If you want to hit a tennis ball with a lot of topspin, there are several racket characteristics that can help. A lower swing weight, normally found in a head-light racket, helps you to generate the necessary racket head speed. A fairly open string pattern allows the strings to move, enabling them to grip the ball and impart spin.
In addition, a well-chosen string at a moderate tension will assist. Babolat rackets are extremely popular among professionals and keen amateur players, so in this article, we will look at which of their rackets are best for spin.
Babolat makes 5 tennis rackets that are widely considered to produce plenty of spin on shots: the Babolat Pure Aero, the Babolat Pure Drive, and the Babolat Pure Strike 16×19, moving on to a lighter option, the Babolat Pure Aero Team, and finally to the more control-oriented Babolat Pure Drive VS.
With its striking yellow and black color scheme and an endorsement from the legendary Rafael Nadal, the Babolat Pure Aero will be the first choice for many players who want to apply a lot of spin. With a head-light balance and an open 16×19 string pattern, the Pure Aero ticks the most important boxes for imparting spin. Reflecting this, reviewers generally remark on the ease with which they can generate spin with this racket. This is hardly surprising given Rafa’s endorsement, as he uses more spin than almost any other player.
The Pure Aero is regarded as a fairly powerful racket, and is just as good for putting spin on your serve as it is for your groundstrokes. More recent versions also offer improved stability, so if you enjoy hitting the ball with plenty of spin, the Pure Aero is definitely worth a try.
The Pure Drive is renowned as a powerful racket, and offers a 100-square-inch head to enhance forgiveness of off-center strikes. With the same head-light balance and 16×19 string pattern as the Pure Aero, it has all the necessary attributes to help you generate plenty of spin. With the Pure Drive, most reviewers are immediately struck by the power they can produce, but this actually forces them to hit with spin in order to keep the ball in the court. This applies equally to serves and groundstrokes.
The Pure Drive feels more powerful than the Pure Aero to most users, which will not be to everyone’s taste, but certainly has the potential to generate a lot of spin.
If the Pure Aero is the ultimate spin racket, and the Pure Drive is the power option, the Pure Strike 16×19 is the model which tries to combine the best of both worlds. With a slightly smaller 98-inch head in comparison to the Pure Drive, and a similar head-light balance, the Pure Strike offers plenty of maneuverability and the potential to generate substantial racket-head speed. The open string pattern ensures that this speed can produce high levels of spin.
If you can produce high levels of racket-head speed, the Pure Strike 16×19 will offer a combination of power, spin, and control. It should certainly be included in your shortlist.
4) Lighter Option: Babolat Pure Aero Team
As its name suggests, the Pure Aero Team is similar in many ways to the Pure Aero, having the same 100 square inch head size, head-light balance, and 16×19 string pattern. Importantly, however, its swing weight is around 4-5% lighter than that of the Pure Aero, which should make it even easier to produce substantial racket head speed. The downside of this reduction in weight is a loss of some of the stability of the Pure Aero.
The Pure Aero Team is aimed primarily at intermediate players and older juniors who may lack the strength to generate high levels of racket head speed and spin with the Pure Aero. If this sounds like you, it is certainly worth considering.
5) Increased Control: Babolat Pure Drive VS
The Pure Drive VS has a 98 square inch head, compared to the 100 square inches of the Pure Drive. It retains the same balance and open stringing pattern, so it should still allow you to generate a lot of power and spin. The smaller head enhances maneuverability and control, which may be a significant benefit for some players, given the power produced by the standard Pure Drive. The Pure Drive VS is slightly lighter than the Pure Drive and offers a thinner beam, which some users feel affects its stability.
If you are considering the Pure Drive, it would certainly be worth trying the Pure Drive VS too, in order to see if the combination of power and control it offers is right for you. It will still allow you to produce ample spin.
Any of the five rackets mentioned here will help you to generate spin, especially in conjunction with the right string and a fairly low tension. The Pure Aero is the classic spin-oriented racket, endorsed by Nadal, but if you need something lighter, the Pure Aero Team may be the answer. The rackets in the Pure Drive family are a little more powerful, and if this is what you want you should certainly try these, as they are certainly not short of spin potential. Finally, the Pure Strike 16×19 offers a compromise between the strengths of the other two types of racket, so it may be ideal for some. Get some demo rackets now and see what you think.