2017 Babolat Pure Strike vs Babolat Pure Aero: First Impressions

How to decide between the 2017 Pure Aero and the 2017 Pure Strike?

Our Babolat Aero and Pure Strike 100 demos just arrived from Midwest Sports. We also tested the 16x19 Pure Strike directly from TennisTopia as other online companies did not have them in stock! We took them out for a few hours and several practice sets to compare.

Video Review:
2016-2017 Babolat Aero vs Pure Strike: Summary of Playtest and Review

Testing Setup:

  • We received these from Midwest Sports polyester strings with white Wilson Pro grips.
  • Dampeners used were the Pete Sampras "O" (to maintain minimal weight to the frames).
  • Strung at mid-tension @ ~55lbs with Babolat RPM Blast 16 gauge on both the mains and crosses.

Aero vs Strike Models
Both racquets are Mid-Plus in size (100 square inches with 4 points Head Light balance). Weights are 11.1 oz for the Pure Strike and 11.3 oz for the Pure Aero. These Babolat Racquets are currently being endorsed by Rafael Nadal (green Pure Aero) and Dominic Thiem (white Pure Strike).

Babolat's Best Seller vs the new kid
The Pure Aero has been the #1 best seller for a long time. But what if you need a tad more control and slightly more maneuverable? Welcome to the new 2017 Pure Strike. Also known as Project One 7, it is now being used by World's Top 10 Dominic Thiem.

Babolat Pure Strike

Dominic Thiem's very aggressive and hyper-extended swing was designed for this racquet!

Really liked the spin/control and offers a decent defense when on the run. Shots such as the slice and squash forehand are easily accessible in dire moments. The low swing-weight really helps get the racquet around on wide shots.

Serves were a bit under-powered though; Returned heavy serves with ease.

Transition mid-court Volleys were very silky smooth (felt the Babolat Woofer grommet system cupping the ball for great placement).

There is added power that comes along with the new FSI system that made the gaps between the strings near the corners a bit wider.

Its main weakness is when you are late on the swing or jammed without enough room to follow through, this racquet will tend to spray the ball out. 

Even hitting against hard, flat incoming shots - it can still return lots of arch/spin; Definitely, rewards Boldness and Aggressive racquet acceleration. Won a few practice sets easily 6-2 against 4.0-4.5 players. Main tactic is spreading the court with deep, heavy groundstrokes and coming in with angled approach shots, volleys and putaway overheads.

Tennis Warehouse gave it very high marks for groundstrokes

Best Price on the Babolat Pure Strike 100 (on Amazon)

Babolat Pure Aero

Rafael Nadal has switched to this model starting in 2016.

Seriously, what's with coloring all tennis products green?? Do we need to have tennis shirts, shorts, and now tennis racquet have to offer a color option in Tennis Ball GREEN for everything?! :)

Babolat's Aero Heritage
This is true to tradition Aero like previous models. It is a very easy-to-swing racket. Aeros tend to be forgiving on many off-center shots with a large sweet spot.

It also provides much more spin potential and power, but slightly less control than the Pure Strike.

Also your ball trajectory will be much loopier and more arch shaped with the Aero, whereas the Strike, it tends to be slightly flatter using the same swing.

Lives up to its tweener reputation: the racket for the masses!
Good choice for a wide skill range of 3.0-4.5's. It can let you stay on the baseline all day long. This is a best selling tennis racquet line for good reason.

Just like the Babolat Pure Drive, the Pure Aero's also needs a long, fast swing to do it justice. Simply pushing or blocking the ball will not deliver its full potential and will often land balls high but short in the court.

I enjoyed whipping it around for creating all sorts of angles and dips. Gets pushed around a bit against a hard and flat ball, though.

If you wish to get one with a bit more weight, try the Pure Aero "Tour" version.

Best Price on the Babolat Pure Aero (on Amazon)

AeroPro 2013 vs Pure Aero 2017: Saving Money, Losing the Paintjob

2013 AeroPro vs 2017 Pure Aero Tech Specs
If you wish to save a bit of money, see my youtube demo of the AeroPro (2013 model) which plays very similar.

Consider buying either version when it's on sale (below $219).

At Tennis-Bargains, we recommend you save a bit of money by not "upgrading" every year. Just like with Apple iPhones - do you think the iPhone 6 is that much better than the the iPhone 5S? Probably not - see our comparison chart (left).

Rule of thumb for Upgrading:
If you are going from a racket that is more 3 generations older than the current one (5+ years), then consider demoing both the newest racket and *the one just before it*.

If you cannot tell the difference and all the tech specs are the same, then you need to decide is it really worth paying $200+.

2016 ATP and WTA Tennis Tickets on Sale Now

Barclays ATP World Tour Final - starts Mid-November. World's Top 8 Players compete.
Davis Cup Final (Croatia vs Argentina) - end of November* Juan Martin Del Potro returns!
Australian Open Tickets - *Grand Slam 2017* starts Mid-Jan...seats go fast for the weekends.

Media Coverage Recap of the ATP Masters

 Italian Open Tennis Media

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Best Tennis Shoe of 2016 - My Vote: Nike Vapor 9.5

Best Tennis Shoe of 2016

Nike Vapor 9.5 Tour

For those who value lightweight shoes (under 14 ounces) and rely on quick foot speed / mobility in your tennis game! I can recommend this shoe without hesitation. Put them on and give it about 1 week to wear them in.

They come in many different great colors, including the Federer's Gold / White edition pictured.

Nike Vapor 9.5 Tour
You will notice that they feel low to the ground, provide good lateral support with a very nimble push-off response.

Receiving a 4.7 out of 5.0 stars; review on Amazon; #1 tennis shoe for men.

See Vapor tennis shoe styles for women.

The Nike Vapor shoes are generally designed for those light on their feet and not designed for heavy serve-and-volley style players who stop and start, forward and back often.

Battle-tested "Performance" Shoes

I have won many championship titles with these shoes in the past 3 years with good results. My game depends on great footwork and I NEED my shoes to perform when it counts.

Although the Nike Vapors are not cheap, I tend to be able to find them on sale for around $85-$100. They will last generally 5-7 months from regular usage and still stay very comfortable.

Beware the "Team" and "Advantage Ace" - discount versions of Vapor.These are priced lower than the "Tour" editions but tend to wear out much sooner and have lower quality materials.

Many pros, coaches and players on tour wear the Nike Vapor 9.5 today.

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