Is Babolat just a fad?

Discussion in 'Racquets' started by BreakPoint, Oct 6, 2004.

  1. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    4 or 5 years ago, Volkl was "hot" and all the rage. It was THE racquet brand to be seen using. That eventually faded. In fact, some pro shop owners tell me that they sell very few Volkls these days.

    For the last couple of years, Babolat has been the "hot" brand to be seen using. I get the feeling it's star is waning and it's on it's last legs (perhaps because Roddick can't seem to be able to beat Federer with one? :lol:). In fact, a local pro shop just started carrying Babolat (after not carrying it for many years, maybe to make up for their sagging Volkl sales?) That may be a sure sign that Babolat is on the decline, just as you know the stock market or real estate market has peaked when everybody piles in.

    So what's the next "hot" brand in racquets?

    nCode? Liquid Metal? Fischer? Technifibre? Some other new foreign brand that has yet to be introduced? What's your prediction?
     
  2. El Diablo

    El Diablo Hall of Fame

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    Demographics may be an issue. I play summers at a tennis and swim club with a large tennis population, and winters at a large indoor facility. Both clubs consist mainly of middle age and older players, though some younger players as well. NOBODY uses Babolat, now or in the past few years. I suspect Bab's popularity may be more with teens and twenty-somethings who tend to be a little more impressionable, and consequently a little more likely to become bored with the status quo. The players at my two clubs use the Heads, Wilsons and Princes they've been using all along.
     
  3. moosryan

    moosryan Hall of Fame

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    my club has switched mainly to babolat...i see so many high school kids using pure drives, sometimes in a clinic/group/practice, more than half the kids will be playing with it
     
  4. perfmode

    perfmode Hall of Fame

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    ncode and liquidmetal are technologies, not brands. They are Wilson and Head.
     
  5. tennisnj

    tennisnj Professional

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    El Diablo, I live in Northern NJ, & play & teach @ a smaller indoor facility in the winters, & play @ a few different locations the rest of the year, & I've noticed demographics definately are an issue. I've yet to see a Babolat used by anyone no matter the age @ any of the facilities I work or play @. But then again, no one my age is playing @ these clubs. It's exactly what you described in terms of usage: Heads, Wilsons & Princes in that order.
     
  6. georgeyew

    georgeyew Rookie

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    I've read some threads about how Babolat is very generous in giving endorsements to junior players. If that is the case, as they start turning pro, the brand will become more mainstream like Wilson and Prince. I think that they might be here to stay.
     
  7. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    Yes, of course I know that nCode and Liquid Metal are not brands but are made by Wilson and Head, respectively. However, they are, in fact, "branded" so-called technologies promoted by their respective manufacturers. These manufacturers want you to think of these names as a "brand" and that's how they promote them.

    But my point is, is nCode or Liquid Metal the new "hot" racquets everyone wants to be seen playing with (as compared with Babolat the last couple of years)? I'm differentiating these new models from ALL Wilson and ALL Head racquets since they have such extensive product lines and their racquets have been widely available in the U.S. market for decades, which was not true with either Volkl nor Babolat when they were first introduced in the U.S.. Much of their popularity probably had to do with their "newness" and being different. I mean, I'm pretty sure the Wilson Triad and the Head Ti series are not the "hot" racquets to be seen playing with right now.
     
  8. raven5288

    raven5288 Rookie

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    no one ever used a triad..ever...

    I dunno...if all these kids want to be like roddick, they're going to use his racket at least. The amount of teens that use bab is rediculous.
     
  9. DANMAN

    DANMAN Professional

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    I play with the Pure Drive + and am 18 years old. Before the Pure Drive, I played with the Michael Chang Titanium Midplus. Recently I got sick of playing with the Pure Drive because everyone has it now (I started playing with it before it got hot). I tried to hit with the Liquidmetal Prestige MP, but I could not get used to the flex. I could literally feel the racket flex as I hit the ball. I love the feel of the Prince Original Graphite and the Triple Threat Graphites and the Triple Threat Warriors. In defense of the Babolat Pure Drive (I switched back to it), none of these other rackets offer the power or the spin (which gives me great control on serves and groundies) of the Pure Drive. Excellent slice and topspin allow for controlled groundies and huge kickers. Many people say that the Pure Drive does a lot of work for you, but I find that if you do not hit through the ball you have much less control than when you really whack it (unlike other rackets I have used). I agree that people swarmed to Babolat because of Moya, Roddick, and all the other stars that use them, but they are good rackets if you use ample spin to tame the power. This is my two cents.
     
  10. jun

    jun Semi-Pro

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    I wouldn't say it's fad. Babolat frame became available a couple years back. And there were definately a lot of questions being asked around just like when Volkl frame became available. It still is pretty popular frame. And they do make good frames.
     
  11. Exci

    Exci Rookie

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    I don't think Babolat is diminishing just yet, but considering your question, there might (!) come another 'hot' player around.

    IF there will be one, I can only think of a new brand that could do it. So Luxilon would be my only option then. If they basically do the same agressive marketing Babolat did then we have two quite similar firm profiles. Both originally had experience with the tennis scene before with their strings and both would manage then to get on top of it in a fairly short amount of time.

    I don't think Luxilon will take over Babolat's position, but if there is one brand to do it, Luxilon should be it..
     
  12. artworks

    artworks Rookie

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    The likes of Roddick, Moya, Clijster, Ginepri, Nadal, Gonzales, Massu and the new generation of promising pros definitely has got something to do with the surge of Babolat frames.

    I had 2 Pure Control Team Myself before going for Dunlop 300G and settled with it. Babolat is definitely a good and durable frame but a bit heavy for an intermidiate player like me.
     
  13. mctennis

    mctennis Hall of Fame

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    The one place locally here sells a lot of Babolats to younger children ( read Roddick fans). Babolat has flooded the jr circuit with racquets so a lot of the younger players are using them because of that. If you've seen any older pics of Roddick he didn't use Babolat racquets until recently.
     
  14. intense2b

    intense2b Banned

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    Babolat racquets are not a fad....they are simply incredible racquets. I havn't noticed a decline in Babolat sales at all. What I have noticed however, is shop owners lying about their sales and pushing other racquets because Babolat will not sell them any racquets.

    Babolat has very restrictive rules on who can sell frames. When babolat first came on the scene in Manhattan very few shops would carry the sticks because they were afraid the racquets would not sell very well. Mason's tennis mart in Manhattan agreed to carry the sticks in return for an exclusive contract from Babolat to sell the racquets in NYC.

    When Roddick and so many other pro's started using the racquets, Babolat became very popular. All of the other stores wanted to carry the stick , but babolat refused because they had an exclusive with Masons. To this day masons is the only store in all of Manhattan that carries Babolat directly from the company. (for you NY'ers...not even Paragon sports).

    One may ask "then why have I have seen Babolat in other stores"? I posed the same question to Woody of Grand cental racquets. He told me that Babolat will not sell to him so he has to buy it from a third party and therefore actually makes little to no money on the sale of the racquet....he makes money on the stringing. Five minutes after I spoke to him a customer walks in and asks to buy a Babolat for his son. Woody explains..."why don't you buy racquet "x" its an exact copy of the Babolat but it is only half of the price.

    Babolat continues to sell unbelievably well, don't be fooled!
     
  15. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    I wonder if Roddick's recent tennis elbow problem and Cljisters' potentially career-ending wrist injury will have any negative impact on Babolat's sales? Nah... As many here have noted, most Babolats are sold to young kids and they are the least concerned about elbow and wrist injuries.

    I think we'll have to wait for the next big thing to come along before we see a significant decline in Babolat's popularity. Now what if Roddick switched to a Fischer?
     
  16. devwizard

    devwizard New User

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    Though I do agree that Babolat is probably at its peak right now, in my opinion, its not necessarily a fad. Yes, this new series of pros who have come out using pd's has definitely had a significant effect upon the racquet buying market, I think there are some other factors to be considered to determine whether babolats are to be shortlived.

    First, let me address the point of demographics. Many posters here have noted that they have never seen any older players using any bab racquets, sticking with the big three. What I have to say is this: Consider the personality of most of the older generation. Tell me, do you think the majority of old players would rather stick with their old, trusted racquet company, or switch to some new one that a bunch of pros and youngsters are now using? How many older people can you consider to be computer saavy? Its simply a matter of change. Old people are just less willing to change than younger people, not that that is a bad thing.

    Second, there is the fact that, even though younger players are the only ones who seem to focus on babs, at least some of these kids will surely continue to use their pds for a long time, just like the older people are using and have used Wilsons or Heads for a long time.

    Finally, I would like to address this concept of racquets fading into disappearance. I, personally, cannot think of any racquets that have just faded into nonexistence. (Bancroft disappeared, but has recently returned) I mean, yes, you could say series, like the Triads or the Ti's aren't doing very well right now, but thats more of a marketing/company issue. If Wilson still made the Triads brand new then they would be just as popular as the NCode right now. If bab is smart, they will follow this path of introducing new frame technologies and such, as they have started doing with the Pure Storms and the Z-Max series.

    Personally, I don't ever think babolat will just disappear like it seems to be implied. Though you use Volkl as an example, they just haven't been doing well recently because of a number of factors, but mostly because they don't have much exposure from the pro tour and their technologies haven't been that unique or useful. However, I think babolat will have its ups and downs, which is to be expected from any company.
     
  17. BigboyDan

    BigboyDan Semi-Pro

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    We old people are smarter, richer, less prone to do whatever our friends are doing, and don't play a simple-mided baseline game as do younger, stupid, poor, vapid people.
     
  18. Shane Reynolds

    Shane Reynolds Rookie

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    It's hard to call something that has been building steam for several years a "fad." Every manufacturer has ups and downs. Prince isn't dead, even though they haven't made a decent racquet in years. Babolat has been around for over 100 years and though they are fairly new to the racquet market, they have the stability and capitalization of a century-old company.

    I wish I understood why so many people hate Babolat. I don't like France, either, but I don't hear much in the way of political commentary against them. People just seem bitter. All they did was enter a new market, make a good product, market the product well, and enjoy their success. If you don't want their product, don't buy their product. Just don't whine when you get your arse kicked by some young, stupid, poor, vapid person with a PD.
     
  19. NoBadMojo

    NoBadMojo G.O.A.T.

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    shane i don't think babalot 'marketed a product well' as you said..they got lucky having designed the pure drive for the ocassional recreational woman player...so corretja picks one up and then roddick, moya and it's off to the races..it was just a bit of serendipity..pure luck not pure drive as babalot could have more likely had a very unsuccessful launch of their racquet line. the odds were very much against them, launching a product line in a declining market frought with majour compettion. i think the people that dont like babalot are mostly the ones that dont enjoy serve/forehand tennis, or in the case of many junior pure drivers forehand tennis.
     
  20. tensai

    tensai New User

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    BigboyDan, I find your post quite irritating.
    You are saying young people like me (14) are stupid, mindless, and are not worthy of playing tennis. Why can you say such irreverent things? I have never disrespected the ideas of the veterans. Then why should we get put down? Also, if you think you are "smart", then why can't you even notice, that posting such insulting comments is "not smart"?

    I barely get annoyed in these kind of message boards. Even if I do get annoyed, I keep it to myself. But this, I just couldn't stand your post.
     
  21. devwizard

    devwizard New User

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    BigBoyDan-

    I did not intend to make any statement concerning the playing abilities/skills of older vs. younger people. Im simply stating the fact that, on the average, older people are less willing to change to new things, even if the new things are better, I used the computer as an example. I'm not going to debate with you about whether you are smarter or richer than young people, because that is simply ad hominem and off subject. Reread my post to see if you can truly understand what I'm trying to say.
     
  22. STRman

    STRman Rookie

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    I recently started playing with a Pure Drive OS Team. It's great! I tried the smaller frame first and thought it was ok but not near as good for me as the OS. I had predicted on this board less than a year ago that Roddick would soon have wrist or elbow trouble. Some people feel it in the wrist, some in the elbow but it is the same condition in the forearm causing both. Roddick's technique would lead him to this trouble no matter what frame he was using.
     
  23. ChrisNC

    ChrisNC Semi-Pro

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    Easy there youngster (lol...always wanted to call someone that). He didn't say all young people were stupid, poor and easily influenced. He simply stated that compared to people who do fit into that category, older people are less likely to change to (or pick in the first place) a racquet just because some pro or all of their friends did.

    This falls into the "all squares are rectangles, but not all rectangles are squares" category.
     
  24. backhand

    backhand Rookie

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    College team players around here, who are not noted for their stupidity or faddishness, seem about half Babolat. Mostly PD's among the women, mix of PD's and PC's among the men. Even among the other half, not a lot of the "players racquets" we love on these boards. (Making me wonder what we should call racquets college players and pros actually use.)

    Some of us older guys must have forgotten when classic S&Ver's like Stan Smith were "ruining the game" because of their "one dimensional style." Every generation of players bemoans how the new guys on the block play the wrong kind of tennis. Get over it.
     
  25. david aames

    david aames Professional

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    It was true up to june. Paragon is now carrying the full Babolat line including bags and strings.

     
  26. Shane Reynolds

    Shane Reynolds Rookie

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    Well, nobadmojo, we will have to agree to disagree. I think they did an excellent job of marketing their product. They were putting them in the hands of junior players and they scouted out Roddick when he was good but not great. Those two moves are paying enormous dividends now.
     
  27. BigboyDan

    BigboyDan Semi-Pro

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    [quote="backhand"Every generation of players bemoans how the new guys on the block play the wrong kind of tennis. Get over it.[/quote]

    You must enjoy watching the French. The baseline game is boring to play, boring to watch and good players with all-court games will find a way to defeat it: McEnroe over Borg and Conners; Becker over Lendl; Edberg over Wilander, Sampras over Agassi, Federer over Hewitt and Roddick.

    Get over it yourself, and learn to volley.
     
  28. spinbalz

    spinbalz Hall of Fame

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    Perhaps the next "thing" will be Technifibre racquets or Luxilon racquets, wait and see.

    And concerning, the comments from Nobadmojo, and the luck of Babolat... Hahahahaha.

    Ed, it is perfectly your right to dislike products that do not suit to your game, I personaly don't like the Pure Drive either, but when you say that Babolat had just luck with the Pure Drive you are so wrong! :shock:

    What made the Pure Drive a success story :

    0/ A capitalisation on the well established reputation on the tennis market for babolat due to their production of high quality nat. gut strings since several decades, with a clear visibilty on the ATP Tour and WTA Tour due to the 2 distinctives stripes marked on the string of the sponsored players.

    1/ the Racquet with the coolest cosmetics on the market when it was introduced, (coolest from the point of view of the young generation players that are mainly targeted by the PD) + the 2 easily distinguishable white stripes on the frame letting the players being proud to send the following message : " Hey you see? I play with a babolat, you know, the new big thing used by the Pro players, and I have it before you, yeaaah!"

    2/ Designed to suit the modern Power serve/power topspin forehands game played by the young generation targeted by the PD as I lready said

    4/ Designed to be more forgiving than a pure player racquet, but still usable with success by advanced players (let's agree that Roddick, Moya, and clijsters ARE advanced players), so the target audience is very wide, it stretches from the beginners to the advanced players, male and females.

    3/ Introduction of a marketing gimmick "WOOFER", even if you don't believe in that kind of gimmicks Ed (I don't believe in it either), it really have an effect on the basic players minds

    4/ Sponsoring of Top players, and if babolat has so much top players like Moya, Clijsters, Roddick, it is not by luck, it is because they offered massive sponsorships to young players, and when you bet on 10000 young top players from different countries you have more chances to see one or several reaching the top of the game, than if you only bet on 10 young players, it is a basic statistical fact. And I will add that if Babolat has players like Moya, Clijster, and Roddick, it is more a proof of discerning ability than a proof of luck.

    5/ As I already said the main target of the PD is the young generation, and it is the best choice that Babolat could made, when a player is young, his mind is more openned to what is new, he gives credit to nice cosmetics (and PD's cosmetics are/was very attractive for the young players), and he is not yet too much addicted to a traditionl brand like Wilson or Head, so it is easier to make him switch to Babolat than it would be with a 45 old player who plays head, Wilson or Prince since 25 years.

    Actually Babolat's marketing strategy is a model, that should be replicated by any other company who would try to penetrate the tennis market.

    Ed, with my detailed marketing strategy from Babolat, perhaps that you might admit that for once, your comment about their supposed luck was probably biased due to the fact the you hate the PD and what it represents, I mean something like the new school tennis flagship.

    Anyway keep enjoy playing with your T10's, and I can tell you that certify you that the T10 Gen II should be a nice surprise for you, I tried it recently, and the feel is wonderfull.
     
  29. perfmode

    perfmode Hall of Fame

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    You must enjoy watching the French. The baseline game is boring to play, boring to watch and good players with all-court games will find a way to defeat it: McEnroe over Borg and Conners; Becker over Lendl; Edberg over Wilander, Sampras over Agassi, Federer over Hewitt and Roddick.

    Get over it yourself, and learn to volley.[/quote]

    How many times did Federer come to the net against Hewitt? He whooped his ass banging FH's from the baseline.
     
  30. NoBadMojo

    NoBadMojo G.O.A.T.

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    well i can think Babolat was lucky if i wish to, having nothing to do with whether i like the product or not. people are certainly welcome to disagree..this is, afterall, a forum to express ones' opinions. fact remains, the pure drive was originally marketed for the ocassional 2.5 (or so)female player. that makes the marketing of that product more about luck than skill IMO since it really didnt end up in the hands of the target audience. do agree they've done an excellent job at getting racquets into the hands of juniors. everything else is nothing but speculation, and certainly stuff like racquet cosmetics is very subjective. and i dont hate the pure drive..i would never use one though..it just doesnt suit my game, and i serve pretty well with what i've got. as far as classic serve/volleyers ruining the game, that was never even something that was discussed. back then, there were many popular styles of play. players were winning their fair share of tourneys playing various styles unlike these days. think panata even won the italian open playing serve/volley. all IMO of course.
     
  31. perfmode

    perfmode Hall of Fame

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    babolat broke through by bringing 100's of racquets to tournies and handing them out to anyone that wanted to use them. juniors liked them and started to use them. then they realized what was going on and they pushed it towards juniors that were coming up like roddick and the new breed. it began as a women's racquet but as soon as they started to test them, they pushed them to juniors.
     
  32. NoBadMojo

    NoBadMojo G.O.A.T.

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    ya man..we all agree that bab has done a good job at getting their bats into the hands of juniors......which you even quote me as saying. there are many many cases of corporate success by accident. those in the biz world understand this.
     
  33. spinbalz

    spinbalz Hall of Fame

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    Nobadmojo wrote :
    Yes, and you can also think that Elvis is not dead and that the earth is flat, even if someone brings you proofs of the opposite.

    I don't contest your right to believe and write false things, I just pointed out that your affirmation concerning Babolat's luck is pointless, lacks of objectivity, and valid arguments, and I explained clearly why I disagree.

    Nobadmojo also wrote :
    Do you have evidences that it was originally marketed to 2.5 occasional female players? I can tell you that in France, where the PD was introduced at first, it was Babolat's flagship racquet since the begining, and the company always tried to market the PD for the tournament players, by demo sessions inside the tennis club where the tournaments and team players where invited to try it + many PD were gaved for free to as much Tennis teachers as possible.

    THE PD WAS NOT ORIGINALLY MARKETED TO 2.5 PLAYERS, but even if it was, its success among the more advanced players is more a proof of good marketing strategy than a proof of luck, because convincing a customers to use something that is not designed for him, to enlarge the success of a product is one of the goals of any marketing any dept., and you can't have succes at it if you don't use a good strategy.

    Anyway it is the last time I'll post concerning this subject, because I think that I already wrote too much about a subject that is not a so big concern for me afterall.
     
  34. NoBadMojo

    NoBadMojo G.O.A.T.

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    ya man spinbalz....a member of the babolat family is a reliable source me thinks..forget his first name..Pierre Babolat? but he was quoted as saying that in a reliable publicaton. its of no import to me....i wouldnt used one and i've had juniors that i've coached/taught already thank me for getting them out of the pure drive and into something they can really grow with strokewise and not have to worry so much about being injured with down the road. i suggest that bab was lucky and you contend they are brilliant, so we can just leave it like that i would hope. you are either french or enamored w. the PD. and yes, i think it is a great idea to move on :)
     
  35. tennisnj

    tennisnj Professional

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  36. David Pavlich

    David Pavlich Professional

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    Last year at a Challenger tournament, the dominant brand. This year there were less Babolats and a lot of nCodes (Tours and 95s), but Babolat was still well represented.

    The current group of Babolat racquets may be slowing in sales a bit, but wait until the frame that Nadal is playing with is introduced into the states.

    David
     
  37. backhand

    backhand Rookie

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    BigBoyDan - Sure you're not a junior high kid trying to stir things up? Because if you're for real, you're either tone deaf or seriously immature. Loosen up. Take a baseliner to lunch. I'm an all court guy, BTW.
     
  38. BigboyDan

    BigboyDan Semi-Pro

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    I'm 46. I just can't stand to watch the current pro tour, excepting Federer. Boooooooring.
     
  39. Skinny Dip

    Skinny Dip New User

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    I'm 48 and I think the Pure Drive is an excellent raquet. The kind of serves you can get with pretty much nothing but a firm wrist are amazing. I doubt Roddick would have anywhere near the serve he has now with anything else on the market.

    If you enjoy playing a very aggressive game, it's one of THE raquet's to get. If not, there are better raquets out there.
     
  40. BigboyDan

    BigboyDan Semi-Pro

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    This quote from the article linked above:

    "Babolat spied Andy Roddick at the 1998 U.S. Open playing juniors doubles. Despite his low ranking at the time, the company gave him a generous contract. "These players, when they grow up playing with one of these rackets, they don't switch lightly," says John Horan, publisher of Sporting Goods Intelligence newsletter.

    The company not only had a good eye for talent, it also had a lucky break: "The racket Andy is using, one of the first rackets we did, at the beginning was made for leisure-women's playing," says Babolat, who only has time to play once a month. "We never imagined this racket would go into competition. At that time, the game was changing, and we did not know in what direction. Suddenly, young competitors used light rackets with lots of weight in the end."


    "...was made for leisure-women's playing."

    Enough said.

    Learn to volley. Girls.
     
  41. mlee2

    mlee2 Rookie

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    The Pure Drive (or 'girly' racquets in general) have nothing to do with Roddick's volleying ability. I've seen many college players with a PD that do exclusive S&V.

    It's funny that nobody equates Roddick's 10+ years with a POG (his junior years) and his limited volleying skills.
     
  42. NoBadMojo

    NoBadMojo G.O.A.T.

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    thats just plain wrong mlee2. clearly roddick would volley better if he wasnt using the PD+ and especially one not coupled w. poly. i bet the better serve/volleys you mention arent using the plus version and prob not a full poly job, and maybe you are watching smaller college players (there are of course exceptions to everything like wayne arthurs i guess?). firstly, longer frames do not volley as well as standard length (for the most part), secondly, poly isn't exactly a fine volleying string (for the most part), and thirdly, the pure drive plus frame just isnt a good volleying frame (by most people standards who know a bit about tennis). it is likely the roddick brain trust has looked into this and determined that for him to change gear to get a better volley and a better all court game, he would lose a huge edge on both his serve and forehand, and that would then put him pretty far back in the pack with everyone else. think if he changed gear at this point, it would be to something even better for his serve and forehand if there is such a thing. the POG has nothing to do w. his current volleying skills..he's been using the PD+ for a long time. i can get an eager and willing to listen 4.5 player w. no volley skills (not using the PD) volleying pretty darn well in a couple sessions. volleying under pressure is of course different. (i'm trying to cover some of the exceptions here before people start citing them all ;) the volley is the most simple stroke mechanically there is. of course reflexes and hand/eye and other elements come into play..most usually the better athletes are the better volleyers.
     
  43. WhiteStripes

    WhiteStripes Rookie

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    Actually, there are a good number of Pure Drive/Pure Drive + men and women pros listed in Babolat's various informational distribution mediums (website, press releases, etc.) that are capable S&V players/doubles specialists. Guys like Feliciano Lopez and Wayne Arthurs actually do use the extended length version of the Pure Drive, and a good chunk of them are listed as either using all poly (e.g., Lopez) or a gut/poly hybrid like Roddick (e.g., Arthurs). The old axioms of what constitutes equipment conducive to volleying is simply being thrown out the window as players are adapting to the new equipment and maximizing them to suit their preference. The game is simply changing. In addition to the players cited above, guys like the Bryan twins and Mardy Fish, just to name a few of the many, seem to have little problem with their volleying technique playing with extended length racquets. With respect to poly, it seems most players have switched to them in one form or another, including Henman, and still seem to volley pretty well.

    You may or may not like the racquet, but to lump all Pure Drive and Pure Drive + users as “girly” or incapable of volleying is simply off the mark. There are a ton of men and women players at the top college level and the pro-ranks using Pure Drives and Pure Drive +s that can out-volley, and quite simply, blow everyone on these boards off the court. To claim otherwise is simply ignoring the reality that many pros and juniors are growing up and learning to play pretty doggone well with these types of racquets. I watched a lot of Leander Paes, with his girly stick and all, during this past US Open simply volley and cover the net with seemingly immeasurable skill and grace. It’s the skill of the player that’s going to be the determinative factor, not the racquet. Roddick struggles with his net game because of his technique, inexperience, and overall discomfort at the net, not because of his racquet. If you gave Roddick a nSix-One Tour, he’d still slap and overzealously chop at his volleys.
     
  44. NoBadMojo

    NoBadMojo G.O.A.T.

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    the comment is/was whether he would volley better with a non pure drive plus frame, and i think the answer is that yes, he would volley better, epecially since his technique isnt so good.
     
  45. cristian p

    cristian p New User

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    Agree with WhiteStripes completely. It doesn't matter whether Roddick volleys horribly using poor technique with a PD+ or a PS 85 -- poor technique is simply going to lead to poor volleys. I don't know how breaking his wrist and chopping at the ball, especially off his forehand side, using a traditional player's stick would be any better than doing the same with his PD+. The racquet isn't going to automatically transform his crappy volleys into respectable ones. You'd also have to think that for a pro to suddenly switch racquets -- especially one that he has been using for a bit of time and has taken him to the top levels of the game -- is going to cause more problems than do good. I'm sure Roddick's game is quite dialed into his PD+, as many of us on these boards are dialed into our own beloved racquets that we've used over the years, and for him to change at this point (especially to a racquet that's on the opposite end of the spectrum from the PD+) would be disastrous.
     
  46. BigboyDan

    BigboyDan Semi-Pro

    Joined:
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    This statement is absolutely untrue. A 98" racquet, any brand or make, IS NOT as capable a S/V instrument as that of a 85"/90" racquet (of the same quality).

    The point about Roddick is that he is never going to beat Federer again with his current game - what does he do? He's got a great serve and great baseline strokes, but nothing else. By the way, Fed ain't going to lose to any other baseliner either in the near future (except on clay, maybe.)

    If I were a current 18 year-old player with no money and ranked in the 500-1000 range, man... show me the net.
     
  47. cristian p

    cristian p New User

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    I think the point WhiteStripes was trying to make, and correct me if I'm wrong, is not that any particular racquet with whatever specs (length, headsize, string, etc.) is better than another at S&V, but rather that players today have learned how to play well with racquets that aren't traditionally thought of as S&V player's sticks. Whatever you may think of racquets today that are extra long, or stiff, or thicker-beamed, or have head sizes greater than 90 square inches, you certainly can't dispute that there has been a huge shift in the racquets that many pro, college, and top juniors are playing with today compared with 10, 20 years ago. In Tom Martinez's recent post listing just some of S&V/all court players using extended length racquets, note the racquets that those players use and the corresponding head sizes. The overwhelming majority are midplus racquets -- certainly bigger than 90 sq. inches, and indeed, there are quite a few using Babolats with 97 sq. inch+ heads like Paes, Arthurs, Escude, Lopez, Eagle, Palmer, Luczak among others, and not to mention others like Black, Gimelstob, Kendrick, etc. Those folks seem to play ok tennis with incapable S&V sticks.

    I do agree with the comments regarding Federer and Roddick though. Of course, I don't think there's a whole lot Roddick, or the rest of the guys on tour really, can do since Federer is out of this world at the moment. Sometimes, no matter what you do, someone's just got your number. Look at Becker and his less than stellar head-to-head record with Brad Gilbert. The only bright side for Roddick is that Federer is destroying everybody else so he's not alone. If Roddick needs to change his game and his racquet to compete, then so does everyone else on tour.
     
  48. K!ck5w3rvE

    K!ck5w3rvE Hall of Fame

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    Nadal and his Aeropro Dive will put Baolat back up to the summit when/if he rises to the top.
     
  49. NoBadMojo

    NoBadMojo G.O.A.T.

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    you all can think that all racquets volley really well if you like..ya man..that pd+ is volleying magic..lol..gimme a break..oh, string the thing w. poly too and man does that thing volley sweet.;0......i know wayner arthurs and leander paes volley well and have at least pd paint jobs..there are always exceptions and who really knows what their specs and setups are like...dont think they are playing stock pure drive pluses like the people on this board. sorry for the sarcasm, but all i originally was saying is that there are many many frames that volley better than the pd+, and if roddick was using a better volleying racquet , he would volley better. nobody suggested he should change racquets..i'm not saying the game hasnt changed....people dont VOLLEY as much anymore...i guess you people dont think there is at least a partial correaltion between that fact and the gear.
     
  50. Shane Reynolds

    Shane Reynolds Rookie

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    Funny how the folks who normally champion "the racquet doesn't matter," "it ain't the arrow, it's the Indian," blah blah blah are now saying that the racquet DOES INDEED matter IF they don't like the racquet.

    Federer is indeed head and shoulders above the rest right now but the game is interesting because of different styles, intensities, personalities, etc. One year we're raving about the Rams offense and the next it's the Patriots D.

    My question is this: if the PD is such a horrible racquet, why do people use it? I would think Leander could have signed some small contract with any of the big manufacturers so why did he sign with Babolat and why did he select the PD? You people act like Roddick is a big loser for being #2 in the world - how many thousands of tennis players would give most any body part to get to that point?
     

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