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TW Staff
11-12-2012, 03:15 PM
***The sign-up for this playtest is now CLOSED. We have all the playtesters we need. An email will be sent out by Thursday, November 15th to all who were selected. Thank you.***

Attention Talk Tennis Members:

We will be sending out a very limited number of AeroPro Drive and AeroPro Lite racquets for a playtest. This playtest is only for U.S.A Talk Tennis members.


**Please indicate if you want it strung with a Babolat XCel or RPM Blast. We are not taking tension requests, nor are we taking requests for which racquet you will receive. Also, we cannot accept requests that do not include all the information listed above**

We select playtesters based on a number of factors, including past performance on playtests. Due to the very limited number of samples, we will not be able satisfy the large majority of requests. It is absolutely essential that everyone who receives a racquet posts a review and then returns the frame.

This playtest is FREE of charge. The only thing that we ask of you is to post your findings in this thread. Your review is due on December 14, 2012. We ask you return the racquet by December 20, 2012. Failure to do so will result in being charged in full for the racquet as well as being excluded from future playtests. If you do not post a review, or if your review is clearly lacking effort, you will be excluded from future playtests.

Please use the following to write your review:

Tennis experience/background:
Describe your playing style (i.e. serve & volley):
Current racquet/string:
Racquet model tested:
How many hours did you play with the racquet?
Comments on racquet performance:
-groundstrokes:
-serves:
-volleys:
-serve returns:
General reaction/comments on overall performance:

Thanks,
TW Staff

***The sign-up for this playtest is now CLOSED. We have all the playtesters we need. An email will be sent out by Thursday, November 15th to all who were selected. Thank you.***

tennis_enthusiast
11-12-2012, 03:24 PM
E-mail sent

tistrapukcipeht
11-12-2012, 03:28 PM
Just a question:

What happens if the racquet breaks (on a mishit overhead)?? I have heard these racquets break easily.

Cup8489
11-12-2012, 03:38 PM
Assuming one recieves the frame, is a return shipping sticker provided? I assume so, but just checking.

EastAngels2014
11-12-2012, 03:51 PM
email sent

ArliHawk
11-12-2012, 03:56 PM
Email sent.

db10s
11-12-2012, 04:22 PM
email sent... Hope I got in..... Looking forward to comparing this to the previous versions to see the differences...

db10s
11-12-2012, 04:34 PM
TW, will you be sending out confirmation e-mails since it is a racket playtest, as opposed to a string playtest?

EastAngels2014
11-12-2012, 04:34 PM
email sent... Hope I got in..... Looking forward to comparing this to the previous versions to see the differences...

same here!!! I use the older version right now

db10s
11-12-2012, 04:37 PM
same here!!! I use the older version right now

I'm even more excited because I've been somewhat critical of the newer versions and have heard better things about this version.

SFrazeur
11-12-2012, 05:01 PM
Sent in my request earlier. Here's hoping I am chosen.

-SF

Doubles
11-12-2012, 05:24 PM
Email sent.

Drew24
11-12-2012, 06:56 PM
Email sent.

Stringers
11-12-2012, 07:09 PM
Email Sent!

zapvor
11-12-2012, 07:11 PM
can i request chris or spencer to fly out for my playtest? i need a good baseline to judge the demo :P (i will cover the court cost)

JDMasFCK
11-12-2012, 07:35 PM
Email Sent

tyu1314
11-12-2012, 08:01 PM
Email sent,eventhough i dont know why people do this:)

zapvor
11-12-2012, 08:17 PM
come to think of it, i think TW should have playtesters post like a 3 min video review to ensure quality control.

Andyroo10567
11-12-2012, 09:55 PM
Hmmm. Something that caught my eye here. I'll attempt to make it. hopefully.

shaneno
11-13-2012, 04:40 AM
Email has been sent. Hope I'm chosen.

RD 7
11-13-2012, 07:05 AM
Just a question:

What happens if the racquet breaks (on a mishit overhead)?? I have heard these racquets break easily.

Babolat probably thought they were doing this as a promotional event.

(Maybe better to email questions like this)

athleticstennis
11-13-2012, 07:17 AM
Email sent.

darklore009
11-13-2012, 08:06 AM
email sent, looking forward on trying it. =)

TW Staff
11-13-2012, 08:10 AM
Just a question:

What happens if the racquet breaks (on a mishit overhead)?? I have heard these racquets break easily.

If it truly breaks on accident, there is nothing you can do and just send it back. However, we are definitely able to tell when a racquet is broken on accident or on purpose (all of us have broken a racquet or two in our life time shhhh!).

Assuming one recieves the frame, is a return shipping sticker provided? I assume so, but just checking.

Yes, a return shipping sticker will be included.

TW, will you be sending out confirmation e-mails since it is a racket playtest, as opposed to a string playtest?

Yes, we will be sending out a confirmation to the selected playtesters.

can i request chris or spencer to fly out for my playtest? i need a good baseline to judge the demo :P (i will cover the court cost)


I forwarded your request to Chris and Spencer. We will have to wait and see what they have to say.


Brittany, TW

darklore009
11-13-2012, 08:18 AM
what grip size that the demo rackets will be at?

TW Staff
11-13-2012, 08:27 AM
what grip size that the demo rackets will be at?


The grip size will be 4 3/8.


Brittany, TW

Doubles
11-13-2012, 08:30 AM
When will you send out confirmation emails?

darklore009
11-13-2012, 08:31 AM
what tension will the rackets will be at?

TW Staff
11-13-2012, 08:44 AM
When will you send out confirmation emails?

Confirmation emails will be sent out in the next couple days.

what tension will the rackets will be at?

The tension will be what we string our demos at. If the playtester selects XCel, the racquet will be strung at mid +2 lbs. If the playtester selects RPM Blast, the racquet will be strung at mid -2 lbs.

Brittany, TW

zapvor
11-13-2012, 09:44 AM
If it truly breaks on accident, there is nothing you can do and just send it back. However, we are definitely able to tell when a racquet is broken on accident or on purpose (all of us have broken a racquet or two in our life time shhhh!).








I forwarded your request to Chris and Spencer. We will have to wait and see what they have to say.


Brittany, TW

yesssssssssssss! thanks brittany! come on chris dont be a puss;)

TW Staff
11-13-2012, 09:50 AM
Update:

The sign-up for this playtest is now CLOSED. We have had an abundance of willing participants and look forward to hearing all your responses. An email will be sent out by Thursday, November 15th to all who were selected with the playtest racquet following a week later. Thank you.


Brittany, TW

darklore009
11-13-2012, 09:57 AM
when does the racket will ship? does it ship after the confirmation date?

TW Staff
11-13-2012, 10:06 AM
when does the racket will ship? does it ship after the confirmation date?


The racquet will ship around the same time as the confirmation email.

Brittany, TW

zapvor
11-13-2012, 11:01 AM
this is most likely wrong section but i figure it has to do with play testing. did you guys see this?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cTpPXWQbag0&feature=g-all-u

forget chris/spencer i want brittany for my playtest;)

also, carol gets really good pace on the ball!

Andyroo10567
11-13-2012, 03:25 PM
Let the waiting begin..

db10s
11-13-2012, 03:35 PM
Let the waiting begin..

Checking email constantly..... I want a list of who got in and who didn't so the suspense can end....

cluckcluck
11-13-2012, 03:37 PM
this is most likely wrong section but i figure it has to do with play testing. did you guys see this?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cTpPXWQbag0&feature=g-all-u

forget chris/spencer i want brittany for my playtest;)

also, carol gets really good pace on the ball!

Trying to get on her good side eh Zapvor? :grin:

cluckcluck
11-13-2012, 03:38 PM
Checking email constantly..... I want a list of who got in and who didn't so the suspense can end....

Confirmation emails said to go out thursday...so checking constantly now is pointless.

db10s
11-13-2012, 03:52 PM
Confirmation emails said to go out thursday...so checking constantly now is pointless.

It says BY Thursday.

Andyroo10567
11-13-2012, 04:18 PM
Trying to get on her good side eh Zapvor? :grin:

Your sneaky sly eyes there! Ha. Who knows. Maybe it worked. There is always a lesson to be learned!

Andyroo10567
11-13-2012, 04:22 PM
I'm imagining to myself that what if all the members chosen were all "green" members and the rest were denied or ignored. :O

zapvor
11-13-2012, 05:41 PM
Trying to get on her good side eh Zapvor? :grin:

oh hahahha.. actually i would like to hit with brittany:P

by the way just fyi i did not apply for the playtest. you can ask TW for proof if you dont believe me

zapvor
11-13-2012, 05:42 PM
I'm imagining to myself that what if all the members chosen were all "green" members and the rest were denied or ignored. :O

lol dude...chill out. its just a playtest

Andyroo10567
11-13-2012, 06:11 PM
Funny thought. I'm just pretty hyped..... Looking forward for the new APD

zapvor
11-13-2012, 06:24 PM
oh ok. well it wont be long. personally, its just a new paintjob

cluckcluck
11-13-2012, 08:26 PM
oh ok. well it wont be long. personally, its just a new paintjob

Plus more swingweight and a little less stiff with the active cortex.

zapvor
11-14-2012, 05:43 AM
Plus more swingweight and a little less stiff with the active cortex.

active cortex......

p3t33rR
11-14-2012, 09:09 PM
Hi, im a huge fan of the aeropro and i didnt know about this playtest, is there any chance theres still more available?

Andyroo10567
11-14-2012, 09:39 PM
Hi, im a huge fan of the aeropro and i didnt know about this playtest, is there any chance theres still more available?

Sadly, its too late.

db10s
11-15-2012, 02:57 AM
Did anybody get an email yet?

cluckcluck
11-15-2012, 10:39 AM
Just got my confirmation email! Racquet will arrive next week. Stellar!

SFrazeur
11-15-2012, 10:42 AM
Received a confirmation myself!

-SF

srvnvly
11-15-2012, 11:00 AM
Just got my confirmation email as well - I can't wait!

SFrazeur
11-15-2012, 11:04 AM
For those selected read the Babolat Playtester agreement attached to the e-mail.

-SF

dode
11-15-2012, 12:54 PM
Just a question...what if the strings break during the playtest?

John

cluckcluck
11-15-2012, 12:56 PM
Just a question...what if the strings break during the playtest?

John

Restring it. Don't have a stringer? Send it back I suppose or have a friend lace you up. :confused:

bugeyed
11-15-2012, 01:14 PM
I am in too!!
BTW The Babolat Playtester Agreement was authored by a gentleman who's identity as a Babolat employee was challenged in this very forum. Several posted comments that he was not with Babolat & his credibility was zero! Kind of ironic, isn't it?

Cheers,
kev

zapvor
11-15-2012, 02:47 PM
i wonder what the criteria was

db10s
11-15-2012, 03:14 PM
I didn't get picked (or at least I don't think so) .... Oh well, I'm on the other side of the country anyways and won't be back home til Monday.... How do you know it was written by the Babolat guy? And what does it say?

SFrazeur
11-15-2012, 03:15 PM
Restring it. Don't have a stringer? Send it back I suppose or have a friend lace you up. :confused:

TW does not want people re-stringing their demos so I doubt they would want them to re-string the playtest frames.

-SF

db10s
11-15-2012, 03:16 PM
i wonder what the criteria was

I'm assuming I didn't get picked due to age..... At least I'm honest about my age. Although, I have been picked for all of the string playtests that I have applied for.

db10s
11-15-2012, 03:17 PM
TW does not want people re-stringing their demos so I doubt they would want them to re-string the playtest frames.

-SF

Exactly, just send it back and post your results with the string job that it was sent with.

EastAngels2014
11-15-2012, 03:21 PM
I'm assuming I didn't get picked due to age..... At least I'm honest about my age. Although, I have been picked for all of the string playtests that I have applied for.

i think i am for the same reason

Doubles
11-15-2012, 03:22 PM
I got in! Just wondering, if I were to receive the light version, would I be able to add lead tape to it, or do I have to play it stock?

db10s
11-15-2012, 03:27 PM
I got in! Just wondering, if I were to receive the light version, would I be able to add lead tape to it, or do I have to play it stock?

I would guess stock.... Lead kind of defeats the purpose to some point. On my Aero Storm some paint came off with the lead tape too, and my guess is that these will either end up on the used rackets or as demo's, or be sent back to Babolat; and either way TW wants them back in as good shape as possible. And paint peeling off isn't what I call good shape, aesthetically speaking.

SFrazeur
11-15-2012, 03:35 PM
I got in! Just wondering, if I were to receive the light version, would I be able to add lead tape to it, or do I have to play it stock?

Play with it stock for a good while, write that review and then lead it and write that review.

-SF

Doubles
11-15-2012, 03:35 PM
I would guess stock.... Lead kind of defeats the purpose to some point. On my Aero Storm some paint came off with the lead tape too, and my guess is that these will either end up on the used rackets or as demo's, or be sent back to Babolat; and either way TW wants them back in as good shape as possible. And paint peeling off isn't what I call good shape, aesthetically speaking.

I've never had a problem with lead tape taking off paint.

Andyroo10567
11-15-2012, 04:10 PM
I'm assuming I didn't get picked due to age..... At least I'm honest about my age. Although, I have been picked for all of the string playtests that I have applied for.

I doubt TW will discriminate others just because of "age". Unless your 9, that's a different story.

SFrazeur
11-15-2012, 04:38 PM
I do not know what their criteria is, however I would think they would want want play-testers who are already customers and have their own debit/credit cards. They would need a way to charge for the demo if it is not returned. Basically, by asking to be play-testers we have agreed to being charged for the demo if not returned (being charged for not returning is in the first post.) As well they would want posters who have shown a certain amount of board presence (whatever that may be).

If I was them I would not send racquets to users who fail to meet at lest those points mentioned..

-SF

JDMasFCK
11-15-2012, 04:52 PM
I would guess stock.... Lead kind of defeats the purpose to some point. On my Aero Storm some paint came off with the lead tape too, and my guess is that these will either end up on the used rackets or as demo's, or be sent back to Babolat; and either way TW wants them back in as good shape as possible. And paint peeling off isn't what I call good shape, aesthetically speaking.

What kind of lead tape are you using? LOL never had that problem...

db10s
11-15-2012, 05:12 PM
Let me clarify, the paint didn't come off to the graphite, just one of the lime green layers on top at either the 3 or 9 positions.

bugeyed
11-15-2012, 06:04 PM
I do not know what their criteria is, however I would think they would want want play-testers who are already customers and have their own debit/credit cards. They would need a way to charge for the demo if it is not returned. Basically, by asking to be play-testers we have agreed to being charged for the demo if not returned (being charged for not returning is in the first post.) As well they would want posters who have shown a certain amount of board presence (whatever that may be).

If I was them I would not send racquets to users who fail to meet at lest those points mentioned..

-SF
TW does not have my credit card info, so you can scratch that off your list. I am a occasional contributor, but only in a select few subforums. I have participated in a previous racquet playtest. I think I once saw a picture of the selection committee with blindfolds & a dartboard with names on it. Not sure what they were doing, but......... just sayin.

Cheers,
kev

SFrazeur
11-15-2012, 06:11 PM
TW does not have my credit card info, so you can scratch that off your list. I am a occasional contributor, but only in a select few subforums. I have participated in a previous racquet playtest. I think I once saw a picture of the selection committee with blindfolds & a dartboard with names on it. Not sure what they were doing, but......... just sayin.

Cheers,
kev

That's just my criteria. They are probably nicer than and more trusting than I would be. Since you haven't ordered from them have you done a string test for them before?

-SF

EastAngels2014
11-15-2012, 06:15 PM
oh well will just apply for the next one

db10s
11-15-2012, 06:18 PM
Maybe I shouldn't go around talking crap about the APD if I want to try the new version..... lol....

travlerajm
11-15-2012, 06:18 PM
I'm in. Looking forward to it.

bugeyed
11-15-2012, 06:25 PM
That's just my criteria. They are probably nicer than and more trusting than I would be. Since you haven't ordered from them have you done a string test for them before?

-SF

No string test, but 1 other racquet test.

Cheers,
kev

zapvor
11-15-2012, 08:40 PM
why cant they do yonex playtest

Andyroo10567
11-15-2012, 10:12 PM
why cant they do yonex playtest

Because they are probably confident that their racquets that they release will be "good enough" for consumers to use and probably had sponsored peeps and people test em out privately without the need to ask TW to grab some members to playtest and give liable feedback. Which i don't deny that first statement. But also I'm just assuming, i don't know the real answer of course.
:)

sundaypunch
11-16-2012, 06:14 AM
I'm assuming I didn't get picked due to age..... At least I'm honest about my age. Although, I have been picked for all of the string playtests that I have applied for.

Or maybe they found the "find more posts by db10s" button.


I'm sure that this gem didn't help your chances-

The APD is a horrible frame... Its is overwhelmingly stiff. It looks gross. And plays like a Wal-Mart racket.

cluckcluck
11-16-2012, 06:51 AM
I'm sure that this gem didn't help your chances-

Originally Posted by db10s
The APD is a horrible frame... Its is overwhelmingly stiff. It looks gross. And plays like a Wal-Mart racket.

Yeah, that's not helping your chances I'm sure.

Doubles
11-16-2012, 08:44 AM
Play with it stock for a good while, write that review and then lead it and write that review.

-SF

Sounds like a good idea. I'll do that if I'm sent the lite version.

db10s
11-16-2012, 09:32 AM
Yeah... Thats the post I was talking about....

zapvor
11-16-2012, 11:44 AM
Yeah... Thats the post I was talking about....

actually, i disagree with the other guys here. i think the fact that you were honest and upfront about your review shows your integrity. i would want a fair good review than someone to just say "yes this racket is the best". you can find plenty of my posts where i have said not so good things about babolat. and i stick with that story up to this point. if they give me reason to change my story then i may. so don't worry man keep it up!

zapvor
11-16-2012, 11:48 AM
see this post for what i mean
http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showpost.php?p=6997524&postcount=5267
he's got my respect

sundaypunch
11-16-2012, 12:08 PM
actually, i disagree with the other guys here. i think the fact that you were honest and upfront about your review shows your integrity. i would want a fair good review than someone to just say "yes this racket is the best". you can find plenty of my posts where i have said not so good things about babolat. and i stick with that story up to this point. if they give me reason to change my story then i may. so don't worry man keep it up!

If TW has dozens of insightful posters to choose from, do you think they are going to choose play testers that seem immature or biased against Babolat?

Just sayin'...........


see this post for what i mean
http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showpost.php?p=6997524&postcount=5267
he's got my respect

As for this, they are never going to choose someone that writes like that.

db10s
11-16-2012, 12:50 PM
If TW has dozens of insightful posters to choose from, do you think they are going to choose play testers that seem immature or biased against Babolat?

Just sayin'...........




As for this, they are never going to choose someone that writes like that.

I have a Babolat racket in my bag right now......

TW Staff
11-16-2012, 01:08 PM
Update:

The racquets have been shipped out today. Keep an eye out for them in the next couple days (hopefully gets to you before Thanksgiving!).


Brittany, TW

zapvor
11-16-2012, 02:38 PM
If TW has dozens of insightful posters to choose from, do you think they are going to choose play testers that seem immature or biased against Babolat?

Just sayin'...........




As for this, they are never going to choose someone that writes like that.

right. thats the way it goes.

sundaypunch
11-16-2012, 05:04 PM
I have a Babolat racket in my bag right now......

You might have a dozen of them, but I wouldn't expect to be chosen as a play tester if you have made super negative posts about the racquet. Of course, maybe it's just a coincidence....

db10s
11-16-2012, 05:36 PM
You might have a dozen of them, but I wouldn't expect to be chosen as a play tester if you have made super negative posts about the racquet. Of course, maybe it's just a coincidence....

Yeah... There are some Babolat rackets that I enjoy playing with and I think that they are solid frames (namely the Aero Storm and Pure Storm series'). Its just that I didn't post as much extremely positive things about them as I did negative stuff about other Babolat rackets. To add on to that, my APD post was fairly recent too. I don't blame them for not picking me if it appeared I would be biased..... Although honestly I'm always open to trying new things.... :)
And anyways I found out I am going to have a previously unplanned extension on the trip I'm on....

bugeyed
11-18-2012, 08:11 PM
To any of the others that were selected for this play test, I lost the address to send the payment for entering the play test. Can someone send it to me?

Thanks, ;)
kev

zapvor
11-18-2012, 08:27 PM
lol but they may not live close to you;)

Andyroo10567
11-18-2012, 09:10 PM
Why would you have to pay? In the original post, it said FREE OF CHARGE. If it was a joke, my bad. :O

Roforot
11-19-2012, 05:53 AM
Update:

The racquets have been shipped out today. Keep an eye out for them in the next couple days (hopefully gets to you before Thanksgiving!).


Brittany, TW

Thanks. Did you send tracking #s also?

TW Staff
11-19-2012, 09:05 AM
Roforot,

No tracking numbers were sent. Patience is key! :) If you don't receive it by next week, send us an email and I will looking up your tracking.


Brittany, TW

SFrazeur
11-19-2012, 10:49 AM
Roforot,

No tracking numbers were sent. Patience is key! :) If you don't receive it by next week, send us an email and I will looking up your tracking.


Brittany, TW

Can we know why the decision was made not to send/give tracking numbers?
It would help me with my hitting scheduling to know.

-SF

db10s
11-19-2012, 12:20 PM
Price of shipping......

Roforot
11-19-2012, 12:32 PM
Roforot,

No tracking numbers were sent. Patience is key! :) If you don't receive it by next week, send us an email and I will looking up your tracking.


Brittany, TW

Thanks for the reply. We're staying in town fortunately but I was hoping to check if I could start using it during the Thanksgiving holidays since I'm off. Will keep my fingers crossed to get the demo before the mail services stop!

Andyroo10567
11-19-2012, 01:27 PM
anybody get the racquet yet?

TW Staff
11-19-2012, 02:37 PM
Can we know why the decision was made not to send/give tracking numbers?
It would help me with my hitting scheduling to know.

-SF

SFrazeur,

Long answer short, we set these up a little different than placing an order. If you must know your shipping, send an email (as you did) and I will get the tracking number on your racquet.

Brittany, TW

zapvor
11-19-2012, 02:59 PM
i hope TW putting tracking on chris/spencer- TW cant afford to lose them in the mail!;)

cluckcluck
11-19-2012, 04:12 PM
Yes, a return shipping sticker will be included.
Brittany, TW

Hey Brittany,

I got the racquet today, looks pretty sweet. I appreciate you send me the stick to review! I looked in the box and could not find the return label. I have no problem paying for shipping, after all you are sending me something special to test, just wanted to give you the heads up that some other playtesters might not have the return labels.

Thanks again!

CluckCluck

Andyroo10567
11-19-2012, 04:26 PM
Hey Brittany,

I got the racquet today, looks pretty sweet. I appreciate you send me the stick to review! I looked in the box and could not find the return label. I have no problem paying for shipping, after all you are sending me something special to test, just wanted to give you the heads up that some other playtesters might not have the return labels.

Thanks again!

CluckCluck

Which state are you in? Just wondering cause i have to leave somewhere and don't want the racquet sitting in the rain.

cluckcluck
11-19-2012, 04:34 PM
Which state are you in? Just wondering cause i have to leave somewhere and don't want the racquet sitting in the rain.

I'm in Southern California.

Andyroo10567
11-19-2012, 04:36 PM
Ohhh ok. I'm up in Washington. :/ Hopefully comes by tomorrow morning before work.

cluckcluck
11-19-2012, 04:57 PM
Ohhh ok. I'm up in Washington. :/ Hopefully comes by tomorrow morning before work.

I hope you have indoor courts (I'm jealous if you do).

Andyroo10567
11-19-2012, 05:02 PM
Oh yes. Of course!!! :P. Plenty in Washington due to the crummy weather.

cluckcluck
11-19-2012, 05:03 PM
Oh yes. Of course!!! :P. Plenty in Washington due to the crummy weather.

Well, next time I head up there I'm looking you up for a bit of combat ;)

Andyroo10567
11-19-2012, 05:04 PM
I will gladly accept that challenge!

JDMasFCK
11-19-2012, 05:11 PM
I received my racquet today and looked inside the box and there was no return sticker :O I was wondering if I could use one of the old return sticker (the one that's for the shipping department) from my old order to send it back when I'm done play testing or do I need a specific return sticker? :O

Andyroo10567
11-19-2012, 05:18 PM
I'm guessing that would work.

cluckcluck
11-19-2012, 05:22 PM
I received my racquet today and looked inside the box and there was no return sticker :O I was wondering if I could use one of the old return sticker (the one that's for the shipping department) from my old order to send it back when I'm done play testing or do I need a specific return sticker? :O

Want to come over to the Inland Empire and have a Babolat Playtest Battle? :razz:

JDMasFCK
11-19-2012, 05:23 PM
Want to come over to the Inland Empire and have a Babolat Playtest Battle? :razz:

aha that's too far :P

SFrazeur
11-19-2012, 05:28 PM
SFrazeur,

Long answer short, we set these up a little different than placing an order. If you must know your shipping, send an email (as you did) and I will get the tracking number on your racquet.

Brittany, TW

Thank you.

Mine's expected to arrive Monday.

-SF

zapvor
11-19-2012, 07:40 PM
realistic it only cost like 7.50 to ship a racket, so thats pretty good for demoing brand new frame

Andyroo10567
11-19-2012, 07:48 PM
Hopefully i don't come home to see the racquet box drenched in water. T-T

zapvor
11-19-2012, 08:28 PM
you dont have like a porch or anything?

Andyroo10567
11-19-2012, 09:15 PM
I do but every time i put a note saying " Put next to door" they just stack it on the staircase where it isnt covered.....

zapvor
11-19-2012, 11:24 PM
guess you wont get picked next time;)

jk i am sure it will be fine

TW Staff
11-20-2012, 07:39 AM
Hey Brittany,

I got the racquet today, looks pretty sweet. I appreciate you send me the stick to review! I looked in the box and could not find the return label. I have no problem paying for shipping, after all you are sending me something special to test, just wanted to give you the heads up that some other playtesters might not have the return labels.

Thanks again!

CluckCluck


I am so sorry about that. We can email you a return shipping label. Have fun playtesting. Send us an email and I will take care of that.

I received my racquet today and looked inside the box and there was no return sticker :O I was wondering if I could use one of the old return sticker (the one that's for the shipping department) from my old order to send it back when I'm done play testing or do I need a specific return sticker? :O

That should work, otherwise we can email you a return shipping label. Send us an email if you would like one.

Brittany, TW

cluckcluck
11-20-2012, 08:48 AM
I am so sorry about that. We can email you a return shipping label. Have fun playtesting. Send us an email and I will take care of that.
Brittany, TW

Thanks Brittany! I'll look for a label from previous order...how long do they last?

Andyroo10567
11-20-2012, 02:13 PM
Just quickly came by my home and found the glory in front of my door! And best of all. . . . It was sunny. . . . Just saw the truck coming by the neighborhood so i decided to go follow it! haha

cluckcluck
11-20-2012, 02:23 PM
Just quickly came by my home and found the glory in front of my door! And best of all. . . . It was sunny. . . . Just saw the truck coming by the neighborhood so i decided to go follow it! haha

Hahah! Sweet! Did you get a return label?

Andyroo10567
11-20-2012, 03:20 PM
Nope. 10char

Ross K
11-21-2012, 03:50 AM
In this day and age, is there really no way that these play tests can be made to include testers from the UK!? Come on, guys, you know it makes sense... :mrgreen:

TW Staff
11-21-2012, 08:39 AM
Update:

We have emailed all playtesters return shipping labels.


Thanks,

Brittany, TW

Federerkblade
11-21-2012, 09:31 AM
In this day and age, is there really no way that these play tests can be made to include testers from the UK!? Come on, guys, you know it makes sense... :mrgreen:

where you based ross

travlerajm
11-21-2012, 05:37 PM
I picked up my brand new AeroPro Drive 2013 today.
Cosmetics = mostly matte black with white and yellow designs, and metallic red highlights.
The black is nice - would look much cooler with less white and yellow though.
It has a black plastic cortex with white trim, and white synthetic grip.

Measured Stock Specs (strung with RPM Blast):
Wt = 11.40 oz.; Bal = 13.08"; SW = 325; MgR/I = 21.75, MgR'/I' = 22.53
Beam throat = 22mm; Beam at 3-and-9 = 25.5mm; Beam at tip = 22.5mm
Length = 26.9" (not sure if shorter length is the relaxed length or due to squashing from stringing)

RPM Blast stringbed feels firm with good bite and stable feel when bouncing the ball in my living room. I will be gradually expanding this post with updates in the course of my review.

Current Frame:
Prostaff 4.7 EB Stretch OS, heavily leaded up to 365 SW, 12.55” bal., 13.545 oz.
This is an extended 27.75” long frame with 23mm beam and 68 RA stiffness, and 115” headsize. I string it with 18g ashaway Kevlar / 17g Silverstring at 65 lbs. the string pattern is 18x20, but I skip the upper and lower crosses, as well as the outer mains, using only the central 16x18 strings.

Level: 4.5-5.0
Age: 39
Playing style: I have a versatile style of play. I can hit just about any type of shot. I play a very athletic style and am quick around the court. I can play defense, moonball, attack with groundies, approach, and S&V.
My strengths are my speed and athleticism, and my 2hb, heavy serve, and net play. I like heavy stable frames.
-------------------
Day 1, playtest 1A (racquet in stock form):
Forehands 1A:
I wasn’t able to find a groove with racquet on my forehand. The racquet would lag unless I added a wrist couple, and I had to focus hard on timing my wrist release to control the ball (a less headlight balance for the same mass and swingweight would have alleviated this issue). The spin level was moderate, but the full poly stringjob didn’t seem predictable enough. I got decent bite when a took a big rip, but on softer touch shots, the ball seemed to slide across the strings more, making directional contro more difficult. The stringbed was less predictable than my preferred Kevlar /poly setup. My biggest issue is that I could feel mmy forearm and wrist getting sore by the end of the session – this was mainly due to the 4-3/8 grip, which caused me to need to squeeze the grip tighter than my preferred 4-5/8”. Also, the lagging balance exacerbated the wrist fatigue.
2hbs 1A:
The racquet felt balanced about right for my 2hb, and the racquet was much more comfortable for me here. I had decent control on my shots. I appreciated the crisp feel. However, the stability was much lower than I’m used to. I could sense that the upper part of the hoop was a little deficient in mass, while the sides of the hoop seemed to be more substantial. If I were to add lead, it would be under the bumper.
Volleys 1A:
Very crisp feel. The stringbed was a little softer than I like, but still serviceable. A lighter racquet than I usually play with, but I could probably get the job done with this. Compared to the other 100si stiff frame I sometimes use (Gamma T5), I like the feel of volleying with the AeroPro more. This frame feels like it has a very stable design for its weight class.
Serves 1A:
The stiff feel lent precision, and I could get nice bend and kick. But the light weight really hurt my velocity. I’m used to serving with 365 SW frames, so my motion needs some adjustment to get the same velocity with a lighter frame. The impact of serving with the lighter weight stiff frame started to hurt my elbow after 10 serves or so (so I couldn’t afford to be patient and try to adjust).
Returns 1A:
Again, I liked the stable construction. For me stability is more important to returning well than maneuverability. This wasn’t a fair test for this frame, since my leaded up usual frame is so superior at returns. However, I think the APD could be a great return racquet if sufficiently modified.

Day 1, Playtest 1B (11g added at top of grip, plus 9g added at butt):
I wanted to give the racquet a fairer test by configuring it in a way that overcame my issues with the lagging balance on my forehand. I wrapped 11g around the top of the handle (without undoing the adhesive backing, and securing with the rubber band at to of grip). And then stuck a 9g wad of lead to the end of the butt. This allowed me to modify the balance without needing to fuss with unwrapping the grip.
This moved the MgR/I value to my preferred 21.0.
Groundstrokes 1B:
This allowed me to groove my forehand, and I enjoyed hitting groundstrokes on both sides much more. However, the added mass at the top of the grip noticeably stiffened the feel, which was not great for spin. In this configuration the frame hit a fairly flat ball, flatter than my regular frame.
Volleys 1B:
Volleys were similar to with the stock configuration, but I liked the depth control better with the added mass in the handle. Maneuverability was also slightly improved with the more HL balance.
Serves 1B:
The added mass seemed to make the frame a little more powerfully and less spinny than stock. It was still more difficult to generate velocity than withmy normal high swingweight frame though. And unfortunately, serving with the light-headed frame still tenderized my elbow a bit.
Returns 1B:
I had a much easier time returning accurately with the added mass in the handle. But heavy serves still seemed to bully the racquet a lot more than I’m used to with my more stable usual racquet.

Day 2, Playtest 2 (12 grams added to upper half of hoop, plus 5g at butt):
I took it home and said, what the heck. Let’s try out the “Nadal configuration.” I added long strips of lead all the way around the upper half of the hoop from 3 to 9. Plus a few grams in a 2nd layer at 12. About 12g added to the hoop. And also stuck on about 5g of lead to the end of the butt.
Forehands 2:
Then I came out and used a stronger full semiwestern grip and took big upper cuts at the ball. Viola!. This racquet came alive on forehands with this added weight. The stringbed felt much more solid and comfortable. And the RPM blast strings seemed to work much better with the leaded frame, with much more predictable response and no sliding across the bed like I noticed with the stock specs. It hit a much heavier ball, with much more rpm, and more pace too. I had to focus on spacing the ball farther from my body to hit with a straighter arm technique than I am used to, but when I did, the results were very nice.
My 2hbs were not quite balanced perfectly, but still controllable, and the extra mass in the head much improved the feel on these too.
Volleys 2:
I liked volleying best with this setup of the 3 I tested. It really enlarged the sweetspot and felt solid. I’m used to an even heavier setup, so maneuverability wasn’t an issue.
Serves 2:
I could get heavy spin and kick. The extra weight helped a lot. And felt much softer on the elbow. However, the 26.9” length (which helped with control on the forehand and volleys) seemed to make the racquet a touch short for the leverage that I like. I currently play with a 27.75” OS frame, where the center of the stringbed is about ľ” further from the hand than with this APD. So I might have enjoyed serving better if the length was 1/8” to ľ” longer.
Overall 2:
I think that this type of racquet really shines best with this type of weighting. And I honestly think Babolat would sell a lot of sticks if they offered it with these specs (~365 SW, 13.3” balance, and about 12 oz.)

Conclusions:
In stock form, this stick is much too light for my tastes. However, I think it is a solid, well-engineered offering. The rigid hoop gives a crisp response. I would probably be able to play confidently with this if I were to lead it up to the weighting specs of my current frame.
I was a little disappointed that the frame was so similar to past offerings from Babolat. It seemed like the company was making a big deal about this one, so I was expecting it to maybe have a more innovative and out of the box weighting. It’s weighting is essentially identical to previous versions, so there’s not much novelty here. Babolat seems to want to stick to a formula that has been working well to sell frames the past few years.

zapvor
11-21-2012, 06:50 PM
you are going from a pro staff to aero pro??

travlerajm
11-21-2012, 10:39 PM
you are going from a pro staff to aero pro??
At least for a few days while I give it a test drive.

travlerajm
11-24-2012, 09:21 PM
I have posted my review (Post #129 of this thread):
http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showpost.php?p=7028447&postcount=129

Ross K
11-24-2012, 10:28 PM
where you based ross

North London. Why? :)


travlerjam.

I was a little disappointed that the frame was so similar to past offerings from Babolat. It seemed like the company was making a big deal about this one, so I was expecting it to maybe have a more innovative and out of the box weighting. Itís weighting is essentially identical to previous versions, so thereís not much novelty here. Babolat seems to want to stick to a formula that has been working well to sell frames the past few years.

Nice review, cheers, and I find your final summation noteworthy.

JDMasFCK
11-24-2012, 10:40 PM
Tennis Experience/Background: I am a solid 4.5-5.0 player

Playing Style: I play with a lot of topspin from the baseline and usually grind out points from the baseline.

Current Racquet/String: Head Prestige IG MP w/ leather grip and lead at 10 & 2 strung with Tourna BHB7 @ 45LBS

Racquet Model Tested: Aeropro Drive Lite

Hours Tested: Roughly 15 hours

Racquet Performance (STOCK):

Groundstrokes: Since I grind out most of my points at the baseline I use A LOT of top spin and I felt that this racquet did not have a lot of spin (it is very light). I had to use A LOT of my own strength and have to swing really fast to produce spin when I am hitting with a 5.0 player. The control was lacking also, some of the shots would go where I wanted but it would land in that general direction instead of being pin point accurate. The shots I were hitting were landing REALLY short. The feel of the racquet was improved over the previous model but it wasn't as soft as my current racquet setup (probably because of the high tension this racquet was strung at). I didn't notice any arm problems when using this racquet but some of the shots felt very harsh at times.

Serves: Again my serves were REALLY weak and they landed really short with little to no pace. I had to use A LOT of my own strength to produce some power and pace on the ball but they were not fast at all when playing with a 5.0 player. The control of the serve was lacking also, I felt that I couldn't control my serves because the racquet was so light and that lack of weight didn't provide the plow through I was looking for to control my serve.

Volleys: My volleys were decent, but I felt that every time the ball contacted the stringbed it would push the racquet and I felt that I wasn't in control. The lack of weight on this racquet made it hard for me to control my volleys. The feel was pretty decent when I was volleying but again there was no control and it was hard to put away volleys.

Serve Returns: Serve returns has got to be one of the weakest points of this racquet. The lack of weight on this racquet made it VERY difficult to return a 5.0 player's serve. I was literally getting pushed around and my returns were landing near the service line which would bring my opponent up and finish the point. I had NO control when I was returning serve because of the lack of weight. I could swing fast to produce spin to counter the fast serve but the results varied with some shots landing near the no man's land and some near the service box.

Overall Thoughts: I thought this racquet overall was REALLY light and the feel was pretty decent. The lack of weight really hindered on the performance of this racquet especially if you are planning on using this racquet against 5.0 players. The lack of weight made it hard to hit deep groundstrokes, serves and serve returns with heavy topspin. I let some of the girls on the tennis team at my local high school try out the racquet and their overall opinion of the racquet is that it has a lot of topspin and feel and it suited their game, they also liked how light the racquet was and some wanted to switch over to it when it's going to be released. The things they didn't like was that it wasn't stable and some of the shots felt erratic at times.







Now onto the fun part of the playtest

Racquet Performance (WITH LEAD)

Overview of Lead Placement:
http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8337/8216240750_1b22ee549a.jpg
-I put 4, 5 inches of 1/4 length strips of lead at 10 & 2

http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8350/8215156355_902e654975.jpg
-I put 4, 5 inches of 1/4 length strips of lead at 5 & 7

http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8068/8216241646_4fb4fb4dc6.jpg
-I put 4, 7 inches of 1/2 length strips on the handle at 12, 3, 6, 9
-I put 4, 4 inches of 1/2 length strips on the handle at 2, 5, 7, 10

Overall weight with Lead: 11 OZ

Groundstrokes: WOW the difference between lead and no lead tape is HUGE. My groundstrokes were landing A LOT deeper and they had a lot SPIN. The control was there but was lacking a little. The feel was solid and still there was no arm/elbow problems when I was using it. The racquet also felt solid in my hands, it wasn't flimsy or hollow anymore

Serves: My serves were landing deeper and had A LOT more pace and spin compared to when I didn't have lead tape on there. The control was there but again was lacking. The spin wasn't insane but it was enough to give my opponent some trouble

Volleys: My volleys were pretty decent, it was solid and had a nice feeling at net. The control was there but some of the volleys were landing short whenever a ball was ripped at me.

Serve Return The serve returns improved A LOT. I wasn't being pushed around a lot compared to when I didn't have lead. I felt that I could place my shots a little bit better.

OVERALL IMPRESSIONS:When I was signing up for this playtest I was hoping I would receive the regular Aeropro Drive instead of the lite but instead I received the lite, had I received the regular Aero, I think the review would have been a little bit better because it suited my game better than this racquet but fret not here are my overall opinions of this racquet. Overall I feel that this racquet is EXCELLENT for developing players and/or young female players because this racquet is so light and it enables the young user to produce a good amount of spin and the feel of the racquet isn't stiff. BUT this racquet IS NOT suited for tournament/competitive players (obviously) without adding lead first. Without lead I was being pushed around and had little to no control and stability. With the lead added I felt that it fixed some of those problems but again I wouldn't take this racquet to play competitively at a 5.0 level even with lead because it was lacking in some areas. I felt that this racquet had improved feel over the previous version but the improvements were subtle and weren't drastic improvements. I really like the paintjob of this racquet compared to the previous 2009 model. With that being said I was pretty content with this playtest, although I was slightly disappointed that I didn't receive the regular Aeropro Drive. Ending on a good note here is a picture of the 2013 Aero next to the 2009 model belonging to one of the girl's on the team at my local high school

http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8349/8215155089_297de647b0_z.jpg

Francis27
11-25-2012, 05:14 AM
Great review JD! i like how youve put the new and previous models side by side.

Doubles
11-26-2012, 10:23 AM
I finally got mine today. So, if I break a string during my playtest, can I restring it? Or should I just ship it back?

SFrazeur
11-26-2012, 03:33 PM
Received it today. I will start hitting tomorrow. Must say that this is a great looking paintjob!

-SF

Power Player
11-26-2012, 07:12 PM
First off, thanks to TW for hooking me up with the AeroPro Drive demo.

Tennis experience/background: Started at age 7. Played USTA junior tennis, took time off, played college lacrosse, returned to tennis, now I play 6-12 hours per week.


Describe your playing style (i.e. serve & volley): Attacking baseliner.

Current racquet/string: BLX Blade 98 - Luixilon4g/OGSM

Racquet model tested: aero pro drive standard

How many hours did you play with the racquet? : 3 so far

I have used the APDC for 4 years now and I know it well. So when I took out the new demo for a ride, I instantly noticed that it swung a little lighter than prior, but not as light as the Pure Drive 2012 ( a good thing).

The stick was strung with RPM Blast and racquettune claimed 48#s, but I can tell you that the racquet feels very boardy regardless. It is not a comfortable racquet by any means, but there were no vibrations like prior models. I swung very aggressively to try and test myself on hard mishits, and even if I missed the middle, it did not vibrate like a tuning fork as prior models did.

That being said, this racquet is stiff. When I went back to my BLX blade to A/B compare, the Blade felt like a Prince EXO tour in softness, and I am not even kidding. Granted my blade has 4g mains and syn gut crosses instead of full poly, but it is at the same tension in a tighter pattern.

I instantly noticed a higher trajectory and huge power with the bab. This is fantastic on balls I can set up for and crush. I could hit very big forehands with a high bounce, but this also hurt me if I did not get a full wallop on the ball. All that topspin I generated kicked straight up in the air off the bounce and gave better players an easier ball to attack even though it was loaded with spin. I played with a 5.0, and hit with 2 4.0s. The 5.0 crushed any ball like that for a winner, but the 4.0s let them drop safely and hit a rally ball back. If you are playing at the 4.0 level and hit with a lot of spin, you will be just fine. If you tend to naturally hit heavy spin with any racquet like me, then this may give your opponents some easy sitters.

Clean winners were very satisfying (arent they all) and untouchable. You could really feel the large sweetspot and the woofer grommets opening up when you dimed it. When I got a groove going with my forehand, it felt great, but I was a little tentative while playing sets to go big. It is just such a powerful stick, and I am a pretty big swinger as it is. The power is great, but simply blocking the ball back can send it 4 feet long. Under match play pressure, my inclination with a powerful stick is to start pushing a little, and that takes me out of attack mode. The lack of any flex makes hitting touch shots an acquired taste, but log the hours and you can do it. Just dont expect it out of the box, because it isnt happening.

At low levels, you can hit pretty decent balls with a small swing, and at the highest levels you will have drilled for hours and hours and will have the confidence to go big with this stick. For me, it seems I was much more confident to hit out with my blade. It is my main stick, but the power level was also a lot more controllable. That being said, the blade does not come through the air as fast as the Bab, but it hits a heavier, more penetrating ball (pick your poison). The bab lacks some weight behind the ball unless you are teeing off over and over like Rafa. In other words, I think this racquet in stock form is ideal for juniors and young players with a lot of energy on tap.

Backhands were very good, but the Babo grip makes it a little harder for me to stay eastern on the backhand and not let my left hand slide SW. It's not the Wilson grip, so that is a negative to me. I really liked the slice a lot, and found tons of bite on the ball.

Volleys were stellar. This is a racquet that is rather light, but just keep it moving forward into the ball and you will punch volleys with authority. I loved volleying with this racquet.

Serves came up a little short. I played a guy with really great hands who forces you to hit flat serves to the lines. I struggled with this, and went back to my blade to solve that problem. The blade is a far better racquet for punching out serves, but The APD does do one serve real well - the slice. That rafa-esque slider is a wonderful serve to go for with this racquet, and if that is your style of serve, you will love it.

Return of serve was decent. I like to return deuce serves down the line against a slower server, and I am spoiled by the Blades precision. The APD will let you block serves back, but make sure you put some spin on it or you will be rattling the fence. If you get all over a serve, you will be rewarded, but if you are late against a big server too many times, your beer will need to double as an after match ice pack.

So yes, this is a great version of the APD. It is a super stiff tweener in the bab mold and the feel is crispy and boardy with a little bit of a gooey middle due to the woofer tech. The racquet sounds like a cannon when you crack forehands, but that is what this stick is - a forehand. Since that is my best stroke, I have always been drawn to it, but with it's ease of use there is a price to pay - my wrist and thumb is a little sore after, and this is the norm for me with these racquets. Also , the lack of control can cause you to play tentative in a match that requires placement and touch to win. I firmly believe that if you put in the time and are in great shape (this racquet demands great footwork more than you think), this is an amazing option. But it really is best for younger players unspoiled by things like "100% graphite", "flex" "twaron"..etc. Don't get me wrong, anyone can use this stick, but it really requires someone committed to massive topspin who won't let up for the duration of the match.

I would strongly recommend this racquet to be played with full poly to control it, and my personal choice would be Gosen Polybreak. String it around 52#s and change it every 10 hours.

Plan to log a little more time with the stick before sending it back, but these are my impressions, and I feel very familiar with this great lineage. Thanks again to TW for allowing me to try it out, and rest assured I dug up no slices during this playtest. :)

Nostradamus
11-26-2012, 07:15 PM
^^Dear Mr. Power player

Did you think the Swingweight was more closer to 316 or 329 on the aeropro drive 2013 ? Just off the feel from hitting. I know you didn't measure the SW. I too can tell just by hitting for good 2 hours, roughly what the SW is. I haven't had the pleasure of testing the frame yet.

Power Player
11-26-2012, 07:30 PM
I'd say it felt around 320. My Blade is 331 and it took me about 5 strokes to get back used to it when switching back and forth.

Doubles
11-27-2012, 11:27 AM
I'm hitting with my demo later today for a couple hours. I'll post my initial results shortly after that.

Andyroo10567
11-27-2012, 12:42 PM
Tennis experience/background: Been playing tennis for 6 years. I am a 4.0 - 4.5 player. Love hitting indoors.
Describe your playing style (i.e. serve & volley): All court player. Love volleying. Using a Eastern Forehand. Continental One Handed Backhand. I hit mostly flat with my forehand.
Current racquet/string: Head Youtek IG Prestige Pro With Babolat Revenge 17G @ 52lb
Racquet model tested: Babolat AeroPro Drive LITE
How many hours did you play with the racquet?: 7 hours ( as of right now, still in progress. ) ** DONE 7 Hours**
Comments on racquet performance::

-groundstrokes:
1st play ( 2 hours ) Looking at the 2 videos i took trying to look at the ball spin difference, there wasn't much. Both racquets i had similar spin with the new APD having a tad bit more ( I was probably getting in with the groove of dat Nadal feeling ) but otherwise plow through wasn't great. The balls were going too deep though. I'm not sure if it was me or the racquet tension/stiffness.
2nd play ( 3 hours ) : Ok, The past week have been quite rainy so i had to go to my club to play. The racquet has been sitting in my bag for quite a while so the RPM's were very dead. The feel of hitting the ball was just disappointing to me. The racquet felt amazingly stiff, the strings were terrible. Going back to the groundstroke topic, my groundstrokes were fine but the feel i had when previously playing, was completely different. Back when i first received the racquet, i took it out for a hit, the racquet played just fine.... but the weight was just off to me. I swung too fast at times ( Switching from a leaded up Prestige MP that was 12.7 oz., most lead at 12 o' clock. )
3rd play ( 2 hours ) : After the racquet fell out of my hand while returning a serve with a forehand, the racquet slipped out and hit the floor. After hearing that thud, I then recognized that extremely hollow sound in the racquet. It sounds like its producing the same sound as a Wal-Mart racquet would make. Pushing this aside, as of right now, this would be the last racquet i would grab to use as my main racquet. I have the same feeling of ball depth as from Pt 1 of "groundstrokes".
Comments about this section : The racquet is strung way too tight. IMO, i would like to try it out at 52lb with my same strings to compare with my primary racquet. Pt 1 felt like i was at my best.
Pt 1 score : 7/10
Pt 2 score : 5/10
Pt 3 score : 4/10
Average score : ~ 5.3/10

-serves:
Pt 1 ( 2 hours ) : Serves were terrible. Warm up partner just told me to switch back after having some funky on and off serves. Kick serves were fine but need more power, flat serves were slow, topspin serves failed too much to judge.
Pt 2 ( 3 hours ). My serves has been getting better. Had good depth, spin, and occasional deep serves. The racquet was relatively different from all the frames i hit with.
Pt 3 ( 2 hours ) : I'm not sure if its because its been a while since my last part, but my serves were just off. Warmed up with my Prestige, Did warm ups for about 20 minutes, 1st serves a couple minutes, 2nd serves a couple minutes. Later transitioned over to the APD and i shanked about 30% of my serves, hit to the net 50%, hit too deep 20%. I just give up! I just suck. Hitting lite ( see what i did there. ) serves were fine. But when i did some 1st serves, thats when the percentages above took in place. 2nd serves were good, as stated in part 2, " Had good depth, spin, and occasional deep serves. ". While playing a friendly match, constant double fault. We just decided to wing the game and rally.
Comments about this section : I'm guessing its because i warmed up the wrong way, or it's too light. Gave it a disappointing score. Had problems with my directional control.
Pt 1 score : 3/10
Pt 2 score : 6/10
Pt 3 score : 1/10
Average score : ~3.3/10

-volleys:
Pt 1 ( 2 hours ) :Volleys felt great. Crisp and solid. The light weight was throwing me off at some cases while volleying but with the some lead ( Don't have any at the moment ), I think it would be easier for me.
Pt 2 ( 3 hours ) : I think this was my favorite part of the playtest! Volleys were on point, but still had some loss of control over the ball.
Pt 3 ( 2 hours ) : Volleys were fine. Got a bit ticked off about my serves so my mental game wasn't at its best. Just hit some balls too wide. Still had fun with my volleys.
Comments about this section : Good. Not bad. Felt good.
Pt 1 score : 9/10
Pt 2 score : 8/10
Pt 3 score : 5/10 ( Might be biased report )
Average score : 7.3/10

-serve returns:
Pt 1 ( 2 hours ) : Seemed fine but trying to return a 90+ mph serve with this racquet, no thanks. Only way for me to get my return accurate and in was to slice the ball. My initial thought when i first returned my hitting partners first serve was to beef this racquet up with some sort of weight. Felt very flimsy. When hit with a normal forehand, it still felt crisp, but flimsy.
Pt 2 ( 3 hours ) : Hitting kickserves were not so great for me. When returning a flat serve, theres an insane amount of recoil to my arm.
BEEF DAT RACQUET UP BABOLAT.
Pt 3 ( 2 hours ) : If you read before, the racquet flung out of my hands. Haven't put an OG on the racquet. After that, my partner just rallied with me. Before, it was a bit bothering to return serves with such a light racquet.
Comments about this section : No thanks. Wouldn't buy it at all based on this factor. Would rather buy the regular APD.
Pt 1 score : 3/10
Pt 2 score : 1/10
Pt 3 score : 1/10
Average score : 1.3/10

Overall score IMHO : 4.3/10. :O

General reaction/comments on overall performance: Too light. thats my main comment. TOO LIGHT. Maybe good for a junior player. But just not for me. Overall performance was so-so. Would like to lead it up, add some Poly/Gut hybrids.... But i just don't want to overspend on strings for myself. ( its for my customers that request me to order T-T ) Sorry for giving this racquet a pretty harsh review. Thanks for giving me the opportunity for playtesting the racquet! Appreciate it. Had a pretty interesting time with this racquet. I'm just pretty curious about how the regular APD turned out for the other playtesters. Seems like the racquet was aimed more towards the smaller/junior kids. I would recommend it to junior players. Active cortex seems to be doing something. Let my partner look around at it and he seems pretty sold on the idea of an "Active Cortex". Paintjob looks very nice. Nice flat color. New logo is a bit odd. Not sure why they would change that. Again, thank you TW.

NOTE: I did not spend 2/3 hours testing each individual part. Those were just in the time frame i was playing with the racquet. I was just playing like i usually would and sharing my thoughts.

Doubles
11-27-2012, 06:55 PM
Here's my initial review.

Background: I played varsity in high school. Now I'm at the top of the ladder on my Universities travelling club team. I'm somewhere around a 4.0-4.5 and I'm primarily doubles player. Semi western forehand, eastern one handed backhand. I love to serve big and come into the net.


Current racquet/string: Head Youtek IG Prestige Pro, Black Magic/OGSM 49/52

Racquet model tested: Babolat AeroPro Drive GT

How many hours did you play with the racquet?: 2 Hours

Comments on racquet performance:

Groundstrokes: The APDGT was somewhat jarring at first, although that mostly has to do with the fact that I'm used to a softer racket with a poly/syn gut set up. As I adjusted though, I found it to be powerful with plenty of spin potential. My groundstrokes seemed to have a change in the height of their bounce, as well as a slight change in pace, although I think that might have just been related to me having a good day hitting. I really enjoyed hitting from the baseline with this racket, although the difference in feel compared to my Prestige's was an odd adjustment.

Volleys: I didn't like the feel, or lack thereof, but the APDGT was stiff enough that I could stick a putaway volley when necessary. If I were to seriously consider playing with this racket though, I would need to hybrid the poly with something softer, as full poly feels terrible in this.

Serves: I liked the free power I seemed to get from the racket, and the spin potential I had on kicks and slices. Babolat frames are just great for serving.

Returns: Similar to groudstrokes, if I had the chance to set everything up, it was nice, but if I was late, I got jarring feedback, that felt completely different than my HEAD.

This is still an initial review, but I am impressed with it. With that said, I'm not sold on it yet.

Boricua
11-28-2012, 04:56 AM
Here's my initial review.

Background: I played varsity in high school. Now I'm at the top of the ladder on my Universities travelling club team. I'm somewhere around a 4.0-4.5 and I'm primarily doubles player. Semi western forehand, eastern one handed backhand. I love to serve big and come into the net.


Current racquet/string: Head Youtek IG Prestige Pro, Black Magic/OGSM 49/52

Racquet model tested: Babolat AeroPro Drive GT

How many hours did you play with the racquet?: 2 Hours

Comments on racquet performance:

Groundstrokes: The APDGT was somewhat jarring at first, although that mostly has to do with the fact that I'm used to a softer racket with a poly/syn gut set up. As I adjusted though, I found it to be powerful with plenty of spin potential. My groundstrokes seemed to have a change in the height of their bounce, as well as a slight change in pace, although I think that might have just been related to me having a good day hitting. I really enjoyed hitting from the baseline with this racket, although the difference in feel compared to my Prestige's was an odd adjustment.

Volleys: I didn't like the feel, or lack thereof, but the APDGT was stiff enough that I could stick a putaway volley when necessary. If I were to seriously consider playing with this racket though, I would need to hybrid the poly with something softer, as full poly feels terrible in this.

Serves: I liked the free power I seemed to get from the racket, and the spin potential I had on kicks and slices. Babolat frames are just great for serving.

Returns: Similar to groudstrokes, if I had the chance to set everything up, it was nice, but if I was late, I got jarring feedback, that felt completely different than my HEAD.

This is still an initial review, but I am impressed with it. With that said, I'm not sold on it yet.

"If I were to seriously consider playing with this racket though, I would need to hybrid the poly with something softer, as full poly feels terrible in this."

LTEC 5S (black) at 46 mains and LTec Premium Flex (black) at 50 in the crosses is a great setup in the 2010 Aeropro. Could feel good in the 2013 Aeropro.

Doubles
11-28-2012, 08:31 AM
"If I were to seriously consider playing with this racket though, I would need to hybrid the poly with something softer, as full poly feels terrible in this."

LTEC 5S (black) at 46 mains and LTec Premium Flex (black) at 50 in the crosses is a great setup in the 2010 Aeropro. Could feel good in the 2013 Aeropro.
I don't care for L-Tec's over priced strings. If I were to hybrid in this, I would use a multi in the crosses, or Gut/Poly.

PED
11-28-2012, 09:34 AM
Tennis experience/background: 10 plus years
Describe your playing style: baseline oriented, solid 4.0
Current racquet/string: Head Prestige S strung with Solinco TB 1.25mm at 43/42
Racquet model tested: APD GT 2013
How many hours did you play with the racquet? 4 so far

I can sum the whole experience as like this: it's an APD. If you like the PD or APD you will likely love this one. Babolat have made several improvements but the dna leaves you in no doubt that it's a Bab.

Improvements: 1. I did find that it feels much better on contact with the new cortex and handle: its much more solid overall and I would play it stock if I switched to it. In the past, I usually leaded mine up to roughly 342g.

2. It swings lighter than the older versions and that's a plus IMO. However, it does feel less mobile than my Prestige S. The S weights 5g more and has the same balance: 33cm. My apd13 weighted 324g with a rubber band and tournagrip.

Groundstrokes are just what you would expect: you can hit a nice heavy ball off both wings and I found that my 2hbh in particular improved with this stick: I could hit a nasty heavy deep bouncer with a touch of side spin cross court to set up a short reply.

I did find that the ball trajectory is a bit higher than with my last two sticks: Prestige S and IG Radical Pro. For my game, I usually prefer to produce a driving lower trajectory ball to take time away from my opponent. However, if you love to pound it hard and deep, this is your stick.

Volleys were solid, the new cortex system is solid on impact and gives a satisfying feedback; the 100” hoop makes it hard to miss. I tend to only come in to finish off points and the apd was great for that.

Serves: Nice on serve, it does swing lighter than previous versions which helped with my placement in the box, easy to produce serves from the deuce side that consistently painted the outside corner.

Return of Serve: one of my favorite shots: the APD shines on this side, especially on the BH side, you can take a full rip at the ball and produce a nice deep return that’s tricky for the server to handle.

Overall, the feel is much improved over the older versions. For comparison, my Prestige S feels like a wand in my hand, it comes around lightening fast and I'm rarely late on shots; the APDGT 13 swings faster than before but the 100" hoop and big beam is not as agile.

I’ve owned all the previous versions of this stick: Original, APDC and GT and this is the best version since the original: some things the original does better (overall it’s softer) but the GT 13 has better power and is superior on return of serve.

Thanks TW

srvnvly
11-29-2012, 12:00 PM
Tennis experience/background: I've been playing tennis for over 20 years. I am a 4.0 all-court player.

Describe your playing style (i.e. serve & volley): More all-court, former strictly serve-n-volleyer; I quest for the net whenever I can

Current racquet/string: Wilson BLX Blade 98/ X-One Biphase 17 @ 48 lbs

Racquet model tested: Babolat AeroPro Drive LITE

How many hours did you play with the racquet? 3 hours of doubles play


Comments on racquet performance:

-groundstrokes: at 9.8 oz strung (TW's specs), the racquet is significantly lighter than my BLX Blade 98.
This racquet was SO easy to swing, and it felt incredibly light. There was a definite lack of plow through, though early
prep time for shots was easy and some power was there. I had to swing hard to get power and depth just on my forehand and
I rarely hit beyond the baseline. If my timing was perfect, I could get decent power/depth, but more than not I hit a shorter
ball. I have a 1HBH and I liked being able to get around the ball fast, but again, I had to work to get good power behind the shot.
A definite challenge for those with TE, as this still will tire your arm out and it's stiff, which with having to swing harder
to get power, puts more strain on the arm. Nothing remarkable about slice shots, though a few did land short and made it hard
for the opponent to hit the ball back.

-serves: serves were a challenge, though I had occasional power on a flat serve (the whole timing thing again, with added frustration
at this point); spin serves just ok and the ball seemed to sit up in the wheelhouse for some players. I could get a funky, fall-away
spin second serve that frustrated one power opponent who hits out on EVERY shot, but I would get too frustrated if I had to rely on
that all the time, I would become more frustrated.

-volleys: this is probaly the shining star of this racquet; I had a couple of tough low, hard-hit balls at my feet and I was able to
hit a good volley back at my opponents. On shoulder-high volleys though, it was more of the same lack of put-away power. It was interesting
that when I picked my Blade 98 again just to compare, I was more focused at the net and hit some fantastic put-away volleys. I wanted a
comparison specifically on volleys, and the Blade (unsurprisingly) rocked, compared to the two racquets

-serve returns: serve returns were just ok, but lacked pace, and the racquet got pushed around by hard/ fast serves. I liked that I could
setup early, but the lack of plow was not good.


General reaction/comments on overall performance: Too light for me and not enough plow through. If you are already using this type of racquet, or want to get a a racquet that would be good to customize, it's worth at demo. I look forward to trying the non-light version.

Thank you, TW, very much for the opportunity to demo and provide feedback.

downs_chris
11-29-2012, 12:26 PM
hitting with Aeropro Drive 2013 for a 2nd time tonight in a match situation -- first impressions were very positive...

Doubles
12-02-2012, 09:10 AM
I've hit with the Aero Pro for another 3 hours now. I'm not going to write another full review (I'll save that until my final comments) but I have something interesting to report.

Now, bear in mind I'm used to playing with the Prestige Pro, and before that the MG Radical so two different rackets with feel; but the APD has absolutely no feel to it. I'm not sure how much of this is from the RPM blast, and how much of this is due to the stiffer Babolat, but I can't feel the ball on the strings.

While I'm still able to hit the ball nicely, often getting good depth and spin, half of the time I can't tell whether or not my shot is going to fall in or not. I feel completely disconnected from the ball.

Just something to report for now.

PED
12-02-2012, 09:34 AM
Doubles, The feel is def less on the apd than with the prestige.

I see to use the pro myself and have been using the prestige s. while the feel is less on the new apd, the power and spin I was getting made up for it in my book. Part of it might be the rpm string as you mentioned, solinoco tour bite gives better feedback IMO.

Not sure if you are using a dampener but the feel really opens up on the apd when playing without one, you get a much better idea of what the ball is doing.

Doubles
12-02-2012, 11:33 AM
Doubles, The feel is def less on the apd than with the prestige.

I see to use the pro myself and have been using the prestige s. while the feel is less on the new apd, the power and spin I was getting made up for it in my book. Part of it might be the rpm string as you mentioned, solinoco tour bite gives better feedback IMO.

Not sure if you are using a dampener but the feel really opens up on the apd when playing without one, you get a much better idea of what the ball is doing.
I never use a dampener. It's just odd to me because I can't actually tell where the ball is going when I hit. That's not to say that the racket hits poorly, but I like being able to tell where the ball is going when I hit it.

Boricua
12-03-2012, 11:21 AM
I've hit with the Aero Pro for another 3 hours now. I'm not going to write another full review (I'll save that until my final comments) but I have something interesting to report.

Now, bear in mind I'm used to playing with the Prestige Pro, and before that the MG Radical so two different rackets with feel; but the APD has absolutely no feel to it. I'm not sure how much of this is from the RPM blast, and how much of this is due to the stiffer Babolat, but I can't feel the ball on the strings.

While I'm still able to hit the ball nicely, often getting good depth and spin, half of the time I can't tell whether or not my shot is going to fall in or not. I feel completely disconnected from the ball.

Just something to report for now.

Excessive stiffness and an unpredictable stringbed, that is what is preventing me from buying this new APD. I am buying a Vcore Tour 97 instead.

mad dog1
12-03-2012, 11:27 AM
Not sure if you are using a dampener but the feel really opens up on the apd when playing without one, you get a much better idea of what the ball is doing.

i found this to be true hitting w/ JGads' playtest APD GT, too.

PED
12-03-2012, 11:28 AM
Excessive stiffness and an unpredictable stringbed, that is what is preventing me from buying this new APD. I am buying a Vcore Tour 97 instead.

Boricua, come on over to the racketholics thread and we can discuss the new apd stringbed if you like.

Boricua
12-03-2012, 11:34 AM
Boricua, come on over to the racketholics thread and we can discuss the new apd stringbed if you like.

I posted a similar comment already (today) in the racketholics thread. But, will repost with a bit more insight.

DrewRafter8
12-03-2012, 01:35 PM
Tennis Experience/Background:
4.5 USTA Rated Player, was a decent junior an have played/coached quite a bit the past few years. I have not played nearly as much in the past year and a half. Lucky to get out other then for league matches.

Playing Style:
I'm an all court player, but I serve and volley behind both my first and second serves. I'm a first strike player, I hit a big serve and attack returns. That's the A game, but I can grind with the best if I need to.

Current Racquet/String:
I don't actually have one. I'm transitioning from a 2012 PD that gave me tennis elbow. Have played the past two months with a 350 gram Ti Radical strung with poly and a Donnay Pro 1 16x19. Waiting to demo some of the new sticks for 2013 before I switch.

Racquet Model Tested: Aeropro Drive

Hours Tested: Around 5 hours

Racquet Performance:
As a former Babolat user, I have used a APDC+ and 2012 PD+ for quite a while. I also have hit with the PD swirly, APDGT, and other Babolat offerings. Honestly, the new APD is a really nice racquet, but it seems to be too stiff for my liking. It seems to be very dead feeling around the upper hoop. After hitting with it for five hours, I have not had any elbow pain. I attribute that more to taking some time off since experiencing elbow pain in August. As far as play goes, here's the breakdown:

Serves:
Fantastic, although it is a bit light. The spin serves are excellent and it really whips through the air. I never really could dial in the flat serve to the level that I like to hit. Coming from 330+ gram sticks to this 313 gram Babolat would explain the majority of the issues there. If I put about 15 grams in it, I think it would be excellent.

Returns:
It's light and it can be pushed around a bit. For me, I was able to really be aggressive on second serves by turning up the racquet head speed. Blocking back heavy first serves isn't too awful, but let someone crush a serve and catch it outside the sweetspot. That wasn't comfortable at all.

Groundstrokes:
Since I've taught so much tennis over the past five years, I've learned to hit at a decent level with a variety of grips. When I play a match, I'm generally a moderate SW guy on the forehand. I think this racquet really is built for a more extreme grip on the FH. I really liked migrating to a more western grip and watching the ball jump off the court. I had trouble flattening out the ball with a great deal of accuracy. I'm again used to a heavier stick with a lower flex so if it will take me a couple of times out to get this part of my game going. Accuracy was ok, I again have to adjust to the huge power of this racquet. Compared to say the Donnay, I couldn't hit my crosscourt forehand inside the service line with the Babolat with any consistancy.....yet. Backhands were a little bit of a problem. I normally hit a two hander in competitive match play. I hit a one hander with this APD. I don't know if the grip is a bit short, but my big hands would not fit comfortably on the racquet. I wrapped an overgrip up on the racquet and that helped considerably. I hit good backhands, but again it's tough to really reign in the power of the APD.

Volleys:
What a pleasant surprise! This APD volleyed very well. Combine the stiffness with the light weight and you have a really nice volleying stick. The problem again was with harder hit balls. If I volleyed a couple of hard struck passing shots, I could see where my elbow would act up. Touch shots were a little iffy, but I think stiffness plus full RPM pretty much sums up that there's just not much touch here.

Overall:
It's a nice stick and I think a lot of APD users will like this racquet. It's a much better stick to me then the APDGT. However, I prefer the softer feel of the APDC then the much more solid feel out of the new APD. The real knock for me with the APDC was a hollow feel. This 2013 APD does not have that, but it really seems to stiff to me. I really feel that the 2012 PD is softer then this offering as well. Overall, it's a great offering from Babolat for those who really like the Babolat line up and feel. I would caution anyone who is not really into a stiffer feel on this one though. I guess that is where I find myself and why I continue to look elsewhere from Babolat. Thanks to TW for the opportunity, I'm going to hit a bit more with it and will post any additional thoughts!

Francis27
12-03-2012, 02:10 PM
how is the aeropro drive 2013's stiffness compared to the babolat pure drive 2012?

tennisnut09
12-07-2012, 05:54 PM
Please post more of your play test reviews.

Thank You!

JGads
12-07-2012, 09:44 PM
Tennis experience/background: On-again, off-again relationship with tennis since childhood until a knee injury and surgery took me away from tennis just as I was getting serious about it on a very good, state-ranked high school team... Gave it up through college, but not long after college I returned to the game and have been playing pretty much 3-4 days per week for the last five years, playing casually and in league play. And overly obsessing about frames ever since discovering the TW message boards.

Describe your playing style (i.e. serve & volley): Baseliner. Will come in after the occasional approach shot, or to shake hands. I rely on a big first serve to get me a handful of free points every match, and tend to hit with a lot of spin on my forehand.

Current racquet/string: ProKennex 7G primarily for the last year, along with the PK Black Ace Mid. In the last month, though, I've been playing more and more with an extended pro stock MG Radical MP (231.2). Tour Bite/Nvy hybrid is my preferred string setup in most frames.

Racquet model tested: AeroPro Drive

How many hours did you play with the racquet? 10

Comments on racquet performance:

-groundstrokes: From the first to the last ball, I did enjoy this APD more than the previous two iterations of the frame. The feel is 'cleaner', a bit more refined, a few less hollow vibrations than I recall. BUT: it's still very much an APD, which for me means a very stiff frame that simply does not really flex, and, in the end, has a little bit too much stiffness and power for my taste. The result is a frame that sometimes wows you with its 'get-out-of-jail-free' power cards where you can create great pop and spin even from defensive positions, which gets you out of jams and grabs a handful of points you almost don't feel you deserve ... but that free power also bites me vexingly when I don't expect it to -- a simple block-back can sail long, or a put-away shot where I think I've hit the ball cleanly launches past the baseline. In other words, this frame steals some points for you each match, but it also gives others away that you feel should have been yours. Because I've veered more towards control sticks -- heavier, softer, tighter patterns, lower powered -- this frame remains a bit out of my personal comfort zone. Spin is required to keep the ball in with this one, and it was easy to over-spin it at times where the ball wouldn't pierce the court enough and simply sit up in the other guy's strike zone. Slices were possibly my most vexing problem -- I couldn't seem to keep them from floating, more often than not. A regular hitting partner who also played with the frame figured out how to keep slices low eventually, but I never seemed able. Except for the one day when we played with damp tennis balls. Overall, groundies are big and spinny and absolutely require that spin to keep them in the court. Flatten out your shot just a touch and the ball can very easily shoot long, thanks to the very trampoline-like stringbed -- the ball REALLY springs out of this particular sweet spot when you nail it, a classic Babolat trait, sometimes a blessing and sometimes a curse.

-serves: Very solid. That trampoline-like sweet spot that can both help and hurt you on groundies mostly helps in this department, as you can pop heavy serves pretty nicely. Not quite the CRUSHing serves like I'm able to get with some other sticks, probably due to the more even balance, but wasn't difficult to get a heavy-enough serve. Not the most accurate serving stick, but pop is there. As is the spin capability for second serve kickers and slices. Overall, solid at the service line.

-volleys: Another department, like on serve, where a more headlight balance might give the stick a bit more maneuverability to take it to another level, but just like on serve, can't really complain. Did the job. Pretty stable up there. Though I didn't spend much time on volleys, as I tend to stay back.

-serve returns: A bit unpredictable. This is where I much prefer the feel and confidence of control sticks rather than pop-sticks like this one. With control frames, I can block or chip back the heaters, the ball stays low, and I can work my way into the point. Or if I get one in my wheelhouse, I can let loose and rip it back, using the pace the server gives you against him. With the APD's big pop, those block-backs or chips sometimes trampoline long or float up for a sitter, and when I get one in my wheelhouse, the server's power PLUS letting loose with this racquet can just be too much and the ball can very easily end up hitting the back fence.

General reaction/comments on overall performance: For those who already like APDs, this frame will please. It has that classic APD power and spin, with fewer bad vibrations. But although the feel is improved from previous versions, for me it is still MILES away from the softer, fuller, flexier feel of my preferred frames. Other than the Pure Storm line, the feel of Babolats just don't do it for me -- too rigid, too brittle. I also prefer stringbeds that are deader rather than springy, leaving ME to bring the power with racquet head speed, as that gives me more confidence to swing out and rip, and more predictability as well. With the APD, I can hit some huge shots, sure, and they often come from nowhere and surprise me. But that's just it - too often it's a surprise, whether it's the unexpected winner or the unexpected long-ball. I never feel like I know exactly where the ball is going to end up on the other side of the court, which saps some of my confidence to really free up and swing away, which is when tennis is most fun for me.

A big thanks to TW for letting me be part of the playtest. While this frame isn't quite for me, I still think it will please very many.

Power Player
12-08-2012, 12:01 PM
Great review Gads. Really nails it.

Boricua
12-11-2012, 08:15 AM
Is this thread over? Been a few days without any posts or reviews.

Bartelby
12-11-2012, 08:20 AM
They've skipped the country with the loot but the SLO police is in hot pursuit.

Boricua
12-11-2012, 08:27 AM
They've skipped the country with the loot but the SLO police is in hot pursuit.

Yeah, its a good excuse to play indefinitely with the racket, enjoy it and then say its plays so-so.

TW Staff
12-11-2012, 08:56 AM
Playtesters,

This a is a reminder that your review comments are due by this Friday, December 14. Failure to post your review on Friday will result in exclusion from other Talk Tennis playtests. Remember to post detailed and thoughtful reviews as this will increase your chances on getting on further playtests.

Hope everyone has enjoyed the playtest!

Brittany, TW

PS- Reminder to return your playtest racquet back to Tennis Warehouse by December 20,2012.

Rock Strongo
12-11-2012, 09:00 AM
Playtesters,

This is a reminder that your review comments are due by this Friday, December 14. Failure to post your review on Friday will result in exclusion from other Talk Tennis playtests. Remember to post detailed and thoughtful reviews as this will increase your chances on getting on further playtests.

Hope everyone has enjoyed the playtest!

Brittany, TW

PS- Reminder to return your playtest racquet back to Tennis Warehouse by December 20,2012.

Where's the key to the DeLorean?

TW Staff
12-11-2012, 09:19 AM
Where's the key to the DeLorean?


:) Well played sir, well played!

Brittany, TW

cluckcluck
12-11-2012, 12:41 PM
Tennis experience/background:
Been playing over a decade, NTRP tournaments, USTA Doubles League.

Describe your playing style (i.e. serve & volley):
4.5 Aggressive baseline play. I prefer to be at the baseline hitting hard with spin and depth.

Current racquet/string:
Donnay X-Dark Red 94 with L-Tec 5s/Os at 46lbs.
or
Head YouTek IG Radical Pro with with L-Tec 5s/Os at 48lbs.

Racquet model tested:
AeroPro Drive GT

How many hours did you play with the racquet? 16

Comments on racquet performance:

-groundstrokes:
Initially my impression was that the frame was awfully light and had low swingweight with an even balance. I normally hit with a quick long stroke on my forehand and a slightly compact one-handed backhand. I struggled with finding the mass through the swing resulting in balls in the net. The racquet seemed to have a lower trajectory (which could have been due to the higher tensioned strings) off the stringbed. I felt that I had to swing early to catch the ball earlier off the bounce to find the right zone to clear the net enough. On my backhand side, I had a really hard time coming up with pace, the frame felt too light and I felt like I was rushing to make contact. It felt unnatural and not very smooth. It almost felt like the stringbed was very springy, coupled with the stiff frame, there was very little feel from the frame.
Finding the spin was also a challenge. I would think the 16x19 would allow me to find easy access to spin, yet, I found I hit with less spin and weight with the APDGT.
-serves:
I only played a few sets with this racquet. I really struggled finding my range with any serve with spin. Flat serves were pretty simple, nice and controlled. The flat serves were zippy and not heavy. My opponents were easily able to pick up the flat serves because they were only quick and didnít have any action on them.

-volleys:
Controlling volleys sure, that was easy. But actually making put-away volleys were disappointing entirely. Because the frame is so stiff (for me) and springing, low volleys would pop up and sit for my opponent to put away.

-serve returns:
My return is generally my favorite shot and it was with the APDGT. I didnít have to do much other than time a short backswing and the ball would go back deep. Chip returns were pretty good also. I enjoyed the racquet during returns.

General reaction/comments on overall performance:
Because the APDGT is very stiff and light, I struggled. The stiffness did hurt my arm after each session, even though the active cortex was there, I was still sore. The stiffness could be countered with a little more mass in the frame; by not having to swing so fast to get depth that would be good.
Also, the string pattern would be better if it were opened up a little bit between the first 8 mains (the distance between holes). With a change like that, spin would be easier to come by.
The only real big change that I felt between this model and the previous APDGT was the active cortex. It dampens differently, but not more.
Thanks TW for allowing me to playtest.

PED
12-11-2012, 12:53 PM
Also, the string pattern would be better if it were opened up a little bit between the first 8 mains (the distance between holes). With a change like that, spin would be easier to come by.

I agree on this point. I see you have the ig radical pro. I had that as well and use the Prestige S now. Head has a lot more openness in their drill patterns in the middle of the bed and also more easier depth and power IMO.

Roforot
12-11-2012, 07:21 PM
Level & Style of Play: 4.0 Allcourt player. I use a Western FH and flip to an Easter BH for most strokes; continental for slices and net play.
Tennis XP: Play 50/50 singles/doubles primarily on hard courts. I typically enjoy doubles in USTA matches and get my fill of singles from the local tennis ladder or occasional tournament.

Usual Racquet: Babolat Pure Drive Roddick (2012) strung w/ multifilaments at 50-55#

Model Tested: Babolat AeroPro Drive (2013) strung w/ Xcel 16g. (Racquet tension measured to be 51# by Racquettune app)
Testing Modalities: Singles, Doubles, Wall, Ball Machine, Clinic, and of course serve practice. Total time was 15 hours.

General Reaction:
The racquet is geared to a different style of play than what I typically employ but it was a blast to use. I like to stay on the baseline and drive through shots looking for a short ball I can either put away or follow to the net. I lost a set pretty quickly before I thought about how I've seen other good players use this racquet against me. They typically would setup 5-6' behind the baseline and hit heavy loopy balls. When I adjusted my stance on the court, I found this racquet to be amazing for hitting heavy shots that drew a lot of errors. It felt like I was making the guy return kick serves by the back fence. At the same time, I enjoyed the feeling that I couldn't miss. It may be more than hype but I believe that the shape of the throat on the APD makes the racquet swing best on a more vertical plane than my PDR. If I played primarily singles, I would consider switching to this frame.

The main negative aspect though is that the frame is too light. My PDR weights 3/4ths of an ounce more. The APD was unstable when I tried to flatten out shots. It was uncomfortable while volleying heavy hit balls. Most important of all, I felt the lack of mass on serves. Placement was good which kept people from blasting return winners, but I rarely forced errors and did not hit any aces. In the last few sessions, I added 8g to 3/9'oclock and 10g to the handle. This improved the volleying but didn't seem to make a difference on the serve. I tried practice serves to see if I could figure this out in a non-competitive environment without luck. I would say this racquet is as good as any though in its weight class.

I felt the racquet to be a bit more flexible than the PDR 2012. Comfort is excellent (except for volleys unmodified). Touch and drop shots are decent. Despite spending these hours trying to groove the big looping stroke, I found rather quickly, how much more natural I feel w/ the PDR.

Nevertheless I offer my thanks to TW for allowing me to participate in this playtest!

Post playtesting: I got to hit w/ a regular Pure Drive a few days after I wrote up this review; I had similar complaints about weight/stability. I suspect if Babolat put out a tour version of the APD, I would be really interested in that frame!

Andyroo10567
12-11-2012, 07:26 PM
Well, time to return the racquet.

Boricua
12-12-2012, 04:18 AM
Level & Style of Play: 4.0 Allcourt player. I use a Western FH and flip to an Easter BH for most strokes; continental for slices and net play.
Tennis XP: Play 50/50 singles/doubles primarily on hard courts. I typically enjoy doubles in USTA matches and get my fill of singles from the local tennis ladder or occasional tournament.

Usual Racquet: Babolat Pure Drive Roddick (2012) strung w/ multifilaments at 50-55#

Model Tested: Babolat AeroPro Drive (2013) strung w/ Xcel 16g. (Racquet tension measured to be 51# by Racquettune app)
Testing Modalities: Singles, Doubles, Wall, Ball Machine, Clinic, and of course serve practice. Total time was 15 hours.

General Reaction:
The racquet is geared to a different style of play than what I typically employ but it was a blast to use. I like to stay on the baseline and drive through shots looking for a short ball I can either put away or follow to the net. I lost a set pretty quickly before I thought about how I've seen other good players use this racquet against me. They typically would setup 5-6' behind the baseline and hit heavy loopy balls. When I adjusted my stance on the court, I found this racquet to be amazing for hitting heavy shots that drew a lot of errors. It felt like I was making the guy return kick serves by the back fence. At the same time, I enjoyed the feeling that I couldn't miss. It may be more than hype but I believe that the shape of the throat on the APD makes the racquet swing best on a more vertical plane than my PDR. If I played primarily singles, I would consider switching to this frame.

The main negative aspect though is that the frame is too light. My PDR weights 3/4ths of an ounce more. The APD was unstable when I tried to flatten out shots. It was uncomfortable while volleying heavy hit balls. Most important of all, I felt the lack of mass on serves. Placement was good which kept people from blasting return winners, but I rarely forced errors and did not hit any aces. In the last few sessions, I added 8g to 3/9'oclock and 10g to the handle. This improved the volleying but didn't seem to make a difference on the serve. I tried practice serves to see if I could figure this out in a non-competitive environment without luck. I would say this racquet is as good as any though in its weight class.

I felt the racquet to be a bit more flexible than the PDR 2012. Comfort is excellent (except for volleys unmodified). Touch and drop shots are decent. Despite spending these hours trying to groove the big looping stroke, I found rather quickly, how much more natural I feel w/ the PDR.

Nevertheless I offer my thanks to TW for allowing me to participate in this playtest!

Post playtesting: I got to hit w/ a regular Pure Drive a few days after I wrote up this review; I had similar complaints about weight/stability. I suspect if Babolat put out a tour version of the APD, I would be really interested in that frame!

Yes a Tour racket with more mass is necesarry. A racket with Nadals or Tsongas racket specs or similar would be a posibility speciallly for people who dont like or dont know how to customize themselves.

Doubles
12-12-2012, 05:01 PM
Here's my final review. Any updates are in bold:

Background: I played varsity in high school. Now I'm at the top of the ladder on my Universities travelling club team. I'm somewhere around a 4.0-4.5 and I'm primarily doubles player. Semi western forehand, eastern one handed backhand. I love to serve big and come into the net.


Current racquet/string: Head Youtek IG Prestige Pro, Black Magic full bed, transitioning to a Tour Bite hybrid.

Racquet model tested: Babolat AeroPro Drive GT

How many hours did you play with the racquet?: 14 Hours

Comments on racquet performance:

Groundstrokes: The APDGT was somewhat jarring at first, although that mostly has to do with the fact that I'm used to a softer racket with a different. As I adjusted though, I found it to be powerful with plenty of spin potential. My groundstrokes seemed to have a change in the height of their bounce, as well as a slight change in pace, although I think that might have just been related to me having a good day hitting. I really enjoyed hitting from the baseline with this racket, although the difference in feel compared to my Prestige's was an odd adjustment. In the end, I could not adjust to the lack of feel that this racket provided. I hit some nice shots, but I could never tell whether or not they were going to land in. Some did, some did not, but I like to be able to feel a connection with the ball when I hit it. I couldn't do that with this racket.

Volleys: I didn't like the feel, or lack thereof, but the APDGT was stiff enough that I could stick a putaway volley when necessary. If I were to seriously consider playing with this racket though, I would need to hybrid the poly with something softer, as full poly feels terrible in this. Simply using the stiffness of the racket made it good enough to hit volleys, but I never felt comfortable placing them where I wanted to.

Serves: I liked the free power I seemed to get from the racket, and the spin potential I had on kicks and slices. Babolat frames are just great for serving. Nothing really new here. I could really power the ball on serve. This is pretty much the only place where I felt like I could connect with the string bed.

Returns: Similar to ground strokes, if I had the chance to set everything up, it was nice, but if I was late, I got jarring feedback, that felt completely different than my HEAD. Same results as ground strokes. Nice power, I just couldn't feel it.

In the end, I was really not thrilled with the racket. Maybe I was expecting too much coming from a feel and precision oriented scalpel like the Prestige, but the APD felt like a toy to me. Either way, I want to thank TW for giving me the opportunity to playtest this racket.

Ross K
12-13-2012, 01:01 AM
No offence to anyone but it would be great to read more reviews from people who are past APD users or ppl for whom these kind of racs are intended. I personally wouldn't volunteer to playtest and post reviews on something like, say, a heavy, closed pattern mid. I'm not sure of the merit of reviews when the reviwer's playing style is so obviously not a great match for the frame.

crosscourt
12-13-2012, 01:29 AM
Agreed. We have a lot about the strengths and weaknesses of the playtesters rather than the rackets.

djdannyj25
12-13-2012, 03:03 AM
No offence to anyone but it would be great to read more reviews from people who are past APD users or ppl for whom these kind of racs are intended. I personally wouldn't volunteer to playtest and post reviews on something like, say, a heavy, closed pattern mid. I'm not sure of the merit of reviews when the reviwer's playing style is so obviously not a great match for the frame.

so true, these reviews are making the racquet sound abysmal even though the complaints are all relative to playing style :/

ArliHawk
12-13-2012, 03:35 AM
No offence to anyone but it would be great to read more reviews from people who are past APD users or ppl for whom these kind of racs are intended. I personally wouldn't volunteer to playtest and post reviews on something like, say, a heavy, closed pattern mid. I'm not sure of the merit of reviews when the reviwer's playing style is so obviously not a great match for the frame.

Agree completely. Tried to get in on the playtest, and my current racquet is the 2010 APD. Did not make the cut.

Boricua
12-13-2012, 04:41 AM
No offence to anyone but it would be great to read more reviews from people who are past APD users or ppl for whom these kind of racs are intended. I personally wouldn't volunteer to playtest and post reviews on something like, say, a heavy, closed pattern mid. I'm not sure of the merit of reviews when the reviwer's playing style is so obviously not a great match for the frame.

I agree totally with your statement.

cluckcluck
12-13-2012, 08:27 AM
No offence to anyone but it would be great to read more reviews from people who are past APD users or ppl for whom these kind of racs are intended. I personally wouldn't volunteer to playtest and post reviews on something like, say, a heavy, closed pattern mid. I'm not sure of the merit of reviews when the reviwer's playing style is so obviously not a great match for the frame.

Except, for a product to be successful in any market, it needs to be looked at from all angles.

A product can't be great if it's based on a biased review.

Boricua
12-13-2012, 08:32 AM
Except, for a product to be successful in any market, it needs to be looked at from all angles.

A product can't be great if it's based on a biased review.

Also true. But, I think the majority of the testers are not APD users. It would be good to include also current APD users to see their thoughts on the new APD and see how it compares to prior APDs they used in the past for a great deal of time.

TW Staff
12-13-2012, 09:02 AM
To all Babolat AeroPro Playtesters,

This is the final reminder that your reviews are due TODAY. Please post your reviews to this thread before the end of the day. Failure to do so will result in exclusion from future playtests.

Hope everyone enjoyed the playtest!

Brittany, TW

PS- Please return your racquet to Tennis Warehouse by Friday, December 20.

Doubles
12-13-2012, 09:19 AM
Except, for a product to be successful in any market, it needs to be looked at from all angles.

A product can't be great if it's based on a biased review.

Exactly. It's good to see things from all sides rather than just one.

dode
12-13-2012, 12:09 PM
Ok here is my review. I will say that I have never played with a Babolat racquet before. I have demoed a few along the way, but never really cared for them for various reasons. I gave this racquet a review that was not biased because of these previous demos though.

Tennis experience/background: Started playing last fall again after about 11 years of not picking up a racquet. Played at 3.5 USTA Nationals last fall and am an above average 4.0 player currently.

Describe your playing style (i.e. serve & volley): Prefer baseline play, but tested this racquet playing 90% doubles, so not as much rallying as I would normally play since winter USTA season for us is only doubles.

Current racquet/string: Volkl C10 Pro - Pacific Tough Gut/Genesis Black Magic

Racquet model tested: AeroPro Drive with XCel

How many hours did you play with the racquet? 10

Comments on racquet performance:

-groundstrokes: Overall were good. With this racquet I was able to produce good pace and spin. I never felt that even though this racquet is light in comparison to what I normally play (around 350 g strung) that it was pushed around on heavy balls. I was able to turn around fast paced balls well in addition to hitting floaters and short balls with authority. In fact, hitting balls with little pace was one thing that I really liked with this racquet compared to my Volkls. I tend to have problems with those balls, but not with this racquet. However, I did struggle from time to time with the weight and being way out in front of balls. The more I played with it, the less of an issue this was, but it still crept up from time to time. Overall I give it an 8/10. I would be interested in playing this racquet with some addition mass and a gut/poly hybrid.

-serves: In a nutshell, serves are where this racquet really shined. Flat serves were faster than I normally hit, along with getting a higher percentage in. Spin serves were very good as well, but were "different". They had much more of a slicing action as opposed to the very heavy spin kick serves I normally hit. This I would guess has a lot to do with the difference in strings. Overall I give it a 9/10.

-volleys: Net play is not my strong suit, but I will say this racquet is quite maneuverable at the net. I seemed to struggle more with the touch shots, but not horrible. Solid volleys and overheads were no problem though. 7/10.

-serve returns: I like to be aggressive on service returns and on the forehand side I could really turn around serves with pace. Backhands I really struggled with attacking like I normally do with a 2 hand top spin return. I hit a lot of them into the bottom of the net if I didn't back off some. I think some of that was just being out in front due to the lower weight. Overall probably 7.5/10

General reaction/comments on overall performance: Overall I was pretty surprised with how well I played with this racquet. It was a little stiffer than I am used to hitting with, and that bothered my elbow just a bit, but nothing over the top. Also the "bulk" of the frame in my hands was a little strange and distracting compared to my Volkls, but not a show stopper. I would be really interested to see how this racquet would perform with about 20 g of added weight and my normal gut/poly hybrid. I would rate the racquet an 8/10 overall, and probably the best hitting Babolat frame I have hit with.

Thanks for the opportunity to play test this frame. I hope this feedback helps others, and I am sure this racquet will be a good seller.

John

gavna
12-13-2012, 04:14 PM
Tennis experience/background:
Age 51, Playing since I was 7 and played in the juniors in Europe and USA. Played Div 1 NCAA (1979 - 1984) and was an Asst D1 coach (1985 - 86) Currently play ITF seniors and current NTRP is solid 5.0, Cat 3 ITN and an FFT rating of 2/6.

Describe your playing style (i.e. serve & volley):
Aggressive Baseliner until my 30s - But since then more and more doubles - i know play doubles 95% of the time now so much more Serve and Volley/All Court.

Current racquet/string:
Since September: Wilson Blade 98 (2013 model w/ Amplifeel 18x20) strung with Luxilon 4G mains/ VS or Wilson Gut crosses at 58 lbs.

Racquet model tested:
AeroPro Drive GT 2013 strung with RPM Blast

How many hours did you play with the racquet? 30 hours

Comments on racquet performance:

-groundstrokes:
Right off the top the pop was as expected very very good, power is not an issue and getting depth was no problem from all areas of the backcourt. In fact like every other Aeropro I have tried it was almost too much power but overall the response and feel was firm and crisp.
The light weight allowed me to generate plenty of swing speed and the open 16 x 19 pattern really helped generate plenty of spin and I loved from the baseline the way I was able to "go for it" and keep the ball in.
I also did find good accuracy and I was able to place the ball where i wanted it which did surprise me due to the amount of power it generated. Overall excellent on both forehands and backhands - Loved the new Active Cortex as it helped make the stiffness much more comfortable.

-serves:
I found that the racquet is a real serving monster. I found it was excellent in all areas from the service line and it was easy to hit everything: Huge flat serves, Heavy spin ones, Kick serves...etc. In my view this was one of the strongest aspects of the frame and the comfort was excellent even on mishits. Overall an excellent racquet for serves period.

-volleys:
Like the serve this is where I found the frame to stand out.....overall very stable and extremely powerful. It's maneuverable and I was able to get penetration and pop even on drop volleys or half volleys overall I have no complaints on the way it responded. I was able to place my volleys with ease and when I needed a putaway it didn't take much to hit a huge winner. Even when targeted at net by a screaming shot right at my bellybutton the APD preformed excellent.

-serve returns:
This is once spot where I had some issues as when returning as I'm used to taking a fairly big swing at the ball....with this frame I really had to tone it down a notch and allow the stick to do the "work" as it just has so much power. Laying off a small bit I found worked wonders and i'm sure with more time I could get more comfortable going for it. Not a real negative but it is one aspect of the frame that for players who are used to more old school frames need to be aware of.

General reaction/comments on overall performance:
Overall I find the 2013 frame to be very very impressive. Clearly its a stick that's designed for big hitters and folks who love to generate lots of spin. I found it does has much better feel than the previous models and for folks who play lots of doubles its an almost perfect stick with its blend of pop and control at the net and on serves & volleys.
I also do feel the Active cortex does make a difference in the feel from older models - for sure its a different feeling AeroPro drive.

SFrazeur
12-13-2012, 05:11 PM
Tennis experience/background:
I have been Playing tennis since I was 13 years old. I have taught tennis for over ten years now.

Describe your playing style:
I have a one handed backhand with an eastern grip and a forehand with a semi-western grip. I like to serve and volley; and to be aggressive on the baseline and finish points at net.

Current racquet/string:
Pure Drive Roddick w/ Babolat leather. Tourna Grip XL. I am currently stringing with Solinco Tour Bite 16g strung at 55lbs.

Racquet model tested:
AeroPro Drive 2013 w/ RPM Blast

How many hours did you play with the racquet?
6 Hours

General reaction/comments on overall performance:
While I have used Pure Drive Roddick since the Cortex iteration and have used Pure Drive Teams I have never actually hit with an AeroPro Drive.
the first thing I noticed was the feel on left hand during the one-handed backhand. At first it felt like I could not get enough real estate with my left thumb, which I often use to rotate the racquet in position. It was somewhat off putting and just made the racquet feel very foreign compared to my PDR GT. This was absent on backhand volleys and felt fine. The paintjob itself looks great and is probably my favorite AeroPro Drive one yet.

Comments on racquet performance:

-Groundstrokes:
I loved the feel on groundstroke as it felt very plush. The feedback was very dead on full out swings which I enjoyed. It may seem counter-intuitive but the AeroPro has a less hollow and more solid feel compared to the PDR GT but the APD 2013 is not as stable compared to my PDRs.. However, it has great stability for it's weight class. The power on groundstrokes felt odd to me at first. Due to a lower swing weight the AeroPro lacked the power and plow through but was easier to maneuver. While the AeroPro is certainly still a tweener (power players racquet) it had less power than I expected or prefer; this was probably due to the lower swing weight more than anything. So I had to swing faster for more power and at the same time I had to generate the spin to control the ball they way I prefer.

-Serves:
With serves it was easy to generate the all the spin I wanted, but lacked the BOOM Factor of Pure Drives. This is common and perfectly normal for tweeners with lower swing weights.

-Volleys:
Volleys with great and felt it had very precise directional control. With the jumpy tendency of these types of frame under-spin on my volley were very important. With touch volleys and half volleys that use less spin. I felt a disconnect due to the dead feel. The string I use are crisper to me than RPM Blast and this could be a factor in the disconnect.

-Serve returns:
The racquet is maneuverable but lacks weight for plow-through.

bugeyed
12-13-2012, 05:44 PM
Tennis experience/background: I recently returned to tennis after more than 10 years not playing & am currently a strong 4.5 player.
Describe your playing style (i.e. serve & volley): I play mostly a baseline game, but serve & volley if I am feeling lucky. I only come to the net if I get a very short ball. I have a very good serve, both flat & slice are consistent. Topspin forehand & slice backhand mostly.
Current racquet/string: For the last 3 years I have been using the Babolat Pure Storm strung with VS mains & a variety of 17 gauge synthetic crosses. Tension is 56/54.
Racquet model tested: Babolat AeroPro Lite strung with Xcel.
How many hours did you play with the racquet? Used this racquet for a total of 4 hours.
Comments on racquet performance:
-groundstrokes: I have to begin by saying that the AeroPro Lite is not the weight & balance that I am used to using. It is much lighter & stiffer, so it was a real challenge to control the ball. I had trouble getting enough topspin to keep the ball in the court. I did finally settle down & hit well with topspin on the forehand side, but my slice backhand is going to take more work, as the ball was flying on me.
-serves: I got a lot of pop on my serve with the AeroPro Lite. I felt that I was getting good racquet head speed & a nice acceleration through the hitting zone.
-volleys: I felt very comfortable withe the AeroPro Lite at net. It is very maneuverable & volleys were crisp & easy to place.
-serve returns: Returning heavy serves was not where this racquet shined. Being so light, it didn't return with much authority. I had to swing hard to get any depth on the return.
General reaction/comments on overall performance: The AeroPro Lite is a stiff & light racquet. I prefer a more flexible, heavier racquet. The stiffness showed on mishits & serve returns. It wasn't as harsh feeling as other stiff racquets, maybe due to the CORTEX? The AeroPro Lite is probably best suited to a player that hits with extreme topspin & generates a lot of racquet head speed.

Thanks for letting me participate.
kev

downs_chris
12-14-2012, 05:35 AM
Tennis experience/background: Played in high school and a little bit of club tennis in college. Been playing USTA for the past two years, just bumped to 4.5.

Describe your playing style (i.e. serve & volley): All court player. I thought I was a singles player, but I’ve learn to enjoy doubles and even mixed. I've been called a USTA "*****" - haha, playing in almost kinds of leagues - 4.0, 4.5...8.5 / 9.5 men's combo...8.0, 8.5, 9.0, 9.5 mixed...singles leagues, tri-level, chinese league (even though i'm not chinese), etc, etc.

Current racquet/string: Babolat Pure Storm Tour GT w/Luxilon Fluoro

Racquet model tested: Babolat AeroPro Drive 2013 strung with 16g RPM Blast

How many hours did you play with the racquet?: Since receiving the racquet from Tennis Warehouse I’ve put about 9 to 10 hours on the frame. This includes a few hitting sessions, one men’s doubles match and one 9.5 mixed match. The frame was used both indoors and outdoors.

Comments on racquet performance:: Having hit with and owned all the previous versions of this frame, the first two things I noticed when hitting with the new aeropro was 1) it definitely had a unique dampened feel (which I’m guessing is from the new cortex system in the handle) and 2) the racquet actually has a pretty good control! I just had the feeling that I knew where the ball was going – which is not always the feeling I get with some of the pure drives or aeropros of the past. I’ve owned the new 2012 Pure Drive and I just can’t hit with that frame in stock form. I need to add a decent amount of lead at 9 and 3 to make it swing a little slower to tame the power. If I played with this aeropro, I’d probably add minimal lead to this frame.

In match play – the racquet performed great! I think the lowered swingweight is going to appeal a lot of people and it definitely helps on the return of serves. I felt like I had a little time adjusting to the frame from the baseline and I just felt connected with my shots. In terms of feel, I still think the original aeropro is the best – but this new version isn’t too bad. I felt like the aeropro drive cortex (2nd version) had a little bit of a dead / disconnected feeling and the previous aeropro gt had more crisp response – the new aeropro takes that crisp response of the previous model and kind of adds a touch more feel. It’s like you get a little more response from the frame, which I like.

I had a love hate relationship with this frame on serve. The frame serves big – but I think thicker poly that was in it kind of caused some arm discomfort after a while. But yes, the frame serves huge! At net, the stability of the frame made it play very well. I spend a lot of the time at the net, so no complaints there. On slices, I’d probably want a little more mass in the head, but overall it’s not bad in stock form.

General reaction/comments on overall performance: Overall, I would say I was pleasantly surprised by the amount of control I was getting from this frame. It’s definitely the type of racquet for me that needs very little lead and is good to go. I’d definitely be curious to see how other strings work in this frame. The original stringjob felt a tad bit boardy and I’d probably go with a 16 or 17 gauge Volkl Cyclone. I did experience some arm discomfort serving, but I think that would be cured with a different string setup. I didn’t feel like the frame was overly harsh otherwise.

Boricua
12-14-2012, 05:46 AM
Tennis experience/background: Played in high school and a little bit of club tennis in college. Been playing USTA for the past two years, just bumped to 4.5.

Describe your playing style (i.e. serve & volley): All court player. I thought I was a singles player, but I’ve learn to enjoy doubles and even mixed. I've been called a USTA "*****" - haha, playing in almost kinds of leagues - 4.0, 4.5...8.5 / 9.5 men's combo...8.0, 8.5, 9.0, 9.5 mixed...singles leagues, tri-level, chinese league (even though i'm not chinese), etc, etc.

Current racquet/string: Babolat Pure Storm Tour GT w/Luxilon Fluoro

Racquet model tested: Babolat AeroPro Drive 2013 strung with 16g RPM Blast

How many hours did you play with the racquet?: Since receiving the racquet from Tennis Warehouse I’ve put about 9 to 10 hours on the frame. This includes a few hitting sessions, one men’s doubles match and one 9.5 mixed match. The frame was used both indoors and outdoors.

Comments on racquet performance:: Having hit with and owned all the previous versions of this frame, the first two things I noticed when hitting with the new aeropro was 1) it definitely had a unique dampened feel (which I’m guessing is from the new cortex system in the handle) and 2) the racquet actually has a pretty good control! I just had the feeling that I knew where the ball was going – which is not always the feeling I get with some of the pure drives or aeropros of the past. I’ve owned the new 2012 Pure Drive and I just can’t hit with that frame in stock form. I need to add a decent amount of lead at 9 and 3 to make it swing a little slower to tame the power. If I played with this aeropro, I’d probably add minimal lead to this frame.

In match play – the racquet performed great! I think the lowered swingweight is going to appeal a lot of people and it definitely helps on the return of serves. I felt like I had a little time adjusting to the frame from the baseline and I just felt connected with my shots. In terms of feel, I still think the original aeropro is the best – but this new version isn’t too bad. I felt like the aeropro drive cortex (2nd version) had a little bit of a dead / disconnected feeling and the previous aeropro gt had more crisp response – the new aeropro takes that crisp response of the previous model and kind of adds a touch more feel. It’s like you get a little more response from the frame, which I like.

I had a love hate relationship with this frame on serve. The frame serves big – but I think thicker poly that was in it kind of caused some arm discomfort after a while. But yes, the frame serves huge! At net, the stability of the frame made it play very well. I spend a lot of the time at the net, so no complaints there. On slices, I’d probably want a little more mass in the head, but overall it’s not bad in stock form.

General reaction/comments on overall performance: Overall, I would say I was pleasantly surprised by the amount of control I was getting from this frame. It’s definitely the type of racquet for me that needs very little lead and is good to go. I’d definitely be curious to see how other strings work in this frame. The original stringjob felt a tad bit boardy and I’d probably go with a 16 or 17 gauge Volkl Cyclone. I did experience some arm discomfort serving, but I think that would be cured with a different string setup. I didn’t feel like the frame was overly harsh otherwise.

I always recommend Polyfibre TCS for people to at least try in the APD. It blends well with the 2010 APD so I suppose it will blend well with the 2013 APD.

Nastase
12-14-2012, 06:16 AM
Tennis experience/background:
Age 48, Played Div II NCAA, currently a 5.0+

Describe your playing style:
Aggressive Baseliner, but am playing more doubles than singles these days.

Current racquet/string:
Had a 26 year relationship with the POG. I found that about 4 years ago it became a little harder to swing, but have struggled to find a racquet I like as much as the POG. I have been playing past couple of years with the Pure Storm Tour GT. Of course I have tried these Babolats before and have never really gotten along with the Pure Drives, Aeros, and such because of the lack of feel (for me).
I was eager to hit with this based on the favorable comments and new active cortex.

Racquet model tested:
AeroPro Drive GT Lite 2013

How many hours did you play with the racquet? 2.5 hours

Comments on racquet performance:
First off, a coment on the cosmetics. It looks very nice to me. Nice improvement.

First I must say that, being used to heavier/player type frames, this racquet was light for me...and while I am grateful for the oppty to participate in the play test I would have preferred the regular version. But it was an enjoyable test and I felt like the racquet shined in several areas...primarily overall comfort and spin. These racquets are known, for better or worse, for their stiffness...I did not find this to feel as stiff as previous versions. Perhaps it was the new dampening system at work?

-groundstrokes:
The racquet delievered in every category that the frame was known for. I was almost immediately comfortable from the baseline with this. Spin was generous. I found hitting a variety of shots to come easily. The light weight of the racquet made my balls fall a little short, but with some height adjustments I compensated. I felt like the Active Cortex was a monumental difference between this version and the previous versions in regard to feel. I can't describe it perfectly, but i thought the feel was much improved and was something I could live with (i think thats a compliment)....I think it also seemed to soften the stiffness of the frame nicely.

-serves:
I found it was comfortable from the service line and it was easy to hit everything: It was almost like a trick racquet, the light weight made it pretty nimble and I could generate just about any spin and serve location seemed super easy. The weight of serves wasnt what I would call heavy (again, this is a lighter racquet than I play with) but it was point and shoot type serving with good spin, location and variety was easy.

-volleys:
Probably the best area for me. Stability was good for this class of racquet. Maneuverable, with good placement. I found it to volley pretty well.

-serve returns:
This was probably where I felt the lightness of the frame was a hinderance for me. I like more mass in the racquet for the game I play. But candidly, the racquet again was awfully comfy, even with shots hit outside the sweetspot...and again I felt like the advantages of a lighter frame were obvious here...it was nimble and I felt like I had lots of options on the return.

General reaction/comments on overall performance:
Overall I find the 2013 frame to be good looking and performance was, on balance, impressive. It did deliver on the advertised improvements...most notably better feel and comfort. The test was favorable enough for me to consider a demo of the standard Aero and Aero+.

downs_chris
12-14-2012, 06:41 AM
I always recommend Polyfibre TCS for people to at least try in the APD. It blends well with the 2010 APD so I suppose it will blend well with the 2013 APD.

how's the bite with that string? i have heard good things about that string being very arm friendly...

Andyroo10567
12-15-2012, 05:23 PM
@TW Staff, I have just dropped off the racquet today. Hoping you recieve it on time. If you need a tracking number, please PM me.

Boricua
12-16-2012, 05:38 AM
I always recommend Polyfibre TCS for people to at least try in the APD. It blends well with the 2010 APD so I suppose it will blend well with the 2013 APD.

Another string that is worth a try is Luxilon 4G. Chris from TW loved this string in the new Aeropro. He said it felt comfortable and the strings control blended well with the power of the racket.

Boricua
12-16-2012, 05:42 AM
how's the bite with that string? i have heard good things about that string being very arm friendly...

Its very good for hitting topspin. But, string often maybe 4 to 6 playing hours. I suggest you try it. Many TW playtesters like it also

TW Staff
12-17-2012, 11:07 AM
@TW Staff, I have just dropped off the racquet today. Hoping you recieve it on time. If you need a tracking number, please PM me.


Andyroo10567,

That should be fine. Thanks for letting us know.

Brittany, TW

Andyroo10567
12-17-2012, 01:45 PM
Andyroo10567,

That should be fine. Thanks for letting us know.

Brittany, TW

Ok. 10char

Babolat Official
12-17-2012, 02:34 PM
Thanks for everyone who tested the new Aeropro Drive. This was the first time we have tried a test like this in the forums. A big thanks to the team at TW for guiding and coordinating. We'll be putting together a document to take to the product team in France with all your feedback (good & bad).

We know some of you received "Lite" models and it sounds like you would have preferred the standard. We'll take this into consideration for future tests. Thanks for being good sports.

I've started a thread "Bonjour from Babolat" in the "racquets" section. Feel free to ask any questions about Babolat products or shoot me an email dbecker@babolat.com.

We will be partnering with TW for more product tests in 2013, so stay tuned.

Happy hitting,

Daniel

ohcaptain
12-25-2012, 03:48 PM
A test like this in Europe would be great ;)

muyago
01-07-2013, 07:31 AM
i think i m gonna get this raquet too soon... i got pure drive team but i need more spin...