My 2012 Babolat Pure Drive Standard Review!!!!!

Discussion in 'Racquets' started by TennisVet, Feb 9, 2012.

  1. TennisVet

    TennisVet Rookie

    Apr 24, 2008
    Just got this beautiful stick 2 days ago. It's strung with Babolat Hurricane Feel on 58 lbs. with a Wilson Pro Overgrip

    Let me say this first, but I think that the new paintjob is absolutely gorgeous. Babolat added a cool looking crystal-like texture to all the blue accents. The stick is glossy all-around, and there's also a faux carbon-fiber effect on the cortex active area just above the handle.

    I used to play with the 2009 Pure Drive (predecessor), so I was expecting that this would play similar. It was strung with Technifibre Black Code at 55 lbs.

    My initial impression just from picking up the racquet is that it feels a lot lighter than the old Pure Drive. Even though the weight difference is only about 0.1 ounces, if felt half an ounce lighter.

    Forehands: There's no surprise here, it's the unique blend of power and spin that everyone loves from Babolat racquets. Generating power was definitely not a problem, but most of the time I had to remember to hit with spin so the ball won't sail long. Even though the swingweight listed on paper is sub-310, it feels more like 315 to me, which is still really light. The addition of the new so-called Cortex Active technology offered a different feel. Vibrations were still minimized, but the stick felt a tad softer than the previous version on impact. I remember that people had said the 2009 Pure Drive was still on the hollow side, and I think Babolat listened to that. The 2012 version felt a little less hollow, but there were still some noticeable feelings of hollowness. A little more control was still needed, but then again I would just go with a racquet with a smaller head size

    Backhands: I hit with a one-handed backhand, so I am more used to using heavier racquets for more stability. However, I was surprised that stability was not that big of an issue with this new stick. It still fluttered a little against hard shots, but for a racquet that only weighs 11.1 ounces and has a 308/309 swingweight, the amount of stability is impressive. Topspin shots were loopier, but I could've brought my racquet down lower to get that loop effect. Slices for the most part stayed low, but there were times when it sailed long when I drove the stick through the ball a little more.

    Volleys: The relatively light weight helped a lot with maneuverability at the net. The racquet packed a lot of punch on volleys, but I had to tell myself not to overdo the volley because the ball might fly long. The sweetspot covered a good portion of the racquet face, but at times where I missed the sweetspot, the stick twisted a bit and there was a noticeably jarring feeling to my arm.

    Serves/returns: This is the area where I think it shined the most. There was easy power, and it didn't take a lot of effort. The low swingweight helped a lot with acceleration, and the racquet made a satisfying pop noise on impact with the ball. Slice and kick serves were decent. I was able to get in a good amount of spin on the ball, even though those serves are not my forte. A more advanced player can easily make the ball bounce at least 6 feet high through the kick serve. The stability was noticeable on serve returns. I noticed a little amount of twisting, but for the most part the stick remained stable. The power helped and hindered with returns. It was easier to get the ball deeper on returns, but the power made it harder to control where exactly the ball was going to go.

    Overall: A great update to the Pure Drive line. The main difference was the addition of the Cortex Active technology, which made the racquet a teeeeeeennnny bit softer, and made the stick feel less hollow. Performance wise, there are subtle differences between this version and the previous one. There is a little less power and a little more spin in this version, but I think most people wouldn't be able to notice the differences. This stick is appropriate for almost every level of players, but this might not give enough control for more advanced players who really emphasize ball placement.
    This stick is a lot of fun to use when hitting balls with pace, but don't expect to paint the lines with this one...
  2. Bartelby

    Bartelby Talk Tennis Guru

    Nov 14, 2005
    It feels lighter because the swingweight is far less and hence also less power with the same rhs.
  3. zapvor

    zapvor G.O.A.T.

    Jul 27, 2006
    tennis courts
    the new paint is so ugly
  4. kimbahpnam

    kimbahpnam Hall of Fame

    Dec 7, 2007
    when i hear someone mention pure drive, my elbow starts to hurt
  5. ArliHawk

    ArliHawk Hall of Fame

    Jan 3, 2012
    Minds can differ, but I think the new paint job is gorgeous.
  6. Teski

    Teski Rookie

    Aug 22, 2011
    I agree. It looks great!
  7. athleticstennis

    athleticstennis Rookie

    Apr 28, 2011
    Good Review!

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