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Looking for a new tennis racquet but not sure which one to choose? The Babolat Pure Aero and Babolat Pure Drive are two of the most popular racquet models from Babolat. But which one is right for you and the way you play?
In terms of Pure Aero vs Pure Drive groundstrokes, both of these racquets are relatively the same, also being perfect for serving with power and spin. They are both better suited for baseline play, though the Pure Drive performs slightly better than the Pure Aero at volleying. The key difference is that Pure Aero has loads of potential on returns compared to Pure Drive.
Although the names are similar, there are many differences between Pure Aero vs Pure Drive. Let’s take a look at these two tennis racquets to see which one will serve you best.
About Babolat Pure Aero
One of the most easily recognizable racquets on the tennis court, the Pure Aero from Babolat has been one of the most popular for ages. Part of the fame stems from Felix Auger-Aliassime, Rafael Nadal, and Leylah Fernandez endorsing the Pure Aero. Within the Babolat product line, there is more than one Pure Aero type.
The original Pure Aero is best for those with some experience in tennis, as well as advanced players. Babolat has also released the Pure Aero Lite and Pure Aero Team, which are both lighter. More experienced players can also go with the Pure Aero Tour, Pure Aero VS, or Pure Aero Plus.
Check out this video review:
About Babolat Pure Drive
Now for the Pure Drive family. Unlike Aero, Pure Drive is endorsed by Fabio Fognini and Garbine Muguruza. These racquets are built for speed and power—even the ones designed for beginners to the game. The popularity of the Pure Drive rivals that of the Pure Aero, so much that it is also considered a modern classic.
Similar to the Pure Aero, the Pure Drive also has multiple versions, from the Pure Drive Team and Pure Drive Lite variants for beginners or those who want a lightweight racquet to Pure Drive 107 and 110, which have enlarged sweet spots. Advanced players can choose Pure Drive Tour, Pure Drive Plus, and also Pure Drive VS.
Here’s a video about the racquet:
The Specifications of Pure Aero and Pure Drive
Below is a table describing the specs for both Babolat racquets:
|Racquet Specs||Babolat Pure Aero||Babolat Pure Drive|
|Head Size||100 sq in||100 sq in|
|Length||27 in||27 in|
|Beam Width||23 mm x 26 mm x 23 mm||23 mm x 26 mm x 23 mm|
|Strung Weight||318 g (11.2 oz)||318 g (11.2 oz)|
|Balance||4 pts HL||4 pts HL|
|Swing Weight||324 g||320 g|
|String Pattern||16 mains and 19 crosses||16 mains and 19 crosses|
|String Tension Range||50-59 lbs / 22-27 kg||50-59 lbs / 22-27 kg|
|Stiffness||67 RA||71 RA|
As you can see from the table, the racquets have much in common when it comes to construction. However, there are some elements, such as swing weight and stiffness that make all the difference.
Pure Aero vs Pure Drive: What’s the Difference?
To see where the Pure Aero and Pure Drive are different, it’s best to compare them based on their performance for:
Let’s see how these two Babolat racquets compare…
In terms of groundstrokes, both of these racquets are relatively the same. The Pure Aero is excellent for playing at the back of the court, as it can generate a lot of power and spin without compromising your form. For backhands, the control from the Pure Aero is amazing, and the flight path is clean.
However, there is one weak spot with the Pure Aero. While you get more depth and can force your opponent towards the back line, you will find that approaching shots lose a little power. The Pure Aero tends to make balls float for longer, giving your opponent more time to react. For those who struggle with flattening the ball, the Pure Aero may not be for you.
What about the Pure Drive? Although it performs to the same degree as the Pure Aero, it was designed for power. The strings send the ball flying, and you get a high launch angle along with loads of topspin.
The updated 2021 version is more comfortable in the hand, so you can create a lot of power during groundstrokes. In short, if you are looking for a decent groundstroke racquet with loads of power, the Pure Drive is for you.
Do you want powerful serves that slice down the court and maximum maneuverability? Great news: Both the Pure Aero and Pure Drive are perfect for serving. The Pure Aero, for example, provides an excellent balance between power and spin, resulting in fewer errors during your serves.
You also have to exert less force on the ball to accelerate it, which is excellent for all kinds of players. The Pure Aero also has potential for topspin, making any serve harder for your opponent to return.
The Pure Drive is more or less the same. It provides a comfortable amount of power, spin, and control that makes each of your serves devastating for the opponent.
Volleying is an important part of the tennis match, but not every player considers themselves a volleyer. So which racquet is going to suit your tastes—the Pure Drive or the Pure Aero?
To begin, the Pure Drive is not designed for heavy volleying. This is the kind of racquet you use to send a fast groundstroke towards your opponent that pushes them back. You won’t get a lot of control during quick volleys that require more precision and less power. Instead, Pure Drive excels where there is float. For doubles matches, this isn’t ideal, so it’s better suited for singles.
Now, what about the Pure Aero? Strictly designed for baseline play, the Pure Aero does have some difficulties closer to the net. Yet, because the racquet is lightweight, it’s also maneuverable, so you should have plenty of time to get into the right position to return the volley. Drop shots or shorter volleys are a bit harder to perform, and you can’t trust the racquet to slow a faster volley down either.
Both racquets are better suited for baseline play, though the Pure Drive performs slightly better than the Pure Aero at volleying.
The one place where you will not see a lot of capabilities from the Pure Drive racquet is with returns. That is not to say that it’s bad, but it’s not the best. Sometimes, when you set up for a return, the ball pings. The upside is the level of spin available. You can take advantage of the ball and push your opponent far back once you have mastered the Pure Drive.
Comparatively, Pure Aero has loads of potential on returns. The amount of spin and control may even make you feel like you have the upper hand during the match. Plus, the racquet feels comfortable in the hand, so you won’t get as fatigued during returns as you might with another racquet.
Game, Set, Add to Cart
Now that you have read through the complete Pure Aero vs Pure Drive comparison, which one do you think is right for you? The Pure Aero and Pure Drive are relatively the same, though the Drive is more about power. The Aero? It’s spin and control. If you want to volley harder, go for the Drive. Want to hang on the baseline aggressively? Go with the Aero. Either way, you’re getting a wonderful Babolat racquet!
FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
The main difference between Pure Aero vs Pure Drive would be power. Pure Drive—aptly named—is all about power and versatility. Meanwhile, the Pure Aero provides you with less power but more spin and control.
Both the Pure Strike and Pure Aero models from Babolat are similar in size, shape, and weight, though the Strike rates better consistently. The Pure Aero has been the long-running favorite from the brand, but when Pure Strike was released in 2017-18, it gave the Aero a run for its money. The Pure Strike is for far more aggressive players who want decent spin and control but far more power behind strikes.
If you’re a recreational player who wants a durable racquet that is lightweight and provides a decent amount of control, go with the Babolat Pure Aero. A lot of people with varying play styles enjoy the versatility of the Pure Aero racquet. Furthermore, the balance makes controlling the ball easy.
The Pure Aero VS model is considered a slightly improved version of the standard Pure Aero. Furthermore, the Pure Aero VS has an enhanced beam inspired by Babolat’s Aero Modular3 and provides far more control than the regular Pure Aero. The Aero VS feels more modern and lightweight. Thus, if you want more comfort and precision than what you get with the Pure Aero, go with the VS model.
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