Babolat AeroPro Drive Review
Well known for being endorsed by one of the top pros in the game (Rafael Nadal), the Babolat AeroPro Drive is hailed as an extremely versatile racquet on the court. Established as a balanced racquet with healthy levels of power, control, and spin, we wanted to take a closer look at its true pros and cons. And of course, Babolat doesn’t need any introduction I’m sure, being that they’ve been famous for making tennis strings since 1875 and expanding into the racquet manufacturing business in 1994. Nowadays, it’s hard to talk about the best tennis racquets on the market without someone at some point mentioning Babolat racquets at least once. So what features does the Babolat AeroPro Drive have that sets it apart from the rest? We put it to the test, and we’ll break it all down for you right here in our Babolat AeroPro Drive review.
Babolat AeroPro Drive Review
Features & Specifications
- Aero Modular Technology for increased air penetration and faster swings
- Woofer technology on grommets for increased contact time and control
- Cortex Active technology reduces vibrations for more comfort
- Recommended string tension of 55-65 lbs. (55 is a good starting point)
|String Pattern:||Headsize:||Weight / Balance Point:||Swing Weight:||Frame Stiffness:||Composition:|
- Aero Modular Technology
The Aero Modular technology is largely what makes the Babolat AeroPro Drive one of the fastest frames around. This is due to a design that’s more aerodynamic by nature (think of how wings work), with varying beam widths of 23mm, 24mm, and 26mm at the throat, the shaft, and the head of the racquet. This design–aptly named the Aerobeam–helps to cut back on air resistance in just the right places, which means faster swings for the player due to the 15% increase in maximum air penetration while also maintaining excellent ball control. As you may know, larger headsizes (>105 sq.in) equate to more power, but even though the Babolat AeroPro Drive has an even 100 sq.in. head which is considered balanced, the Aero Modular technology allows for increased force without giving up on features in the stability department. Not only that, but the increased air penetration also helps to expand the range of angles and trajectories you are capable of delivering the ball.
With a faster swing available, this makes the Babolat AeroPro Drive an excellent choice for aggressive baseliners who enjoy plowing through their shots while in the backcourt, with an added bonus of directional influence. In fact, Nadal generally adopts an aggressive baseline approach, relying on heavy topspin groundstrokes, consistency, and agility to win most of his points. That’s probably why the AeroPro Drive was designed with him in mind.
- Woofer Technology
Woofer technology refers to the dynamic system situated in the grommets that helps players interact with their shots even further.
A typical tennis racquet’s frame is static, with most grommets locked in a fixed position and ergo, the strings stay in a fixed position as well. This means that when the strings come into contact with the ball, only some of the strings are actively moving when struck.
The Babolat AeroPro Drive, however, 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. That’s why the AeroPro Drive is also famous for the amount of spin it can generate, which is a key aspect of Nadal’s playstyle.
- Cortex System Technology
Finally we come to 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. As you may know, each time you swing your racquet to hit a ball, thousands of vibrations are generated on ball impact that reduces stability and can cause lots of discomfort over time. The Cortex System effectively eliminates those higher frequency “bad vibrations” in order to improve comfort levels even while you’re generating lots of force behind your shots. This gives you added control over your game for a perfect and accurate hit every time.
While the Babolat AeroPro Drive sports lots of innovative technology, the specifications of a racquet can often tell you a lot about what a racquet is like on the court. With a 16×19 string pattern, a 100 sq.in head size, a 11.3 ounce strung weight, a 4 point head light frame, a 327 swing weight, and a 70 flex rating, it’s pretty clear that the Babolat AeroPro Drive was designed to be a balanced racquet, exhibiting elements of power, control, spin, and maneuverability in an all-in-one package. The biggest differences in the AeroPro Drive versus other racquets, however, are the added technology that help to emphasize on its already inherent strengths. The Aero Modular technology helps to add more power to your shots, the Woofer technology helps to increase spin and feel, and the Cortex System helps to filter out any unwanted vibrations for improved control and more accurate shots. So, if you’re a player who prefers maximum ball speed, spin, and stability for all-court coverage, look no further than the well-balanced Babolat AeroPro Drive.