Trying to leave the Pure Drive

Hello, I have used either the Pure Drive 2012 or the plus version for the better half of the past 3 years. I am a current college player that is looking to switch to a racquet that can offer me at least some of the same pop and acceleration I have grown to love from the Pure Drive, but be better on my arm. I get tennis elbow and shoulder tendonitis as I train a lot, and it is natural, but after grueling matches sometimes it can be a bit much. I have been using the blade 98 18x20 for a while, and love how I can take huge cuts at the ball, but do still miss some of the easy power I was getting from the Pure Drive. I was looking at the Head Speed MPA as an alternative, but are there any other recommendations from the board that could help me on my journey to finding a new racquet?
 
forgot to add, I am a baseline who likes to use my serve as a weapon as I can either go for the big flat serve or also use my heavy quicker. I also use a lot of topspin on both wings, but do like to flatten it as well to maintain an aggressive position, although my defense is a strong part of my game. I would say overall I am an aggressive baseliner with solid net play when I can
 

fuzz nation

G.O.A.T.
Rumor has it that the current Volkl 8-series frames are excellent arm-friendly alternatives to the Pure Drives. I use heavier 10-series Volkls, which are definitely kind to my 49-year-old arm and you may want to consider some of these, too. The lighter Super G 10 295g could be a good call if the heavier 325g version of that racquet is too much for your needs. TW has been selling the previous generation Organix 10 295g at a fantastic clearance price and a buddy of mine is madly in love with his.

Another interesting option might be the Yonex VCORE Tour G 310. Yonex makes a slightly different racquet that can be a really great fit for some players. Haven't tried this frame, but it looks like it has some potential.

In case you want a familiar grip shape in your hand - always a good thing - you could have a go with one or two of the Babolat Pure Controls, too.
 
Gotcha, thank you for the replies! I saw the Yonex and considered it but am not a fan of the ones that I have demoed. I was looking more into the heads and wilsons since those have the ideal college packages for me (college program won't buy the racquets for me )
 

Fusker

Rookie
What grip size? I'm about to post a couple Organix 8 315's up in the for sale thread. Like mentioned, it's a good arm friendly alternative.
 
I am looking for more arm friendly, but i do still prefer some feedback from the frame, just not as much harshness as the Pure Drive. My experience with Volk is that they are arm friendly, but are slightly too dampened for my taste.
 

kailash

Professional
Would recommend demoing the following:

ProKennex Q5 295
Head Graphene XT Instinct MP
Pacific BX2 X Fast LT (or Pro)
Volkl Super G 7

These play very similar to PD, but very arm friendly.

Plus strings play an important role; if not done already, would recommend trying multifilament or hybrid string beds.
 
Thank you for those recommendations, they look promising!

I did try string variation, and I can't use full multi as those would pop every day ( i tried that) and i shred through hybrids because of the spin. Has anyone tried the Head Grapheme XT Speed MPA? I'm truly curious to that frames potential
 

THE MAN

Professional
You never mention your strings or tension....that could be half your problem. Have you tried a softer co-poly like Volkl Cyclone Tour. Another suggestion would be trying a Pure Control 95+ for maybe all of your training and practicing, that way you can do you training with a more flexible frame and use a softer co-poly to help save on some wear and tear on your arm. Plus I think the 95+ will help you with your ball striking since the sweet spot is smaller and you have to supply the power more and also on your touch shots. Then go to your favorite weapon (pure drive) on game day. Hope that helps.
 
My current string setup in the racquet is Solinco outlast at 50lbs, I have tinkered with tension and types of string a lot. I am not in the business of having "practice racquets" either, although that may be nice for life after college, I would prefer to play with the same racquet day in and day out. I have had my technique down for a long time now as well and do supply my own power, ie. I have had much success with power when using a blade 98 18x20, but I like the pop on my shots when I play lesser opponents or stretched wide as the easier access to power makes me feel less like I have to work for the shots when pulled wide. Thank you for the recommendations so far! Please keep them up
 

Chipnkick

Rookie
The blade 98 18x20 is great for your playstyle. Have you thought about adding lead tape to it? I recommend placing it at 10 and 2
 
I have, but i just miss the easy power of the pure drive when I'm stretched wide. The Head Speed XT MP A looks like the best option right now on paper, and in hand as I had to string one for a player and it has the head size and string pattern of the pure drive, but it looks a little more dense than the pure drive, has lower flex, and thinner beam, like the blade and pure drive mixed together almost
 

KaiserW

Hall of Fame
A lot recommend the AI 100 for a more comfortable Pure Drive. Also search for Softer Pure Drive this was a good long thread on it.
 
Im not just looking for comfort, I also want a more "control" response but still providing that pop I have come to love from the Pure Drive. I have tried the Yonex AI 100 and was very identical, but the comfort left me missing some feedback as well.
 

tennis4me

Hall of Fame
Comfort, control AND pop? Hmm. I want to know too. :) Haven't seen one with that combo. Most, if not all of the racquets with comfort+control, AFAIK lack pop. They usually feel very muted. Likewise the racquets with pop usually lacks control. Maybe you can reach that holy grail combi by choosing a comfort+control racquet and then play around with the string and/or tension.
 
A

Attila_the_gorilla

Guest
Wilson 6.1 95? Go with the 16x18. The weight may be more than you're used to though.
 

LeeD

Bionic Poster
PD versions are the most powerful rackets.
You won't get that same power in anything else.
If you're willing to sacrifice a little power, then plenty of softer rackets are availible, but still stiffer than a rating of 65.
Nothing comes free in life.
 
I can do stiffer than 65, I just want it under 69-70. I don't need a super flexible/comfortable racquet, just something to take the edge off the Pure Drive.
I am well aware of that, Im willing to sacrifice some of the power for slightly better comfort. The harshness can be a bit much at times is all.

No one has any comment on the Head Graphene Speed MP A? I know the instinct looks promising, but am not a fan of super open string pattern or shared holes. I had the Speed in hand and it looked like it was a little tighter than your average 16x19 racquet.
 
A

Attila_the_gorilla

Guest
I actually used to use this racquet, leaded up and had a leather grip... haha, I could crank the ball with it but it was a slugger.
I would try it in stock form, lighter grip and maybe just a little lead at 12. That may be more manageable but still plenty of power and stability. One of the most popular rackets on tour.
 
I would try it in stock form, lighter grip and maybe just a little lead at 12. That may be more manageable but still plenty of power and stability. One of the most popular rackets on tour.
I agree, I used it in many different ways, I had that racquet for a couple of years. It is tough to wield consistently for my game though, although when I was on it was a beast
 

kailash

Professional
Thank you for those recommendations, they look promising!

I did try string variation, and I can't use full multi as those would pop every day ( i tried that) and i shred through hybrids because of the spin. Has anyone tried the Head Grapheme XT Speed MPA? I'm truly curious to that frames potential
I demoed the previous version of Speed MP; that is also a good one. Though IMO, the new XT Instinct MP plays softer and better than Speed MP. If you are interested in the speed line, the best is the Graphene Speed Pro! Excellent in all areas.
 

kailash

Professional
PD versions are the most powerful rackets.
You won't get that same power in anything else.
If you're willing to sacrifice a little power, then plenty of softer rackets are availible, but still stiffer than a rating of 65.
Nothing comes free in life.
Not completely true; Volkl G 7 line has similar power, but with more comfort! Try the Volkl Super G 7, Organix G 7 (295) or the G 7 (310) rackets.

G 7 has the stiffness rating of 73, higher than PD! But arm friendly because of the Volkl bio-sensor and pin system in the handle.
 

THE MAN

Professional
I can do stiffer than 65, I just want it under 69-70. I don't need a super flexible/comfortable racquet, just something to take the edge off the Pure Drive.
I am well aware of that, Im willing to sacrifice some of the power for slightly better comfort. The harshness can be a bit much at times is all.

No one has any comment on the Head Graphene Speed MP A? I know the instinct looks promising, but am not a fan of super open string pattern or shared holes. I had the Speed in hand and it looked like it was a little tighter than your average 16x19 racquet.
I guess no one is feeling the Head Graphene Speed yet. Just demo one and see what you think. Your going to miss the easy power and pop of your pure drive though. I still suggest trying other string combinations.....maybe Solinco Revolution?
The most important thing you need to take care of is your health ( arm and shoulder). Playing in pain is not fun at all, so if you just find the right string that will take that edge off I think you will like your pure drive even more and your body will thank you. Good Luck!
 

JonnyAbs

Semi-Pro
I can do stiffer than 65, I just want it under 69-70. I don't need a super flexible/comfortable racquet, just something to take the edge off the Pure Drive.
I am well aware of that, Im willing to sacrifice some of the power for slightly better comfort. The harshness can be a bit much at times is all.

No one has any comment on the Head Graphene Speed MP A? I know the instinct looks promising, but am not a fan of super open string pattern or shared holes. I had the Speed in hand and it looked like it was a little tighter than your average 16x19 racquet.
Have you tried an APD? It's 69 instead of 72 and still has the cortex, so I never really struggled with any arm pain when I used it, even with a full poly.
 

MikeHitsHard93

Hall of Fame
Hello, I have used either the Pure Drive 2012 or the plus version for the better half of the past 3 years. I am a current college player that is looking to switch to a racquet that can offer me at least some of the same pop and acceleration I have grown to love from the Pure Drive, but be better on my arm. I get tennis elbow and shoulder tendonitis as I train a lot, and it is natural, but after grueling matches sometimes it can be a bit much. I have been using the blade 98 18x20 for a while, and love how I can take huge cuts at the ball, but do still miss some of the easy power I was getting from the Pure Drive. I was looking at the Head Speed MPA as an alternative, but are there any other recommendations from the board that could help me on my journey to finding a new racquet?
If they still sold it, I'd recommend the Wilson Blx Pro Open. It has the same pop as a pure drive without the harsh feel and with a little better control due to lower power. I've owned two and went with them over the pure drive for the same reasons. However, now I don't have any issues with pain and haven't for a couple years so I'm looking at getting the PD again or the APD since my pro open is getting very worn and I broke my other one. I would also look at the speed mpa as you were asking. You have to demo it though. Don't just buy it. Try it out with the same strings that you normally use. There really aren't many rackets with your preferences. Another one is recommend is the yonex vcore Xi 98. A bit smoother than a pure drive, way more control due to the 16x20 pattern, high quality craftsmanship, and overall a very nice frame that is very unique and you won't really see it being used anywhere due to lack of marketing. Good luck!
 

tmc5005

Rookie
Leaving the Babolat Pure Drive is a great idea. I've had more compliants about tennis elbow from this racquet than any.
My current list of top 10 arm friendly racquets incudes:

Yonex EZone Ai 98
HEAD YT Graphene Prestige Pro
PACIFIC X Feel Pro 95
Prince Tour Pro 98
Prince Tour 98 ESP
Pro Kennex Kinetic KI5 315
Technifibre 2013 Tflight 315 16M LTD
Volkl Power Bridge-10 Mid (93)
Volkl Organix 10 325G
WILSON 2014 Pro Staff 95S

All of these are a lot more flexible, forgiving and have a lot more touch, feel and control
 

JackB1

G.O.A.T.
Leaving the Babolat Pure Drive is a great idea. I've had more compliants about tennis elbow from this racquet than any.
My current list of top 10 arm friendly racquets incudes:

Yonex EZone Ai 98
HEAD YT Graphene Prestige Pro
PACIFIC X Feel Pro 95
Prince Tour Pro 98
Prince Tour 98 ESP
Pro Kennex Kinetic KI5 315
Technifibre 2013 Tflight 315 16M LTD
Volkl Power Bridge-10 Mid (93)
Volkl Organix 10 325G
WILSON 2014 Pro Staff 95S
^^^^^^^
All of these are advanced players racquets and not comparable to the tweener like Pure Drive.


All of these are a lot more flexible, forgiving and have a lot more touch, feel and control
 

boinz

Rookie
Solinco Protocol 300? same mold from the first PD and flexes at 66RA
another good one should the Pacific Fast Pro LT
 

Lukhas

Legend
You probably should look at your strings and tension first.

the Pacific X-Fasts are worth a look too.
Oh you got it this time. :D Just kidding. But it's the obvious recommendation indeed. I'd probably add the Head Extreme to the list or the Prince Warrior if you absolutely want extreme comfort.
 

SpinToWin

Talk Tennis Guru
You probably should look at your strings and tension first.


Oh you got it this time. :D Just kidding. But it's the obvious recommendation indeed. I'd probably add the Head Extreme to the list or the Prince Warrior if you absolutely want extreme comfort.
Haha I ain't an old dog yet ;)
 

tmc5005

Rookie
That may be so but the Pure Drive is not much lighter than those racquets the problem is that it is so much stiffer. If you are looking for a slightly lighter racquet that is still arm friendly some possibilities are the Prince Textreme Tour 100T or the Wilson Blade 104
 

tribesmen

Professional
I've never played a tweener racquet so far and I'd like to try it :) I am afraid that PD will be to stiff for me, on the other hand I have possibility to get Prince O3 White LS at very good price Do you think I'll get some "tweener feel" with this Prince or is better to try the king of tweeners - PD/APD ?
 

g4driver

Legend
I have, but i just miss the easy power of the pure drive when I'm stretched wide. The Head Speed XT MP A looks like the best option right now on paper, and in hand as I had to string one for a player and it has the head size and string pattern of the pure drive, but it looks a little more dense than the pure drive, has lower flex, and thinner beam, like the blade and pure drive mixed together almost

Did you get a chance to play with the Head Speed XT MPA?

As a former PD owner, I too loved the frame but hated the harshness.

I played with Wilson Pro Opens for nearly 4 years, then transition to the 99S for the last two years, but and thinking of going back to the 16x16 Speed XT SMPA . I have one now and it is 320 swingweight / 340 grams to match my 99S frames.

I get more than enough power from it and this frame can be strung 16x16 or 16x19.

It is a very nice frame in the hands of someone who like the RDC stiffness in the mid 60s with a 100 square inch frame. It has plenty of power and plays very nice IMO.
 

n8dawg6

Legend
Try the new Pure Aero, try the Speed MPA or last year's Speed MP. Strings make a big difference in arm comfort, as everyone is saying. I had completely quit the Speed MP and poly a couple months ago because my arm would be on fire after playing a couple sets. Switched to Graphene Prestige S (with same SPE poly) and the arm problems mysteriously went away. It was my GOAT frame for a little while, I thought I had it all figured out. Then started to miss the greater power and spin of the Speed, switched back. Now my arm is firing up again (of course) ... there's no free lunch. Everything seems to be a tradeoff with racquets and strings. If youre having to sit there with your arm packed in ice like I was after a match, though, you probably need to look at a different alternative even if it means breaking and buying more strings or having less power in your frame.
 

ed70

Professional
If u like the blade 18x20 try the 2015 98s, it has same spin as pure drive, has more power than the blade 18x20 and is arm friendly. Job done
 

BlueB

Legend
I've never played a tweener racquet so far and I'd like to try it :) I am afraid that PD will be to stiff for me, on the other hand I have possibility to get Prince O3 White LS at very good price Do you think I'll get some "tweener feel" with this Prince or is better to try the king of tweeners - PD/APD ?
White is awesome.
 

tribesmen

Professional
Thank you BlueB. The price is ridiculously low at the moment and I'll just buy it and try it. Maybe I'll be the new convert :)
PS: I really want to try a tweener racquet !
 

g4driver

Legend
n8dawg6,

How is the stiffness of the PA compared to the Speed SMPA ? I played the 16x16 setup with Cyclone Tour 57/54 and it feels great to me.
 

PhxRacket

Hall of Fame
Can anyone explain the difference between a 2015 PD and the previous version? It is more than graphics and color, but how much more? I need to replace a PD+ that was broken during a particularly sweaty 113 degree day when the racket slipped on a serve. Should I replace with a 2015 or the previous? PD or PD+??
 

n8dawg6

Legend
n8dawg6,

How is the stiffness of the PA compared to the Speed SMPA ? I played the 16x16 setup with Cyclone Tour 57/54 and it feels great to me.
The PA feels stiffer, but more muted than the speed. More vibration dampening built into the PA frame, but more feedback with the speed. The PA of course I'm still using the factory synthetic gut, which has a lot more shock absorption than poly. I've got the Speed strung up 16x19 with a full bed of VStar at mid range (53 lb) ... a supposedly soft poly. I am generating fantastic spin, but control isnt quite what I want. And my arm is still barking at me 2 days later. getting it re-tied with a hybrid of cyclone mains and duraflex crosses to see if that helps my girly arm.

Just rambling now, but I get such good control with the Prestige S, I wonder why I can't have it all, the power spin AND directional control. oh yeah and arm comfort. GIMME IT ALL
 

SpinToWin

Talk Tennis Guru
Can anyone explain the difference between a 2015 PD and the previous version? It is more than graphics and color, but how much more? I need to replace a PD+ that was broken during a particularly sweaty 113 degree day when the racket slipped on a serve. Should I replace with a 2015 or the previous? PD or PD+??
The string pattern has been changed. Most people I know who liked the previous Pure Drives do not like the new one... Definitely give it a trial before committing. If you can't, get the previous version. Easier bet and better offer at the moment too.
 

pfrischmann

Professional
Try the Prince Warrior 100, Babolat Pure Strike, Wilson Pro Staff 97 and the Head Extreme.
Good suggestions. The Volkl Super G 8 is a really good choice but the feel is very different. the 315 version is a great power doubles racket. Not a very good feel racket though. So powerful, it's tough to do drop shots or touch volleys. I like the PS97 but it is a softer stick. It doesn't go "boom" like the pure drive or Volkl.
 
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