Tennis Warehouse Playtest: Babolat Pure Aero

JonnyAbs

Semi-Pro
Because points are longer and the balls are a little heavier due to the clay? I play on hard court, so that could explain why mine is lasting longer. I play tomorrow. We'll see if it snaps. That will take it over the 10 hr mark.
Mine snapped on one of the first few hits of yesterday's session, so I didnt get 10 hours on the spiraltek synthetic gut. However, I will be stringing with predominately poly mains from now on so I will likely need restringing due to the strings going dead before they pop...
 

ArliHawk

Hall of Fame
This seems to be the racquet I keep coming back to. Bought 2 on Saturday from the local dealer and got to hit them today. All the stuff I thought the prior version lacked see, to be changed on this one. Fells more comfortable, like the new green color, and appreciate the higher swing weight. Feels really stable and lots of spin on my serves. Might be some instincts for sale soon.
 

Nostradamus

Bionic Poster
This seems to be the racquet I keep coming back to. Bought 2 on Saturday from the local dealer and got to hit them today. All the stuff I thought the prior version lacked see, to be changed on this one. Fells more comfortable, like the new green color, and appreciate the higher swing weight. Feels really stable and lots of spin on my serves. Might be some instincts for sale soon.
so you like this better than the Head Instict ? what is it about it that is better compare to that frame ?
 

dgoran

Hall of Fame
Tried it tonight for a little bit And put it down after 5 min:

Good parts:
Looks great fricking awesome in person they did an awesome job with design...I also looks and feels smaller than previous only by a hair but enough to notice.

Bad parts: slightly felt worse than previous version we measured it on Rdc and it came in at 71 strung and it felt that way even though it was strung with multi at 55. Nothing impressed or stood out for me it was simply meh
 

purple-n-gold

Hall of Fame
Tried it tonight for a little bit And put it down after 5 min:

Good parts:
Looks great fricking awesome in person they did an awesome job with design...I also looks and feels smaller than previous only by a hair but enough to notice.

Bad parts: slightly felt worse than previous version we measured it on Rdc and it came in at 71 strung and it felt that way even though it was strung with multi at 55. Nothing impressed or stood out for me it was simply meh

My impression as well with a demo at my club. Gave it a good 30mins. To be fair it did have syn gut strung one piece; I added my damp and og and still nutting.
 

Soundbyte

Hall of Fame
Interesting that the vibe seems so split. Some seem to love it. Others hate it. Some feel its a great update to the line, others feel there's no point in upgrading.

I'll add my 2 cents when my racquets come in.
 

Bartelby

Bionic Poster
Babolat has re-engineered the beam to make it more aerodynamic, aeromodular 2, but how it swings depends mainly on swing weight.
 
Babolat has re-engineered the beam to make it more aerodynamic, aeromodular 2, but how it swings depends mainly on swing weight.

Yes I know that. Babolat also shifted the Woofer tech into the inside of the frame for the same reason. But where does Babolat say that these technologies make the Pure Aero easier to swing than a 2013 APD as @Nostradamus is suggesting? But then he doesn't appear to be agreeing with that assertion anyway.
 

Jay_The_Nomad

Professional
I think the aerodynamics is a marketing gimmick at least when tennis racquets are concerned. I would think swing weight would make a bigger impact.
 

dgoran

Hall of Fame
Interesting that the vibe seems so split. Some seem to love it. Others hate it. Some feel its a great update to the line, others feel there's no point in upgrading.

I'll add my 2 cents when my racquets come in.
Keep in mind that in general human psychology is to rate something positive if you get a free product in return. It's subconscious but it works and has worked for ages from restaurants to Amazon dot com
 

jonestim

Hall of Fame
I hit the last version of the APD for about a week before my elbow told me it had to go. With the most recent Pure Drive I made about the same week, waited a few weeks and hit - the pain came back. Repeat a few weeks later so it went away as well. This version is allowing me to play with it. I have hit 9 hrs in the last 4 days alone. No way I could have done that with the old version. That alone makes it worth the upgrade for me.
 

Sean C

New User
How do I get in the mix to maybe test the Pure Aero Tour? I have the pure aero and use the the strike tour and pure drive tour now. Think the pure aero tour would the in between the two and want to test it out.
 

ccmtennis

Semi-Pro
I just wanted to add my thoughts here on this frame that has gotten a lot of hype

I have my demo strung up with RPM blast at about mid range. I have tried every version of the APD since the cortex but also sold every version except the cortex. I am a 4.0 with an all court game and 1HBH. I sold the other version just due to the lack of comfort and despite liking the increased plow from the GT version. Overall to me this is just a disappointment and they missed the boat on it for the average intermediate player. The only improvement is much improved comfort which is welcomed in the line and very large sweet spot and even hitting outside of it is not jarring. I think the new grommet system is also paying off big time. The problem is the increased SW comes with a larger string spacing and it makes it just uncontrollable with with a mid range 16g poly. It is great when your timing is right but otherwise the ball just fly on you and you need to have enough time to place topspin to keep the ball in play. I agree with the reviewers from TW but then again I am not at their level of play. In my humble opinion they should have put the grommet system for added comfort in the new pure drive line and placed the denser center string base pattern of the pure drive (FSI) in the pure aero. Just a missed opportunity sad to say for me.
 

BHud

Hall of Fame
Just picked up the Pure Aero for a demo and have about 4 hours on the frame. I must say that I have enjoyed the last two iterations of this racquet, but could only last a short time before elbow pain became prominent. For the last 6 months I've been playing with the Yonex Ai 100 which is very similar, but much more comfortable. So...at least in the short term, the new Pure Aero delivers on everything it promises...without the elbow stress. The TW review is spot on. In comparison, it has virtually the same specs as the Yonex (SW both 327, static weight 11.2/11.3, and stiffness 68/69), but feels a bit quicker. My slice has noticeably more bite and serves are killer. Overall, if arm pain doesn't creep back over the next several weeks, I will probably be making the switch. My demo is strung with Babolat Addiction 16, but I usually string hybrid with a soft poly like Twice Shark in the mains and gut or a soft multi in the crosses. Keeping my fingers crossed!
 

topspinlob

Rookie
Babolat Pure Aero playtest

Tennis experience/background: I am 42 years of age (5’-6” and on the husky side). I started playing tennis seriously when I was 13 years old. I took a couple lessons at a local park but basically I am self-taught. I would tape pro tennis matches on ESPN and use the slow-mo function on our VCRS. I played High School Varsity for 2 years then I stopped playing when I started college (1991). By 1999, I picked up tennis again playing weekly until about 2004. I started playing seriously in 2010. I had my rackets stolen from my car and I had decided why not pick up tennis again. I have been playing ever since with even more dedication and enthusiasm!


Describe your playing style (e.g., serve & volley)
: I am baseline/counterpuncher who likes to hug the baseline. I am not afraid of the net however. I like playing singles but I can play doubles if needed.

Current racquet/string: Wilson Blade 2013 98 16x19 (11.8 oz with leather grip/overgrip and lead at 3&9) Pro’s Pro Ichiban Spin 17g at 50lbs


String set-up in test racquet:
(1) Pre-strung with Babolat Spiraltek Black 17G @ mid-range (2) Prince Poly Exp 16g @53lbs strung with drop weight stringer (3) Diadem Solstice Power Tennis String 17g @53 Lbs strung with drop weight stringer.


How many hours did you play with the racquet?: Listed according to string set up listed above

(1) 6 hours (2) 7 hours & (3) 1hour; Total: 14 hours

Comments on racquet performance:

-groundstrokes: In general with whatever string you used, groundstrokes were really great with this racket. It’s even better if you use topspin and have good low-high strokes and RHS. The sweetspot on this racket is HUGE. Even when I didn’t hit the sweetspot or I shanked, I did not get any excessive vibration. There is some good power from this racket. I would think with the open pattern, flat shots would be hard to control but I didn’t have any issues. But I would suggest using medium to stiff poly to reign in control. Prince Poly Exp is kinda springy which I didn’t have a problem with. With the Diadem string, control is improved. The spin that comes on the racket is tremendous. The launch angle is high. A lot of groundstrokes that I thought were going to fly out were dropping in. Crosscourt short angles passing shots (both forehand and backhand) happened with ease. The string pattern reminds of POG Mid (14x18) very open! Slice backhands were great as well. Even when hard hit groundstrokes were hit to my backhand and the only option is to slice, the ball comes off nicely with good bite on the ball.

Usually when a deep looping topspin shot comes to my forehand I usually just respond with deep looping forehand with myself leaning back. But for kicks I decided to really go for it and see that this type of racket can do. So in this situation, I hit the ball at the apex but at the same time leaned back and gave the ball a good whack. The first time (Spiraltek) I did that I missed by an inch and my friend was in shock I was able to hit almost a winner from a defensive position. The second time I decided to this I had Prince Poly Exp in the racket. I was interested to see if poly would make a difference and it did. I hit a forehand winner from my corner to my friend’s backhand corner. He was still amazed I was able to go from defense to offense in one swing. I guess this goes with Playtester Chris’ sentiments. Overall, this racket is a baseliner’s dream.


-serves: I am not the biggest server. I have to really concentrate to hit a nice hard hit serve. With the racket strung with Spiraltek 17g, kick serves had too much spin it seemed and were landing short and sitting up. With poly strings, I was getting more depth on kick serves. The big difference for me were flat serves. I really liked it for flat serves. I could hit and direct flat serves with ease. With the Blades and my other previous rackets, I really had to swing hard to get a hard flat one down the tee. With the Pure Aero, I didn’t have to use a lot of effort. I just let the wide beam of the racket power the ball thru.


-volleys: Touch volleys were hard for me with this racket. You definitely have to use medium-stiff poly for touch ( that’s doesn’t sound right huh?). With Prince Poly EXP, I couldn’t hit any touch volleys to save my life. I wanted the ball to drop close to the net and die but each time it would land mid court. But with Diadem string I was able to hit nice touch volleys. This racket is good for regular volleys. It had good stability with hard passing shots. Just put out the racket in front and let the racket do the work.


-serve returns: The way I know if a racket is good for service returns is if I can hit a couple good drive drive backhands for winners. It took me a couple sets until a cracked a couple. But in general this racket is stable enough for hard-hit flat serves. If you can just get good contact on the ball you will hit the ball deep. A friend who I hit with regularly hit a nice kick serve to my backhand in the ad court. The ball kicked up high and I was able to hit service return winner with an abbreviated swing. I knew something was special about this racket because I usually play with rackets 11.8-12.2 oz and I didn’t expect a lighter racket would be able to do that.

General reaction/comments on overall performance: As mentioned I am used to playing with heavier rackets. Also I like SW’s in range of 325-335. I have been telling myself that eventually I will be playing with rackets with wider beams and light static weight. I just didn’t think it would be so soon. The last couple months I noticed I was getting more tired while playing with a 11.8z ~ 335 SW racket. I didn’t think I was going to get picked for the Pure Aero since a lot of people would be interested. I tried getting on the TW Pure Drive playtest last year but I wasn’t picked. I think I got picked because not a lot of people use L2 grip size. Anyhow I am switching to this racket immediately. I am already thinking of selling my Blades and getting another Pure Aero. I am still getting groundstroke spin and power I am used to but in addition I am getting some serve power. Also in defensive positions, the Pure Aero is enabling me to get the ball back deep even if I stab at it. With my previous rackets (POG, PCG100, EXO3 Graphite, Vantage/Angell,Wilson Blade) I wasn’t able to do that. I was thinking of putting a leather grip because I like bevel feel (which I did on all my previous rackets) and I like the added weight. But now I am used to just adding a overgrip and a lower static weight. Surprisingly my arm is not as sore after playing Also I am not as tired after playing since I am exerting as much energy during serves and groundstrokes. For now I am going to leave the Syntec Pro replacement grip. If I really do want to bevel feel I may install Gamma Hi-Tec replacement grip.

Just to add, in the middle of the playtest, I added some lead to the handle. I layed 10 grams on the replacement grip (not using the adhesive) and just wrapped overgrip to hold it in place. I did this to see how it would play if I were to add a leather grip ( just static weight-wise and not for more feel). The rackets felt played well too. I think I would add leather grip only if I were to push around by a hard-hitters. For about almost the majority of the playtest I hit with my usual tennis partner who is a flat hard hitting, rush the net kinda player. We would always play sets. He mentioned he didn’t “like” my racket because of the more spin and more balls coming back to him. On my second to the last go-around for the playtest I was able to hit my friend who is also a frequent contributor (Props to DJNeight!) to the TW forums for an hour or so. We just hit groundstrokes for the most part and then practiced our serves. He hits deep topspin groundstrokes which I haven’t been hitting against in a while. I wanted to make sure this racket was stable and powerful enough to stand against these type of strokes. In the end, the Pure Aero was able to withstand the deep topspin strokes but also respond back with deep topspin shots as well. This confirmed my switch to this racket. Might as well I am not getting any younger and I want to keep playing for the rest of my life!

Thanks TW and Babolat for the playtest!
 
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djNEiGht

Legend
Babolat Pure Aero playtest
On my second to the last go-around for the playtest I was able to hit my friend who is also a frequent contributor (Props to DJNeight!) to the TW forums for an hour or so. We just hit groundstrokes for the most part and then practiced our serves. He hits deep topspin groundstrokes which I haven’t been hitting against in a while. I wanted to make sure this racket was stable and powerful enough to stand against these type of strokes. In the end, the Pure Aero was able to withstand the deep topspin strokes but also respond back with deep topspin shots as well. This confirmed my switch to this racket. Might as well I am not getting any younger and I want to keep playing for the rest of my life!

Thanks TW and Babolat for the playtest!

I did not apply to this play test. When I met up with topsinlob (play test participant) he straight away handed me the Pure Aero. We warmed up with some "mini tennis" and moved to the base line. I did not take any serves with this. Thank you for the chance to try out this racquet. This is my first dance with any version of the AERO PRO DRIVE / AERO PRO

Tennis experience/background:
Tennis in high school for PE and college. Not very serious and did not have sound technique. About 8 years ago I started dating someone from a tennis family, thus started playing and learning the game. I started off where I left off...bad technique. Then I started watching tennis games on TV, the better players at the courts, and took a class with a coach and some of the seasoned players I had met along the way. Now I'm more avid than my wife's family and have way too much gear (racquets, strings, etc...) than my relatives combined.

Describe your playing style (e.g., serve & volley):
I play about 90% doubles due to the fact that the courts I frequent are crowded and players just wait in line for a pick up doubles game. I try and play singles when the chance presents itself. I have played various doubles tournament and recently participated in a round robin singles tournament. When I am on the base line I usually just stay there until there is a short ball. I have been working on getting to the net sooner. I have also tried to incorporate a serve and volley game which helps me end points sooner since I have limited movement with x4 knee surgeries, but will run as needed. I try and hit with spin. Semi-Western forehand and Eastern one-handed back hand. Flat first serve and kick 2nd serve. Working on a slice serve at the moment. I prefer to play with MID/MID+ racquets with an RA close to 60 if possible. Racquets I've used in the past couple years Boris Becker DC London, Pro Kennex Redondo 98, Prince POG Mid, Prince POG OS, Mizuno Turbo Pro Mid, Head YouTek Prestige Pro, Head i.Prestige MP, Wilson nCode nTour 95, and Babolat Pure Drive Play (play test participant)

Current racquet/string:
Just finished a run with Head YouTek Prestige Pro with Luxilon Element/Prototype. Now playing with Head i.Prestige MP with IsoSpeed Baseline Spin

String set-up in test racquet:

Prince Poly Exp 16g @53lbs strung with drop weight

How many hours did you play with the racquet?
No more than 30 minutes

Comments on racquet performance:
FREE POWER was what I immediately noticed as well as large sweet spot. The string set up also lent itself to a comfortable feel. The racquet was very forgiving and I can compare this (as well as the power) to when I play with my Pure Drive. I normally play with an L4/L5 grip (leather no OG) and during the short run with the racquet I was okay with the L2 grip

-groundstrokes:
I did not have to work as hard as I do with my regular racquet to get the pace/depth/spin needed. Topspinlob hits with a very heavy topspin shot and it kicks as it bounces. I found myself able to swing through and catch those shots with the help of the generous sweet spot and power. On the back hand side I don't hit with as much topspin and would find it going long if I didn't brush up on the ball. Back hand slice had nice movement and depth. Off both wings the racquet moved well and fast through contact

-serves:

I did not take any serves

-volleys:
Put away shots had some nice pop to it. Some of the touch/drop shots I could not control as I wasn't used to the spring of the Prince EXP. The racquet felt a bit sluggish at the net and I attribute this to less head balance as compared to my Prestige Pro

-serve returns:

I did not take any serves

General reaction/comments on overall performance:
Thank you Tennis Warehouse, Babolat, and topspinlob for making this play test available.

As topspinlob said this racquet allowed him to play with out getting as tired with the usual heavier low powered sticks. This also appears to be the same for me. I really enjoy playing with leather grips and would probably add one. This will hopefully help the sluggishness I felt during volleys. I would personally need to put in more time into the racquet to see if this would be one to consider purchasing. The stiffness is what would concern me the most but could maybe tinker with string type and tension.
 
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allenkau

Rookie
Brought one for my son who has been playing with the 2013 version for over 2 years... Its definitely harder to swing. He is not able to use it cause he lost a lot of racket head speed.

For me, I used to play with the 2013 until it gave me tennis elbow. I switched to an POG 100 with Gut/Poly for the past 2 years. I tried the new PureAero with 17g Poly at 48lbs and for the most part, I love it. Its tricky for my 1hb because I can't get the launch angle right. I am hitting heavy top that doesn't have much height over the net. I am having problems playing a high topspin 1HB. But my slice is wicked with this stick.

I am wondering if a GUT/POLY combo would give this stick way too much power. I am hoping my Elbow doesn't flare up..
 

atatu

Legend
I'm not part of the playtest but decided to buy a Pure Aero on impulse and I've played six set of singles with it, and two sets of doubles. Here are my thoughts:

Tennis experience/background: I am a 53 year old 4.5 player. This year I have played 45 singles matches in leagues, ladders and tournaments and several league doubles matches also.
Describe your playing style (e.g., serve & volley) primarily a baseliner in singles, but in doubles it's all serve and volley.
Current racquet/string:Wilson Blade 98 16x19 with a leather grip strung with gut mains and black shark crosses.
String set-up in test racquet:Gut mains and black shark crosses.
How many hours did you play with the racquet? About seven or eight hours so far.
Comments on racquet performance:

-groundstrokes: Extra pop and spin on the forehand side for sure, still working on smoothing out my two handed backhand, added a leather grip and that helped a lot. Nice slice one handed backhand, but less feel than the Blade for sure.
-serves: Definitely more power and more topspin compared to my Blade, but haven't got the slice down yet.
-volleys: Anything above the shoulder is better, more power helps to put volleys away. Overheads noticeably better. Low volleys aren't bad either, and I have terrible touch so I rarely try drop volleys.
-serve returns: Solid, no problems transitioning to the Pure Aero on the return at all, even on the backhand side, possibly because I'm basically just blocking back big serves these days. I did rip a few off the forehand side that felt good.

General reaction/comments on overall performance: Like a previous poster, I had my son try this racket out and he said it was a lot slower than his APD, so he did not like it (also note that I added a leather grip so that added some weight). As far as comfort goes, I haven't had any elbow pain yet, so I'll keep my fingers crossed and see how it goes, if I get any pain it will be back to the Blade. Lately I've been noticing a lot of guys my age using the Pure Drive and APD, so that is one reason I wanted to see if I can adjust to this type of racket, so far, so good.

UPDATE: I just played two more singles sets with my PA, I'm liking this frame more and more. In particular, I was really hitting the topspin serve well today and I continue to be impressed with the way I can hit overheads and high volleys with this racket. It looks like I will be switching to the Pure Aero.
 
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avocadoz

Professional
I find the bloated reviews and ratings by TW suspicious. Do they always give the highest ratings to the top player's frames/best sellers no matter if the updated version is better or worse? Is there a hidden contract with these companies in order to sell racquets? I tried out the new frame and find it worse than the previous version. The added SW doesn't make the racquet more stable, it just makes it more sluggish because the increased in power counteracts the stability. Volleys around the net are also worse than the previous model. It was actually a fun stick to volley until now. Despite mine being strung with RPM, there were so much string movement and vibration was quite noticeable even with a dampener on. I don't think I'd last more than a few sets before my elbow/wrist gives out. I'm already feeling sore after playing a couple of sets in doubles.
 

n8dawg6

Legend
I find the bloated reviews and ratings by TW suspicious. Do they always give the highest ratings to the top player's frames/best sellers no matter if the updated version is better or worse? I tried out the new frame and find it worse than the previous version.

No, I don't think so. They did not particularly like the Graphene XT Speeds compared to the graphene models. And they didn't give the Graphene Prestiges very high marks, despite the prestige being a favorite for years. They just liked the Pure Aero ... I did too. I'd take it over any of Babolat's other racquets and liked it much better than the Aero Pro.

allll that being said, there is nothing wrong with you disliking the racquet. Stick with your own gut, not somebody else's opinion. One example I can think of is the Prestige Rev Pro ... TW hated it. But it has a small cult following out there, myself included. Just because they like it or don't doesn't mean you have to.
 

pfchang

Professional
Does anyone feel as if the grip size run smaller than the old APDs? I usually use skin feel on L3 grips, and even with the normal stock grip on, it feels smaller than usual...

Also don't know if anyone has noticed this yet, but maybe it's the new cortex? Poked at it a couple of times.

pXWRXbp.jpg
 

Nuke

Hall of Fame
Tennis experience/background:
Avid recreational player for several decades. 4.0 singles league matches twice a week, occasional local tournaments, rarely doubles, and I pound the practice wall between matches.

Describe your playing style (e.g., serve & volley):
Aggressive junkballer, loads of spin on almost every shot, moonballs, dropshots, your worst nightmare if you like to get in a rhythm. But I’m not a pusher and will knock off winners when the time is right. Best shot is my serve, with regular and reverse slices on either side. Two-handed backhand that’s probably a bit more powerful and reliable than my forehand. I’m mostly a baseliner, but will come in and stay at the net on short balls.

Current racquet/string:
Prince Warrior OS, strung with Topspin Cyber Flash mains and Gosen OG Sheep Micro crosses, both at 55 pounds.

String set-up in test racquet:
The string shipment only included a set of Origin, which I didn’t really want, so I played the first few sessions with the factory-strung Spiraltek. I mentioned earlier in this thread that I never got the RPM Blast and M7, and Babolat kindly sent me the missing strings in another shipment (terrific service, guys!), so I ripped out the Spiraltek and restrung with a hybrid of RPM Blast and Gosen OG Sheep Micro, at 50 pounds for another couple of playtest sessions

How many hours did you play with the racquet?
About 4 hours with the Spiraltek, and another 4 hours with the RPM/OGSM hybrid.

Comments on racquet performance:
-groundstrokes:

Wow, this thing is a club. Such great plowthrough without having to add any lead tape. I have to say I was a bit disappointed with the spin when I was hitting with the Spiraltek, and really had to work at getting big topspin. I didn’t think the launch angle was particularly high, and had to adjust my game a bit around the racquet. But when I put in the RPM Blast, this was much better in the spin department. This is a great racquet for groundstrokes -- topspin, backspin, flat, all good, and with excellent control. Works best with fast swings, so maybe not the racquet you want if you like to baby your shots. I could still hit drop shots, but they had to be relatively fast backspin chops at the ball instead of soft, deft touch shots. This was a bit of an adjustment for me from the flexier frames I usually use, but I really like the heavy balls I was hitting on fast swings, and I could definitely get used to this racquet.
-serves:
I was hitting bombs, with both the Spiraltek and the RPM. It’s the plowthrough again, and it just works for serves like on groundstrokes. I don’t think I was getting as much side-to-side curving as usual, but that’s because the serves were just going faster, so straighter.
-volleys:
I’m mostly an accidental net player, when the opponent brings me up with a short shot, so I didn’t hit a lot of volleys, but a flat punch style volley worked very well with this racquet. Very stable and controllable. It’s less effective on drop volleys and touch shots where you want to take the speed off the ball. This thing wants you to hit through the ball, and it has a relatively big sweet spot that makes volleying easy. I wouldn’t say it’s the most maneuverable racquet around the net, but I learned to play when racquets were generally heavier than today, and really like the extra heft this gives at the net. If you’re strong enough to move the racquet around up there, you’ll get a nice firm volley.
-serve returns:
If you like light, fast racquets for the service return, then this is not for you. It’s a bit harder to get this racquet moving, but if you can handle it, it won’t get pushed around by hard incoming serves. I know I keep saying it, but it’s all about the plowthrough for me with this racquet.

General reaction/comments on overall performance:
I’m a little torn about this racquet. It makes me play a different game, and probably a better one. This racquet has lots of control, and rewards fast swing speed, but probably isn’t the best choice for touch and finesse shots. At my age, my game relies on a bag of tricks with lots of touch and spin. This racquet makes me want to outhit my opponent instead of outfoxing him. That might be fun for awhile, and is really the way to go for players with younger arms than mine, but as I get older, I like a more flexible racquet that’s easier on the arm and can pull off the sort of tricky shots I’ve gotten in the habit of hitting. The Pure Aero is going to be a great racquet for most younger players, though, who just want crack the ball for winners.

As always, thanks to Babolat and Tennis Warehouse for letting us try it out.
 

BHud

Hall of Fame
Just picked up the Pure Aero for a demo and have about 4 hours on the frame. I must say that I have enjoyed the last two iterations of this racquet, but could only last a short time before elbow pain became prominent. For the last 6 months I've been playing with the Yonex Ai 100 which is very similar, but much more comfortable. So...at least in the short term, the new Pure Aero delivers on everything it promises...without the elbow stress. The TW review is spot on. In comparison, it has virtually the same specs as the Yonex (SW both 327, static weight 11.2/11.3, and stiffness 68/69), but feels a bit quicker. My slice has noticeably more bite and serves are killer. Overall, if arm pain doesn't creep back over the next several weeks, I will probably be making the switch. My demo is strung with Babolat Addiction 16, but I usually string hybrid with a soft poly like Twice Shark in the mains and gut or a soft multi in the crosses. Keeping my fingers crossed!

Update...sticking with the Ai100. Feels more solid and definitely more arm friendly. The longer I played with the Pure Aero, the more flimsy it felt (especially switching to it in a session after starting with the Ai 100). It serves bombs, but was just not that great all-around. I'm not sure what all the fuss is about in the TW review...
 

dgoran

Hall of Fame
Update...sticking with the Ai100. Feels more solid and definitely more arm friendly. The longer I played with the Pure Aero, the more flimsy it felt (especially switching to it in a session after starting with the Ai 100). It serves bombs, but was just not that great all-around. I'm not sure what all the fuss is about in the TW review...
Oh you know what the fuss is about...its of course about extra $$$ retailer can now make by selling overpriced racquet :)
 

Soundbyte

Hall of Fame
Oh you know what the fuss is about...its of course about extra $$$ retailer can now make by selling overpriced racquet :)
I dont know...i doubt they have to hype up the most popular racket in the world. That racket will sell regardless. If they wanted more money, they'd hype up all the expensive rackets. Remember, the vast majority of tennis players do not review tennis rackets. They buy what the pros are using, or what they think looks good.

WE, this forum, are on the extreme end of the spectrum of tennis players.
 
What I'm really interested in is the new Pure aero tour that's coming in a few months. anybody beside Chris at TW that's tried it??
 

Soundbyte

Hall of Fame
Just hit with Pure Aero for about 2 hours. Initial impressions are positive. I currently use a PD+, but have used/demo'd over 35+ frames in the past 18 months or so, ranging from my beloved PS85 to Pacifics, ProKennex, and everything in between.
First impressions:
1. Much more comfortable and softer than previous generations. Feel is greatly improved. I would say it's slightly better than the PD+, but still nowhere near the touch of frames like the Pure Control 95/tour, Prestiges, Textreme 95 or Yonex frames (Ai98, F 93)
2. Still swings fast. This frame definitely feels whippy and quick.
3. Serves are fantastic. This was the single biggest surprise of the frame. I never felt the APD/APD+ serving was special, but this frame is up there. I'd say its very close to the PD+/PDR+ in serves. I'd guess the Plus version of the Aero is going to be up there if not better than the gold standard for serving rackets. My next favorite frames for serving are the PC95+ and AI98, followed by the RF97

My first impressions are highly favorable. Very good chance I'll be holding onto this frame.
 

dgoran

Hall of Fame
Just hit with Pure Aero for about 2 hours. Initial impressions are positive. I currently use a PD+, but have used/demo'd over 35+ frames in the past 18 months or so, ranging from my beloved PS85 to Pacifics, ProKennex, and everything in between.
First impressions:
1. Much more comfortable and softer than previous generations. Feel is greatly improved. I would say it's slightly better than the PD+, but still nowhere near the touch of frames like the Pure Control 95/tour, Prestiges, Textreme 95 or Yonex frames (Ai98, F 93)
2. Still swings fast. This frame definitely feels whippy and quick.
3. Serves are fantastic. This was the single biggest surprise of the frame. I never felt the APD/APD+ serving was special, but this frame is up there. I'd say its very close to the PD+/PDR+ in serves. I'd guess the Plus version of the Aero is going to be up there if not better than the gold standard for serving rackets. My next favorite frames for serving are the PC95+ and AI98, followed by the RF97

My first impressions are highly favorable. Very good chance I'll be holding onto this frame.

Interesting...that your impressions are exactly opposite of mine (minus serving since I did not try to serve with it at all). I wonder if its string sensitive. Which strings did you use while trying Aero? My demo was strung at 57 with some multi and it felt like a board...Do you have access to RDC to measure flex? My was flexing at 71-72 if i remember correctly.
 

Korso

Semi-Pro
Test drove this racket today. Versatile and easy to use from every where on the court. Spin, control, and power are all there. Comfortable in my opinion. This was the first time I have played with the aero line. Very impressive racket.
 

atatu

Legend
Interesting...that your impressions are exactly opposite of mine (minus serving since I did not try to serve with it at all). I wonder if its string sensitive. Which strings did you use while trying Aero? My demo was strung at 57 with some multi and it felt like a board...Do you have access to RDC to measure flex? My was flexing at 71-72 if i remember correctly.

No offense, but you said you hit with it for 5 minutes, I really don't think you can get accurate impressions of ANY racket after hitting with it for 5 minutes.
 

Soundbyte

Hall of Fame
Interesting...that your impressions are exactly opposite of mine (minus serving since I did not try to serve with it at all). I wonder if its string sensitive. Which strings did you use while trying Aero? My demo was strung at 57 with some multi and it felt like a board...Do you have access to RDC to measure flex? My was flexing at 71-72 if i remember correctly.
Mine was strung with Signum Pro Poly Plasma at 50 lbs. I normally play with poly at 45 lbs. Don't have access to a RDC machine.

I should clarify that the frame is stiff, but is softer than previous generations in my opinion. It is not a flexy frame by any means, but certainly isn't jarring. I have another 2 hours booked here in the early morning to further the test drive.
 

Xievie

Rookie
Can anyone tell me how the Burn 100 compares to this Pure Aero in performance? I have a friend telling me that in general the Aero line is just flat out better than the Burn.
 

Soundbyte

Hall of Fame
So logged another 2 hours with the Pure Aero. I still like it. The trajectory of the ball is higher and loopier than I'm used to, but not a tough adjustment. My forehand timing is off slightly, but that's too be expected coming from a extended length frame. Played doubles so I got more volley practice. Overall its a point and shoot with volleys...I had a few successful drop volleys and angle shots. I definitely enjoy the added swingweight. I think Babolat made the right move with the SW up near 330.
 

jaxadam

Rookie
I hit with this racquet for a few minutes yesterday and my initial impressions were that it's a pretty nice racquet. Pretty powerful and spinny. I'll hit more with it tomorrow night and get to put it through it's paces a little more.
 

Nostradamus

Bionic Poster
What are your thoughts?
I didn't really like it.. Power was definitely better than previous version but too slow on Quick volley exchanges and felt bulky at net. and my 1-handed backhand felt slow as well. Nice topspin generation though. Initial forward momentum was very tough
 

atatu

Legend
Well I sold my Blades to a friend today and I'm going to order another Pure Aero tomorrow. I think this racket does everything very well, no big drawbacks for my game. As I mentioned earlier, I don't hit many touch shots so any perceived lack of feel doesn't really effect me. High volleys and serves are very very good with the PA and serves are better also. Comfort is surprisingly good as well.
 

srvnvly

Hall of Fame
I didn't really like it.. Power was definitely better than previous version but too slow on Quick volley exchanges and felt bulky at net. and my 1-handed backhand felt slow as well. Nice topspin generation though. Initial forward momentum was very tough

seems like the new Pure Drive would be the stick for you: good power, lower swing weight
 

djNEiGht

Legend
I didn't really like it.. Power was definitely better than previous version but too slow on Quick volley exchanges and felt bulky at net. and my 1-handed backhand felt slow as well. Nice topspin generation though. Initial forward momentum was very tough

This was my first trip around the block with any AERO PRO type racquet (have a pure drive). I liked the power and spin. Was pleasant/easy to hit on the base line but the net was where I didn't not like it much. Felt sluggish. I really like to play with a head light set up. I'd add a leather grip or weight to the handle.
 

jonestim

Hall of Fame
My end of playtest comments (See previous review here)

I have about 25-30 hours with the racquet and not much of my opinion has changed since the initial review.

I have spent more time serving and have had really good results. Great pace and spin and pretty good placement. This is one of the better serving frames I have used - almost up with the POG LB.

After this much time my elbow is still happy - which is different than the past APDs and PDs I have used.

Feel on contact - while much better than past versions - is still the main detractor of the frame. It is acceptable, but not a selling point. Every other frame in my closet feels better, but none hit as aggressive a ball.

My original summary still stands. Babolat improved on the APD. It's not for everyone - and I don't know if I will stick with it - but for people who like to hit an aggressive ball it is a winner.
 

dgoran

Hall of Fame
No offense, but you said you hit with it for 5 minutes, I really don't think you can get accurate impressions of ANY racket after hitting with it for 5 minutes.
None taken its quite possible that string fooled me since I did not string it myself and I did have some bad initial impressions in the past with some racquets after proshop strung demos too tight with multi but usually I am pretty good at figuring out within few hits with most rackets if it's a keeper or not :) but I usually test them with my string setup (or few setups ). Babolat racquets have always been string sensitive in my opinion and thus tricky to playtest without using preferred setup so I will revisit new apd after I finish playtesting few racquets that I am trying now
 

topspinlob

Rookie
I am also interested ?!

I play with a one-handed backhand. I consider it my stronger side. Anyhow, this racket has some good SW which I like. I like SW of 330-340. I think it depends if you are used to high SW. But I am able to hit topspin,flat and slice backhands with good results. This racket feels solid for it's static weight. I think if you are used to lower SW and possibly more head light balance this racket might feel sluggish.
 

roger presley

Hall of Fame
I play with a one-handed backhand. I consider it my stronger side. Anyhow, this racket has some good SW which I like. I like SW of 330-340. I think it depends if you are used to high SW. But I am able to hit topspin,flat and slice backhands with good results. This racket feels solid for it's static weight. I think if you are used to lower SW and possibly more head light balance this racket might feel sluggish.
Thanks,looks like something that would suite me.
 
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