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Babolat Pure Strike 2024 Review

by TN

This Babolat Pure Strike 2024 Review deals with five different racquets, the Pure Strike 97, 98 16/19, 98 18/20, 100 16/19 and 100 16/20. The Pure Strike tour models seem to be discontinued, but the 100 16/20 is a new racquet.

If you prefer a video review over reading, check out the Tennisnerd YouTube channel.

Babolat Pure Strike fans have been waiting for this update since 2019 when the third generation of Pure Strikes came out. The Babolat Pure Strike 2024 looks very similar in terms of cosmetics (perhaps a little cleaner) and has NF2-tech added for better dampening and comfort.

Who is the Pure Strike for?

The Pure Strike is Babolat’s control line of racquets and competes with lines like Wilson Blade, HEAD Radical, Dunlop CX, Yonex Percept, Tecnifibre Tfight, etc. What makes the Pure Strike stand out historically is that it inherently has a bit more power, thanks to a higher stiffness. This made it user-friendly in one way, but un-friendly to some player’s elbows as the swing weight of these racquets was rather high and paired with the high stiffness it led to some arm concerns.

New technology

The NF2 tech worked exceptionally well to make the new Pure Aero and Pure Aero 98 more comfortable. The same seems to be going on with the new Strikes. What is then NF2?

NF2 TECH (Natural Flax Filtration Technology) has flax fiber inserts in the handle at 3 and 9 o’clock on the racquet head to dampen vibrations and deliver optimized acoustics with a much softer sound for enhanced feeling at ball impact.

This is what Babolat said about the flax fibers in the new Aeros, and I assume the same goes for the new Strikes.

“Flax, in addition to reducing vibration, also provides benefits through acoustics. Babolat racquets achieve a more muffled sound, resulting in a greatly enhanced feeling of impact with the ball compared to the previous model”,

Antoine Bacha, Product Development Engineer at Babolat.

The racquets

Let’s look at each model and the average specifications according to what is measured from Tennis Warehouse. We will also delve into the specs of our play-test racquets.

Babolat Pure Strike 97 Review

This most control-oriented model replaces the Babolat Pure Strike VS from 2022. Henrik and I both felt like this one requires some weight added to boost stability and power. You can call it a platform racquet.

The Pure Strike 97 requires more from the user, and if you’re not a highly advanced player, I would not consider this model unless you’re a sucker for low-powered control racquets. This was the model both Henrik and I struggled the most to play successfully with. But it’s a nice racquet with good feel and with some added weight it can be a weapon for advanced players.

I have been play-testing racquets for many years and come to learn the extent of my abilities. Having some extra help from the racquet is always welcome when you compete and you don’t get that from the Babolat Pure Strike 97.

The feel compared to the VS is a bit more refined and comfortable, but the power level remains low.

Our racquet had the following strung specs with Luxilon 4G Bronze 1.25 and an overgrip: Sw 309, W 335, RA 64. A swing weight of 309 for this kind of racquet is way too low and definitely forces you to add some weight to the racquet to improve stability and power. Other than that, a nice control racquet for the highly skilled player.

These were the average Pure Strike 97 specs from Tennis Warehouse.

Head Size: 97 in² / 625.81 cm²
Length: 27in / 68.58cm
Strung Weight:11.7oz / 332g
Balance: 12.59in / 31.98cm / 7 pts HL
Swingweight: 321
Stiffness: 63
Beam Width: 21mm / 22mm / 21mm
Composition: Graphite
Power Level: Low-Medium
Stroke Style: Medium-Full
Swing Speed: Medium-Fast
Racquet Colors: White
Grip Type: LEATHER!
String Pattern:
16 Mains / 20 Crosses
Mains skip: 7T,9T,7H,9H

Babolat Pure Strike 98 18/20 Review

The Babolat Pure Strike 98 18/20 is the racquet endorsed and used by Dominic Thiem. Thiem is not the player he was in 2020 at the moment (he has climbed inside the top 100 again after struggling with injuries for a long time).

The 18/20 gives you better control over 16/19 and 16/20, but it also requires you to really get under the ball to achieve top spin and lift on the ball.

Like the other Pure Strike 2024 racquets, this one delivers better comfort and feel than its predecessor, but it still requires a strong player to use it properly. Our test racquet was strung with Luxilon 4G Bronze at 48 lbs or 21.5 kg and the lower tension helped the racquet with some ball pocketing and depth. The specifications strung with overgrip were these: Sw 318, W 328, RA 63. Again, a lower swing weight than expected. As I’ve stated here on the site and on my YouTube channel many times, these specifications are a part of the issue with quality control. You can easily get a 332 strung swing weight instead.

This would perhaps have been my favorite racquet of the bunch some years back, but with my self-awareness increasing, I need a bit more help from the racquet (I’m a 4.5-5.0 NTRP player, Henrik is 5.0). It delivers good control and feel and decent power, but the sweet spot is not huge and you’re not getting much in terms of top spin for free.

The average Pure Strike 98 18/20 specs from Tennis Warehouse.

Head Size: 98 in² / 632.26 cm²
Length: 27in / 68.58cm
Strung Weight:11.4oz / 323g
Balance: 13in / 33.02cm / 4 pts HL
Swingweight: 332
Stiffness: 63
Beam Width: 21mm / 23mm / 21mm
Composition: Graphite
Power Level: Low
Stroke Style: Full
Swing Speed: Fast
Racquet Colors: White/Coral
Grip Type: Babolat Syntec Team
String Pattern:
18 Mains / 20 Crosses
Mains skip: 8T,10T,8H,10H

Babolat Pure Strike 98 16/19 Review

The Babolat Pure Strike 98 16/19 is historically the most popular model. The 98 sq inch head size is for players seeking more control, but with the higher stiffness and more open string pattern (compared to the 18/20), you get more help with spin, launch, and depth.

I preferred this one over the denser pattern as it was relatively easy to use for a 98. We tested it with Babolat RPM Blast 1.25 at 48 lbs or 21.5 kg and that combination worked out well. We got the following strung specs with an overgrip: Sw 329, W 326, RA 65.

The swing weight of our review copy was a bit more aligned with what I expected, and the racquet felt solid on impact, even against high-pace shots. This racquet alongside the 100 16/20 is a racquet I’d consider as a racquet of choice.

The stiffness is a bit higher on this one, but with the string tension we played it, it did not feel uncomfortable. A very solid update and an excellent control racquet that can help you dictate points for the aggressive player.

The average Pure Strike 98 16/19 specs from Tennis Warehouse.

Head Size: 98 in² / 632.26 cm²
Length: 27in / 68.58cm
Strung Weight:11.4oz / 323g
Balance: 13in / 33.02cm / 4 pts HL
Swingweight: 330
Stiffness: 64
Beam Width: 21mm / 23mm / 21mm
Composition: Graphite
Power Level: Low-Medium
Stroke Style: Medium-Full
Swing Speed: Medium-Fast
Racquet Colors: White/Coral
Grip Type: Babolat Syntec Team
String Pattern:
16 Mains / 19 Crosses
Mains skip: 8T,8H

Babolat Pure Strike 100 16/20 Review

The Pure Strike 100 16/20 is a new addition for this year. It has a denser pattern and a lower stiffness rating than the 16/19 and that is very welcome as you get better control and comfort with this racquet.

We tested it strung with Babolat RPM Blast 1.25 at 48 lbs (21.5 kg) and the strung specs were: Sw 318, W 330, RA 61.

The Pure Strike 100 racquets come in at a lower swing weight since they are aimed more at intermediate players than the 98 and 97 sq inch Strikes. I think that makes sense and the racquet still played nice to me as the 100 sq inch head size improves stability on off-center shots compared to the 98. However, Henrik felt the need to add a little bit of weight on the sides to increase the twist weight and plow-through (new to this kind of lingo? Check out the Tennisnerd Guide to Gear).

This was the most impressive racquet in the line-up. Something we both agreed on—a Pure Strike 100 with a low stiffness and 16/20 pattern. Sign me up any day. Henrik was taken enough by it to consider a switch for the 2024 season (he plays national championships and international leagues in the M45 category). Since a 100 sq inch racquet with a dense pattern (the Percept 100D, ProKennex Ki Q+5 Pro and HEAD Speed Pro are other favorites in this spec range) is the kind of racquet that seems to perfectly balance my need for control and help, I will definitely consider it as a match-ready racquet for 2024.

It does most things well and is the most versatile racquet of the new Strikes. Intermediate and advanced players who like a balanced racquet should consider the Pure Strike 100 16/20.

The average Pure Strike 100 16/20 specs from Tennis Warehouse.

Head Size: 100 in² / 645.16 cm²
Length: 27in / 68.58cm
Strung Weight:11.4oz / 323g
Balance: 12.59in / 31.98cm / 7 pts HL
Swingweight: 320
Stiffness: 61
Beam Width: 21mm / 23mm / 21mm
Composition: Graphite
Power Level: Low-Medium
Stroke Style: Medium-Full
Swing Speed: Medium-Fast
Racquet Colors: White/Coral
Grip Type: Babolat Syntec
String Pattern:
16 Mains / 20 Crosses
Mains skip: 7T,9T,7H,9H

Babolat Pure Strike 100 16/19 Review

The Babolat Pure Strike 100 16/19 is the most powerful racquet of the updated line. You get easy depth and power with this one, but it is still controlled in launch angle and depth compared to the Aero 100 and Drive 100. We strung this racquet with Babolat RPM Blast 1.25 at 48 lbs or 21.5 kg and we felt it would have needed a few lbs higher tension to play with better control.

Strung with an overgrip, the specs on our test racquet were Sw 311, W 325, and RA 65. It has a pretty low swing weight rating, but the racquet is targeted toward intermediate players and advanced juniors, so I think the swing weight is fine. You can always customize it, if you need to increase stability and plow-through.

This racquet required the least effort from the player, but was also the racquet where I felt I couldn’t quite swing out with confidence on my shots. I felt like I needed to hold back a bit. A tension of 51 or even 53 lbs would have made me more relaxed about my depth control. The launch angle was controlled but definitely higher than the other racquets in the line-up. The Pure Strike 100 16/19 is the easiest racquet to use in the line-up besides the Pure Strike Team and I think many intermediate players will enjoy this one.

I would still not recommend any Pure Strikes to beginners, as there are more forgiving racquets on the market. But if you are convinced you want a new Strike, this is the easiest one to play with, but it was a bit much for me and Henrik in terms of power and we both preferred the 16/20.

The average Pure Strike 100 16/19 specs from Tennis Warehouse.

Head Size: 100 in² / 645.16 cm²
Length: 27in / 68.58cm
Strung Weight:11.2oz / 318g
Balance: 12.99in / 32.99cm / 4 pts HL
Swingweight: 324
Stiffness: 63
Beam Width: 21mm / 23mm / 21mm
Composition: Graphite
Power Level: Low-Medium
Stroke Style: Medium-Full
Swing Speed: Medium-Fast
Racquet Colors: White/Coral
Grip Type: Babolat Syntec Team
String Pattern:
16 Mains / 19 Crosses
Mains skip: 7T,9T,7H,9H

Babolat Pure Strike 2024 Review Summary

The Babolat Pure Strikes 2024 were all a pleasant experience to play with. Over the years, I have enjoyed the various generations of the Strikes, but I think they always struggled a bit from the high stiffness and swing weights. The NF2 tech seems to solve the first part of that equation. The swing weights still tend to be all over the place from all racquet manufacturers, so if there is a matching service where you can pick your specifications, I would recommend that.

I have noticed many arm issues can come from swinging a too heavy racquet, making it difficult to time the ball properly, so I would pay attention to the swing weight of your racquet. If you want to know more about swing weight and other racquet specifications, I would refer to the ever-expanding Tennisnerd Guide to Racquets and Strings.

These new Strikes are not a huge update compared to the predecessors, but since comfort and feel was the thing they needed to address the most, I am happy that Babolat have listened to customer feedback. The Pure Strikes 2024 are the best Strikes yet in my opinion and Henrik agrees. I will consider the Strike 100 16/20 as a tournament racquet for this year as this addition to the line was very impressive. But depending on your style, level and taste, I’m sure there can be an interesting racquet for you in this line-up.

Have you tried the new Babolat Pure Strike racquets? What do you think of them? Let me know in the comments below.

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15 comments

Michael January 7, 2024 - 00:27

Would you say the launch angle is higher on the 98 16×19 or the 100 16×20?

Reply
TN January 7, 2024 - 11:13

Quite similar! Those were my two favorites in the play-test for that reason.

Reply
Eugene Wong January 7, 2024 - 03:41

Always top notch reviews by TN. I’m excited to try out this new lineup by Babolat. ??

Reply
TN January 7, 2024 - 11:13

Thanks, Eugene!

Reply
Thomas January 7, 2024 - 13:59

Thanks for this wonderful Reviews!!!
To you think the 16/20 Strike can Help me to solve my wrist issues? I’m playing with the 98 16/19…..

Reply
TN January 8, 2024 - 09:57

Thanks, yes, I think it could be good to go to a physio or adjust technique, but in terms of gear, a softer racquet and perhaps lower tension should help too.

Reply
Rob January 7, 2024 - 15:01

Great review as always! I do always wonder though if they’ve changed the sting spacing at all versus the previous gen. Sometimes it’s imperceptible and needs to be measured with calipers.

Reply
KiziMizi January 7, 2024 - 22:25

As a satisfied reader of tennisnerd.net, I must say the Babolat Pure Strike 2024 Review left me swinging with joy. The article’s witty and informative take on racquet specs and player preferences made me laugh and learn simultaneously. Kudos to Tennisnerd for serving up an ace of a review, proving that even in the competitive world of tennis gear analysis, they’re a grand slam!

Reply
Marcel January 8, 2024 - 11:13

Hi,
good review>! Thanks.

Will there be a TOUR version (heavier) as well ?

Reply
TN January 8, 2024 - 19:15

Thanks! I don’t know, but I would guess not.

Reply
Jorge January 14, 2024 - 22:29

How would the Strike 100 16×20 compare to the PA98 (same string pattern, but guessing the PA98 would be more spin friendly/higher launch angle)? Similar power and control levels? What about the Strike 100 16×19 compared to the regular PA2023? Thanks!

Reply
Kevin January 18, 2024 - 21:57

Would you say the launch angle is higher on the strike 98 16×19 or the aero 98?

Reply
TN January 20, 2024 - 10:38

Aero

Reply
igre February 6, 2024 - 12:48

nothing new

Reply
Ralf February 7, 2024 - 13:31

What racket do you prefer for OHB? 98 16/19 or 100 16/20? Thanks.

Reply

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