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Babolat 2018 Pure Drive Tennis Racquet Review – Why you should get this awesome racquet?

Babolat 2018 Pure Drive Specs

Head Size: 100 in² / 645cm²

Length: 27in / 68.5 cm

Strung Weight: 11.2 oz

Balance: 12.99in / 4 pts HL

Swingweight: 321

Stiffness: 71

Material: Graphite

String Pattern: 16 Mains / 19 Crosses

Babolat 2018 Pure Drive

Quick Overview

Pros

  • Tremendous power and spin
  • Accurate and stable strikes
  • Great for beginners and intermediate players as well
  • Fresh new design 

Cons

  • It is a stiff
  • Size may be difficult for doubles

Babolat 2018 Pure Drive Review

Even since it came into the market in 1994, the Babolat Pure Drive got everyone's attention. The reputation is based on high quality and advanced technology. Fans have been waiting for the Pure Drive will not be disappointed. Bablot has been manufacturing racquets since 1875 and have become a legendary brand since then.

This is a great intermediate racquet for experienced and beginners. There is also a junior Pure Drive available for young children. Compared to the previous version, the Babolat 2018 Pure Drive has witnessed tremendous changes at the level of looks, performance, and other specs, making it the star in the Babolat collection. With the Cortex Technology,  the pure sensation of the Cortex Dampening System (CDS), helps feel for better power and spin.

While skilled and ambitious athletes love the racquet for its feel, power level, spin, and overall feel. Beginners, on the other hand, enjoy the Pure Drive for its big sweet zone that help them master and advance their playing level steadily. With its consistency and easy power you will see an improved serve, baseline command, and top spin.   

In this review, we will explore and examine the new Pure Drive focusing on its different features, specs, and its overall performance. At a final stage, we will give a brief comparison to the older version and our final verdict on the new version.

FEATURES

The new Pure Drive 2018 has acquired new advanced and technological features. It is ideal for all levels; starting from beginners, intermediate to advanced players.

It is designed with a high-quality absorbing material. The cortex pure feel by SMAC’s technology is incorporated into the fabric to ensure a smooth, comfortable, and convenient play. The new material integrated into the graphite helps dampen the vibration, so no more stingy hands from your shots.

The Pure Drive has FSI technology with an open string pattern, or  to improve your spin potential, which allows the ball to be in contact for a longer time with the string bed. The Babalat’s quality string had witnessed changes in terms of spacing and grommet shaping allowing for added power, extra control, and enhanced spin. The Pure Drive's woofer system gives it more power by letting the ball fly even more compared to other racquets. Thus, it's great for volleys and serves.

In terms of specifications, the head size 100 sq inches provides a larger surface. It weighs around, 10.6 ounces unstrung with 16x 19 string pattern.

 The length measures approximately 27 inches. long with a balance of 12.99mm. The overall features and specs of this racquet make it an outstanding choice when on the court.

PERFORMANCE

At the level of performance, one should anticipate an exceptional power level and spin when using the Babolat Pure Drive. When on the court, the racquet reacts with so much strength to any striking tennis ball. The control and feel of the racquet is balanced with the weight and frame. Even though it is not as wide as the Pure Aero, the wide frame helps generate easy power. The Pure Aero is designed by Nadal and is great for players looking for a lot of spin.

Professional players will definitely feel the stability, power, and spin behind every shot.

That is to say, if the power and spin is made with the stored energy, his adversary will slowly get pushed farther to the back of the court due to the power.

LOOKS

Lookswise, The Babolat 2018 Pure Drive version has definitely gained some new and different modifications compared to previous ones.

Visually, the 2018 Babolat went with somewhat a distinctive colored design pattern to include polished bright blue and white colors. These colors schemes make it looks smooth and attractive. However, some players think that the shiny outlook makes it resemble a kid's racquet.

review of 2018 babolat pure drive

POWER

When looking tennis racquets, the first thing that you need to take into consideration is the racquet strength potential and performance. What you need is that extra power added to your ball swing. That extra power is what going to make you stand out from the crowd.

As its name speaks for itself, the Babolat Pure drive offers a great amount of power for its players. In fact, it is its killer feature. You will be surprised by how powerful your hits will be. With power potential on the first serve, you will be able to keep the ball on the heels of your competitor. 

For some, this might be a little worrying as they might fear to be over hitting and losing their overall control over the racquet. Therefore, if you found yourself in a similar situation, you should control and limit the given power to work for you. Only then you will see the effectiveness and greatness of this racquet. You can really hone in the power and control against a tennis ball machine. Tennis ball machines are great because they will launch consistent shots allowing  you to get the feel for the racquet. 

Video - Babolat Pure Drive Review - Play Test

SPIN

When it comes to tennis, one very important skill to have is serving and returning with a top-notch spin. The new Pure Drive model has a string pattern 16 and has improved the spin technology. The response from people has been incredibly positive. The spin benefits from the FSI power and the Cortex Pure Feel. Any player using the Pure Drive will feel at ease striking from any chosen angles as long as you are utilizing the head speed.

Indeed, the model is designed to make it easy to deliver and accomplish any solid topspin, no matter at what level you are playing. At the tennis court, when you are singling a groundstroke, the FSI string power material puts an emphasis on the spin derivation and helps maximizes the spin potential.

In fact, unlike the denser string models, the design of the Babolat Pure drive strings generate a good amount of friction once it meets with the ball allowing for more and better spins. And remember, you can always change out your strings on a tennis stringer for more spin control or power. 

CONTROL

Power, spin, and control all go hand in hand with the Pure Drive. They are interrelated and exceeding in one might affect the other. As we have mentioned, it exerts too much power. This power if not handled carefully, the player might lose sway over the game. If you want something with a less power but more control then consider the Pure Strike

Therefore, there must be a certain balance in power and control. The Pure Drive racquet offers the best combination of these two. 

At the level of spin for the Pure Strike, control is also executed in terms of the different angles of the racquet and its gravity. This is ideally showcased in the Pure Drive thanks to its resistance to spinning, bending and rotating. If the excellent control you will also improve your touch volleys and launch angle. 

In brief, the control of the Pure Drive's power is what going to make you win the game avoiding over powering, and losing command.

COMFORT

Beyond power and command of the Pure Strike, the racquet should offer a certain level of comfort and convenience to the tennis players.

The last thing you want to have is a sore wrist by the end of the game. Certainly, the stiffness in the Pure Drive has a negative impact on the players' comfort. This is due to the high level of vibration your arms and hands receives every time you hit the ball with a stiff racquet.

The Pure Drive is more or less a flexible racquet that won't give you a prolonged discomfort after long use but it is by no means is it an extremely comfortable one to use.

STABILITY

The Pure Drive frame is all about stability and responsiveness. The specifications of the frame, weight, and strings make it more or less a flexible frame, and not head light. The racquet can be considered head heavy because of it’s mass to the area of the frame translate into power and maneuverability. The maneuverability in the Pure Rive is an output of the racquets swing weight, which is a measurement of its resistance to being rotated about an axis going through your hand. A good balance of stability will help ensure the racquet delivers great and solid strikes.

SWEET SPOT

Every tennis racquet has a standard sweet spot that they want in a frame. Located at approximately the center of the rings or the center of percussion of the frame, sweet spots are basically a fluctuation joint (node). Others have also really enjoyed the muted feel in this version of the racquet.

Once the ball meets the spot, the vibrations transferred into the hand is almost unfelt. Everyone who has played tennis before knows what it feels like. If you have used an older racquet before, you also know what that feeling is like when you don’t hit it either.

However, if it falls far from the optimal spot, the strength carried is more than sufficient to make the player aware of the impact occurrence.

The new Pure drive has a maximized string pattern that includes a new spacious grommet for an effective stroke, making it ideal for convenient even if the ball doesn't contact at the center of the Pure Drive. You will have the confidence knowing that even if you don’t hit the spot that you will be able to return the ball back. Just match the racquet with gut strings and you'll be in business. 

GROUNDSTROKES

This latest version of the Pure drive is very effective when it comes hitting several shots at ease. This is mainly due to the easy power provided with every single spin. With the Pure Drive, players find it easy to shoot the ball with a rotate friendly spin compared to previous models. It will be easier to keep the ball on the other side of the court. 

When it gets to the groundstroke you will definitely notice more depth incorporated within. With no extra energy, the Pure Drive offers relatively quicker, deeper top spin groundstroke hits.

The head speed and excellent ball delivery are some of the advantages of using this racquet. Moreover, many have praised their ability to use the racquet easily and adapt it to their playing rhythm. The only drawbacks that some of the players mentioned rating this racquet are at the level of touch feel and comfort.

VOLLEYS

For most volley situations, some players complained a little bit about the Babolat Pure Drive racquet feels when it connects with the balls. However, they surely enjoyed and recognized the easy power, the fast pace and the general reaction performance of the racquet on the court.

It fits perfectly with aggressive players who use all their forces in their volleys and still get it in the right place where it supposed to be. Nevertheless, it still might be dangerous when it comes to swayed volleys.

SERVES

When we talk about serves, the power coming from the Babolat will not let you down. It is one of the main strengths of this great tennis racquet. Control-wise, the player must have a command on the power exercised on the racquet when placing hits.

Racquets should also offer certain flexibility to build that touch. Touch is one of the essential attributes of scoring serves. At the planning level, this is mainly to see how efficient the racquet is to place every shot. Normally, in this case, more weight should be placed in the handle rather the racquet's head.

This offers an easy and light transfer. Stability, on the other hand, is essential to ensure that there a steadiness in the delivery of the balls. The mixture of power, spin and control makes it rewarding and a winner deal.

RETURNS

In returns, heavy balls should be struck with much-controlled power and spin. This is perfectly incorporated in it.

Users should manage their power in an effective way that will help up them rolling up the balls back easily and adequately in the Pure Drive. Returns should be well-targeted. This is why controlled power and the right angle for spin are quite important.

Compared to the older Pure Drive Version

After making a brief comparison with the previous iteration, here are some of the visible new changes that players noted. The frame has gained new technologies that has improved the power and spin and made them stand out from the crowd in the racquet market.

These technologies allowed for an improved spin, enhanced control and overall great power. This has resulted in a better capability to aim adequately and accurately when striking balls. In fact, the 2018 version allows players to hit heavier balls easily and effectively, especially if they impact the racquet's performance.

It is pre-equipped with the advancement that will meet the needs of an ambitious and competitive player. Actually, while professionals will make better use of this racquet, it is suitable for beginners and intermediate players who want to level up their game and improve themselves.

Despite the main specifications have continued over a long time, the racquet has been seen to constantly take on and adapt technology to improve the model. The only drawbacks that we can mention when it comes to this racquet, is the feel and touch. The feel of the ball is more or less silenced and reduced.

Some players have a harder time of feeling the ball in the Pure Drive. Moreover, some players had to learn how harness and control the strength potential of the racquet in order to make effective strikes. This is not unusually for a player to get use to a new racquet. This had resulted in different occasions where players had to continuously check and manage their power control.

With the power, you won't have to worry about bad vibrations. The new Pure Drive has new technology that cuts vibration in the racquet call the SWX Pure Feel. The SWX Pure Feel technology adds for extra comfort and provides a unique sound on every shot.

Conclusion

There are a lot of tennis racquets to choose from and everyone has a different playing style. After evaluating the Pure Drive, Babolat has proved once again why they are one of the best tennis racquet manufacturers in the world and why the pure drive is one of the best. This racquet has made our list for both best intermediate racquet and best overall racquet. This racquet has a great power level and can help you with serves and volleys. The control and feel will help improve your maneuverability. Just remember that this frame, depending on where you buy it, comes unstrung. We would not recommend this racquet for beginners but you are a beginner then you have several great options

Purchasing this racquet would only put your tennis game in great advantages over your peers especially if you know how to control its power. While the feel of the racquet is not that great, the mixture of power and spin will take ambitious players to new heights.

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