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View Full Version : Babolat AeroPro Drive Standard Review


DANMAN
05-17-2005, 10:41 PM
For all of you out there tired of this topic I apologize. Others...continue on...
I just switched from the Pure Drive + to the AeroPro Drive Standard. Although I have not been able to playtest the racket extensively, I have some interesting initial findings. The AeroPro Drive Standard plays quite similar to the Pure Drive but with a more solid more comfortable, perhaps even flexier feel. The 72RA unit flex on the Babolat specs seems wrong...the 67 TW rating seems better. I served better kickers with the APD than with the PD+. I played only doubles and did not bring out the flat bomb (I will post later). Service returns were great with the APD, but I also return great with the PD+. The APD feels quite a bit more maneuverable. Volleys go hands down to the APD in terms of comfort, feel, and control. They never floated like they sometimes did with the PD+. Groundies had about the same power but more control with the APD. The only problem I found with the APD standard was that the grip was slightly too short for my two handed backhand. I simply pushed the rubber grip holder up and wrapped a Wilson Pro Overgrip higher up than the original replacement grip to solve this problem. It felt pretty good this way. Overheads were fantastic. Overall, I would say this stick is an improvement over the PD, but they are both great. Let me know if you have any questions...I'd be glad to answer them. By the way, I am a strong 4.5 player with a semi-western forehand. Others have said the Aero was better for western groundies, and I think it is better for semi-western also.

cheecl
05-17-2005, 10:54 PM
Did you get a lot of spin from the racquet? and did u try the O3 before settling for the APD?

DANMAN
05-18-2005, 12:27 AM
Tons and tons of spin with the APD. I picked up the 03 Tour and hated the feel from the get go. I found it was lacking in power. Great control...I hated the balance feel for some reason. Even though I am ~6 feet and ~195 lbs, I still like the easy power found in the Babolat Drives (Aero or Pure). That is why I like Babolats so much. Couple with the power is the spin that allows you to be on the run and flick a ball with your wrist and be right back in the point...or even better hit a crosscourt or down the line flick winner. A lot of these player's sticks take much more effort than that (and indeed their sweet spots are much smaller). Though some may say that (player's sticks) will make you better in the long run, I like the fact that I keep winning at high levels with the Drives. But hey...whatever works.

DoubleHanded&LovinIt
05-18-2005, 12:34 AM
Nice review! Quick question: how would the aero shape work for an eastern grip?

DANMAN
05-18-2005, 12:56 AM
In my opinion, strictly the Aero shape is probably best for Western grips solely because of the swing trajectory; however, it is the whole racket that plays great. I really do not think the Aero technology is as important in the frame's playability as is the construction. The flex of the racket I would imagine is due to the 100% high modulus graphite as opposed to the Pure Drive's Graphite and Kevlar. We all know Kevlar stiffens things up quite a bit. The Aero technology probably is more important on serves (cutting through to get over for a kicker or a nasty slice) than it is for groundstrokes. So to answer your question in short, I do not think that the Babolat AeroPro Drive is solely for a big western topspin grip...I think everyone could benefit from it in some category. Be wary of stiffness if you are prone to tennis elbow...i guess (though since using PDs 4 years ago I have had no problem) even though it is less stiff feeling than the PD. Also, I think the APD has great plow through on flatter shotes and do not find it unstable from the baseline against big hitters in any way. I think it would suit an eastern grip just fine.

routine125
05-18-2005, 03:16 AM
You switch from the PD + to a Standard Aeropro Drive. How come you didn't try the Aeropro Drive Plus (+), since they would be the same length?

DANMAN
05-18-2005, 09:39 AM
I wanted a racket with slightly more control, and after comparing the TW playtests against each other, I found that the standard seemed to suit me better than did the plus. The power level differential was less between the two than was the control. I have also been playing a lot of doubles and feel the standard length is a more solid volleying choice. I also like the maneuverability of the standard. I am sure the plus is a great stick...but crisper volleys and slightly more control was what I wanted. If you have any other questions let me know.

smashserve9566
05-18-2005, 12:51 PM
what string tension are you guys playing with, with the AeroPro?

DANMAN
05-18-2005, 03:56 PM
Tecnifibre Promix 16G 57 mains and 60 crosses--Gamma X-ST Crank Lockout
Extremely solid