Babolat Pure Strike Tour vs Babolat Pure Strike 18x20

henweezy

Rookie
I know they are pretty similar in specs, but I am curious as to how they compare and differ for those who have tried both. I've only tried the Tour version so far and found it to be plentiful in all areas of the court except for the fact that its pretty hefty and can be a little heavy to swing at times. It almost feels like the Yonex Vcore Tour G 330g. I was wondering if getting a Pure Strike 18x20 and putting a leather grip on it would give the pure strike kind of a mid-way point between the lighter version and the Tour?

Sorry for the long post, let me know what you guys think. :)
 

RalphJ

Banned
The 18x20 feels sluggish as well, just a little lighter. The weight of the Tour seems to help with the unstable wobble these racquets have when swinging. The lighter 18x20 still needs to be strung with a .17 or .18ga string at or below 48 lbs to have any liveliness to it.
 

henweezy

Rookie
The 18x20 feels sluggish as well, just a little lighter. The weight of the Tour seems to help with the unstable wobble these racquets have when swinging. The lighter 18x20 still needs to be strung with a .17 or .18ga string at or below 48 lbs to have any liveliness to it.

I'm aware of the 18x20 patterns that need to be strung with thinner gauges. Thank you for the input. I do enjoy heavy racquets, but like said, it gets really really hefty at times and feels almost like my 12.3 oz vcore 330g and it gets tiresome. Curious as to how it plays against the lighter 18x20 version
 

Broly4

Rookie
I prefer the PST, however the 305 g version plays very well, I didn't find any stability issues with it, it feels solid and hits a massive ball.
 

mhkeuns

Hall of Fame
I prefer the tour version for its massive plow through. That helps me to be more aggressive and hit bigger shots. The 18x20 is very nice, but I feel that it does everything less compared to the PST.
 

henweezy

Rookie
Thank you all for the input. I think I'm leaning on toward the PST now and will hopefully get used to the weight eventually. :) It shouldn't be as tiring as the vcore tour g 330 though.... hehe
 

RalphJ

Banned
I actually think its the aerodynamics when swinging the racquet that makes it swing slower and heavier. I don't feel it quite as much on volleys as I do on groundstrokes. The 18x20 has a serious dead spot in the upper hoop. It feels like hitting a hard tree branch and the ball immediately dies.
 

henweezy

Rookie
I actually think its the aerodynamics when swinging the racquet that makes it swing slower and heavier. I don't feel it quite as much on volleys as I do on groundstrokes. The 18x20 has a serious dead spot in the upper hoop. It feels like hitting a hard tree branch and the ball immediately dies.

Oh yes no kidding about that... But thankfully I've been using a 93 the past couple of months or so and it shouldn't be so bad :) I'm really digging the pure strike tour on my serves and backhand. Even more so than my PB10 Mid.
 

MisterP

Hall of Fame
I've had the PST since August and it's my primary frame, but in hindsight I would have bought the 18x20 and customized it. The main problem for me with this stick is that the balance is not quite right, which adds to that sluggish feel. Especially on low short balls where you really need to whip through contact. I'd add enough lead to get it up around 12.2 or so, but make it around 9 points head light.
 

RetroSpin

Hall of Fame
I tried both and didn't like them at all. I use a PDR+, and generally like babolats. Not the Strikes or Controls though.
 

henweezy

Rookie
I've had the PST since August and it's my primary frame, but in hindsight I would have bought the 18x20 and customized it. The main problem for me with this stick is that the balance is not quite right, which adds to that sluggish feel. Especially on low short balls where you really need to whip through contact. I'd add enough lead to get it up around 12.2 or so, but make it around 9 points head light.

I may try to shoot for a leather grip then add a little bit of tack, maybe 5g or so under the butt cap. Then I'm going to go from there. I've decided on the Tour version. :)
 

WhiteStripes

Semi-Pro
I've hit with the Strike 18x20 since September 2013 before it was even released. I've spent extensive time with all of three of the other Strikes as well (16x19 98, 100, Tour), and for whatever reason, I'm more dialed in to the 18x20 than any of the others. I have modified mine to 12 oz strung at a little over 7 pts HL w/ a RDC measured 329 SW, with much of the added weight in the handle and with a leather grip. I have not experienced one bit of wobble or deadness in the hoop, but all of my 18x20s are slightly over spec'd with a lot of mass in the head, and tailweighting them works extremely work. The 18x20 does have the smallest sweetspot of all of the Strikes, but I don't find it that much of an issue since I string w/ a gut poly hybrid in the high 40s or low 50s depending on conditions. My Strike 18x20s play a bit faster and whippier than my Tours, which is the main reason why I prefer the 18x20s over the Tours. In my younger days, I would choose the Tour. Both to me offer a bit more control than my 16x19, which I preferred of all the Strikes for serving, but favored the 18x20 and Tour for everything else. I've tried the 100 for a little bit (although only a demo for not very long), and it is a bit light and unstable for my tastes in stock form, but I've hit with an excellent junior who plays with it stock and he absolutely tears the felt off the ball. To be completely honest, I'm not completely fond of the feel of the Strikes, and prefer my old Pure Control 2001 and Storm Tours as well, but I play a lot better and win a whole lot more with my modified Strike 18x20. I've also spent a bit of time with the Blades, Speeds, and the Ai98 in the last year as well (and still have an Ai98 in the bag for kicks), and I can't necessarily explain why, but I simply play better with my Strike 18x20. As they say in basketball, "ball don't lie." As always, everyone has different tastes and experiences with racquets, so demo for yourself if possible.
 

henweezy

Rookie
I've hit with the Strike 18x20 since September 2013 before it was even released. I've spent extensive time with all of three of the other Strikes as well (16x19 98, 100, Tour), and for whatever reason, I'm more dialed in to the 18x20 than any of the others. I have modified mine to 12 oz strung at a little over 7 pts HL w/ a RDC measured 329 SW, with much of the added weight in the handle and with a leather grip. I have not experienced one bit of wobble or deadness in the hoop, but all of my 18x20s are slightly over spec'd with a lot of mass in the head, and tailweighting them works extremely work. The 18x20 does have the smallest sweetspot of all of the Strikes, but I don't find it that much of an issue since I string w/ a gut poly hybrid in the high 40s or low 50s depending on conditions. My Strike 18x20s play a bit faster and whippier than my Tours, which is the main reason why I prefer the 18x20s over the Tours. In my younger days, I would choose the Tour. Both to me offer a bit more control than my 16x19, which I preferred of all the Strikes for serving, but favored the 18x20 and Tour for everything else. I've tried the 100 for a little bit (although only a demo for not very long), and it is a bit light and unstable for my tastes in stock form, but I've hit with an excellent junior who plays with it stock and he absolutely tears the felt off the ball. To be completely honest, I'm not completely fond of the feel of the Strikes, and prefer my old Pure Control 2001 and Storm Tours as well, but I play a lot better and win a whole lot more with my modified Strike 18x20. I've also spent a bit of time with the Blades, Speeds, and the Ai98 in the last year as well (and still have an Ai98 in the bag for kicks), and I can't necessarily explain why, but I simply play better with my Strike 18x20. As they say in basketball, "ball don't lie." As always, everyone has different tastes and experiences with racquets, so demo for yourself if possible.


Thank you so much for your input WhiteStripes. I was really considering the regular 18x20 and just modding it up to be around 11.9/12 oz with more HL than the Tour version but am really lazy to do so since I will probably be getting another one and just decided to keep them both stock for ease of use. Maybe in a couple of months when the weight isn't too much of a bother anymore, I'll add leather grips to both of them. But when I played it in stock form with a gut/poly hybrid at mid 50 tension, I was amazed at how much spin and plow I can get with the Strike. I was able to do everything much better than with my PB10 except for maybe defense (since it does get a little sluggish to swing sometimes) but I guess I just haven't played with it long enough as I only demoed it for a week. I'm sure after a month or so I'll get more dialed in. :) Can't wait for my Tour to come in the mail Friday!

Also, sad to admit that I've joined the dark side of switching to a Babolat after years of using anything but Babolat, Head, Wilson and such. Even after I told myself and other community players that I'd never use em.
 

MisterP

Hall of Fame
I may try to shoot for a leather grip then add a little bit of tack, maybe 5g or so under the butt cap. Then I'm going to go from there. I've decided on the Tour version. :)

It's a nice frame and you'll love it, I'm sure. I like the idea of going with a leather grip, but I'd be hesitant to add more weight beyond that. I know what you're thinking in regards to adding the weight in the buttcap to adjust the balance, but IMO more weight, no matter where it is, is going to make it feel even more unwieldy.

But, it can't hurt to try. Good luck.
 

MisterP

Hall of Fame
So IYO, a leather grip is enough tail weight. What about the upper hoop?

My PST is 347g strung with a tournagrip xl overgrip and a babolat dampener. A leather replacement grip would be probably 5-10 grams heavier than the stock Syntec grip depending on which leather grip you buy, how big your grip is and how you wrap it. That alone would have this stick pushing 12.5-12.6. Adding another 5 grams anywhere would put it up in the 12.8-12.9 range, which I think is way too much.

I think the added weight of the leather grip would be sufficient to get the headlight balance a lot of us are looking for, without counter balancing at the hoop. But, as always, you only know for sure if you try it for yourself.
 

RalphJ

Banned
I've hit with the Strike 18x20 since September 2013 before it was even released. I've spent extensive time with all of three of the other Strikes as well (16x19 98, 100, Tour), and for whatever reason, I'm more dialed in to the 18x20 than any of the others. I have modified mine to 12 oz strung at a little over 7 pts HL w/ a RDC measured 329 SW, with much of the added weight in the handle and with a leather grip. I have not experienced one bit of wobble or deadness in the hoop, but all of my 18x20s are slightly over spec'd with a lot of mass in the head, and tailweighting them works extremely work. The 18x20 does have the smallest sweetspot of all of the Strikes, but I don't find it that much of an issue since I string w/ a gut poly hybrid in the high 40s or low 50s depending on conditions. My Strike 18x20s play a bit faster and whippier than my Tours, which is the main reason why I prefer the 18x20s over the Tours. In my younger days, I would choose the Tour. Both to me offer a bit more control than my 16x19, which I preferred of all the Strikes for serving, but favored the 18x20 and Tour for everything else. I've tried the 100 for a little bit (although only a demo for not very long), and it is a bit light and unstable for my tastes in stock form, but I've hit with an excellent junior who plays with it stock and he absolutely tears the felt off the ball. To be completely honest, I'm not completely fond of the feel of the Strikes, and prefer my old Pure Control 2001 and Storm Tours as well, but I play a lot better and win a whole lot more with my modified Strike 18x20. I've also spent a bit of time with the Blades, Speeds, and the Ai98 in the last year as well (and still have an Ai98 in the bag for kicks), and I can't necessarily explain why, but I simply play better with my Strike 18x20. As they say in basketball, "ball don't lie." As always, everyone has different tastes and experiences with racquets, so demo for yourself if possible.

Good input and good points about winning. I won the most in singles with the RF97, but did bad with it in doubles. I won the most in doubles with the Blade 98 16x19 and did bad with it in singles. I won more doubles with a PST than I did with the RF97, but lost with it quite a bit in singles.
 

MisterP

Hall of Fame
My PST is 347g strung with a tournagrip xl overgrip and a babolat dampener. A leather replacement grip would be probably 5-10 grams heavier than the stock Syntec grip depending on which leather grip you buy, how big your grip is and how you wrap it. That alone would have this stick pushing 12.5-12.6. Adding another 5 grams anywhere would put it up in the 12.8-12.9 range, which I think is way too much.

I think the added weight of the leather grip would be sufficient to get the headlight balance a lot of us are looking for, without counter balancing at the hoop. But, as always, you only know for sure if you try it for yourself.

I replaced the stock Syntec grip with a Babolat leather grip today and remeasured everything. Static weight went up 5 grams with just the grip change. This took it from 12.25oz to 12.42oz. Not quite as dramatic as I previously suggested. With that in mind, I would still be a little reticent to add weight in the handle just to adjust balance, simply because I think this frame is already above where it should be weight wise.

Again, I'd say take a standard 18x20 and add lead tape at the 12 or 11/2 position and counter balanced in the handle for an overall static weight of around 345-350 grams with a much nicer headlight balance.
 

henweezy

Rookie
MisterP,

How did it play after you added the leather grip? I normally use a 4 1/4 but ordered a 4 3/8 so that I may use a thin leather grip to compensate. :)
 

mhkeuns

Hall of Fame
To achieve more HL feel for my Tour G 330, I used the thinnest leather grip (Kimony) that weighed less than the stock grip and applied a crap load of lead in the handle and a little at 12. I'm sure you can do the same with your PST if you think the frame feels sluggish.
 

henweezy

Rookie
I was looking at the kimony grips but they can be so expensive! I think I'll be fine with just the TW private label grips. They're great and pretty inexpensive :) I do plan on getting another PST soon as I'm making a (semi) permanent switch. Of course I'll still have my PB10 Mid around to play with as she's still my first love. ;)
 

mhkeuns

Hall of Fame
I was looking at the kimony grips but they can be so expensive! I think I'll be fine with just the TW private label grips. They're great and pretty inexpensive :) I do plan on getting another PST soon as I'm making a (semi) permanent switch. Of course I'll still have my PB10 Mid around to play with as she's still my first love. ;)

I have used the Klipper leather grip, and it feels thinner than the TW private label. The grip works well and doesn't make the grip bigger, but the TW private label looks and feels like a better grip... Kimony products are top notch, imo.
 

MisterP

Hall of Fame
MisterP,

How did it play after you added the leather grip? I normally use a 4 1/4 but ordered a 4 3/8 so that I may use a thin leather grip to compensate. :)

Seemed a little better as far as maneuverability goes - on the return of serve especially. I would need to play a couple sets of dubs to be sure since my singles game doesn't have me volleying a lot.

I actually like the idea floated by mhkeuns of using a super thin grip and leading up the handle. Babolat's Skin Feel isn't leather, but it is the thinnest grip that my local store carries and weighs about 5 grams less than the leather grip I have on it now. I could add that weight back into the handle with lead...
 

henweezy

Rookie
I would too, but I want to keep it as close to stock as possible so I think I'll just tack on the leather grips and call it a day. Haha I hate messing with lead and others. If I am not satisfied, I will POSSIBLY add some blue tack in the handle but we'll have to see.
 

WhiteStripes

Semi-Pro
I've tried both more weight through lead under the stock replacement grip and less lead but a TW 1.3 mm leather grip. I ended up keeping the leather grip on my 18x20. Not sure if it's the way the weight was distributed along the handle as compared to lead strips along the bevels, but I liked how my 18x20 played better with the leather grip. The most significant benefit was off the serve. While in the process of tweaking my sticks, I was trying out the mods alongside a stock racquet. Some of my hitting partners and I were pretty surprised how just the leather grip and a couple grams of lead at the handle actually boosted the serve of the 18x20 significantly for me, which had been the weakest aspect of the racquet for me.

Except for the Strike 100, all of the Strikes are foam-filled in the handle. So unless you're going to dig all of that out, stuff like silicone and blu-tack aren't going to work.
 

henweezy

Rookie
I've tried both more weight through lead under the stock replacement grip and less lead but a TW 1.3 mm leather grip. I ended up keeping the leather grip on my 18x20. Not sure if it's the way the weight was distributed along the handle as compared to lead strips along the bevels, but I liked how my 18x20 played better with the leather grip. The most significant benefit was off the serve. While in the process of tweaking my sticks, I was trying out the mods alongside a stock racquet. Some of my hitting partners and I were pretty surprised how just the leather grip and a couple grams of lead at the handle actually boosted the serve of the 18x20 significantly for me, which had been the weakest aspect of the racquet for me.

Except for the Strike 100, all of the Strikes are foam-filled in the handle. So unless you're going to dig all of that out, stuff like silicone and blu-tack aren't going to work.


Thank you for the input WhiteStripes. Maybe I will try adding lead along the bevels of the handle then. How did you do it? Did you wrap lead around the handle or did you just add strips of it on each bevel until you achieved your goal? I was scared of the distribution of the lead leading to an uneven handle.
 

WhiteStripes

Semi-Pro
The lead is placed in strips along the four main bevels. I also tried wrapping them around the handle in various spots. Doesn't seem like it would that big of a deal either way because you figure weight is just weight (and a fraction of a gram in this spot or that spot isn't going to make a deal), but I felt there was a noticeable difference as crazy as it sounds. I'm assuming the weight was more evenly distributed along the handle with the long strips, and for some reason, I liked it better. I'm also guessing that's maybe why I also preferred the leather grip over the lead strips. I spent weeks tweaking my Strike over seemingly minor stuff like this (I think some of it was documented in the thread on the Strike playtest that I was part of in December 2013), but in the end it was well worth it to find something that just felt "right" to me.
 

henweezy

Rookie
The lead is placed in strips along the four main bevels. I also tried wrapping them around the handle in various spots. Doesn't seem like it would that big of a deal either way because you figure weight is just weight (and a fraction of a gram in this spot or that spot isn't going to make a deal), but I felt there was a noticeable difference as crazy as it sounds. I'm assuming the weight was more evenly distributed along the handle with the long strips, and for some reason, I liked it better. I'm also guessing that's maybe why I also preferred the leather grip over the lead strips. I spent weeks tweaking my Strike over seemingly minor stuff like this (I think some of it was documented in the thread on the Strike playtest that I was part of in December 2013), but in the end it was well worth it to find something that just felt "right" to me.

Thanks again for the input. I guess I'll figure it out once I actually receive my PST. haha But when I demoed it, it felt great. I think after I get more dialed in the racquet with its weight, I'll shoot for the leather grip.
 

bjk

Hall of Fame
I owned the PC Tour and PC and couldn't tell the difference. I highly doubt ANYBODY could play with these two rackets blindfolded and tell the difference. I sure couldn't, and I performed the experiment on myself (without the blindfolds). Seeing as PS is basically PC, I think the same holds for PS.
 

BlueB

Legend
Just head a short hit with Pure Strike 18x20 yesterday. Liked it a lot in stock spec. It had poly/multi hybrid at about 50 (guess). It served excellent too.
The only thing I didn't like is that but cap is pretty small, almost no flare. However, this is pretty easy to fix.
 

henweezy

Rookie
Sorry to bump an older post, how is everyone doing with their PSTs? I went to a 2015 Blade 98 18x20 for a while and modded it up to be around 11.9 oz and 8 pts headlight. Kind of miss my strike tours since (to me) it does everything better. Will probably go back to my PSTs with 8 grams total at 3 & 9. That would probably make the PST 12.3 oz and about 5 pts headlight.
 

dgoran

Hall of Fame
For what is worth I demoed pure strike tour and hated it...it was probably the string but it felt like a paddle to me...

Pure strike 18x20 was nice but I thought it was too similar to blade so I did not see the need for it BUT on a whim I decided to modify it to thiem specs when one of the stringers from Japan posted his specs.
and...it was awesome...if not touch demanding but really improved pure strike 18x20 stability and overal playability at least for me...
One thing to keep in mind is due to terrible babolat quality control you might get one +\-7grams which is terrible and it will greatly influence your impression of the racquet since you might get it at 312 grams and 340 sw or 298 and 320 sw.

If anyone is interested to try here's what really works for me in this racquet:
Strung with over grip and no dampener
337gr 33cm bal roughly 345 sw
Strung with gut mains poly cross (I use tourna big hitter blue rough)
For cheaper setup I found that poly bhbr mains and babolat synth gut works well too
 
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henweezy

Rookie
For what is worth I demoed pure strike tour and hated it...it was probably the string but it felt like a paddle to me...

Pure strike 18x20 was nice but I thought it was too similar to blade so I did not see the need for it BUT on a whim I decided to modify it to thiem specs when one of the stringers from Japan posted his specs.
and...it was awesome...if not touch demanding but really improved pure strike 18x20 stability and overal playability at least for me...
One thing to keep in mind is due to terrible babolat quality control you might get one +\-7grams which is terrible and it will greatly influence your impression of the racquet since you might get it at 312 grams and 340 sw or 298 and 320 sw.

If anyone is interested to try here's what really works for me in this racquet:
Strung with over grip and no dampener
337gr 33cm bal roughly 345 sw
Strung with gut mains poly cross (I use tourna big hitter blue rough)
For cheaper setup I found that poly bhbr mains and babolat synth gut works well too

How did you customize it to Thiems specs? What lead placement did you use?

Also, I was thinking the same but for convenience I just wanted to get my racquets as stock specs as possible. Maybe some slight matching but nothing beyond that, hence why I would want to get the tour version.
 

dgoran

Hall of Fame
How did you customize it to Thiems specs? What lead placement did you use?

Also, I was thinking the same but for convenience I just wanted to get my racquets as stock specs as possible. Maybe some slight matching but nothing beyond that, hence why I would want to get the tour version.
It's hard to say since your starting stock specs might be different than mine but if I assume stock specs of 305 gr 32cm bal and 300sw you would have to add roughy 5gr at 3 and 9 like so:
E5966E4F-4D99-4CCE-9B8F-A351567D5598_zpsc9umvb9g.jpg


And approx 2-3 grams wrapped around the buttcap under the grip again position of lead under the handle will vary according to your starting balance which is usually very off
 

henweezy

Rookie
It's hard to say since your starting stock specs might be different than mine but if I assume stock specs of 305 gr 32cm bal and 300sw you would have to add roughy 5gr at 3 and 9 like so:
E5966E4F-4D99-4CCE-9B8F-A351567D5598_zpsc9umvb9g.jpg


And approx 2-3 grams wrapped around the buttcap under the grip again position of lead under the handle will vary according to your starting balance which is usually very off

Thank you very much dgoran. I guess my best bet is to get a pure strike tour and a regular 18x20 and customize the 18x20 to see how it plays against the tour. I'd hate having to go through customizations to be consistent throughout 3 racquets since I will be using 3 of them.
 

dgoran

Hall of Fame
Thank you very much dgoran. I guess my best bet is to get a pure strike tour and a regular 18x20 and customize the 18x20 to see how it plays against the tour. I'd hate having to go through customizations to be consistent throughout 3 racquets since I will be using 3 of them.
If I were you I would check out tour and non tour demo and customize those with lead and using strings you like since its reversible talk tennis would not even know you customized them or they would not care than make your decision and buy 3 matched frames from talk tennis I think service to match them is $10 and well worth it
 

dgoran

Hall of Fame
Also I think pure strikes are very string sensitive I even didn't like them with full polyester And I use polyester On most of the sticks
 

smalahove

Hall of Fame
Has anyone tried the Pure Aero Tour? How does the Pure Strike Tour compare to the PAT?

Besides the fact that both feel solid on contact: night and day.

PST: low trajectory, tight, control oriented 18x20 pattern with crisp response, great plow. Very nice for flat serves, and flat attacking tennis.
PAT: high trajectory, wide 16x19 pattern with a super plush feel and that makes it more difficult to control (even the the frame itself is not bad when it comes to feel/control). Surprisingly good at net and on serves. Epic on topspin from the baseline.

I've really enjoyed the PAT for month or two now, but I am most likely not going to use it that much forward on (and perhaps selling it?), as it does require a major shift in my playing style to get the most out of it, which imo, is aggressive top spin oriented baseline play (from a 4.5 perspective). It the pattern had been a little tighter, I think it would have fitted me much, much better.

As it stands now, it seems the Yonex SV98 is my racket of choice, which ime, has many of the impressive characteristics of the PAT, but with a more crisp response and more control (added 3g @12).
 
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