Babolat Pure Aero Review & Playtest Notes
Now that you know about the technologies and specs behind the Babolat Pure Aero 2019 let’s jump into my playtest and review.
As a point of reference for this playtest, here are some notes you might find useful when considering my thoughts and opinions.
Here’s a snapshot of my ratings. You can find more detailed notes for how I came up with my scores in the following sections.
If I had to pick one area where Babolat Pure Aero shines and comes to life, hands down, it would be groundstrokes.
Whether I was hitting forehands or backhands, I love the racquet’s crisp feel, generous sweet spot, and the satisfying pop you hear when striking the ball thanks to Baboat’s Coretext Pure Feel positioned at three and nine o’clock within the frame.
With its 4pt head light balance, the racquet swings fast, but it also has enough weight to maintain stability through contact.
Power comes relatively easily, but it’s not overbearing and aligns well with the topspin centric features of the frame, allowing me to swing fast with confidence that the ball will drop back into the court.
For players with a semi-western or western forehand grip, the result is a heavy ball that bites when it hits the court, especially when paired with a polyester string like Babolat’s RPM Blast.
If your game doesn’t rely as heavily on topspin or you make use of an eastern forehand grip, I wouldn’t be surprised if you found it somewhat challenging to keep your shots under control.
The racquet’s spin-friendly feature set is also apparent when hitting slice, which may take some getting used to as that extra spin can translate to balls that tend to sail a bit long, especially if you’re coming from a lower-powered racquet with a tighter string pattern.
Of course, if you’re attempting to flatten out the ball, then your accuracy has to be on point to prevent it from sailing long.
Up at the net, I found the Babolat Pure Aero to handle well with excellent maneuverability. At the same time, I’d consider volleys where the racquet offers its weakest performance, and you’ll find an incentive to get to the ball early.
If you’re connecting with a volley above the height of the net, the racquet can help deliver a firm and convincing putaway. However, the Pure Aero demands extra soft hands and gentle touch to prevent the ball from getting away from you and reign in the racquet’s power.
Although from the back of the court, I thought the racquet’s weight was sufficient, there were times where I’d prefer a bit extra in the upper hoop of the racquet’s head for volleys. A small tweak here would help absorb pace and improve stability, so that’s an area of customization you might want to experiment with to dial things in a bit.
To be clear, the Babolat Pure Aero isn’t a poor performer up at the net, but it’s also not the best, and as far as different shots go, not where the racquet shines. There’s just a bit of tradeoff you’re making here.
For serving, I thought the Babolat Pure Aero was excellent and where the power of the racquet is on full display.
On flat serves, the racquet has no problem delivering exceptional pace without trying too hard. Also, despite the Pure Aero’s spin-friendly setup, it’s easy enough to keep the ball flat for a penetrating serve.
When hitting slice serves, you get to take advantage of the racquet’s added spin potential, which makes for a great serve out wide, and an effective body serve to catch your opponent off balance.
However, my favorite type of serve when it comes to the Babolat Pure Aero is the kick serve and where I see the most pronounced difference.
During every kick serve, I could sense the grip of the strings on the ball, which helped with a high clearance over the net and subsequent dive and leap of the ball as it strikes the ground. The result is an increase in confidence and reliability on serve.
Although I enjoy the Pure Aero on serve, your arm will tend to pay for it if you miss the sweet spot. I noticed this on a few flat serves, and the resulting shock and vibration are immediately apparent.
Luckily, that’s not a regular occurrence, but it does shine a light on the frame’s overall lower comfort level, one of the most common complaints associated with this line of racquets.
Last but not least, when it comes to returns, the Babolat Pure Aero performs well. Everything I love about the racquet when hitting groundstrokes translated well to this stroke, and it has plenty of maneuverability to get the racquet back quickly.
The additional margin of error on my returns from the racquet’s added spin potential is a nice bonus, especially when stepping into a lighter second serve for a more commanding start to a point.
Although I think the racquet’s stability when fielding returns is stable, there are some cases where a bigger serve can cause the racquet to get pushed around a bit. With that in mind, some players might benefit from adding a small amount of weight to the frame.