Why the Hate for Babolat? (PD Roddick)

python

Semi-Pro
I've noticed over the years that people on this board look down a bit on Babolat frames. I've never really understood why... All of the Babs I've played with have excellent playing characteristics. The Pure Control is an absolute hammer and the Pure Drive is a spinner's dream.

Today I had a hit with a friend's Pure Drive Roddick. It was strung with some Red Code string that seemed to enhance the spin generation capabilities. I was literally ripping the felt off the balls with all the spin I was able to produce with this racquet. Served like a dream, too.

Why doesn't this racquet get more publicity? I'd imagine it would be well-suited to a large band of players with different playing styles and levels.
 

Voltron

Hall of Fame
They are too stiff and powerful for most of us 4.0+ players. You have to string them at 70++ to tone the power down enough for me.
 

West Coast Ace

G.O.A.T.
Why doesn't this racquet get more publicity? I'd imagine it would be well-suited to a large band of players with different playing styles and levels.
I thought they were player's rackets - and thus only truly suited for a small % of amateurs. I saw a 50-ish guy with a big pot belly at the courts yesterday with a PD - he probably didn't hit a ball over 40mph - had to suppress a laugh.

I'm sure being Roddick and Nadal's company, two of the most polarizing pros, is part of it.
 

python

Semi-Pro
They are too stiff and powerful for most of us 4.0+ players. You have to string them at 70++ to tone the power down enough for me.
That makes no sense to me since there is a proliferation of Babolat racquets in junior tennis, college tennis, and even the pro tours. An average 16 year old boy playing competitive junior tennis has way more pace than most 4.0 hackers I've seen.
 

python

Semi-Pro
I thought they were player's rackets - and thus only truly suited for a small % of amateurs. I saw a 50-ish guy with a big pot belly at the courts yesterday with a PD - he probably didn't hit a ball over 40mph - had to suppress a laugh.

I'm sure being Roddick and Nadal's company, two of the most polarizing pros, is part of it.
I actually thought the PD Roddick was a fairly easy racquet to play with. You don't have to muscle the ball with this one. Just take a normal swing and let the racquet do the work for you.

I agree that the people on this board generally have a low opinion for Roddick and Nadal. Perhaps that's it.
 

Voltron

Hall of Fame
Ok, I'm 15 and a 4.5, and it has WAY too much power for me. The lightness and stiffness KILL my arm. I LOVE my 12+ oz mid, and HATE the PD.
 
They are too stiff and powerful for most of us 4.0+ players. You have to string them at 70++ to tone the power down enough for me.
ya, especially those stupid players like andy roddick and clijsters and nadal, those stupid lower than 4.0 players eh.

to answer the OP's question, its because most people find them too stiff and powerful, yes, but its not necessarily because of inherit power. its because the user doesnt use enough topspin to use the racket. this does not mean the user sucks, he/she obviously has their own strokes which may be flat, but they should not be putting down a racket because of it. i tried a PD in the summer and didnt like it, but i wish i could try it again, because ive gotten much better strokes and i think i'd be able to use enough spin to control it. Only problem may be the shoulder stiffness... but i'd still like to try it,
 
That makes no sense to me since there is a proliferation of Babolat racquets in junior tennis, college tennis, and even the pro tours. An average 16 year old boy playing competitive junior tennis has way more pace than most 4.0 hackers I've seen.
well, voltron seems a bit biased... but i dont think we can change that, lol.
 

Voltron

Hall of Fame
Yes I am a bit biased, but thats because I played with the PD, my arm hurt so bad it took me out for a few days. What I guess I'm saying is, the PD may be for you, but its definatly NOT for me. Also that I don't really play very well with it, so no, I really dont like it very much. I admit it might be a good stick, but I just don't like it.
 

Ronaldo

Bionic Poster
ya, especially those stupid players like andy roddick and clijsters and nadal, those stupid lower than 4.0 players eh.

to answer the OP's question, its because most people find them too stiff and powerful, yes, but its not necessarily because of inherit power. its because the user doesnt use enough topspin to use the racket. this does not mean the user sucks, he/she obviously has their own strokes which may be flat, but they should not be putting down a racket because of it. i tried a PD in the summer and didnt like it, but i wish i could try it again, because ive gotten much better strokes and i think i'd be able to use enough spin to control it. Only problem may be the shoulder stiffness... but i'd still like to try it,
Must fight the temptation to crossover again to the Dark Side. Leads to agression.
 

emerckx53

Semi-Pro
I've noticed over the years that people on this board look down a bit on Babolat frames. I've never really understood why... All of the Babs I've played with have excellent playing characteristics. The Pure Control is an absolute hammer and the Pure Drive is a spinner's dream.

Today I had a hit with a friend's Pure Drive Roddick. It was strung with some Red Code string that seemed to enhance the spin generation capabilities. I was literally ripping the felt off the balls with all the spin I was able to produce with this racquet. Served like a dream, too.

Why doesn't this racquet get more publicity? I'd imagine it would be well-suited to a large band of players with different playing styles and levels.
They are a very effective racquet employed in the hands of the right player...ie higher level players, pros etc...I think there are many players on the forum who probably would be better off using something else (3.0 players, older players, players with arm issues etc.). But if you like it and can play with it go right ahead. But many can't and still use it because of it's popularity...aka Wilson's 90in racquets included...
 

python

Semi-Pro
Ironically, one of the few times I've had an injury from playing tennis was when I demoed a Head i.Prestige. The racquet was strung tightly and I found myself swinging so big on every shot just to keep the ball deep and at a reasonable pace, that I made my shoulder sore.

I think the stiffness factor in arm injuries is a little overstated. The Volkl V1 Classic is considered arm-friendly yet it is relatively stiff.
 

Bottle Rocket

Hall of Fame
There is a lot of publicity... Just a lot of bad publicity on these boards.

The truth is, this place does not represent the tennis playing world. The Pure Drive has been the best selling racket at my local tennis shop for the past 5 years, to players usually 4.0's or better. It has also been the best selling racket in the US.

People generally have issues with this racket if they use heavy, flexy, and low powered players rackets. Those guys hate that they are sometimes at a disadvantage, but will not submit to Babolat. The majority of them have probably never even hit with one, scared off by the posts on this board, or the ridiculous stories of injuries caused by the rackets.

Saying the Roddick is too powerful for a 4.0 player might be the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard coming from a serious poster/player on this board.

Maybe the reality is that people cannot control the power because of their conditioning or technique. If you get lazy, the ball will sail. If you just slap at the ball, the ball will sail.

If you play the so-called "modern-game" of semi-western and western grips, it is obvious why this racket has been so successful. If you hit with an eastern or continental grip, I completely understand the dislike for this racket. It is simply not made for you.

If you mis-hit a ball or slap at the ball with a lower powered stick, you can easily get away with it. You can get away with faulty mechanics, IMHO. When I get worn down and my feet quit moving, I pull out a low powered racket. I just cna't believe a 4.0+ that is truly as good as they say won't be able to get used to the Pure Drive and keep the ball in the court.

I think the Pure Storm and Pure Drive Roddick should never be overlooked by anyone in search of a new stick. Don't put yourself at a disadvantage just bceause of the negative hype...
 

Voltron

Hall of Fame
They are a very effective racquet employed in the hands of the right player...ie higher level players, pros etc...I think there are many players on the forum who probably would be better off using something else (3.0 players, older players, players with arm issues etc.). But if you like it and can play with it go right ahead. But many can't and still use it because of it's popularity...aka Wilson's 90in racquets included...

OMG, that players racquet setup, its genious;). I'd do it, but John Cauthen would probably sue me.:p
 

Bottle Rocket

Hall of Fame
How did 5 people post while I was writing mine? You guys need to slow it down!

I think the arm pain issues are misleading.

People who big of a Pure Drive tend to hit harder than usual. They tend to go for more, hit with more confidence, and possibly try and play over their heads.

The truth of the matter is that you can take something off all your shots and still be extremely effective, whether we're talking about serves or forehands. If you've lost pop on your shots because of age, you just can't overlook this thing.

I also think the issue of strings is important. People who shouldn't be using the Pure Drives in the first place complain of power, so they string higher. Then they try stiffer poly's to tame the power and string even higher.

If you can't keep the ball in the court with "standard" string tensions, the PD just is not for you. There is nothing wrong with that. Don't risk injury. That's why there are hundreds of other rackets to try.
 
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Voltron

Hall of Fame
How did 5 people post while I was writing mine? You guys need to slow it down!

I think the arm pain issues are misleading.

People who big of a Pure Drive tend to hit harder than usual. They tend to go for more, hit with more confidence, and possibly try and play over their heads.

I also think the issue of strings is important. People who shouldn't be using the Pure Drives in the first place complain of power, so they string higher. Then they try stiffer poly's to tame the power and string even higher.

If you can't keep the ball in the court with "standard" string tensions, the PD just is not for you. There is nothing wrong with that. Don't risk injury. That's why there are hundreds of other rackets to try.
You're right, thats why I finally switched from babolats to Yonex, I play better, and my arm's good as new.
 

emerckx53

Semi-Pro
There is a lot of publicity... Just a lot of bad publicity on these boards.

The truth is, this place does not represent the tennis playing world. The Pure Drive has been the best selling racket at my local tennis shop for the past 5 years, to players usually 4.0's or better. It has also been the best selling racket in the US.

People generally have issues with this racket if they use heavy, flexy, and low powered players rackets. Those guys hate that they are sometimes at a disadvantage, but will not submit to Babolat. The majority of them have probably never even hit with one, scared off by the posts on this board, or the ridiculous stories of injuries caused by the rackets.

Saying the Roddick is too powerful for a 4.0 player might be the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard coming from a serious poster/player on this board.

Maybe the reality is that people cannot control the power because of their conditioning or technique. If you get lazy, the ball will sail. If you just slap at the ball, the ball will sail.

If you play the so-called "modern-game" of semi-western and western grips, it is obvious why this racket has been so successful. If you hit with an eastern or continental grip, I completely understand the dislike for this racket. It is simply not made for you.

If you mis-hit a ball or slap at the ball with a lower powered stick, you can easily get away with it. You can get away with faulty mechanics, IMHO. When I get worn down and my feet quit moving, I pull out a low powered racket. I just cna't believe a 4.0+ that is truly as good as they say won't be able to get used to the Pure Drive and keep the ball in the court.

I think the Pure Storm and Pure Drive Roddick should never be overlooked by anyone in search of a new stick. Don't put yourself at a disadvantage just bceause of the negative hype...
Very well put post....I have wanted to try the racquet but have had arm problems in the past...My game is certainly good enough to use it but there are facts to indicate it isn't easy on the arm...many also string these babys with a pros setup Lux BB and that is not advantages to arms as well....but as I said if you are healthy and can use it I KNOW it is a weapon...it just wouldn't be used as much if it wasn't..
 

prostaff18

Semi-Pro
I always thought that the PD was crap, that was until I leaded it. Now it is the best frame that I have. Mine is the PD+ and I added 12" at 12 o'clock and I covered the outside of the but cap. I haven’t weighed it yet but it hits the ball awesome. I have mine strung at 62 lbs. with Wilson reaction 15L in the mains and Wilson nxt os 16L in the crosses. Stock the Pure Drive sucks, but with a little help from lead tape it's potential is unleashed.

I play college tennis and I would say that Babolat is the most used by players at the college level. I would say that the nSix-One 95 is a distant second.
 

Voltron

Hall of Fame
I play with a western grip and I didn't play that well with it. But I have had arm problems, so Babolats are a no no.
 

alwaysatnet

Semi-Pro
I've played with the Pure Drive and like the racquet though it was too stiff for me.The Pure Control is a better choice,I think.I used to love the VS Control and wished I still had them.Most people associate the racquet with Andy Roddick and there are a lot of people(I admit I'm one) that don't care very much for "The New Michael Chang", Mr. Roddick.
 

python

Semi-Pro
Huh? Roddick <> Chang. If Chang had a serve to go along with his speedy baseline game, he would have reached #1 and had more than 1 Grand Slam to his credit.

Chang did switch to a Pure Drive (Plus?) in his last years on the tour, so there's an endorsement of sorts for the racquet.
 

th____44

Rookie
Ok, I'm 15 and a 4.5, and it has WAY too much power for me. The lightness and stiffness KILL my arm. I LOVE my 12+ oz mid, and HATE the PD.
the weigth is nothing that customizations can't change....

don't hear the people in this thread....and don't be afraid about babolats....
maybe they are developing arm issues due to the high tensions (with polys) they use....
or maybe because of their technique....if a racket don't suits your game,is not
because is a bad racket....it isn't for you,but is not bad....
i know a lot of people that play with babolats....and believe me....they are
for sure 5.0+ players....and they have never concern about their stiffness....

if you like babolats....go ahead....use them....if they suit to your game, dont let this people to tell you "no...that rackets play like sh*t....try the ps 85....the head prestige....the ncode 6.1....etc....they play like dream...." because probably they wont fit your game....play with anything that fits your game....dont care about brands or what people say....
 

prostaff18

Semi-Pro
the weigth is nothing that customizations can't change....

if you like babolats....go ahead....use them....if they suit to your game, dont let this people to tell you "no...that rackets play like sh*t....try the ps 85....the head prestige....the ncode 6.1....etc....they play like dream...." because probably they wont fit your game....play with anything that fits your game....dont care about brands or what people say....
Man you read my mind!
 

haerdalis

Hall of Fame
I have two PDR+ and I really love playing with them but I do feel a little soreness in my elbow if I play too often with them which is a big shame. I didnt like the regular PD as much as the PDR which I think is an excellent frame but just a little too stiff for me.
 

th____44

Rookie
I have two PDR+ and I really love playing with them but I do feel a little soreness in my elbow if I play too often with them which is a big shame. I didnt like the regular PD as much as the PDR which I think is an excellent frame but just a little too stiff for me.
use a rubberband ;)
 

th____44

Rookie
Rubberband wont take away the year I used the prostaff 5.1 stretch unfortunately.
oh....have you tries any other dampener????
lets say, rvs or vibrakill????
otherwise....try playing with co-polyester,synh.gut(or gut) or maybe a softer hybrid....
 

python

Semi-Pro
oh....have you tries any other dampener????
lets say, rvs or vibrakill????
otherwise....try playing with co-polyester,synh.gut(or gut) or maybe a softer hybrid....
A string dampener will not absorb the inherent shock from the frame striking the ball. <shrugs> I've never had arm problems from just playing with a simple racquet and that included monsters like the Wilson Profile or the Head Genesis. You boys complaining about the PD's stiffness should take an old Profile out for a hit. Your entire arms will probably shatter like glass after a few minutes with that one.
 

python

Semi-Pro
No. The Profile was the original widebody with a dual taper bearm that was as much as an inch and a half in some spots. Very, very stiff. The sucker could launch some balls. Some pros like Jim Pugh used the Profile very successfully. Martina Navratilova even tried it for a while before she switched to a less powerful Yonex widebody.
 

movdqa

Talk Tennis Guru
I have an old racquet like that and can only use it to hit buckets of balls when
I'm teaching. Actually playing with it kills my arm. And keeping it in the court
can be a challenge. Our daughter likes it as she can really cream the ball
with it. I've been considering one of the Babolats for her as she's indicated
that she prefers racquets with more power. Probably something on the heavier
side with Cortex and not one of the extra-length models.
 

WhiteSox05CA

Hall of Fame
A lot of people use Babolat racquets. The downside to some people is the stiffness and the low comfort or touch/feel they have. The older guys on this forum like the soft flexible racquets with feel.
 

dunlopfan

Rookie
I just bought a Pure Drive with the Cortex System. I've replaced it with a Wilson nCode n4 111. I'm now trying to switch back because the Wilson is too powerful. I just couldn't get enough control that I needed with the Babolat.
 

tonysk83

Semi-Pro
So now that everyone in this thread has said too stiff, high power, what else is bad about it?

Here is my take. I used a PD+ for around six months. Definitely a nice frame. My serve only got worse after I stopped using it up until now with my RDX 500 MP, and that is just because I have gotten much better at serving. Great baseline racquet. You can really smack the ball and put a lot of topspin on it.

To me though, it was way too one dimensional. I play doubles for school so volleying is half my game and flat out, its a poor volleying racquet. I never could volley very good with it. When I switch to the O3 Tour MP after the PD+, my volleys were excellent. I also will say it isn't all that great for a 1hbh, how Ljubicic does it, I don't know. It seems it was made for 2hbh's, just because the people that mainly used it at first were up and coming juniors who mainly used 2hbh's. It seems like it is the stick of choice for the baseline rallier with a big forehand though.
 

Amone

Hall of Fame
I succumbed to the darkside, too. But that was after slamming the Pure Drive, because I think that you can't really say anything about a company unless you know their flagship. I hated it. I knew I needed extra spin, so I accomodated by hitting my usual spinny shots (as opposed to my not-spinny ones, because I have both and use them both) and I still couldn't aim-- read, no directional control. That was one frame, and I expected to dislike it. However, I've also hit (briefly) with a PDR (I can't remember the length) and that was a rather enjoyable experience. I ended up not purchasing it at the time... for some reason. I don't really remember what it was.

EDIT: On further consideration, I should mention-- I actually had a consistent flat serve when I hit with the Pure Drive! I can, generally, only hit a kick serve more than once or twice, but I got a bunch of flat serves in with the PD I used.
 
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Punisha

Professional
pd is just not good for a majority of ppl who dont like the stiffness/lack of feel/wanna volley/arm probs/2 much power

i have to say try the nadal stick... while horribly unstable, no good for flat serves and volleys... the spin is riduculous
 

s.sharm01

Rookie
Power i think is the problem with most players. i strung @ 62 thinking that would be enough to take the power off but still launching it off...
 

movdqa

Talk Tennis Guru
A guy I hit with with a PD can hit a really nice kick serve with it and did
every once in a while when he got the racquet but has gone back to hitting
mostly flat or with a little spin. He has had arm problems on the serve in the
past and it may be that he has cut back on heavy spin serves due to the
arm problems. I think that the spin serves possible with the racquet are much
better than what he's doing now with the racquet.

That has me interested in the technology but I'd need something easier on
the arm.
 

Sagittar

Hall of Fame
stiffness stiffness stiffness and stiffness , like this is all babolats are about , i agree it might make problems with people who already have shoulder or arm problems OR might make problems for healthy people but i also think that all those pros using it are not stupid or careless with thier muscles and shoulders .. sure they are more physically fit than most of us but still why do they use it ?
 

Ronaldo

Bionic Poster
Babolat users will soon discover THE TRUTH IS OUT THERE! That the PD and Poly strings may give great spin but at what price?
 
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movdqa

Talk Tennis Guru
stiffness stiffness stiffness and stiffness , like this is all babolats are about , i agree it might make problems with people who already have shoulder or arm problems OR might make problems for healthy people but i also think that all those pros using it are not stupid or careless with thier muscles and shoulders .. sure they are more physically fit than most of us but still why do they use it ?
Your behaviour and outlook in life is vastly different in your 20s compared to
the 40s. In your twenties, you hope to make enough to last you the rest of
your life. So if you get injuries in your forties, well, so be it.

As far as pros being perfectly safe with their bodies, what did Agassi do
at the last US Open?
 

Orion

Semi-Pro
Yeah there are alot of PDR haters but since tearing my rotator cuff about 1.5 years ago it's been nothing but kind to me. I was playing with a POG and a Head FXP Radical Mid. My brother told me I hit the ball cleaner with the FXP Rad and the shots seemed to have more pace on them and that with the PDR the ball had a weird sidespin to it and didn't jump like normal topspin.

I think it boils down to what suits your game. I was just getting back into playing and I suspect that the pain I was getting from the POG, FXP Radical and iRadical were from rusty mechanics and hitting the ball late. The iRadical was too light and I found that a heavier stick suited my arm and game better. I appreciate the stiffness of the PDR, it has the right amount of flex for my game (baseliner with the ability to put away a volley when necessary but not at home at the net). I have been stringing at lower tension, had it strung high 60's over the weekend with the Prince Hybrid (forget the name) and I had control problems the first 30 min hitting. I usually string with Pro Hurricane Tour 57 main, 54 cross.

I bought a few FXP Prestiges mid (after the PDR) and liked them but not as much as the PDR. I notice that I can swing alot harder with the Prestige but the confidence I have with the PDR when coming over the ball is what works for me. Been playing with the PDR now for about 6 months and zero arm or shoulder pain and I played through a rotator cuff tear the spring 05 to spring 06.
 

Sagittar

Hall of Fame
Your behaviour and outlook in life is vastly different in your 20s compared to
the 40s. In your twenties, you hope to make enough to last you the rest of
your life. So if you get injuries in your forties, well, so be it.

As far as pros being perfectly safe with their bodies, what did Agassi do
at the last US Open?
he retired with severe pain and back problems ..
 

Noveson

Hall of Fame
Ok, I'm 15 and a 4.5, and it has WAY too much power for me. The lightness and stiffness KILL my arm. I LOVE my 12+ oz mid, and HATE the PD.
You sound exactly like a racquet snoob. One of those people that would fish with a stick because they thought it will make them better. At 15 Years old you shouldn't have any problems with your arm you puss(I'm 15, use RDS001 Mp). Most likely you hate the PD because other osters on this board, heck you probably haven't even tried it.
 
You puss--hahahahaha, that's hilarious.

I think Babolats play much better with vibration dampeners and within the recommended tension range. You have to reign in the extra power with spin. They serve great and allow you to hit deep shots from the baseline without wearing yourself out. They make this very difficult game easier for a puss like me.
 

haerdalis

Hall of Fame
The problem with arm problems is that until you actually develop the problem you think you never will no matter what.
And the comment about age is spot on. Heck when I was 25 I didnt even have to warmup before serving full speed and I didnt get a sore shoulder. Not at that time anyway. Take care of your body, it is the only one you got.
I am not saying Babolats are bad for all arms. But I think most people with some kind of armproblem will feel a little sore after playing with them. Maybe I wouldnt have gotten the armproblems playing with PD, who knows.
 
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