Tennis Warehouse Playtest: Babolat Pure Drive 2021

I absolutely agree, and I would have done full Cyclone, I just ran out a while ago and haven't had a good chance to order more yet, so I opted to use the strings that came with the demo. I did the xcel/rpm hybrid with xcel in the mains, per the rec of someone earlier on the thread.
Ok, but the difference between full poly and multi/poly is too important. I would then take another full poly, like RPM Blast or Hyper-G.
 

pyrokid

Hall of Fame
Whats your thoughts on the stock SW? I may be adding some lead at 12 at some point, maybe 2-3 grams.
I slapped 3g on the 12 last time I hit and it was pretty relaxing. Serves were nutty good and I just kinda dropped it into groundstrokes and it pulverized the ball. Definitely felt more natural for me on the one hit, but I was playing a much worse player too.

Still need more time directly comparing to the APD/PA but I keep getting rained out!!
 
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Power Player

Talk Tennis Guru
I slapped 3g on the 12 last time I hit and it was pretty relaxing. Serves were nutty good and I just kinda dropped it into groundstrokes and it pulverized the ball. Definitely felt more natural for me on the one hit, but I was playing a much worse player too.

Still need more time directly comparing to the APD/PA but I keep getting rained out!!
That sounds really promising. It doesnt need much.
 

kvan

Rookie
Just played an 8.5 doubles match tonight under the lights and in mid-50s weather. It was the first real test of the frame in match play and I’d say I’m pretty impressed so far with 5 hours of play under the belt.

I still wasn’t feeling 100% serving with the PD, but I was clobbering returns and ripping groundies to pass. Even in stock form, the racquet was plenty maneuverable and stable at net.

Touch and feel are the only areas where I definitely miss from my RF97 and Blade v7. I enjoy throwing in drop volleys up at net, but this frame screams sticking volleys for the put away. The higher-pitch feedback from the PD is also unusual to me, but not uncomfortable.

I’ve always used an extreme eastern grip on my forehand but definitely found my groove cheating closer to semi western with this frame. Continuing to find good access to pace and depth as I’ve adjusted to the launch angle. More to come!
 
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pyrokid

Hall of Fame
That sounds really promising. It doesnt need much.
No, and 3g might have been a bit much even - it was bordering on clubby. I'm always really bad when looking for the specifics - usually I'll just have a bunch of frames, set them up close enough to each other, see which I like more and try to emulate them more closely.
 

fundrazer

Legend
My first outing wasn't the best, but I recall needing a bit of an adjustment when I was playtesting the pure strike 100 too. What I've found when going back to lighter sticks sometimes is that I end up coming through contact too early which leads to mishits.

Will try to see if I can get out for a casual hit tomorrow and report back. The one noticeable thing for me so far though was that this stick felt very muted. I was honestly very surprised by that. Although from my understanding the 2018 played that way. I've played with the old PDR and have a 2012 that I've hit around with a bit, and the feel on this one was quite different from those two.
 

fundrazer

Legend
Better outing today. Much more consistent with the ball. Some early things I noticed.

  • Think someone else mentioned here about slicing the ball. Have to +1 on that, very easy to get some knifey slices.
  • Very easy power on serve (it is a Pure Drive after all). Was warming up with serves today and just getting easy pace and good placement. Then when you start grooving into your technique it's like boom. Topspin also comes very easy on serves as well. Can be very consistent with topspin or kick serves, but can also ramp it up and get nasty bounce.
  • Pretty solid on volleys while also being very maneuverable.
  • Having a little bit of trouble adjusting with the forehand, but this is something I've noticed when I try out open pattern racquets.
  • Also felt more like a Pure Drive tonight. Still feels very muted, but I guess I was more comfortable tonight and got that Pure Drive feeling when hitting the ball
 

Raysu

New User
I heard this iteration was the closest to the Original Pure Drive. Anyone can confirm that?
The ability to slice the ball really well sure sounds like it :love:
 

JonnyAbs

Semi-Pro
For me, when swingweight starts to get over 320, it affects my cardio a lot. Last night I played great and took a 3-1 lead on my opponent. But then I started to fade and he rattled off 5 straight games. So I switched back to my 2015 where I recently added a bit of weight at 12 o clock. I immediately started playing competitively again and got my energy back. Was having some issues with the weight at 12 and slowly starting stripping it off as the set wore on, and I eventually won it in a breaker. My opponent and I are basically the same level. We go back and forth.

Maybe from the HTR System means some more mass in the head? It is definitely more stable, but I struggle to get below the ball and dump into the net more. Then I over compensate and start hitting long. And I am very tired and it's harder to focus. Granted this is my body, and I could probably just run more and adjust, so we'll see how things keep going.
 

Power Player

Talk Tennis Guru
So far for me im saving a lot of energy using this PD. Thats one of the benefits of using it, imo. Free power, less effort expended.

I come from a blade and ultra tour and they take more energy to use, so i have a different perspective.
 

JonnyAbs

Semi-Pro
So far for me im saving a lot of energy using this PD. Thats one of the benefits of using it, imo. Free power, less effort expended.

I come from a blade and ultra tour and they take more energy to use, so i have a different perspective.
Compared to those i definitely agree. And it should have a higher launch angle.
 

jmacdaununder2

Hall of Fame
For me, when swingweight starts to get over 320, it affects my cardio a lot. Last night I played great and took a 3-1 lead on my opponent. But then I started to fade and he rattled off 5 straight games. So I switched back to my 2015 where I recently added a bit of weight at 12 o clock. I immediately started playing competitively again and got my energy back. Was having some issues with the weight at 12 and slowly starting stripping it off as the set wore on, and I eventually won it in a breaker. My opponent and I are basically the same level. We go back and forth.

Maybe from the HTR System means some more mass in the head? It is definitely more stable, but I struggle to get below the ball and dump into the net more. Then I over compensate and start hitting long. And I am very tired and it's harder to focus. Granted this is my body, and I could probably just run more and adjust, so we'll see how things keep going.
How long were those first four games!!:eek: I’m visualising Nadal v. Murray @AO btw
 

haqq777

Legend
Here is a little backdrop on Pure Drive line:

1. Pure Drive Original (non Woofer) (1994)
2. Woofer Drive Series (Swirly) (1997/98)
3. Woofer Drive Team (Swirly) (just cosmetic change, same as last one) (2001)
4. Woofer Team (2003)
5. Woofer Cortex (2006)
6. Woofer GT (2009)
7. Woofer Active Cortex (2012)
8. FSI (2015)
9. FSI Power (Smurf) (2018)
10.HTR 2021

Pure Drive is definitely a legendary line for Babolat. I saw how the craze took over for PDs after Moya won his FO in 98 and then Roddick was the up and comer on the scene. This line will always have a special place in my heart.
 

Power Player

Talk Tennis Guru
Crazy thought - these TW playtesters may know their stuff when they suggest strings. haha.

Hyper G 1.25 plays fantastic in this frame. I strung it at 54#s and had tons of control today. Will see how long it lasts, but day 1 was a great experience.
 

fundrazer

Legend
Good hit with @JonnyAbs today. First time hitting with him and it was a lot of fun. Will try to get out a few more times before it starts getting too cold. Today was nice though, mid-high 60's, maybe a bit breezy but not too bad. We were hitting around for a while and then started playing some points out. Will list out a few more observations like I did in my last post.

More dialed in with the forehand today. Getting into more of a groove with this stick. However, it does feel like I'm dropping the ball a bit short at times. One other area that I was having some problems was with low balls to forehand. Usually I'm able to get under the ball and whip these over, but it was just not happening today. Seemed like something we both notice as well, and we were wondering if maybe the balance shifted a little more head heavy compared to other pure drives (I'm not 100% sure). Seems like the official review had lower scores for topspin too. For whatever reason it may just be more difficult to get those extra rpms to help get the ball up and over.

Backhand was maybe a bit unpredictable today. My backhand trajectory is even flatter than my forehands, but I get a bit more arc on the ball with Pure Drive, and at times it was maybe a bit moonbally (could be shanks too :-D) Other times I was driving the ball straight into the net though, even when I thought I was well set up. A bit confused, but we will see what happens with more hitting time. Still like slicing with this one though.

Will echo my comments from my last post on volleys too. Very easy to use up at net. Very maneuverable and you can give the ball a good punch when you need to.
 

Chezbeeno

Professional
Had a great hit today and was absolutely starting to get dialed in on the forehand - I especially loved whipping forehands on the run, I could get insane spin and angle, I hit about 4 clean winners on the run in the space of about 20 minutes. I still wasn't getting the same spin I get with my Blades or Clash (except on the aforementioned forehands), but I was definitely getting more spin than I had, and certainly a ton more power, so I have high hopes.

The hit was good all around...for about 40 minutes. The Xcel/RPM hybrid didn't last AT ALL. I don't think I got more than 3 hours total (and only the last hour or so was "heavier" hitting) before the Xcel popped. That's so short I wonder if the stringer allowed too much notching, but it is what it is. Getting it restrung in the next couple of days.

Side note: I was extra bummed because the guy I was hitting with was using the 2015 PD and his wife was using the 2012 PD, so I hoping they could give it a go so I could provide a little more inter-generational feedback. Maybe next time.
 

Faris

Professional
Had a great hit today and was absolutely starting to get dialed in on the forehand - I especially loved whipping forehands on the run, I could get insane spin and angle, I hit about 4 clean winners on the run in the space of about 20 minutes. I still wasn't getting the same spin I get with my Blades or Clash (except on the aforementioned forehands), but I was definitely getting more spin than I had, and certainly a ton more power, so I have high hopes.

The hit was good all around...for about 40 minutes. The Xcel/RPM hybrid didn't last AT ALL. I don't think I got more than 3 hours total (and only the last hour or so was "heavier" hitting) before the Xcel popped. That's so short I wonder if the stringer allowed too much notching, but it is what it is. Getting it restrung in the next couple of days.

Side note: I was extra bummed because the guy I was hitting with was using the 2015 PD and his wife was using the 2012 PD, so I hoping they could give it a go so I could provide a little more inter-generational feedback. Maybe next time.
Do you usually use Clash 100? Can you pls compare the PD with it? Power, control, spin etc.. thnks
 

Chezbeeno

Professional
Do you usually use Clash 100? Can you pls compare the PD with it? Power, control, spin etc.. thnks
It's been my go-to for the last year or so while I've been getting back to hit. I haven't hit with the PD enough to make a very good comparison, so get back to me in a week or two for a more thorough comparison.
So far, even though it feels remarkably solid given its weight, the Clash is definitely not as solid as the PD. It's really just a matter of weight - the Clash, if you added a bit of lead, might feel just as stable. In stock form, though, the Clash doesn't hold up very well against heavier hitters. So far, I maybe have an easier time generating pace against weak hitters with the Clash, but that is almost definitely because I'm just more familiar with it. Against a heavier hitter I had a much easier time redirecting pace with the PD. I could also get way more depth with the PD.
Spin is kind of a different situation - The clash is an absolute spin monster. Without the additional mass, though, there's only so much you can do with that spin. so far I have had trouble producing as much spin with the PD, but this might just be because of the strings. My next string job will be full poly so we'll see if that fixes the problem. For now, the launch angle is so low on the PD that I was sometimes putting balls in the net that I normally put about a foot over with the Clash or the Blades.
The feel is also incredibly different, too - you can really feel the flexibility in the clash, and it is definitely a lot more comfortable if you have any kind of arm problems.
Once again, let me get back to you on this in a week or two. I'm sure I'll have a better idea of what to say then.

Edit: the additional spin makes the Clash a little easier to control - plus it's just lighter so you can't launch the ball quite so far. I think the flexibility also translates to slightly more control.
 
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Faris

Professional
It's been my go-to for the last year or so while I've been getting back to hit. I haven't hit with the PD enough to make a very good comparison, so get back to me in a week or two for a more thorough comparison.
So far, even though it feels remarkably solid given its weight, the Clash is definitely not as solid as the PD. It's really just a matter of weight - the Clash, if you added a bit of lead, might feel just as stable. In stock form, though, the Clash doesn't hold up very well against heavier hitters. So far, I maybe have an easier time generating pace against weak hitters with the Clash, but that is almost definitely because I'm just more familiar with it. Against a heavier hitter I had a much easier time redirecting pace with the PD. I could also get way more depth with the PD.
Spin is kind of a different situation - The clash is an absolute spin monster. Without the additional mass, though, there's only so much you can do with that spin. so far I have had trouble producing as much spin with the PD, but this might just be because of the strings. My next string job will be full poly so we'll see if that fixes the problem. For now, the launch angle is so low on the PD that I was sometimes putting balls in the net that I normally put about a foot over with the Clash or the Blades.
The feel is also incredibly different, too - you can really feel the flexibility in the clash, and it is definitely a lot more comfortable if you have any kind of arm problems.
Once again, let me get back to you on this in a week or two. I'm sure I'll have a better idea of what to say then.

Edit: the additional spin makes the Clash a little easier to control - plus it's just lighter so you can't launch the ball quite so far. I think the flexibility also translates to slightly more control.
Thanks alot, appreciate the indepth response..i will look forward to your feedback in a few weeks, like u said..
 

bigdaddy

Rookie
Can anyone compare the 2015 pure drive to this 2021. I thought the 2018 was a little clubby. The 2015 was solid and very maneuverable.
 

JonnyAbs

Semi-Pro
Can anyone compare the 2015 pure drive to this 2021. I thought the 2018 was a little clubby. The 2015 was solid and very maneuverable.
The sw definitely feels closer to 2018 than 2015. But the power is not as much as 2018 and more like 2015.

Spin is like 2018. 2015 is behind in that category and plow through, but I find it easier to swing over the course of a match and more consistent. So far, I still play best with the old faithful 2015.
 

loosegroove

Hall of Fame
Can anyone compare the 2015 pure drive to this 2021. I thought the 2018 was a little clubby. The 2015 was solid and very maneuverable.
Not as clubby as the 2018 IMHO. I had a tough time adjusting my forehand to the 2018, but the 2021 has been a more natural feeling stick for me.
 
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Moveforwardalways

Hall of Fame
This 2021 Pure Drive feels heavier than expected, as others have noted. Also, it is slightly more head heavy than expected but that could be QC variance and maybe I got one off spec. Feels more head heavy than 4pts head light.

With that said, it is a total beast. The only issue is whether you can tame it.
 

Power Player

Talk Tennis Guru
I have tamed it so far with Hyper G or Silver 7 Tour at 54#s.

Once the tension dropped with the S7t, I lost confidence with the frame as it dropped 10 pounds. That said, it was the first string job, so stuff like that can happen.

1 hour in so far with the Hyper G 1.25 and I had easy control and of course - lots of power.
 

Power Player

Talk Tennis Guru
People rave about Hyper G being amazing in the new PD. Y'all haven't tried Tour Sniper yet. That's even more amazing.
I love Tour Sniper. I have not tried it in the PD yet. Thats actually a good idea since it's real comfortable. How long is it lasting for you?
 

avocadoz

Semi-Pro
I love Tour Sniper. I have not tried it in the PD yet. Thats actually a good idea since it's real comfortable. How long is it lasting for you?
Yes it's suprisingly comfortable for a low-powered poly. Not sure how long it lasts cuz I do string quite frequently but definitely longer than Hyper G. Also, when it goes dead it is still more playable and comfortable than Hyper G.
 

Power Player

Talk Tennis Guru
Yes it's suprisingly comfortable for a low-powered poly. Not sure how long it lasts cuz I do string quite frequently but definitely longer than Hyper G. Also, when it goes dead it is still more playable and comfortable than Hyper G.
Thanks, I am trying that for sure. Tour Sniper is awesome and seems like a great fit for this racquet.
 

RafaBabolat

Rookie
Anyone with matching specs to the 2018 PD can compare...?
The 2021 has a more muted feel, but not in a bad way. It provides more stability on all strokes, especially at the net. The 2018 has a very "modern" feel with the power and pop with it, but I definitely feel that the 2021 is able tone that down allow you to take more fuller strokes.
 

dgoran

Hall of Fame
The 2021 has a more muted feel, but not in a bad way. It provides more stability on all strokes, especially at the net. The 2018 has a very "modern" feel with the power and pop with it, but I definitely feel that the 2021 is able tone that down allow you to take more fuller strokes.
Thanks RafaBabolat

Is your 2021 version the same bal, sw and weight?
Due to the side grommets on the new one it will feel more stable but I can add lead to the old one...I am little affraid of too muted feel but 2021 might save me money if it would allow the same feel with say poly vs gut hybrid.
2018 eats strings for breakfast.
 

Moveforwardalways

Hall of Fame
One of the more remarkable things I have noticed so far is the stability. Very stable racquet for a Pure Drive. Whatever they did to this, it was probably similar to the Project One Seven and I would assume that the twist weights of these two frames are very similar. Some will like this and some will not, so it is a matter of preference for sure. But play this one next to older PD models and you will notice that the 2021 is very stable comparatively. This is especially noticeable at the net, and this is my favorite Pure Drive version to play at net so far. To be sure, it is no RF97 in terms of stability. But I am just saying that by Pure Drive standards it is stable.

Oh and also no arm issues at all so far. Not even a little bit. This is strung with a poly at 48 lbs.

I am predicting that this will be the top selling racquet of the next few years. Will be massively popular.
 

Power Player

Talk Tennis Guru
This Pure Drive has a really high Twistweight, like an older Extreme Pro 2.0. The difference is this frame has a better feel to it, comes through the air faster and basically lets me hit touch shots that I would never expect to hit with such a power frame.

There is no doubt it will be a huge hit, not just because the name and the look of it, but also the fact that it can be used by so many styles of player.

Only thing I need to sort out over this playtest is if I can get a 1.25 string in it that will last longer than 4 hours of play. The tension drop I had before was a killer. Hoping that was a first time stringing it thing.
 

pyrokid

Hall of Fame
This might be a funny anecdote for some of you, but I went into this playtest with wrist pain, and after playing 2+ sets every day with it since it came my wrist no longer has pain.

The wrist pain likely came from me jumping back into playing daily after a 7-year hiatus, but it's still kinda cool that I was able to heal up while using this.

The stability definitely makes it a monster on shots I'm not used to PDs being monsters on, but it also makes looper forehands feel a little different than I'm used to.
 
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Chezbeeno

Professional
This might be a funny anecdote for some of you, but I went into this playtest with wrist pain, and after playing 2+ sets every day with it since it came my wrist no longer has pain.

The wrist pain likely came from me jumping back into playing daily after a 7-year hiatus, but it's still kinda cool that I was able to heal up while using this.
I've had some wrist pain since getting back to a higher hitting level as well, and I haven't experienced any setbacks from the PD. Can you imagine what their sales would look like if shop owners didn't tell every person with arm/wrist problems to look at something else?
 

Chezbeeno

Professional
Is it that open?
Personally it doesn't strike me as that open of a string bed - it's pretty comparable to my Blade 98 16x19's - my opinion might be a little skewed by the Clash that I use sometimes, though. The string bed on that is incredibly open.
 

topspn

Legend
This Pure Drive has a really high Twistweight, like an older Extreme Pro 2.0. The difference is this frame has a better feel to it, comes through the air faster and basically lets me hit touch shots that I would never expect to hit with such a power frame.

There is no doubt it will be a huge hit, not just because the name and the look of it, but also the fact that it can be used by so many styles of player.

Only thing I need to sort out over this playtest is if I can get a 1.25 string in it that will last longer than 4 hours of play. The tension drop I had before was a killer. Hoping that was a first time stringing it thing.
TW on FX 500 similarly quite good and it’s an excellent frame. Wish I could test them both head to head but don’t want to buy a PD to do that lol
 

Power Player

Talk Tennis Guru
Personally it doesn't strike me as that open of a string bed - it's pretty comparable to my Blade 98 16x19's - my opinion might be a little skewed by the Clash that I use sometimes, though. The string bed on that is incredibly open.
the new v7 16x19 blade with 8 throat mains?
 

Power Player

Talk Tennis Guru
Technically I was comparing to the CV's, but the string bed is identical.
My PD is at the stringer so I can't double check - it's possible I'm mis-remembering.
yeah man. Its not nearly as open. The cv blade has 8 throat mains. The 16x19 blades are rather tight patterns.
 

Chezbeeno

Professional
yeah man. Its not nearly as open. The cv blade has 8 throat mains. The 16x19 blades are rather tight patterns.
The 8 throat mains don't necessarily mean that it's that dense of a pattern - the throat on the Blade is a lot wider than the PD, since you have a flat beam.
I measured the center mains and crosses of the Blade and a cracked old 2015 PD I had lying around and the PD has more closely spaced crosses (11-12mm, vs 13.5mm for the Blade) while both have 10mm spacing for the central mains. Is the new PD that much more open than the 2015?
Also I don't have digital calipers, so those measurements might not quite be 100% accurate, but they're close.
 

Power Player

Talk Tennis Guru
The 8 throat mains don't necessarily mean that it's that dense of a pattern - the throat on the Blade is a lot wider than the PD, since you have a flat beam.
I measured the center mains and crosses of the Blade and a cracked old 2015 PD I had lying around and the PD has more closely spaced crosses (11-12mm, vs 13.5mm for the Blade) while both have 10mm spacing for the central mains. Is the new PD that much more open than the 2015?
Also I don't have digital calipers, so those measurements might not quite be 100% accurate, but they're close.
i dont have a 2015 pd but i believe others have said it is. Babolat opened up the patterns for the pa and and pd. This is why some people still use the 2013 pa for example. The string pattern on the pd opens up rather quickly compared to other frames, so just measuring the 2 mains doesnt tell the whole story.

at the end of the day the string life will answer the question more than calipers or anything else. If i can get decent life out of my strings i will be happy. The first set didnt fare too well (4 hours), but so far the second is going better.
 
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