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Babolat Pure Aero Rafa

Babolat Pure Aero Rafa review

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What perfect timing as the new Pure Aero Rafa lands on the Tennishead office doormat just weeks before the great man himself takes to the clay of Roland Garros with the same racket to try and defend his French Open title in 2021 for a 14th time. Will this racket help you play like the ‘King of Clay’? Find out with Tennishead’s Babolat Pure Aero Rafa racket review

 

Background

Babolat are intrinsically linked with Nadal since the young Spaniard signed up to play with their rackets almost 20 years ago. Since then the French manufacturer has become the ‘go to’ racket brand for players aspiring to that high intensity, maximum spin style of play that has made Rafa one of the greatest players of all time.

Babolat quickly pounced on the popularity of Nadal and developed the Pure Aero range. To say it’s been a success as a range of rackets would be an understatement as the Aero has gone on to become one of the most widely played rackets of all time, particularly favoured by those seeking spin and power combined.

So what makes the Pure Aero Rafa different from the other frames in this range? Will it deliver the power and controlled spin that Babolat claim it’s perfect for?

 


Buy this racket…

To help you feel confident when purchasing this racket we’ve teamed up with a trusted retail partner, AllThingsTennis.co.uk, to make sure you get the best price combined with free premium tennis balls, next day delivery (UK only) and fantastic advice from tennis equipment experts.

To take advantage of all these benefits simply follow this link to purchase the Babolat Pure Aero Rafawith an exclusive 5% Tennishead discount.


 

Technology

Babolat highlight three main technologies which go into the manufacturer and design of the Pure Aero Rafa.

AeroModualr‘ is there to deliver ‘an aerodynamic frame integrating the bumper and grommets increases your racquet head speed and spin generation’ according to the tech experts.

FSI Spin‘ on the other hand helps provide, ‘an open string pattern for ultimate spin. Due to the longer contact time between the ball and the string, the woofer system provides maximum spin with great feeling and superior control.’

Finally, ‘Coretex pure feel‘ aims to give ‘better vibration dampening thanks to a new material integrated in the graphite of the racquet that provides pure feel with an incredible sound’.

So does the reality of playing with this racket match the manufacturer’s claims…

 

Watch as our testers try out the HEAD Radical MP 2021

The play test

Testing rackets can be a down to personal opinion so it’s important to remember that not every racket is right for every player and one person’s discomfort can equally be another’s joy. This is why we try to test rackets with a variety of players and for the Babolat Pure Aero Rafa we have two accomplished testers with very differing game styles.

Our Tennishead play testers for the Babolat Pure Aero Rafa review are:

Sue – A player who sees herself as a ‘baseline grinder’, has been playing tennis for 30 years and currently uses a Mantis 300 racket.

Will – Who reveals he’s a ‘counterpunching style of player’, has been playing for 15 years and who’s current racket is a Babolat Pure Drive.

  • Groundstrokes

Will was first to stroll onto court with the Pure Aero Rafa and he said, “I really enjoyed this one for groundstrokes. I felt it was quite easy power. I wasn’t having to try too hard with my arm and things like that. I was generally timing it quite well which was nice.”

Sue then stepped up, “As a baseline grinder it felt like I had a lot of control and I could spin the ball but it did feel quite heavy to manoeuvre around and taking it back. It felt like it was a bit of an effort to manoeuvre the ball but it didn’t feel like I was going to hit it out.”

  • Volleys and smashes

Will moved up to the net and found, “volleys and smashes were good. The rackets quite light so for smashes I was able to get my arm back and flick the wrist down and generate easy power and same with volleys, I was able to generate and hit it quite deep which was good.”

Sue then followed up by saying, “Really nice, I liked the feel of it. It felt quite crisp and clean hitting the volleys and smashes and through the air overhead it felt like the weight was giving some weight behind the smashes.”

  • Serves

Back to the baseline for Will who said, “I like this racket for serving. Because the rackets quite light I managed to generate quite a lot with my wrist and arm movement rather than having to try to hard with my shoulder and everything came a naturally which was good.”

Sue also tried some serves with thew Pure Aero and found it was, “Nice, really liked it for serving. It felt comfortable. Again I think the weight of it was heavier than what I’m used to and so that helped with the smash when I was hitting the follow throughs.”

  • We then asked our testers if the Babolat Pure Aero Rafa suited their style of play?

Will our ‘counter puncher’ said, “I would say so. I was able to generate a lot of spin. I play quite defensive which means I’m quite far back I the court most of the time. I was able to generate a lot of topspin and get quite good depth on it, so was quite nice and it suited my game well.”

Sue who professes to being a ‘baseline grinder’ said, “I think I was just getting used to the slightly heavier weight because it did feel a little bit more effort, but I think its just a matter of getting used to it, so yeah definitely.”

  • Design and style

Will felt, “the colour schemes a bit out there. The yellow and the pink is a bit different but you stand out on court which would be good.”

 Sue then said, “I love it. It’s got all the colours you would want on a racket I think, all in one go.”

  • The final question was on the price. Did our testers feel that $240/£230 is a fair price for the Babolat Pure Aero Rafa?

Sue – “It’s quite expensive but it’s a lovely racket. I think its up there. It’s a quality racket and I think it’s a fair price.”

Will – “Rackets nowadays are expensive. I think that’s probably a good price for what you’re getting. I wouldn’t mind paying that much for this racket.”

 

The specifications

For a detailed explanation of each racket measurement criteria below have a read of our guide.

Babolat Pure Aero Rafa

R.R.P. = $240/£230 (Purchase for £217 at AllThingsTennis.co.uk by following this link)

Head size = 100 sq in

Weight = 300g

String pattern = 16/19

 

In conclusion then..

If you need a racket to deliver comfortable spin then maybe this is the choice for you. When we say ‘comfortable spin’ we mean that the racket can help you add topspin without losing control of the ball, which is what our testers found with the Pure Aero Rafa.

The colour scheme is very bright and won’t be for everyone, but as a modern piece of engineering that is designed to add to your game rather then compliment it, then this racket ticks the boxes.

But as with every racket review we’ve ever published it comes with the caveat that all players are different and not every racket will be right for every player. The answer… Go and try this racket for yourself.

 

Buy this racket…

To help you feel confident when purchasing this racket we’ve teamed up with a trusted retail partner, AllThingsTennis.co.uk, to make sure you get the best price combined with free premium tennis balls, next day delivery (UK only) and fantastic advice from tennis equipment experts.

To take advantage of all these benefits simply follow this link to purchase the Babolat Pure Aero Rafa with an exclusive 5% Tennishead discount.


Babolat Pure Aero Rafa
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