Babolat Pure Aero 2023 Review
Champing at the bit for the new Babolat Pure Aero 2023 review? Well, we finally got our hands on the Babolat Pure Aero 2023, and we’ve got some big news for you!
You cannot watch pro tennis or visit your local club without seeing Babolat’s distinctive yellow and black Pure Aero frame. Pros like Felix Auger-Aliassime and Carlos Alcaraz, along with weekend warriors alike rely on this iconic model.
Without delay we took the 7th iteration of Babolat’s Pure Aero to the court, eager to see if Babolat could improve on such a versatile and well-loved racket.
Quick Notes on the Babolat Pure Aero 23
How do you improve upon one of the most popular and versatile rackets out there? That was Babolat’s challenge and our mission was to assess if the French manufacturers met the brief.
On paper the tweaks were fascinating – the implementation of a new dampening technology and the decision to use a denser string pattern promised to address two weaknesses that have previously plagued the Pure Aero line. Namely a slight reputation for lacking comfort, and limited control (but hey, you’ve got incredible spin and power, so you’re never going to get quite the same level of control.)
We took the 2023 model to our nearest practice court in double-quick time, determined to not just have a hit, but to experiment with different playing styles to test the all-round capabilities of this frame. Could it suit baseline bombers and all-court players alike? Our test would find out.
We adopted a wide variety of playing styles to assess if the new Pure Aero could handle:
Read on to see what we thought of Babolat’s latest weapon, and if you are considering a racket change of your own, please try our hugely popular custom racket fitting service – who knows, the new Babolat Pure Aero could be the key to improving your game!
(Check out our complete guide to previous Babolat Pure Aero frames here).
9out of 10
Previous versions of the Babolat Pure Aero have been famous for supplying huge amounts of spin and while this iteration retains the spin-centric 16×19 string-bed, Babolat reduced the string spacing to create a denser pattern. This encourages enhanced control and improved feel (if you’re after a control-oriented racket, then check out our guide to the best control rackets).
In our hitting sessions, we could feel that this was a true Babolat Pure Aero in our first full cuts with this latest version. The familiar hallmarks of power and spin were immediately on tap. But we were pleasantly surprised by the amount of control a small tweak to the string-bed created. Our hardest swings were reassuringly dependable in terms of direction and length, a quality lacked by frames focused on providing power.
And speaking of feel, Babolat has also introduced a proprietary dampening technology to this frame. ‘NF2-TECH’ helps counteract vibration and mitigates some of the stiffness that is synonymous with the Pure Aero family of rackets. This does not mean the 2023 Pure Aero is plush though. The unstrung stiffness rating (RA) of 69 is a red flag to anyone with sensitive arms but after a little experimentation, we found that RPM Blast worked nicely when the tension was dialed down to 48lbs.
Positively, stiffness translates into power and our groundstrokes left the 100sq inch frame with fierce velocity. At the same time, the aforementioned denser string pattern retained enough control to make this the most versatile of weapons – in short, you can hit out with confidence!
Many rackets focus on one specific selling point, but we found the blend of raw power and control allows the player to dictate what sort of game they wish to play.
Whether you elect for a ‘high octane’ brand of tennis or decide upon a more strategic approach, the Pure Aero adapts with ease. We purposefully mixed up our session and used a variety of styles to try and expose a weakness in the new Pure Aero but this stick handled grunt and grace without fuss.
7out of 10
100sq inch frames are not necessarily ideal for volleying. Many players favor smaller, more maneuverable frames for net play. However, while the Babolat Pure Aero 2023 may not suit ‘serve and volley’ purists, it is no slouch around the net. And besides, this is not a racket made for a traditional game style, this is every inch a modern weapon for today’s game.
Around the net, we found that the denser string-bed and NF2-TECH dampening added an extra dimension to things. Control with heightened feel is always a bonus when volleying, and when called upon, we found that the Pure Aero handled business at the net with enough authority to disguise its large footprint.
For a stiff frame that emphasizes power we were pleased to see our volleys leave the racket with some degree of predictability. Okay, some of our attempts to drop the ball dead with soft hands did not quite come off, but we could at least rely upon the Pure Aero to be consistent if not nuanced when volleying.
9out of 10
At 300-grams and with a swing weight of 315g (strung) this racket moves rapidly through the air. Factor in a combination of stiffness with Pure Aero’s spin potential and we have a rocket launcher in our hands. For first serves, our session was littered with a glut of flat bombs and kickers that fizz (if you’re not getting the kick you want, then we’ve got the perfect guide for you). And when we needed control upon crucial second serves, Babolat Pure Aero 2023’s identity morphs on a dime.
This racket really has a Jekyll and Hyde feel to it, and serving lets you tap into whichever side you fancy. Plus, if you feel that this frame is too light for maintaining complete control, a little lead tape can make a significant difference. A small amount placed at the 3 o’clock and 9 o’clock positions can be transformative and the Bros will undoubtedly play around with minor modifications to squeeze a little more juice from an already potent weapon.
8.5out of 10
Against powerful servers we found the 100sq inch head and control-based string pattern loved to redirect pace. This is not a frame that asks the player to supply their own power so it was often enough to allow the racket and ball to ‘collide’ against a crushed serve. We had ample confidence in the Pure Aero’s forgiveness and control to keep us in the point.
Conversely, when faced with slower serves the Pure Aero begs to be unleashed. This frame specializes in spin with power and as we found out, if you are feeling strong this frame feasts upon second serves.
In the stock-form we tested you get a package that is playable for most, but again, a little lead-tape could unlock an extra gear for stronger players who maybe feel that the lightness of the Babolat Pure Aero 2023 inhibits control.
Babolat Pure Aero 23 Overall Score
9out of 10
As you can tell we are big fans of the Pure Aero and before a ball was hit we loved the looks alone. Babolat’s new cosmetics are dynamic without being a distraction and the gloss finish adds a nice touch of class.
On court things get really interesting as Babolat has clearly invested time and effort into improving this version of a modern classic, a difference the Bros could genuinely feel.
Rather than just produce a cookie-cutter frame with new cosmetics, Babolat has successfully tempered some of the harshness associated with previous iterations of the Pure Aero, making it more user-friendly. And to widen the appeal even further, the move to a dense string pattern ups the control and thus the versatility.
This racket may not suit traditionalists, but it will please millions of players who play a modern tennis game. Players who seek a complimentary blend of power, spin, forgiveness, and feel. And for stronger players, it is a blank canvas that can easily be customized
Ultimately, Babolat gets things very right with the 2023 Pure Aero, just be careful when choosing your string/tension.
We recommend a poly at a slightly lighter tension to help counter some of the Pure Aero’s natural stiffness. And, if you need help with choosing your next string we have you covered.
Is this the right racket for your game? Discover your "Excalibur"!
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