Why/How in the WORLD do people use a Pure Drive?

Discussion in 'Racquets' started by TennisCanada1, Feb 2, 2013.

  1. bluetrain4

    bluetrain4 Legend

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    Any decent player should be able to use a Pure Drive effectively. I'm not saying everyone should want to, or that that there wouldn't be an adjustment period, but it's not rocket science. There are benefits and drawbacks.

    A lot of TWers tend to think that the type of frame won't matter for non-advanced players because they won't now the difference. But, I actually think it could affect them more. While certainly all of the good and very good players I know (anywhere from strong 4.0s to 6.0s) absolutely have preferences for what types of frames they use, and many really dislike the Pure Drive and similar frames, nearly all of these players could use such a frame effectively if they had to (and I've seen them do so). They know enough about stroke production and making adjustments to do so. So, IMO, the question of "how in the world do people use a Pure Drive?" is overly dramatic.
     
    #51
  2. user92626

    user92626 Legend

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    Yeah, the title is overly dramatic and seems trolling. What you should be wondering is why recreational players play with 12.5+, 90sq rackets to hit puff balls which is 90% of rec tennis. That's as effective as using a sledgehammer to drive a 1" nail.

    With that said, the PD and APD and any 100sq in, 325grams-335grams are the jewels of my game! With 55# polys I'd hit my arm off before my shots sail.

    And why is it that everyone keeps saying "too much power"? There's only bad technique. There's no such thing as too much power. Power is always scarce and precious in tennis or any sport because you should always want to hit harder and faster to outrun your opponent. That's advanced tennis. Only poor tennis relies on keeping the ball in and waiting for draw an ue.
     
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  3. NetNinja68

    NetNinja68 Rookie

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    "I wish people would stop focusing on the racquet and start focusing on their game". EXACTLY....Many rec players don't even demo, they just buy what they think is cool and expect their game to elevate overnight only to awaken to find out they still suck!
     
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  4. babolat king

    babolat king Rookie

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    Well said.

    10 golf claps...
     
    #54
  5. anubis

    anubis Hall of Fame

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    I have a Rad MP, Prestige MP and 2013 APD in my bag right now. I can just as easily swing @ full speed and hit the ball long with any of those sticks -- all just as easily. What keeps the ball in play is timing, practice and skill.

    I don't find that any of them keep the ball in any easier than the rest, either. Whether its more weight and plow through, or a bigger head size, stiffer frame and open pattern.

    They're all good racquets, and in the hands of a skilled player, he/she can play a nice clean game with any of them all day and every day.

    It all comes down to preference. Stiff 'tweeners aren't inferior, they're just a different stick that appeals to a huge part of the tennis population -- and for good reason. They make the game easier to play for a large majority.

    I know some people have flamed me in the past when I say that its easier to hit higher velocity shots with a stiff tweener than it is with a heavy, flexy classic player's frame... but I stand by my anecdotal evidence. For me, I just play better with them. I hit the ball harder, put more spin on the ball.

    The first match I ever played with an APD netted me:
    3 aces
    6-10 forehand winners

    I used a Rad MP and Prestige MP for almost 8 straight months. Not one ace. Never more than 1 winner per match.

    I haven't changed my strokes. Results speak for themselves. Stiff tweeners are where it's at for me. I stress the "for me" part. It's just what works, b/c I'm out of shape and old. If I was younger, in shape, and had taken lessons (and therefore knew how to properly play the game) then perhaps a more flexy players stick would suit fine.
     
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  6. dje31

    dje31 Semi-Pro

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    Wait, isn't that what the modern game has become? Not just at the rec level...95% of the pros seem to play that way.
     
    #56
  7. NLBwell

    NLBwell Legend

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    When I demoed a Pure Drive I felt like I was throwing a ball of feathers. The lack of weight seemed to give me no power at all despite the stiffness of the frame. The ball didn't really travel much slower than with my regular racket, but it sure felt like it.
     
    #57
  8. user92626

    user92626 Legend

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    Maybe we're watching a different game. :) I followed the AO semis and final, the winners won mostly by imposing winner shots and forced errors. Of course in the process they may make a few UEs but there's no way that anyone won by waiting for ues.
     
    #58
  9. hyperion99

    hyperion99 Semi-Pro

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    I agree with you.
    For me it's not just the Pure drive,its also the a Aero pro drive.

    For me the aero pro drive and the Pure drive just seem to have that hollow feeling and a lot power.

    I think that most ATP players have leaded up their rackets big time.
    But on the other hand its what the player prefers.
     
    #59
  10. tlimster

    tlimster Rookie

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    A guy on my company team is a 6.0, and a former top 1000 ranking with ATP points. He has not changed frames (or shoes for that matter) for the 12 years since he stopped playing college/pro. We only play doubles matches, but he still comes out and beats highly ranked 5.0/5.5 teams with no problem using the original Babolat Pure Drive. But he has modified it so it "feels right" -- leather grip with no OG, and strips of lead starting at 9 and ending at 3. I swung it once after our team match was over and the frame feels really solid.

    Another 5.5 player on our team, in his late 40s, uses a Prince Silver 115, or some huge similar Prince racket.

    They both hit the ball hard enough on certain serve returns that you can see the ball lose shape momentarily, or it looks like an ellipse. They are both incredible volleyers and can hit volleys with power or with touch.

    While I can't use the PD myself (and gave the F100 a try too) because it flies out like how other posters have commented and because my arm hurts the next day, I would love to be able to. I think at higher swing speeds the timing needs to be perfect, and these frames may be more demanding than Prestiges because there is less margin for error. But in the right hands it becomes an advantage.

    Myself, I'd much rather use a Prestige MP or similar lower powered frame -- that way when I miss the sweetspot or hit late the ball stays in and doesn't hit the back fence on the fly.
     
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  11. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Very good point
     
    #61
  12. quest01

    quest01 Hall of Fame

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    I've used the Pure Drive in the past and I've been an APD user for years and I have never really experienced control issues. I mean I've always strung relatively tight at around 60 pounds and used a full poly job so that definitely helped with control. I guess it really depends on where your coming from and the setup you use. Also I've always used lead tape on both the PD and APD customized to around 12oz strung. The only control issue I've really ever had was sometimes my backhand would fly on me however I hit kind of flat on that side. With the PD to my specs I could keep the ball in the court from the baseline all day with my forehand though.
     
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2013
    #62
  13. Timbo's hopeless slice

    Timbo's hopeless slice Hall of Fame

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    Of course. A lot of players are essentially using the racquet equivalent of a red ball to compensate for poor technique..

    and there is nothing wrong with that.

    but don't rubbish a frame you just aren't good enough to use!
     
    #63
  14. tlimster

    tlimster Rookie

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    Not sure I understand this post, but I was complimenting the frame and noting that a lot of high level players use it. :-?
     
    #64
  15. dgoran

    dgoran Hall of Fame

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    Contrary to what some noobs believe pure drive is actually better suited for higher level player above 4.5. Lower level strokes simply won't have enough control to harness the power. its characteristic of lower level player to hit max power on everything instead of controlling the rally.
     
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  16. Timbo's hopeless slice

    Timbo's hopeless slice Hall of Fame

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    yes, agreeing with you

    i was referring to the people who 'rubbish' the pure drive!

    context: 'red balls' are used in training very young and beginning players. they are low compression balls that can be hit with a full swing and poor technique without flying over the fence. They are intendend to promote a full swing and correct technique, of course. The main thing is it's pretty hard to hit a shot long with 'em!

    my point is some players create a similar effect with very heavy, low powered frames that don't really punish poor technique with long balls. (instead, a poorly struck ball will likely fall short.)

    while these frames reward good technique and a lot of RHS, there are players for whom they serve as a bit of a crutch, allowing them to bunt back heavy serves and groundstrokes

    I'm not putting every prestige or k-90 player in this bag, of course, plenty of them are excellent players.
     
    #66
  17. tlimster

    tlimster Rookie

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    Ah, got it. Thanks for the clarification. I've noticed that players using Prestige Mid/K90 tend to have grown up in the 80s and seem to have stuck with the same platform. The younger kids who like these type frames and hit flatter, heavier balls seem to gravitate instead to the Blade Tour or 6.1 series. That said, at the park last week I watched a young junior playing very well with a YTP Mid -- but he was 6'4" and clearly had more power than he knew what to do with!
     
    #67
  18. NLBwell

    NLBwell Legend

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    Yes, I have excellent technique and high Racket Head Speed, but I do use the "players" frames as a "bit of a crutch."
    On flat-hit balls and shots like approach shots, they do give me a larger margin for error that a racket like a Pure Drive. Also, I do often bunt back heavy serves and groundstrokes. With proper weight transfer, even a "bunt" flat stroke or stroke with minimal backspin can be hit hard and can put the other guy on the defensive. With a Pure Drive or similar racket, you must put some kind of significant spin on the ball or it will hit the back fence when returning a hard-hit ball. Therefore, you must take more of a full swing when under pressure.
    I agree that it takes a very skilled player to play high-level tennis with a Pure Drive-type racket. The power is useful, but the margin for error when hitting the ball is smaller.
     
    #68
  19. sundaypunch

    sundaypunch Hall of Fame

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    The heavy players stick as the equivalent of a red ball which allows you to keep things in play. In a sense, you are exactly correct.

    This is interesting, because you have completely turned the world upside down for those that look at the Pure Drive, etc. as a granny stick.
     
    #69
  20. ci2ca

    ci2ca Semi-Pro

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    I grew up playing with the prestige and have a ton of experience with numerous "Players" frames. Come college you either hit a huge ball or you were grinding. I switched to the pure drive because I was able to easily keep a deep rally ball and still be offensive when I'm on the defensive. The beefed up serve helped as well. My game improved with the pure drive in college .The Pure Drive is a great racket to bunt and play defense with. It keeps the ball deep for you when you're off balanced reaching for a serve or running down a ball. I've never had any problems with control with my pure drive at all. I do have to say Poly is a must in this frame. With anything else I'm afraid to take a huge cut.
     
    #70
  21. MikaJP

    MikaJP New User

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    I'm still playing with Wilson Pro Staff 5.1 from back-in-the-days with low power level. Demoed the new pure drive roddick and found out that yes, it does have a plenty of power but it's relatively easy to keep the ball in when hitting hard (I use a decent amount of spin) than when defending, when my slice just so easily sends the ball just floating all the way to the horizon.. :) It's like you need to fully "commit" to ever shot you make with the PDR..

    As a side note, also tested Radical IG Prestige MP and found it a great racket with enough power for me but still kept going back to the PD simply because it was so fun to just "rip" the ball from the baseline. No arm problems at least after 1.5 hours of smacking.. Oh, and control with PD for me was ok - you could of course sense it was a 100sqm etc but still somehow didn't feel like just another loose cannon..

    So yes I can understand why people use the PD :)

    About me: 29yrs old, used to compete on a "regional" level in Finland... So not ATP level but "advanced" at minimum :)
     
    #71
  22. D-money

    D-money Rookie

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    + 1 on this. I am a PDR2012 user and it's basically pick your poison. You can get punished by coughing up short balls here and there with a "players" stick or launch a few long with something more powerful. Saying a racket is unsuitable to the pro game is silly when there are dozens or maybe hundreds of professionals using it on both the ATP and WTA for both singles and doubles.
     
    #72
  23. El Zed

    El Zed Banned

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    Spot on - 100%.
     
    #73
  24. lstewart

    lstewart Rookie

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    I came up in the 1970's with wood rackets. We live in a different world now. Tennis is a power game if you compete at a high level, and you either better be world class quick to run everything down, or you better be able to hit winners before your opponent hits a winner. I 've played with the Pure Drive for short periods of time, and played very well with it. My arm won't handle the stiffness, so I can't use it, but if you give me one strung at the right tension I can go out and play really well with it instantly. Basically whatever you are used to feels right, and anything that is very different feels wrong. If I am playing with a thin beam low power flexible 93 inch players frame and then pick up a thick, stiff, light frame... it feels wrong and bad. If I am already playing with that type of frame, the thin beam flexible 93 feels like I am hitting with a wood racket with a head cover on it. Just what you are used to... I'm almost 55, fomer top 25 national senior ranking, and only practice with my 17 year old ranked son, who hits everything 150 mph. I'm using a flexible thin beam 102 Head Radical Team weighted up to 12 ounces. On the rare occassion that I go out to play some dubs with some other national level senior buddies (using small head, thin beam frames) they make fun of my racket. I tell them if they were not playing a bunch of 60 year old guys that hit the ball 40 mph back and forth to each other, it would make more difference. I can keep the ball in play all day with those frames, but what good does that do when a college age kid can hit a winner on me after my second shot, because I don't put enough pressure on him with my shot? All depends what you like, what fits your style of play, and what you need to be competitve with those you are playing against.
     
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  25. D-money

    D-money Rookie

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    Also agreed! I've seen tons of people on public and club courts swinging K90's who could've used some free power. Unfortunately there's that pesky * next to my league and tournament wins because I used a PDR to beat them. :)
     
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