Babolat Pure Aero Team Specs

 

Head Size:    100 in² / 645 cm²

Length:    27in / 68,5cm

Strung Weight: 301g / 10,6oz

Unstrung Weight: 285g/10,1oz

Balance: 32,99cm / 4 pts HL

Swingweight:    307

String Pattern:    16 Mains / 19 Crosses

 

Our Review

 

The intermediate version of Rafael Nadal’s famous Pure Aeros, the Babolat Pure Aero Team is perfect for the intermediate player looking for a great blend of power and spin. At 285g unstrung, this stick is weighted for those players who are looking to develop some serious speed in their strings without compromising on power and spin.

If you were to look at the main Babolat rackets in very simple terms, you might say the Pure Drives are the power rackets, the Pure Strikes the control rackets and the Pure Aeros would be the spin rackets. The Pure Aeros do bring plenty of spin but they’re also pretty powerful without compromising too much on control, so it’s no wonder they are so popular.

With the Pure Aero Team, Babolat has made this racket a little bit more accessible for the intermediate player, bringing the swingweight down from 324 in the regular Pure Aero to 307 in this version. This means that the Pure Aero Team will likely be a little less stable on impact with the ball, but in return, you get a racket that is much easier to manoeuvre.

When you are playing intermediate level tennis and looking to develop your strokes, this is a good thing. You don’t need massive stability from the racket because the ball isn’t coming at you as hard as it would be when you reach a higher level. Instead, what you want, is something that makes it easy to learn the correct techniques.

The Pure Aero Team is set up brilliantly for this. At 301g it’s not so light that it encourages you into bad habits, but it is light enough to allow you to improve your swings in comfort. It is important for any intermediate player to find the right balance of something that gives them good performance in the short term but also allows them to build for the future, and I think the Babolat Pure Aero Team is nicely positioned to do that.

To help you with your constant quest for extra performance, the Pure Aero Team includes FSI Spin Technology, and Cortex Pure Feel which are designed to give you easy access to spin and a softer feel. In the past, some players have commented that the Pure Aero rackets can be a little bit hard to play with, but I’ve never found this to be the case. I think the 2019 series has made improvements in this area anyway.

Just picking this racket up, it feels well balanced and a good weight for any intermediate players or juniors moving up to a full-sized racket. Obviously, the Pure Team would play a little bit differently from the regular Pure Aero, but I was hopeful it would maintain the qualities that make the Pure Aero such a popular racket, namely, electric spin.

 

Groundstrokes – 7.5/10

 

Vicious topspin groundstrokes are what the Aero series rackets are known for (with help from Nadal), and the theme continues with the Babolat Pure Aero Team. This racket is made for getting the ball moving off the strings and whether you’re an intermediate or more advanced player, you’re going to find good levels of spin with this stick.

While you might still be able to get a good deal of spin with the Pure Aero Team, I would recommend that advanced players look at the regular Pure Aero as opposed to the Team. The Team just lacks a little bit of stability that you need when the power is ramped up, which is where the added weight of the Pure Aero is needed.

For intermediate players, however, the Pure Aero Team is ideal. It is a little bit easier to get into position, and it is more than stable enough, so long as you are not playing against a very advanced player. The upside of this is that you can maximize the racket head speed you get from your strokes and turn this into great power and spin.

There are a lot of rackets where I start off by complementing it on how well it played on my backhand before moving on to say how I really didn’t like it on the forehand side. With the Pure Aero Team, I felt like it was well balanced on both shots and I played some very good tennis.

I would normally play with a racket with a much higher swingweight in the Pure Strike, so the Pure Aero Team was a little bit down on stability compared to what I’m used to but as long as I kept things simple I got good results. I kept my focus on hitting through the ball, aiming for good depth, and the racket rewarded me with good spin and decent power.

This racket opened up a lot of possibilities, especially on the forehand side. I was able to generate such racket head speed that I could blend a good amount of spin and power, which allowed me to put my opponent under some serious pressure. Then, when required to play are more sensitive shot like a drop shot, the Pure Aero Team still had plenty in the locker.

I think that of all the Babolat Team rackets, the Pure Aero Team is probably the most all-round out of the three. The Pure Strike Team is a bit more control oriented and understated, whereas the Pure Drive Team is much looser and power oriented. The Babolat Pure Aero Team hits a sweet note in the middle that a lot of people are going to like.

I gave the Babolat Pure Aero Team a 7.5 out of 10 on the groundstrokes. This is about as high as I go for rackets under 295g, because they can’t compete with the stability of the heavier rackets. However, this is a great stick for any intermediate player. Whether you love to attack from the back of the court, or sit back and wait for your opportunity, the Pure Aero Team has got you covered.

Volleys – 6.5/10

 

The Pure Aero rackets have never been the very best at the net, but they’re also far from the worst. The Pure Aero Team continues that trend with a volleying performance that won’t blow your mind but will have you putting away those easy balls.

I always feel that if there’s a perfect physical embodiment of a racket on tour then it’s Rafael Nadal. Sure, people are going to say he probably plays with a racket that is, in reality, nothing like any of the Pure Aeros, but I do think his style works well for these rackets.

Just as Nadal does the majority of his damage from the back of the court, the Pure Aero Team is also best suited to the groundstrokes. However, when you play the kind of devastating attacking shots that Nadal does you’ve sometimes got to pop up at the net to finish the point off, and you will too!

When you’re looking to come to the net to finish off the point, the Pure Aero Team will do a more than adequate job. It doesn’t have great control when you’re playing a very difficult volley that’s coming at you with lots of power. But really, how often do you play those shots in singles?

For doubles, again, I think the performance of the Pure Aero Team is more than good enough at the intermediate level. Once you progress up to a higher standard where the ball is coming at you a bit faster, I would certainly look at moving up to a slightly heavier racket. But while the pace of the game isn’t too high, the Team is a great racket.

Overall, I gave the Babolat Pure Aero Team a 6.5 out of 10 on the volleys. It does what you need it to do.

 

Serves – 7.5/10

 

I always enjoy serving with the Pure Aeros. Their balance of power, spin, and speed seem to come together brilliantly at serving time and gives you access to so many possibilities.

Whether you want to hit the big flat serve, the kicker, or the slider out wide, you’ve got plenty of spin and power to be able to do it with.

The Pure Aero Team did lack a little bit of weight for what I would normally go for on the serve, but as a 6ft 2inch guy who’s been playing for 20 years that was always going to be the case. For slightly younger players who are stepping up to full sized rackets, or players with a little bit less experience, it’s much better to have a racket you feel comfortable manoeuvring.

The Pure Aero Team certainly ticks that box as it is supremely fast throughout the service motion. Sometimes you can find rackets that give you a lot of racket head speed, but don’t convert it into power and spin. Fortunately, that wasn’t the case with the Team, and I was able to hit some pretty impressive serves given the weight of the racket (slid in a few cheeky aces that had Tom cursing his luck).

The good thing is that all that power and spin doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice control. I was able to get good consistency with my second serve, hitting with a little bit of topspin, but not so much that things got too complicated. It’s nice to feel confident when you step up for a second serve and that’s exactly how I felt when I played with this stick.

I gave the Babolat Pure Aero Team another 7.5 out of 10 on the serve, another great score. I’ve always clicked with the Aero rackets on serve and this one was no different.

 

Overall – 7.5/10

 

You may have read my reviews on the Pure Drive Team and the Pure Strike Team and notice I gave those a 7.5 out of 10 too. It’s not that I’m trying to cop out of deciding which one is the best racket, it’s just that I think they’re all very good rackets that will suit different styles of play. For me, I preferred the Pure Strike Team, but I would guess that it would be the least popular for many people.

In my eyes, the Pure Aero Team is the quintessential attacking baseliner’s racket. These guys love to exert pressure by dominating the point through spin and moving their opponents around the court. The Pure Aero is beautifully set up to do this, and you are rewarded for hitting high energy strokes and taking control of the point. When you do need to play on the back foot though, it still gives you the power and spin to be able to get back in the point.

As ever with the lighter rackets, the weakest part of the playtest was at the net. It does a good job on easy put aways and is more than adequate when that ball isn’t coming too fast, but it is the one area where the racket would struggle when the level goes up.

It was back to its best though when it came to the serve, where it offered great power and spin without sacrificing too much on control. I loved how fast this racket was through the motion, and it really converted all that racket head speed into power.

Overall, I gave the Babolat Pure Aero Team a 7.5 out of 10, which is a very good score for a racket in this weight class. I would certainly demo it in conjunction with the Pure Strike Team and the Pure Drive Team if you get the opportunity, because that way you are bound to find one that suits you.

 

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Review by: Will