Tennis Warehouse Playtest: Babolat Pure Strike (16x19, 18x20, Tour) 3rd Gen Playtest

TW Staff

Administrator
Attention Talk Tennis Members:

We have a VERY Limited number of Babolat Pure Strike 16x19, 18x20 and Tour racquets for a playtest. This playtest is open to USA Talk Tennis members only.

VERY IMPORTANT: Playtesters will be required to get their test racquet strung. Each racquet will be shipped with aset of RPM Blast Rough 17 and Xcel 17 string.

Application period is now closed! We will notify playtesters by the end of the week.

Grip is 4 ⅜ ONLY!

We have a very limited quantity of racquets to playtest. We select playtesters based on a number of factors, including message board participation and performance on past playtests.

In order to participate you must post your findings in this thread by October 4, 2019 by 5 pm PST. Posting a review by the deadline is necessary to remain in good standing for future playtests.

Include the following in your review:

Racquet Received:
String and tension used for test:
Tennis experience/background:
Describe your playing style (i.e. serve & volley):
Current racquet/string setups:
How many hours did you play with the racquet?

Comments on racquet performance:
-Groundstrokes:
-Serves:
-Volleys:
-Serve returns:

General reaction/comments on overall performance:

We will remove all “email sent” posts but please feel free to get in a pre-game discussion about the Pure Strike universe.
 
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I've picked up my first PO7 a couple weeks ago after trying Pure Aero Tour and definitely appreciate increased control. Would love to see how a Tour version of this would be. I like the direction Babolat is going with these latest Pure Strikes based on early indications.

Sent from my Pixel 3 using Tapatalk
 

RafaBabolat

Rookie
I have been an avid Babolat user for the past 6 years (shown by my username haha) and this new edition of the Pure Strike definitely seems like a great one after seeing the TW vid. The first gen was a solid racquet, the PO7 wasn't my favorite, it was very uncomfortable for me to hit with, but hopefully this generation is more comfortable!
 

Hapa_dude

New User
I've been playing with the PO7 for 1.5 years now so I'd love to playtest the newest version to compare. I love the precision of the PO7 -- some opponents have commented how annoying I am for consistently nailing the side/back lines. :) Mis-hits at the net really just die so hopefully off-center response will be improved.

I recently gave the RF97A a try and the extra heft gives my serves much more pace than the PO7.
 

dsp9753

Rookie
I have been using the new Pure Strike 100 and it has been pretty good so far. I had a 18x20 pure strike demo in the past and it was the godilocks racquet for me. I returned the demo but I could never find another one that played quite the same. Hoping the new 18x20 will be the ONE.
 

Chidoc

New User
After years of playing with ProStaffs looking forward to something new. I playtested the original pure strikes years ago and it was a bit harsh on my arm hopefully this generation is better.
 

RFfan88

New User
Currently using the project one7. Would love to see how the new update plays like. Currently demo’d the tour version and loved it as well. Hoping to playtest the new 16x19
 

TennisManiac

Professional
I've been using the 2015 ProStaffs for the past 4 years and I'm in dire need of some new frames. I'm hoping that the 2019 Pure Strike 98 16x19 will fit the bill. I'm hoping it will offer a tad more power and directional control compared to the ProStaffs.
 

ACSTracker

New User
I have been using the 2nd generation Pure Strike 18x20 racquet in a 4 3/8 grip, so I would really enjoy comparing it to the 2019 18x20 Pure Strike. I'm currently a 4.5 tennis player, and I have won several tournaments over the years at the 4.0, 4.5, and open levels.

This is the first time I have had the guts to volunteer for a play-test!
 
Super interested in the your as well so I can look at how a heftier version of this handles.

Sent from my Pixel 3 using Tapatalk
 

gatorbait

Rookie
Applied, coming from the pure control tour and interested in this playtest.

Sent from my SM-G960U using Tapatalk
 

macguyvur

Rookie
I’m very curious to see how the 16x19 compares to the v7 16x19 blade and weighted up Gravity MP. The PS will probably have the most power of the bunch, I wonder if it’ll have enough control and feel...
 

Cfidave

Professional
Would love to review the Tour, currently playing with PS P7 16x19, also demoing the Head Gravity Pro. Would be very interesting.
 

deaner2211

Semi-Pro
Never been in a play test before I hope im selected since I would like to try Babolat rackets. I have been using the Wilson PS 90 since it came out and would like to try something new.
 

md3113

Rookie
If the tour plays in line with it’s reported stiffness of 65 it is exactly the spec I am looking for. Played the P17 for a year and enjoyed it, but it’s the only racquet I’ve used to give me tennis elbow and it gave it consistently!
 

Blade0324

Hall of Fame
I'll be curious if this one is more like the older black and red strike. The white ones for me were not as good and didn't have the same feel or control.
 

XFactorer

Hall of Fame
I’m very curious to see how the 16x19 compares to the v7 16x19 blade and weighted up Gravity MP. The PS will probably have the most power of the bunch, I wonder if it’ll have enough control and feel...
I haven't had any extended play test with the new PS.

But I just finished a week with the Blade v7 and a longer playtest with the Gravity MP. Blade 16x19 beats the gravity in stability and feel. Gravity wins on ease of use and spin. Blade feels better overall, except it has a dramatically short grip.

Hoping I get selected for the PS so I have a good wealth of info on all three of these racquets that I've been eyeing while I wait on a new EZONE to come out.
 
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DJTaurus

Professional
Despite lots of testers suggest that new strike 100 is a little more softer and plush a friend of mine strung the new one with the same string and tension (solinco tour byte soft) and told me that plays firmer on contact and he likes it more....cause it feels more solid and stable!!
 

RafaBabolat

Rookie
Despite lots of testers suggest that new strike 100 is a little more softer and plush a friend of mine strung the new one with the same string and tension (solinco tour byte soft) and told me that plays firmer on contact and he likes it more....cause it feels more solid and stable!!
Hmm interesting, so more like the new blade? It seems that the feel of the racquet differs quite a lot from the previous generation, no?

(Lol included the classic Nadal "no?")
 

RafaBabolat

Rookie
Also, to all users that have played with the new PS series, what string would be a good pairing? The PO7 was very stiff with Volkl cyclone, and even with softer polys like ytex Quadro twist. I love playing with poly tho, so any suggestions for the future?
 

TennisHound

Legend
The new ones felt more solid to me. The previous generation felt kind of marshmallow empty with little stability (its all subjective btw), similar to the Bab PAVS and the Tec. 315 Ltd. The new ones felt different in a good way, especially the 98" 16x19. They're still really white though . . .
 

DJTaurus

Professional
The new ones felt more solid to me. The previous generation felt kind of marshmallow empty with little stability (its all subjective btw), similar to the Bab PAVS and the Tec. 315 Ltd. The new ones felt different in a good way, especially the 98" 16x19. They're still really white though . . .
PO7 16 19 was unpredictable and to my liking control was mediocre. Has the control improved ? What about feel and ball feedback on contact ? Also can you compare it with a Blade ?
 
I am not a play tester but did order a 3rd generation PS 16x19 the day it was released and have logged about 5 hours of play time. Here is my thoughts on selecting and initial review of the racket. This will probably be more beneficial to mid skill level players wanting to upgrade rackets. I am not going to comment much on playability because I'm not there yet.

Selecting:
I was a high school tennis player and played some recreational club when I got out of college but up until three months ago I had really not picked up a racket in 20 years. I was invited to join a mixed doubles league with some friends and fell in love with the game all over again. I restrung my old Prince Thunder-Lite 110 and things came back to me pretty quickly. I am not a 23 year old hammer anymore but I still strike the ball hard and can break some strings. I decided to upgrade my 25yo racket because racket technology has to be greatly improved right? I started the demo process and went through at least a dozen rackets from the club and the TW demo program. I did not want a beginners racket but something more advanced that I could progress in to. Wilson, Head, Babolat, Prince...I tried a bunch of the new models. I came to realize that 1) there has not been a significant technology leap in 20 years and 2) The most important thing for me was a soft / muted feel. I could immediately eliminate a lot of rackets after only a few swings. A buddy compared racket feel extremes to hitting a golf ball or a ball of cookie dough with a skillet pan. One is a hard ping and the other is dead plop. I prefer the muted/dampened/buttery/soft feel of hitting the cookie dough. I know it also has a lot to do with string tension/type, dampeners, grips, etc. but I had to narrow the list and eliminated some Heads, Wilsons and the Pure Aero's because they just did not feel right regardless of the performance. I just could not figure out how to hit some of the other rackets and everything felt like a sour note coming off of the string bed. Again, it could have been the set up of the strings that the club demo's had but I liked the feel of the Pure Drive Tour best. I then did the TW demo with a Pure Drive, Pure Strike 16x19 (2nd gen) and a couple of Prince Textremes. I liked the PS immediately and the Prince 100p second and then PD Tour. After a dozen demo's it was clear that the PS 16x19 a good frame for me. I was about to order and saw that the 3rd generation PS was being released in a few weeks. Previews said it was similar/better performance with even more dampening with the C2 technology . I knew the new PS would be in the right ball park and figured strings and other tweaks would effect my experience more than "new" technology on the same frame so I bought one first release day without even a demo. I could have waited and tried the PS 100 or PS - Tour but I was tired of demos and it seemed like the most liked 2nd generation PS was the 16x19 so I just made the call and I'm not going to look back now.

Review:
I ordered the PS 16x19 with Xcel 16 at 55lb and have played only about 5 hours with it. First impression is wow, I really like the looks of it and my playing partners commented as well. First hits were really positive and definitely a muted feel that I like. I put in a gamma shockbuster worm and agree that its a little more dampened than the 2nd generation PS 16x19 that I demo'ed. I quickly realized that this racket is powerful. I thought the Pure Drives had almost too much power but this PS is right there but with a softer feel. I have a full low to high swing and found myself driving the ball into the net at first but have corrected it. I think the launch angle is just different than my old 110 Prince or it could be the string setup. I chose the Xcel string because I thought a softer sting might throttle down this racket that is probably above my playing level right now. I noticed that racket actually has "Recommended Strings: RPM Blast" printed on the frame. I don't think I have played quite enough with the racket yet to give a strong opinion on spin with the Xcel strings but it feels like I don't quite have the spin as my old racket or some of the other demos. I just can't seem to consistently make the ball dive into the alley on cross court shots so either too much power or not enough spin. This is probably due more to my present skill level trying reign in a sports car when I should be driving a sedan. When I hit this racket right it feels great and I am not spraying the ball way long or in surprising directions like I was with some of the other demo rackets. When I started back playing I had to change my serving style completely since my "more mature" trick shoulder does funny things rotating in in the 12:00 position. The PS was awesome for my new 2:00 serve with good control and much harder ball. I am curious to what some high level player reviews will say about serving. The PS sweet spot is good and it must be pretty forgiving on mis-hits or either I am getting a little better making center contact. I feel very confident and in control and rarely look down at the racket with that "its your fault/this thing is broken" look after a bad shot. I think the PS nailed the dampened feel that I prefer much better than many of the other rackets I demo'ed.

My overall experience so far has been excellent. The PS has more power than I expected but the soft / dampened feel makes it seem a lot easier to control it. I chose soft Xcel strings but the recommended RPM Blast for more spin is probably the way I will go on the next stringing.
 

dgoran

Hall of Fame
I am not a play tester but did order a 3rd generation PS 16x19 the day it was released and have logged about 5 hours of play time. Here is my thoughts on selecting and initial review of the racket. This will probably be more beneficial to mid skill level players wanting to upgrade rackets. I am not going to comment much on playability because I'm not there yet.

Selecting:
I was a high school tennis player and played some recreational club when I got out of college but up until three months ago I had really not picked up a racket in 20 years. I was invited to join a mixed doubles league with some friends and fell in love with the game all over again. I restrung my old Prince Thunder-Lite 110 and things came back to me pretty quickly. I am not a 23 year old hammer anymore but I still strike the ball hard and can break some strings. I decided to upgrade my 25yo racket because racket technology has to be greatly improved right? I started the demo process and went through at least a dozen rackets from the club and the TW demo program. I did not want a beginners racket but something more advanced that I could progress in to. Wilson, Head, Babolat, Prince...I tried a bunch of the new models. I came to realize that 1) there has not been a significant technology leap in 20 years and 2) The most important thing for me was a soft / muted feel. I could immediately eliminate a lot of rackets after only a few swings. A buddy compared racket feel extremes to hitting a golf ball or a ball of cookie dough with a skillet pan. One is a hard ping and the other is dead plop. I prefer the muted/dampened/buttery/soft feel of hitting the cookie dough. I know it also has a lot to do with string tension/type, dampeners, grips, etc. but I had to narrow the list and eliminated some Heads, Wilsons and the Pure Aero's because they just did not feel right regardless of the performance. I just could not figure out how to hit some of the other rackets and everything felt like a sour note coming off of the string bed. Again, it could have been the set up of the strings that the club demo's had but I liked the feel of the Pure Drive Tour best. I then did the TW demo with a Pure Drive, Pure Strike 16x19 (2nd gen) and a couple of Prince Textremes. I liked the PS immediately and the Prince 100p second and then PD Tour. After a dozen demo's it was clear that the PS 16x19 a good frame for me. I was about to order and saw that the 3rd generation PS was being released in a few weeks. Previews said it was similar/better performance with even more dampening with the C2 technology . I knew the new PS would be in the right ball park and figured strings and other tweaks would effect my experience more than "new" technology on the same frame so I bought one first release day without even a demo. I could have waited and tried the PS 100 or PS - Tour but I was tired of demos and it seemed like the most liked 2nd generation PS was the 16x19 so I just made the call and I'm not going to look back now.

Review:
I ordered the PS 16x19 with Xcel 16 at 55lb and have played only about 5 hours with it. First impression is wow, I really like the looks of it and my playing partners commented as well. First hits were really positive and definitely a muted feel that I like. I put in a gamma shockbuster worm and agree that its a little more dampened than the 2nd generation PS 16x19 that I demo'ed. I quickly realized that this racket is powerful. I thought the Pure Drives had almost too much power but this PS is right there but with a softer feel. I have a full low to high swing and found myself driving the ball into the net at first but have corrected it. I think the launch angle is just different than my old 110 Prince or it could be the string setup. I chose the Xcel string because I thought a softer sting might throttle down this racket that is probably above my playing level right now. I noticed that racket actually has "Recommended Strings: RPM Blast" printed on the frame. I don't think I have played quite enough with the racket yet to give a strong opinion on spin with the Xcel strings but it feels like I don't quite have the spin as my old racket or some of the other demos. I just can't seem to consistently make the ball dive into the alley on cross court shots so either too much power or not enough spin. This is probably due more to my present skill level trying reign in a sports car when I should be driving a sedan. When I hit this racket right it feels great and I am not spraying the ball way long or in surprising directions like I was with some of the other demo rackets. When I started back playing I had to change my serving style completely since my "more mature" trick shoulder does funny things rotating in in the 12:00 position. The PS was awesome for my new 2:00 serve with good control and much harder ball. I am curious to what some high level player reviews will say about serving. The PS sweet spot is good and it must be pretty forgiving on mis-hits or either I am getting a little better making center contact. I feel very confident and in control and rarely look down at the racket with that "its your fault/this thing is broken" look after a bad shot. I think the PS nailed the dampened feel that I prefer much better than many of the other rackets I demo'ed.

My overall experience so far has been excellent. The PS has more power than I expected but the soft / dampened feel makes it seem a lot easier to control it. I chose soft Xcel strings but the recommended RPM Blast for more spin is probably the way I will go on the next stringing.
Did you try blade v7? If you like cookie dough I think this will be your next racquet
 

smboogie

Rookie
I sent in an application for this play test. I'm seriously considering this racket. Currently playing the PurAero and liked the PO7, this one sounds even more intriguing for a new frame consideration.

The PO7, to me with my game felt accurate and consistent. Definitely less power than my PureAero (could have been string as well) but the control was stable and consistent.
Serves were nice and felt very guided by my actions, while volleys were sure footed for both sides.

It did feel a bit cumbersome and seemed a bit less maneuverable to me, making me think that I was late to more shots.

In reading about the 3rd Gen Pure Strike it appears they have matched the specs closely to the PureAero and the dual frame design sounds to be more maneuverable. Could this be a frame to switch to, only a demo will tell.
 
Did you try blade v7? If you like cookie dough I think this will be your next racquet
Yes, some of the first rackets I tried were the Wilson Blade, Ultra and a Pro Staff. I don't remember the exact model or setup for each. I thought the Blade feel was OK but I sprayed the ball a lot, the clash was stiff and the Pro Staff was too much zing. I probably should have spent more time trying other Blades because they have so many good reviews but I don't like the green paint job and the Blade only made it to the "maybe" pile for feel. I liked the Pure Drive Tour and a Head Graphine better so all of the Wilsons were eliminated that week. Eventually I liked a Prince Textreme better than the PD and ultimately chose the PS. I tried a dozen rackets over a month and bought the best one for me. I really think you could spend all year trying all of the "new" rackets with a couple of string combinations. By the time you finished and were ready to settle on one, another new generation of rackets would drop and you would never make a decision. I am still happy with the new PD 16x19 after a few sets and will not change frames again anytime soon chasing unicorns. The racket is great...it is the operator who has a performance problem.
 

winchestervatennis

Hall of Fame
I was selected. Really excited for this play test. I have a fair amount of time hitting with the previous model.

Thanks to TW and Babolat for the opportunity!
 

smboogie

Rookie
I was selected for this playtest and am very thankful and excited for the opportunity. I have played Babolat APD and now on 2016 PureAero but have been looking to move to a more control focused racket. Played with a friends PO7 and really liked it for the feel, but did not get the chance to really test it out.

Comparing the PS 3rd gen to Pure Aero(2016) the numbers are not that different.

PS slightly higher strung weight: .1oz
Balance and swingweight are the same with the difference being stiffness.

Can't wait to get it strung to give it a go.
 
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