If you are a beginner or recreational player, or a junior just considering your first full-sized racket, you will be pleased to know that Babolat offer a range aimed squarely at you. Without some of the high-performance characteristics that mark out their tour models, the Boost range nonetheless incorporates the quality materials and design that you would expect from Babolat. Even better, most Boost rackets are available for less than $100. So, what are the best Babolat rackets under $100?
The top 3 best Babolat rackets under $100 are the Babolat Boost Drive 2021, the Babolat Boost Aero Yellow, and the Babolat Boost S (Strike). Each retains some characteristics from one of the more expensive rackets for advanced players for which Babolat are renowned, and each one can be a good fit for players with different playing styles.
The Boost Drive is fairly light, weighing 272g strung, and has a large 105 square-inch head. It has an open 16×19 string pattern, and a moderate stiffness rating of 65 on Babolat’s scale. The Boost Drive has a slightly head-heavy balance, giving it a swingweight of 312. So, what do all of these numbers mean in practice? The large head will mean that the racket is fairly forgiving of off-centre strikes. The head-heavy balance and open stringing pattern will enable a good level of power to be generated, although the lack of stiffness of the frame will prevent it from producing the same level of ferocity as the Pure Drive. There should be no problem generating a reasonable level of spin with a 16×19 stringing pattern, although the large head and head-heavy balance may limit racket head speed. Similarly, the large head of the Boost Drive may limit maneuverability during net play, although the light weight may compensate to some extent.
The Boost Drive is basically an affordable power racket, so if you want a little more pace in your shots it is certainly worth trying.
The Boost Aero Yellow weighs in at 278g strung. It is head heavy, but not quite to the same extent as the Boost Drive, giving it a swingweight of 306. It has an open 16×19 string pattern, and is slightly stiffer than the Boost Drive, with a rating of 67. The Boost Aero has a fairly large 102 square-inch head. Essentially, the Boost Aero looks quite a bit like the pricier Pure Aero, and is similarly aimed towards spin. It is not the most powerful racket, but, if you are able to generate a reasonable amount of racket head speed, it will help you to produce plenty of rpms. The downside of the Boost Aero is probably its lack of stability, which could cause issues with precision and control, especially at the net. Also, if you do need a bit of extra power from your racket, the Boost Aero is probably not the best one to provide it.
The Boost Aero is a racket which can generate a lot of spin at a bargain price. If you do not aim to spin the ball heavily, you will probably be better off looking at other options.
The Boost S (Strike) features a 102 square-inch head and weighs 295g strung. Despite having a head-light balance, it has a swingweight of 312. It has an open, 16×19 string pattern, and is marginally stiffer than the other two rackets reviewed here, with a rating of 68. The Boost S (Strike) is designed to be more of an all-rounder’s racket than the Boost Drive and Boost Aero. It is not aimed specifically at generating power or spin, although it should produce reasonable levels of both thanks to the open string pattern. It offers higher levels of precision and control than the other Boost rackets, due to its greater stiffness and head-light balance. This means that it is also a more practical choice if you like to play a volleying game.
The Boost S (Strike) is the best of these options if you are a flexible, all-court player who wants to combine power and spin with precision and control.
If your budget is limited, you are still learning the game, or you only play occasionally, the Babolat Boost range provides some excellent options that won’t break the bank. If you want power, try the Boost Drive 2021. If spin is your thing, the Boost Aero Yellow will get that ball rotating, at the expense of a little power. If you want a bit more control, and are prepared to compromise a little to find a good balance, try the Boost S (Strike).