out!)
4. Is this a game changer? YES!
Would I play with this racket after being on the receiving end ? YES
(if I didn't have a PowerAngle racket that does the same!)
Downside: Yes there is one, this racket will chew through strings ! (good for me! and every other stringer!)
Update 6 March 13: Mikes's strings went (snapped) last night,a quick look at the strings and yes a lot of notching!
I then did a quick calculation based on when I have seen Mike playing since the restring:
Based on the average number of hits per match is 150 (1 hour duration):
Mike has played :
Training for 4 hrs, Ball machine 750 hits = 5 hrs play, club nights x 2 hrs , doubles match 2 hrs so Mike got approx 13 hours of play out of the strings. This is about right for this racket considering the very open string pattern and the greater string movement.
The 105S is very head light, If I was Mike I may want to get the balance of the 105S to the same as his "old racket" that way he will get all the benefits, without the hassle of relearning a new racket. Just an idea!
Mike's comment from tonight's first use of the 105S:
As a keen tennis player, but not someone who has been gifted with Federer, Nadal, Murray or any professional players ability I am always looking for something to give me an edge! Having read about the Wilson Steam 105s and watched the video reviews I decided to invest. Really more out of hope than expectation - that it could provide me with additional spin (and hopefully a higher level of consistency) that I desire.
Although I have only tried it out the once (tonight) I can say I am not disappointed! The difference in weight and more importantly balance will no doubt take me some time to adjust my swing to, but the difference in spin was immediately noticeable. My first comment to Dave after warmup was that when I hit a proper forehand I struggled to get the ball beyond the service line, because of the additional dip. Unfortunately, perhaps from trying to hard, if I did't time it correctly (impart some spin) the ball sailed long! I Hopefully in the long run the racket will turn out to be a good investment, I just hope the lighter head isn't detrimental to my volleying etc.
Given the expected additional string ware I will be investing in Dave's stringing services any time this year especially when I have a game I really want to win....
Update 8th July 2013: We have tried the following strings in the BLX 102S:
Pro's Pro Lethal Spin 1.25 gauge (Great for this racket but will not last over 12 Hours of play )
Ashaway MonoGut 1.27 gauge (Seems to be lasting the longest up to now)
One we are going to try next is Dunlop Biomimetic Ice 1.25 gauge.
(We are keeping to 1.25 and 1.30 gauge as we want to retain the feel, control and spin potential.)
We have now completed numerous tests with Dunlop Biomimetic Ice 1.25 and found that this strings lasts the longest so far!
Really is a good combination of racket / string and Player (*all five of them!)
This string averages over 20 hrs in this racket (which is good considering the "open pattern")
Why not give it a try and let me know how you get on!
Update: 2/8/2014 I have a good Hybrid that seems to suit this racket,
Mains : Tennis Tech Match Pro polyester 1:30 gauge
Cross: Dunlop Biomimetic Ice 1.25 Gauge
Gives the racket a more positive feel and increases the string life, the Match Pro is a German manufactured smooth poly (slippery and stiffer) and the Ice is a soft pol, non of them are textured.
Good feedback from the racket owners as they like the positive feel and the increased in string life!