Bonjour from Babolat

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Babolat Official

Hall of Fame
Bonjour,

My name is Daniel. I work for Babolat. I was previously posting on my personal account “beckerdx,” and there was some confusion as to the validity of my identity. At the suggestion of some users (and the graciousness of TW), my name was changed to “Babolat Official.”

We love how active the forums are. You are the “tennis nuts” who help keep our sport alive and growing. I am not here to sell you Babolat product. Some people love Babolat. But a lot of people don’t…and that is perfectly OK. We all love tennis.

Think of me as an informational resource. I don’t have all the answers at my fingertips, but I’ll try to get them from the right teams (product, warranty, etc.). There is also a fair amount of speculation, production information, etc., in the forums, which is a good thing. You are an extremely active and informed community, and I would love to help when possible.

My tennis background:
Playing experience: Division 3 (Kenyon College)
Playing style: aggressive baseliner
Current set-up: 2013 Aeropro Drive, RPM 18 @48 lbs, Leather Grip, VS original grip

Tension was 60-65 until Pro Red Code. Since then, 48-52 depending on conditions.
*Grip 3
**grip 2
***grip 3 (leather)

Racquet history (from 12 years old)
Head Ti Radical / Wilson Sensation 17 *
Babolat Pure Drive (swirly) / Klipper Pearl-Zone 16 *
Babolat Pure Drive Zylon 360 / Klipper Pearl-Zone 16 *
Dunlop 200g Muscle Weave / Klipper Pearl-Zone 16 *
Babolat Pure Drive (Block letters) / Big Banger Alu Power 125 *
Babolat Pure Drive (Block letters) / Tecnifibre Pro Red Code 125 *
Head Liquidmetal Xtreme / Tecnifibre Pro Red Code 125 **
Babolat Aeropro Drive (1st cortex) / Big Banger Alu Power 125 **
Head MicroGel Prestige Pro / Tecnifibre Black Code 118 **
Babolat Pure Storm Tour (2009) / Big Banger Alu Power 125 **
Babolat Aerostorm (2010 - yellow) / RPM 17 & VS 16 Hybrid **
Babolat Aeropro Drive (2010) / RPM 18 ***
Babolat Aeropro Drive (2013) / RPM 18 ***
 
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Federerkblade

Hall of Fame
Wow Great. First question

Babolat racquets are undeniably popular however why do you design racquets which cause arm pain

I liked the pure drive 2012 however it cause dme pain in my elbow arm I could not sleep. Surely in this age you should be able to make the pure drives and aero drives and take away that pain effect ?

Secondly do the pros use less stiff models of the pure drives than retail ones ?
 
I don't really have anything to ask you so I'll just say welcome and it's great that you reach out to the TT community! Have a great stay!
 

rafafan20

Professional
String question: which Bab string offers the best combination of low power/spin potential?

Thanks for your input in the community! Much appreciated.
 

Babolat Official

Hall of Fame
Wow Great. First question

Babolat racquets are undeniably popular however why do you design racquets which cause arm pain

I liked the pure drive 2012 however it cause dme pain in my elbow arm I could not sleep. Surely in this age you should be able to make the pure drives and aero drives and take away that pain effect ?

Secondly do the pros use less stiff models of the pure drives than retail ones ?
I can confidently say we do not design products with the intention of causing arm pain. Sorry to hear about your arm pain. What type of string are you using and what is your playing level & style?

Our product team customizes racquets for many of our players. Other players choose to use independent racquet technicians.
 

nyc

Hall of Fame
Bonjour et bienvenu,

unfortunately I belong to the second camp but that doesn't stop me from appreciating your efforts to connect with the customer base and welcome you to the boards!

I wish all companies would be as active/relevant in Social media as Babolat is.
 

Babolat Official

Hall of Fame
String question: which Bab string offers the best combination of low power/spin potential?

Thanks for your input in the community! Much appreciated.
Low power &spin puts you in the polyester category.

I would recommend trying RPM Blast or Pro Hurricane Tour. However, if you are not breaking strings every 8-12 hours, it may make sense to hybrid.
 

Boricua

Hall of Fame
Recently I developed pain in the tip of my elbow due to vibrations when mishitting with the 2011 Aeropro. I would like to avoid these vibrations and also a boardy feeling. Also, I dont like the overly dampened feeling of multis as full jobs or as cross strings.

Any recommnedation of a string setup for the new 2013 APD considering my situation?
I think that babolat Nvy is a good cross, What string would you recommend as a main string to combine with Nvy or any other string in a full setup?
 
Thank you for doing this Daniel. My question is are you aware of any talk of releasing Pure Drives or Aeropro Drives with a softer flex? I love the way the racquets play but they can irritate my wrist tendinitis and that was with Tonic/RPM hybrid I currently use.

Thanks in advance.
 

blrmkr

New User
Daniel,

Welcome and thanks for stepping up with the the new screen name. When I came back to the game a few years ago I was surprised that a company that I only knew by their VS gut had established a major presence with racquets, balls and other related equipment. After only playing with Prince for many years I decided to demo a few, but wanted a little heavier racquet than the most poplular versions. Came across the Pure Storm Tour GT and absolutely love the racquet. Love the shoes. I would only pass on that the nylon zippers could be improved on the bags.

Best Regards,
Jeff
 

Babolat Official

Hall of Fame
Recently I developed pain in the tip of my elbow due to vibrations when mishitting with the 2011 Aeropro. I would like to avoid these vibrations and also a boardy feeling. Also, I dont like the overly dampened feeling of multis as full jobs or as cross strings.

Any recommnedation of a string setup for the new 2013 APD considering my situation?
I think that babolat Nvy is a good cross, What string would you recommend as a main string to combine with Nvy or any other string in a full setup?
Have you tried putting Natural Gut in the mains?
 

Babolat Official

Hall of Fame
I use the 125 (I like the extra spin), breaks after 12-15 hours.
One of the drawbacks of poly is it loses tensions really quickly. Have you tried a hybrid with a 16 gauge multi or 15L Natural Gut? You might lose some spin and gain power, but it will help with tension loss.

For every advantage, there is a drawback.

We've got something coming out in 2013 that should address the poly/tension issue. Stay tuned for more information...
 

Babolat Official

Hall of Fame
Daniel,

Welcome and thanks for stepping up with the the new screen name. When I came back to the game a few years ago I was surprised that a company that I only knew by their VS gut had established a major presence with racquets, balls and other related equipment. After only playing with Prince for many years I decided to demo a few, but wanted a little heavier racquet than the most poplular versions. Came across the Pure Storm Tour GT and absolutely love the racquet. Love the shoes. I would only pass on that the nylon zippers could be improved on the bags.

Best Regards,
Jeff
Merci Jeff.

We've had similar feedback on the bags and have passed on to the product team.
 

Boricua

Hall of Fame
1) How many playing hours do you get from RPM at 48 pounds in your APD?

2) Are you swithching to the new APD?

3) And, why did Babolat change the swingweight in the new APD (in comparison with the prior model?
 

Boricua

Hall of Fame
Many people say that the Aero Pro in stock form does not have the stability and weight to deal with heavy serves and heavy hitters.

1) How would you answer this?

2) Why did Babolat not give the Aeropro more mass to deal with this situation?
 

Babolat Official

Hall of Fame
Thank you for doing this Daniel. My question is are you aware of any talk of releasing Pure Drives or Aeropro Drives with a softer flex? I love the way the racquets play but they can irritate my wrist tendinitis and that was with Tonic/RPM hybrid I currently use.

Thanks in advance.
Sorry to hear about that. The stiffer flex contributes to the Pure Drive and Aeropro Drive power. Think about hitting a ball against two walls, one of concrete and one made of sponge. The ball hitting off the concrete (PD or APD) comes back with much more power. While the ball hit against the sponge wall (Pure Storm) comes back with less power but more control.

In short, the flex will not be changing in the immediate future.

Glad you like our string though!
 

Babolat Official

Hall of Fame
Hi! How do the Babolat Aeropro drive gt 2013 compare to the Pure drive 2012?
Both were updated with the New Cortex Dampening system. You really have to decide for yourself by demoing. I personally did not like the updated PD as much as the 2009, but I really like the updated Aeropro Drive more than the 2010. I found it plays with more feel and I had a little more control on every shot except my slice backhand (probably lack of user ability as opposed to product deficiency).
 

TimothyO

Hall of Fame
Pure Storm will not be getting an update in 2013. The Aerostorm is being discontinued.
Welcome Daniel!

Does the Pure Storm's "no update in 2013" apply to its construction or cosmetics?

In other words, will the current 2011 Pure Storm cosmetics remain the same in 2013?

I actually prefer the 2009 cosmetics and just purchased three 2009 PSGTs from TW.

OTOH, it would be fun to see something new in 2013 (just didn't like the 2011 cosmetics...only a subtle difference with 2009 but I prefer the black stripes).
 

Babolat Official

Hall of Fame
Many people say that the Aero Pro in stock form does not have the stability and weight to deal with heavy serves and heavy hitters.

1) How would you answer this?

2) Why did Babolat not give the Aeropro more mass to deal with this situation?
1. It is really hard to make blanket statements. There are top college players who play with the Aeropro Drive stock and don't seem to have an issue. However, there are a lot of players who customize with lead tape as well. We have a lot of requests for a "heavier" version, which we send to our product team.

2. One of the best things about this racquet is that a wide variety of players can play with it. It also is a great racquet to experiment with and lead tape up. There are many in this forum who can advise you on customizing.
 

Babolat Official

Hall of Fame
Welcome Daniel!

Does the Pure Storm's "no update in 2013" apply to its construction or cosmetics?

In other words, will the current 2011 Pure Storm cosmetics remain the same in 2013?

I actually prefer the 2009 cosmetics and just purchased three 2009 PSGTs from TW.

OTOH, it would be fun to see something new in 2013 (just didn't like the 2011 cosmetics...only a subtle difference with 2009 but I prefer the black stripes).
2013 Pure Storm will be the same cosmetically and technologically.

Sorry, you didn't like the 2011 cosmetic. Hopefully you got a great deal on the 2009s! It is the same racquet technologically.
 

db379

Hall of Fame
Pure Storm will not be getting an update in 2013. The Aerostorm is being discontinued.
Salut Daniel,

I must have read it wrong.... aerostorm is being discontinued !??? That's my favorite Bab. and it seems to be a really unique stick. The aero pro is just too stiff for me, the aerostorm has this special feel it is the right amount of control, spin and power. I really liked the red one, the last version was great too but slightly too stiff for my taste. It's a very popular stick as well. Why get rid of it?
 

Mongolmike

Hall of Fame
Hi Daniel,

Thank you for stepping out of the shadows. No questions, just throwing some support your way. I used a Babolat stick in the past (switched because it was too powerful and I couldn't harness the power), and my wife still uses a Babolat stick and Xcel strings and is very happy.

One of my favorite strings was the Hurricane Pro Tour. A bit harsh, but that string had everything else I liked. I switched racquets and it didn't quite work as well with a new stick, so I switched strings too, but again, good racquets, great strings, very good accesories (grips, dampeners, etc.)

So welcome, and I don't think you will catch too much flak, but if you do, take it with a grain of salt!
 

smirker

Hall of Fame
Sorry to hear about that. The stiffer flex contributes to the Pure Drive and Aeropro Drive power. Think about hitting a ball against two walls, one of concrete and one made of sponge. The ball hitting off the concrete (PD or APD) comes back with much more power. While the ball hit against the sponge wall (Pure Storm) comes back with less power but more control.

In short, the flex will not be changing in the immediate future.

Glad you like our string though!
Well unfortunately I won't be buying another one then. I had a PD 2012 for 6 months during which my tennis elbow returned to haunt me. Since selling it my elbow is back to healthy again.

Tant pis as I really liked in all other respects.

babolat need to address this issue as it does alienate a significant number of people. An aquaintance of mine actually had to give up a career in tennis due to acute tendonitis developed whilst playing with the APD. They are rackets for young men with young joints/tendons.
 

Boricua

Hall of Fame
1) How many playing hours do you get from RPM at 48 pounds in your APD?

2) Are you swithching to the new 2012 APD?

3) Why did Babolat change the swingweight in the new 2012 APD? (in comparison with the prior model)

4) You use your APD in stock form?
 

Boricua

Hall of Fame
Well unfortunately I won't be buying another one then. I had a PD 2012 for 6 months during which my tennis elbow returned to haunt me. Since selling it my elbow is back to healthy again.

Tant pis as I really liked in all other respects.

babolat need to address this issue as it does alienate a significant number of people. An aquaintance of mine actually had to give up a career in tennis due to acute tendonitis developed whilst playing with the APD. They are rackets for young men with young joints/tendons.
A possibililty is to have a racket with the aero design but less stiff, so that is why the aero storm will have to be replaced in case its discontinued. In the case of the Pure Drive maybe some people could like a Pure Drive with more flex.

In my case I play with Babolat and Yonex (VCORE Tour 97 right now) to balance things out.:) But, Im getting the 2012 APD.:)
 

smirker

Hall of Fame
A possibililty is to have a racket with the aero design but less stiff, so that is why the aero storm will have to be replaced in case its discontinued. In the case of the Pure Drive maybe some people could like a Pure Drive with more flex.

In my case I play with Babolat and Yonex (VCORE Tour 97 right now) to balance things out.:) But, Im getting the 2012 APD.:)
I got a Pro Kennex Ki5 and my elbow cleared up.
 

anubis

Hall of Fame
Thank you for posting here, Daniel. It's always nice to see official representatives from major tennis organizations posting on this forum.

I just have to say thank you for creating quality products. I used to use the Pure Drive line, but stopped using it due to arm issues. I now use much softer, more arm friendly racquets.

But I love your strings. I think the Nv.Y is the absolute best syn gut on the market. It's a great string, and if I wasn't using poly, I'd be using the Nv. Y.

thanks again!
 

Babolat Official

Hall of Fame
1) How many playing hours do you get from RPM at 48 pounds in your APD?

2) Are you swithching to the new APD?

3) And, why did Babolat change the swingweight in the new APD (in comparison with the prior model?
1. I play with 18 gauge...so it breaks in about 2-4 hours. 17 gauge lasts 8-14.
2. Yes. I played with a couple versions of the PD, but liked the 2010 APD better better than the 2012 PD. However, I really liked the APD update for 2013. More control and feel for me on everything but slice backhands (still working on that).
3. I do not know if this was a conscious choice or a byproduct of the new cortex. Shoot me an email dbecker@babolat.com and I will try to get a response from the product team.
 

Babolat Official

Hall of Fame
Salut Daniel,

I must have read it wrong.... aerostorm is being discontinued !??? That's my favorite Bab. and it seems to be a really unique stick. The aero pro is just too stiff for me, the aerostorm has this special feel it is the right amount of control, spin and power. I really liked the red one, the last version was great too but slightly too stiff for my taste. It's a very popular stick as well. Why get rid of it?
Yeah. The Aerostorm is gaining popularity with the frequent players and some up and coming pros, but it was a company wide decision. We've got something coming in the future...
 

Babolat Official

Hall of Fame
Hi Daniel,

Thank you for stepping out of the shadows. No questions, just throwing some support your way. I used a Babolat stick in the past (switched because it was too powerful and I couldn't harness the power), and my wife still uses a Babolat stick and Xcel strings and is very happy.

One of my favorite strings was the Hurricane Pro Tour. A bit harsh, but that string had everything else I liked. I switched racquets and it didn't quite work as well with a new stick, so I switched strings too, but again, good racquets, great strings, very good accesories (grips, dampeners, etc.)

So welcome, and I don't think you will catch too much flak, but if you do, take it with a grain of salt!

Hopefully not too much. I have received some interesting emails...Still figuring out how to respond to "why do your racquets suck?"

Thanks for the kind words.
 

Babolat Official

Hall of Fame
1) How many playing hours do you get from RPM at 48 pounds in your APD?

2) Are you swithching to the new 2012 APD?

3) Why did Babolat change the swingweight in the new 2012 APD? (in comparison with the prior model)

4) You use your APD in stock form?
4. Sorry didn't see your last question. The only modification I make is using a leather grip with VS Origional over grip.
 

Babolat Official

Hall of Fame
Bonjour!
Can I cut 1/2" off of the end of a Pure Storm"+" model to make it into a regular length racquet?
Merci!
This would make it the same length as a standard...however, I have no experience in sawing off racquet handles and am not sure if it would change hwo the racquet plays. This would also void the one year warranty.

But strictly in theory, they would both be 27''.
 
T

The_Expert

Guest
welcome to the boards daniel. great to have you here. i have a question, why do babolat racquest cost so much each time you change the cosmetics?
 

TripleB

Hall of Fame
I appreciate you being a part of the Boards here and taking time to respond to our questions.

Due to recent microfracture surgery I've been told I shouldn't play singles again so I'm searching for a doubles racquet that is easy on the arm.

I'm considering the Pure Storm Team GT.

I know it won't have Pure Drive Cortex power (a racquet I've used in the past) but I'm hoping to gain some more touch and less arm pain.

On paper the Team version looks similar to the non-Team version...but a little lighter, more maneuverable, and more flexy. Yet it seems like the Team offers more power.

Is this the case and do you feel like the Pure Storm Team is my best doubles racquet option from Babolat?

Thank you for your help.

TripleB
 

Babolat Official

Hall of Fame
welcome to the boards daniel. great to have you here. i have a question, why do babolat racquest cost so much each time you change the cosmetics?
At 3 years, we have the longest product cycle of any of the big retailers. The 2009 and 2011 Pure Storm aside, we update the technology on our racquets in addition to the cosmetic. For example, the 2012 Pure Drive and 2013 Aeropro Drive have a new cortex system. I strongly suggest you demo the old and new versions with the same string/tension/grip. It feels different. There are many boards debating if it feels better or worst, but we leave that up to you.
 
Welcome to the forum!

on the supposed 'lack of weight and instability" of the AP, I was watching a young guy playing against Sam Groth at the AO wildcard playoff yesterday using a stock frame (not a Bab, but still) that is lighter than an AP and he seemed to be doing just fine.. Maybe Sam just doesn't serve as big as those heavy hitters of the USTA 4.0 league in NorCal?

it's in your heads, people!
 
T

The_Expert

Guest
At 3 years, we have the longest product cycle of any of the big retailers. The 2009 and 2011 Pure Storm aside, we update the technology on our racquets in addition to the cosmetic. For example, the 2012 Pure Drive and 2013 Aeropro Drive have a new cortex system. I strongly suggest you demo the old and new versions with the same string/tension/grip. It feels different. There are many boards debating if it feels better or worst, but we leave that up to you.
Yeah cool, thanks, I will do that. But just wondering why racquets are so expensive today with 30 year old manufacturing - and quite frankly not much innovation (including pixie dust cortex.. no offense). One mold and many years doing the same process in Taiwan should have lowered prices. After all FOB should be below 50 for you now..huh?
 

Boricua

Hall of Fame
1. I play with 18 gauge...so it breaks in about 2-4 hours. 17 gauge lasts 8-14.
2. Yes. I played with a couple versions of the PD, but liked the 2010 APD better better than the 2012 PD. However, I really liked the APD update for 2013. More control and feel for me on everything but slice backhands (still working on that).
3. I do not know if this was a conscious choice or a byproduct of the new cortex. Shoot me an email dbecker@babolat.com and I will try to get a response from the product team.
18 gauge is much softer than rhe 16 gauge? Seems a good way to soften the Aeropro
 

Babolat Official

Hall of Fame
I appreciate you being a part of the Boards here and taking time to respond to our questions.

Due to recent microfracture surgery I've been told I shouldn't play singles again so I'm searching for a doubles racquet that is easy on the arm.

I'm considering the Pure Storm Team GT.

I know it won't have Pure Drive Cortex power (a racquet I've used in the past) but I'm hoping to gain some more touch and less arm pain.

On paper the Team version looks similar to the non-Team version...but a little lighter, more maneuverable, and more flexy. Yet it seems like the Team offers more power.

Is this the case and do you feel like the Pure Storm Team is my best doubles racquet option from Babolat?

Thank you for your help.

TripleB

Hope the recovery goes well. I'll try to break this down. Please follow up with more questions if needed.

Pure Storm Team vs. Pure Storm
The team has a larger head size (100 vs. 98) and is 10 grams lighter. Same balance point. I would a long term demo of the Team with a very soft string such as Natural Gut. If you feel you need to add more mass, you can incrementally add lead tape for a customized feel. I've played with the Pure Storm team and it is a great stick but could benefit from some more weight mass on serve returns against top players.

The caveat to this is that it is really tough to diagnose a solution over the message board. I'm by no means a doctor and I'm not sure if your injury was caused by tennis, but I think the above is a decent place to start. As always, consult a medical professional if you have any concerns. Also, there is a pretty strong community on these boards, so you might be able to find some other people with similar experiences.

Hope the recovery goes well! Welcome back to the courts.
 

Babolat Official

Hall of Fame
Yeah cool, thanks, I will do that. But just wondering why racquets are so expensive today with 30 year old manufacturing - and quite frankly not much innovation (including pixie dust cortex.. no offense). One mold and many years doing the same process in Taiwan should have lowered prices. After all FOB should be below 50 for you now..huh?
I'll pass your comments on to the product team.
 
T

The_Expert

Guest
I'll pass your comments on to the product team.
So sorry, I did not mean to offend you - it is awesome you are here. Just asking why racquets cost so much at retail when nothing has changed in manufacturing in 20-30 years. Can't you explain for all of us?
 
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