BABOLAT PURE AERO VS TOUR SPECS
The Babolat Pure Aero VS Tour is a Pure Aero with a bit of a twist. The Pure Aero VS range has evolved out of the old Aero Storm frames and offers intermediate and advanced players something a little bit different from the traditional Pure Aero rackets.
Resident Tennis Bro Larry currently uses the regular Pure Aero Tour, a racket that’s big on spin and power, but the Pure Aero VS Tour should be more of a spin and control racket.
The two rackets are fairly even in specs, with the VS coming in a little bit heavier at 320g unstrung. They’re both head light rackets, the VS being 7 PTS HL, and they’ve both got pretty big swingweights of around 328. This should make for a racket that is extremely fast through the air but also gets good plow through from the swingweight.
The main differences between the two rackets are in the construction of the frame, where the VS Tour uses a hybrid construction, which blends the modern aero modular beam in the throat with a classic, thinner beam in the head. This combination should give the speed and power of the modern beam with the control and feel of the classic beam.
There’s also been a change up with the string pattern from a more open 16 x 19 in the Pure Aero Tour to a slightly more closed 16 x 20 in the VS. This should add a little bit more control to the VS whilst keeping up the huge spin potential of the Pure Aero.
I’ve played with the Pure Aero Tour in the past, but it’s always been a racket that I’ve really enjoyed playing with for only short periods of time. The amount of spin and control that you get give you so many options and you can attack the ball with so much spin. The problem is, in a match situation, I find it a bit too involved and lacking some of the control that’s needed to get the most out of my game.
The Babolat Pure Aero VS Tour should remedy that with a greater emphasis on control, whilst still keeping up the Pure Aero’s famed levels of spin. At 320g, this stick’s a little bit heavier than what I’ve been using in recent years, but the Aero rackets are so manoeuvrable that I shouldn’t have too many problems getting great racket head speed.
I took the Pure Aero VS Tour with a setup of Wilson NXT in the mains and Alu Power in the crosses, both at 52lbs. This setup should give the VS Tour an extra bit of power and comfort to complement the spin and control it already gives.
My normal set up would be a little bit more control oriented, but I’ve just been lacking a little bit of zip on my shots lately, so I thought I’d give the VS Tour a go with something slightly more powerful. The great thing about your tennis racket is you always have the option to tweak how it plays, so take a look at Tom’s tennis string tension guide for more info on how to tune your stick.
GROUNDSTROKES – 7.5/10
While I find the Pure Aero Tour feels like a rocket launcher, the VS Tour is certainly a lot more refined. It still has the incredible spin potential, but it has a much tighter feel and that gives you more control over the ball. Whereas I would normally hit with a bit more power with the Pure Aero Tour and aim for bigger targets, with the VS Tour I was using the spin to pinpoint much smaller targets and work my opponent around the court.
Although the VS Tour is still a very speedy racket, I did find that it was important I didn’t drop my racket head speed on any shots. When I got a little bit lazy or was on the run and could only swing through at about 80%, I found I didn’t get a huge amount out of the racket and I often left the ball short. The result was I struggled quite a bit when I forced to play off the back foot and I had to work on getting on the front foot early in the point to play my best tennis with this stick.
When I was on the front foot, everything worked quite nicely. The feel of the racket suited how I play, and I enjoyed the levels of control I was getting. My one complaint would be that I struggled when I had to flatten the ball out when I was stepping into the court. The easy spin might suit some people, but I’m someone who needs a little help flattening the ball out and that’s not what I got with the VS Tour.
Thinking about who would be best suited to this racket, I would suggest it would be more advanced players than intermediate players. I think it would suit someone with fast swings who hits a very big ball. It’s got the spin to be able to add another dimension to that power and the control to keep you hitting plenty of balls in the court.
There will be players that are well suited to the Babolat Pure Aero VS Tour, but overall, I didn’t find it to be quite as good as the Babolat Pure Aero Tour from the back of the court. If you’re someone who loves a blend of spin and control then take a look at this stick, because it is a bit different; certainly, within the Aero range. I gave the VS Tour a 7.5 out of 10 for the groundstrokes.
VOLLEYS – 8/10
With its manoeuvrability, the VS Tour is extremely easy to get into position. This means that no matter how fast the ball is coming at you, you’re not going to struggle to get the racket in the right place. Some rackets around the 320g + mark can feel quite sluggish, but that’s certainly not the Pure Aero VS Tour.
The VS Tour does offer a little bit more stability than the Tour, allowing it to absorb power a little better and give you the chance to control the ball to your target. I didn’t spend a whole lot of time at the net with this racket, as I’m much more a baseline player, but when I did had to hit volleys, I found it had good feel and control and did everything I wanted it to.
I really don’t associate the Pure Aero range with net play, but I must say I got on well with the Babolat Pure Aero VS Tour. The solid swingweight made it strong on contact, but you still had the excellent manoeuvrability of a lighter racket, so an excellent blend.
Again, I could see this racket working well for a big hitter who loves to attack and isn’t afraid of the net. There are better volleying rackets out there, but the VS Tour is very good, nonetheless. An enjoyable performance from the Babolat Pure Aero VS Tour earned it an 8 out of 10 from me at the net.
SERVE – 8/10
This racket has much better control than its cousin, but I was still getting decent power. The extra weight of the racket combined with its excellent manoeuvrability meant I was getting huge racket speed and really plowing through the ball, resulting in some great serves.
I think this set up would be ideal for a big server, who, rather than the easy power of the Pure Aero Tour, would prefer the control of the VS Tour, knowing that they naturally bring a ton of power. My serve is not the biggest in the world, but I was able to get good power on the first serve whilst maintaining a very solid first serve percentage. My placement was also very good, and I picked up a lot of free points off the first serve.
On the second serve, the control and spin really came into their own and I was able to use the topspin serve to stop my opponent from getting on the front foot, whilst giving myself plenty of margin for error. I felt I had a ton of confidence in this racket and was able to keep my racket head speed up and keep attacking the second serve.
I wasn’t expecting the Babolat Pure Aero VS Tour to suit me on the serve, but I ended up enjoying this part of the playtest. This stick has a great blend of power, control, and spin on the serve and I gave it a very good 8 out of 10.
CONCLUSION – 8/10
The Babolat Pure Aero VS Tour is a typical aero racket in some ways and completely different to the rest of the range in other ways. It has the wonderful manoeuvrability that all Aero rackets have, and it certainly gets you plenty of spin whilst maximizing control.
For people who love control, this is great news! However, for the average player it does make the Pure Aero VS Tour a little bit harder to play with. You’ve got to have some good strokes to get the most out of this stick, and in my opinion, it is ideally suited to a big hitter.
On the groundstrokes, you do need to put a lot of power through the ball to get adequate mph from this stick, but if you can do that then you can really benefit from the spin and control you get. I found this worked well for me on my stronger forehand side, but I did struggle a bit on the backhand side.
At the net, I found the VS Tour was an upgrade from the regular Pure Aero Tour. It has a little bit more stability than its counterpart which made it easier to make those difficult volleys where there was a lot of power on the ball. I think there are better volleying rackets out there, but I did find I volleyed really well with this racket.
The VS Tour also put in a good performance on the serve where I found it offered an excellent blend of power, control, and spin. If you can naturally hit a big serve then this stick will offer you a lot of performance, enhancing your spin and boosting your serve percentages.
Overall, I gave the Babolat Pure Aero VS Tour an 8 out of 10 – the same score I gave the regular Pure Aero Tour. I think the regular Aero Tour will appeal to more people, but the VS will be the ideal weapon for some of the bigger hitters out there.
Review by: Will