The Aeropro Drive Original will arguably go down as the best modern racquet of all time...here's why

It perfected upon what the Pure Drive before it started, providing tons of power and spin potential, making it easy to use for both recreational and advanced players alike.

The orignal version was the only one without the modern gimmicks like Cortex, and it's barebone pure graphite structure gives it the solidity that later versions just coluldn't emulate. It also had a really cool paintjob, and is the rarest iteration of the racquet line.

With a stock swingweight of 330+, it played great without any customization, all this while having a low-ish stock weight of just 300 g.

The racquet turns 15 this year, and well kept ones sell for as much as $150-200 today.

Truly a gem of a racquet, and will one day be in the same league of legendary racquets such as the Pro Staff Classic, the original Prestige, amongst others. The only difference, as @Lavs said in one comment, it will still be relevant and playable due to its 100 sq inch head size, and powerful, spin-friendly nature.

Oh and did I mention Rafa still uses it?
 

jmacdaununder2

Hall of Fame
Played with the APDO back in the day; it had the most feedback - good and bad - of all the Aeros, but was also the harshest feeling, particularly off centre, was somewhat string sensitive for it's specs and could even feel boardy and tinny at times. Not my goat racquet by any means, my obvious lack of 18 majors notwithstanding lol
 

Bartelby

Talk Tennis Guru
The original version had too serious a swingweight for the average punter although it did bring with it more power for those who could swing it. A Drive with the same swingweight would do the same job.
 

[d]ragon

Hall of Fame
Maybe others have a nostalgia factor or assume it must still be good cuz Nadal is using it, but I remember it being very harsh and plastic feeling.

I personally think the Pure Aero 2019 is the best Aero generation so far (long-time Aero user).
 
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Anton

Legend
Laughing at the "high swingweight" comments - it's a toothpick bellow 340.

I have one APDo around with some silicone way down in the handle chamber (by the throat) and extra weight - plays soft with 16g poly, softer than PA2019, with more flex felt. Actually great for volleying unlike all other pre-2019 version.
 
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bleno567

Semi-Pro
2003 era Pure Drive. It basically started the “hey who needs an all court game when you can hit with lots of spin” mindset, unfortunately.
The swirlie is the one that started the revolution. Up there with the most influential racquets of all time, e.g. Prestige classic, PS 6.0/6.1, POG
 
Never played with a aero pro or pure drive original, but I literally cannot wait for the day I find one on the website that shall not be named that starts with an e, in good condition and with a non-inflated price tag, to test out. First real racquet I ever owned was the aero pro that came after the original.
 
It’s probably just me and only a few others, but I feel that the new Pure Aero 2019 version is the best Aero, yet. It is just a great frame.
It is noticeably softer than the 2016 version. The measured RA on the Pure Aero 2019 is same as that of guess what...the Aeropro Drive Original!
 

David Le

Hall of Fame
Never played with a aero pro or pure drive original, but I literally cannot wait for the day I find one on the website that shall not be named that starts with an e, in good condition and with a non-inflated price tag, to test out. First real racquet I ever owned was the aero pro that came after the original.
Recently got one for $50 plus $10 shipping. And before got one for $75. :giggle:
 

David Le

Hall of Fame
Condition? 8 out of 10 and better?

If yes, where are you finding these unicorns? I saw an 8.5/10 condition APDO go for almost $170.
More like a 7.5 out of 10. Still not bad tbh. The 1st one was listed $150 or best offer and I got it for $75. The 2nd one was a auction and ended at $50 plus $10 which I thought was absurd.
 

Zoolander

Hall of Fame
Never played with a aero pro or pure drive original, but I literally cannot wait for the day I find one on the website that shall not be named that starts with an e, in good condition and with a non-inflated price tag, to test out. First real racquet I ever owned was the aero pro that came after the original.
The APD cortex that came after the original was exactly the same racquet, just with a stupid little plastic cortex strip on the throat. It maybe slightly dampened the vibes very slightly...... the original i found to feel quite harsh. It did have the best PJ out of all versions though.

The original 94 pure drive was very good however, with a lower flex and braided kevlar it felt great to me, but after that they stiffened them up a lot and none have felt so good since.
 
The APD cortex that came after the original was exactly the same racquet, just with a stupid little plastic cortex strip on the throat. It maybe slightly dampened the vibes very slightly...... the original i found to feel quite harsh. It did have the best PJ out of all versions though.

The original 94 pure drive was very good however, with a lower flex and braided kevlar it felt great to me, but after that they stiffened them up a lot and none have felt so good since.
I've never quite understood the hate the yellow Cortex version got from most people. Feel is a very subjective thing, but objectively, it was a very similar racquet to the Original and with exactly same specs.

The 2010 GT model though...probably the worst iteration of the Aero in my opinion. It felt like hitting with a wooden plank. The paintjob was also the least attractive out of all versions so far, with way too much influx of white.
 

Lavs

Professional
Cortex (2007) was huge step back in APD line. When I gave it a try during a couple of weeks, I could not find the pace with it. It hits so hollow that I hardly felt the ball on the strings.
Active Cortex version (2013) is nice stick though and I would say it is the second best APD. It has still that dampened feel but I would never call it "hollow". Still not that raw and honest feel of Original APD.

Rough comparison of all version: APD Original > APD 2013 > APD Cortex > APD GT
 
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Cortex (2007) was huge step back in APD line. When I gave it a try during a couple of weeks, I could not find the pace with it. It hits so hollow that I hardly felt the ball on the strings.
Active Cortex version (2013) is nice stick though and I would say it is the second best APD. It has still that dampened feel but I would never call it "hollow". Still not that raw and honest feel of Original APD.
Rough comparison of all version: APD Original > APD 2013 > APD Cortex > APD GT
How would you rank them taking the Pure Aeros into consideration as well?

Me personally : APD Original > PA 2019 > APD 2013 > PA 2016 > APD Cortex > APD GT
 

Crashbaby

Rookie
i had a 2016 pure Aero and don’t miss it, i still have a an ApdO and it is way better to play with. Initially i strung it with gut/ poly which works great in my other racquets, it was was vibrating mess in this racquet, hated it. Threw on a Wilson shock shield grip and a full bed of 1.25 yonex poly tour strike and it feels super smooth and solid. Can’t bring bring myself to part with it. I’m a huge yonex fanboy. But will keep this bad boy as it is just so solid. I totally understand pros sticking with apd’s as Pure aeros for me are too open in the string bed. An interesting side note, the pattern on this stick is tighter than my rf97, lay them on top of each other and you realise Rafa is playing with the control stick, and Fed is swinging the wild child. Weight withstanding of course.
 

Lavs

Professional
How would you rank them taking the Pure Aeros into consideration as well?

Me personally : APD Original > PA 2019 > APD 2013 > PA 2016 > APD Cortex > APD GT
I did not try PA yet.
I am afraid I would not handle its extreme open pattern.
To be honest, I am not fully committed to stay at baseline and play with lots of spin. Instead, my style is more towards all-court game, and APD gives me that exact spin ability I need, to produce as much spin as I want and can. I do not need more.
From other hand, APD is still OK in terms of pinpoint accuracy that allows me to finish the point when I need it.
Actually, my grip is something in between Eastern and Semiwestern (I am kind of old-school player). I doubt I could handle the same setup with PA.
 
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Zoolander

Hall of Fame
I did not try PA yet.
I am afraid I would not handle its extreme open pattern.
To be honest, I am not fully committed to stay at baseline and play with lots of spin. Instead, my style is more towards all-court game, and APD gives me that exact spin ability I need, to produce as much spin as I want and can. I do not need more.
From other hand, APD is still OK in terms of pinpoint accuracy that allows me to finish the point when I need it.
Actually, my grip is something in between Eastern and Semiwestern (I am kind of old-school player). I doubt I could handle the same setup with PA.
I simply dont get why they opened up the string pattern on the PA compared to the APD. And especially when they have opened up the PD as well since. I thought the pattern on the APD was just right.
 

Nostradamus

Bionic Poster
This racket is very stable and powerful from the baseline. Very solid feeling racket. but at the net, bit slow. but it was my favorite racket from the baseline.

 

ron schaap

Professional
Too low. Those are rookie numbers. /s

Seriously, that's outrageous. I remember one NOS APD Original selling for 400 euro on prostocktennis some years ago.
I have two, however not in new condition but probably playing like new, so i could get rich? I also wonder what happens with Nadals old frames? Do they just get a new paintjob and grommets in the factory?
Vamos!
 
I have two, however not in new condition but probably playing like new, so i could get rich? I also wonder what happens with Nadals old frames? Do they just get a new paintjob and grommets in the factory?
Vamos!
Rafa's actual racquets get auctioned off and bought by collectors. There's a guy on Instagram who owns them, you'll probably find some pictures of those frames on tennisnerd's instagram, he got a chance to hit with them a while ago.
 
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ron schaap

Professional
Played with the APDO back in the day; it had the most feedback - good and bad - of all the Aeros, but was also the harshest feeling, particularly off centre, was somewhat string sensitive for it's specs and could even feel boardy and tinny at times. Not my goat racquet by any means, my obvious lack of 18 majors notwithstanding lol
It should not be strung tightly with poly. Than it feels rather comfy.
 
I
It should not be strung tightly with poly. Than it feels rather comfy.
I guess that's true for almost all modern racquets. Maybe it's just my opinion, but I really don't see a need to string a full bed of poly at anything higher than 50-52 lbs for recreational players. It's just diminishing returns with respect to comfort at that point. Poly as it is offers a more controlled response than any syn gut/multi, and most of us don't hit as hard (even though we might think we do) as the pros to offset the much higher tensions they tend to string their racquets at.
 
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