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Babolat Pure Aero 2019 Racquet Review

by Tennisnerd
Babolat Pure Aero 2019 Racquet Review

The new Babolat Pure Aero is here and it is very yellow. It has received positive reviews due to its lower stiffness rating. Other than that many things remain the same. That is not necessarily a bad thing. Find out more in this Babolat Pure Aero 2019 Racquet Review.

The Babolat Pure Aero 2019 is the update to the previous edition which came out in 2016. But the racquet line goes back to 2003 when Rafael Nadal started using it. Back then it was called the Aero Pro Drive and that is still what Rafa is using under the latest paint job. If you want to read more about Rafa’s real racquet specs, click here. But let us continue the Babolat Pure Aero 2019 Racquet Review.

The Pure Aero 2019 definitely feels less substantial than the Aero Pro Drive Original. The raw graphite feel is gone and replaced with something so light to the touch that it almost feels like a toy. With the aggressive yellow coloring it actually also looks a bit like a toy, but that does not mean it is not a weapon on the tennis court.

Babolat Pure Aero 2019 Racquet Review – Specs

Babolat Pure Aero 2019The specs of the Babolat Pure Aero is not very distinctive from its heritage. Where we see the biggest shift is in the stiffness (measured in “RA”, where below 62 is flexible and above 67 is stiff). It has gone down a few points from around 70 in the previous edition to 67 in this one. This is something you can feel when you are hitting with the racquet. It offers a little less power (although power is not something you need more of with this stick). However, it is more comfortable for the arm and I believe they have improved the feel a bit.

Strung specs Babolat Pure Aero 2019
Head size: 100 sq inches
Length: 27 inches (standard length)
Balance strung: 33 cm (4 pts HL)
Beam width: 23/26/23 mm
String pattern: 16/19
Stiffness: 67
Swing weight: 323

What else is new on the Pure Aero? Now they have added something called “Spin grommets” to enable more movement of the main strings for even more spin. Also, the Cortex dampening technology is now moved to the head instead of in the handle. A positive change if you ask me. My favorite Aero of all time, the original edition, does not have Cortex at all and is for me the best racquet in the series (mainly because it offers less launch on the ball). However, this one is more comfortable.

Babolat Pure Aero 2019 Racquet Review – Performance

Babolat Pure Aero 2019 Racquet Review

Okay – with the racquet specs and features out of the way we can talk about the playability and performance of the Babolat Pure Aero 2019. First of all, I want to say that if you are a flat hitter and/or have no intention of changing your mechanics from an eastern grip to a western, you should look elsewhere. This racquet is not for the classical player with traditional tennis mechanics. Flat balls tend to sail with this racquet, even when hit properly.

However, this is not a players frame and is not intended for slice-and-dicers or serve and volley players. This is a spin machine that rewards a modern top-spin game and a western grip. It is made for that style and performs really well if that is your game. The spin potential is outrageous and the power level can be intoxicating. This makes it a good fit for both the defensive and aggressive baseliner as long as you hit with a lot of spin.

I played the racquet with a cheap Babolat Pro Extreme poly (22 kg) and the MSV Focus Hex Soft (24 kg). I definitely preferred it with the Hex Soft and a higher tension. The string is relatively comfortable but still offers good control and I thought they were a good match. I think this racquet needs a poly string to rein in the power. Other options: Babolat RPM Blast (great when fresh, not so great when not so fresh), HEAD Hawk Touch and Solinco Tour Bite Soft.

Like I mentioned above, the racquet performs well as long as you hit with spin. If you try to flatten out shots you lose some control. On drop shots and volleys I think it was pretty decent as well (especially the dropper is a joy to hit), but I do think it lacks some mass to really feel confident at net. Some lead tape at 3 and 9 helped a bit, but it is still not a volleyers dream. This is for you who, like Rafa, belongs at the baseline and never intends to lose a point before it is over.

Babolat Pure Aero 2019 Racquet Review – Who is it for?

Babolat Pure Aero 2019 Racquet Review

The Babolat Pure Aero 2019 is, like previous generations, for the baseline player with a modern game and technique. If you like to hit hard with a lot of spin, this is a great frame for you. If you rely more on finesse and flat shots, there are so many other options that will suit you better.

This edition offers better feel compared to the previous version. I personally think it plays quite close to the 2013 GT edition (which was very good). Perhaps even a bit softer. If I was 16 and moving up the national ranks with a heavy clay court game, I would definitely love this racquet. It is unique in the way it makes digging up shots from the corners easier. You kind of imagine you are Rafa Nadal for a while as you run into the corner and buggy whip that passing shot cross-court despite being two meters behind the baseline. It is simply a racquet engineered for that kind of playing style.

The same way Federer’s Wilson RF97 Autograph (read my review here) is tailored to his game, the Babolat Pure Aero (and Aero Pro Drive) is tailored to Rafa’s (read my post on racquet specs and player styles here). It rewards spin and fast swing speed and will deliver amazing RPM:s on the ball if you got the game for it. It is not a racquet I would consider switching to since I am more of a classical player, but it is a lot of fun to hit with. In fact I sometimes wish I had more of a modern game to make more use of it. I certainly noticed that the racquet liked it better when I adjusted my grip and started windscreen wiping my shots. But it can also be quite tiring to keep swinging for the fences unless you are not used to it. So I would not say that this is a very easy racquet to use. Mostly because if you want to reap the benefits and play with it properly, you need to have a high swing speed.

I would also like to say that a lot of beginners and lower level players are going to buy this racquet. It is relatively light, Rafa endorses it and to many it looks kind of cool. The racquet might be strung with the stiff RPM Blast that they will then use until it breaks (which is never in this case). This is an excellent way to get arm injuries. Because this racquet is still stiff (although softer than before) and will impact the elbow and wrist more easily than more flexible racquets, especially with a poly string. But this is how it begs to be played and when played correctly, by a player with expert technique, a modern swing path and fast swing speed, it can be a glorious thing to watch.

Babolat Pure Aero 2019 Racquet Review – Summary

Babolat Pure Aero 2019 Racquet Review

Wow, long review, huh? Well, it is a big release from Babolat and deserves digging into. To summarize, I think this is a worthy update to the Aero line. It is better than its predecessors and brings the series back to the feel of the 2013 GT. A lot of pro’s like Benoit Paire and Adrian Mannarino still use it. I like how they have brought down the stiffness rating and still maintained the power level. The spin is definitely still there and I will not say anyone needs more than this. For me, it is probably too much and the ball launches a bit. But on the other hand, this racquet is not for a flat hitter so I can fault it for that.

I would have liked a bit higher swing weight though. Something around 328-330 would have been perfect. It would have required no lead tape and if you want a more head light balance you could have just added a leather grip to it. The downside is of course that some players might find it more difficult to swing, but the increase in stability might be worth it.

Other than the swing weight, I like this stick. It is not intended for me, but I still like to imagine that I am Rafa Nadal at times. I would like to put up a small warning about the stiffness. It is lower than before, but still high and is, therefore, something to take into consideration. A multifilament or hybrid setup will not suit this racquet since it will become too much of a rocket launcher. You will probably go around adjusting your strings the entire session. So go with a softer poly and try to find a good tension. I think 24-25 kg works well, but you might have to ask your elbow before.

Babolat Pure Aero 2019 Racquet Review – VIDEO

What do you think about the new Babolat Pure Aero 2019? Would you consider adding it to your racquet bag?

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22 comments

mike November 21, 2018 - 1:30 pm

glad you like it. exactly spot on accurate review.

Reply
Dimitar November 22, 2018 - 9:44 am

Hi,

I was looking for this review and kind of expected your conclusions. This is definitely not a “control freak” frame . But i really like power and spin and I was surprised how much of power and spin you can generate using such a “light” frame. At least light compared to my old and trusted wilson H22 @345g.

Have you noticed btw how quickly it destroys strings.
Babolat rpm blast: 4 hours ( dead after 1.5 hours, broke on the 4th)
diadem solstice power 1.20: broke after 3 hours
Luxilon Alu power: dead after 1 hours 🙁 … on the frame for 2 but is very close on braking

Do you have any suggestions for a longer lasting diadem like feel string? Next on the string list is diadem solstice power 1.25 -> hope it will last longer

Thanks,
Dimitar

Reply
Tennisnerd November 22, 2018 - 11:46 am

Hi,
Yes, the power can be addictive and the open string pattern really destroys strings.

Not sure what to try that will be durable enough. Maybe try to go up in gauge?

I like my MSV Focus Hex Soft in it. Still highly playable after 4-5 hours.

Cheers / Jonas

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John November 25, 2018 - 8:50 pm

Great review!!!! Is the cheap Babolat Pro Extreme poly (22 kg) the factory string that came with the racket?

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Tennisnerd November 25, 2018 - 8:57 pm

Thanks! No, I think it comes with either RPM Blast or Spiraltek strings. This one was strung by the Babolat guy I got it from.

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Oran Day January 5, 2019 - 1:08 pm

Hi Jonas,
Great article/review of the Babolat Pure Aero 2019 – the best I’ve read:
http://tennisnerd.net/gear/racquets/racquet-reviews/babolat-pure-aero-2019-racquet-review/9317

I play with Babolat AeroPro Drive 2013. I have been thinking about changing rackets recently – I developed a touch of tennis elbow.

I had seen Yonex rackets recommended for tennis elbow sufferers – particularly the Yonex Ezone DR 98, but I don’t have the game for a 98 sq. inch head, I need the more forgiving 100 sq. head.

This brings me to my question regarding the Babolat Pure Aero 2019. The Yonex Ezone DR 100 has an RA rating of 69 but according to many online sources (inc. Tennis Warehouse) the Babolat Pure Aero 2019 has an RA rating of 67.

If the Babolat Pure Aero 2019 truly has an RA rating of 67, that would be amazing – as I understand that it is very close in most other respects to Babolat AeroPro Drive 2013 (which I already play with).

However, all the official Babolat websites indicate the RA rating for the Babolat Pure Aero 2019 at 71! I’ve even seen images of the printed spec. sheets online.

I’d greatly appreciate if you could explain the significantly different RA ratings for Babolat Pure Aero 2019 (67 and 71) that are currently being published online.

Many thanks,
Oran Day
Dublin, Ireland

Reply
Tennisnerd January 5, 2019 - 4:21 pm

Hi Oran,
Thanks for your kind comment. If you have a worry about your elbow, I think the new Pure Aero, despite its lower stiffness, might still be an issue.

The RA rating is 67 strung and around 70-71 unstrung. It drops between 3-4 points when strung. There might also be some differences from what is delivered from the factory, but in this case, they list strung and unstrung stiffness.

If you don’t want to “risk it” with a stiffer frame. The Yonex VCORE or DR 100 could be slightly softer. I personally really like the Donnay Formula 100 Hexacore that I am testing at the moment. Not the easiest frame to get a hold of though.

Maybe the new Wilson Clash can be something for you. Some people might find that racquet too low-powered, but worth a demo!

If you have a elbow issue from the APD 2013, I don’t think the 2019 version will play much softer sadly.

Please remember that strings and tension also are an important factor in arm health.

Good luck! Cheers / Jonas

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Oran Day January 5, 2019 - 8:33 pm

Jonas,
Thanks so much for taking the time to respond to my questions.

Your explanation and recommendations are really helpful.

I did a little digging on the Donnay Formula 100 Hexacore. It’s gets a lot of positive comments, especially from players that have moved from Babolat APD or similar … but as you say, it’s not an easy frame to get hold of (I’d say impossible here in Ireland!).

If I can trouble you with one, final question – seeing as you have play tested both the Babolat Pure Aero 2019 and the Donnay Formula 100 Hexacore (and the Wilson Clash 100 – which sounds really interesting!), is the Donnay Formula 100 Hexacore noticeably less powerful than the Babolat Pure Aero 2019?

Thanks again,
Oran.

Reply
Tennisnerd January 6, 2019 - 8:34 pm

No problem Oran!

You can check if http://racket1.com/ (Norway) can ship a Donnay or two to you. They have the whole range.

The Donnay Formula 100 is less powerful than the Pure Aero 2019, but I prefer the feel of the Donnay. It still packs some power, but it is relatively controlled for a 100 sq inch racquet. I will write up the review now.

Cheers / Jonas

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Oran Day January 31, 2019 - 10:26 am

Thanks again Jonas.

I’ve watched and read your excellent reviews of both the Wilson Clash prototype and Donnay Formula 100 (and checked out the availability of the Donnay Formula 100 at racket1.com) … and your reviews of many other rackets.

I’m waiting with anticipation for the announcement of the official Wilson Clash specs TOMORROW! Particularly interested to see the full specs for the heavier Tour version – it sounds great; interested to see if it’ll have the same RA rating as the standard version.

I think I’ll be preordering a Wilson Clash Tour as soon as they’re available. :o)

I appreciate all the advice.

Best,
O.

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Tushar March 5, 2019 - 2:48 pm

I had recently got pure aero 2019 and the performance is just amazing
It is spin friendly and it is a stable racket
It is a very good racket for players who want good speed ,spin and control
I personally use this racket and it’s good
It performance with tour bite is also very good and hyper G can also do good choice
Rpm blast can help in increase of power level

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Tennisnerd March 13, 2019 - 1:06 pm

Thanks for sharing your experience, Tushar! It is a nice stick.

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Leonardo M Martins de Araújo March 26, 2019 - 11:21 pm

Bello Jonas
Great review. I would like to know, comparing to the Aero pro drive original. What was your thoughts? And what racquet do You use?

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Tennisnerd April 5, 2019 - 1:39 pm

Hi Leonard,
Thanks! The APD Original is crisper and rawer. The new one is more flexible and dampened. I like them both, but the new Pure Aero is the best one since the original in my opinion. I use a Pacific X Tour Pro 97 right now. Cheers / Jonas

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Bruno July 12, 2019 - 7:56 pm

How do you think it compares to the Angell ASL3?

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mecky July 19, 2019 - 11:36 am

Hello,
i read that the new 2019 Pure Aero has a RA of 71 (unstrung) and the ‘older’ Pure Aero has 72 (unstrung). Would you know how to recognize which one is which..??
Also, do you think one would feel a difference between the 2018 and the 2019 racket?
Thank you for your advice.
mecky

Reply
Tennisnerd July 20, 2019 - 10:30 pm

Hi Mecky,
The new Pure Aero is a bit softer and offers slightly better feel in my opinion at the cost of a little less power. It is a matter of taste and not a huge difference, but I prefer the new version.

Regards / Jonas

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Bobble September 6, 2019 - 1:33 am

Will you be reviewing the aero plus 2019 at all? Would be interested in your comparison with the standard length version.

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Tennisnerd September 6, 2019 - 10:48 am

Not sure, you will get more power and stability, but it will be a bit more difficult to swing.

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Four0 October 1, 2019 - 8:21 pm

Just demoed this racquet with RPM blast. Incredible spin! Shots that I was convinced were going out managed to dive at the last second. Volleys were ok, missed a couple but that’s normal. Lots of action on the serve, and I noticed a little more control. Might have to buy one. Usually play with 2015 Babolat pure drive or Wilson juice.

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David Whitaker January 16, 2020 - 9:04 am

Hi – thank you for a thorough review. However, there are a few aspects that I would like you to develop: for example you mention that it has “something called spin grommets” but don’t describe them or say how Babolat claim that they work. Nor do you say how they differ from the grommets on the previous model. Also, you observe (approvingly) that the Cortex damping technology has been moved from the handle to the head. Why do you approve? Why did Babolat do this, are you able to say? And what do you mean when you say (of the previous model) that the racket offers less launch on the ball? By the way, a racket does not have power. It may influence the way the player executes a stroke so that he hits the ball with more power, which is actually a function (principally) of the racket’s stiffness.

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Deepak January 20, 2020 - 6:57 pm

Hi Jonas, how does the pure aero perform with backhand slice/chip returns? I used to play with the APD GT and found that my chip returns tended to fly long with that frame, something I attributed to the low SW and 300g weight. Would you expect the PA 2019 to perform similarly? Thanks for your thoughts.

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