Wrapping up my Babolat pure strike 3rd gen review (also all generations of strikes comparison)

So I’m just put my final result first: I ended up keep using my original pure strike 98 16x19 (which I have been using for roughly 4 years) and just sold my 3rd gen pure strike couple days ago. That’s the result after all. I was so excited when I find Dominic Thiem finally switched from the first gen to the 3rd gen (at least same mold, with lower RA maybe), I thought I can make the transition as well because I do love the new paintjob...well, I couldn't, which saved me 600 bucks.
Now I've hitted with all three gen pure strikes 98 16x19 (Purchased all of them, picked/customized to ideal specs, have my string solinco tour bite on them and played at least for 2 months). Here are my comparison reviews on them. btw I'm a 25 years old 4.5 baseline player with two hand backhand. Lets start the review:

2014 first gen : still my trusty. I've heard some people say they hate the first gen and others (including myself) absolutely love it. For me, it has the right amount of flex, right amount of spin, and right amount of power. The control is excellent. The feel, I understand its a very unique feel, which I really like. (and that's the main reason why I pick it back in 2014 when I have other demos including all the popular ones at that time). I know I like the first gen the most because I've played the longest with it, and I'm very used of it. It really shines when swing hard. I'm usually the more aggressive player on the court so it suits my game very well, and I guess thats why Thiem and Auger Alliassime liked the first gen (they both swing hella hard). The spin that the first gen provides is unique as well. It is a tighter 16x19 pattern on the market, and the spin is more jumping forward than jumping high (based on my opponents feedback), which allow me to hit really fast balls. Downside is the first gen is not a very stable frame. If I kinda lazy sometimes or I'm in very bad defense position, it requires me to swing harder to maintain the pace. Same problem on volley, it gets pushed quite easily so I have to grab it tighter. I used to have 6 of them total and the last three sticks I have for now have higher sw at 326 (TW listed the sw of first gen at 320) so it fixed the unstable issue just a bit since it swings a bit heavier.

2017 2nd gen Project One 7:
I had them for about 4 month and played two tournaments with them. TW rated it at 90 which I think its kinda overrated, but I understand why most people like it better than the first gen. The thicker beam makes the 2nd gen more stable, and the widen string pattern makes it better power and better spin potential. The 2nd gen is more like a true 98 Pure Drive in my humble opinion.(since the real PDVS is such a disappointment for me) The 2nd gen plays very close to a Pure Drive with just a bit more control and feel. However for me, it feels a bit uncomfortable on my wrist than the first gen, and the control and feel is just not as good as my first gen. My dropshot and backhand just not performing well with it. However I do think it is a really good frame. I wouldn't rated as high as 90 though. Overall I would say the 2nd gen did improved all the downsides of the first gen, but the feel and the control of the first gen for me is just hard to beat, as we all know, picking a racket is a very personal thing.

2019 3rd gen:
I got a early release from a friend's shop in LA. I was very excited for the 3rd gen. First, Thiem switched to 3rd gen (or at least same mold maybe with lower RA) we all know he been using first gen 18x20 for years and skipped the 2nd gen; Second, the paintjob is SICK! However, from the first hit I find out it has a muted feel, my passion goes down immediately. I'm 24 years old right now and play with full bed polly (majorly tour bite) for years. I know I'm young, and I don't really care comfort that much at least for now. I just hate muted feel rackets. The power is good, even better than 2nd gen in my opinion. Spin is phenomenal, some times even feels like a Pure Aero for me. I can hit my best serve and forehand with the 3rd gen among all 3 generations of pure strikes. I can launch rockets with the 3rd gen. The one stick I have has a 332 SW so that helps the power for sure. However, when it comes to some crucial moments, when I need some touch and feel on the court, the muted feel of the 3rd gen really made me wanna smash it on the ground. Besides tour bite, I also tried rpm blast and rpm rough on the 3rd gen, and I like tour bite and rpm rough better than rpm blast. (probably just because I like the more crisp feel on tb and rpm rough rather than the muted feel rpm blast) Between 2nd gen and 3rd gen I would pick 3rd gen for sure. It has crazy spin and power which I for sure really enjoy, that's the reason why I still keep the 3rd gen in my bag till last week. And even tough I hate the muted feel, I can hit better dropshot with 3rd gen than 2nd gen. I think a typical babolat user will love the 3rd gen, you can simply smash the ball everytime (if you can handle the higher sw and maintain the head speed), but don't care too much about ball placement.

Those all my reviews on all three gen pure strikes. I might forget to mention something but those all my humble personal experience. I ended up with my old first gen with my tour bites. Not sure when I can find a replacement for them lol luckily I still have a couple sets grommets. The feel of the first gen is just so unique which makes me keep coming back. In my opinion, power, spin potential, control, all those things can be modified by racket customization and different string choice, but the feel is just the most personal thing. Hope you guys having a great holiday season and enjoy my reviews.




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Last edited:
Forget to put the specs on my 3rd gen pure strike. All strung specs with rpm rough 125 on it.


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dje31

Professional
I think the 1st gen's PJ has aged really well. Didn't think it would, but looks great to my eye. A bunch of current alpine and nordic skis sport a mostly black topskin with neon red graphics and lettering.

Admittedly, I haven't been a fan of many white tennis racquets, save for the Rossignol Strato and Wilson Jack Kramer. Often white fades to a pale yellow.
 

Fairhit

Semi-Pro
I also think the PO7 lacks severely in touch, I went to the Pro Staff just for the touch, it gave the best 1hbh I've ever had tho.
 

kailash

Professional
My experience matches exactly what OP posted. 1st has the right amount of power, control and spin, with feel. 2nd gen is more stable, but causes some arm discomfort. 3rd gen has muted feel, but easier on the arm.

I found adding some lead at 10 and 2 makes 1st gen stable. I tried lead in 3, 9 and 12 also, and those work too, but 10, 2 is optimal.
 
I think the 1st gen's PJ has aged really well. Didn't think it would, but looks great to my eye. A bunch of current alpine and nordic skis sport a mostly black topskin with neon red graphics and lettering.

Admittedly, I haven't been a fan of many white tennis racquets, save for the Rossignol Strato and Wilson Jack Kramer. Often white fades to a pale yellow.
Yeah actually as I remembered a lot of people liked the first gen PJ when the racket was introduced. It's a very sharp color combo, not too pop on the court but very clean look in person.
 
My experience matches exactly what OP posted. 1st has the right amount of power, control and spin, with feel. 2nd gen is more stable, but causes some arm discomfort. 3rd gen has muted feel, but easier on the arm.

I found adding some lead at 10 and 2 makes 1st gen stable. I tried lead in 3, 9 and 12 also, and those work too, but 10, 2 is optimal.
I did add some weight on 10 and 2 as you said on other my sticks before. The only three sticks I have right now have higher SW and balance point already so the stability is enough for me. (thx for TW picking three exact specs frame for me)
 

danbrenner

Hall of Fame
There is also something oh so cool about using a discontinued frame that is almost impossible to find in great condition. We are non conformists. We are collectors of antiquities. And let’s face it. The PJ on the first gen is waaaaay hotter than any of the current models. And furthermore the second gen is outright hideous with that silly orange shaft. Now as far as playability and feel. The main diff is that the first gen has way more feel and has a crisper feel. Non muted. I have grown to hate the word muted. So in closing. We are part of an elite collectors group. A group that becomes more special over time. And more rare over time. And a Pj that becomes more beautiful Iver time. I’ll never sell my 1st gens.
 

TennisHound

Legend
So I’m just put my final result first: I ended up keep using my original pure strike 98 16x19 (which I have been using for roughly 4 years) and just sold my 3rd gen pure strike couple days ago. That’s the result after all. I was so excited when I find Dominic Thiem finally switched from the first gen to the 3rd gen (at least same mold, with lower RA maybe), I thought I can make the transition as well because I do love the new paintjob...well, I couldn't, which saved me 600 bucks.
Now I've hitted with all three gen pure strikes 98 16x19 (Purchased all of them, picked/customized to ideal specs, have my string solinco tour bite on them and played at least for 2 months). Here are my comparison reviews on them. btw I'm a 25 years old 4.5 baseline player with two hand backhand. Lets start the review:

2014 first gen : still my trusty. I've heard some people say they hate the first gen and others (including myself) absolutely love it. For me, it has the right amount of flex, right amount of spin, and right amount of power. The control is excellent. The feel, I understand its a very unique feel, which I really like. (and that's the main reason why I pick it back in 2014 when I have other demos including all the popular ones at that time). I know I like the first gen the most because I've played the longest with it, and I'm very used of it. It really shines when swing hard. I'm usually the more aggressive player on the court so it suits my game very well, and I guess thats why Thiem and Auger Alliassime liked the first gen (they both swing hella hard). The spin that the first gen provides is unique as well. It is a tighter 16x19 pattern on the market, and the spin is more jumping forward than jumping high (based on my opponents feedback), which allow me to hit really fast balls. Downside is the first gen is not a very stable frame. If I kinda lazy sometimes or I'm in very bad defense position, it requires me to swing harder to maintain the pace. Same problem on volley, it gets pushed quite easily so I have to grab it tighter. I used to have 6 of them total and the last three sticks I have for now have higher sw at 326 (TW listed the sw of first gen at 320) so it fixed the unstable issue just a bit since it swings a bit heavier.

2017 2nd gen Project One 7:
I had them for about 4 month and played two tournaments with them. TW rated it at 90 which I think its kinda overrated, but I understand why most people like it better than the first gen. The thicker beam makes the 2nd gen more stable, and the widen string pattern makes it better power and better spin potential. The 2nd gen is more like a true 98 Pure Drive in my humble opinion.(since the real PDVS is such a disappointment for me) The 2nd gen plays very close to a Pure Drive with just a bit more control and feel. However for me, it feels a bit uncomfortable on my wrist than the first gen, and the control and feel is just not as good as my first gen. My dropshot and backhand just not performing well with it. However I do think it is a really good frame. I wouldn't rated as high as 90 though. Overall I would say the 2nd gen did improved all the downsides of the first gen, but the feel and the control of the first gen for me is just hard to beat, as we all know, picking a racket is a very personal thing.

2019 3rd gen:
I got a early release from a friend's shop in LA. I was very excited for the 3rd gen. First, Thiem switched to 3rd gen (or at least same mold maybe with lower RA) we all know he been using first gen 18x20 for years and skipped the 2nd gen; Second, the paintjob is SICK! However, from the first hit I find out it has a muted feel, my passion goes down immediately. I'm 24 years old right now and play with full bed polly (majorly tour bite) for years. I know I'm young, and I don't really care comfort that much at least for now. I just hate muted feel rackets. The power is good, even better than 2nd gen in my opinion. Spin is phenomenal, some times even feels like a Pure Aero for me. I can hit my best serve and forehand with the 3rd gen among all 3 generations of pure strikes. I can launch rockets with the 3rd gen. The one stick I have has a 332 SW so that helps the power for sure. However, when it comes to some crucial moments, when I need some touch and feel on the court, the muted feel of the 3rd gen really made me wanna smash it on the ground. Besides tour bite, I also tried rpm blast and rpm rough on the 3rd gen, and I like tour bite and rpm rough better than rpm blast. (probably just because I like the more crisp feel on tb and rpm rough rather than the muted feel rpm blast) Between 2nd gen and 3rd gen I would pick 3rd gen for sure. It has crazy spin and power which I for sure really enjoy, that's the reason why I still keep the 3rd gen in my bag till last week. And even tough I hate the muted feel, I can hit better dropshot with 3rd gen than 2nd gen. I think a typical babolat user will love the 3rd gen, you can simply smash the ball everytime (if you can handle the higher sw and maintain the head speed), but don't care too much about ball placement.

Those all my reviews on all three gen pure strikes. I might forget to mention something but those all my humble personal experience. I ended up with my old first gen with my tour bites. Not sure when I can find a replacement for them lol luckily I still have a couple sets grommets. The feel of the first gen is just so unique which makes me keep coming back. In my opinion, power, spin potential, control, all those things can be modified by racket customization and different string choice, but the feel is just the most personal thing. Hope you guys having a great holiday season and enjoy my reviews.




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Good writeup!
 

Crocodile

Hall of Fame
Love the first generation in the Wimbledon paint job version as a cosmetic thing but find these frames really harsh and many players seem to get wrist pain.
The second generation ( project 17) was by many accounts a big improvement but still causing arm problems.
The first generation seems a little more muted and we hope people will have less arm problems.
 
The hoop of the first generation is thinner.

I still oscillate back to my 2014's. Love the paint job and the play (though mine are weighted up at 8:00 and 4:00) and with a leather grip, putting total weight at 347gm. Using 18g RPM blast, but left it for the Ultra Tours because I had a case of Tennis Elbow.

I now think the TE was technique driven (hitting to close to the ball, causing me to over-windshield wash to keep ball in/control) but have been afraid to go back because of it. For me a little more pop, a little less control than then Ultra tour. But have stayed with the ultratour because I have more variety of shots.
 
The hoop of the first generation is thinner.

I still oscillate back to my 2014's. Love the paint job and the play (though mine are weighted up at 8:00 and 4:00) and with a leather grip, putting total weight at 347gm. Using 18g RPM blast, but left it for the Ultra Tours because I had a case of Tennis Elbow.

I now think the TE was technique driven (hitting to close to the ball, causing me to over-windshield wash to keep ball in/control) but have been afraid to go back because of it. For me a little more pop, a little less control than then Ultra tour. But have stayed with the ultratour because I have more variety of shots.
I use tour bite 17 on my first gen ps but I always go really low around 46-48 lbs. if I’m using 16L I can go around 42. Never had comfort issue with such set up.


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