Babolat Quality Control 2015

hyperion99

Semi-Pro
Hello Talk Tennis,

How are the current Babolat rackets being sold (the Aero Pro Drive Plus + to be specific) in terms of quality control (i.e. weight)?
I'm aware there have been other posts about this subject but I haven't found anything recently and I would like to know if Babolat has improved with quality control.

Leave your opinion on how the QC has been in your experince.

Thank you as always guys.
 

floydcouncil

Professional
I matched 2 2014 Pure Drive frames for a college player:

Broke both frames down to bare as bare can get.
>grips removed
>bumperguard/grommets removed

2 frames' SW were 10 points apart!!!! However, their static weights were within 5 grams. WOW...

Thankly, I had enough room to increase the unstrung SW (310) so it wasn't that difficult.
 

Lphansen

Rookie
Yes
I know that Babolat earlier had factory tolerances like this:
Weight +\- 7 g
Balance +\- 7 mm

If you get 2 rackets with "opposite" specs they would obviously play very different...

However my experience was that Babolat was better that those figures!

Lphansen
 

drumnman2

Rookie
Get the matching service for $10 if your worried. Just got 2 pure control 95+ that had exact swing weight and balance as spec'd. I will say however that the weight was different by whopping .01 oz.
 

Babolat Official

Hall of Fame
Hello Talk Tennis,

How are the current Babolat rackets being sold (the Aero Pro Drive Plus + to be specific) in terms of quality control (i.e. weight)?
I'm aware there have been other posts about this subject but I haven't found anything recently and I would like to know if Babolat has improved with quality control.

Leave your opinion on how the QC has been in your experince.

Thank you as always guys.
+/- 7 grams is our manufacturing toleration.

If you have an issue: call us. We are here to help: +18773169435
 

racket king

Banned
Babolat manufacturing variations for their retail models are enormous. Easily one of the poorest manufacturers out there, along with Prince.

As one of the posters above has already mentioned, their allowable tolerances are +/- 7g and +/-7mm for weight and balance respectively. That is enormous.

Imagine having 2 racquets of the same model with a 14g weight difference, one that's 1 point HL and the other than is 6 points HL. They're not even remotely going to feel the same. To Babolat, that's acceptable. And that's even before we get into swingweight where there are also going to be big differences, and also flex which can also vary by several points.

If you want much tighter manufacturing variances, the two best manufacturers are Yonex and Pacific. No coincidence that they're both based in countries that are known for the quality of their manufacturing.
 

Doubles

Legend
One kid on my college club team uses the newest version of the Driv Lite. The stick, completely unmodded came in at 10.4 ounces strung. It's supposed to be 9.6 according to TW. Go figure.
 
My recent experience for the OP:

All four of My babolat pure strikes were within three grams of one another.
My old storm tours were within four grams.
I know this because when i went to add lead, there is not much to do.

Small sample size, of course, but overall, i have been happy.

Same people make these in taiwan...same with head, dunlop, and the other manufacturers, right?

?..If you want much tighter manufacturing variances, the two best manufacturers are Yonex and Pacific. No coincidence that they're both based in countries that are known for the quality of their manufacturing.
I love these two brands. Yes, japan and germany. Who won ww2 again?

Wilson's tolerances are the same for static weight are worse.
The worst along with Prince. Although these new rf97 frames are solid.

I suppose a factory is like a restaurant. Variables abound, but quality and consistency are up to the chef and the managers.
 
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racket king

Banned
All four of My babolat pure strikes were within three grams of one another.
My old storm tours were within four grams.
That means absolutely nothing in isolation. Why you should think that's determinative is just bizarre. I can blob bits of lead tape onto several racquets and make then weigh exactly the same, to the nearest 0.1g. Doesn't mean that they're going to play alike, given you don't seem to have any regard to balance, flex, SW, TW etc.
 
That means absolutely nothing in isolation. Why you should think that's determinative is just bizarre. I can blob bits of lead tape onto several racquets and make then weigh exactly the same, to the nearest 0.1g. Doesn't mean that they're going to play alike, given you don't seem to have any regard to balance, flex, SW, TW etc.
Wow, you must be an amazing human being!
I was giving the op a window into my experience. Babolat did not blob any bits of lead. Neither did i. I just matched them while adding enough in the handles and at 9 and 3 to achieve the specs i like.

If you must know more, the balance of all four were within a point (1/8 of an inch on my balance board). I did not measure swingweight. Flex feels the same, but I did not measure it on an Rdc. I am happy with my sticks and they feel great to me. Again, just sharing with the OP since he or she asked.
 

RetroSpin

Hall of Fame
Here we go again. Bunch of 3.5's who can detect a grams difference.

I'm really concerned about the QC on sweat bands, since they are relatively heavy and really could affect my kinetic chain.
 

Babolat Official

Hall of Fame
One kid on my college club team uses the newest version of the Driv Lite. The stick, completely unmodded came in at 10.4 ounces strung. It's supposed to be 9.6 according to TW. Go figure.

is this the racket he has that is 10.4 strung?
http://www.tennis-warehouse.com/Babolat_Drive_Lite/descpageRCBAB-BDLBW.html

or this
http://www.tennis-warehouse.com/Babolat_Drive_Lite/descpageRCBAB-BDLBP.html

if it is, please have him call us ASAP = +18773169435 or send me an email with a pic of the racket dbecker@babolat.com
 

racket king

Banned
Here we go again. Bunch of 3.5's who can detect a grams difference.

I'm really concerned about the QC on sweat bands, since they are relatively heavy and really could affect my kinetic chain.
You need to troll somewhere else because if you can't tell the difference between 10 points in SW or 4 points in flex, it's time you gave up the game.

It's exactly the 3.5 type hackers who can't tell the difference. How can they? None of their strokes are repeatable, and they spend half the time dumping the ball into the bottom of the net.
 

LapsedNoob

Professional
You need to troll somewhere else because if you can't tell the difference between 10 points in SW or 4 points in flex, it's time you gave up the game.

It's exactly the 3.5 type hackers who can't tell the difference. How can they? None of their strokes are repeatable, and they spend half the time dumping the ball into the bottom of the net.
Now, now, captain generalization, careful about lumping folks together. There can be other reasons someone is 3.5.

I'm 3.5 with good, grooved strokes and a broken-down body. If I had new knees I'd be bumped higher based on the number of wins I'd gain, no doubt about it.

And what about guys who just don't care as much about their gear as folks on TT? There are 4.0s and 4.5s at least out there that picked one racquet based on feel 10 years ago and still play it. They'd have a tough time telling you which specs were different if you changed their racquet but they'd use their athletic ability to still win.
 

smboogie

Semi-Pro
Wow, what a conversation..and the trolling is funny too.

When it comes to racket weight there has to be a solid difference to even begin to detect it. For stiffness, SW etc..not sure there is a way for your arm to do it.
Let's face it for most of us our rackets are 'close enough'. That being said I bought 2 APDs, asked for matching from a pro shop and they feel the same to me when I switch them out so go figure.
 

RanchDressing

Hall of Fame
Babolat manufacturing variations for their retail models are enormous. Easily one of the poorest manufacturers out there, along with Prince.

As one of the posters above has already mentioned, their allowable tolerances are +/- 7g and +/-7mm for weight and balance respectively. That is enormous.

Imagine having 2 racquets of the same model with a 14g weight difference, one that's 1 point HL and the other than is 6 points HL. They're not even remotely going to feel the same. To Babolat, that's acceptable. And that's even before we get into swingweight where there are also going to be big differences, and also flex which can also vary by several points.

If you want much tighter manufacturing variances, the two best manufacturers are Yonex and Pacific. No coincidence that they're both based in countries that are known for the quality of their manufacturing.
Totally false.

All manufacturers are in the same ball park. For example, those Tour G's from your coveted yonex have some crazy factory SW freak numbers rolling through.

Head does too, wilson does, prince does, ALL of them do. 3 grams isn't a lot of material, but it can make a pretty noticeable difference.

The only reason people hear more "bad things" about babolat frames; they sell more. 1% of 200,000 is more than 1% of 20,000.
 

RetroSpin

Hall of Fame
You need to troll somewhere else because if you can't tell the difference between 10 points in SW or 4 points in flex, it's time you gave up the game.

It's exactly the 3.5 type hackers who can't tell the difference. How can they? None of their strokes are repeatable, and they spend half the time dumping the ball into the bottom of the net.
I'm the troll when you start a ridiculous thread claiming that bab QC is lousy, even though everyone here knows it is darn good. Any other companies have their rep here on line every day to answer questions and take care of problems?

I suppose it's possible you got a couple of out of spec racquets but it seems unlikely to me. I'm sure Daniel will handle it for you if you did.
 

Sparky

Semi-Pro
You need to troll somewhere else because if you can't tell the difference between 10 points in SW or 4 points in flex, it's time you gave up the game.

It's exactly the 3.5 type hackers who can't tell the difference. How can they? None of their strokes are repeatable, and they spend half the time dumping the ball into the bottom of the net.
Actually, you and BP are the trollers. RetroSpin is cool and was just adding a bit of humor to the thread. (added to my ignore list).

Note: don't be so quick to lash out. You've been a member for less than 2 weeks.
 
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Sparky

Semi-Pro
I'm the troll when you start a ridiculous thread claiming that bab QC is lousy, even though everyone here knows it is darn good. Any other companies have their rep here on line every day to answer questions and take care of problems?

I suppose it's possible you got a couple of out of spec racquets but it seems unlikely to me. I'm sure Daniel will handle it for you if you did.
LOL. Well stated Retrospin. ..and very well stated based on everyone's experience on the forum.
 

Gtech

Rookie
I have bought 8 Babolat rackets over the past 5 yrs. 2 PD, 2 Pure Storms, 2 APD and now 2 Pure Strikes. All have been within the +/- 7 grams and mm tolerances. Which means, some will be light, some will be heavy. I would never buy a racket unless I could ask for it to be weighted or I could weight them myself and pick my preference within the tolerance range. I think must large mfgs follow pretty much the +/- 7 range.
 

LaZeR

Professional
+/- 7 grams is our manufacturing toleration.
Holy Moly ~ Babolat is proud to freely & openly admit that they actually consider a 7 gram variance "tolerable"?? 7 grams is almost a 1/4 ounce!! From other posters this seemed like a JOKE!!

Babolat spends millions $$$ on advertising, marketing, endorsements, and sponsorships. Why not put some focus on improvement, Quality Control, show some appreciation for customers who afford Babolat the ability to pay said millions, and STRIVE to narrow down a so called acceptable margin of error of "7 grams"? Yeesh... hope Babolat is aware of tennis racquet specifications like Balance, Swing Weight, Head Light/Heavy, etc, etc, etc, which is certainly impacted by such exceptions.

Where else does Babolat let things slide in terms of quality? I'll tell you where >>> I just spent around $250 on a brand new Pure Aero +, the bumper and grommet casings were cracked in places, and it was ONLY at this point that I started researching and Googling "Babolat Quality Control". I sent photos to the Babolat Authorized Dealer who suggested I ship back the racquet but I requested he send me a new grommet and bumper kit instead. A few years ago, on a previous Aero Pro Drive the racquet handle was loose, etc, and I switched to Wilson for a few years. This news ticks me off. Helloooo... what's wrong with "QUALITY CONTROL"?!?

If folks commit and dedicate to Babolat products quite sure they'd prefer that things are built well, and manufactured according to documented specs ~ thank ya very much! At tennis stores, or while ordering a racquet from TW, how many people request "hey can you double check that all the specifications are accurate?". TW: "Ah this sucks this ones off by 5 grams". TW: "Ah this sucks this ones off by 6 grams". TW: "Ah OK, here we go, send this one, it's off by ONLY 3 grams". Yaaaayyyyyy!!

If you have an issue: call us. We are here to help: +18773169435
With all due respect ~ in my experience anyway ~ Babolat never responds to communication, never responds to emails, nor returns calls ~ that is if anyone ever picks up.
 
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Babolat Official

Hall of Fame
Holy Moly ~ Babolat is proud to freely & openly admit that they actually consider a 7 gram variance "tolerable"?? 7 grams is almost a 1/4 ounce!! From other posters this seemed like a JOKE!!

Babolat spends millions $$$ on advertising, marketing, endorsements, and sponsorships. Why not put some focus on improvement, Quality Control, show some appreciation for customers who afford Babolat the ability to pay said millions, and STRIVE to narrow down a so called acceptable margin of error of "7 grams"? Yeesh... hope Babolat is aware of tennis racquet specifications like Balance, Swing Weight, Head Light/Heavy, etc, etc, etc, which is certainly impacted by such exceptions.

Where else does Babolat let things slide in terms of quality? I'll tell you where >>> I just spent around $250 on a brand new Pure Aero +, the bumper and grommet casings were cracked in places, and it was ONLY at this point that I started researching and Googling "Babolat Quality Control". I sent photos to the Babolat Authorized Dealer who suggested I ship back the racquet but I requested he send me a new grommet and bumper kit instead. A few years ago, on a previous Aero Pro Drive the racquet handle was loose, etc, and I switched to Wilson for a few years. This news ticks me off. Helloooo... what's wrong with "QUALITY CONTROL"?!?

If folks commit and dedicate to Babolat products quite sure they'd prefer that things are built well, and manufactured according to documented specs ~ thank ya very much! At tennis stores, or while ordering a racquet from TW, how many people request "hey can you double check that all the specifications are accurate?". TW: "Ah this sucks this ones off by 5 grams". TW: "Ah this sucks this ones off by 6 grams". TW: "Ah OK, here we go, send this one, it's off by ONLY 3 grams". Yaaaayyyyyy!!

With all due respect ~ in my experience anyway ~ Babolat never responds to communication, never responds to emails, nor returns calls ~ that is if anyone ever picks up.

I'm sorry to hear you've had some bad experiences in the past when contacting us. I will DM you the contact info of our Aftersales manager who oversees Warranty, Machines and Connected products, and would be the best person to reach out to if you're ever experiencing any issues with our products. I will also send you my info, and even though I am in sales, I am always happy to facilitate things if I can.

I'd also like to take a moment to address your concerns with our quality control, and the tolerances in the production of our racquets. First, I can assure you we place a premium on the quality of our products. Babolat is a family owned company, which means Eric Babolat's name is on every product we sell, so you can rest assured we have strict quality controls in place. If an item makes it to the marketplace that doesn't meet our standard of quality, we will cover it under warranty.

As far as the tolerances of our racquets, they are well within industry standards. I've been stringing and customizing Babolat frames since 2000, and it's been my experience that only a small percentage of our racquets vary by as much as 7 grams of their published target weight. Additionally, I consulted some of my colleagues in the industry, who confirmed that our tolerances are reasonable, and that our frames tend not to vary as much as some brands. These are people whose business is customizing and tuning racquets for the best players in the world, and who have developed and manufactured racquets themselves in the past.

In a perfect world, you're right, all the racquets would come out the same, but there a myriad of variables that can affect the final specs of a racquet. I think your conclusion that the variance in our racquets somehow implies a product that is manufactured without strict quality controls, or is not well built, is misguided. If you require tighter tolerances in the production of your frames, there are outfits that will build custom frames to your exact specs, but they will by necessity be significantly more expensive than a racquet from one of the major brands. For example, Bosworth offers a frame that they will build to spec, and they sell for $399 apiece.

If you haven’t already, I suggest you find a racquet technician who is competent at customizing frames, has access to a Babolat RDC or similar machine that can measure static weight, balance and swingweight, and have them match your frames. That’s what even the best players in the world have to do, and why outfits such as Priority One exist; it’s not just because of their stringing. If the frames could come out exactly to someone’s specs, every time, there wouldn’t be much to be done, aside from possibly some grip work. However, even the racquets for the those players have variances frame to frame, because it’s just the nature of manufacturing.

-Josh
 

Racketdesign

Semi-Pro
I'm sorry to hear you've had some bad experiences in the past when contacting us. I will DM you the contact info of our Aftersales manager who oversees Warranty, Machines and Connected products, and would be the best person to reach out to if you're ever experiencing any issues with our products. I will also send you my info, and even though I am in sales, I am always happy to facilitate things if I can.

I'd also like to take a moment to address your concerns with our quality control, and the tolerances in the production of our racquets. First, I can assure you we place a premium on the quality of our products. Babolat is a family owned company, which means Eric Babolat's name is on every product we sell, so you can rest assured we have strict quality controls in place. If an item makes it to the marketplace that doesn't meet our standard of quality, we will cover it under warranty.

As far as the tolerances of our racquets, they are well within industry standards. I've been stringing and customizing Babolat frames since 2000, and it's been my experience that only a small percentage of our racquets vary by as much as 7 grams of their published target weight. Additionally, I consulted some of my colleagues in the industry, who confirmed that our tolerances are reasonable, and that our frames tend not to vary as much as some brands. These are people whose business is customizing and tuning racquets for the best players in the world, and who have developed and manufactured racquets themselves in the past.

In a perfect world, you're right, all the racquets would come out the same, but there a myriad of variables that can affect the final specs of a racquet. I think your conclusion that the variance in our racquets somehow implies a product that is manufactured without strict quality controls, or is not well built, is misguided. If you require tighter tolerances in the production of your frames, there are outfits that will build custom frames to your exact specs, but they will by necessity be significantly more expensive than a racquet from one of the major brands. For example, Bosworth offers a frame that they will build to spec, and they sell for $399 apiece.

If you haven’t already, I suggest you find a racquet technician who is competent at customizing frames, has access to a Babolat RDC or similar machine that can measure static weight, balance and swingweight, and have them match your frames. That’s what even the best players in the world have to do, and why outfits such as Priority One exist; it’s not just because of their stringing. If the frames could come out exactly to someone’s specs, every time, there wouldn’t be much to be done, aside from possibly some grip work. However, even the racquets for the those players have variances frame to frame, because it’s just the nature of manufacturing.

-Josh
Hi Josh.

You mentioned the RDC machine in your post. Is it correct that this machine is no longer produced or supported by Babolat?
 

Babolat Official

Hall of Fame
Hi Josh.

You mentioned the RDC machine in your post. Is it correct that this machine is no longer produced or supported by Babolat?
Hi,

Unfortunately yes, the RDC is no longer being manufactured. We will still support it to the extent we can, but I am not aware exactly what we can or can't do at this point. I can DM you the contact info of the gentleman in our office who could, if you like. I've heard some whispers of us redesigning and reintroducing it, but I've not heard any concrete information as far as features, cost, timeline, or even if we are going to or not. I am very anxious to know myself, and I will see if I can find out anything when I'm at Roland Garros next month.

-Josh
 

LaZeR

Professional
@ Josh ~ appreciate your response and addressing this however just to clarify I was speaking more in general terms. Babolat, Head, Prince, Wilson, Yonex, are in the SPORTS industry including TENNIS. >>> Sport & Tennis is often about competition, winning, and beating "Industry Standards". >>> Shouldn't these top brands strive for the same?

Do most top pros, who practiced for hours every day since they're kids, touring all over the world, occasionally experiencing injuries, settle for mediocracy and "industry standards"? No ~ they strive for #1. Furthermore, do they settle for retail racquets? No ~ they get special customized equipment. Despite this, in the 2011 Australian Open, Radwanska's racquet broke apart on impact. Not certain but THINK this MIGHT have been a Babolat ~ an issue I thought they focused on correcting ~ more on this later.

Us regular Joe Blow Consumers who commit, dedicate, and support these big racquet makers, thereby allowing & enabling them to afford millions $$$ in endorsements to top pros, are forced to settle for mediocracy with variances of up to 1/4 ounce!! Perhaps Warning Labels should be put on racquets!! What kind of impression is Babolat, Head, Prince, Wilson, Yonex, etc, putting on tennis, recreational players, and sports at large, by NOT competing or striving to improve quality? Bosworth and Angel don't necessarily have the huge advertising, marketing, and endorsement budgets as the big players.

In the last several years, albeit this applies to only two brand new Babolat racquets, both my purchases were defective. I think it was 2014 when I bought an AeroPro Drive, several years after Radwanska's racquet flying apart so I thought this issue would have already been corrected, but on mine the handle was loose. I then played Wilson for a few years. In 2018, only after my most recent purchase of a new Pure Aero with a sketchy bumper did I feel compelled ~ for the first time ever ~ to start researching "Quality Control". Should we get a subscription to Consumer Reports? We trust that build & quality is implicit & inherent in racquets, and these companies, like athletes, should always strive to improve.

If big name tennis brands are analogous to Honda, Nissan, & Toyota, perhaps they should offer "premium" lines like Acura, Infiniti, & Lexus. Imagine this for a Marketing Campaign! Then again, a couple 100 lbs variance in weight of cars, or Gas Mileage, don't have anatomical impact, whereas variances in sports equipment which shield your body from impact (tennis racquets, baseball bats hockey sticks), certainly could have an effect on health, and most importantly > your game. Counterfeit racquets and Knock Offs IMO are extremely scary. We want to feel confident that we know exactly what we're getting.

Recreational players don't want to have to get out a scale, measure specifications, get defective items, go back to the store, haggle with clerks, ship back items, wait for a return, and deal with warranty issues especially more than a year after facts emerge. This is why I requested the Authorized Dealer send me a new hoop & grommet set as opposed to complete racquet replacement, however I NOW know better to be more careful about future purchases. A brand new $200+ racquet several times per year isn't an option for most of us, and IMO one big-name-brand racquet should last at least several years. It seems lke every middle man gets his cut, but the end consumers who pay the most miss out on expected quality.
 
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Racketdesign

Semi-Pro
Hi,

Unfortunately yes, the RDC is no longer being manufactured. We will still support it to the extent we can, but I am not aware exactly what we can or can't do at this point. I can DM you the contact info of the gentleman in our office who could, if you like. I've heard some whispers of us redesigning and reintroducing it, but I've not heard any concrete information as far as features, cost, timeline, or even if we are going to or not. I am very anxious to know myself, and I will see if I can find out anything when I'm at Roland Garros next month.

-Josh
Thanks for confirming. It will be good to know if a replacement is on the cards in the future.
 

Sardines

Hall of Fame
Industry standard tolerance is +_ 10 grams so Babolat is actually better than industry standards.
Which brands have those tolerances?!? AFAIK, Babolat, Wilson, Yonex and Tecnifibre have a +/- 5-7g and +/- 5-7mm tolerance.
 
Which brands have those tolerances?!? AFAIK, Babolat, Wilson, Yonex and Tecnifibre have a +/- 5-7g and +/- 5-7mm tolerance.
Just from my experience (mrt, former coach, frequent rkt purchaser.)...
Wilson pro staffs and Head Prestiges vary by up to ten or even fifteen grams. That's almost five %!
Völkl, tecnifibre, donnay, and Dunlop have been closer than the rest.
Babolat, Angell, Yonex, Fischer/Pacific have the tightest specs. But I have only had a few pairs of Fischers, Angells, and now a quartet of Yonexes. All within two grams. My Babolat frames have always been within two or three grams. Not bad at all!
 
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