BABOLAT PURE DRIVE VS SPECS
Head Size: 98 sq. in. / 632.26 sq. cm.
Length: 27 in / 68.58 cm
Strung Weight: 11.2 oz / 318 g
Balance: 12.99 in / 32.99 cm / 4 pts HL
String Pattern: 16 Mains / 19
This is a review that I was very much looking forward to! The Babolat Pure Drive VS takes the original Pure Drive and turns it into more of a ‘players’ racket.
It is the more control focussed version of its slightly larger headed brother, yet still retains that power friendly set up that we know and love.
It is slightly more flexible and has a thinner beam than the standard Pure Drive, so you will feel a bit more connected to the ball.
This stick felt noticeably more plush than the original, which is exaggerated by its classic Cortex Pure Feel technology.
If you are a pure ball striker that likes the feel of a more flexible racket, you will love the Pure Drive VS.
It is specifically designed to produce a crisp feel, that can help you place the ball with precision.
It, of course, does not forget its roots, as it still offers as much power as you could want from an intermediate level racket, along with a good amount of spin from the open string pattern.
This is a racket I could trust to give me a consistent feel as the ball would not fly on me.
Some power focussed rackets have a tendency to lack feel and control when you are really ramping up your game, but this was not the case with the Pure Drive VS.
It is a great blend of power, control and spin that is perfect for a player that loves the unmistakable easy power you get from the Pure Drive, but wants to dial in their game and focus on precise shot making.
I found it more comfortable to point and shoot with this racket than other versions of the new Pure Drive, since the slightly smaller head size and thinner beam meant I felt more in touch with what was going on on the string bed.
If you have long, flowing swings but want to benefit from the effortless power the Pure Drive offers, this is the racket to go for.
GROUNDSTROKES – 7/10
As a more control focussed player myself, I really enjoyed the crisp and responsive nature of the Pure Drive VS.
It felt a bit more plush and comfortable to hit with than the Pure Aero VS, which is a great racket if you are looking for more spin and control.
The Pure Drive VS however is a bit more power focussed than the Pure Aero, staying true to its roots.
However, the racket did seem to have a bit of a confused personality to me at times.
It sits in the Pure Drive family, so should offer easy access to power and depth (which it does compared to other VS model rackets).
However, compared to the standard Pure Drive you do lose some of that easy access to power in favour of more control and spin.
Whilst this may sound a bit counter intuitive, I would have liked a bit more free power from this racket.
Part of me thinks that if you are after a more control oriented racket as an intermediate to advanced level player, you may be better opting for the tour version of the Pure Drive, or at least trying out the Pure Strike VS or Pure Control range.
There’s nothing wrong with the racket in its own right, in fact I did really enjoy the easy to swing nature of it.
However, I couldn’t help thinking throughout this playtest that I may be better off with either a more definite control or power focussed racket.
It was particularly adept when I was brushing up the back of the ball and approaching the net, where I needed fast racket head speed to get the ball up and down quickly.
If you are loyal to the Pure Drive range and love the unique feel they offer, but are looking to control your natural, raw power, then this is a great choice for you.
However, if you are considering this racket at all, you may want to demo a few other options in the Babolat roster.
If you are having trouble deciding which racket to go for, you may want to check out our custom fitting service. We take all of the hard work out of picking your next racket.
VOLLEYS – 7.5/10
Volleying with the new Pure Drive VS felt crisp and responsive. It was easy to be precise with this racket and place the ball deep in the court.
The racket is more maneuverable and nimble than its stiffer counterparts, so you can get behind the ball and put volleys away with lightning speed!
Again, the ‘thick’ contact that we have come to know and love from the Pure Drive range can hold its feel back at times when you are looking to carve out a short slice or angled volley.
But, this doesn’t stop the racket being great to volley with overall. It felt solid when hitting high volleys and smashes, yet flexible and well dampened enough to be feelsome.
SERVE – 7.5/10
The Pure Drive VS was a precise racket to hit serves with, offering good access to power when I needed it.
This meant I could find acute angles and generate a good amount of spin, without getting too tired too quickly.
Compared to the standard Pure Drive it was more control focussed as expected,but still retained a good amount of easy power.
Again, it would be worth trying out a more control focussed alternative if you are looking to go down that road.
This is a very versatile racket that is a great all rounder for intermediate to advanced players.
But, at this level if you are looking for more specific attributes from your racket, you may be better off trying out either a racket that will give you even more pop, or even more precision.
Overall, it felt crisp and precise to serve with, whilst still offering more power than most control oriented rackets out there.
Return – 7/10
The slightly more flexible nature of the Pure Drive VS made for a more connected feel when hitting returns.
This was great for chipping the ball back, creating angles with little effort and even getting creative and hitting drop shots off of some second serves.
The 98sq in head size also helped with additional control, meaning I could really place the ball where I wanted to when returning both first and second serves.
It did feel a little underpowered compared with the standard Pure Drive, so perhaps a bit of lead tape in the hoop would make this feel more robust and weighty.
CONCLUSION – 7.5/10
Overall, the Babolat Pure Drive VS was a nice racket to hit with. It is relatively similar to the standard Pure Drive but feels a little more control focussed and precise.
It doesn’t set the world alight as it sits in a middle ground in the wider Babolat range.
It is certainly a racket that is worth play testing if you are unsure which racket to go for.
It is a solid all rounder that combines aspects of the Pure Control and Pure Strike ranges, with that familiar power friendly Pure Drive setup.
I did find myself comparing the racket to some of its more well defined brothers at times, however the Pure Drive VS offers the unique plow through and punch with a touch of additional precision.
This wasn’t the easiest racket to pin down in terms of its out and out strengths and weaknesses, as it is such a great all rounder.
If you are an advanced player that likes to focus on clean ball striking and let the racket do the work, you can now access the familiar easy power with additional control and spin potential.