Babolat Pure Aero (2019) Specs

 

Head Size: 100 in² / 645 cm²
Length: 27in / 68,5cm
Strung Weight: 318g / 11,2oz
Unstrung Weight: 300g / 10,6oz
Balance: 32,99cm / 4 pts HL
Unstrung Balance: 32cm / 7 pts HL
Swingweight: 324
String Pattern: 16 Mains / 19 Crosses

 

No matter where you’re playing, or what level you play at, you’re bound to find the Pure Aero is a hugely popular stick. The green/yellow and black machine is synonymous with the great Rafael Nadal, and its users greatly benefit from the huge amounts of spin and power it offers. This is the true embodiment of a modern baseliners racket, as, like Nadal, its users unleash their fire and fury upon the ball to devastating effect.

I may have just hyped it up a lot, but I’m not actually a massive fan of the Aero range. The responsive nature of these rackets is quite different from the deadened feel I like from my stick, and I don’t need too much help generating spin. Despite this, I can’t help but appreciate the qualities of the Aero range. They do not suit my game, but it’s easy to tell why so many people benefit from using them. They offer so much and have had a big role in the evolution of tennis.

The 2019 version of the Pure Aero is slightly less stiff than its predecessors, meaning a little more comfort on impact, but retains the same weight (300g) and balance (4PTS HL). The change in stiffness has seen the swingweight come down a little bit from 327 to 324, but this shouldn’t make a big difference in the way the racket plays.

Color-wise, the Pure Aero 2019 has stayed fairly true to its iconic color scheme. I’ve often joked with Lawrence, who uses the previous version of the Pure Aero Tour that he couldn’t hope to find an uglier racket, but I do think Babolat have outdone themselves with this yellow color. In my opinion, nothing about this racket is attractive, but then again, what do I know! It’s probably the most iconic color scheme out there!

In the past, the Pure Aero has been the ideal racket for anyone who loves to attack the ball from the baseline. You don’t necessarily have to be the guy that goes all out to try and hit winners, but it does suit someone who loves to put a lot of energy through the ball. Think of Nadal, and that is the ideal kind of model for this racket. You’re going to get a lot of racket head speed, which leads to power and spin, but there’s no point having it if you don’t swing through the ball.

Perhaps the thing that makes the Pure Aero so popular is its ability to work well in the hands of tennis players of any level. As long as you play the right style, and look to rip through the ball, this racket will suit beginners through advanced players. More advanced players might look more towards the Pure Aero Tour, but with a 324 swingweight, the Pure Aero still packs more than enough of a punch.

Whenever a huge racket like the Pure Aero is upgraded there is always great excitement to see what changes have been made. Generally, the changes are pretty negligible, but I was excited to see what the Babolat Pure Aero 2019 offered, nonetheless.

 

Groundstrokes – 8.5/10

 

It didn’t take me long to realize the Pure Aero 2019 retains all the qualities everyone loves in this range. From the back of the court, it offers a great blend of power and spin that really encourages you to hit through the ball and the new developments have made it slightly more comfortable.

Off the backhand side, I found I was naturally getting a better flight path than I do with my Pure Strike. The Pure Aero launches the ball at a slightly higher angle, and the 16 x 19 string pattern gives you plenty of spin potential to bring the ball back down. This meant that I got great depth and was able to push my opponent back and take control of the point.

The difficulty I had was when I wanted to flatten the ball out for a more attacking shot. This has always been a slight weakness of mine, and I found that even on my approach shots, I was hitting with a lot of spin and a floaty flight path that gave my opponent plenty of time to get to the ball. This is one of the reasons I enjoy playing with my 18 x 20 Pure Strike, because it really helps me to flatten the ball out when I step into the court.

If you’re like me, and you struggle with flattening the ball out, then the Pure Aero might not be the ideal racket, but other than that, it was hard to find fault with. You get a very responsive feel from the frame, which again, isn’t to my preference, but there are a lot of people that really value a responsive feel.

Off the forehand side, I could see the huge power and spin potential this racket has coming to fruition. I get a lot of racket head speed and whip off the forehand side, and when you bring big racket head speed with this racket, you’re going to get a lot of spin and power. The result is a vicious, whipping, dipping, ball that snarls at your opponent on the way past them.

If you are someone who loves to rip through the ball with plenty of spin, then the Pure Aero could well be the racket to take your game to the next level. For me, again, on the forehand side, I found that I did miss that ability to hit a flatter ball. I create a lot of power and spin naturally, so I tend to use a more deadened racket just to temper that power and bring the ball back into court.

Do I think this is a great racket? Yes, undoubtedly it is a very versatile stick that works for all levels of players. Do I think it is a great racket for advanced players? Here, I’m not so sure. I think most advanced players would look for something with a little bit more control. Spin and power are great, but most of us can generate it naturally.

 

Volleys – 7/10

 

The Babolat Pure Aero is certainly geared towards baseline play, and I felt it lacked a little bit of stability at the net. There are not too many rackets around the 300g mark that are brilliant at the net, so it’s nothing to worry about, and the Pure Aero will do a job for you when you do find yourself hitting some volleys.

I didn’t volley too badly during this playtest and found that the Pure Aero was extremely manoeuvrable, meaning I found it easy to get into position with plenty of time to spare. I was hitting the ball out in front of my body nicely, and when I aimed to push the ball back deep, I had no difficulties.

I found it a little bit harder when I tried to take some pace off the ball and hit a short volley or drop shot, and when the ball is hit really hard at you, it can tend to ping back long. For the most part, this racket is going to suit a baseline player, so it doesn’t need to be unbelievable at the net. I’d say I’m a pretty good volleyer, but I still rarely venture to the net in a game of singles.

I do play doubles though, which is where I would miss the stability and control of a slightly less powerful racket. I feel that my 18 x 20 Pure Strike is slightly better at controlling power, and this makes it a better weapon at the net.

I gave the 2019 Pure Aero a 7 out of 10 at the net, it gets the job done, and is more than enough for an aggressive baseliner.

 

Serve – 8.5/10

 

The power and spin potential of the Pure Aero are evident from the moment you start warming up your serve. I wasn’t putting in a great deal of effort, but the ball was pinging down the court with breakneck speed. If you focus some of that energy into spin, then you are equally well rewarded.

I served extremely well with the 2019 Pure Aero, and this was the one area where I felt it gave me a little advantage over my Pure Strike. On the second serve, I was able to generate a lot of topspin, which not only gave me good margin for error but also meant it was much harder to return. Rather than starting my second serve points at a disadvantage, or 50/50, I felt I was starting the point with the upper hand. This can make a huge difference to your results.

Just like with the groundstrokes, the Pure Aero rewards players who attack their shots and really go after the ball. If you keep the racket head speed up throughout the stroke, you’re going to get plenty of power and plenty of spin.

I know many people might not see this as much of a serving racket, but I felt I got a lot out of it on the serve. This reflects in the 8.5 out of 10 I have given the Pure Aero. I got power and spin and was able to control the ball exactly as I wanted.

 

Overall – 8/10

 

The 2019 Babolat Pure Aero didn’t do enough to convince me to give up my Pure Strike, but equally, it carried on the legacy of an excellent range of rackets. There aren’t too many differences to notice between this version and the last one, but it does feel a little bit softer and easier to use.

As with the majority of racket updates, I wouldn’t ditch a perfectly good older version of the Pure Aero just to buy the 2019 version. I would not be worried about switching when the time comes for a new racket though.

Babolat have kept all the things everyone loves about the Pure Aero and made some developments with the 2019 edition. The trend with modern rackets is to make them a little bit more comfortable to play with, with a view to injury prevention, and this racket makes good steps forward in this area.

The Pure Aero doesn’t have quite the right balance and feel for me, but I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it to anyone who is aggressive baseliner looking to add a little extra spin and power to their game.

Just like its Pure Drive cousin, I found it to be excellent on the serve and I did feel like I got a good boost in MPH which was a nice surprise. It’s known for its prowess from the back of the court, but it is also a good serving weapon.

Overall, I gave the Pure Aero an 8 out of 10. It’s a racket that anyone can play with, and lots of players will play well with. Ideal for an aggressive baseliner who loves to rip through the ball, it’s hard to go too wrong with this racket.

 

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Review by: Will