Babolat Pure Drive Review
Comparing the Babolat Pure Drive with its sister racquet, the Babolat AeroPro Drive, the two seem to have more similarities between each other than they do differences. If you put each racquet’s specifications side by side, you’ll notice that almost everything is the same except for the Pure Drive’s lower swing weight and a 3 point lighter head, which may help to accommodate to a larger variety of play styles. So really, if you’re asking which is the better Babolat racquet for you, it all boils down to personal preference in the end. Either way, the Pure Drive is one of the most popular racquets in the world right now and Babolat’s best selling racquet which is why we had to do a Babolat Pure Drive review for a full analysis. In fact, the Pure Drive was introduced in Babolat’s first line of tennis racquets in 1994, and carries on adding more improvements to it as tennis continues to evolve. And it’s no question that Babolat produces some of the best tennis racquets in the world right now, just ask any tennis enthusiast what their opinion is. So here is our Babolat Pure Drive review, where we’ll be covering what makes this racquet such a powerful weapon on the court.
Babolat Pure Drive Review
Features & Specifications
- FSI Technology for a higher sweet spot and more responsive contact zone
- Woofer technology on grommets for increased contact time and control
- Cortex Dampening System eliminates harsh vibrations for better feel
- Elliptic Design for greater resistance to torque and flex with no added weight
- EVO Beam with varying beam thickness for less torque and more responsiveness
- GT Technology for improved stability at ball impact
- Recommended string tension of 50-60 lbs.
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- FSI and GT Technology
What differs from this version of the Pure Drive with previous versions is the inclusion of FSI technology. Collecting data from the 2012-2013 Babolat Pure Drive Play, Babolat found that the impact zone where most players hit was higher than the traditional center of the racquet. In response, FSI places the sweet spot higher in the frame for more power and comfort in the contact zone. A tighter string pattern also helps you to place shots more precisely. Coupled with GT technology–creates a more rigid construction–the Pure Drive allows for more power and control while retaining its stability.
- Elliptic Design and EVO Beam
A noticeable difference between the Babolat Pure Drive and the AeroPro Drive is their unique designs. While the AeroPro relies on Aero Modular technology for a faster swing, the Pure Drive’s Elliptic Geometry and EVO Beam allows for a lower swing weight and less torque and flex on ball impact.
The Elliptic Design does not twist, bend, or add any extra weight to the racquet, which in turn provides greater resistance to torque and flex (a +20% improvement compared to traditional frames). This helps to create a stiffer frame that can provide both power and maneuverability, although keep in mind that a stiffer frame means that it isn’t as arm-friendly. Since more of the weight is distributed in the handle, this means that it may feel heavier which can take some time getting used to.
The EVO beam refers to the differing beam witdths of the Pure Drive. The beam width ranges from 23.5mm to 26mm to 23mm in the neck, head, and throat. This design helps to lower torque at ball impact for a better feel so you can place your shots more strategically.
These two features are, in my opinion, largely what contributes to the Pure Drive’s power output, which I would rate as exceptionally high. If comparing the Pure Drive with Babolat’s other racquets, you’ll probably notice that the Pure Drive provides much more power, which is excellent for players with fuller swings and robust serves. And don’t worry about groundstrokes, returns, or volleys either, the Pure Drive plays exceptionally well with any shot.
- Woofer Technology
The Woofer system was first launched in 1999 and introduced the first dynamic system able to make the frame and strings interactive when hitting. How it works is through a pulley and piston system where the strings are not fixed in a locked-up position like typical racquet frames. When strings are fixed in place, this allows for very limited movement since only the strings in the vicinity of where the ball strikes are able to respond.
On the other hand, with the Woofer technology present in the Babolat Pure Drive, everything changes. The pulley system makes it so that strings are free to move when coming into contact with the ball, resulting in the entire surface reacting. This allows for a larger sweet spot and a more even distribution of shock throughout the entire frame, reducing the harshness of vibrations. Babolat claims that the Woofer system increases the contact time between the ball and strings by 25%, which also allows for added spin (although not as noticeable as with the AeroPro Drive). Then you have the piston function, which gives the strings a springlike behavior where the entire surface is able to deform more on impact. This increases the trampoline effect that’s needed for extra power and maximum energy return.
- Cortex Dampening System
All in all, the Babolat Pure Drive was designed for power and control, and Babolat hasn’t changed much in this racquet’s design since its inception. If you have no problem getting used to a stiffer racquet, you’ll be rewarded with exceptional precision and powerful strokes. If you aren’t used to playing with a stiffer racquet that’s oriented around control and plow through, you might want to try a ‘Tweener racquet first before you take the plunge on the Babolat Pure Drive, which can seem like a completely different beast to what you’re normally accustomed to. But again, there’s really no introduction needed for the Pure Drive. It was introduced as Babolat’s first line of tennis racquets back in 1994 and it’s still one the most popular racquets in the world to this day. But it’s a racquet designed for very serious players who want superior control over all aspects of their game, and the added FSI technology in their 2015 model helps remarkably on a player’s power potential.