View Full Version : Babolat Pure Drive?

02-20-2004, 10:03 AM
I was talking last night with the pro who strings my racquet. I took my Head Ti.Radical in to get it restrung and told him that I planned to bring in my Yonex Super RQ Ti-700 Long in a day or two to have it strung. This led us into a discussion about why I was trying all of these older racquets.

So I told him about me looking for something with a little more "put away" power so I wouldn't have to make such a powerful swing each time and so that I wouldn't have to be quite as precise with my shots. After listening to what I was looking for in a racquet, he suggested the Babolat Pure Drive.

I know many people here have a love/hate relationship with this racquet. I, myself, from looking at the TW review, don't really think it's exactly what I'm looking for but for some reason I am just intrigued with this racquet as well as the Babolat line (and more recently the Yonex line too).

I guess my couple questions are:

1) If you currently play with this racquet, what makes it so great {IYO}?

2) If you used to play with this racquet but 'tossed' it, why did you get rid of it?

3) A lot of people say that this racquet has no feel and little control. Do you know of a racquet that has a similar power level (and weight) as the Pure Drive but gives a little more feel and better control?

As always, thank you for any help you can give.


Craig Sheppard
02-20-2004, 10:24 AM
Hey Benjamin, of course I can't be certain of this, but I'd watch out for pros making racquet recommendations. Most pros are sponsored by at least one racquet company, and stand to make quite a bit off selling them. So of course they'll push Babolat frames if they are sponsored by Babolat. Now if this guy was making an off-hand comment, and has no stake in the business, maybe you could believe it, but just be aware when listening to recommendations... Just some $.02.


02-20-2004, 10:32 AM

Thanks for the good advice.

To be honest, I don't think he is sponsored by anyone, but I think he is loyal to Wilson. Typically, everytime I see him, he's playing with a Wilson racquet, wearing Wilson shoes, and/or carrying a Wilson tennis bag.

That's why I pretty much trusted his recommendation. He wasn't going to gain any business { he knows I purchase everything from Tennis Warehouse :) }.

Thanks again for the sound advice.


02-20-2004, 10:36 AM
1) It is an awesome racket because I can swing away and the ball somehow lands in with lots of pace and topspin. Likewise, it is an increadible serving stick that gives the ball lots of pace and movement. I can blow my opponents off the court with it. The down side of this racket is

a) it is difficult to hit touch shots like drop shots, etc.
b) it is not the best volleying stick in the world
c) many opponents call my balls out because many times they look like they should go out (even to me) but somehow they land in at the last second thanks to the Woofer system.
d) now, every joe blow in the club is using it. I look like I am one of the Andy Roddick wannabe clowns, even though I don't care for the guy at all.
e) it is too light and customizing with lead takes time and is tricky to do it right if you have 4-5 of them.

2) because of the reasons listed above, I have been demoing other rackets after using PD for two years. I am looking for more versatile racket that will allow me to develop into a more advanced and complete player rather than the ever-boring inside-out topspin-forehand-until-short ball-comes along gig.

3)PD is a very unique racket. You have to either take it or leave it. Even if there was a racket like it, you can't have both lots of power and control. The very definition of control racket means that they don't come with much power. Besides, you can hit it just as hard especially on groundies with control stick by having a bigger swing. What I will miss the most is the phenominal spin potential of the PDs.

02-20-2004, 10:51 AM
I agree w/ Thunnus, great racquet for power and spin potential. Great pace on serves. I bit more difficult to get touch shots out of it i.e. angle volleys and drop shots, but it can be done. Just have to get used to the frame. It's pretty unique. If it feels a bit unstable, add some lead in the head. As far as control, it doesn't have the surgical precision/accuracy ala Prestige Classic or Wilson 6.0 85, but it's definitely controllable. What you do get thou is a bit more power. Just find the right balance of the 2 for your game.

02-20-2004, 03:50 PM
demo demo demo demo

Jerry Seinfeld
02-20-2004, 03:57 PM
Hey Benjamin! Many moons ago I suggested you try the Yonex ti 80. I still believe it fits most of your criteria. I thought since you were going through a Yonex phase, I would suggest it again.

Good luck!


02-20-2004, 04:07 PM
You should try the Pure Control MP (100 sq. in. headsize)

02-20-2004, 06:02 PM
Benjamin, I know this is a probably a stupid question because I know you have playtested just about every racket on the planet, but have you taken a look at the Yonex MP-1 (Hewitt)?

(I'm demoing vicariously through you and I'm interested in this racket). [/quote]

02-20-2004, 08:44 PM
I think that the Babolat pure drive has lots of pop but lacks some, some touch on volleys. It's a great racket for kick serves along with the babolat pure drive +

02-20-2004, 08:51 PM
Demoed the PD+. It's a very powerful racquet and lacks control. Forehands tended to sail long for me. Again, if you found the MP Tour-1 too powerful for you (from your old posts), then the PD will most likely be too powerful for you. Cheers!

02-21-2004, 03:56 AM
Thanks for all the help and advice on the Pure Drive.


I've had a chance to try the ti-80. A buddy of mine has one of them and he let me try it out for a couple sets. I liked the feel but comparing it side by side my POG mid, I still liked my Prince a little better. It may just be the fact that it would take more time to get used to ti-80 but I think I'm still wanting to go a little lighter (I think it is 12 or 12.1 ounces...correct?). Thanks for the help though.


How does the 100 sq. in. version of the Pure Control compare to the 97 sq. in. version?


I bought a Yonex MP-1 98 last year. Played with it for a couple matches and hated it. The weight and power level (seemed higher than I was hoping) just didn't mesh with what I was looking for. Luckily I was able to sell it to the guy mentioned above who let me try his ti-80. Seemed a lot heavier (and it was by a little when I measured it) that the specs would indicate.


I think what caused me problems with the MP-1 was the fact of the power in combination with the weight. It was heavier so it took some muscle to get it going but if I muscled it too much the ball flew because it had so much weight going into the ball. I was thinking maybe with the Pure Drive/Pure Drive Plus that with the light weight I wouldn't have to use as much muscle. I might could let the racquet do the work for me. More of a smooth controlled swing since I didn't have to worry about getting so much weight moving and if at the last minute I needed to adjust my swing, I could because of the light weight.

Again, thanks for everyone's help.


Brent Pederson
02-21-2004, 07:50 AM

As many have said here before, the pd is awesome on the serve and from the baseline, and from the net, well, lets just say it's like kissing through a screen door, no make that a bank vault door. The great feel the woofers provide and stiffness provide from the baseline with big swings turns into no feel at all for touch shots when you're not swinging fast.

I loved the woofers at the baseline though. The pure control 97 was better, though still reaaaally stiff and without at lot of feel. The pure control 100 (also known as the vs control), however, is a lot less stiff (about 65 or so), and so provides a lot more feel at net. Still not exactly a pog, but at least it's on the same planet, if you know what I mean. I found that at it's stock weight of 11.6 strung, it's a touch light, but adding some lead at 3 and 9 to bring it up to 12, it's got awesome put away power, very close to pure drive, but with a lot more feel and control.

02-21-2004, 09:08 AM

I think all the opinions regarding the PD have been discussed to death here on this board. So now it's up to you to decide.

Side note - it's about time TW update this page. I like the new format a hell of a lot better!

First post!!! 8)

02-21-2004, 03:44 PM
Well, I play with the pro staff original. Today I played a whole match with the Pure Drive. Here's my opinion:

1)Loved hitting forehands from the baseline, the comfort and the power increase were outstanding. I was able to take full cuts at the ball and have great neat clearance - creating topspin was wonderful, even better than with my Original.
3)My backhands were also good (I use a two hander), but not as good as my forehands - I preferred the 85 for backhands.
2)Serving was also great, althought I didn't have the "surgical" precision that I had with my Pro Staff 85.
3)Volleys were TERRIBLE. My balls were sailing long and I couldn't put the angles I'm used to.
4)Dropshots were also bad, my opponent was able to get easily to most of them.
Overall, I liked the racquet. My spin and power went up, but my finesse went down. I believe this is a racquet better suited for power baseliners who are not crazy about going up at the net.

02-21-2004, 08:56 PM
1) To be honest, without lead tape I could list 10 other racquets which are better, but with lead tape it is an awesome racquet. I have one whole strip of tape going from 9 o clock to 12 o clock and 12 o clock to 3 o clock, 2 layers at 12 o clock (the whole upper hoop) and strung with Lux ALU Power at 62lbs and i have two layers on the throat. Anyway, the main things is that it generates so much spin that you can hit the ball as hard as you want and it will go in with a lot of pace as well as a lot of spin, I think the slice is also really good, it is very maneuvarable making it easy for customization for a wide array of people, serves are great (both flat and kick) and it feels very comfortable only thing is that touch shots aren't that great unless you are good at touch shots and with the PD Std. I think it is possible to be a S and V (I'm not a pure Serve and Volleyer but I will often hit a flat shot in the backhand corner and rush the net and hit a finishing volley) and it has worked well on volleys for me, not extraordinary but pretty well
2)haven't switched yet
3) I think it has a good amount of control if strung at 60+ pounds, but I do agree that touch is pretty bad. I would say that the 300G, LM Radical, Prokennex 5g/7g, Prince Tour Diablo/TT Warrior, and of course the Wilson Surge 5.1 (very similar to PD) ok hope that helped and u should feel privileged because this is my first post on the new boards MUHAHAH

02-21-2004, 10:54 PM
Hi Benjamin,
I had the same idea as you some time ago, in searching for a slightly more powerful racquet do the work for me. My MW200G 100 weighs in at 12.7 ounces. Demoed the PD+. Found that it was difficult to control the shots due to the power level even though it was strung at 60 lbs (above the recommended level for the woofer). Settled for the Tour 8 for 3 months, but in the end realised that again, it was too powerful. When I tried to adjust my forehand to accomodate the power level, I found that I became more inconsistent in shotmaking! Control flew to the back of the fence so to speak! Lol.

This may happen to you, or it may not. If like me, you enjoy swinging out with a short to medium backswing with full follow through, then my advice is not to go down the path that I have tried. Instead of significantly tampering with your technique, find a racquet that complements it.

In the end, my conclusion is this: I like my forehand technique, which is my weapon, and enjoy the game more when I stick with it. Finally settled on the MP Tour-1 XF (customised with lead tape), which is just a TOUCH more powerful than the MW200G 100. I generate most of the power myself and I'm able to harness the racquet's extra bit of power with my technique. Importantly, control is still there.

Well, that's my experience. IMHO, I think the PD or Tour 8 will be too powerful for you unless you are willing to change your strokes to ACCOMODATE the power. I think it's better to search for very small adjustments to complement your technique, where your technique will HARNESS the tiny increase in power. My 2 cents. Hope it makes sense! Cheers!

02-23-2004, 04:04 AM
I would say to try the Pure Control . I used to use pure drive plus during my last season. I was very uncomfortable with my strokes but, I knew that I couldn't change during the season. I was probably a 3.5, now I'm about 4.5. I like the pure control + because of its control, its weight, and the feel. I use Luxilon TIMO 17 which is more of a control string. I will never switch off Luxilon. Maybe if you want more power, but don't like the PD u could try pc with some ALU POWER luxilon maybe? at a lower tension? I can generate my power and feed off the pace, so this setup is good to me. I string mine at 60 and as long as you swing low to high, with a semiwestern grip it will go in with my set up. If you try to kill it, not using the right form, u can make mistakes such as no control or too powerful. Its hard to demo because of the different strings. I wanted to try the pd again now that I got better and I think I could handle it, but I like the feel of the PC and I couldn't tell the different when I don't string them at exactly the same tension with the same string. Alot of players at my club use the PD or else the Agassi Liquid metal. Some coachs have told me that the PC amd Liquid metal are the same thing. I hope this helps.