Perhaps no racquet symbolizes the modern power game quite like the Babolat Pure Drive. For more than 20 years the iconic frame has enjoyed immense popularity at all levels, from beginners to Grand Slam winners. Easy to swing with impressive stability for its weight, the Pure Drive has become a staple for aggressive players who like to attack the ball with pace and spin. Its celebrity status in the racquet world makes the release of a new version like U2 putting out another album. And like a band that knows its audience, this latest Pure Drive keeps the DNA fans have come to expect with heightened levels of feel and comfort. The snazzy new electric blue paint job is just a nice bonus.
Two key innovations highlight the update. The first, FSI Power, is an advancement of a technology introduced in the previous iteration of the Pure Drive. That original modification raised the frame’s sweet spot and tightened the string pattern in the contact zone for better directional control. FSI Power optimizes that string pattern further and includes new diamond grommets for a more expansive sweet spot, increasing hitting power, even when contact is off-center.
The second improvement is Cortex Pure Feel. Babolat has long employed Cortex to manage shock and vibration in its racquets. This latest version is the result of a partnership between Babolat and SMAC, a French aerospace company. A new material, SMACWRAP (thin viscoelastic rubber), has been integrated into the graphite of the racquet to allow an optimal amount of vibration to transfer to the player for enhanced feel and a superior sound at impact.
The lineup for the new Pure Drive remains unchanged. More competitive players will be interested in the standard Pure Drive, the extended Pure Drive+, the heavier Tour and the Tour+. Recreational players and those seeking lighter models have the options of the Team, Lite, 107 and 110. The flagship Pure Drive 100, and accompanying bags, will be available later this month, with the rest of the family rolling out later in the year. Check back in the coming weeks for additional information and reviews.