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Friday, September 13, 2013 Racquet Review of the Week - Babolat Drive Max 105

babolat drive max 105

The Babolat Drive Max 105 weighs in at a modest 9.2 oz., the same as the slightly larger Drive Max 110, and balances out at 1 point head light on its 27 inch frame. Babolat’s classic 16x19 Drive series string pattern provides excellent string spacing and should give us the spin we’ve become used to from this line. A 105 square inch headsize makes it fall right in that borderline area between midplus and oversized.

From the Baseline

The Drive Max 105 is very easy to swing fast and, combined with its strong flex, it’s a snap to drive the ball the length of the court. A light, headlight racquet, I found it easy to “snap” up on the ball for topspin, a great way to help control the frame’s power (that should help women and juniors generate racquet speed). That said, however, the sweet spot seems a bit low on the head, as many lighter weight racquets do. So, it may be better suited to flat or slice strokes than big topspin play. Additionally, you can feel a little stiffness right away, and most players would be advised to use softer, more comfortable strings to take some of the jolt out.

babolat drive max 105

babolat drive max 105

Serves and Volleys

The Max 105’s light weight makes it a dream to maneuver at net, never feeling rushed or out of position on even the quickest volley exchanges. The stiffness doesn’t help in the feel department, but one place it really shines is on swinging volleys, where its speed and spin-friendly string pattern allowed me to take a big, controlled rip at midcourt floaters. The Drive Max 105’s low weight make it a server’s friend, as I found it easy to swing quickly overhead on all types of serves, powering off flatter balls and cranking up some serious slice and kick on second serves. The same qualities make it great on overheads, its high level of racquet speed making it a breeze to snap off smashes from anywhere in the court.

Conclusion

The Babolat Drive Max 105 is a solid addition to the Drive series, and perfect for women, developing juniors and players whose swings aren’t big enough for the heavier Pure Drive and Aero Pro Drive models. Lower weight and a larger head size allow for more power and control on mishits, and the strong flex makes a shorter slower swing pack more punch. Intermediate-level doubles players will love its quick action at net, and its speed on serve and return of serve will serve players of 3.5 levels and below quite well.

babolat drive max 105


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