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

jacob22

Professional
I tried the Gravity Pro, have a pair of Blade v7 18x20 and 16x19, as well as the Clash 100. Selected for the playtest, looking forward to compared to these other ones.
 

macguyvur

Rookie
I tried the Gravity Pro, have a pair of Blade v7 18x20 and 16x19, as well as the Clash 100. Selected for the playtest, looking forward to compared to these other ones.
I’ll be very interested in hearing your comparisons, esp blade v7 16x19 vs strike 16x19. I have hit a friends blade, and I’m very impressed, completely different racquet with this update. Right now I’m hitting a Gravity MP weighted up to 12 oz 6pt HL.
 

smboogie

Rookie
I tried the Gravity Pro, have a pair of Blade v7 18x20 and 16x19, as well as the Clash 100. Selected for the playtest, looking forward to compared to these other ones.
Would like to know your opinion on the Clash. I feel like it released to great fanfare, spoke to a few people who have it but many said that its 'feel' takes time to get used to with its adaptive type nature.

Can't wait to read on a comparo of PS, Blade and Clash.
 

agab

New User
I have been a long loyal Tennis Warehouse. customer. I am interested to participate in this play test. Just wanted to see if there is any outside chance that I can be selected for this playtest. I really appreciate any feedback. Thanks much.
 

jacob22

Professional
Would like to know your opinion on the Clash. I feel like it released to great fanfare, spoke to a few people who have it but many said that its 'feel' takes time to get used to with its adaptive type nature.

Can't wait to read on a comparo of PS, Blade and Clash.
The Clash is unlike any racquet I’ve ever used. I serve the best with it. I’m able to get so much spin on my kick and slices serves(lefty) that I have a high serve percentage. Harder to hit flat serves. Great for topspin groundstrokes, more net clearance, but sometimes too long. The Clash 98 had better control. Didn’t buy the 98 yet because of so many racquets coming out now.
 

TW Staff

Administrator
samprasbackhand,

Racquets were shipped out yesterday. If you are signed up to get notifications from UPS then you will receive an email. If not, expect the racquet in 1-5 business days depending on where you are located in the US.

Thanks,
Brittany, TW
 

martyr444

Rookie
I tend to string higher because I'm after control verses power. I strung it at 60# for my first outing this Saturday. I will use that as a reference for the next string job.
 

Cindysphinx

G.O.A.T.
My pro just left on a long vacation,and I don’t know how he strings for me. I have a PD with a gut/poly hybrid setup.

I’ll have to get this strung at a random place. Any pointers on how I should string it?

And TW, am I allowed to string with half gut? I have a half set of gut just sitting here unused . . .
 

martyr444

Rookie
If you don't know the previous tensions your Stringer has done in the past, the middle of the tension range is always a good start for the first string job.
 

Ft.S

Semi-Pro
On the Tour version, full poly around 47-48 works really well, and gut/poly at 55/52 works superbly, just awesome. For 18x20 versions, I’d lower gut/poly to 53/50, at least that I will start it at.
 

gatorbait

Rookie
On the Tour version, full poly around 47-48 works really well, and gut/poly at 55/52 works superbly, just awesome. For 18x20 versions, I’d lower gut/poly to 53/50, at least that I will start it at.
Just curious... Trying to understand the reasoning behind the string recommendation. It makes sense to me, but wanted to confirm.

Tour: lower tension poly
Is this because the increased mass/swing weight creates more plow through which is easier on the arm which makes the poly a better fit. Also it's lower powered to handle the lower tension?

Non tour: hybrid higher tension
Racquet is higher powered and a bit stiffer? The 16x19 is at a higher tension vs the 18x20 due to the increased power, higher launch angle, less control?

Sent from my SM-G960U using Tapatalk
 
Going to do 17 ga. Hyper-G 53 lbs on my tour. I have a league match this Sunday so not sure if I'm going to bust it out yet but definitely will hit with it next week.
 

TW Staff

Administrator
@Cindysphinx,

With the playtest racquet, you will get a set of Babolat RPM Rough Blast 17 and Xcel 17. You can use either string or use your own string and tension of choice.

Thanks,
Brittany, TW
 

McLovin

Legend
@Cindysphinx...aren't you in the NOVA area? I'd be willing to string it for you if you can't find anyone you trust.

That's assuming you think I'm trustworthy...
 

Ft.S

Semi-Pro
Tour: lower tension poly
Is this because the increased mass/swing weight creates more plow through which is easier on the arm which makes the poly a better fit. Also it's lower powered to handle the lower tension?
Just for a brief comparison: I found the Tour version to be quite powerful, comparable to RF97A, maybe a tad lower. The launch angle on the Tour is far better than the RF97A, and level of control is noticeably better.

The Tour, at least, has a great mix of control, versatility and power. I suspect, the swingweight and balance, combined with the frame and grommet design are all contributors to this. The fully poly setup I tried increased level of control quite a bit at the expense of power naturally. This resulted in lower pace with my shots, particularly with my serves and depth of my groundstrokes. When I tried the same frame with gut/poly combination, it solved the issue with pace completely with very slight compromise in control. I could hit better slice or kick serves, and adjust the depth of my shots on demand. In terms of stability and plow through, neither setup offered better/worse scenario; both were very stable and responding to even hard-hit flat shots with authority were not problems. So, I'd characterize the frame's stability and plow through, independent of strings, very high.

In terms of comfort and shock to the arm/wrist/elbow, I have nothing to report, but to say it is as easy on the arm as the RF97A if not slightly more. The Tour is also far more comfortable for me than the Clash 100 Tour. The Clash was hollow and so powerless that I had to try very hard to hit my aggressive groundstrokes, which eventually caused me some discomfort with my shoulder after 40-50 min. play. With the Tour, I am hitting as hard as I can on any shot for 2+ hours, while keeping my shots within the lines, and still come off the court without any health issues thus far. Although, as expected, the hybrid setup feels far more comfortable than the full poly setup. With the RF97A the full poly setup felt nearly as comfortable as the hybrid for me, I preferred the full poly setup on the RF97A because of its high launch angle and the poly strings were easy fix for that.

Non tour: hybrid higher tension
Racquet is higher powered and a bit stiffer? The 16x19 is at a higher tension vs the 18x20 due to the increased power, higher launch angle, less control?
I have not yet received the 18x20 frame, so I cannot comment directly. However previous 18x20 frames I tested and played with suggests that the denser the string bed is, the stiffer it will feel compared to the 16x19 using same strings/tension, hence my recommendation of using lower tensions. I expect the 18x20 frame to have less power by a significant margin, and less plow through/stability compared to the Tour version, not only because of the denser string bed, but also 35-40 gm less weight of the frame overall. We'll see how true these expectations hold.
 

Cindysphinx

G.O.A.T.
@Cindysphinx,

With the playtest racquet, you will get a set of Babolat RPM Rough Blast 17 and Xcel 17. You can use either string or use your own string and tension of choice.

Thanks,
Brittany, TW
Oh, good. That will give me an accurate basis for comparison with my current setup.

Lo and behold, I found an old text where my pro told me what he was doing. He said:

" tension 52 main/ 50 cross"

I guess that makes sense.
 

Cindysphinx

G.O.A.T.
Yeah, this is going to be a squeeze. Get the racket next week; get it strung; probably can't get on the court until Saturday.

Maybe I can hit some serves. I really want to play with it a lot.
 

gatorbait

Rookie
Just for a brief comparison: I found the Tour version to be quite powerful, comparable to RF97A, maybe a tad lower. The launch angle on the Tour is far better than the RF97A, and level of control is noticeably better.

The Tour, at least, has a great mix of control, versatility and power. I suspect, the swingweight and balance, combined with the frame and grommet design are all contributors to this. The fully poly setup I tried increased level of control quite a bit at the expense of power naturally. This resulted in lower pace with my shots, particularly with my serves and depth of my groundstrokes. When I tried the same frame with gut/poly combination, it solved the issue with pace completely with very slight compromise in control. I could hit better slice or kick serves, and adjust the depth of my shots on demand. In terms of stability and plow through, neither setup offered better/worse scenario; both were very stable and responding to even hard-hit flat shots with authority were not problems. So, I'd characterize the frame's stability and plow through, independent of strings, very high.

In terms of comfort and shock to the arm/wrist/elbow, I have nothing to report, but to say it is as easy on the arm as the RF97A if not slightly more. The Tour is also far more comfortable for me than the Clash 100 Tour. The Clash was hollow and so powerless that I had to try very hard to hit my aggressive groundstrokes, which eventually caused me some discomfort with my shoulder after 40-50 min. play. With the Tour, I am hitting as hard as I can on any shot for 2+ hours, while keeping my shots within the lines, and still come off the court without any health issues thus far. Although, as expected, the hybrid setup feels far more comfortable than the full poly setup. With the RF97A the full poly setup felt nearly as comfortable as the hybrid for me, I preferred the full poly setup on the RF97A because of its high launch angle and the poly strings were easy fix for that.


I have not yet received the 18x20 frame, so I cannot comment directly. However previous 18x20 frames I tested and played with suggests that the denser the string bed is, the stiffer it will feel compared to the 16x19 using same strings/tension, hence my recommendation of using lower tensions. I expect the 18x20 frame to have less power by a significant margin, and less plow through/stability compared to the Tour version, not only because of the denser string bed, but also 35-40 gm less weight of the frame overall. We'll see how true these expectations hold.
Thanks for the detailed explanation. Makes sense.

Sent from my SM-G960U using Tapatalk
 

McLovin

Legend
I can hear that conversation with my husband now:

"Honey, I'm going over to Virginia to see a guy I met on the internet; he's going to help me with my tension."
lol. Yeah, I can understand that. I string for so many ladies in this area that my wife is used to random women stopping by & dropping off frames.

And in your defense, if I remember correctly, I believe I may have met you once briefly years ago (maybe 5 or 6?) in VA Beach during tri-level...whatever year they first held it at the new facility when it was still under construction.
 

Cindysphinx

G.O.A.T.
lol. Yeah, I can understand that. I string for so many ladies in this area that my wife is used to random women stopping by & dropping off frames.

And in your defense, if I remember correctly, I believe I may have met you once briefly years ago (maybe 5 or 6?) in VA Beach during tri-level...whatever year they first held it at the new facility when it was still under construction.
Nope, different old lady. If you mistook her for me, she must have been gorgeous! :-D

I haven't been to sectionals since 2011.
 

McLovin

Legend
Nope, different old lady. If you mistook her for me, she must have been gorgeous! :-D

I haven't been to sectionals since 2011.
I just checked and I had the year wrong. It was the 2011 season, played in January 2012. There was a new facility in VA Beach and it was still under construction while we played. In fact, I kinda felt for the ladies as most of the workers would stop & gawk at them from the walkway above.

May not have been you, but I was talking w/ @Topaz and she introduced me to someone from the forums. I just remember they were talking about something she baked/cooked that was really, really good.
 
My racquet was delivered by UPS late last night, after 10 PM, so it took until today to get it out of the box.



Regular Pure Strike, grip size 3. Was 301 grams and 32.0 cm balance points about 7 points headlight unstrung.

Put in my current go-to string and also the one I have in the v7 Blade 98 16X19, 17 gauge Tourna Silver 7 Tour at 46 pounds, same as in the Blade. here's a side by side:



The center cross string spacing is just a bit wider on the Pure Strike, which weighs 316 grams with a 33.3 cm balance point, so four points headlight which is right on spec, but seven grams lighter than spec. For comparison, the Blade is also a size 3 and with an overgrip, is 326 grams with a 32.6 cm balance point. There is no overgrip on the Pure Strike. I would take off the overgrip on the Blade but it's a long term "rental" so I'm leaving it as is.

Last, here's the Pure Strike with its cousin, the Pure Drive VS with 1.25 black Cyclone:



There's a slight possibility I'll get a hit in tonight but almost certainly will tomorrow (Sunday).
 

TennisManiac

Professional
My racquet was delivered by UPS late last night, after 10 PM, so it took until today to get it out of the box.



Regular Pure Strike, grip size 3. Was 301 grams and 32.0 cm balance points about 7 points headlight unstrung.

Put in my current go-to string and also the one I have in the v7 Blade 98 16X19, 17 gauge Tourna Silver 7 Tour at 46 pounds, same as in the Blade. here's a side by side:



The center cross string spacing is just a bit wider on the Pure Strike, which weighs 316 grams with a 33.3 cm balance point, so four points headlight which is right on spec, but seven grams lighter than spec. For comparison, the Blade is also a size 3 and with an overgrip, is 326 grams with a 32.6 cm balance point. There is no overgrip on the Pure Strike. I would take off the overgrip on the Blade but it's a long term "rental" so I'm leaving it as is.

Last, here's the Pure Strike with its cousin, the Pure Drive VS with 1.25 black Cyclone:



There's a slight possibility I'll get a hit in tonight but almost certainly will tomorrow (Sunday).
Your PS weighed 316 strung? That's pretty light. I just strung mine today and mine weighed in at 323 and was 4 points hl.
 
Your PS weighed 316 strung? That's pretty light. I just strung mine today and mine weighed in at 323 and was 4 points hl.
Yep, 316 grams strung, though like yours it's on spec at 4 points HL. The 17 gauge string is 2-3 grams lighter than a 16 or 16L string, but my scale is recently validated to be accurate to within one gram.
 

martyr444

Rookie
Had my first hits with the 16x19 yesterday playing 2 sets. I hit more shots into the net due to the lower trajectory compared to my normal frame which is no surprise especially when going for flat winners. My normal frame has a 16x16 pattern. I also have a Wilson Clash which also hits with a higher trajectory so there will be an adjustment needed to get comfortable with it. Touch shots were good and no vibrations on any shots were felt and that's with poly strung at 60#. My flat first serve percentage was much higher with the Strike verses my regular Racket. The Racket has plenty of power. Now it will be just testing different strings and tensions plus getting comfortable with the Racket and trusting it.
 

TennisManiac

Professional
I hit with the 98 16x19 today and instantly liked it a lot. Before I give it a thorough review I'll hit with it a couple more times. What I will say right now is that it felt great. It's just as plush as my 2015 Pro Staff. And offers a little more power and control. Which is exactly what I've been looking for for a while now. This racket could be my next go to racket for the next few years. I'll be tinkering with lead, string and tension over the next week. But so far I'm really impressed.
 

dgoran

Hall of Fame
I hit with the 98 16x19 today and instantly liked it a lot. Before I give it a thorough review I'll hit with it a couple more times. What I will say right now is that it felt great. It's just as plush as my 2015 Pro Staff. And offers a little more power and control. Which is exactly what I've been looking for for a while now. This racket could be my next go to racket for the next few years. I'll be tinkering with lead, string and tension over the next week. But so far I'm really impressed.
Funny just about a week ago I tried 16x19 and it felt meh at best it was strung with some synth gut (I think babolat synth gut)

Today I tried tour and it was instant connection and that was hitting next to new Yonex HD. It made me want to play with it over Yonex HD...something that surprised me. I mean grabbing tour to demo was just an after thought... i specifically came in to demo Yonex but strike tour really surprised me. So I grabbed 305 16x19 and it was strung with a hybrid and it was good too. So my conclusion is that this thing is string sensitive. Still think if you have previous version you really don’t need to upgrade or only if you are sensitive to feel and prefer more muted .
 
I had just a few minutes to hit the Pure Strike 16X19 and v7 Blade 98 16X19 back to back. They are both strung with Tourna Silver 7 Tour at 46 pounds.

These are both excellent racquets, and the differences so far are not that great. I could pretty easily swap back and forth and not miss a beat.

What is different:

Launch angle: The Pure Strike has a higher launch angle. Probably due to the slightly more open string pattern, possibly complicated by the head coming through more quickly because it is lighter. It's not significantly higher, but it is noticeably higher.

Power levels: The Pure Strike has a very tiny bit more ball speed off the stringbed.

Impact vibration: The Pure Strike has more frame vibration, and seems to allow a bit more stringbed vibration as well. Both it and the Blade are very playable without a stringbed dampener, which for me is pretty unusual since I typically use as absorbing of a vibration dampener as I can.

Impact feel: The Pure Strike has a more springy feel, with less sensation of pocketing the ball. In this regard, the Blade definitely feels like the ball is being compressed against the strings, and gives more confidence the ball is going where I am aiming. The springiness of the Pure Strike is probably what gives it the little bit extra ball speed, even though it is lighter. Mis-hits are more muted and comfortable with the Blade. The sweet spot is large on both racquets, and feels long and not too narrow while being centered or maybe just very slightly below center. Twisting on badly mis-hit balls to the sides of the frame is moderate on both frames but a bit less on the Blade.

Control: I prefer heavier frames and lighter frames almost feel uncontrollable for me, like that it's so light there's no resistance to work against when swinging it. The lighter Pure Strike felt worse in this regard. There is also sometimes a ball that just flew with the Pure Strike, and the springy feel kind of makes it feel like there's a hot spot.

Spin capability: I think this is more string dependent, but both are pretty equal in this regard as they have the exact same string at the same tension. Underspin backhands were a bit lower and seemed more penetrating with the Pure Strike, probably as a result of the higher launch angle acting in reverse - in this case pulling the ball lower. That combined with the slightly higher power level resulted in a less attackable underspin backhand. With a slight change in the way I hit this shot with the Blade, I could easily replicate the same thing.

I didn't serve, hit overheads, or volleys. That will be next time.

In summary, both the Pure Strike and v7 Blade 98 are excellent racquets that play more similarly than differently, though what is different may make them serve slightly different players.
 

dgoran

Hall of Fame
I had just a few minutes to hit the Pure Strike 16X19 and v7 Blade 98 16X19 back to back. They are both strung with Tourna Silver 7 Tour at 46 pounds.

These are both excellent racquets, and the differences so far are not that great. I could pretty easily swap back and forth and not miss a beat.

What is different:

Launch angle: The Pure Strike has a higher launch angle. Probably due to the slightly more open string pattern, possibly complicated by the head coming through more quickly because it is lighter. It's not significantly higher, but it is noticeably higher.

Power levels: The Pure Strike has a very tiny bit more ball speed off the stringbed.

Impact vibration: The Pure Strike has more frame vibration, and seems to allow a bit more stringbed vibration as well. Both it and the Blade are very playable without a stringbed dampener, which for me is pretty unusual since I typically use as absorbing of a vibration dampener as I can.

Impact feel: The Pure Strike has a more springy feel, with less sensation of pocketing the ball. In this regard, the Blade definitely feels like the ball is being compressed against the strings, and gives more confidence the ball is going where I am aiming. The springiness of the Pure Strike is probably what gives it the little bit extra ball speed, even though it is lighter. Mis-hits are more muted and comfortable with the Blade. The sweet spot is large on both racquets, and feels long and not too narrow while being centered or maybe just very slightly below center. Twisting on badly mis-hit balls to the sides of the frame is moderate on both frames but a bit less on the Blade.

Control: I prefer heavier frames and lighter frames almost feel uncontrollable for me, like that it's so light there's no resistance to work against when swinging it. The lighter Pure Strike felt worse in this regard. There is also sometimes a ball that just flew with the Pure Strike, and the springy feel kind of makes it feel like there's a hot spot.

Spin capability: I think this is more string dependent, but both are pretty equal in this regard as they have the exact same string at the same tension. Underspin backhands were a bit lower and seemed more penetrating with the Pure Strike, probably as a result of the higher launch angle acting in reverse - in this case pulling the ball lower. That combined with the slightly higher power level resulted in a less attackable underspin backhand. With a slight change in the way I hit this shot with the Blade, I could easily replicate the same thing.

I didn't serve, hit overheads, or volleys. That will be next time.

In summary, both the Pure Strike and v7 Blade 98 are excellent racquets that play more similarly than differently, though what is different may make them serve slightly different players.
This is EXACTLY WHAT I WANTED TO WRITE...
 
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