Babolat has used the phrase “power to the player” in past marketing efforts. The introduction of the new Pure Aero Lite is an indication that this mantra should be taken seriously. The Lite takes all of the technological advances of the new line and puts them in a racquet that is light enough for players of any level to use. The revised Aeromodular2 shaft creates less drag as the frame cuts through the air. Players have more access to power and spin with the FSI Spin string pattern, thank to more space in between cross strings. And for those concerned about comfort, Babolat has improved the feel by moving the Cortex dampening system inside the frame itself. Here’s a look at how this lightweight power frame plays on court.
Whether hitting forehands or backhands, players will find plenty of racquet head speed with the Pure Aero Lite. I had no trouble whipping the frame through contact from either side. The 10 oz strung weight ensured the frame came around quickly with ample pace. The 100 inch head had plenty of forgiveness and a sizeable sweet spot. The FSI string pattern did a good job of keeping the power level up in shots I hit off the top of the string bed. This model definitely did not drive the ball through the back of the court like the heavier models but developing players should find the amount of pop to be more than adequate. The power level was also helped by the fact that this model has an even balance with a bit more weight in the head. I also found this to help with stability as the frame exhibited less flutter than I anticipated against bigger hitters. I was able to attack short balls but had to be ready to play an additional ball as the Lite doesn’t flatten out shots with the same authority as other version. As with all of the frames in this line, spin generation was outstanding. The whippy feel and open pattern allowed me to clear the net with excellent margin, even on my typically much flatter backhand. Directional accuracy was on par with the rest of the line but I still found this to be a power oriented baseline weapon.
Volleys & Serves
The Pure Aero Lite will make any player feel like they have quick hands at the net. The low weight made it ridiculously easy for me to bring the racquet into position during exchanges. The quick handling also paid dividends when aggressively attacking volleys. The solid power level made quick work of most high volleys. Balls I was less aggressive with sat up a bit more and touch volleys tended to float a bit more without the extra weight pushing them. I found a decent level of response for attempting drop volleys but my success rate was still much higher when I focused on attacking at the net.
The super charged racquet head speed of the Pure Aero Lite was definitely on display on serve. I could add head speed through contact at will and generate excellent pace on flat serves. While the serves didn’t move through the court with the same weight as with heavier frames, there was still ample ball speed to keep my opponents from getting too aggressive. The tremendous head speed and spin friendly pattern allowed me to add plenty of kick to second serves. I generated a nice high bounce that stayed out of returner’s strike zones. Slice serves were also solid although I felt that the Lite did not keep them as low and skidding as the other models did.
With the Pure Aero line, it’s clear Babolat has taken steps to address the feel of these frames. The Lite played with the same crisp clean feel of the rest of the line. The feedback on contact was much improved, providing more confidence in what the ball was going to do off the strings. While still a firm frame, the Lite had clean feedback across the entire string bed. Moving the Cortex system inside the frame seemed to have improved the amount of vibration it filtered out. I found more comfort with this version than any of the previous AeroPro Drive versions.
The Babolat Pure Aero Lite is a great choice for players with slower swing speeds and those that need a racquet that is exceedingly easy to play with. It offers excellent power and spin and its quick feel make it a capable performer at the net. The end result is an all court racquet that should help players add power and spin to their game without compromising on comfort and response.
About the Reviewer: Matt Locke currently serves as the Junior Programs & Development Coordinator for USTA-Idaho and is an active USTA League and Tournament player.