Babolat AeroPro Drive Plus Review
The Babolat AeroPro Drive Plus is very much the same as the regular AeroPro Drive, but with the added feature of an extended length. While the AeroPro Drive measures 27″ from top to bottom, the AeroPro Drive Plus comes in at 27.5″, and with this extended length comes extra maneuverability and reach which can be very valuable for some players. As you may already know, the AeroPro Drive is played with extensively by Rafael Nadal, one of the top tennis players in the world right now. But it’s not the fact that the AeroPro Drive is used by Nadal that makes it so great on the court, it’s the fact that it’s an extremely versatile racquet that has lots of power, control, and spin behind its calm exterior that makes it such a force to be reckoned with. In fact, the AeroPro Drive is famous for its spin potential, which is a very important element in Nadal’s playstyle. The only question is, however, does the extra length make the AeroPro Drive Plus better or worse than the original? We had to do a Babolat AeroPro Drive Plus review to find out, so keep reading if you’d like to learn more.
Babolat AeroPro Drive Plus Review
Features & Specifications
- A length of 27.5″ for extra reach and maneuverability
- Aero Modular Technology for increased air penetration and faster swings
- Woofer technology on grommets for increased ball contact time
- Cortex Active technology reduces bad vibrations for more comfort
- GT technology for a more rigid construction resulting in improved stability
- Recommended string tension of 55-65 lbs. (55 is a good starting point)
|String Pattern:||Headsize:||Weight / Balance Point:||Swing Weight:||Frame Stiffness:||Composition:|
|16×19||327||70||Graphite / Tungsten|
- Extended Length
The Babolat AeroPro Drive Plus measures an extra half an inch in length, which is the only added feature of the plus compared to the original. But is half an inch really such a big deal? For some players, yes, it can actually make a whole world of difference. With this extended length comes extra reach and maneuverability, which can be valuable for players with a shorter reach (or shorter arms really, but we’re not trying to be rude). This helps greatly for groundstrokes and gives a little extra pop for serves, and it plays remarkably well while at net.
The main problem we see with plus length racquets is oftentimes they feel a little unbalanced because of the extra weight in the head. After all, plus length racquets are variations of how the racquet was originally designed. But the Babolat AeroPro Drive Plus does not suffer from this setback, and in some ways, it’s actually improved by the extra length. It might be a fluke of our imagination, but it really does feel like the added length allows for extra power and spin.
- Aero Modular Technology
What makes the Babolat AeroPro Drive so unique and possibly one of the fastest frames around is largely due to its advanced Aero Modular technology. This technology works similarly to how wings work, with an aerodynamic design of varying beam widths of 23mm, 24mm, and 26mm at the spots that have the most air resistance. By having differing beam widths in the throat, shaft, and head, the AeroPro Drive Plus is able to penetrate the air more quickly (by an estimated 15% increase), which results in faster swings. Also known as Aerobeam technology, this contributes not only to faster swings but also allows the player access to a wider range of angles and trajectories for their shots. And even though this racquet is extremely powerful and easy to swing, it doesn’t lack stability either, which is essential for comfort and feel.
With Aero Modular technology granting faster swings, this makes the Babolat AeroPro Drive Plus a great racquet for aggressive, baseline play, where most of your time spent on the court is behind the baseline. Recommended for players with full and fast swings who aren’t afraid to plow through their shots to win points.
- Woofer Technology
Woofer technology refers to the dynamic system situated in the grommets that helps players interact with their shots even further.
As you may know, a normal tennis racquet’s frame is static, with most grommets locked in a fixed position. This limits how much the strings can move, and only the strings that come into contact with the ball will actively interact with it. Most vanilla players won’t notice the difference, but for those who enjoy applying spin to their shots, Woofer technology is a godsend.
Woofer technology relies on a pulley and piston system located in the grommets that helps to extend the duration of the ball impact (roughly 25% longer ball contact). Instead of being stuck in place like in a normal racquet frame, the strings are free to move around and the whole surface area reacts on impact. This means that more strings work together when striking the ball which allows for added spin, a larger sweet spot size, an increase in trampoline effect (for more power), and absorption of more shock throughout the string bed.
- Cortex System and GT Technology
Then there’s the Cortex System technology, which is a unique handle design that helps to filter out excessive vibrations generated on ball impact while allowing for maximum ball feel. While the Cortex system eliminates high frequency “bad vibrations” that can disrupt a player’s performance, it leaves back lower frequency “useful vibrations” to improve on feel, so you are better able to place your shots where you want. Coupled with GT technology–a more rigid frame construction–this helps to provide improved stability, control, and comfort.
The Babolat AeroPro Drive Plus can definitely help players with a shorter reach get to balls that would normally be out of their range. It also feels like there is more power and spin potential with the Plus compared to the original, which might or might not be true; we’ll have to call in our team of scientists to figure that out. But for taller players who already have good reach, the extra length of the Plus might not be enough to warrant a purchase of a racquet whose only added feature is additional length. But either way, the AeroPro Drive Plus plays very much the same as the regular AeroPro Drive, and this line of racquets has already been proven on the court by some of the best players in the world. The AeroPro Drive Plus has a good balance of power, spin, control, comfort, and mobility that makes it a very balanced racquet, and all the latest improvements in tennis technology is just icing on the cake.