Babolat Pure Strike 100 Racket Review
Babolat offers a changeup to the Pure Strike line with the Babolat Pure Strike 100.
This stick features a slightly bigger 100 sq. inch head compared to the classic 98 sq. inch Pure Strike and a reduced weight that should make it ideal for intermediate players looking for a fast, control-oriented racket.
Personally, I’m a huge fan of the Pure Strikes and currently use the 18 x 20 Pure Strike.
For people who love the speed of a light, modern racket but still want some of the control of a heavy, classic racket, I find the Pure Strikes hit the nail on the head and I was hopeful that the Pure Strike 100 would do the same.
The Pure Strike 100 brings the unstrung weight down to 300g versus 305g for the Pure Strike 98, but the bigger change has been in the swingweight.
The 100 has a reduced swingweight of 314 which should make this stick even more manoeuvrable but might make a difference to the feel.
It looks like these changes have widened the range of player’s that will enjoy this racket to lower level intermediate players.
The swingweight is still decent on this racket, but for an advanced player, a 300g racket with a 314 swingweight might not cut it.
One thing to remember though is that this racket has plenty of room for customization.
If you are an advanced player but you prefer the 100 sq. inch head over a 98 sq. inch frame, you can easily add some weight to this racket to boost the swingweight.
I know many people do this with the Pure Strike 98 and the 100 looks equally suitable for a bit of customization.
For intermediate players, the Pure Strike 100 is set up nicely though, and it seems like it will give the great manoeuvrability associated with the Pure Strikes with a little easier access to spin and power.
There are a lot of people out there who talk about the Pure Strike as one of the best rackets on the market, and I’d certainly be one of them.
The true sign of a great racket line, though, is a consistency throughout the various models.
The specs might change with the rackets, but you want to see similar characteristics from them all.
Since I use the Pure Strike 18 x 20 as my regular racket, I took this playtest with my normal string setup of Babolat RPM Blast at 54lbs.
This meant I could easily gauge how the Babolat Pure Strike 100 measured up to the other Pure Strike sticks.
7.5out of 10
The most noticeable thing about this racket is that the bigger head doesn’t change the great feel and control of this racket.
OK, it’s not quite as perfect in this area as the 98, but for its weight, it still feels brilliant.
I love the fact that with my Pure Strikes I can hit through the ball 100% and not worry about the ball hitting the back fence on the fly. I felt the same with the 100.
If you’re someone who’s number one concern is control, then you’re looking at the right family of rackets.
Are you looking at the right racket though?
This is where I would start to question the Pure Strike 100.
The Pure Strike 98s are unbelievable rackets and all the 100 does is give you a slightly bigger head and 5g less weight.
All of this has cost you valuable swingweight.
The result is a lot less stability on contact, which really reduces the power you can get with this racket.
The 98s might be control oriented rackets, but when you hit through it you can produce some serious power.
I didn’t find the same with the Pure Strike 100 and for the sake of a slightly bigger head, I don’t think it’s worth the trade-off.
You must bear in mind as well that the Pure Strike Team offers a great option for people looking for a slightly lighter racket.
This 285g stick gives some of the best control and feel from a racket in this weight category on the market, so if you did want to drop down in weight then you still have those characteristics.
Because of the great performance of these rackets, I do think the Pure Strike 100 is superfluous to requirement.
If you want a great racket over 300g then you’ve got the Pure Strike 98, if you want a great racket under 300g you’ve got the Pure Strike Team.
Where then does the Pure Strike 100 fit in?
I can’t fault the Pure Strike 100’s performance, but I just think its specifications are too close to the Pure Strike 98’s without offering the extremely high levels of performance of the heavier rackets.
The one area where the Pure Strike 100 performs a little better is manoeuvrability, where it makes playing supremely easy, but the Pure Strike 98s are very easy to play with anyway.
The added manoeuvrability has resulted in a big drop in plow through and stability though, and for me, it’s just not worth the trade-off.
Depending on your level I would try the Pure Strike 100 as well as either the Pure Strike 98 (16 x 19) or the Pure Strike Team.
You may find that you prefer the 100, but I would guess that the majority of people are going to prefer one of the other two.
I gave the Babolat Pure Strike 100 a 7.5 out of 10 on the groundstrokes.
It is super speedy and has good levels of control, but I just wouldn’t choose it.
7.5out of 10
I’ve found all the Pure Strike rackets to have great all-around playability, and this includes excellent performance at the net for their weight.
I find the Pure Strikes’ focus on speed and control to be an ideal blend at the net and I think they’re about as good as it gets when it comes to volleying with rackets in and around the 300g mark.
Once again, the Pure Strike 100 loses out a little bit to the Pure Strike 98 when it comes to volleys because of its smaller swingweight.
It just means it doesn’t absorb power as well and you find more balls pinging on you than you do with the Pure Strike 98.
With my switch to the Pure Strike 98, I dropped down from a racket that weighed about 330g to 305g, so I do find I’ve not got quite the stability I used to have at the net, but the Pure Strike 100 was another step-down.
I know the Pure Strike 100 is aimed much more at intermediate players, but I feel like the Pure Strike 98 is already pretty accessible to intermediate players and offers much better performance.
Of course, there will be some players out there who prefer the 100, but it has a small window of use between the Pure Strike Team as a more beginner racket and the Pure Strike 98 as a slightly more advanced racket.
Still, for a 300g racket, the Babolat Pure Strike 100’s score of 7.5 out of 10 at the net is not bad.
It’s always going to have that speed that allows you to get into position quickly and its focus on control is just what you want when you’re at the net.
7.5out of 10
I would have thought the serve might be the trickiest aspect of this racket for an intermediate player.
The vast majority of intermediate level rackets seem to be geared towards power and spin, which can be quite beneficial when you’re still developing your strokes.
The Pure Strike 100 does feel like it gives some welcome power to intermediate players on the serve, but it’s still not loaded with easy power.
If you’re someone who relies on a big power boost on the serve then you’re much better off looking at something like the Babolat Pure Drive, which, like the Pure Strike, is very manoeuvrable but a rocket launcher in comparison.
If you are happy to focus on control and precision on the serve though, the Pure Strike 100 is super easy to play with and gives you consistently great feel that leaves you feeling confident in your serve.
The performance isn’t as good as the Babolat 98, but this is one area where I think the added manoeuvrability might make a difference to an intermediate player.
The serve is one of the most complicated shots for the majority of people, so anything that makes it a little bit easier is a bonus.
The serve was the shot where the Babolat Pure Strike 100 made a little bit more sense to me, but not enough to change my mind about it.
I gave the Pure Strike 100 a 7.5 out of 10 on the serve.
7.5out of 10
Overall, I don’t think this is a bad racket. I just don’t see much point in it.
At 300g, the Babolat Pure Strike 100 doesn’t make a huge distinction from the regular Pure Strike 98s at 305g.
All it seems to have done is sacrifice some important swingweight and stability for a tiny bit more manoeuvrability.
It still plays nicely, just not nearly as well as the Pure Strike 98s.
If you do want to drop the weight down and have that added manoeuvrability, then you’ve always got the Pure Strike Team at 295g.
So really, that leaves the Pure Strike 100 with little space to work in.
I’m sure there will be people who try this racket and prefer it, but I can’t see there being that many.
The more the level goes up it’s clear that the Pure Strike 98 is a far superior racket and the more you drop the level, you wonder why you wouldn’t be going for the Pure Strike Team.
On a positive note, the Pure Strike 100 does keep many of the good characteristics of the Pure Strike range.
It’s got great speed and good levels of control, which is a refreshing change in today’s power-obsessed market.
It’s a very balanced racket that will give you good performance on all shots rather than being geared towards just the one shot.
This is useful for someone who likes to vary their game and play from the back of the court and the net.
However, in all areas, it lacks a little bit of swingweight which could make a big difference to this stick.
Overall, I gave the Babolat Pure Strike 100 a 7.5 out of 10.
It’s a good racket, but you’ve got to remember that the regular Pure Strike rackets are so popular for a reason.
That’s because they’re great rackets that are accessible for a wide range of players.
Unfortunately, in my opinion, this makes the Pure Strike 100 a little bit superfluous to requirements.
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