Babolat Pure Aero VS

red rook

Semi-Pro
This frame/mold is getting a lot of love from the top 100 (auger, kecmanovic, ceccinato, sock, Ryan Harrison etc) so I had to take a peek.

Not that I am any authority but I have now played around 8 sessions (probably 12 sets or so) with the aero vs (4.5 aggressive baseliner). I now have four aero vs’s :) (these are the lighter, non-tour ones)

Having played the blade for so long (3-4 years) I am always interested those threads we always see: “blade-like with more spin/power.” Well, there are quite a few differences b/w the blade and vs. some good, some not so good, and some just different. I have 12 2015 18x20 blades. Yes, 12 (5 have cracked coming out of my sweaty hands on serves).

The vs is probably on the edge for me for the power of racquet I like. It gives me much more power and spin (kick especially). The stringbed is still fairly tight, which still gives control. This is not the pure aero and shouldn’t really be compared to one. This is a power/control racquet for people who like to hit big serves and forehand, but not so big you lose control a la regular pure aero. This sharing a name with the pure aero is kind of a misnomer. I’m able to “hit out” with my forehand and the ball stays in. I can see why ceccinato, auger, sock, kecmanovic, Harrison etc like it. I actually like to string it lower 43 lbs with 16 gauge cyclone and 16 gauge hyper g. Higher launch angle observed which was to be expected.

Now the not so good. The blade has much better feel and touch. The blade’s stability and plow is way better. The blade is actually more forgiving. The blade’s whole stringbed gives a similar ball flight no matter where you hit. Volleys are much more reliable. The blade’s feel is just more solid. I tuned up the lead on the vs such that the “calculated” twistweiggt was supposedly higher than the blade but the blade is just more stable on off center hits, particularly on volleys, touch shots, and overheads. The blade is solid. The vs is comparatively stiff, hollow-feeling, and not very forgiving.

But the bottom line is that I’m undefeated with this vs. The help on my serve and forehand kind of outweigh the detractions from leaving the blade. The way I play I have to be aggressive to keep up with these defensive youngsters. So for the first time in a while I will have an extended play test.

I did have to lead it a lot. Many people will probably scoff at all the weight I put on here but it’s still absurdly light for the swing weight I could achieve. 3 grams at 12, 3.5 grams at 3 and 9 (1.75 g each side), and 3 grams at tail. This, plus the 5 or 5.5 grams overgrip and I’m around 329 grams static, 336 swing weight, 4 pts headlight. I might add more static weight to get to 332-333 grams or so.

The VS is not the end all be all but it has control while hitting a big ball. I haven’t fully made up my mind but am enjoying the vs more than I thought I would.
 

Power Player

Talk Tennis Guru
This frame/mold is getting a lot of love from the top 100 (auger, kecmanovic, ceccinato, sock, Ryan Harrison etc) so I had to take a peek.

Not that I am any authority but I have now played around 8 sessions (probably 12 sets or so) with the aero vs (4.5 aggressive baseliner). I now have four aero vs’s :) (these are the lighter, non-tour ones)

Having played the blade for so long (3-4 years) I am always interested those threads we always see: “blade-like with more spin/power.” Well, there are quite a few differences b/w the blade and vs. some good, some not so good, and some just different. I have 12 2015 18x20 blades. Yes, 12 (5 have cracked coming out of my sweaty hands on serves).

The vs is probably on the edge for me for the power of racquet I like. It gives me much more power and spin (kick especially). The stringbed is still fairly tight, which still gives control. This is not the pure aero and shouldn’t really be compared to one. This is a power/control racquet for people who like to hit big serves and forehand, but not so big you lose control a la regular pure aero. This sharing a name with the pure aero is kind of a misnomer. I’m able to “hit out” with my forehand and the ball stays in. I can see why ceccinato, auger, sock, kecmanovic, Harrison etc like it. I actually like to string it lower 43 lbs with 16 gauge cyclone and 16 gauge hyper g. Higher launch angle observed which was to be expected.

Now the not so good. The blade has much better feel and touch. The blade’s stability and plow is way better. The blade is actually more forgiving. The blade’s whole stringbed gives a similar ball flight no matter where you hit. Volleys are much more reliable. The blade’s feel is just more solid. I tuned up the lead on the vs such that the “calculated” twistweiggt was supposedly higher than the blade but the blade is just more stable on off center hits, particularly on volleys, touch shots, and overheads. The blade is solid. The vs is comparatively stiff, hollow-feeling, and not very forgiving.

But the bottom line is that I’m undefeated with this vs. The help on my serve and forehand kind of outweigh the detractions from leaving the blade. The way I play I have to be aggressive to keep up with these defensive youngsters. So for the first time in a while I will have an extended play test.

I did have to lead it a lot. Many people will probably scoff at all the weight I put on here but it’s still absurdly light for the swing weight I could achieve. 3 grams at 12, 3.5 grams at 3 and 9 (1.75 g each side), and 3 grams at tail. This, plus the 5 or 5.5 grams overgrip and I’m around 329 grams static, 336 swing weight, 4 pts headlight. I might add more static weight to get to 332-333 grams or so.

The VS is not the end all be all but it has control while hitting a big ball. I haven’t fully made up my mind but am enjoying the vs more than I thought I would.
Nice review man. You have dialed in really good specs, imo. Pretty much perfect to what I like. I used to demo the old versions of this frame and I found similar things to what you said. It is Babolats counter to the Blade, but the problem for me is that the Blade was always more focused on feel and this Babolat had a lot of hotspots and didn’t feel that great to me.

That said it can absolutely be a weapon, as shown by the great players who use it. Personally, I prefer the Blade and one reason is I use full poly and want to keep my arm healthy as possible.
 

Jouke

Rookie
Nice review!

I tried the aero VS as well, after seeing so many pros using it now. Auger Alliasime mainly drew my attention to this frame.
I tested the frame and hated it. Really nothing worked for me on the frame, even after customizing to 335-340 static and 330 swingweight. Besides I really did not like the feel of this frame.
 

jmacdaununder2

Hall of Fame
This frame/mold is getting a lot of love from the top 100 (auger, kecmanovic, ceccinato, sock, Ryan Harrison etc) so I had to take a peek.

Not that I am any authority but I have now played around 8 sessions (probably 12 sets or so) with the aero vs (4.5 aggressive baseliner). I now have four aero vs’s :) (these are the lighter, non-tour ones)

Having played the blade for so long (3-4 years) I am always interested those threads we always see: “blade-like with more spin/power.” Well, there are quite a few differences b/w the blade and vs. some good, some not so good, and some just different. I have 12 2015 18x20 blades. Yes, 12 (5 have cracked coming out of my sweaty hands on serves).

The vs is probably on the edge for me for the power of racquet I like. It gives me much more power and spin (kick especially). The stringbed is still fairly tight, which still gives control. This is not the pure aero and shouldn’t really be compared to one. This is a power/control racquet for people who like to hit big serves and forehand, but not so big you lose control a la regular pure aero. This sharing a name with the pure aero is kind of a misnomer. I’m able to “hit out” with my forehand and the ball stays in. I can see why ceccinato, auger, sock, kecmanovic, Harrison etc like it. I actually like to string it lower 43 lbs with 16 gauge cyclone and 16 gauge hyper g. Higher launch angle observed which was to be expected.

Now the not so good. The blade has much better feel and touch. The blade’s stability and plow is way better. The blade is actually more forgiving. The blade’s whole stringbed gives a similar ball flight no matter where you hit. Volleys are much more reliable. The blade’s feel is just more solid. I tuned up the lead on the vs such that the “calculated” twistweiggt was supposedly higher than the blade but the blade is just more stable on off center hits, particularly on volleys, touch shots, and overheads. The blade is solid. The vs is comparatively stiff, hollow-feeling, and not very forgiving.

But the bottom line is that I’m undefeated with this vs. The help on my serve and forehand kind of outweigh the detractions from leaving the blade. The way I play I have to be aggressive to keep up with these defensive youngsters. So for the first time in a while I will have an extended play test.

I did have to lead it a lot. Many people will probably scoff at all the weight I put on here but it’s still absurdly light for the swing weight I could achieve. 3 grams at 12, 3.5 grams at 3 and 9 (1.75 g each side), and 3 grams at tail. This, plus the 5 or 5.5 grams overgrip and I’m around 329 grams static, 336 swing weight, 4 pts headlight. I might add more static weight to get to 332-333 grams or so.

The VS is not the end all be all but it has control while hitting a big ball. I haven’t fully made up my mind but am enjoying the vs more than I thought I would.
"Like!!"
 

parasailing

Hall of Fame
This frame/mold is getting a lot of love from the top 100 (auger, kecmanovic, ceccinato, sock, Ryan Harrison etc) so I had to take a peek.

Not that I am any authority but I have now played around 8 sessions (probably 12 sets or so) with the aero vs (4.5 aggressive baseliner). I now have four aero vs’s :) (these are the lighter, non-tour ones)

Having played the blade for so long (3-4 years) I am always interested those threads we always see: “blade-like with more spin/power.” Well, there are quite a few differences b/w the blade and vs. some good, some not so good, and some just different. I have 12 2015 18x20 blades. Yes, 12 (5 have cracked coming out of my sweaty hands on serves).

The vs is probably on the edge for me for the power of racquet I like. It gives me much more power and spin (kick especially). The stringbed is still fairly tight, which still gives control. This is not the pure aero and shouldn’t really be compared to one. This is a power/control racquet for people who like to hit big serves and forehand, but not so big you lose control a la regular pure aero. This sharing a name with the pure aero is kind of a misnomer. I’m able to “hit out” with my forehand and the ball stays in. I can see why ceccinato, auger, sock, kecmanovic, Harrison etc like it. I actually like to string it lower 43 lbs with 16 gauge cyclone and 16 gauge hyper g. Higher launch angle observed which was to be expected.

Now the not so good. The blade has much better feel and touch. The blade’s stability and plow is way better. The blade is actually more forgiving. The blade’s whole stringbed gives a similar ball flight no matter where you hit. Volleys are much more reliable. The blade’s feel is just more solid. I tuned up the lead on the vs such that the “calculated” twistweiggt was supposedly higher than the blade but the blade is just more stable on off center hits, particularly on volleys, touch shots, and overheads. The blade is solid. The vs is comparatively stiff, hollow-feeling, and not very forgiving.

But the bottom line is that I’m undefeated with this vs. The help on my serve and forehand kind of outweigh the detractions from leaving the blade. The way I play I have to be aggressive to keep up with these defensive youngsters. So for the first time in a while I will have an extended play test.

I did have to lead it a lot. Many people will probably scoff at all the weight I put on here but it’s still absurdly light for the swing weight I could achieve. 3 grams at 12, 3.5 grams at 3 and 9 (1.75 g each side), and 3 grams at tail. This, plus the 5 or 5.5 grams overgrip and I’m around 329 grams static, 336 swing weight, 4 pts headlight. I might add more static weight to get to 332-333 grams or so.

The VS is not the end all be all but it has control while hitting a big ball. I haven’t fully made up my mind but am enjoying the vs more than I thought I would.
Sad to see you leaving the Blade family but glad you found a racquet that works for you. I think we all end up at about the 330 grams, 330-335 SW, and 4 to 6 pts HL balance racquet. Having tried out the Pure Aero, I can see that the Aero VS being somewhere between the Aero and the Blade.

Keep us posted on your new journey with the Aero VS.
 

Frans Bleker

Professional
This frame/mold is getting a lot of love from the top 100 (auger, kecmanovic, ceccinato, sock, Ryan Harrison etc) so I had to take a peek.

Not that I am any authority but I have now played around 8 sessions (probably 12 sets or so) with the aero vs (4.5 aggressive baseliner). I now have four aero vs’s :) (these are the lighter, non-tour ones)

Having played the blade for so long (3-4 years) I am always interested those threads we always see: “blade-like with more spin/power.” Well, there are quite a few differences b/w the blade and vs. some good, some not so good, and some just different. I have 12 2015 18x20 blades. Yes, 12 (5 have cracked coming out of my sweaty hands on serves).

The vs is probably on the edge for me for the power of racquet I like. It gives me much more power and spin (kick especially). The stringbed is still fairly tight, which still gives control. This is not the pure aero and shouldn’t really be compared to one. This is a power/control racquet for people who like to hit big serves and forehand, but not so big you lose control a la regular pure aero. This sharing a name with the pure aero is kind of a misnomer. I’m able to “hit out” with my forehand and the ball stays in. I can see why ceccinato, auger, sock, kecmanovic, Harrison etc like it. I actually like to string it lower 43 lbs with 16 gauge cyclone and 16 gauge hyper g. Higher launch angle observed which was to be expected.

Now the not so good. The blade has much better feel and touch. The blade’s stability and plow is way better. The blade is actually more forgiving. The blade’s whole stringbed gives a similar ball flight no matter where you hit. Volleys are much more reliable. The blade’s feel is just more solid. I tuned up the lead on the vs such that the “calculated” twistweiggt was supposedly higher than the blade but the blade is just more stable on off center hits, particularly on volleys, touch shots, and overheads. The blade is solid. The vs is comparatively stiff, hollow-feeling, and not very forgiving.

But the bottom line is that I’m undefeated with this vs. The help on my serve and forehand kind of outweigh the detractions from leaving the blade. The way I play I have to be aggressive to keep up with these defensive youngsters. So for the first time in a while I will have an extended play test.

I did have to lead it a lot. Many people will probably scoff at all the weight I put on here but it’s still absurdly light for the swing weight I could achieve. 3 grams at 12, 3.5 grams at 3 and 9 (1.75 g each side), and 3 grams at tail. This, plus the 5 or 5.5 grams overgrip and I’m around 329 grams static, 336 swing weight, 4 pts headlight. I might add more static weight to get to 332-333 grams or so.

The VS is not the end all be all but it has control while hitting a big ball. I haven’t fully made up my mind but am enjoying the vs more than I thought I would.
Nice stuff! Great to read! Seems like an interesting frame. Saw another guy playing with it in his mid 30's, former dutch youth champion who was playing a young grinder. He could play so much pressure with the VS; fast, controlled spin balls.
 

Lumber

New User
I agree, great review! Reviews should mention both positive and negative points like you do. No racquet can be best at everything. But some revirewers forget that.

I play the Blade and just bought the pure aero vs, in search for a little bit more power. I have only played it once so far but yes, it seems to have a bit more power than the blade, especially in serve I noticed a difference. But the feeling is worse, it is a babolat after all. But it seems like a balanced racquet.

I can update more later.
 

parasailing

Hall of Fame
There will always be trade offs between racquets. Babolats offer more power but at cost to arm comfort and stiffer. The only Babolat that was close to comfortable was the Pure Storm Tour GT which I was hoping they would bring back. The Pure Control which was the update to it was comfortable but lacked power.
 

dgoran

Hall of Fame
Also I am really skeptical about pros VS layups. Makes me think they use softer variations of the same. I just cant see some of these guys switching from soft pt57A to Pure Aero vs like in the case of Bollelli or Harrison Pure Storm 95 to this.
 

am1899

Hall of Fame
Also I am really skeptical about pros VS layups. Makes me think they use softer variations of the same. I just cant see some of these guys switching from soft pt57A to Pure Aero vs like in the case of Bollelli or Harrison Pure Storm 95 to this.
I agree. I also (and I suspect many others) doubt Fognini’s PD’s are as stiff as the corresponding retail frames.

By the by, were the original retail Aerostorms less stiff than the current retail models?
 

Lukhas

Legend
I think I said it in other threads, but I thought the Tour version was way better than the VS, and I tried the lighter version twice. The lighter version has high SW but a very inconsistent string bed response with obvious hot spots; it felt very springy and I wasn't really confident when using it. I did try putting a leather grip on it, but I didn't care for it either way. And this comes from someone who didn't find the Pro Staff 97 (315g) to have an inconsistent response! I found it even had a less consistent response than the standard Pure Aero non-VS... The Tour version I tried had similar SW to the standard version, but it felt way more solid and consistent in its response, plus the added benefits of the higher weight in terms of stability and resistance to recoil. The feel was neither bad or good, but at least it wasn't muted/mushy which I hate.

I'm curious to see if and how they'll update the mode.
 

dgoran

Hall of Fame
I agree. I also (and I suspect many others) doubt Fognini’s PD’s are as stiff as the corresponding retail frames.

By the by, were the original retail Aerostorms less stiff than the current retail models?
I never user original red and white but gen right after I used and it was little stiffer than now...
 

red rook

Semi-Pro
Thank you everyone for your feedback!

I am looking forward to pitting the new blade against the VS. I always seem to eventually fall back into the blade but for now the VS is still holding its own. In response to the hot spot comment - I believe in the weeks I've been hitting the VS, it is just not an ultra forgiving racquet, which may warrant someone to perceive the sweet spot as a "hot spot." That said, your observations are just as valid as mine and I won't argue with you.

As for the stiffness, I play honestly 5-7 days a week at 2+ hours and haven't been bothered with full poly (although it is strung low). At 67 it is the highest RA I have played consistently.

I do miss the control of the blade, of course right when I finally find a viable alternative a new model comes out. Isn't that how it always goes?
 
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