Babolat PURE DRIVE VS 2019

I am not biased at all. This is going to be a great play test. The PD the pdvs amd ps. All strung with the same strings. And I’m playing against my reg hitting partner/opponent. So I will get to the bottom of it all.
 
I find this racquet to be quite string sensitive. It played great with RPM Blast, generic with Alu Power, and complete garbage with Signum Pro X-Perience. I think my honeymoon period is over with this racquet already. The more I play with it, the more I find that it lacks power and plow, whereas control isn't really all that much better.
 
Bay Area here too (SF) and am lucky enough to be able play indoors when it pours.

My BH slice feels actually really great with this stick—low and deep.

I’m starting to think that this frame benefits less loopy shots. Have to consciously keep up RHS to find those angles and reign in winners, though, which can be tough in matches!

Still working on finding “ the identity” of this frame.
Indoor courts you mean Bay Street? Damn I wanna play indoor lol


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I thought you solved that with lead at 10/2. What lead-ups have you tried and why wasn’t it sufficient.

I’m liking Alu Ice Blue @ 49/51
I think it’s because I didn’t have a very good experience with my last outing with the Signum Pro X-Perience string. It not only lacked power, but control was also garbage.
 
Tried them. Nice frame. Very nice paint job. Nice balance. Nice for serving. Doesn’t offer me anything above or over a pure aero or apd. I’ve therefore got 2 up for grabs if anyone wants.
 
ok.. so i finally had an extensive playtest last night.
so to warm up i used my reg go to PD. got in the groove for 15 minutes.. then also hit some groundies with the vs. felt the lack of power right away,
but on groundies it was fun because you can really crank some extra spin because of the extra rhs. But the small sweet spot becomes very apparent very quickly. and off center hits
are felt on the wrist and elbow, way more than with the reg pd. So anyone who thinks the reg PD is an arm killer, better beware for even more shock coming from this vs.
Then i started my match. and started with my reg PD. i cranked serves in with wicked spin and velocity. and played a great few games..
Then i switched to the VS. and right away when serving i felt the major difference. wow what a difference.. you instantly lose 10-15mph on serves, and you can really feel the harshness of the upper hoop..
I dont get that at all with the reg pd. The only area in which the vs shines is short put aways. you can get extra rhs and crank a short ball really well. but thats it. in every other aspect i just wanted to go back
to my reg PD. This vs is a handicap when compared to the reg pd. its like bringing a knife to a gun fight. and the small sweet sport/harshness on the upper hoop will not be missed by me at all.
After a few games with the vs i just wanted to go back to my PD. I did, and that was it for the VS. i put it away, and left it in my bag. That is the last time i play with this stick.
Then i grabbed my Pure Strike 16x19.. what a difference to the vs. plays solid, has a plush feeling string bed and uniform sweet sport. swings through the air faster and more precise than the vs.
just wow. this is how to make a 98 square inch head. This is hands down the best Babolat 98 available. its just a incredible stick. the major diff bet the PS and the PD is the 8 main throat stings on the PS as opposed to a more open 6 on the PD and PA etc. So the PS feels a bit more like an 18 main stick. But once you get used to that it can really become a weapon.
So when it comes to pure drives folks, trust me on this one, the regular Pure Drive series is the only one to buy. the vs is bs.. a downgrade in just about every way. DONT BOTHER WITH IT..
 
ok.. so i finally had an extensive playtest last night.
so to warm up i used my reg go to PD. got in the groove for 15 minutes.. then also hit some groundies with the vs. felt the lack of power right away,
but on groundies it was fun because you can really crank some extra spin because of the extra rhs. But the small sweet spot becomes very apparent very quickly. and off center hits
are felt on the wrist and elbow, way more than with the reg pd. So anyone who thinks the reg PD is an arm killer, better beware for even more shock coming from this vs.
Then i started my match. and started with my reg PD. i cranked serves in with wicked spin and velocity. and played a great few games..
Then i switched to the VS. and right away when serving i felt the major difference. wow what a difference.. you instantly lose 10-15mph on serves, and you can really feel the harshness of the upper hoop..
I dont get that at all with the reg pd. The only area in which the vs shines is short put aways. you can get extra rhs and crank a short ball really well. but thats it. in every other aspect i just wanted to go back
to my reg PD. This vs is a handicap when compared to the reg pd. its like bringing a knife to a gun fight. and the small sweet sport/harshness on the upper hoop will not be missed by me at all.
After a few games with the vs i just wanted to go back to my PD. I did, and that was it for the VS. i put it away, and left it in my bag. That is the last time i play with this stick.
Then i grabbed my Pure Strike 16x19.. what a difference to the vs. plays solid, has a plush feeling string bed and uniform sweet sport. swings through the air faster and more precise than the vs.
just wow. this is how to make a 98 square inch head. This is hands down the best Babolat 98 available. its just a incredible stick. the major diff bet the PS and the PD is the 8 main throat stings on the PS as opposed to a more open 6 on the PD and PA etc. So the PS feels a bit more like an 18 main stick. But once you get used to that it can really become a weapon.
So when it comes to pure drives folks, trust me on this one, the regular Pure Drive series is the only one to buy. the vs is bs.. a downgrade in just about every way. DONT BOTHER WITH IT..
Interesting take. How are the specs of your regular PD compared to the PDVS. My VS's came in very underspec, so Im wondering if your lack of pawer with them is a result of the specs being lower than your regular PD.
 
Interesting take. How are the specs of your regular PD compared to the PDVS. My VS's came in very underspec, so Im wondering if your lack of pawer with them is a result of the specs being lower than your regular PD.
It came in a little under. I believe it was 11.1. But that’s not the issue. The issue is an inferior build. Small sweet spot marsh upper hoop. Case closed. It’s just a disadvantage in comparison to the PD
 
The oure strike is a waaay better build being a 98 as well. There is no excuse for this frame. It’s just a disappointment. The elliptical beam on the PS really makes it feel so solid. And the stringbed is very well balanced
 
It came in a little under. I believe it was 11.1. But that’s not the issue. The issue is an inferior build. Small sweet spot marsh upper hoop. Case closed. It’s just a disadvantage in comparison to the PD
Maybe try it with some lead and string lower? Right now for me I actually put the PD VS a little bit above the PO7 (if the pure strike you talked about is PO7)


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Maybe try it with some lead and string lower? Right now for me I actually put the PD VS a little bit above the PO7 (if the pure strike you talked about is PO7)


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Ok. Good idea. This stick doesn’t like rpm blast. It needs a softer string. I will restring with yptp 18 or 17 and add weight at 3 and 9 and counterbalance under the Butt cap
That should fix the off.center hits and the harsh upper hoop issue. I will take your advise
 
It is a bit disappointing that they couldn’t just deliver a winner in stock form. It does need 5-6 grams of lead.

Imo, it plays absolutely nothing like a pure Drive not even close. I guess the same goes for the PA VS and PS VS.

I’m starting to find that you really can not afford to lose RHS with this racket. I lose control the moment I try to swing slower. Aggressive only is right.
 
I will slap some yptp in this week. And add some weight. And give it another go. I’m assuming this thing is string sensitive. And a stiff poly just doesn’t work at all. So let’s see
 
I ordered a pair of these after a reasonably extensive demo that included playing it stock and with a little bit of weight added. The demo played pretty nicely stock but lacked just a little weight, pop and solidity for my preferences. I added a little bit of weight at the tip and the handle and it gave it that little 'extra' that I was looking for.

On a superficial note, the paint job is killer and I'm a big fan of the gloss finish which seems to have fallen out of favor with the current racquets on the market.

A couple weeks later when picked up my racquets, I immediately strung one up and headed to the court for a scheduled hit I had on the books. After 2 hours of hitting and point play, I had buyers remorse. The racquet didn't feel or play like the stock demo I used. I measured the racquets when I came home. The strung racquet weighed 315g with poly, 32.2cm balance and a 301kg swingweight. That's right, 301! That was a let down but also gave me hope that I could salvage the racquets. I cut the strings out of measured both racquets unstrung. On a positive note, they were 1gr apart in weight. although light to spec. Balances were 31.2cm and 31.8cm which is pretty weak for a pair of 'matched' racquets with a retail price tag of $499. Swingweights were 271kg and 275kg. That's pretty good in terms of spread but absurdly low for this type of racquet. I went to work with some lead tape under the bumpers and weighting the handles and matched them up to unstrung specs of 310gr, 31.5cm and 295kg.

I strung them up and now have several hours under my belt with them on the court. At this point, I really like them. They feel pretty solid and reasonably comfortable for what is still a stiff racquet. Performance wise, I have no complaints. They don't have the raw power of the 100 version but still have plenty of put away power. I did not find the launch angle low like some other reviews. It's not as high as the 100 but I was still getting excellent net clearance without having to modify my strokes and I had no issue generating good top spin. I strung it full poly at 48lbs for reference. Compared to the 100, I had a much easier time controlling the ball in every aspect and much prefer it on my backhand slice and at the net. It's not a flame thrower on serve like the 100 but I rely more on placement and spin so the slight trade off of power for control doesn't bother me. The only area where I prefer the 100 is on my 2 hand bh where the extra power and forgiveness helps me. Otherwise, I take the 98 all day long for the added control and feel without a big drop off in power. Compared to the Pure Strike 98, I find the 98 PD to be a little better in every area including feel and comfort.

Overall, I think this racquet is a winner, in particular for a player that likes a PD, PA style racquet but struggles at times with control and wants a little more or better feel. I wish they sold them in singles. Ironically, I would have had an easier time matching, weight, balance and sw or finding a pair closer to listed spec if I had a handful of racquets to choose from. While the specs I got may match Babolat tolerance, I personally think racquets billed as matching should be matched in weight, balance and sw to tight specs. and closer to listed spec, especially when they are only sold in pairs at a high price point.
 
I ordered a pair of these after a reasonably extensive demo that included playing it stock and with a little bit of weight added. The demo played pretty nicely stock but lacked just a little weight, pop and solidity for my preferences. I added a little bit of weight at the tip and the handle and it gave it that little 'extra' that I was looking for.

On a superficial note, the paint job is killer and I'm a big fan of the gloss finish which seems to have fallen out of favor with the current racquets on the market.

A couple weeks later when picked up my racquets, I immediately strung one up and headed to the court for a scheduled hit I had on the books. After 2 hours of hitting and point play, I had buyers remorse. The racquet didn't feel or play like the stock demo I used. I measured the racquets when I came home. The strung racquet weighed 315g with poly, 32.2cm balance and a 301kg swingweight. That's right, 301! That was a let down but also gave me hope that I could salvage the racquets. I cut the strings out of measured both racquets unstrung. On a positive note, they were 1gr apart in weight. although light to spec. Balances were 31.2cm and 31.8cm which is pretty weak for a pair of 'matched' racquets with a retail price tag of $499. Swingweights were 271kg and 275kg. That's pretty good in terms of spread but absurdly low for this type of racquet. I went to work with some lead tape under the bumpers and weighting the handles and matched them up to unstrung specs of 310gr, 31.5cm and 295kg.

I strung them up and now have several hours under my belt with them on the court. At this point, I really like them. They feel pretty solid and reasonably comfortable for what is still a stiff racquet. Performance wise, I have no complaints. They don't have the raw power of the 100 version but still have plenty of put away power. I did not find the launch angle low like some other reviews. It's not as high as the 100 but I was still getting excellent net clearance without having to modify my strokes and I had no issue generating good top spin. I strung it full poly at 48lbs for reference. Compared to the 100, I had a much easier time controlling the ball in every aspect and much prefer it on my backhand slice and at the net. It's not a flame thrower on serve like the 100 but I rely more on placement and spin so the slight trade off of power for control doesn't bother me. The only area where I prefer the 100 is on my 2 hand bh where the extra power and forgiveness helps me. Otherwise, I take the 98 all day long for the added control and feel without a big drop off in power. Compared to the Pure Strike 98, I find the 98 PD to be a little better in every area including feel and comfort.

Overall, I think this racquet is a winner, in particular for a player that likes a PD, PA style racquet but struggles at times with control and wants a little more or better feel. I wish they sold them in singles. Ironically, I would have had an easier time matching, weight, balance and sw or finding a pair closer to listed spec if I had a handful of racquets to choose from. While the specs I got may match Babolat tolerance, I personally think racquets billed as matching should be matched in weight, balance and sw to tight specs. and closer to listed spec, especially when they are only sold in pairs at a high price point.
Nice review. Yeah I had trouble with mine in stock form. And a stiff poly didn’t work well for me at all. Which it does in the 100. I think the vs is vwry string sensitive. I will try softer stings and weight and see if I can play with it.
 
Would like to know what setups my fellow PDVS demoers/honeymooners are using. I’m at 330 on both of mine with (3g 2&10 and 3g handle + overgrip, mine came in slightly overweight) strung up with Alu Blue @52.

Finding that a stiff string works just fine for this stick. Surprisingly, I have none of the arm discomfort I experienced with the P17.
 
Ok so I think I can make my final conclusion. I keep the same specs from last time (although I can probably add just a tiny bit lead), and restring one of the racket with Hyper G 48lbs, the other one keeps the Tour Bite but the tension is way lower than the original 54lbs. Like everyone said, ‘‘this racket REQUIRES soft string bed and A LOT OF WEIGHT. I think I can go 46lbs next time or even lower. The control is decent, the feel is better than the standard PD, the power is not as good but better than the PO7. The son potential is not too good but if you swing fast enough it’s acceptable (it’s lower than most 16/19 racket though) Overall, I don’t recommend this racket to any player below 5.0 level (especially if you don’t know how to customize it). I’m about 4.5 right now( most people say I’m a 4.5 but I stop playing USTA for quite a while) and I don’t feel like I can play my best game with them. The sweet spot is smaller and not as forgiving, but when I hit the spot I consistently It feels pretty good. The standard PD and PO7 is good enough and only needs a little bit weight. The PDVS needs a lot. I feel like it’s like a Wilson Ultra Tour concept which is build for customization. I’m going back to my customized original Pure Strike and will sell these PDVS before the new strikes coming out lol


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Even though I like the VS and have been playing well with it, I've started having some arm pain. I have never had any arm issues in the past, and have been playing primarily with a 2015 PD for the past year. I'm also struggling with the string bed being unpredictable on shots outside of the sweetspot and balls sailing on me when I don't keep up my RHS.

I started wondering if the arm pain could be a result of them being so light. I mentioned I've demoed several frames in the past year, but I've just played them all stock. I've never experimented much with customization.

Out of curiosity, I checked the specs on my old Prince O3 Tours that I used for ~10 years previously, which made me realize they were around 335g finished weight (with OG and dampener) and 7pts HL. I should have checked this before I even started trying new frames last year but never even considered it.

So I started adding some tape and putty to try to get the VS close to those specs that I played with for many years. I ended up with 3g total at 3&9, and 7g in the handle. This brought the strung weight up to 327g. With OG and damp, it came out to be 335g and 6pt HL. Just swinging it and hitting it against the wall, it feels better and softer. So I am hopeful this will be the trick to eliminate the discomfort.
 
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Played with it tonight after adding the lead. The good news is the frame did feel a lot more comfortable, but part of it could be that with the added weight I'm not 'arming' my swings as much. It also had more stability on return of serve and I was hitting a noticeably heavier ball with it on my groundstrokes.

However, a big negative was I lost the maneuverability and really struggled at the net with it. I was late with a lot of my volleys and the added weight just made it feel sluggish in quick exchanges.

So since I'm new to customization, can anyone suggest where I can add/remove weight to get some more maneuverability back but still have added comfort and stability? Again, I have currently added 10g total. 3g @ 3/9 and 7g in the handle. Finished weight is 335g and 6pt HL.
 
So you have discovered the secret to taming the stiff racquets. Add mass to them - especially inside the handle.

Pity all those people who constantly moan about the stiffness of some of the great Babolat models never picked up on this in spite of how many of us keep saying it.
 
Played with it tonight after adding the lead. The good news is the frame did feel a lot more comfortable, but part of it could be that with the added weight I'm not 'arming' my swings as much. It also had more stability on return of serve and I was hitting a noticeably heavier ball with it on my groundstrokes.

However, a big negative was I lost the maneuverability and really struggled at the net with it. I was late with a lot of my volleys and the added weight just made it feel sluggish in quick exchanges.

So since I'm new to customization, can anyone suggest where I can add/remove weight to get some more maneuverability back but still have added comfort and stability? Again, I have currently added 10g total. 3g @ 3/9 and 7g in the handle. Finished weight is 335g and 6pt HL.
@kdm711, At 6 pts headlight and 335 grams total weight, the racquet should still be pretty maneuverable. My best guess is you are still adjusting to the slight lead increase at 3 and 9. I would expect you will adjust given a bit more play time with the modifications. I would not change anything at this time.

In regards to your complaints about arm soreness, this seems to be a new development as your initial posts seemed to be very positive regarding the frame comfort and stiffness. You mentioned having the racquet strung with hyper g at 52 lbs. Is this a string you normally play with and don't have arm issues? If it is, I think you mentioned you string your own racquets? If so, did you string these or did you have them strung by the retailer when you bought them? The reason I mention this is that whenever I have bought new racquets and had them shipped to me strung, the tension usually seems to be much higher than what I'm accustomed to when I string my own racquets. This may be due to a difference in stringers, but I have also read about racquets stringing up tighter on the first initial stringing but I can't remember why that might be the case. I think in the case of poly strings, if the tension is too high, it can make frames feel horrible and cause arm issues that you otherwise might not normally experience. Plus, given the cold weather, a too tightly strung full bed of poly is definitely going to be noticeably different in feel, comfort, and playability. This may not be the case in your instance....just offering ideas / theories.
 
@kdm711, At 6 pts headlight and 335 grams total weight, the racquet should still be pretty maneuverable. My best guess is you are still adjusting to the slight lead increase at 3 and 9. I would expect you will adjust given a bit more play time with the modifications. I would not change anything at this time.

In regards to your complaints about arm soreness, this seems to be a new development as your initial posts seemed to be very positive regarding the frame comfort and stiffness. You mentioned having the racquet strung with hyper g at 52 lbs. Is this a string you normally play with and don't have arm issues? If it is, I think you mentioned you string your own racquets? If so, did you string these or did you have them strung by the retailer when you bought them? The reason I mention this is that whenever I have bought new racquets and had them shipped to me strung, the tension usually seems to be much higher than what I'm accustomed to when I string my own racquets. This may be due to a difference in stringers, but I have also read about racquets stringing up tighter on the first initial stringing but I can't remember why that might be the case. I think in the case of poly strings, if the tension is too high, it can make frames feel horrible and cause arm issues that you otherwise might not normally experience. Plus, given the cold weather, a too tightly strung full bed of poly is definitely going to be noticeably different in feel, comfort, and playability. This may not be the case in your instance....just offering ideas / theories.
Those are valid points! Yes, Hyper G 16L @ 52lbs is what I've been playing with in my 2015 PD. And yes, I do string my racquets myself whereas I let TW string these before shipping them to me.

I thought I had read that TW strings with a Prince Neos 1000 which is the same stringer I have. However, that could have been outdated info. But even if they were using the same machine, it is still possible for there to be variances due to the machines being calibrated differently, technique (ie whether or not tension is increased before pulling outside mains/cross tie-offs), etc.

As you pointed out, that is also the string and tension I played with outdoors all last year. Whereas now I am playing indoor during the winter and it is much cooler inside. Another factor is the headsize is different between the two.

So there's actually quite a few variables to take into account! That being said, I think I will try going down in tension and seeing how it plays. Thanks for the feeback!
 
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so im putting in yptp today. should open up the sweet spot.. and make hitting the upper part of the hoop less jarring. and add a little power to my serve. lets see. .and i added a few g at 3 and 9.
ill have more feedback next week.
 
imo the stringbed is way more sensitive the the reg pd. you can really feel the diff when htitting side by side. so the new strings should even up the playing field. lets see.
 
i played again with the vs last night. different strings and a little lead in the hoop.
i really gave this stick the good ole college try .. once again.
and the results are as follows.
the sweet spot still feels too small. anything hit on the upper hoop still feels too harsh. too much of a diff from the sweet spot. way too noticeable.
I honestly do not like this stick at all. and i cannot possibly recommend it to anyone. The PS is way better option. the string bed even with blast is way more predictable and easier on the arm.
and the ps has an 8 main throat. so thats weird. just goes to show you how poorly made these vs are.
the only people i could recommend this stick to are beginners. who are attracted to the pure drive but cannot handle the power. so a low powered stick like this will do them good.
will keep the balls withing the lines. Otherwise this stick is a complete bust for me. waaaaaaay to much hype on this one. DONT BOTHER ..
 
From someone who didn’t like the Pure Strike at all, I think this is a good option for those looking for a powerful attacking stick. Most definitely not for everyone.

While I do agree that this is a less forgiving stick than the PS, I completely disagree with Dan in recommending this for beginners—you should be a good ball striker (not hitting in the upper hoop so much), who maintains tip speed through your shot.

I would also not recommend this for those who expect it to play like a more controlled PD/PA. This will not work best if you like to loop every shot back with spin. It truly excels in delivering aggressive drive winners from the baseline.

I am also fairly confident in calling this a platform racket and it is quite anemic in stock form. I believe this is the reason for the very low stock swing weight. It plays beautifully with 4g in the head balanced with 4g in the cap. MUCH better feel than the Pure Strike imo, not nearly as hollow. I also feel more flex than the PS, despite the RA numbers.

Also, to call this racket “low-powered” is absolute madness.
 
The 2018 pure drive killed my elbow. I never had elbow problems in the past. I put softer strings in but this didn't help. I know a lot of people will waffle on about bad form, need tennis coaching etc. However it was the racket plain and simple. I sold it for half price and was happy to see it go. Yep it had power however power isn't everything. Good club players can get power from just about any stick if they string it right and tension it low. I think the Pure drive is over rated and wish I hadn't got caught up in the hype. I will be more carefull next time, Lesson learnt
 
I had a short 20 min demo with the pure drive vs recently.
My initial thoughts are that it feels like a comparable offering in the blade/radical category.
It felt solid with good stability in stock form but has room to customize to your liking.

It seemed to hit serves pretty decent without any dead spot in the upper hoop & no harshness to my shoulder joint which I felt when using the pure strike 16X19.
It seems like it could plow through serves easily like a blade.
It felt solid from the backcourt - I had no trouble rolling the ball for topspin or flattenening it out.
I felt that it played like a more-controlled pure drive & hit a less loopy ball which is what suits my game better than the pure drive.
I’d have to log in more hours to know how it feels in the long run though but I liked it more than my pure strike - seemed like it had more power on tap.
 
To me it play very very similar To the touch radical....radical has a bigger sweet spot which makes it more forgiving...
The Pd VS provides noticeably more spin.
 
I ended up parting ways with the VS. After the honeymoon period was over, I started noticing areas where it was lacking. The more I played with it, I found the stringbed to be unpredictable, especially on shots outside of the sweet spot or in defensive situations. There was a big drop off in power on these shots and would often land at the bottom of the net.

I had the opposite issue anytime I didn’t keep my RHS up. If I got slow on my swing at all, the ball would launch on me. So I started to really struggle with consistency. While better than the regular PD, I also found it lacking touch/feel on finesse shots. On top of those issues I continued to have soreness on both sides of the underside of my elbow.

So I decided to move on from the VS and give the PS one more go. I had tried the PS previously, but this time around it’s been a different experience. The ones I have now came in under spec and I’ve been stringing them lower than in the past. I’m finding the PS to have better control, consistency, touch/feel and still plenty of power on tap when I need it. The soreness in my elbow has also gone away since switching. So personally, I’m finding the PS to be the better frame between the 2 for me.
 
Well, its too bad about the PDVS. I wonder if Babolat rushed to get this one produced, at the expense of testing. Maybe they can rebound with an update or the next iteration.

As much as I appreciate the TW testers, its hard to see objectivity when the reviews for Babolat are over inflated, specifically for this (85 overall) and the Pure Strike (90 overall). Conversely, the Tecnifibre TFight XTC 300 (83 overall) and 315 (81 overall), are clearly better and more versatile than the VS, yet only received marginal scores. Also the 360 Speed MP hits better imo, yet only received (80 overall). Not that the others need to be raised, but the VS rating should fall somewhere between 78-80, and the Pure Strike somewhere between 83-85.
 
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Yeah I experienced the same thing. This racquet fits the "honeymoon" category perfectly. The more I play with it, the worse it gets. At first it felt really good, then everything started going downhill from there.
 
There have been a few reviews here that have given the racket all of 15 minutes before pronouncing their opinion, this is extreme but still, it has not been rare to read reviews that lasted less than a set. It is possible if the stick is just not for you one might be able to tell after a few swings ... I prefer to believe that it may take a little time.

After an 18 set demo - these are my thoughts.

I am 4.0-4.5 baseline player and have played Pure Drive since the last version of the Roddick. I have demoed all versions of the Pure Strike and all versions of the Aero line plus player version Head and Wilson products. I believe this racket is well worth a demo but, you should demo this racket expecting a few things.

#1 It seems to sing as a baseline racket with a slightly smaller sweetspot than the Pure Drive, this should be expected.
#2 Expect a flatter ball, but not as flat generally as an 18x20 100 or 16/20 98. The ball is consistent off the strings but gives less margin than the Pure Drive. (margin being natural height over the net in my definition)
#3 Yes it's a fast racquet, good on full swings with the ball hit with conviction. Good on a slice. On defensive play expect a benefit to be able to react quickly, but also expect to provide the force on the racquet as there is less free power than the Pure Drive or other "power" or "Tweener" racquets.
#4 Serves will provide plenty of movement and also deliver on flat serves. Available racket head speed provides both of these.

Now, I found 16 gauge RPM Blast to be too harsh. If you want a full poly bed the racquet may need a 17 or even 18 gauge full bed to soften even further than the RA provides strung at 47-52 lbs.
One option may be Luxilon Alu Rough 16 Main and Big Banger ace 18 in the crosses. 47-50 on the Main and 52-55 on the cross as a suggestion.
Saying this I know many will believe me crazy but the 18 luxilon big banger ace is, in my opinion, a great string. TW reviews of the string also give a fair review if you think I am nuts.

If you need even more relief and like natural gut a great set up for this racquet may be a 16 gauge gut cross (Wilson or Babalot vs touch) and a 17 main poly. I believe this will open the sweet spot with 47-50 lbs on poly and 52 lbs ish on the gut.

I have now purchased 1 ... yes 1 PD VS for 200.00 and am excited to start the process of string adjustments and possibly a little lead in the head. WHY ... because I played very well with the stick as time went on with very little mis-hits. Going back to the Pure Drive, Head Speed, or Aero VS all did not provide for me as the PD VS did. Yup player preference, but in time there will be a steady group of players who will find this to be a great option. As a next-generation option to round out the line I am hoping Babalot gives a little more technology to the next versions to soften slightly more to the arm, open the sweet spot and provide for a tour version which would, as light as this current version has started, actually be just a normal SW racquet.
 
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I tried a demo of the new VS for an hour hit this morning. Unfortunately an hour was all the court time we found available. I thought it would be a jarring hit compared to my TC95. Stiffer frame, stiffer string and strung at higher tension. Demo had RPM strung up @55lbs. I string my TC95 with black night @48lbs. Surprisingly it was not a jarring hit as I had imagined so a pleasant surprise on that front. Pretty easy to pick up and play this frame and power was quite good for me. It’s a pretty point and shoot frame and does what you ask of it with little fuss. I had no problem adjusting my trajectory on ground strokes so versatile on shot selection. My 1hbh was alright just not as dialed in as my TC95. I also noticed serves were pretty decent but not as big as my TC95. Of course my TC95s are all matched 344g so do have more mass then a stock PDVS. Also noticed a bit of twist so torsional stability needs some beefing up. With some customization this could end up better then I expected
 
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I played with one a few days ago. Strung with ALU Power in what must have been the mid to low 40s

I feel that it has all the harshness of a stiff racket with none of the benefits. I don't know I could not put my finger on it but you REALLY had to connect with the ball to make it feel good... but that holds true with any racket that you are hitting the sweet spot with.

It had decent playing characteristics in all categories in a very manageable weight.... but it doesn't to anything particularly well. Id just do with a Pure Drive and add a few lbs of tension if I wanted some control. Or just go Pure Strike or the Aero VS (dark horse racket right here)
 
I suspect forcing customers to buy them in pairs has something to do with it.
Something ... they took a Pure Drive, the ultimate “easy to use” racquet, and made it less powerful and forgiving. Then they raised the price. Then they sold them only in pairs. I think some product manager’s head should roll at Babolat.
 
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