Is it silly for a strong 4.5 who is improving to switch from a control frame to a Pure Aero Tour?

Andykay

New User
A little on me. I'm estimating myself at a strong 4.5, although I'm Australian so we don't use that system. My current UTR is 7.19, but I think it's probably a tad higher since I have few elegible matches under my belt. I'm working to improve, and I'd like to hit a UTR of 10 in the next two years.

I'm 36, 6'5 and a tiny bit overweight. This means I play a big game and try to end points early since I can't grind or I gas out. My serve is a weapon when it's firing, but I think I can get it to another level. My forehand is a monster, and my one hander is fine but uninspiring. So I pretty much play a traditional new school US style of tennis, except without the two-hander.

I'm on the hunt for a new frame. I currently use a Volkl Organix Super G-10 with a leather grip and strung with a natural gut hybrid, and I play well with the setup. But the racquets are five years old and one of them feels like it's cracked in the handle, so it's time to look for a replacement. These are some heavy sticks. They come in at 365 static weight when strung. Importantly, I don't have much trouble generating pace with these sticks. I'm a big guy, I can swing hard.

I've been testing a lot of frames. My current front runners are the Prestige Pro and the new Radical Pro. But I've also been hitting really well with the Pure Aero Tour, which shocked me a little. I wasn't expecting to like a Babolat. I've kind of had it drilled into me that they're clubs not racquets, and that good players want player frames. But the extra power and spin off the ground feels really addictive, and I've had opponents comment on how they can feel the extra RPMs. I feel like as I get older, I'll probably need to end points faster and really lean into being a backcourt bully, and I'm thinking that maybe the Babolat is the best for that.

Assuming my arm doesn't give out as I continue to test it, is it crazy to consider moving "back" to a tweener? Are any of you 5.0+ players using frames like this? My coach (former D1, former UTR 14.0) said he switched to a Pure Drive for a few years and ultimately regretted it because he realised how much his game depended on feel. I'm concerned the same thing could happen to me.
 
Last edited:

joah310

Professional
Im definitely not a 4.5 or anything close, but for me I wished the beam was thinner and a little less stiff. The PA 2019 was miles better than the 2016, but personally a bit stiffer than id like.
 

Lorenn

Semi-Pro
Assuming my arm doesn't give out as I continue to test it, is it crazy to consider moving "back" to a tweener? Are any of you 5.0+ players using frames like this? My coach (former D1, former UTR 14.0) said he switched to a Pure Drive for a few years and ultimately regretted it because he realised how much his game depended on feel. I'm concerned the same thing could happen to me.
First I will apologize. I have never watched you play, just filling in the blanks from past experiences and mentioning potential concerns.

Racquet journeys are like a walk-abouts...sometimes you might go in a unexpected direction. Even if it was later discovered to be the wrong path, at least you learned it was the wrong path. Having said that with your size, youthful age and natural power I would think you would be better off with a heavier frame and learning to be more efficient. Lighter powerful racquets(yes it is not ultra light but relative to your size) tend to allow strong players to develop bad technique. Why learn to use your legs and core when you can quickly arm it as deep as you like with enough power to challenge most equal players. So one tends to never develop that extra power source as it is never needed. This can lead to extra tension in the arm which can increase injury. One of the largest differences between a utr7 and 10+ is learning to be efficient. Learning to use core and legs while reading your opponent. Just make sure whatever you pick doesn't impede your progress.

Every shot doesn't need to be max power, just well placed. Goal to make ones opponent spend extra energy or give up the point. Learn to let the racquet do more of the work. Use your core and legs to swing the racquet and let the arm relax. Learn when to let a point go as not to spend too much energy. Most players tend to prefer to play all out...designed as sprinters never marathon runners. You just need to learn how to run your race, versus theirs...It is a rough change but you will have to adapt eventually.

So my main concern would be be careful about what strings you use. Make sure you are not using to much upper body versus core/legs. You are getting older so you won't recover from abuse like you did when you were younger. Consider Yoga to work on micro muscles and tendons before they become an issue. Work on efficient light footwork. Just try to see it as a marathon not a sprint.

Advantages of having a tweener,in your bag, even if it is not your main racquet. If you keep your power output the same and shorten your stroke you can actually learn to increase your sensitivity. To hit with soft hands you have to be actually softer. I switch from a Gravity Pro to a Speed MP when I want to shorten my strokes so I can watch the other player more...If I am having a bad day and my timing is off I can still play...or if I just want to relax a little bit...
 

kingcheetah

Hall of Fame
I think it's worth a try-- see what racket you can play at a consistently high level with the most. I'm a young 6'4" 4.5-5.0, and hit the SW102, I find the stability and reach really take my serve up a notch, and it is great for two handed backhands.
 
Pure Aero Tour is a great frame. I used it for 4-5 years. I'm a 5.5/5.0 in my 30s (ex college player). You also might weight up a new Pure Aero VS if you need something a bit more dialed back. I ended up with new Pure Strike

Power and spin are a great thing.
 

Anton

Legend
6'5...I play a big game and try to end points early since I can't grind or I gas out.
It's all very personal, but you sound like RF97 player to me. It's a first strike tennis machine.

PA Tour has the power but you need to get under the ball and spin spin spin to control it, so you'll probably play longer points with that because the ball will be more vertical and less penetrating.
 

Boubi

Semi-Pro
I am around 5.5 and play PAT, I would suggest what i will play with soon: PAVS
Other possibilities imo: extreme MP, prestige pro or mid, sx300 tour (very similar to PAT)
Possibly (not tried yet) the new radicals, TF 305 RS, vcore95, fx500 tour
 

Dartagnan64

G.O.A.T.
I think the better you are, the better you can control the power tweeners and get what you want from them. They make the most sense for seniors and beginners and then after that 4.5+

The 3.0-4.0 groups start to develop power but have less control so they are the most likely to call a power tweener a rocket launcher. They may be better off with a control tweener that helps their consistency despite a bit less power. They are also more likely to have hitches in their technique that sets them up for injury with stiff frames.

Bottom line, if you swing hard you need to have technique to have enough topspin to keep the ball in the court. Either that or you get stuck using stiff polyester strings in a stiff frame just to master the power.
 

Power Player

Talk Tennis Guru
It's all very personal, but you sound like RF97 player to me. It's a first strike tennis machine.

PA Tour has the power but you need to get under the ball and spin spin spin to control it, so you'll probably play longer points with that because the ball will be more vertical and less penetrating.
not really the case in my experience. You can hit put away shots quite easily with the new pure aero.

id suggest the regular pa over the tour to the op. More racquet head speed will maximize his serve and fh.
 

ryushen21

Hall of Fame
Not entirely comparable, I switched from frames like the Prestige, Ultra Tour, and 6.1 95 18x20 to the Yonex EZone 100. Now, I not only enjoy tennis more but I also have a higher win percentage. My game took some adjusting but now it's a better experience all around.
 
Giving up "feel" isn't likely to be an issue for you if your game is based around winning off the serve and forehand. Personally, I'd stick with a frame more like the one you're using now, if you're steadily improving using it. But I don't think a move to a power tweener is likely to hurt your results. You play the type of game those sticks were made for.
 

Andykay

New User
Thanks everyone. I played once or twice more with the Pure Aero Tour, and I really enjoyed it. I do think it's giving me some arm troubles though, so I think it might be a pass, which is disappointing. I was striking very cleanly with it today. Fortunately, I did enjoy a bunch of other frames in my testing (Radical Pro, Prestige Pro) so I'm not without other options.

I appreciate all the advice.

Cheers
 

Lorenn

Semi-Pro
Thanks everyone. I played once or twice more with the Pure Aero Tour, and I really enjoyed it. I do think it's giving me some arm troubles though, so I think it might be a pass, which is disappointing. I was striking very cleanly with it today. Fortunately, I did enjoy a bunch of other frames in my testing (Radical Pro, Prestige Pro) so I'm not without other options.

I appreciate all the advice.

Cheers
It is hard to decide if the frame is causing the soreness...sometimes it is mishits or simply trying to swing harder then you normally would. I find you normally need a little forgiveness somewhere. Either in the frame or the strings. Some will need both. Radical Pro, Prestige pro and Gravity Pro are nice frames...Speed MP is one I would suggest you try if you like tweener frames. It is closer to the Pure Aero Rafa, but the swing weight of all three are close. You could add a little extra weight in the handle. Extreme series might be worth a try as well.
 

Yamin

Semi-Pro
Thanks everyone. I played once or twice more with the Pure Aero Tour, and I really enjoyed it. I do think it's giving me some arm troubles though, so I think it might be a pass, which is disappointing. I was striking very cleanly with it today. Fortunately, I did enjoy a bunch of other frames in my testing (Radical Pro, Prestige Pro) so I'm not without other options.

I appreciate all the advice.

Cheers
Give the Speed Pro a go as well if you liked the Prestige/Radical and wanted something that makes things less demanding. More power and higher launch angle.

Why would it be silly to switch to something if you play better with it?
 

Andykay

New User
It is hard to decide if the frame is causing the soreness...sometimes it is mishits or simply trying to swing harder then you normally would. I find you normally need a little forgiveness somewhere. Either in the frame or the strings. Some will need both. Radical Pro, Prestige pro and Gravity Pro are nice frames...Speed MP is one I would suggest you try if you like tweener frames. It is closer to the Pure Aero Rafa, but the swing weight of all three are close. You could add a little extra weight in the handle. Extreme series might be worth a try as well.
It is tough to know, I agree, but after a hard session with my coach today I've got a little elbow and wrist pain, which is pretty abnormal for me. I think there's some chance it wouldn't be a long term problem, but I'm not sure I'm willing to take the risk and there's only so many times I can demo it before the shop starts to get annoyed.

I haven't tried the Speed MP, but I did use the Speed Pro. I tend to like racquets that are in the 310-315 range at a minimum, so I didn't consider the MP. The Pro was quite nice, but didn't click with me quite like Radical/Prestige. I haven't really even looked at the Extreme series, so maybe that should be on my radar. I feel like the shop might be getting sick of me demoing though. I've been through 16 or so demo models in the last few weeks. May have to sneak off to another store to demo that one.
 

Andykay

New User
Give the Speed Pro a go as well if you liked the Prestige/Radical and wanted something that makes things less demanding. More power and higher launch angle.
Haha, you wrote this as I wrote my other reply. I liked the Speed Pro, but it didn't click quite as much as some of the others. I didn't like it off my one-hander, and I didn't quite feel the increase in shot weight or the easy power I felt with the Pure Aero Tour.
 

Ryebread

Semi-Pro
Demo/Homework List:

control -> in between -> powerful


CONTROL frames that you can get power from:
WILSON BLADE V7 16X19
HEAD EXTREME TOUR 360+
^these two are close on power, not much....
but you could go with lower tension around 50lbs, and thank me later for the combo of controlled power.
more spin from the tour!
the blade, you may want to add weight to the handle to move the balance towards more headlight, if that's your thing.
the tour is already VERY head light and should be good for a 1hbh

IN BETWEEN FOR POWER + GOOD SPIN:
HEAD SPEED MP 360+
if you didn't like how the pro didn't offer you much easy power, try the mp
don't worry about weight. you already know that weight isn't everything (since you enjoyed the aero tour)
this one has control AND some free power, when you need it.
not string sensitive, but you'll want to find your right tension, I would start at 52lbs and salt to taste

LOTS OF POWER & LOTS OF SPIN:
HEAD EXTREME MP 360+
YONEX VCORE 100 (V6/CURRENT MODEL)
^these have more power for sure
they are both very similar to the aero, but a little more comfy on the arm
start at 53lbs and salt to taste
the head is head heavy, so you may want to stick 2-3 grams inside the handle
you can simply add several cotton balls, to start out (about 4 min).
they yonex comes with a HL balance.
 
Last edited:

Lorenn

Semi-Pro
I haven't tried the Speed MP, but I did use the Speed Pro. I tend to like racquets that are in the 310-315 range at a minimum, so I didn't consider the MP. The Pro was quite nice, but didn't click with me quite like Radical/Prestige. I haven't really even looked at the Extreme series, so maybe that should be on my radar. I feel like the shop might be getting sick of me demoing though. I've been through 16 or so demo models in the last few weeks. May have to sneak off to another store to demo that one.
Nothing wrong with liking mostly 16x19 frames. Gravity Pro is nice for a 18x20. I found with the Gravity Pro and the Speed Pro I needed a little extra at the start of my backhand then I could relax to my normal swing.(ohbh) Just a small burst to get the the frame moving. Radical Pro was about perfect(long term radical user), but was not out when I was shopping so I ended up with a Gravity Pro and a Speed MP. I use the MP when I need to relax a little bit. Which is how I would play with the Aero Tour. I would not try to generate max power, but simply have fun. Use the extra power to relax and be efficient. In the end you should be likely hitting with the same speed as always, just expending less energy.

Sometimes players get too attached to being perfect. When things go wrong they blame themselves and shutdown. Personally I think it would help most players to have a good highend tweener(read a easy to use racquet with a little extra pop) racquet in the bag for off days. I find it helps to find the joy of the game and relax. So I think it is normal for players to find reducing the stress just a little bit helps. It is nice to have a little extra free power. Nice to see the game from a different perspective. I don't have to hit max speed with every hit to do well.
 

fuzz nation

G.O.A.T.
A little on me. I'm estimating myself at a strong 4.5, although I'm Australian so we don't use that system. My current UTR is 7.19, but I think it's probably a tad higher since I have few elegible matches under my belt. I'm working to improve, and I'd like to hit a UTR of 10 in the next two years.

I'm 36, 6'5 and a tiny bit overweight. This means I play a big game and try to end points early since I can't grind or I gas out. My serve is a weapon when it's firing, but I think I can get it to another level. My forehand is a monster, and my one hander is fine but uninspiring. So I pretty much play a traditional new school US style of tennis, except without the two-hander.

I'm on the hunt for a new frame. I currently use a Volkl Organix Super G-10 with a leather grip and strung with a natural gut hybrid, and I play well with the setup. But the racquets are five years old and one of them feels like it's cracked in the handle, so it's time to look for a replacement. These are some heavy sticks. They come in at 365 static weight when strung. Importantly, I don't have much trouble generating pace with these sticks. I'm a big guy, I can swing hard.

I've been testing a lot of frames. My current front runners are the Prestige Pro and the new Radical Pro. But I've also been hitting really well with the Pure Aero Tour, which shocked me a little. I wasn't expecting to like a Babolat. I've kind of had it drilled into me that they're clubs not racquets, and that good players want player frames. But the extra power and spin off the ground feels really addictive, and I've had opponents comment on how they can feel the extra RPMs. I feel like as I get older, I'll probably need to end points faster and really lean into being a backcourt bully, and I'm thinking that maybe the Babolat is the best for that.

Assuming my arm doesn't give out as I continue to test it, is it crazy to consider moving "back" to a tweener? Are any of you 5.0+ players using frames like this? My coach (former D1, former UTR 14.0) said he switched to a Pure Drive for a few years and ultimately regretted it because he realised how much his game depended on feel. I'm concerned the same thing could happen to me.
I'm a long-time Volkl player and I still have a pair of the regular Organix 10 325g's in my bag that preceded the Super G 10's. These are my alternatives to my Volkl C10's, which are my primary players. My O10's have lead on their hoops and handles to give them a layout that's probably close to yours; approx 12.7 oz./360g and 10-11 pts. head-light balance for easy handling. My C10's are approx. 12.5 oz. with similar balance (I only added lead to their handles).

Weighing in here because I tried to switch toward more of a tweener a couple years ago - the Wilson Blade 98 - but it was nearly a disaster for me. I ended up swinging too hard too often with that lighter, less powerful frame and I eventually tweaked something in the back of my shoulder. Serving was the worst (most stressful). This didn't sideline me, but it was enough to really slow me down for many months. I should have known better because I've chatted about this very issue in the past with a number of players who ran into shoulder stress or significant injury after making a similar switch to a lighter alternative.

Not trying to be all doom and gloom, but my take on this sort of a racquet change is that it's probably smart to make a small move in a lighter direction. Switching to something that's only a few tenths of an ounce less hefty (perhaps 10-12 grams) with a familiar feeling balance could be enough to give you more of what you might want in terms of performance. I also hit a one-handed backhand and I know that I need "enough" racquet to win the collision with the ball when I hit that stroke.

The Pure Aero might be great for you, but it's different from your Volkl, certainly in terms of weight and balance. That's probably making it swing differently and command the ball differently at contact. Mis-hits can happen more often when trying any unfamiliar racquet, so your grumpy arm isn't a big surprise. But if that PA was strung with syn. gut or multi - not poly - when you tried it, then maybe it's going to be a little too rough on your arm to work well for you.

The C10 could be an option to try out if you want to add a little easy "oomph" to your game, but this racquet is a bit of a trade-off like anything else. Two other labels I'd recommend you check out include Yonex and the Ki Q+ Pro models from ProKennex. If I needed to go on a hunt for a new rig today, those are probably what I'd look at first.
 

ryushen21

Hall of Fame
I'm a long-time Volkl player and I still have a pair of the regular Organix 10 325g's in my bag that preceded the Super G 10's. These are my alternatives to my Volkl C10's, which are my primary players. My O10's have lead on their hoops and handles to give them a layout that's probably close to yours; approx 12.7 oz./360g and 10-11 pts. head-light balance for easy handling. My C10's are approx. 12.5 oz. with similar balance (I only added lead to their handles).

Weighing in here because I tried to switch toward more of a tweener a couple years ago - the Wilson Blade 98 - but it was nearly a disaster for me. I ended up swinging too hard too often with that lighter, less powerful frame and I eventually tweaked something in the back of my shoulder. Serving was the worst (most stressful). This didn't sideline me, but it was enough to really slow me down for many months. I should have known better because I've chatted about this very issue in the past with a number of players who ran into shoulder stress or significant injury after making a similar switch to a lighter alternative.

Not trying to be all doom and gloom, but my take on this sort of a racquet change is that it's probably smart to make a small move in a lighter direction. Switching to something that's only a few tenths of an ounce less hefty (perhaps 10-12 grams) with a familiar feeling balance could be enough to give you more of what you might want in terms of performance. I also hit a one-handed backhand and I know that I need "enough" racquet to win the collision with the ball when I hit that stroke.

The Pure Aero might be great for you, but it's different from your Volkl, certainly in terms of weight and balance. That's probably making it swing differently and command the ball differently at contact. Mis-hits can happen more often when trying any unfamiliar racquet, so your grumpy arm isn't a big surprise. But if that PA was strung with syn. gut or multi - not poly - when you tried it, then maybe it's going to be a little too rough on your arm to work well for you.

The C10 could be an option to try out if you want to add a little easy "oomph" to your game, but this racquet is a bit of a trade-off like anything else. Two other labels I'd recommend you check out include Yonex and the Ki Q+ Pro models from ProKennex. If I needed to go on a hunt for a new rig today, those are probably what I'd look at first.
You make some good points. If you have a particular swing style, a lighter tweener style frame would be harder to transition into. I had a lot of issues hitting flatter driving style shots when I first switched. But as I started using a semi-western grip and introduced more spin to my game, I was able to maximize the benefits of the frame I was using.

I would disagree with the serve aspect though. There is so much free pop on the serve with my frames that I can get great results without having to work as hard for it.
 

Lorenn

Semi-Pro
Weighing in here because I tried to switch toward more of a tweener a couple years ago - the Wilson Blade 98 - but it was nearly a disaster for me. I ended up swinging too hard too often with that lighter, less powerful frame and I eventually tweaked something in the back of my shoulder. Serving was the worst (most stressful). This didn't sideline me, but it was enough to really slow me down for many months. I should have known better because I've chatted about this very issue in the past with a number of players who ran into shoulder stress or significant injury after making a similar switch to a lighter alternative.
...
The C10 could be an option to try out if you want to add a little easy "oomph" to your game, but this racquet is a bit of a trade-off like anything else. Two other labels I'd recommend you check out include Yonex and the Ki Q+ Pro models from ProKennex. If I needed to go on a hunt for a new rig today, those are probably what I'd look at first.
Thank you for the well written post:)

This is always the concern. Basically tweeners normally have extra power but you can't really easily harness it easily. Trying to use it and add extra spin and power normally ends in increased tension ...which leads to injury. You can use it to reduce effort without risky too much. Still being accustom to a heavy frame and switching to a lighter one is always risky on simple mishits. When switching to test a lighter frame I normally start at about 60% and work my way up to about 80%. Any higher I feel risks injury.

I would disagree with the serve aspect though. There is so much free pop on the serve with my frames that I can get great results without having to work as hard for it.
Yes but you are relaxing and reducing effort. Trying to increase power with a tweener frame is where I think the largest risk lies...
 

PrinceMoron

Legend
Weight up a PBMid 10 - they can take masses of lead and still swing fast.
Personally I just don’t enjoy playing with PDs or APDs and I lose the plot after 40 minutes, though doubles can be fun.

You can keep the ball close to the lines with a Prince 93p and play yourself into a match. Just cutting your error count down by 10 or so is often enough to swing a result, and the Prince 93p will do that for you.

Sorry but I don’t think there is any future in playing with a stiff powerful frame. If you really want more oomph try a Yonex extended frame and get the best of both worlds
 

Bagel Boy

Rookie
....switched to a Pure Drive for a few years and ultimately regretted it because he realised how much his game depended on feel. I'm concerned the same thing could happen to me.

This..a 1000 time over. I made the same mistake and gave up almost two years of tennis, because "it's not the racquet, it's you." I love their overgrips and strings but PDs can burn in a thousand fires for eternity, they rob you of any feel whatsoever. Pure Trash.

You can keep the ball close to the lines with a Prince 93p and play yourself into a match. Just cutting your error count down by 10 or so is often enough to swing a result, and the Prince 93p will do that for you.
This is what is switched to, and watching my opponent throw their heads back, after I clip the lines with this beautiful 93P scalpel, is the purest joy on a tennis court. This racquet saved my tennis life, the ball lands exactly where I want it to, on a dime.
 

fuzz nation

G.O.A.T.
This..a 1000 time over. I made the same mistake and gave up almost two years of tennis, because "it's not the racquet, it's you." I love their overgrips and strings but PDs can burn in a thousand fires for eternity, they rob you of any feel whatsoever. Pure Trash.



This is what is switched to, and watching my opponent throw their heads back, after I clip the lines with this beautiful 93P scalpel, is the purest joy on a tennis court. This racquet saved my tennis life, the ball lands exactly where I want it to, on a dime.
Pure Trash - can't disagree there... Some folks love them, but they're not for me at all.

And hitting laser-bombs on a dime with one of my old gummy-bear-on-a-stick cozy mids is truly special (y)
 

Boubi

Semi-Pro
This..a 1000 time over. I made the same mistake and gave up almost two years of tennis, because "it's not the racquet, it's you." I love their overgrips and strings but PDs can burn in a thousand fires for eternity, they rob you of any feel whatsoever. Pure Trash.



This is what is switched to, and watching my opponent throw their heads back, after I clip the lines with this beautiful 93P scalpel, is the purest joy on a tennis court. This racquet saved my tennis life, the ball lands exactly where I want it to, on a dime.
You should try the prestige mid though, it's better than the 93p imo
 

surrealfx

New User
I am a strong 4.5 player and have used the 2016 Pure Aero Tour for almost four years. My UTR peaked at 8.2 something almost two years ago. I am an offensive player. My forehand is my best shot. I had used Prestige Mids for years before I switched to the previous version of the AeroPro Drive. I had very flat strokes. When I switched to the Aero, I had to learn to use topspin to keep the ball in the court. I changed my stroke mechanics. I'm sure glad I did. I can hit shots I never could have with the Prestige Mids. I don't get the feel of the Prestiges, which I liked, but the trade-off was worth it for me. I'm sure you can get the benefits of a more forgiving racket from many frames, including several of the ones mentioned here.

I'm sorry to hear about the arm pain. I'd suggest a softer poly. I use Pro Line II 1.2 at 52 lbs. Don't use dead strings at super low tensions. That is, restring frequently. I restring after I use the string two times or after a couple of weeks because the tension drops too much, and the string dies. I go through a lot of string.

Use what you like. Good luck!
 
Top