Tennis Warehouse Playtest: Babolat Pure Aero VS 2020

sanister

Professional
Playtest: Babolat Pure Aero VS 2020


Good morning.Attached is my playtest review for the Babolat Pure Aero VS 2020.

String and tension used for test: Solinco Hyper-G 17 strung at 45 lbs.

Tennis experience/background: I played a lot of tennis growing up & in high school days but didn't play in college & in fact well after that too.Not a regular USTA player due to time constraints, work & travel etc but I would roughly rate my self as a pretty avg 4.5.

Describe your playing style (i.e. serve volley): I'm a mid fifties all court player with a smart approach to the game.I mix it up a lot.What I lack in speed & power I try to make up with variety.I try to find opponents weaknesses & then try to exploit those areas.I can serve & volley as well as play from the baseline pretty comfortably.All but one of my children are collegiate tennis players (youngest is a junior in high school) so I often hit with them too.

Current racquet/string setups: I like to try different types of racquets & setup.I don't think I have stuck with one kind of racquet or setup in a long time now.Currently playing 360+ Prestige Mid with Head Hawk Touch at 50 lbs.

How many hours did you play with the racquet? Roughly 18 hours of practicing,coaching (drills) & some point play too in stock form.Will throw on a leather grip & some lead tape on hoop soon & experiment too.

Comments on racquet performance: Although I did customize this racquet a little,I have reviewed the racquet here in absolutely stock form,thought I should mention that first and foremost before going into detail.

-Groundstrokes: Really shines in the groundstrokes department. Spin was good & I found the racquet to give good shape to the ball on my regular swings off both the wings.I compared this with my usual 2013 Aeropro Drive & there wasn't that much of difference in spin potential for me as string spacing for three quarters of the racquet from bottom up seems very similar to 2013 Aeropro Drive.Only towards the top quarter part of the hoop of the racquet is when strings seem to get denser.I felt that this 16x20 pattern,along with slightly smaller head size and thinner aero beam made the racquet more controlled & I was able to swing out more without fear of spraying the ball to the back fence.

Comfort was not an issue as most would be concerned about it this being a Babolat afterall.Balls coming off the sweet spot felt very nice & those that were outside the sweetspot did not feel jarring.The power level did drop a little for off center hits but not enough that would make me worry.

I also felt that even at stock specs it was stable on groundstrokes.No twisting or wobbling upon contact with heavier balls either. Backhand was grooving easily & I was overall feeling in sync with the racquet.

Overall,I found ample power, spin, control & comfort in my groundstrokes all throughout the playtest.

-Serves: Very happy with second serves.Both slice & kick second serves were very accurate & easy to execute.Was able to put lots of movement on the ball & did not require excessive time to adapt to the racquet.The racquet was easy to maneuver & went through the air quick.

I did have a hard time finding my flat first serves however.I don't serve very big but can hit flat ones rather good down the T as well out wide.I wasn't finding the usual zip.Not jarring on contact but did not feel the power level was there.That tells me maybe just a little bit of weight would help.

-Volleys: I feel that volleys were a bit lacking but nothing that a little bit of weight can't handle.The punch you get from a bit heavier racquets at the net was missing here.It is a quick & easy to maneuver racquet in stock form but the lack of mass can be felt at the net a little bit when trying to put away balls.

-Serve returns: These were great for me.I was able to chip back balls & found that the hoop was stable enough to block back the ball deep enough to trouble the server at times.Slower second serves were a breeze to return without racquet wobbling or twisting.Ad side backhand one handed slice returns too were ample low and deep.This area is where I usually find lighter racquets to suffer more but this Pure Aero VS 2020 was surprisingly good for me.

General reaction/comments on overall performance: Well,this is a gorgeous looking racquet without a doubt.That gunmetal sort of grey/silver & yellow make for a pretty good looking racquet unlike the regular Pure Aero which is a little more "in your face" sort of paint.I was also a fan of the latest Pure Drive VS paint too because of the same reason.

If anyone is coming from a regular Pure Aero or Aeropro Drive,you will instantly see that the aero beam for the Pure Aero VS 2020 seems thinner compared to those.That was my first observation about it holding it in hand.

I also did notice like some other fellow posters the slightly bigger grip size than normal.My 2013 Aeropro Drive isn't as big it feels like.It wasn't that much of a difference for me though as I can make it work.

Playtest Conclusion: Overall,I found the Pure Aero VS 2020 to be a great mix of power & control & would recommend this frame to those advanced players looking for more controlled & tamed Pure Aero.Unlike the Pure Drive VS version that came last year I think(which after trying out I felt was neither here nor there) this one is a clear winner in my view.It has the toned down power of Pure Aero & has more control so you can swing out without fear of spraying the ball. It is stable, doesn't wobble or twist & it can hit a very menacing ball too.Not more I can ask for really.

And finally,a big thank you to @TW Staff & Babolat for this great opportunity,for the playtest racquet & the strings as well.I appreciate it.

Have a great day everyone!!
 

haqq777

Legend
Playtest: Babolat Pure Aero VS 2020


Good morning.Attached is my playtest review for the Babolat Pure Aero VS 2020.

String and tension used for test: Solinco Hyper-G 17 strung at 45 lbs.

Tennis experience/background: I played a lot of tennis growing up & in high school days but didn't play in college & in fact well after that too.Not a regular USTA player due to time constraints, work & travel etc but I would roughly rate my self as a pretty avg 4.5.

Describe your playing style (i.e. serve volley): I'm a mid fifties all court player with a smart approach to the game.I mix it up a lot.What I lack in speed & power I try to make up with variety.I try to find opponents weaknesses & then try to exploit those areas.I can serve & volley as well as play from the baseline pretty comfortably.All but one of my children are collegiate tennis players (youngest is a junior in high school) so I often hit with them too.

Current racquet/string setups: I like to try different types of racquets & setup.I don't think I have stuck with one kind of racquet or setup in a long time now.Currently playing 360+ Prestige Mid with Head Hawk Touch at 50 lbs.

How many hours did you play with the racquet? Roughly 18 hours of practicing,coaching (drills) & some point play too in stock form.Will throw on a leather grip & some lead tape on hoop soon & experiment too.

Comments on racquet performance: Although I did customize this racquet a little,I have reviewed the racquet here in absolutely stock form,thought I should mention that first and foremost before going into detail.

-Groundstrokes: Really shines in the groundstrokes department. Spin was good & I found the racquet to give good shape to the ball on my regular swings off both the wings.I compared this with my usual 2013 Aeropro Drive & there wasn't that much of difference in spin potential for me as string spacing for three quarters of the racquet from bottom up seems very similar to 2013 Aeropro Drive.Only towards the top quarter part of the hoop of the racquet is when strings seem to get denser.I felt that this 16x20 pattern,along with slightly smaller head size and thinner aero beam made the racquet more controlled & I was able to swing out more without fear of spraying the ball to the back fence.

Comfort was not an issue as most would be concerned about it this being a Babolat afterall.Balls coming off the sweet spot felt very nice & those that were outside the sweetspot did not feel jarring.The power level did drop a little for off center hits but not enough that would make me worry.

I also felt that even at stock specs it was stable on groundstrokes.No twisting or wobbling upon contact with heavier balls either. Backhand was grooving easily & I was overall feeling in sync with the racquet.

Overall,I found ample power, spin, control & comfort in my groundstrokes all throughout the playtest.

-Serves: Very happy with second serves.Both slice & kick second serves were very accurate & easy to execute.Was able to put lots of movement on the ball & did not require excessive time to adapt to the racquet.The racquet was easy to maneuver & went through the air quick.

I did have a hard time finding my flat first serves however.I don't serve very big but can hit flat ones rather good down the T as well out wide.I wasn't finding the usual zip.Not jarring on contact but did not feel the power level was there.That tells me maybe just a little bit of weight would help.

-Volleys: I feel that volleys were a bit lacking but nothing that a little bit of weight can't handle.The punch you get from a bit heavier racquets at the net was missing here.It is a quick & easy to maneuver racquet in stock form but the lack of mass can be felt at the net a little bit when trying to put away balls.

-Serve returns: These were great for me.I was able to chip back balls & found that the hoop was stable enough to block back the ball deep enough to trouble the server at times.Slower second serves were a breeze to return without racquet wobbling or twisting.Ad side backhand one handed slice returns too were ample low and deep.This area is where I usually find lighter racquets to suffer more but this Pure Aero VS 2020 was surprisingly good for me.

General reaction/comments on overall performance: Well,this is a gorgeous looking racquet without a doubt.That gunmetal sort of grey/silver & yellow make for a pretty good looking racquet unlike the regular Pure Aero which is a little more "in your face" sort of paint.I was also a fan of the latest Pure Drive VS paint too because of the same reason.

If anyone is coming from a regular Pure Aero or Aeropro Drive,you will instantly see that the aero beam for the Pure Aero VS 2020 seems thinner compared to those.That was my first observation about it holding it in hand.

I also did notice like some other fellow posters the slightly bigger grip size than normal.My 2013 Aeropro Drive isn't as big it feels like.It wasn't that much of a difference for me though as I can make it work.

Playtest Conclusion: Overall,I found the Pure Aero VS 2020 to be a great mix of power & control & would recommend this frame to those advanced players looking for more controlled & tamed Pure Aero.Unlike the Pure Drive VS version that came last year I think(which after trying out I felt was neither here nor there) this one is a clear winner in my view.It has the toned down power of Pure Aero & has more control so you can swing out without fear of spraying the ball. It is stable, doesn't wobble or twist & it can hit a very menacing ball too.Not more I can ask for really.

And finally,a big thank you to @TW Staff & Babolat for this great opportunity,for the playtest racquet & the strings as well.I appreciate it.

Have a great day everyone!!
Very nice review. Were you able to restring and play with a round string like u were planning to?
 

Moveforwardalways

Hall of Fame
Wanted to ask, has anyone hit with any Pure Strike 3rd gens the 16x19 or 18x20? How is it compared to the Pure Aero VS?
I have hit with both. The Pure Strikes are significantly heavier, and carry a higher swing weight. They are much more demanding to use. Basically the Pure Strike is a players frame. By contrast, the PAVS is light, has a lower swing weight, and provides much easier power and spin, but with less feel. The PAVS gives you more for free.
 

Injured Again

Hall of Fame
Wanted to ask, has anyone hit with any Pure Strike 3rd gens the 16x19 or 18x20? How is it compared to the Pure Aero VS?
I have the 3rd gen Pure Strike 16x19 and it is a different impact feel than the PAVS. It's more than the difference in swingweight, which is instantly noticeable. My Pure Strike is 316 grams and 2 points HL, while the PAVS is 320 grams but 6 points HL. There's just more mass in the hoop area and it feels more solid, stable, and consistent on contact. As a reminder, I have the exact same string in each of these racquets (Silver 7 Tour).

But it's more the difference in feel of the impact. The PAVS and PDVS both have a feeling of pretty short dwell time. The ball doesn't feel like it sinks into the stringbed, but that the racquet just very efficiently rebounds the ball with a lot of speed. The Pure Strike, and my normal racquet the Blade SW104, feel like they have longer dwell time and that the ball compresses more against the strings, and then rebounds more slowly which results in a bit lower power level. That short dwell time makes both the PAVS and PDVS feel good on point and shoot shots, like volleys. They both crisply put the ball where I'm aiming it and both give me a real sense of confidence that lets me aim at smaller targets. The PAVS/PDVS also seem less affected by the incoming spin on the ball. The PAVS and PDVS both seem to volley much better against hard hit shots than their light weight would indicate.

It's on groundstrokes where I have to make bigger adjustments. That short dwell time sensation and high power levels makes the PAVS and PDVS feel almost like an on-off switch. If you swing easily, you still get a lot of ball speed. But when I swing hard, there seems to be a ceiling for how much ball speed the racquet can generate with control. With the Pure Strike, you swing easily and the ball goes slowly. You swing harder and the ball more proportionately has more speed. And at the higher end of swing speeds, it feels like the extra mass still lets me hit the ball where I'm aiming it and that I can ultimately hit a faster, controlled ball with the Pure Strike than the PAVS. So the Pure Strike and my SW104 both have a more linear ball speed response than the PAVS/PDVS, which seem to ramp up very quickly to a pretty fast ball even with a fairly moderate swing speed, then level off as you continue to swing harder.

The last thing I noticed about feel is that when serving and on heavier topspin groundstrokes, the sensation of generating that spin is also different. Much more so with my SW104 but also with the Pure Strike, on a heavier topspin shot there's a feeling of an extended dwell so that I can almost imagine feeling the mains move underneath the ball and snapping back to generate the topspin. With the PAVS/PDVS, there's a sharper, almost harsh feel when generating that same amount of spin. It feels like the same string movement that happens on the SW104 and Pure Strike also happens on the PAVS/PDVS but just in a compressed amount of time. For me, this sensation doesn't generate confidence - I don't get the feeling that it is what I am doing that affects the launch angle or puts the spin on the ball but it is the racquet that is doing it for me.

There are times when the racquet can do amazing things. I've been caught with hard hit balls right at my feet and several times all I could do was to stab the PAVS at the ball without being able to make much of a stroke. When I've made good contact, the ball rebounds deep into my opponent's court. That wouldn't happen with the Pure Strike or my SW104, which would probably hit the ball a good six or eight feet shorter and with less speed. It's almost like a cheat mode for when I'm out of position.

It's a much harder thing to describe in words than actually feeling the difference by hitting!
 

pfchang

Professional
I have about four hours of play on the PAVS and am ready to restring it lower. With the very good tension maintenance of Silver 7 Tour, it's just a bit too tight and doesn't feel like it will drop tension enough to get it to where I want it.

On the bad side, I've developed a bit of an elbow twinge. I don't always make great contact because the PAVS is an inch shorter and 30 grams lighter than my normal racquet. I'd expect that as our gyms become available and I'm able to do the resistance training, this problem will likely go away. There is no doubt that the low mass and stiff poly stringbed aren't kind to my old joints.

In the meantime, more hours have made the PAVS feel more familiar. I've weighted up my PDVS to the same weight and balance and there are small but important differences between the two. Playing without a vibration dampener, the PAVS is a bit more comfortable and muted, though there is still more than enough feedback to tell where on the stringbed I hit the ball. The ball feels like it sinks a bit more into the stringbed on the PAVS than the PDVS, and so there's a very slightly higher launch angle and what seems like a little bit more spin, but the PDVS feels more powerful on harder hit flatter shots and in the light serving I've done.

The PDVS has a bit more of a hollow, tinny feel which makes the sweetspot feel a bit smaller because even slight mis-hits will generate a little bit of frame buzz. That isn't there to the same degree on the PAVS so that gives the impression the sweetspot is larger, though I can't say with certainty that it really is. It just feels more forgiving overall, making it better suited to a high spin rate swing trajectory. I also prefer the PAVS when at the net. It might have a little bit less punch on the ball but the feedback it gives makes me feel more confident with it.

So I'll be restringing both the PAVS and PDVS at lower tensions, and rest up the elbow a little bit so it doesn't get more grumpy. I believe when I tested the PDVS, I strung it up with the provided RPM Blast so that lost enough tension that it softened up the response. Right now, the stringbed is too stiff on both racquets.
I'm quite curious to your experience regarding the two VS models. I'm currently on the PDVS myself, but if there is something that replicates the feel yet provides a more polarized and slightly more consistent stringbed response, I'm all ears.

Also curious if you noticed the reported change in grip size, did you have to go a size down at all?
 

tennisgurl

Semi-Pro
Playtest Review: Babolat Pure Aero VS 2020
By @tennisgurl

Hello, so here is my review of Babolat Pure Aero VS. I would like to say a big thank you first to @TW Staff and to Babolat for giving me this opportunity to play test. I am glad I was able to be a part of this and hope I can provide detailed insight for everyone.

Picture of racquet the day it arrived below



String and tension used for test:
Solinco Hyper-G 17 at 50lbs

Tennis experience/background:
I am recreational tennis player. Was bumped up to 4.5 recently. I also play 3 to 4 times a week. Two of my siblings, my father, and two of my uncles were collegiate tennis players. Needless to say I grew up around tennis.

Describe your playing style (e.g. serve & volley):
I am an aggressive all-court player and I like to finish points quickly. I always look for opportunities to rush the net. I also regularly play doubles so that has helped me with my net game a lot. I have average serves. I am s moderately flatter hitter mostly but I am working on my technique to produce more topspin in my ground strokes. I have a two handed backhand. I love volleying and love to hit a clean and crisp volley to finish a point.

Current racquet/string setups:
I am currently have two racquets in my racquet backpack. One is 2019 Pure Aero and other is Head Graphene 360+ Speed Pro. Yes, I know two very different racquets. I do have a habit of changing setups more often than I should but I go with what I feel like playing with at that moment. For strings, I generally get the one that is on sale otherwise I like Solinco Hyper-G a lot as it gives me the right power and spin I am looking for. I like to keep tension at 50-52 lbs range.

How many hours did you play with the racquet?
So far total of 17 hours and counting. I do a lot of drills (serving, ground strokes, volleys etc) and also like to play both singles and doubles matches so the racquet has been put to test very well in all scenarios possible.

Comments on Racquet Performance:

Groundstrokes:
I will break down groundstrokes in different departments. The Pure Aero VS is an easy to swing racket that provides a good balance between control and power on groundstrokes. It feels more smoother than the regular Pure Aero and power is taned in this one for better control.

Stability: I felt that this racquet was stable in stock form for my game. The sweet spot was big and I did not feel any buzzing or jarring feeling at all. I also did not feel any vibrations coming back into my hand. No instance of racquet twisting in my hand even when rallying with heavy hitters.

Maneuverability: As expected, due to a relatively smaller head for me, the racquet moved through air quickly. It is easy to whip around. I felt confident when attacking the ball and I could take big swings at the ball with ease on both sides. That also helped greatly in defensive situations.

Control: Great control when compared to a regular Pure Aero without a doubt. Now that said, if I was coming from my Speed Pro with dense 18x20 pattern, the Pure Aero VS with it's 16x20 felt like it had a higher launch angle. It also did not feel as precise either and felt like it was missing the point-and-shoot attribute of the 18x20 racquets. The biggest difference when compared to Speed Pro was slices. Pure Aero VS slices were not as low/deep and were sitting up a bit. This is not a knock on the racquet at all since it is an apples to orange comparison anyway. I am sure if I played more with it I can figure out how to adjust this.

Power: Power was no problem for me. It was lower than Pure Aero, sure, but it isn't a low powered racquet. It seems to me like it is a control oriented racquet first, that just has good level of power and spin to complement.

Spin: Generous. Plenty of spin was to be found when I took full swings and exaggerated my takeback and follow through. Pleasantly surprised.

Comfort: Decent. This feels a little bit more muted than regular Pure Aero and my arm had no issues after hitting.

Serves:
I liked serving with this racquet. I did not take a lot of time adjusting to it. The racquet, as I mentioned above was whippy and fast enough to move through air quickly. I had decent power and spin on both my first and second serves.

First serves were decent and after little bit of timing issue I was able to hit them flat like I do.

For me the second serves felt more easier to execute. I could slice them in comfortably and control on them was good too. I could direct them down the T or wide.

Volleys:
Just okay I guess. Not too impressed if I am being honest. The racquet at times felt a bit unstable at net. The quickness and maneuverability helped but it wobbled a bit. If my opponent hit with heavy spin, it became hard to redirect the ball. Also, it seemed like volleys lacked punch at times.

Serve returns:
I did not have any trouble returning both first and second serves. I did find myself wanting a little more depth at times as ball would come off short most of the time near service line.

If I just blocked back or sliced/chipped a faster or heavier serve, it would sit up and be an easy put away for my opponent at times. But if I did find time to take a full swing, it was no issue as I was able to control depth.

Would like to add here that for those who like to play with heftier racquets, I will definitely recommend adding a bit of weight and I am pretty sure that would solve this issue (along with volleying bit).

General reaction/comments on overall performance:
Here are some comments I have on the Babolat Pure Aero VS 2020:

1. Very gorgeous paint, looks very shiny in the sunlight and yellow accents complement overall gunmental paint nicely.

2. The Babolat Pure Aero VS is for players wanting a good blend of spin and power in a more controlled package. Toned down Pure Aero is a very good way to describe it I think.

3. Grip size most definitely runs bigger than regular Pure Aero as many have rightly pointed out.

Thanks again @TW Staff and Babolat for this wonderful opportunity. If anyone has any questions feel free to ask!

Ciao,
Tennisgurl
 

Injured Again

Hall of Fame
I'm quite curious to your experience regarding the two VS models. I'm currently on the PDVS myself, but if there is something that replicates the feel yet provides a more polarized and slightly more consistent stringbed response, I'm all ears.

Also curious if you noticed the reported change in grip size, did you have to go a size down at all?
Some months ago after I finished up my test with the PDVS, I modified it closer to my normal specs and extended it with an XTP buttcap. I think when I was done, it was 27.5" long, around 350-355 grams, with a swingweight around 340. The added weight helped a lot with the performance of the PDVS. One of the things I'm not a fan of is that feeling of short dwell time and the weight helps overcome that to a significant degree. Maybe it's that the racquet doesn't recoil away from the impact as much so the ball really does compress a bit more against the strings. Whatever it is, the added weight gave me a feeling of better directional and launch angle control, and removed much of that impact buzz on less than perfectly hit shots. That added weight doesn't take away from the inherent properties of the racquet so there's no doubt it's still a Pure Drive, just one that has been shifted more towards better control, forgiveness, and linearity. That on-off switch power sensation isn't there to the same extent.

I'd expect the PAVS to react in about the same way, but because it already has a bit more of those attributes over a stock PDVS, it shouldn't take as much added weight to make it feel more stable and accurate. I'm not at the ten hour mark yet but when I get there, I'll be adding weight and extending it to get close to my normal specs of 350 grams, about 10 points HL, and about 340 swingweight. I still want to restring the PAVS about 8-10% looser to see if I can get a bit more forgiving of a stringbed. I was dealing with a long term wrist injury prior to the pandemic shutdown and now I seem to have come back to tennis wanting a bit softer stringbed. I'm still using the same string but now at 5% lower tension.

As far as the grip, I normally use about a size six, so these all feel small to me. I guess it might feel a bit less small but I'm not a good person to judge the grip size.

That's a good segue into a bit more detail about the modifications I made. Most of the weight increase came from adding heat shrink sleeves to the handle to get the grip up to around a size six. It would have been two full thickness sleeves along the entire length of the pallet, plus the XTP buttcap. I would have used lead tape, probably around eight grams total, at the 3 and 9 o'clock positions. I didn't use any lead tape in the throat area so these mods would have polarized the weight distribution pretty significantly. I'm not one that is affected much by mgr/i so I don't pay attention to that. When I place lead on the hoop, I will almost always use weight at 3 and 9 o'clock to gain more stability on mis-hits and not to try to hit a specific amount of polarization.

Just to be clear, the PAVS and PDVS are darned good racquets in stock form. They are powerful and spin capable enough to be game improvement racquets for a lot of players, light and maneuverable enough to suit a wide range of ages and physical builds, and offer really good control considering their relatively light weight. If I were to look just at how the ball leaves the racquet, I'm not sure I could find a lot of fault with them. So the changes I would make are as much to alter the impact feel to what I want, rather than to try to greatly change the way the ball comes off the strings.

I haven't recorded any video of me playing the PAVS, mostly because I used to tip a bench on end and put my phone on top of it to get a roughly head high perspective. We don't have any benches out to keep surface transmission at bay and have even removed the trays from the net posts. Our ball machines are also currently not available. That being said, here's some video from last April when I was testing the PDVS so you can at least see how I swing and judge how relevant my impressions are for your game. Wow, the PDVS was strung with RPM Blast Rough at 52 pounds! But that string has terrible tension maintenance so I'm sure by the time I hit with it, it was probably lower than with my current Silver 7 Tour strung in the mid-40's. I also had my full length Prince string dampener in that racquet, and I'm currently playing the PAVS without any string dampener.

 

Injured Again

Hall of Fame
More hitting the last 2 days and I have to say I love slicing with this. Anyone else?
I've actually noticed that how my slices work depend on the incoming ball speed. On relatively fast balls, I can put good underspin on it and get good ball speed, so it skids through the court effectively. On slower balls, if I try to put heavy underspin on it, the high launch angle makes it necessary to open up the face of the racquet more than I normally do, and then the lighter weight doesn't seem to put enough oomph on the ball. Those slices then end up being a bit on the floaty, slow side and the heavy underspin makes the ball sit up after the bounce so my opponents have been fairly offensive with them.

That being said, I don't have great technique on my slice. I think the conventional wisdom is to drive through the ball with a more forward swing trajectory than I use, so I think I way I do it penalizes a lighter racquet. In the video I just posted, I hit some slices starting at about 2:11 in. At contact, my racquet is moving downward more than forward so I need a fair amount of mass to generate ball speed on a shot coming to me slowly.
 

snoflewis

Hall of Fame
anybody experiencing arm discomfort? racket was perfectly fine for me the first couple weeks, but in the last week or so, gradually starting to cause discomfort in the elbow and shoulder.
 

Lavs

Hall of Fame
Noticed some pain in my elbow as well.
sorry to hear that.
but what I think about is that for the last 5-6 years Babolat, despite declaring stiffness less than on its previous products (eg PA2019 / 67RA vs APD2013 / 72RA), produce the rackets, that in real life, have higher discomfort level than those APDs with 72RA.
I have once tried PA2019 and after 30min of hitting I felt like it is stiffer than my trusty APDGT 2010 (I am not even saying about APD Cortext which is much more comfortable).
I had high hopes for the new PAVS to be eventually comfortable in this line, but it looks like it is far from being true.
Is it because of new (and cheap) material used nowadays?
 

tennisgurl

Semi-Pro
I have had zero arm issues so far and I have been playing almost nonstop since I got the racquet. Stock form, strung with Hyper G at 50 lbs. Only change was I actually have Tourna Pro Thin base grip on (which is technically thinner and should increase bevel feel and decrease cushion even more).
 

sanister

Professional
sorry to hear that.
but what I think about is that for the last 5-6 years Babolat, despite declaring stiffness less than on its previous products (eg PA2019 / 67RA vs APD2013 / 72RA), produce the rackets, that in real life, have higher discomfort level than those APDs with 72RA.
I have once tried PA2019 and after 30min of hitting I felt like it is stiffer than my trusty APDGT 2010 (I am not even saying about APD Cortext which is much more comfortable).
I had high hopes for the new PAVS to be eventually comfortable in this line, but it looks like it is far from being true.
Is it because of new (and cheap) material used nowadays?
The 2019 PA is 67 strung.The 2013 APD is 69 strung,both numbers from TW.

You are quoting strung RA for 2019 PA & unstrung RA for 2013 APD.

BTW,my personal 2013 APD is 67RA strung so same as 2019 PA.Comfort is same for me between these two.

I have not had any issues with comfort with new Pure Aero VS 2020 personally & find that it is definitely softer playing than the 2010 GT APD which you gave example of.I own both 2010 GT & 2013 versions of APD & I am certain I will pick the new PA VS if I wss given a blind test for choosing which is more comfortable.You need to demo & see for yourself to see what is best for you.
 

djNEiGht

Hall of Fame
anybody experiencing arm discomfort? racket was perfectly fine for me the first couple weeks, but in the last week or so, gradually starting to cause discomfort in the elbow and shoulder.
Noticed some pain in my elbow as well.
yikes. hope you guys feel better soon.
how long were you guys playing after the "stay at home" orders with your regular racquets....and then coming up to the play test?
 

gutfeeling

Hall of Fame
Noticed some pain in my elbow as well.
This has happened to me in the past with various Babolats, including the standard Pure Aero and Pure Strike most recently. Stiffness aside, these sticks are very polarized. That means they have a lot of weight in the head (ranging from 3/9 to 12) which is counterbalanced with a heavy weight at the bottom of the handle to arrive at their stock balance. If you bunt the ball this is not a huge issue and the added stability from all the weight in the head is great. As your racquet head speed increases, all this weight in the head puts a lot of torque and stress on the elbow. The pain was the worst for me on serves and forehands, surprise surprise.
 

mogo

Semi-Pro
anybody experiencing arm discomfort? racket was perfectly fine for me the first couple weeks, but in the last week or so, gradually starting to cause discomfort in the elbow and shoulder.
What is the string and tension you are using currently? Just curious as I am looking to demo a pure aero VS.
 

mad dog1

G.O.A.T.
The pain was the worst for me on serves and forehands...
Yup. Started feeling it around the 3rd week with the racquet but this is also when I took the APDs out to compare as well so maybe it’s not the PA VS that triggered but the APDs? Not completely sure.
 

gutfeeling

Hall of Fame
Yup. Started feeling it around the 3rd week with the racquet but this is also when I took the APDs out to compare as well so maybe it’s not the PA VS that triggered but the APDs? Not completely sure.
Sorry to hear that man. My guess would be the high SW/TW combo of the PA VS is the culprit FWIW. Would be curious to see how your arm feels after a couple weeks with your Ultra Tours. Going back to my Blades did the trick for me.
 

snoflewis

Hall of Fame
yikes. hope you guys feel better soon.
how long were you guys playing after the "stay at home" orders with your regular racquets....and then coming up to the play test?
Thanks! I wasnt part of the playtest, so i started using the stick a bit earlier. It was around the same time as the comeback. It's not too bad and im pretty sure it'll go away if i use anything else. It really is a good stick though


What is the string and tension you are using currently? Just curious as I am looking to demo a pure aero VS.
ice code at 50#
 

Injured Again

Hall of Fame
anybody experiencing arm discomfort? racket was perfectly fine for me the first couple weeks, but in the last week or so, gradually starting to cause discomfort in the elbow and shoulder.
I had some elbow discomfort from mis-hitting too frequently when I first started using the racquet. It's an inch shorter and 30 grams lighter than I'm used to so I was mis-timing a lot of shots as well.

The mis-hitting has gotten better but the elbow discomfort hasn't gone away yet. I didn't experience this with the Pure Drive VS when I tested that but I used the included RPM Blast Rough which lost a lot of tension. The Silver 7 Tour I have in the PAVS has dropped minimal tension and is still too firm. Light racquet, poly strings, mis-hits, and a 58 year old elbow are a recipe for some discomfort.
 

mad dog1

G.O.A.T.
Sorry to hear that man. My guess would be the high SW/TW combo of the PA VS is the culprit FWIW. Would be curious to see how your arm feels after a couple weeks with your Ultra Tours. Going back to my Blades did the trick for me.
Except the PA VS does not have a high swingweight. Arm felt better the following day when I only hit with the clash 100, clash 98, ultra tour and 2015 blade 18/20.
 

Lavs

Hall of Fame
Except the PA VS does not have a high swingweight. Arm felt better the following day when I only hit with the clash 100, clash 98, ultra tour and 2015 blade 18/20.
More tension that you might have with low SW racket. PAVS might need some lead in the hoop to let the swing go smoothly in relaxed manner. Else, you tense your hand which is the first step to injury. Take care.
 

warney

Rookie
anybody experiencing arm discomfort? racket was perfectly fine for me the first couple weeks, but in the last week or so, gradually starting to cause discomfort in the elbow and shoulder.
I typically play 2.5 hours in one hitting session. Played first 3 sessions with Velocity/Cream. No elbow issues. However I was also switching to my PK for few games. Played on Tuesday for entire session with PAVS though with Hyper-G mains and Black Zone crosses. I was feeling discomfort for a day. It has gone away now, but I will probably play for some time with my PK during next hitting session.
 

gutfeeling

Hall of Fame
Except the PA VS does not have a high swingweight. Arm felt better the following day when I only hit with the clash 100, clash 98, ultra tour and 2015 blade 18/20.
Exactly, so you added even more weight to the hoop (between 10-2 if I remember correctly) which already had a lot of weight on the sides. Compare that to a more traditionally-weighted frame like the Ultra Tour, which has lower twist weight, a little weight at the tip to bump the sw, and relatively more weight in the throat/handle. Though to be fair the Blades are high TW/SW as well so maybe the stiffer RA of the Babolats is more of a factor than we think.
 
Last edited:

g4driver

Hall of Fame
Playtest Review: Babolat Pure Aero VS 2020 by g4driver

String and tension used for test
: Volkl Cyclone Tour 1.30mm 54M/52X on an Alpha Ghost

Tennis experience/background: 53-year-old 4.0 who has played tennis in high school, during college, and quite a bit during my career in Southern CA, Atlanta GA, Alexandria VA, and Charleston, SC. After 3 back surgeries, I play fewer singles matches these days but still play 3 times a week while flying and have played 7 to 9 times a week from March 31st until last week.

Describe your playing style (i.e. serve volley): Consider myself more of a counterpuncher than anything else. My serve isn’t a weapon like many of my friends. My first and second serves aren’t that much different in pace, with more height and spin on second serves. My ROS is probably my second greatest strength, and the ability to return big serves deep, and get a break is something I consistently rely on. I am 5’9 about 160 lbs, so probably short than most opponents, fast and feel equally confident off both wings. My backhand can hit winners and errors just like my forehand. Unfortunately, too many errors too often define my playing style, but I try to let my opponents out error me. Of all the TW playtesters, I seem to like frames that Jason likes the most.

Current racquet/string setups: 2016 Model Pure Aero + (27.5) with Volkl Cyclone Tour 1.30mm 56M/54X. I have been using VCT 1.30mm for eight years, so my strings in this playtest are my bread and butter.

How many hours did you play with the racquet? 20+ hours so far. Mostly doubles but 4.5 hours of singles. Doubles with 4.0 and 4.5 guys. Singles vs 4.0 guys

Comments on racquet performance: This frame and string setup are very close to my current Pure Aero+. The biggest differences being the extended length of my PA+ frames and the noticeable decrease in weight from my PA+ frame at 342 grams to my 2020 PA VS playtest frame’s 322 grams. 20 grams less is noticeable, but the shorter length took the greatest adjustment on serves and groundstrokes. The swing weight on a stock 27.5” PA+ is over 330 while the swing weight on a stock 2020 Pure Aero VS is 321.

here are two comments from other members that I thought nailed the PAVS

@downs_chris in post #227 wrote, “it has a little more power / pop than the ezone 98 line...i'm a dr100 user and i would say this frame sits in between the ezone 98 and ezone 100 frames in terms of power”. @downs_chris you hit the nail on the head.

@am1899 in post #159 wrote 1. If you’ve ever played with the APD, PD, Pure Aero, etc. did you ever have the feeling (like I did) that cheat mode was enabled? Well, that feeling is still there with the VS for me, but it’s not as pronounced. You can still slap some ridiculous winners with the VS, when you have little or no business being able to. The VS never felt demanding, nor did I worry about balls sailing if I swung too hard. It really strikes a great balance between power on tap and control. This is spot on.

I agree wholeheartedly with @downs_chris and @am1899 having owned a DR100 and having hit with Ai 98, Ai100, and DR98, I would say the PAVS sits squarely in the middle as the mythical Ai/DR/Ezone 99. More comfortable than the Yonex 100s, with more power than the Yonex 98s.

Groundstrokes: Slightly less spin than my 16x19 Pure Aeros, but ample spin from both forehand and backhands. The groundstrokes were more powerful than I thought they would be given the lack of weight and the fact the PAVS isn’t extended like my PA+. If you have hit with an extended length frame, you understand the difference in swings and the additional plow through the extended frames provide. I will be extending this frame after I get my next 10-day break from work, starting on Tuesday, June 30th. I found more power and spin that I expected, but not as much as my PA+. The control & comfort were noticeably better than my PA+ frames. More muted would be an accurate description.

Serves: Struggled here a bit the first four outings, especially with flat serves out wide to the AD court due to the lack of the extended length, but found spin serves to the T and out wide to be easier to hit. Serving isn’t the strongest part of my game and the serve took the longest adjustment for me with this frame. The groundstrokes were easier to adjust to the 27” length, and I felt confident swinging out with groundstrokes. The serves gave me pause to wonder and I lacked confidence with this frame serving until after about 8 hours with it. The thick grip didn't help, my serve, but I vowed to get 10 hours in stock frame before modifying anything. I missed the 27.5" frame on my serve more than anything. But 99% of players wouldn’t care as they don’t use extended length frames. For the 1% of us who do use extended frames, please feel free to help me find the best long term method to extend a frame.

Volleys: For me, this was one of the bright spots of the playtest. While others didn’t think the frame shined in volleys, I did. Before switching to the PA+, I used a PA, and before that 16x18 Prince Textreme Warrior 100. Those frames have very open patterns which make volleys more challenging. The PAVS had much more control than my PA+ and it's more open pattern. I know adding weight will help stabilize the volleys, but I found the volleys better with this PAVS than the 2016 Pure Aero and Pure Aero+

Serve returns: Feel very comfortable with the forehand returns while the backhand grip was a little shorter than I wanted. Felt more comfortable returning wide serves to the Ad court with a one-handed BH slice, but if the serve wasn’t as angled, I prefer hitting my 2HBH and got plenty of these during the playtest. Was able to return serves with depth and plenty of spin. Had more winners as service returns vs serve and volley guys and guys that can’t defend the sharp angle Ad court to Ad court returns than I expected. The Service Return was another bright spot for me in this playtest.

General reaction/comments on overall performance:
The frame has a thinner beam, slightly smaller headsize, and slightly denser string pattern. The paintjob is very nice. It looks regal compared to my day glow yellow PA+ frames. I don't dislike my PA+ paintjobs, but they aren't for everyone. I don’t buy or pass on frame based on a paintjob, but yes, Babolat gave the PAVS a beautiful paintjob. The ¼ inch grip was noticeably bigger than what I am used to hitting with compared to Fairway Leather grips and this was the first thing I noticed as hit with this frame. I might have been the first reviewer to write about the larger grip in post #204. @haqq777 in post #246 shows some pictures that highlight the larger grip issue. This is an easy fix. I always use a 4 1/4 grip as they are easier to build up, but not easy to make smaller. I played with this frame stock until 10 hours then removed the stock SynTec Pro grip, as it is something I don’t like and would never use. I stock SynTec Pro grips and regrip a lot of Babolat frames, but never actually realized how thick they are until this playtest. Been using leather grips since the early 90s so anything else is just unnaturally thick and light to me.

Playtest Conclusion: This frame is has a great blend of control, power, spin and comfort. It isn’t as powerful as the Pure Aero or Pure Drive, offers slightly less spin, but makes up for that in the extra control you get from the 16x20 pattern, thinner beam and get more comfort than the Pure Aero. Grateful to @TW Staff & Babolat for the chance to participate in this playtest along with the two sets of strings. I truly enjoyed this playtest and look forward to the extended playtest once I modify the frame with weight and length it. This playtest was the most enjoyable one I have done for TW. The frame is one I will consider switching to if I can extend the PAVS 2020 and match the weight of my PA+. I have extended a few frames before, but it takes time and I am back to work flying away from home several days in a row. Looking forward to trying to extend this frame the way,

Additional Feedback for TW and Babolat: Some customers like myself truly like extended frames. If you could develop and sell a kit (which might include chemicals) to extend a frame such as the PAVS, PDVS without making the buttcap super bulky, you would find buyers. The chemicals in the video below might be available in the US, but I am going to have to search and venture out to find them. Wish TW and Babolat could sell a kit in the US with these chemicals or something to easily extend a frame. I would love to find the chemicals used in this video in the US, at Hobby Lobby or someplace else that sells them.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0CZKf3adoBA&feature=emb_title
 

mad dog1

G.O.A.T.
More tension that you might have with low SW racket. PAVS might need some lead in the hoop to let the swing go smoothly in relaxed manner. Else, you tense your hand which is the first step to injury. Take care.
Had been hitting with it with lead to the hoop from 10-2. Since i wasn’t part of the playtest, I added lead within the 1st hour of hitting. Thx.

It’s a great performing stick if it didn’t bother my elbow. List of sticks that don’t bother my elbow:

Ultra Tour modded with lead
PK Ki 5g with 1g of lead at 12
Clash 100 modded with lead
Clash 98
Blade 18/20 2015 version
360+ Prestige Mid
MG Prestige MP with 0.5g lead each at 10 and 2
Pure Storm Team GT modded with lead
Plus other sticks...
 
Last edited:

downs_chris

Professional
Playtest Review: Babolat Pure Aero VS 2020 by g4driver

String and tension used for test
: Volkl Cyclone Tour 1.30mm 54M/52X on an Alpha Ghost

Tennis experience/background: 53-year-old 4.0 who has played tennis in high school, during college, and quite a bit during my career in Southern CA, Atlanta GA, Alexandria VA, and Charleston, SC. After 3 back surgeries, I play fewer singles matches these days but still play 3 times a week while flying and have played 7 to 9 times a week from March 31st until last week.

Describe your playing style (i.e. serve volley): Consider myself more of a counterpuncher than anything else. My serve isn’t a weapon like many of my friends. My first and second serves aren’t that much different in pace, with more height and spin on second serves. My ROS is probably my second greatest strength, and the ability to return big serves deep, and get a break is something I consistently rely on. I am 5’9 about 160 lbs, so probably short than most opponents, fast and feel equally confident off both wings. My backhand can hit winners and errors just like my forehand. Unfortunately, too many errors too often define my playing style, but I try to let my opponents out error me. Of all the TW playtesters, I seem to like frames that Jason likes the most.

Current racquet/string setups: 2016 Model Pure Aero + (27.5) with Volkl Cyclone Tour 1.30mm 56M/54X. I have been using VCT 1.30mm for eight years, so my strings in this playtest are my bread and butter.

How many hours did you play with the racquet? 20+ hours so far. Mostly doubles but 4.5 hours of singles. Doubles with 4.0 and 4.5 guys. Singles vs 4.0 guys

Comments on racquet performance: This frame and string setup are very close to my current Pure Aero+. The biggest differences being the extended length of my PA+ frames and the noticeable decrease in weight from my PA+ frame at 342 grams to my 2020 PA VS playtest frame’s 322 grams. 20 grams less is noticeable, but the shorter length took the greatest adjustment on serves and groundstrokes. The swing weight on a stock 27.5” PA+ is over 330 while the swing weight on a stock 2020 Pure Aero VS is 321.

here are two comments from other members that I thought nailed the PAVS

@downs_chris in post #227 wrote, “it has a little more power / pop than the ezone 98 line...i'm a dr100 user and i would say this frame sits in between the ezone 98 and ezone 100 frames in terms of power”. @downs_chris you hit the nail on the head.

@am1899 in post #159 wrote 1. If you’ve ever played with the APD, PD, Pure Aero, etc. did you ever have the feeling (like I did) that cheat mode was enabled? Well, that feeling is still there with the VS for me, but it’s not as pronounced. You can still slap some ridiculous winners with the VS, when you have little or no business being able to. The VS never felt demanding, nor did I worry about balls sailing if I swung too hard. It really strikes a great balance between power on tap and control. This is spot on.

I agree wholeheartedly with @downs_chris and @am1899 having owned a DR100 and having hit with Ai 98, Ai100, and DR98, I would say the PAVS sits squarely in the middle as the mythical Ai/DR/Ezone 99. More comfortable than the Yonex 100s, with more power than the Yonex 98s.

Groundstrokes: Slightly less spin than my 16x19 Pure Aeros, but ample spin from both forehand and backhands. The groundstrokes were more powerful than I thought they would be given the lack of weight and the fact the PAVS isn’t extended like my PA+. If you have hit with an extended length frame, you understand the difference in swings and the additional plow through the extended frames provide. I will be extending this frame after I get my next 10-day break from work, starting on Tuesday, June 30th. I found more power and spin that I expected, but not as much as my PA+. The control & comfort were noticeably better than my PA+ frames. More muted would be an accurate description.

Serves: Struggled here a bit the first four outings, especially with flat serves out wide to the AD court due to the lack of the extended length, but found spin serves to the T and out wide to be easier to hit. Serving isn’t the strongest part of my game and the serve took the longest adjustment for me with this frame. The groundstrokes were easier to adjust to the 27” length, and I felt confident swinging out with groundstrokes. The serves gave me pause to wonder and I lacked confidence with this frame serving until after about 8 hours with it. The thick grip didn't help, my serve, but I vowed to get 10 hours in stock frame before modifying anything. I missed the 27.5" frame on my serve more than anything. But 99% of players wouldn’t care as they don’t use extended length frames. For the 1% of us who do use extended frames, please feel free to help me find the best long term method to extend a frame.

Volleys: For me, this was one of the bright spots of the playtest. While others didn’t think the frame shined in volleys, I did. Before switching to the PA+, I used a PA, and before that 16x18 Prince Textreme Warrior 100. Those frames have very open patterns which make volleys more challenging. The PAVS had much more control than my PA+ and it's more open pattern. I know adding weight will help stabilize the volleys, but I found the volleys better with this PAVS than the 2016 Pure Aero and Pure Aero+

Serve returns: Feel very comfortable with the forehand returns while the backhand grip was a little shorter than I wanted. Felt more comfortable returning wide serves to the Ad court with a one-handed BH slice, but if the serve wasn’t as angled, I prefer hitting my 2HBH and got plenty of these during the playtest. Was able to return serves with depth and plenty of spin. Had more winners as service returns vs serve and volley guys and guys that can’t defend the sharp angle Ad court to Ad court returns than I expected. The Service Return was another bright spot for me in this playtest.

General reaction/comments on overall performance:
The frame has a thinner beam, slightly smaller headsize, and slightly denser string pattern. The paintjob is very nice. It looks regal compared to my day glow yellow PA+ frames. I don't dislike my PA+ paintjobs, but they aren't for everyone. I don’t buy or pass on frame based on a paintjob, but yes, Babolat gave the PAVS a beautiful paintjob. The ¼ inch grip was noticeably bigger than what I am used to hitting with compared to Fairway Leather grips and this was the first thing I noticed as hit with this frame. I might have been the first reviewer to write about the larger grip in post #204. @haqq777 in post #246 shows some pictures that highlight the larger grip issue. This is an easy fix. I always use a 4 1/4 grip as they are easier to build up, but not easy to make smaller. I played with this frame stock until 10 hours then removed the stock SynTec Pro grip, as it is something I don’t like and would never use. I stock SynTec Pro grips and regrip a lot of Babolat frames, but never actually realized how thick they are until this playtest. Been using leather grips since the early 90s so anything else is just unnaturally thick and light to me.

Playtest Conclusion: This frame is has a great blend of control, power, spin and comfort. It isn’t as powerful as the Pure Aero or Pure Drive, offers slightly less spin, but makes up for that in the extra control you get from the 16x20 pattern, thinner beam and get more comfort than the Pure Aero. Grateful to @TW Staff & Babolat for the chance to participate in this playtest along with the two sets of strings. I truly enjoyed this playtest and look forward to the extended playtest once I modify the frame with weight and length it. This playtest was the most enjoyable one I have done for TW. The frame is one I will consider switching to if I can extend the PAVS 2020 and match the weight of my PA+. I have extended a few frames before, but it takes time and I am back to work flying away from home several days in a row. Looking forward to trying to extend this frame the way,

Additional Feedback for TW and Babolat: Some customers like myself truly like extended frames. If you could develop and sell a kit (which might include chemicals) to extend a frame such as the PAVS, PDVS without making the buttcap super bulky, you would find buyers. The chemicals in the video below might be available in the US, but I am going to have to search and venture out to find them. Wish TW and Babolat could sell a kit in the US with these chemicals or something to easily extend a frame. I would love to find the chemicals used in this video in the US, at Hobby Lobby or someplace else that sells them.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0CZKf3adoBA&feature=emb_title
Great review!
 

Injured Again

Hall of Fame
I hit about another 30 minutes this morning with the PAVS after setting it aside for a couple of days to let the elbow recover. I had no elbow discomfort before starting to hit but now, my elbow is kind of sore again. I have a few more hours to get to the ten hour mark on the stock frame and I was hoping to get there without restringing to see if the weight I was going to add to the frame would offset the stiff stringbed, but I don't think my elbow can take three more hours. I still mis-hit too frequently off the bottom of the frame because it swings through so fast, and I'm kind of in a bit of a different arm position compensating for the higher launch angle. I'm thinking of sticking ALU Power 1.25 in it to lower the launch angle a bit and to add a gram or two of mass to the hoop. Maybe add a stringbed dampener for an extra couple of grams on top of that.

For those of you who have finished your test of the stock racquet and are modifying the PAVS to your normal specs, how are you finding the racquet to perform after the mods?
 

BBender716

Semi-Pro
Not in the playtest but picked up a PAVS to try out after playing mostly with a 2019 PA Tour and Clash 98.

Forehand/Backhand: I hit a semi-western with an admitted issue of hitting through the ball and doing a ton of topspin instead. The PAVS has definitely helped on this regard. I am finding it to have much more control and maneuverability over the PA Tour. I have found a decent loss of pop and spin on my forehand but my OHBH is way better and completely makes up for it.

Serves are slightly worse than PATour but not noticeably so. I find an easier time with my slice and kick serve with a harder time hitting the same kind of bombs as the PA Tour.

Volleying is obviously better on the PAVS, self explanatory.

Comparing it to the Clash 98 is a much tougher comparison. The Clash 98 just felt so... dominating in my hand after playing with the PAVS in the same session. My forehands were bigger and OHBH slightly worse but not markedly. Serving was approximately equal and volleys were slightly better on PAVS.

I played with Confidential in the PAVS whereas I normally play with Hyper G so it's not a fair comparison yet. I'll be putting Hyper G in it soon and giving it another go. Either way, this is a VERY solid offering and it will be switching off with my Clash 98 at the minimum.


Sent from my Pixel 4 XL using Tapatalk
 

sanister

Professional
I hit about another 30 minutes this morning with the PAVS after setting it aside for a couple of days to let the elbow recover. I had no elbow discomfort before starting to hit but now, my elbow is kind of sore again. I have a few more hours to get to the ten hour mark on the stock frame and I was hoping to get there without restringing to see if the weight I was going to add to the frame would offset the stiff stringbed, but I don't think my elbow can take three more hours. I still mis-hit too frequently off the bottom of the frame because it swings through so fast, and I'm kind of in a bit of a different arm position compensating for the higher launch angle. I'm thinking of sticking ALU Power 1.25 in it to lower the launch angle a bit and to add a gram or two of mass to the hoop. Maybe add a stringbed dampener for an extra couple of grams on top of that.

For those of you who have finished your test of the stock racquet and are modifying the PAVS to your normal specs, how are you finding the racquet to perform after the mods?
Ouch!!I would definitely take a little break if the arm pain is back.Been lucky as I have not felt any pain.I swapped out to Fairway leather & added a couple of grams of lead strips between 10 and 2.Even better,ball has much more plow and frame feels more solid on contact.I don't play extended though so I know this wouldn't be much help to you.Sorry!
 

sanister

Professional
Not in the playtest but picked up a PAVS to try out after playing mostly with a 2019 PA Tour and Clash 98.

Forehand/Backhand: I hit a semi-western with an admitted issue of hitting through the ball and doing a ton of topspin instead. The PAVS has definitely helped on this regard. I am finding it to have much more control and maneuverability over the PA Tour. I have found a decent loss of pop and spin on my forehand but my OHBH is way better and completely makes up for it.

Serves are slightly worse than PATour but not noticeably so. I find an easier time with my slice and kick serve with a harder time hitting the same kind of bombs as the PA Tour.

Volleying is obviously better on the PAVS, self explanatory.

Comparing it to the Clash 98 is a much tougher comparison. The Clash 98 just felt so... dominating in my hand after playing with the PAVS in the same session. My forehands were bigger and OHBH slightly worse but not markedly. Serving was approximately equal and volleys were slightly better on PAVS.

I played with Confidential in the PAVS whereas I normally play with Hyper G so it's not a fair comparison yet. I'll be putting Hyper G in it soon and giving it another go. Either way, this is a VERY solid offering and it will be switching off with my Clash 98 at the minimum.


Sent from my Pixel 4 XL using Tapatalk
I really tried to like Confidential as some had suggested it was in between Hyper G and TB when it had come out initially. I definitely didn't find it to be the case for me at least.Except for better control, just like you, I felt everything else diminished.Felt stiff to me & in the end it wasnt really worth it for me.
 

Injured Again

Hall of Fame
Here's part 1 of my playtest review of the Pure Aero VS:

String and tension used for test:
I initially strung up the PAVS with 17 gauge Silver 7 Tour at 46 pounds, and used it for about seven hours. With the good tension maintenance of Silver 7 Tour, the stringbed felt too stiff throughout those seven hours and I developed elbow soreness as a result. I then restrung with 1.25 ALU Power at 43 pounds, which felt stiff initially but then settled in after an hour to a firm but more comfortable response that remained through the rest of my playtest.

Tennis experience/background:
Currently USTA 4.5 rated and have been captain of our club's 55+ 9.0 men's team the last three years. I'm currently 58 years old and resumed playing tennis in 2004 after almost two decades away from the game. I have been training with several high-level peers to be tournament competitive in the coming few years in the 60's.

Describe your playing style (i.e. serve & volley):
I am an aggressive all court player that tries to set up my forehand, with which I can hit forcing shots from most places on the court. I've changed my forehand technique this year to add more topspin to an already moderate topspin shot. I will follow forceful shots to the net to finish the point. My main weakness is that my footwork is not as precise or disciplined as needed when I am made to move hard, and compared to other top age groupers my defensive skills aren't as good. And that my body is wearing out but nothing can be done about that.

Current racquet/string setups:
I use both the v6 and v7 Blade SW104 racquets, which are 28" long with an 18x19 pattern and modified to just over 350 grams and 12 points HL, with a swingweight of around 345. I use 17 gauge Silver 7 Tour at 49 pounds in the center eight mains and 44 pounds in the center five crosses, decreasing in tension towards the edges.

How many hours did you play with the racquet?
I played with the Pure Aero VS for a total of ten hours in stock form, the first seven with Silver 7 Tour at 46 pounds, and the last three with ALU Power at 43 pounds.

Comments on racquet performance:
My Pure Aero VS was 304 grams unstrung, and after stringing with 17 gauge Silver 7 Tour was 320 grams and 6 points HL. I have a Pure Drive VS, which is 308 grams and 6 points HL, and a v3 Pure Strike 100 that is 316 grams and 2 points HL, to use as comparison racquets. All three racquets were strung with 17 gauge Silver 7 Tour at 46 pounds. About half way through the test, I added weight to the Pure Drive VS to bring it to the same weight and balance of the Pure Aero VS for a more direct comparison. No stringbed dampener was used throughout this playtest.

Groundstrokes:
Initially, it was difficult to adjust to a racquet one inch shorter and 30+ grams lighter than my normal racquet, along with a grip nearly three sizes smaller. I found the impact feel of the PAVS to be very different than my SW104 even though both used the same Silver 7 Tour string. There's a sensation of very short dwell time with the PAVS and that the ball doesn't compress much against the stringbed, but also that the ball rebounds efficiently with minimal energy loss. That results in a lot of ball speed on flatter shots, where it feels like the racquet is on the stiffer side of average. The launch angle is pretty high but also accompanied with good spin generation. When hitting a heavier topspin groundstroke, there's a sensation that the strings have to grab the ball pretty violently because the contact time is so short, but it also feels softer than on flatter shots probably because of the large amount of string movement. It's not a racquet that gives me immediate confidence the ball is going where I'm aiming it. However, the consistency of response is good and so there's a trust that is built over time that the ball will actually go where I'm hitting it. The other issue I experienced is that on my forehand, the light weight made it feel like I couldn't get the same degree of wrist lag at the initiation of the forward swing. Along with the low mass of the hoop, I tended to come through the contact point too quickly and caught a lot of balls on the bottom of the frame.

I had some problems hitting underspin backhands. Because of the higher launch angle, I had to tilt the racquet face more open to get underspin shots to clear the net. If I didn't make a firm and committed stroke, the light weight and my stroke mechanics made the ball float a bit and that resulted in a shot that was easily attackable by my opponent. The PAVS was a much better racquet at hitting underspin off a hard hit ball than a softly hit one.

The light weight and headlight balance made the PAVS very maneuverable. Even under extreme pressure, it seemed possible to get the racquet into position to make some sort of swipe at the ball. If I made clean contact, even just in blocking the ball, the power of the racquet sent the ball back deep into my opponent's court. It feels like a cheat mode and in this respect, the PAVS is much better than my Blade SW104. Just a stab at a hard hit ball seems like it will get me an extra 6-10 feet of depth compared to my normal racquet.

Mis-hits were accompanied by a fair amount of shock. The initial stringing with Silver 7 Tour resulted in a too firm stringbed, and mis-hits due to the racquet length and weight gave me a mild case of golfer's elbow.

There's also a slight feeling of an on-off switch to the Pure Aero VS. Even slower strokes resulted in a fairly fast, deep ball, but at the higher end of my swing speed capability, the increase in ball velocity seems to level off.

After restringing using ALU Power and lower tensions at the seven hour mark, I found groundstrokes to feel more familiar. The round string lowered the launch angle, and the softer stringbed made it feel as if there was better ball pocketing. The friendliness and forgiveness of the impact feel increased and I felt more comfortable aiming at slightly smaller targets. The lower launch angle also mostly took care of the floatiness with some underspin backhands. Spin generation did decrease a bit from the shaped Silver 7 Tour, but was still very good with the open string pattern, and was better than with any round string in my SW104.

Compared to the Pure Drive VS, there are way more similarities than differences. The Pure Aero VS feels slightly more muted and with slightly less impact shock on mis-hits. The PAVS feels like it has a larger sweetspot because the PDVS has a bit of frame buzz on the contact even slightly outside of the middle of the stringbed. Launch angles are roughly the same, and maybe just a very slight amount higher in the PAVS. Power levels are also very similar but a very slight amount higher in the PDVS after I had added weight to make it equivalent to the PAVS.

Compared to the v3 Pure Strike, the impact feel is quite different. The Pure Strike has a feeling of longer dwell time and an even flex along the entire length of the frame, compared to the PAVS which feels stiff throughout. The greater mass of the Pure Strike makes it feel more solid, stable, and consistent on contact.

Serves:
I did a minimal amount of serving with the PAVS and the comparison racquets due to shoulder issues during the test. I found that the PAVS felt better suited for me to hit flat serves, where the more direct racquet path through the ball gave higher ball speed and better accuracy. There is a surprising amount of power and the low feeling twistweight seemed to facilitate a late and fast pronation into the ball, which generated a lot of pace and bounce height.

Second serves had very good spin but it felt difficult to aim the ball at first. The combination of a high launch angle and light weight required significant adjustments to get comfortable that I could consistently hit the ball into the service box. The lighter weight also made me feel a bit sketchy getting full extension due to shoulder issues, and combined with a bit less ball speed than I get from my regular racquet had me double-faulting more than usual.

After restringing with ALU Power at a lower tension, flat first serves felt more solid, with better pocketing and ball compression against the stringbed, though it also felt like I lost a little bit of ball speed. Second serves had a more familiar launch angle and my normal swing technique got serves into the box with good bounce height and direction, though I never got comfortable aiming close to the sides of the service box.
 

Injured Again

Hall of Fame
Part 2 of my playtest review of the Pure Aero VS:


Volleys:
I thought that volleys were where the PAVS really performed well. The short dwell time made every cleanly hit volley feel crisp and powerful. I felt comfortable aiming at pretty small targets and I was usually able to hit them. Despite the low weight, the PAVS was stable even against hard hit groundstrokes, and the light weight made it easy to maneuver. Especially easy was to get the racquet up for heavy, high topspin passing shots. Because the ball feels like it has such short dwell time, the PAVS also feels relatively unaffected by the spin on the incoming shot, even though it is highly capable of generating spin itself. Putaway power on volleys is exceptionally good.

After restringing with ALU Power, the PAVS didn't loose the point-and-shoot nature of volleys, but it did seem easier to hit touch volleys. With the stiffer S7T stringbed, touch volleys felt like they needed to be hit by letting the ball's momentum overwhelm the light weight of the hoop. With the lower tension and softer stringbed of ALU Power, the response feels more linear and that the racquet and strings are working in combo to absorb the pace. That sensation is more similar to my Blade SW104.

The PDVS feels even more crisp than the PAVS, but there's always a hint of a high frequency buzz that seems to make the crisp response feel even sharper. The PAVS is more forgiving in that a slight mis-hit will direct the ball closer to the target than with the PDVS. The Pure Strike feels much more muted and dampened on impact, with a much larger zone where the contact feels solid and controlled. There's also more linearity from touch volleys to putaway volleys than in the PAVS, which feels best when putting some significant zip on the ball.

Serve returns:
Because of how point-and-shoot volleys were, and how relatively insensitive the PAVS is to incoming spin, I expected serve returns to be easy and they were. As long as I got the correct grip, the light weight and maneuverability allowed me to make contact out in front on the hardest serves I faced, which were in the 100-105 MPH range. There were times when the PAVS put too much speed on the return, and it felt like there was a hot spot on the stringbed where the ball just flew with little control or consistency. When I'm trying to drive the return of serve, I tend to hit it flatter than a normal groundstroke so there was a trampoline effect that added to the pretty powerful nature of the PAVS itself. I did have some difficulties with high bouncing serves to the backhand where I couldn't seem to find the right balance to hit an effective underspin return. I either ended up pulling those into the net or they tended to be a bit floaty and gave my opponent too much time to set up. It was a variation of the same problem I had with underspin backhands on groundstrokes where I couldn't seem to find a consistent middle ground as to how to hit that shot.

After restringing with ALU Power, that trampoline effect seemed to be lessened, and there was a bit more of a pocketing feel that gave the impression of increased control on flatter returns. I still had confidence problems with underspin returns on high bouncing serves to my backhand, but I missed less of them into the net. I only had one short session of returning serves after restringing, and it was in practice and not competition, and against a less forceful serve so that may have partly been responsible for the increased feel of control.

I didn't return any serves with the PDVS or Pure Strike during this test so I don't have a direct back-to-back comparison.

General reaction/comments on overall performance:
The Pure Aero VS is a very good racquet in stock form. It punches above its weight, and is powerful and spin capable enough to improve the level of ball striking for many players. The PAVS is light and maneuverable enough for those who need or want to use a lighter racquet, yet is still stable enough to offer good control against harder hit shots. The PAVS has a decent sized sweet spot that is well centered, and when making clean contact the racquet mutes vibration well and feels crisp and powerful. When trying to generate heavy topspin off the ground, there's a fairly strong sensation of the strings biting into the ball even though the dwell time feels relatively sort.

For players with higher levels of racquet head speed, a round string helps to contain launch angles to a manageable level, and a round string combined with lower string tensions gives a pocketing feel more familiar to those used to more flexible frames. The Pure Aero VS feels like a racquet that can be customized using different strings and tensions to suit many different playing styles and game improvement goals.

Thanks to Tennis Warehouse and Babolat for allowing me to be a playtester for the Pure Aero VS.
 
Part 2 of my playtest review of the Pure Aero VS:


Volleys:
I thought that volleys were where the PAVS really performed well. The short dwell time made every cleanly hit volley feel crisp and powerful. I felt comfortable aiming at pretty small targets and I was usually able to hit them. Despite the low weight, the PAVS was stable even against hard hit groundstrokes, and the light weight made it easy to maneuver. Especially easy was to get the racquet up for heavy, high topspin passing shots. Because the ball feels like it has such short dwell time, the PAVS also feels relatively unaffected by the spin on the incoming shot, even though it is highly capable of generating spin itself. Putaway power on volleys is exceptionally good.

After restringing with ALU Power, the PAVS didn't loose the point-and-shoot nature of volleys, but it did seem easier to hit touch volleys. With the stiffer S7T stringbed, touch volleys felt like they needed to be hit by letting the ball's momentum overwhelm the light weight of the hoop. With the lower tension and softer stringbed of ALU Power, the response feels more linear and that the racquet and strings are working in combo to absorb the pace. That sensation is more similar to my Blade SW104.

The PDVS feels even more crisp than the PAVS, but there's always a hint of a high frequency buzz that seems to make the crisp response feel even sharper. The PAVS is more forgiving in that a slight mis-hit will direct the ball closer to the target than with the PDVS. The Pure Strike feels much more muted and dampened on impact, with a much larger zone where the contact feels solid and controlled. There's also more linearity from touch volleys to putaway volleys than in the PAVS, which feels best when putting some significant zip on the ball.

Serve returns:
Because of how point-and-shoot volleys were, and how relatively insensitive the PAVS is to incoming spin, I expected serve returns to be easy and they were. As long as I got the correct grip, the light weight and maneuverability allowed me to make contact out in front on the hardest serves I faced, which were in the 100-105 MPH range. There were times when the PAVS put too much speed on the return, and it felt like there was a hot spot on the stringbed where the ball just flew with little control or consistency. When I'm trying to drive the return of serve, I tend to hit it flatter than a normal groundstroke so there was a trampoline effect that added to the pretty powerful nature of the PAVS itself. I did have some difficulties with high bouncing serves to the backhand where I couldn't seem to find the right balance to hit an effective underspin return. I either ended up pulling those into the net or they tended to be a bit floaty and gave my opponent too much time to set up. It was a variation of the same problem I had with underspin backhands on groundstrokes where I couldn't seem to find a consistent middle ground as to how to hit that shot.

After restringing with ALU Power, that trampoline effect seemed to be lessened, and there was a bit more of a pocketing feel that gave the impression of increased control on flatter returns. I still had confidence problems with underspin returns on high bouncing serves to my backhand, but I missed less of them into the net. I only had one short session of returning serves after restringing, and it was in practice and not competition, and against a less forceful serve so that may have partly been responsible for the increased feel of control.

I didn't return any serves with the PDVS or Pure Strike during this test so I don't have a direct back-to-back comparison.

General reaction/comments on overall performance:
The Pure Aero VS is a very good racquet in stock form. It punches above its weight, and is powerful and spin capable enough to improve the level of ball striking for many players. The PAVS is light and maneuverable enough for those who need or want to use a lighter racquet, yet is still stable enough to offer good control against harder hit shots. The PAVS has a decent sized sweet spot that is well centered, and when making clean contact the racquet mutes vibration well and feels crisp and powerful. When trying to generate heavy topspin off the ground, there's a fairly strong sensation of the strings biting into the ball even though the dwell time feels relatively sort.

For players with higher levels of racquet head speed, a round string helps to contain launch angles to a manageable level, and a round string combined with lower string tensions gives a pocketing feel more familiar to those used to more flexible frames. The Pure Aero VS feels like a racquet that can be customized using different strings and tensions to suit many different playing styles and game improvement goals.

Thanks to Tennis Warehouse and Babolat for allowing me to be a playtester for the Pure Aero VS.
Great review. It's a fantastic stick. In my opinion, it actually improves upon most of the things the standard pure aero already does well.
 

swfh

Semi-Pro
Pure Aero VS Review
String and tension used for test: Tecnifibre Black Code 17 at 55/53 lbs constant pull

Tennis experience/background: 5.5 player

Describe your playing style (i.e. serve & volley): I am someone who likes to come to net, but this summer I’ve really been working a lot on hitting from well behind the baseline. I have a pretty good serve then I can place well, and I often use my kick serve as a weapon.

Current racquet/string setups: I’m currently playing with the Yonex VCORE Pro 97 HD, and the strings I use with it are black code, poly tour pro, and hyper G.
Previously, I used the EZONE XI 98 and then the DR98+

How many hours did you play with the racquet?: 15 hours

Comments on racquet performance:
-Groundstrokes: Compared to what I normally play with, I felt that this hit a very big ball. My hitting partners told me several times that I was playing better with this. The launch angle is higher than what I’m used to, but that is to be expected with the open pattern. I actually enjoyed the open pattern quite a bit and am now thinking of switching frames to something less dense. I think this frame helps a lot on defense compared to my current racket.

I have never used a racket with this high of a stiffness rating, so I was a caught a bit off guard by all the free power and stability. It was nice knowing that I didn’t have to be perfect with every swing, and that I would actually be rewarded for swinging out on balls that normally I should have no business attacking. I can see how this (and the other Babolat frames in general) would be a great racket for pure baseliners. I remember hitting one passing shot down the line with a flick of my wrist that was an absolute cannon.

Slicing the ball was also quite nice. I didn’t think that the ball would bite very well with the open pattern. But in practice it was really really good. The stiffness really helps out a lot.

-Serves: Compared to my Yonex, there was a lot more free power with this. It was so easy to place the ball with a lot of pace. Flat serves were better than the slice, but overall it was super easy to serve with. Kick serves were also great, as expected. Makes me wonder what the regular Pure Aero would serve like because everyone says this is a toned down version of that.

-Volleys: I think the stiffness of the frame really helped with stability and the ability to punch the ball. I never felt like I had to put a lot into my volleys to finish the point. Rather, I could just let my hands to all the work. It was a little tough to hit touch volleys and drop shots, but I think with a little more time I could’ve gotten used to it.

-Serve returns: it’s a light racket and the swing weight isn’t too low. Personally, I would have felt more comfortable returning it there was a little more weight in the head. It would’ve been easier to get more out of a short backswing. But overall it wasn’t too bad. My current Yonex lets me be more precise with the returns, but this let me go a little bigger. Bit of a give and take.

I did mess around a bit with returning from really far back behind the baseline. It’s not something I usually like to do because I prefer to take the ball early. I use it more to mix it up. Also It’s kind of hard to hit something really big with the Yonex from way back. This racket was really good for stepping back and hitting a big return. The launch angle really helps with it.

General reaction/comments on overall performance:
I think here is a good place to talk about the overall feel of the frame, along with a few other things. When I first hit with this, I felt that I couldn't really feel the ball that well. The feeling of the ball sinking into the stringed wasn't there. I think part of that was due to the stiffness of the racket, and part of that was due to me being used to a much flexure frame. As I played more with this racket, I got used to the feel and it was decent. I think that once this gets broken in with a few string jobs, it would play like something with a 62/63 RA.

Another thing I should mention like others is that the grip feels one size too big. My grip was 4 3/8, and it was similar in size to a 4 1/2 racket I have laying around.

Finally, I felt that for me, the handle was a little short for my 2 handed backhand. My index finger just ran out of grip. It's not the end of the world, but something to consider. I would be interested in an extended length model that is a little softer.


Thank you to TW and Babolat for the opportunity to playtest!
 

am1899

Hall of Fame
After having played with the PAVS for a good 15 hours, here is my review.

String and tension used for test: Hyper G 16 strung at 42lbs on a constant pull.

Tennis experience/background: Former D1 college player. Currently rated 4.5 in USTA.

Describe your playing style (i.e. serve & volley): All court player, OHBH, generally play with an emphasis on getting to net.

Current racquet/string setups: APD GT, same string and tension

How many hours did you play with the racquet? Roughly 15 hours

Comments on racquet performance:

-Groundstrokes: 85/100

The first thing that struck me from the baseline was a bit of a surprise. Considering the weight of the PAVS, I thought lack of plow might be a problem. But that wasn’t my experience. The PAVS is remarkably solid feeling from the baseline in stock form. I don’t find it to be a spin machine by any means, but it’s there if you need it. Flattening out groundstrokes was satisfying - especially OHBH’s down the line. I experienced excellent point and shoot accuracy, plenty of power on tap, and I never found the PAVS jarring to my arm. I was also pleasantly surprised at the effectiveness of my slice groundstrokes with this frame - my guess is the 16x20 pattern helps (as opposed to the 16x19 in the APD). If there’s any negative for me, there’s just a hint of a “ping” sound when the ball is struck - which I may well be able to get rid of with some experimentation, maybe with weight or string.

-Serves: 85/100

Great serving racquet. I hit a lot of flat first serves in my game, and this racquet accommodated that nicely. Left to right accuracy was exceptional - noticeably better than the APD. I did have a little trouble finding my kick second serve with the PAVS, though. But the more I played with it, the more I was able to adjust. Slice serves were easy and effective.

-Volleys: 90/100

IMO this is where the racquet really shines. While my trusty APD gives me a little more firepower from the baseline, sometimes it’s cumbersome and “clubby” feeling at the net. Enter the PAVS. Again, considering the weight of the PAVS, it is remarkably stable at net. And since it is on the lighter side, it’s very nimble and maneuverable. The feel is the best part. Volleys that I stuck resulted in a very satisfying, crisp “thunk” on contact. And I can think of few racquets that allowed me hit touch volleys and half volleys as well and as effective.

-Serve returns: 80/100

This is obviously where I struggled most. The bottom line is, if I have time to get my racquet on the ball and swing, I returned well. Great racquet to chip charge with. But, if had to hit a defensive return I found it tougher than usual to center the ball and get the ball back such that I could stay in the point. To be fair, that’s probably a lot more to do with me (than the racquet) and my not so great fitness and reactions these days. I can’t help but wonder if adding a smidge of weight might help.

General reaction/comments on overall performance:

Admittedly, I was a little bummed out and skeptical when I saw Babolat did away with the box beam-ish hoop. But the new PAVS is a really solid offering from Babolat. As it turned out, I didn’t miss the box beam hoop. For me the PAVS has some of the same “cheat mode” characteristics I enjoy with my APD. But, it has significantly better feel, is easier on the arm, and is worlds better at the net.

Bottom line, if you’re looking for something more akin to a “player’s” racquet (thinner beam, slightly denser string pattern, comfortably crisp feel), but in a lighter package, the PAVS is definitely worth a look.

Thank you @TW Staff and Babolat for the opportunity to take part in this play test!
 
Last edited:
After having played with the PAVS for a good 15 hours, here is my review.

String and tension used for test: Hyper G 16 strung at 42lbs on a constant pull.

Tennis experience/background: Former D1 college player. Currently rated 4.5 in USTA.

Describe your playing style (i.e. serve & volley): All court player, emphasis on getting to net.

Current racquet/string setups: APD GT, same string and tension

How many hours did you play with the racquet? Roughly 15 hours

Comments on racquet performance:

-Groundstrokes: 85/100

The first thing that struck me from the baseline was a bit of a surprise. Considering the weight of the PAVS, I thought lack of plow might be a problem. But that wasn’t my experience. The PAVS is remarkably solid feeling from the baseline in stock form. I don’t find it to be a spin machine by any means, but it’s there if you need it. Flattening out groundstrokes was satisfying - excellent point and shoot accuracy, plenty of power on tap, and I never found it jarring to the arm. I was also pleasantly surprised at the effectiveness of my slice groundstrokes with this frame - my guess is the 16x20 pattern helps. If there’s any negative for me, there’s just a hint of a “ping” sound when the ball is struck - which I may well be able to get rid of with some experimentation with weight and string.

-Serves: 85/100

Great serving racquet. I hit a lot of flat first serves in my game, and this racquet accommodated that nicely. Accuracy was exceptional. I had a little trouble finding my kick second serve with the PAVS. But the more I played with it, the more I was able to adjust. Slice serves were easy and effective.

-Volleys: 90/100

IMO this is where the racquet really shines. While my trusty APD gives me a little more firepower from the baseline, sometimes it’s cumbersome and “clubby” feeling at the net. Enter the PAVS. Again, considering the weight of the PAVS, it is remarkably stable at net. And since it is on the lighter side, it’s very nimble and maneuverable. The feel is the best part. Volleys that I stuck resulted in a very satisfying, crisp “thunk” on contact. And I can think of few racquets that allowed me hit touch volleys and half volleys as well and as effective.

-Serve returns: 80/100

This is obviously where I struggled most. The bottom line is, if I have time to get my racquet on the ball and swing, I returned well. Great racquet to chip charge with. But, if had to hit a defensive return I found it tougher than usual to center the ball and get the ball back such that I could stay in the point. To be fair, that’s probably a lot more to do with me (than the racquet) and my not so great fitness and reactions these days.

General reaction/comments on overall performance:

Admittedly, I was a little bummed out and skeptical when I saw Babolat did away with the box beam-ish hoop. But the new PAVS is a really solid offering from Babolat. As it turned out, I didn’t miss the box beam hoop. For me the PAVS has some of the same “cheat mode” characteristics I enjoy with my APD. But, it has significantly better feel, is easier on the arm, and is worlds better at the net.

Bottom line, if you’re looking for something more akin to a “player’s” racquet (thinner beam, slightly denser string pattern, comfortably crisp feel), but in a lighter package, the PAVS is definitely worth a look.

Thank you @TW Staff for the opportunity to take part in this play test!
Great review! The Pure Aero VS is really a gem that I wish more people were aware of! Love your findings.
 

warney

Rookie
String and tension used for test: Velocity 16 mains with Cream 16 cross @52/51, Hyper-G Mains with Black zone cross @42, Hyper-G Mains with Velocity Cross @42/47, Gosen AK Pro CX 16 mains with Ice Code 17 Cross @52/48

Tennis experience/background: Self taught player, currently playing at USTA 4.0 levels. I no longer play any tournaments however one of my hitting partners regularly makes semis or higher at 4.0 tournaments and I normally split sets with him.

Describe your playing style (i.e. serve & volley): I am mostly baseliner. I will play serve and volley if opponent is just blocking serves back, otherwise I only come to net to finish points. Serves and returns are my two best shots. I do not hit with ton of spin unless I am defending. My OHBH has more spin than my forehand. I do not have high RHS, instead I rely on racquet's heft to do the work.
I used to play about 30% doubles before Covid-19 hit US, but I have been playing only singles since March this year.

Current racquet/string setups: PK Q+5X Pro with leather grip and Gut(1.35)-poly @57/52 as main stick. APD plus (2013) with 4 grams of lead at 3&9 and 6 grams in handle with Velocity/Cream @52/50 as backup if my shoulder is acting up.

How many hours did you play with the racquet? 9 hours in stock form (wrapped original grip little tighter and put Volkl dampener) and 6 hours with customization.
In stock form (racquet came in at 320gm strung with 31.5 cm balnce which is 3 points more headlight than listed specs) I played with Velocity/Cream, HG/BZ and HG/Velocity. I played 2 hours with HG/Velocity and 4 with Gosen/Ice Code in customized form.
Customization was 6 grams in throat, 5 grams in head (almost continuous 1/4" lead tape from one end of 3rd cross to another -- total of 20 inch lead tape), 5 grams in handle with half inch extension.

I compared this racquet mainly against APD+ as my PK has lot more heft. I played with APD+ for 8 hours and 2 hours with my PK during playtest.

Comments on racquet performance:
Groundstrokes (7.5/10):
Compared to APD+, spin and launch angle was very close. This is an open pattern 16*20. Attached photo has PAVS on top of APD+. String pattern reminded me of PCG 100 I used long time back. Ball was in and out of stringbed very quickly with little pocketing. Whenever I hit flat shot right in sweetspot it was money! I was impressed with control on my groundstrokes with PAVS. Though in stock form my neutral shots sat up too much and rally turned in opponent's favor very quickly. I could open up the court using angles, but could not push back opponent with power/pace. I think players with high RHS will be very successful with PAVS.

My slices with PAVS (even in stick form) were very good though. I ended up using my backhand slice more than my topspin backhand as I had more success with slices.

My drop shots were not very good with PAVS. There were too many "Oh Crap" moments after I tried drop shot.

I did not feel plow was great in stock form. I felt PAVS lacked weight near top of the frame. It was good enough after adding lead.

Only when I tried Hyper-G mains with Black Zone Crosses I felt jarring sensations and that's why I replaced crosses with Velocity. With other set ups I did not have any comfort issues. Feel is not hollow at all.

Serves (8/10):
In stock form my flat serves were just okay (good control, but did not track through the court), but kick serves were very good. After adding weight and extending, flat serves were very good. My slice serves are pretty average with my current racquet and these were same even with PAVS. I did not have any issues hitting my spots with the serve. Overall I serve little better with APD+ and way better with my PK.

Volleys (8.5/10):
This is where PAVS shines for me (even in stock form). Most of the time when I am hitting volleys I am at an advantage, but I hit good volleys of low balls and attempted hard hit passes. Easy maneuverability coupled with point and shoot response off the stringbed, PAVS just produced very clean volleys. I mostly hit stick volleys with PAVS. I don't think I even attempted drop volley. PAVS is better at this than APD+.

Serve returns (7.5/10):
In stock form PAVS lack of weight in head caused some issues against hard hit serves. My block returns were shorter than normal and also slower than normal and I was already behind in point. Against second serves I preferred to open up the court rather than hit deeper returns with pace. With added weight returns were marginally better. APD+ is a cheating racquet on return of serves compared to PAVS (stock or weighted).

General reaction/comments on overall performance:
This is one good looking racquet. Racquet mold and color scheme really go well together.
As far as performance goes I think this frame has good mix of power, control, spin and comfort. Though I would prefer slightly more weight in the head to get more plowthrough. Even after added weight racquet still comes through contact zone very quickly which I really like.
I like the feel of PAVS more than any Babaolat I have tried outside of PSLGT. I know where the ball is hitting without causing any discomfort.
I really don't know how it stacks up against other 98 inch, 300-310 gram unstrung weight racquets as I have really have not tried any in last year and half.

Thank you TW and Babolat for this opportunity.
 
Last edited:
String and tension used for test: First stringing I went with Kirschbaum Pro Line Evolution 17 ga at 51 lbs, second time I went with Luxilon 4G 16L at 50 lbs.

Tennis experience/background: Played on a very good SoCal high school team and have been playing recreational tennis ever since. Am currently rated as a 4.5. I was playing mostly doubles before the pandemic began but have gone to mostly just hitting around and playing the occasional singles set.

Describe your playing style (i.e. serve & volley): I'm a heavy spin player, I mostly aim to pull my opponent off courts with angles and go for put away groundstrokes and try to finish at net when I can

Current racquet/string setups: Babolat Pure Strike Tour (2019 edition) with Kirschbaum Pro Line Evolution typically strung at 51 to 53 lbs

How many hours did you play with the racquet? 15 (mostly hitting around, probably played about 3 sets). Played about 12 hours in stock form, 3 hours with about 2 grams of lead at 10 o'clock and 2 grams at 2 o'clock.

Comments on racquet performance:

-Groundstrokes: Very light and maneuverable which made a very nice racket to just hit around with. As long as I brushed up on the ball I was pretty much always able to hit a quality ball with high net clearance and depth. It was especially nice on the forehand side, I have a pretty whippy swing so I found it easy to shape and adjust my swing path on high/low balls and when I had to hit on the run. Fresh off the stringer the feel on groundies was very plush and comfortable. After the 8 hour mark I found that it started to feel harsh and felt pretty significant vibrations on my hand any time I made contact. The racket was quite stable given it's light weight but I still struggled at times against heavy balls. I ended up adding about 4 grams of lead tape at 10 and 2 but would probably still add more, I didn't notice any significant difference after adding lead.

-Serves: I started having some wrist/elbow/shoulder discomfort once my initial stringing lost tension so I didn't want to try serving too hard with this racket. As expected with any Aero racket, I was able to get some nice bite and curve on my slice/kick serves but wasn't able to get my usual pop on flat serves. With most rackets I am eventually able to find my groove on serves so I'm sure this would be a great serving stick if I continue using it frequently.

-Volleys: A bit lacking in the stability department for me. Put away volleys were pretty simple with this racket but I struggled a bit volleying any balls with pace. I typically prefer a heavier racket for volleys since I play mostly doubles and and need something that handles pace well.

-Serve returns: I typically try to take returns early and on the rise and I struggled a bit hitting those types of returns with this racket since it is lighter than what I typically use. I was missing a ton of returns trying to use my typical return style but was a lot more successful if I stepped back a bit and just gave myself more time to go for a high net clearance return instead.

General reaction/comments on overall performance: Thanks to TW and Babolat for the opportunity! I definitely enjoyed the playtest and the racket was great for just hitting around with but wouldn't make it my go-to racket for set play. The racket is definitely more stable than you would expect given its specs but it still wasn't stable enough for me compared to what I normally played with. The harsh feeling after the 8 plus hour mark was also quite strange as I don't recall ever noticing this feeling with other Pure Aero's that I have played with. I don't think it was the string either since I have been playing with Pro Line Evolution for a while and can typically play with it until it breaks.
 
String and tension used for test: Velocity 16 mains with Cream 16 cross @52/51, Hyper-G Mains with Black zone cross @42, Hyper-G Mains with Velocity Cross @42/47, Gosen AK Pro CX 16 mains with Ice Code 17 Cross @52/48

Tennis experience/background: Self taught player, currently playing at USTA 4.0 levels. I no longer play any tournaments however one of my hitting partners regularly makes semis or higher at 4.0 tournaments and I normally split sets with him.

Describe your playing style (i.e. serve & volley): I am mostly baseliner. I will play serve and volley if opponent is just blocking serves back, otherwise I only come to net to finish points. Serves and returns are my two best shots. I do not hit with ton of spin unless I am defending. My OHBH has more spin than my forehand. I do not have high RHS, instead I rely on racquet's heft to do the work.
I used to play about 30% doubles before Covid-19 hit US, but I have been playing only singles since March this year.

Current racquet/string setups: PK Q+5X Pro with leather grip and Gut(1.35)-poly @57/52 as main stick. APD plus (2013) with 4 grams of lead at 3&9 and 6 grams in handle with Velocity/Cream @52/50 as backup if my shoulder is acting up.

How many hours did you play with the racquet? 9 hours in stock form (wrapped original grip little tighter and put Volkl dampener) and 6 hours with customization.
In stock form (racquet came in at 320gm strung with 31.5 cm balnce which is 3 points more headlight than listed specs) I played with Velocity/Cream, HG/BZ and HG/Velocity. I played 2 hours with HG/Velocity and 4 with Gosen/Ice Code in customized form.
Customization was 6 grams in throat, 5 grams in head (almost continuous 1/4" lead tape from one end of 3rd cross to another -- total of 20 inch lead tape), 5 grams in handle with half inch extension.

I compared this racquet mainly against APD+ as my PK has lot more heft. I played with APD+ for 8 hours and 2 hours with my PK during playtest.

Comments on racquet performance:
Groundstrokes (7.5/10):
Compared to APD+, spin and launch angle was very close. This is an open pattern 16*20. Attached photo has PAVS on top of APD+. String pattern reminded me of PCG 100 I used long time back. Ball was in and out of stringbed very quickly with little pocketing. Whenever I hit flat shot right in sweetspot it was money! I was impressed with control on my groundstrokes with PAVS. Though in stock form my neutral shots sat up too much and rally turned in opponent's favor very quickly. I could open up the court using angles, but could not push back opponent with power/pace. I think players with high RHS will be very successful with PAVS.

My slices with PAVS (even in stick form) were very good though. I ended up using my backhand slice more than my topspin backhand as I had more success with slices.

My drop shots were not very good with PAVS. There were too many "Oh Crap" moments after I tried drop shot.

I did not feel plow was great in stock form. I felt PAVS lacked weight near top of the frame. It was good enough after adding lead.

Only when I tried Hyper-G mains with Black Zone Crosses I felt jarring sensations and that's why I replaced crosses with Velocity. With other set ups I did not have any comfort issues. Feel is not hollow at all.

Serves (8/10):
In stock form my flat serves were just okay (good control, but did not track through the court), but kick serves were very good. After adding weight and extending, flat serves were very good. My slice serves are pretty average with my current racquet and these were same even with PAVS. I did not have any issues hitting my spots with the serve. Overall I serve little better with APD+ and way better with my PK.

Volleys (8.5/10):
This is where PAVS shines for me (even in stock form). Most of the time when I am hitting volleys I am at an advantage, but I hit good volleys of low balls and attempted hard hit passes. Easy maneuverability coupled with point and shoot response off the stringbed, PAVS just produced very clean volleys. I mostly hit stick volleys with PAVS. I don't think I even attempted drop volley. PAVS is better at this than APD+.

Serve returns (7.5/10):
In stock form PAVS lack of weight in head caused some issues against hard hit serves. My block returns were shorter than normal and also slower than normal and I was already behind in point. Against second serves I preferred to open up the court rather than hit deeper returns with pace. With added weight returns were marginally better. APD+ is a cheating racquet on return of serves compared to PAVS (stock or weighted).

General reaction/comments on overall performance:
This is one good looking racquet. Racquet mold and color scheme really go well together.
As far as performance goes I think this frame has good mix of power, control, spin and comfort. Though I would prefer slightly more weight in the head to get more plowthrough. Even after added weight racquet still comes through contact zone very quickly which I really like.
I like the feel of PAVS more than any Babaolat I have tried outside of PSLGT. I know where the ball is hitting without causing any discomfort.
I really don't know how it stacks up against other 98 inch, 300-310 gram unstrung weight racquets as I have really have not tried any in last year and half.

Thank you TW and Babolat for this opportunity.
Really good review! Loved reading your experience with this great stick!
 

TW Staff

Administrator
ATTENTION PLAYTESTERS:

This is a reminder that your comments are due tomorrow! Please post them on time to remain in good standing.

Thanks,
TW Staff
 

downs_chris

Professional
String and tension used for test:
Yonex Poly Tour Pro 1.25mm Yellow at 52 lbs on a constant pull machine (Babolat Sensor)

Tennis experience/background:
USTA 4.5 (been a 5.0 a few times), I play a lot of league tennis (although nothing right now), both mixed and men's - all doubles.

Describe your playing style (i.e. serve & volley):
I enjoy serve and volleying, but if not coming in immediately, I will come in eventually.

Current racquet/string setups:
Yonex DR100 100 (335g total weight) strung with Yonex Poly Tour Pro 1.25mm at 53.5 / 51 lbs

How many hours did you play with the racquet?
I used this racquet for approximately 20 hours of drilling and set play

Comments on racquet performance:
Groundstrokes:
Immediately from the first hit, I knew I liked the racquet. Some frames you can just pick up and go - and this is one of those frames for me. I have used a lot of the more “comfortable” Babolat frames in the past – including the Pure Storm / Control Tour for years, the older Aerostorms and the previous Aero VS line. This fits in with all of those.

There was a nice comfort level – for me the frame wasn’t too stiff, but had just enough flex to be able to feel the ball. I had no issues dialing it in on my flatter backhand stroke – that was probably my favorite shot with the frame. I generally hit a loopier forehand, and I’m used to a slightly higher launch angle from my Yonex DR100 – so forehands took a slight adjustment for me.

Serves: So I’ve been nursing a slight wrist injury, so I couldn’t really go for it as much as on the serve as I would like. I do like the mass in the hoop, so serving with this frame shouldn’t be an issue. I didn’t notice any arm issues, which has been a problem with me in the past. I would like to revisit this in a few months’ time to get a better feel for serving.

Volleys: As a double’s player, it’s important to find a racquet that I can volley with – and this is one of those frames. I loved the previous Aero VS at net, and this was an improvement from that frame – I think the extra weight really helped in this category too. The racquet had just enough flex / feel for drop volleys. There wasn’t much I couldn’t do with this frame at net.

Serve returns: Much like the groundstrokes, I really liked returning with this frame. I enjoy the low 320 swingweight for quick flick of the wrist on the returns. The frame has just enough mass to feel stable against bigger servers. Like the groundies, I probably wasn’t as dialed in on the forehand side, but that’s just getting used to the launch angle of the racquet.

General reaction/comments on overall performance:
So overall, I did really enjoy the frame – it’s really beautiful and reminds me of a shinier version of the original APD. It’s one of those frames that I can pick up and use with very minimal modifications. If I were to switch to a Babolat frame this is what I would use. It’s a little more dialed in for me, than the Pure Drive VS, and not as powerful as the Pure Drive / Pure Aero lines. I’ve mainly been using Yonex frames lately, and I would say that the Pure Aero VS sits in between the Ezone 98 and Ezone 100 lines of frames.

I think some others have mentioned it but the base grip on this frame is a little thick – so the 3/8 grip feels big. If I were to switch to this frame, I would definitely swap out the grip for something thinner (something similar to the old Babolat Skin Feel grips). Secondly, the last cross string is so close to the throat, that it kind of seems pointless – I’m not sure if anyone noticed that, but this is basically a 16x19 string pattern in my mind. Lastly, I would probably just add a little more weight in the handle (the hoop feels solid enough) and it would be good to go! I like what Babolat did here with the upgrade – I think the bump up in weight was a good move and like the new mold too.

Thank you TW for the opportunity to playtest this racquet! It’s been one of the better frames I’ve hit recently and I look forward to tinkering and messing with this frame some more over the summer!
 
Top