Babolat has updated the iconic Pure Drive, one of the best selling racquets of all time, by integrating a new technology that improves the racquet's feel, but have kept the DNA of the racquet intact.
It's never easy to make over an iconic product. Change it too much and you risk alienating the people that made the product so popular in the first place. If you don't change it enough, people likely will not see the need to invest in the new version of the product. This is the challenge that Babolat faces everytime they embark on the job of updating their iconic Pure Drive.
Smartly, Babolat has kept the key specification of the racquet the same in the Pure Drive 2018. The 100 square inch head remains, as well as the 10.6 ounce (300 gram) unstrung weight and the 7 points head light (320 mm) unstrung balance. Therefore, there is no denying that this update is still very much a Pure Drive.
Where Babolat have made changes with this new Pure Drive is by introducing a new technology that aims to improve the feel of the racquet. This new technology is called Cortex Pure Feel and Babolat says it offers better vibration dampening thanks to new material integrated into the graphite of the racquet that helps provide pristine sound and a more direct feel during ball contact. This is what Babolat had to say about Cortex Pure Feel; "Babolat integrated a technology to continue to improve the feel of the racket. Known for its power, the new Pure Drive offers optimal comfort and feeling on every shot. Since the feel of the game is linked to several factors, especially vibration, the French brand has a major partnership with an accredited company that works with sports cars and the aeronautic market: SMAC. SMAC is specialized in vibration management in sectors where it is crucial to guarantee security and performance. After many tests, the conclusions have been clearly defined. The feel of the game is related to 2 factors: the duration and the vibration amplitude on each shot. After this study, technical choices were validated."
Babolat has also update the cosmetics on the Pure Drive 2018. The choice of the new vibrant blue colour was also made with lots of close consideration. “This blue symbolizes speed and power. We also selected it because we know that its color and brightness changes in different light. Some may feel that the previous model wasn’t inventive enough, so our goal was to modernize the origins of the Pure Drive. The blue is part of the Babolat origins and in every design element, we want to differentiate ourselves from the competition. The challenge is to propose a design that is in harmony with the benefits of the racket.”
This latest version of the Pure Drive continues to be an extremely versatile racquet and should continue to appeal to a wide range of different players with differing levels and playing styles. The improvements in the racquet's feel should only add to the legacy of this iconic racquet.
- Head Size: 100 sq. inches / 645 sq. cm
- Length: 27 inches / 68.58 cm
- Weight: 10.6 oz / 300 g unstrung
- Balance: 7 pts head light / 320mm unstrung
- Swingweight: 317 strung
- Beam width: 23.5mm / 26mm / 23mm
- Flex: 71 RA
- Tension Range: 50-59 lbs / 23-27 kg
- String Pattern: 16/19
Frame String Interaction (FSI) Technology: FSI provides a tighter stringing pattern in the sweet spot and works with the optimized Woofer System to allow for better control and feel of the ball.
Elliptic Geometry: The elliptical frame shape offers high resistance to twisting and bending for optimal power.
Cortex Pure Feel: Babolat’s Cortex Pure Feel is powered by SMAC: better vibration dampening thanks to new material integrated in the graphite of the racquet that provides an incredible sound and more direct feel during at impact.
Woofer System: The first and most effective frame-string link system: a longer ball-string contact time for greater control and a sensation of comfort.