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Babolat Helps You Choose the Right String (and More)

Djokovic Murray Head

By Matt Steverson

Not one to be outdone in the technology department, Babolat has come up with new frames featuring improved technology. They have also developed new strings along with a system to match string and player types more efficiently.

Strings and String Profiles: We know: “Profiling is bad!” However, when it comes to deciding what the best string is for your game, Babolat’s String profiles will help you make better decisions. If you seldom break strings and desire more power and comfort, you fit squarely into Profile A, and have a myriad of choices in performance strings. Starting with solid-core Babolat Synthetic Gut, you can peruse their outstanding Excel line (Excel, Excel French Open and Excel Power), the reasonably-priced and playable Addiction series, the ever-popular VS Natural Gut series (VS Touch, VS Team, and Tonic +). The newest and most intriguing performance string, however, is Origin, a polyamide monofilament (single-strand) string that promises increased power and comfort, along with the spin advantage that monofilament strings provide.

Profile B is where a lot of players will find themselves. If you break strings once in a while, and are looking for a versatile, well-rounded string job, Babolat has not forgotten you. Starting with the new SG Spiraltek, a polyamide solid-core synthetic gut with an added Spiraltek filament for power and comfort, Babolat then branches out into three hybrid string combinations, matching poly with performance synthetics or gut. Pro Hurricane Tour + Excel gives more value-conscious hybrid players a solid, spin-producing poly and a comfortable, powerful multifilament synthetic to make a solid-performing string face. Those looking for “a little bit more” will be more attracted to Babolat’s two gut/poly hybrids, Pro Hurricane Tour + VS, or RPM Blast + VS, providing poly spin with gut’s ultimate power and comfort.

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Head Radical MP

String breakers looking for durability with control fit squarely into Babolat’s Profile C, and have several excellent string choices. An old standby remains in Pro Hurricane, one of Babolat’s original monofilament poly strings, and still popular among juniors and college players. Pro Hurricance Tour takes spin to another level with an octagonal shape. RPM Team makes poly more comfortable by injecting micro air bubbles into the mix for more flexibility and shock absorption, and is now available in a new pink color for all you female string breakers out there. The ultimate Babolat poly string is still Rafael Nadal’s choice: RPM Blast. The RPM octagonal shape provides high level of spin, and its unique compound produces great power and a unique feel. RPM Dual is a 2-compound string – poly and titanium-based – to provide durability along with a firmer feel and improved tension maintenance.

Racquets: Make a Pure Strike The Babolat Pure Strike frame has been talked about and photographed for awhile now in the hands of French star Jo-Wilfried Tsonga. However, what hasn’t been discussed are the amazing number of technological advances Babolat has built into it.

Starting off with Hybrid Frame Construction, Babolat has combined square and elliptical (aerodynamic) geometries in the Pure Strike’s shaft design, allowing for added racquet speed and reduced flex for power and precision, and the best response at impact of any frame in its segment. Hybrid Frame Construction combines with Babolat’s Stabilizer Technolgy, using a stiffer carbon fiber in the frame for improved stability and control. X-Sider technology increases the width of the frame at the center of the string bed, effectively increasing the sweet spot by 10% for added forgiveness on off-center hits. Evo Beam is a variable-width profile (21mm at tip and handle, and 23mm in the center of the head) which reduces frame torque at impact for more control and forgiveness. Babolat’s legendary Woofer technology is improved with the new Response Woofer, injecting PEBAX material into the grommets, allowing for increased dwell time and power from the string bed, grommets and frame.

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HEad Radical Rev

Whew! That’s a lot of tech for a player’s stick, and Babolat isn’t done with the Pure Strike yet. The original Pure Strike 98 18x20 (in May, a 16x19 version will be available) is joined by a 100 square inch version using a 16x19 string pattern, and the heavier Pure Strike Tour 98 18x20.

Return of a Classic: Babolat is reintroducing the Pure Control for 2014, and it is not only a “retro” design, but it is also chock full of technology. Flex Carbon is a new frame layup with a lower density of carbon fibers for increased flexibility and control. In fact, the new Pure Control has only 3000 carbon fibers, half that of the Pure Storm. Babolat’s Graphite Tungsten Technology (GT) braids tungsten filaments with the carbon fiber strategically throughout the frame for added control and feel, along with 10% additional power (even control players want to hit it harder!). The power and comfort contribution of Woofer technology combines with a standard beam profile to make the new Pure Control (and Pure Control Tour) a worthy successor to a Babolat classic.

In Conclusion: Babolat has two of the most, if not the two most, popular racquets in the world today, the immortal tweeners: the Pure Drive and Aero Pro Drive. However, they realize that not every player wants a lighter, more powerful frame. The new Pure Strike series, along with the updated Pure Control line, should boost Babolat’s standing in the “player’s frame” market, and should also be a “must demo” for any advanced player.

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