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Babolat Pure Drive – Tennis Racquet Review

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Looking for a powerful tennis racquet that prioritizes speed and spin? Take a look at the Babolat Pure Drive. We’ve put together this post based on a wide range of Babolat Pure Drive reviews to bring you an in-depth look at this racquet. 

With a slightly higher price tag, this racquet is an option to consider if you’re an intermediate or advanced player looking for an upgrade. 

Babolat Pure Drive 2018

  • (9.5) Power
  • (9.0) Control
  • (8.0) Maneuverability
  • (8.5) Stability
  • (7.5) Comfort/Feel
  • (9.0) Spin
  • (8.6) Overall
$$$
Head size 100 sq in
Strung weight 11.2 oz
Length 27 in
Beam width 23 / 26 / 23mm
String pattern 16/19
Balance point 320 mm
Swingweight 324
Flex rating 72
Pros
  • Extremely powerful
  • Speed-oriented
  • Great for spin
Cons
  • Some complaints of arm/wrist issues

The Babolat Pure Drive is pretty consistently reviewed as offering lots of power, speed, and spin, with a muted (solid, low vibration, low feedback) feel. It’s a premium racquet that made it onto our list of best tennis racquets.

The Babolat Pure Drive Features & Benefits 

Let’s take a closer look at some of the unique features and benefits of this racquet. 

Power vs. Control

Power and control are often two conflicting features that must be balanced in a tennis racquet.

The Pure Drive ends up sacrificing some control in favor of power. The muted feel, which we cover below, also contributes to a lower level of control.

If you can get used to the feel of this racquet though, and learn to control it, you’ll find that you have almost unlimited power and spin.

Designed for Spin

Babolat is known for making racquets that offer tremendous potential for spin, like the Pure Aero. The Pure Drive is no exception.

The amount of spin offered by this racquet can help you to control the almost unlimited power.

A Muted, Dampened Feel 

While it’s difficult to describe the feel of a tennis racquet, and terms can sometimes be ambiguously defined, the Babolat Pure Drive has a “muted” or “dampened” or “plush” feel. It doesn’t vibrate as much or offer as much feedback when the ball is struck. It’s the opposite of a “crisp” or “connected” feel, where you can feel the vibrations in your arm. 

The more muted feel of this racquet is a result of wider string spacing and an updated cortex dampening system (Cortex Pure Feel).

Whether this muted feel is a pro or con really depends a lot on your personal preference. 

This can really be a subjective measure, as some may still find this racquet too stiff. Some with tendonitis or sore wrists say the muted feel of this racquet doesn’t mean a “softer” feel overall, and complain of discomfort in the arms and wrists. 

Alternatives to the Babolat Pure Drive Tennis Racquet

The Babolat Pure Drive is a highly reviewed tennis racquet, especially for those who value speed and spin. But it isn’t for everyone.

Here are some tennis racquets that you might consider trying out instead. 

Babolat Pure Drive Lite

  • (8.5) Power
  • (8.0) Control
  • (9.0) Maneuverability
  • (7.5) Stability
  • (8.0) Comfort/Feel
  • (9.5) Spin
  • (8.4) Overall
$$$
Head size 100 sq in
Strung weight 10.0 oz
Length 27 in
Beam width 23 / 26 / 23mm
String pattern 16/19
Balance point 337 mm
Swingweight 300
Flex rating 67
Pros
  • Lightweight
  • Excellent speed and spin
  • Great maneuverability
Cons
  • Only moderate stability

The Pure Drive Lite is, as the name implies, a lighter version of the Pure Drive. Babolat generally creates a lighter version of their tennis racquets, for younger and developing players. 

A lighter racquet means more maneuverability, control, and just easier to swing. The Pure Drive Lite might be a great option for younger, intermediate tennis players, who want the power and spin of the Pure Drive. It’s also a great option for intermediate or advanced players who don’t like the muted feel and lower control of the Pure Drive.

Babolat Pure Aero

  • (9.5) Power
  • (8.5) Control
  • (8.0) Maneuverability
  • (8.0) Stability
  • (8.5) Comfort/Feel
  • (9.5) Spin
  • (8.7) Overall
$$$$
Head size 100 sq in
Strung weight 10.9 oz
Length 19.7 in
Beam width 23 / 26 / 23mm
String pattern 16/19
Balance point 320 mm
Swingweight 320
Flex rating 69
Pros
  • Tons of Spin
  • Lightweight
  • Great Feel
  • Attractive Design
Cons
  • Lofty price tag

The Babolat Pure Aero offers perhaps even more emphasis on speed, power, and spin, with a slightly less dampened feel. 

Head Ti.S6

  • (9.5) Power
  • (9.0) Control
  • (9.5) Maneuverability
  • (8.0) Stability
  • (8.5) Comfort/Feel
  • (9.0) Spin
  • (8.9) Overall
$$
Head size 115 sq in
Strung weight 8.9 oz
Length 27.75 in
Beam width 28.5mm
String pattern 16/19
Balance point 385 mm
Swingweight 303
Flex rating 76
Pros
  • Extremely lightweight
  • Easy to generate lots of power
  • Large head size and sweet spot
  • Reasonably priced
Cons
  • May be too light for some advanced players

You might consider the Head Ti.S6 as another alternative if you are a beginner or intermediate player looking for an upgrade. It offers some of the same power and spin as the Pure Drive, with a much lower price tag. 

Section 4: Summary of the Babolat Pure Drive Tennis Racquet and our recommendations

Summary

The Pure Drive might be a good fit for you if you’re an intermediate tennis player, looking for an upgraded racquet with lots of power and spin. The feel of this racquet does not appeal to everyone, and you may not like it if you have a history of arm or wrist problems.

If you’re an aggressive player who uses a lot of spin, and feel you can learn to control this powerful racquet, then give it a try! Click here to see this product on Amazon.

Post last updated on May 26, 2020

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