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View Full Version : K Blade 98 or Pure Storm(new version)


Tennis16
06-04-2008, 05:06 PM
I am looking for an arm friendly racket that will give me good pop on the serve, and volley strong at the net. If anyone has played both these rackets your opinions would be appreciated. Thanks.

P8ntballa
06-04-2008, 05:11 PM
I personally liked the PS and the PST much more then the KB but the KBT was very nice to hit with just not very forgiving.

babolatisduhbomb
06-04-2008, 08:08 PM
i use a babolat aeroprodrive and i have a new k blade 98...my game is big serve big volly big forehand backhand makes em run thats when i go to net so i would defently get the 98 i think the other racqet isnt that good for you

bertrevert
06-04-2008, 10:38 PM
I didn't get very far trying out the Pure Storm (new one, but not the Tour). It's a decent if somehwat light and unremarkable hit, troubling in its stiffness, and vague though even and true sweetspot, and then again just can be really big on serve.

The 16 x 19 weave I found to be too inaccurate.

I had SPPP in it and got really bad TE (but I don't blame that one racquet for it had been building up).

Go the kBlade 98, absolutely rock solid and the right amound of flex, no vibration, fantastic on groundies and surprisingly good on volleys/slice for a 98.

Serve is perhaps not as big as it could be on the KB but you can fine tune with some lead and plent of practice.

Oh, just saw you want arm-friendliness - then it must be the kBlade 98. The lightness and stiffness of the Bab with poly in it sent my elbow into la-la land.

In D Zone
06-05-2008, 11:41 AM
I have Pure Storm Tour (new version). I have a love /hate relation with this racquet. The racquet is inconsistent on the feel as well as the sweetspot; this is comparing with the other racquets I own.

Tennis16
06-05-2008, 02:45 PM
I have tried to get a demo of the K Blade, but they are never in stock. Does the Blade serve with the same pop as the storm ?

bertrevert
06-05-2008, 05:16 PM
You'd get more pop out of the Bab's 16 x 19 (with added lead) for sure on serve.

But I believe the kBlade to be the better racquet in so many ways...

Keep trying for the demo till you get it...?

Perhaps the Storm Tour is more violent on serve? I don't know. It certainly has more weight, which though if you cannot swing it fast enough will cancel out any gains.

I really think you have to give the KB98 a go because there's a reason it is well liked - it hits that great sweetspot of tweener frames.

It's a quality piece of kit.

Plus, it's, er, black.

But seriously, it's not what I would call an s&v stick as you must yourself understand that those tend to be different, however it does a remarkably good job of filling in for such a stick. I think it's natural home is the baseline, but as I said above it is just fine on approach, volley, slice.

I think you'd find the Bab, out of the box, without lead, too light on serve.

grass_hopper
06-06-2008, 09:08 AM
I play with both, the k blade is more flex and less power. I put lead tape on head of pure storm where it says on racquet and works perfect. the balance is even now. I like pure storm for it's power but k blade is easier on my elbow.

gsharma
06-06-2008, 01:21 PM
The 16 x 19 weave I found to be too inaccurate.

Go the kBlade 98, absolutely rock solid and the right amound of flex, no vibration, fantastic on groundies and surprisingly good on volleys/slice for a 98.


I'm currently trying out Pure Storm Tour and Kblade Tour (93 sq in). In fact, my next stop is to try out Pure Storm (standard) and KBlade 98 as these two racquets are better for customizing because of they weigh less.

However, on the TW page, it says both Pure Storm and Pure Storm Tour are 16x20, not 16x19. It doesn't make a huge difference but it adds a little more control for my one-handed backhand.

Also, Pure Storm has a stiffness of 62 and Kblade 98 has a stiffness of 64, not the other way around. My understanding, just based on the specs, is that Pure Storm and Pure Storm Tour are the same mold except the weight, which you can easily change using lead tape.

I found Pure Storm Tour to be a great racquet and I wasn't expecting a control racquet from Babolat! It's got good feel, great on serves especially the kick-serve, I got pretty good directional and depth control on my groundstrokes. Two problem areas for me were volleys and a slight lack of maneuverability on service returns. Returns are a big part of my game and when you are playing with someone who serves hard, you need that extra maneuverability.

My experience with Kblade Tour wasn't so great. I found good control, power and serves were good, however, the sweet spot is a little too small and it gave me horrible elbow pain. It may or may not be the racquet but that's what I felt.

Anyway, I'm going to try Kblade 98 but if Pure Storm is anything like the Tour version, my plan is to lead it up to 11.7-11.9 oz and make it 8-9 pts HL. It'll be a really solid stick.

bertrevert
06-07-2008, 02:11 AM
^^^Hi gsharma, sorry my bad yes 20 crosses.

However the main point is that 16 in the mains of the Pure Storm Standard is something you either like or dislike, I think I'm a confirmed "18 x 20 lifer".

Anyway that's quite interesting that you're actually going from the heavier tour-type versions and looking at the lighter version so you can lead it up to "ideal" weight. That's a good way to work up to getting it where you want.

Despit those stiffness ratings I find the kBlade a more comfortable hit than the PS.

'Sfunny isn't it: you need the heft and plow-through of the heavier frame but what you gain in that takes away from manouverability at net and on return. These are just those balances you have to find with frames (I can just keep tweaking forever to try to find a balance, while some prefer to do nothing at all rg someone said to me "prefer not to know about the strings because I don't want another thing to blame"!).

While the Storm Tour may be the same mold as the standard, there can be other differences than just weight. Different layup, different beam thickness, different balance/distribution of that weight.

As an aside, the commentary on the French Open match between Fed and Gonz pointed out the slowing serve by Gonzo towards the end. Now I know it's a PJ, however the point is that even the Pros can tire of too much weight!

That's an unfortunate experience with the kb Tour for you - but I'm v pleased to hear it serves well. It wouldn't have felt as heavy as the PS Tour, right?

Small sweetspot sure - but didn't you want that on volleys and serves where it just pays dividends to middle that ball. What I mean is that these strokes are exacting anyway and you have to get it right (mishit serves go out and mishit volleys get hammered), so I expect that from the kBlade Tour.

Was it a demo or did you try out different stringing with the kBlade Tour?

gsharma
06-09-2008, 07:23 PM
^^^Hi gsharma, sorry my bad yes 20 crosses.

However the main point is that 16 in the mains of the Pure Storm Standard is something you either like or dislike, I think I'm a confirmed "18 x 20 lifer".

Anyway that's quite interesting that you're actually going from the heavier tour-type versions and looking at the lighter version so you can lead it up to "ideal" weight. That's a good way to work up to getting it where you want.

Despit those stiffness ratings I find the kBlade a more comfortable hit than the PS.

'Sfunny isn't it: you need the heft and plow-through of the heavier frame but what you gain in that takes away from manouverability at net and on return. These are just those balances you have to find with frames (I can just keep tweaking forever to try to find a balance, while some prefer to do nothing at all rg someone said to me "prefer not to know about the strings because I don't want another thing to blame"!).

While the Storm Tour may be the same mold as the standard, there can be other differences than just weight. Different layup, different beam thickness, different balance/distribution of that weight.

As an aside, the commentary on the French Open match between Fed and Gonz pointed out the slowing serve by Gonzo towards the end. Now I know it's a PJ, however the point is that even the Pros can tire of too much weight!

That's an unfortunate experience with the kb Tour for you - but I'm v pleased to hear it serves well. It wouldn't have felt as heavy as the PS Tour, right?

Small sweetspot sure - but didn't you want that on volleys and serves where it just pays dividends to middle that ball. What I mean is that these strokes are exacting anyway and you have to get it right (mishit serves go out and mishit volleys get hammered), so I expect that from the kBlade Tour.

Was it a demo or did you try out different stringing with the kBlade Tour?

Well, tonight I hit with both Babolat PS (the lighter version) and Kblade 98 after hitting with Pure Storm Tour and Kblade Tour last week. To say the least, I'm confused and a little irritated.

I started off playing the first set with the PS and I definitely felt that the less weight made it more maneuverable. Plus, there was still a good amount of feel in the racquet. I could get good amount of spin of the forehand though the backhand was a little shaky. Volleys were ok; I think one would need to add some good amount of weight to increase the swingweight to dial this racquet in for volleys. First serves (flatter) were ok but second serves (kick) were pretty good. Even though the racquet did feel a little flimsy in my hand, honestly, I don't think between there is much difference between the PST and PS. However, I did add about 3g of lead tape at 3 and 9. Surprisingly the power level is still pretty low even in the non-tour version.

In the second set, I tried the KBlade 98 and immediately, my first serves percentage went up along with the speed of the first serves. I think this really had to do with the higher swingweight of Kblade 98. The second serves were pretty decent as well. As far as groundstrokes are concerned, I 1hbh was more consistent with the Kblade and its 18x20 pattern. On the forehand side, I could find spin and hit the occasional flat stroke. And yes, the backhand slice was definitely better with the Kblade. However, the downer for me was the arm pain. I could feel a little pain and discomfort in my elbow with the Kblade almost exactly like I felt with the Kblade Tour. I remember that a guy at a proshop mentioned that the construction of Kblade is such that it offers less comfort than say Dunlop Mfil/Aerogel etc. All in all, I really don't want to blame the racquet but if weren't for the elbow pain, I would go for the Kblade 98 right away. The racquet is light enough to give room to customize and yet, it's still pretty stable. Btw, I did play with demo racquets so it could be the strings. I'm wondering if others have similar arm issues with the Kblade.

bertrevert
06-09-2008, 08:44 PM
Hey gsharma

Here's a curve ball your way...

Neither racquet gave you the elbow twinges. You played with two racquets that night, two unfamiliar, unequal, demo racquets with unknown strings.

The combination of both, plus playing your full game (all the shots), created different swings and resistances and your muscles responded, grooved by something more familiar, with a yelp.

Look I know these are not heavy things we swing, but if I go out and swing something too heavy or too light I feel it. Especially if I compete boy do I feel it.

If you had finished the night with the PS instead you might be querying that one.

I spent 3 months with the PS and my TE went worse, I've spent 3 months so far with the KB98 and it's almost gone.

I blame neither racquet, or rather both plus the change itself.

Lighter racquets per se communicate more vibration but these ones do a pretty good job of damping things.

Anyway just a thought.

gsharma
06-10-2008, 06:23 AM
Hey gsharma

Here's a curve ball your way...

Neither racquet gave you the elbow twinges. You played with two racquets that night, two unfamiliar, unequal, demo racquets with unknown strings.

The combination of both, plus playing your full game (all the shots), created different swings and resistances and your muscles responded, grooved by something more familiar, with a yelp.

Look I know these are not heavy things we swing, but if I go out and swing something too heavy or too light I feel it. Especially if I compete boy do I feel it.

If you had finished the night with the PS instead you might be querying that one.

I spent 3 months with the PS and my TE went worse, I've spent 3 months so far with the KB98 and it's almost gone.

I blame neither racquet, or rather both plus the change itself.

Lighter racquets per se communicate more vibration but these ones do a pretty good job of damping things.

Anyway just a thought.

Hey bertrevert,
I see your point and honestly, I really hate to blame the racquets based on just 1-2 hitting sessions. It could very well be strings and it's possible that PS will make by elbow hurt more. However, what bothers me is that I felt the same twinge, in the same spot with both Kblade 98 and Kblade Tour. On the other hand, both the PS and PST felt very muted, low-powered and flexible (PS is a little more flexible than KB 98). Another thing to consider is that an open pattern, like 16x20, is usually easier on the arm.

Anyway, so far, I really like the KBT and KB98 over PS. They are definitely more versatile. As far as racquet weight is concerned, I prefer heavier racquets around 12oz but the weight does slow down my swing-speed late in the second and third sets and that's a problem in competition play. So, I'm hoping to find a lighter racquet that is low-powered and control oriented and I can then increase its weight to around 11.7-11.9oz and make it around 8-9 pts HL. That's my goal but lets see if I find a racquet to get there.

Either way, I'm hoping to give the KB98 another shot tonight. I'll be playing doubles tonight and I will hit with it first and then switch to the PS in the second set. I'll let you know how it goes!

Il Mostro
06-10-2008, 06:36 AM
I have the KBlade 98 and appreciate the control and comfortable feel. Nice doubles racquet as it is just plain surgical on volleys. Gets good bite despite the closed pattern My serve and groundies have lots more pop with my Babolot (not a PS). No elbow issues; both are equally comfortable. I know my comparison is to the APDC not the PS, but i my experience Babolat's are all cut from the same cloth. My only real knock on the KBlade 98 is that it is not great for me on second serves, but I expected that based on the design.

gsharma
06-10-2008, 07:54 AM
I have the KBlade 98 and appreciate the control and comfortable feel. Nice doubles racquet as it is just plain surgical on volleys. Gets good bite despite the closed pattern My serve and groundies have lots more pop with my Babolot (not a PS). No elbow issues; both are equally comfortable. I know my comparison is to the APDC not the PS, but i my experience Babolat's are all cut from the same cloth. My only real knock on the KBlade 98 is that it is not great for me on second serves, but I expected that based on the design.

Well, I haven't had elbow issues with any other racquet in the past so I'm a little surprised with the KB98 results. However, so far, I haven't heard one person, other than me, complain about elbow pain with the KB98. It makes me wonder if it's just me or the strings or something extraneous like that. It's great stick, no doubt about that.

I'll see how it will go tonight with the KB98. If I encounter any discomfort, I might just have to go with PS or Prince Diablo Midplus.

Il Mostro
06-10-2008, 11:41 AM
Well, I haven't had elbow issues with any other racquet in the past so I'm a little surprised with the KB98 results. However, so far, I haven't heard one person, other than me, complain about elbow pain with the KB98. It makes me wonder if it's just me or the strings or something extraneous like that. It's great stick, no doubt about that.

I'll see how it will go tonight with the KB98. If I encounter any discomfort, I might just have to go with PS or Prince Diablo Midplus.

Could very well be the strings. At higher tensions I found that that the KB98 felt much stiffer than its specs would suggest. A nice multi at 52-55 lbs. feels right for me. Best of luck in your search.

gsharma
06-10-2008, 07:15 PM
So I tried the KB98 one more time tonight. I was playing doubles and started the first set with it. Like in my previous outing, I found the serves to be great. The first serve was effortless with enough pop on it and the second serves got a decent kick. Groundstrokes were pretty good as well. However, my arm and elbow are hurting again. I thought maybe the discomfort was a mental thing but I've felt the same pain with both KBT and KB98 repeatedly. I can't really play around with the strings and tension as it's a demo stick so the only thing I can think of to tinker with is the weight. I can try adding some lead at 3 and 9 o'clock positions to see if that reduces the vibrations.

It's such a shame with the KB98 because I really like this stick. It's so much better than PS at serves and groundstrokes. In fact, I couldn't get enough pace on my first serves with the PS without altering my serve motion.

Kinda feel let down because everyone else says it's such a great stick. I might have to try the new Babolat Pure Storm Limited.

bertrevert
06-10-2008, 09:13 PM
ghsarma

For sure try something else, don't mess with TE, as I've learnt from painful experience (I've stopped using poly string for one) and you must do the things required to keep playing.

Um, have you tried the MG Rad. It's pretty light as well, but this 98 is more a 95 and plenty sharp enough, v accurate...