Babolat Pure Strike 18x20 Racquets Customer feedback

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Please include any relevant information such as string type and tension, skill level and style of play.

Comments: This stick doesn't give you anything, but it allows you to take everything. You have to supply the racquet head speed to produce power. You have to produce the stroke mechanics to produce uber-spin. You need technique and strength to serve big. What you don't get are surprises. No trampoline "surprise" power. No crazy paced forehand winners, where you only swung with average racquet speed. No stupid aces, why you were falling off balance, chasing your bad toss. This stick simply rewards you for being able to play the game. It's the perfect extension of your skill, movement and tactics. I was picking very small targets and hitting them consistently. This was especially true with down the line shots, where I tried hitting the lines and could make that happen a third of the time. So then I assumed, perhaps I'm just having a crazy good day. So I grabbed my buddies Pure Drive and hit well, but could not hit into the same small windows. Not at all. The Pure Drive is the most rewarding stick in the world. It immediately makes you 10% better. But it also can make you lazy and help you plateau faster. The Pure Strike rewards you when you do the right things and reminds you when you don't. If you actually listen, you have a trainer in your hand. The Pure Drive makes you think you are better than you really are, as it will allow you to hit shots off balance, out of position, late on preparation, etc. You can hit bigger serves, without any improvement in your toss of mechanics. You can block back big serves, with minimal effort. You can create spin without trying. And you peak at 4.0 (95% of you) because you can get way with a compromised foundation. If you like Babolats and you honestly want to improve, not just win points easier, demo the Pure Strike. In a year, when you are playing as a 5.0 player, you can look back at your old hitting partner and say "why are you still swimming in the safety of the shallow end? Jump in!"
From: Richard, 8/15

Comments: I have been using this racquet since last year and it has been a great upgrade from the Wilson BLX Bold. I am a 4.0 player and this racquet is definitely a control racquet. Just like everyone else, if you miss the sweetspot then you will not get the shot you want. I first strung it with a nylon string and that was great for 3 sets, but then it went dead. Next, I switched to Babolat RPM Dual at 58 lbs and hated it until the strings opened up thats when the sweetspot opened and the shots became amazing. I recently switched to Tier 1 Firewire at 54 lbs and I can't believe how much difference between the two strings have been. So far T1 is the best complement to this racquet. Control is still there and now I have maximized the spin. I recommend adding weight at 10 & 2 to open up the sweet spot for the serve and groundstrokes. Overall, customize this to your liking and you got yourself a very strong complement to your game.
From: Aaron, 5/15

Comments: I made the switch from my old Babolat Pure Drive Roddick that I had been using for a while. It was the version that had the royal blue and white decals. I had demoed newer versions of the Pure Drive, but none compared to my Roddick. I put lead tape at 3 and 9 and balanced it on the top of the handle. However, what I needed was not more power, it was more control. I tried other control oriented racquets, including the Blade and RF97. I was leaning towards the RF97 until the owner of my tennis club recommended the Pure Strike 18x20 to me. I immediately fell in love with it. The control is ridiculous, and placing the ball deep in the court comes with ease. It doesn't require a huge backswing to get power, just timing. Volleys are very controllable, and spin and power on serves in relatively simple. The number one thing that this racquet helped me out with was taking backhands on the rise and short angles off of both wings. The one knock I have with this magnificent piece of French engineering is that you have to time the your swing perfectly. If you can do this, the results are the cleanest balls you will ever hit. If not, lots of mishits are coming your way. All in all, a stupendous racquet for the advanced player.
From: Nathan, 3/15

Comments: I like Babolat racquets and I love the control of the 18x20. I wish Babolat made this version of 18x20 in a lighter version about 10.3-10.5 ounces strung. I'm a senior, 54 years of age, and my wrist is getting old and is developing pains when using heavy racquets over 11 ounces and I need a lighter version but with good control.
From: Jack, 1/15

Comments: I am playing with the 16x19 version of this racquet and really enjoyed it. My friend bought the 18x20 so I gave it a try this morning. Not surprisingly, this one offers a bit more control and a more solid feel than the 16x19. Against hard hitting players, it will perform well. If you are used to hitting flat shots (I used to play with the Wilson BLX 95), you will like this racquet. However spin is more difficult to generate. I would imagine if you try out various string tensions and string combinations, it will alter the playing characteristics of this stick. So my comment above is really comparing like with like (string and tension) vs. the 16x19.
From: Mark, 1/15

Comments: I've read a bunch of other reviews and I agree with every one of them, but here's what I can add: This racquet play with a ton of control and for an 18x20 string pattern spin is exceptional. Power is about what you'd expect based on the specs. When I demoed the racquet with poly it was terrible. Tiny sweet spot, no power, couldn't see playing with this at all. Exactly how the TW review described it. But now I'm demoing the racquet with xcel and I think this is a great racquet. The sweetspot is opened up and it's a excellent control racquet and hit a very heavy ball. Prestige MP users will love this stick as it generate a ton more spin and a bit more power. The only challenge for me is the swing weight is just above my level. I'm adding weight to the butt cap, but it's still a lot of racquet for me to slog around, compared to the prestige pro which is my usual racquet.
From: Anon, 8/14

Comments: I am currently demoing this racquet. My regular stick is the Pure Drive. I love this Pure Strike. If I could sum it up in two words it would be "precise" and "stable." I can hit with much more accuracy than ever before. I was a little worried about going from a 16x19 to a 18x20 string pattern and a slightly smaller head size, but so far that has not been a problem, in fact, I'm loving it. The only downside is the stock strings in the racquet. They are XCEL which to me are way too soft. Makes it feel like im hitting with cotton wool! If I do buy this racquet, I will be cutting the XCEL out and putting some RPM blast in.
From: Mike, 8/14

Comments: I switched to this after my IG and Graphene Speed MP because I was seeking more control. I found it but when I attack and hit my forehand out of the sweet spot, I miss quite a lot. Anyone else suffering from this? All in all, it is a sweet racquet!
From: Rado, 7/14

Comments: I switched from a Pure Drive GT to this racquet. I love the Pure Strike. It is true that it has a smaller sweet spot and it does take a bit of hand eye coordination to use. But when you attack the ball and hit the sweet spot it is one of the best racquets I have ever used. This is one of those rackets that make you confidant that you won't miss your shot which is awesome!
From: Mac, 7/14

Comments: I tried this racquet for a week. It felt very good from the beginning and had power when you hit the ball solidly. Unfortunately, I had many miss hits, especially on the backhand side. The racquet has a small sweet spot, which is not my need.
From: Mark, 5/14

Comments: I really like this racquet. It blends a player's frame with modern technology and responsiveness. Feels more crisp than the Pure Storms and much more lively than the older Aero Storms. I like the control from the 18x20 pattern and I can still generate enough spin with good technique. I strung a poly-multi hybrid which combines spin and power with touch. Something about the Drive racquets make them feel hollow, this one does not, even though it's a fairly stiff Babolat. Highly recommended, definitely test it out. For people comparing it to the Wilson Blade, the Pure Strike is more snappy and fast feeling, not as much plow through though. I think I will have the confidence to switch from my old Aero Storm tours to this one.
From: Jimmy, 5/14

Comments: The best of the Strikes, in my opinion, but that's not saying much. It really does have a small sweet spot. It is a confused racquet. It's hard to tell what Babalot was going for, since they intentionally made it to have a small sweet spot. Weird. I loosened up the tension to 48 lbs with ALU 16 ga. but it still felt like hitting a rock when hit off center. It's too bad cause it's a cool looking racquet.
From: Mark, 5/14

Comments: I played with a demo of this frame for about a week and really liked the frame. However, the one I purchased was a bit heavier than the same grip sized demo. I had been playing with the GT Pure Storms for about 15 months, and this Pure Strike provides a much more solid feel from the baseline and on serves. I have had to work with the Pure Strike to find the sweet spot, but when I connect, my hitting partners are on the defensive. If you are an attacking player and want more "controlled power," give this Pure Strike a try.
From: Marc, 5/14

Comments: Coming from hitting with a Head Graphene Speed Pro (strung with RPM Blast 17 at 47 pounds), my initial feeling was that this racquet was stiff and harsh, considering that I had Babolat RPM Blast 16 at 55 pounds (lowest rec. tension) especially when hitting a flat serve. Once string tension dropped, the racquet started coming alive with spin and stability. Only negative I can think of is if you miss the sweet spot at the top of the head it can be jarring. The big negative impact on the top of the head might be why people consider the sweet spot to be small, but its really any different than my previous racquet. Next stringing I might start at 50-53 pounds of RPM Blast.
From: James, 5/14

Comments: I picked this one out of all the Pure Strikes. The Tour version was a bit too hefty for me and I wanted a tad more speed and maneuverability. The 100 square inch version was quite a bit less controllable with a more open string pattern and larger head size. I am 4.0 have it strung with Babolat Hurricane Pro at 57.
From: Marco, 4/14

Comments: This racquet came with Babolat Addiction string, 16 gauge at approx. 58 lbs. I tried this racquet as I am currently using a Wilson Blade 98 (18x20) and am looking for something with just a little less of a swing weight which the Babolat Pure Strike has (swing weight of 324 vs. the 330 of the Wilson). I found the Babolat to be unstable in my hands. Good control when all the stars are perfectly aligned but against heavy hitters not so much. In addition, the swing weight was a little too high for my personal liking.
From: David, 3/14

Comments: This racquet is definitely one of my favorites. I like to play first strike tennis and this racquet is stable and very easy to swing. I was amazed at how large the sweetspot was to the sides of the frame thanks to x-sider but the sweetspot is definitely small towards the top of the racquet, which could explain why TW review said the sweetspot was small, since advanced players tend to hit higher in the string bed. I would put some lead at 12 just to drag the sweetspot up. Power was a bit more than I was used to (my Pure Storm), but it was still very controllable and I could put away volleys and groundstrokes with ease. As for spin, this 18x20 racquet is very good but I'm going to wait till the 16x19 comes out before I switch to this since I want even more spin. Overall, I really enjoyed playing with this racquet and it's definitely a good choice for an attack minded player.
From: Ken, 3/14

Comments: After using the Babolat Pure Drive Lite since it came out, I just switched to this one. I am between a 4.0 and 4.5. In my opinion, this racquet is ideal for baseliners. It is very stable and has a solid feel. The sweet spot is quite large. I have it strung at 52 lbs and I am very happy with it.
From: Paul, 2/14

Comments: Recently bought this racquet and I'm loving it, sweetspot is suprisingly big as I was concerned before buying as TW playtesters said it was small. Swings easily and despite it being 18x20, there's a lot of power and spin potential, especially if you string it below 50 pounds. Changed the orignal grip to Babolat Natural Grip with an overgrip, now it's 8 points HL, which I like. Overall, this racquet is a keeper.
From: Alex, 2/14

Comments: I just demo'd this racquet this weekend. Overall, it is a great racket compared to my APD Plus and also Pure Control (demo). The swing is very fast and also the sweet spot is big (I am very surprised why TW review states that the sweet spot is small because even according to the TW University Lab Review, this racquet has a very big sweet zone).
From: Harry, 2/14

Comments: Just finished the demo of this racquet. Felt heavier than its weight. Also played with the "tour" which is 12 ounces and felt lighter due to its head light balance and was much more crisp, forgiving, and overall a better racquet. If you are debating between this and the tour pick the Tour.
From: Preston, 2/14

Comments: Really awesome racquet. I normally don't like Babolat racquets, but this one is the best. Good everywhere from the baseline to the net. Great control and feel that I don't find with other Babolat racquets. I think it's better for people who hit flat and like to hit hard. Also has good power but not too powerful and you need good strokes for this racquet to take advantage of it. Also, I think stringing low tension really makes this racquet play better. At first I strung with RPM at 55 lbs, but not much power at all. I drop down to 48 lbs and wow. Very good power and spin and control still great. I love this racquet. And it looks cool too.
From: Dimitri, 1/14

Comments: Good all around racquet that does everything well. Sweet spot is high up in the racquet head which took me a little while to get used to. My demo was strung with Babolat Addiction at 60 pounds which is too tight for this frame considering its 18x20 string pattern. Would try stringing the racquet first at its minimum recommended tension of 55 pounds, less than this if you use a polyester string. This racquet has a great looking color scheme and a very aerodynamic looking profile -- it really stands out on the court.
From: Eric, 1/14

Comments: Solid frame and plays heavier than its weight. Very good all-around including from baseline and at net. Can serve very big with it too. Pretty stiff, but not as stiff as Pure Drive or AeroPro Drive. Good power and very good control. Grip is a little big for its size. A little more spin would be nice but overall an excellent racquet.
From: Mike, 1/14

Comments: Bought 2. Overall, it is a good racquet all around. But sometimes I feel like it is like an old aluminum kind of material. The head is not as firm as the Wilson Blade. Also, the middle of the string bed is tighter than the Wilson Blade string bed. After I added lead at 3 and 9 o'clock, I feel better. I will try to find a string for this racquet and see how it works. But overall, I like Babolat racquets.
From: Nick, 1/14

Comments: Great racquet! Good control on all shots. Very flexible feel. Swingweight makes for a little heavier feel to maneuver. I recommend stringing this racquet at 50 lbs max with a polyester string.
From: Juan, 1/14

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