Wow. What a day. I too was a playtester at Nellie Gail. First and foremost, congrats to mad_dog who won the Babolat shoes! I know I was really jealous and I thought it was cool that one of us from TW managed to win something.
Anyways. Onward to the experience, and then the shoes.
I arrived at Nellie Gail at about 11, early, and managed to strike up conversation with Wes and Daniel from Babolat. They're my new best friends from Babolat - very personable guys, very kind, funny, and of course, good tennis players. I also managed to snag an exclusive babolat hoodie and t shirt from Wes! Towards noon we started getting our name badges/raffle tickets and shoes. I got a pair of black/yellow ones. I read on here earlier that it was better to double sock and I spied that each of the babolat pros was double-socking/thorlo-ing it, so I decided to double sock.
With the double sock, the shoe felt really nice. This is my second Babolat shoe, the first being the All-Court 4 - which i wore twice and then threw away. The ProPulse 4 felt nicer. A little plush and wide around the heel, but thats what the strap is for!
The group was split up based on their performance tennis-wise. I was placed on the highest level, 5.0+ court. The first of the 7 clinic courts was also the most physically demanding one. Kevin Jackson, a well known local trainer, was leading the court and of course had us do an obstacle course and hitting drill. I was very surprised at the Propulse's lateral movement capabilities. I got low to the ground on side steps but never slipped. Sliding on command, also, as I found out later, was also very possible and easy.
The remainder of the courts were mainly net drills for the older folks in the club. Since I'm more of a baseline monster, there were several older ladies who wanted to be my partner for the games involving the baseline.
After almost two hours, they served food and drinks. Food was phenomenal. Egg Rolls and Chicken and Beef Kebobs, fruit and chips and this delicious salsa. The day was only getting better and better. Again, there was the raffle, but I didn't win anything.
Wes and Daniel both wanted to hit with me, but they had to tear down the stuff so I watched and waited.
At about 3:30, we started hitting. Two on Ones. I was alone on one side, them on the other. I had to win 7 points in the doubles court, while they had to win 11 points with only the singles court. Each time was pretty close at times, although they are the superior tennis players. A fourth guy joined us - forgot his name! - and we played two up two back, loser does 30 pushups. Wes and I didn't lose at all
. Our fourth friend had to leave, so we played out serve points. After winning five, we switched to the winner's side and returned. I was very pleased with making it to the winner's side. I'm by no means a bad player, but both Daniel and Wes are simply great. Wes played for UNLV, and I am not sure were Daniel went but he is also very good.
Sweaty and tired, we finished at 5:30. I examined the shoes after a day's work. Not much wear on the sole or toe, as I am a toe dragger. On my slides, I tend to drag by back left foot on the inside face of that foot, if that makes sense. This was the only real damage to the shoe, as there was noticeable wear on the sides from it.
Overall, incredible day. I don't care if I make it to the commercial or not, as I had such a blast. I met tons of cool new people and played some solid solid tennis. Thanks to Tennis-Warehouse, Babolat, Nellie Gail Club, and the other TW playtesters for being so friendly!
I will post my full shoe review in a couple weeks.