Expert Review: Babolat Pure Aero VS Racquet · Unstrung
This review is my honest opinion of the tennis racquet, which I tested for 5 days in August of 2022.
About this Review: This review is my honest opinion of the tennis racquet, which I tested for 5 days in August of 2022.
The Babolat Pure Aero VS takes the popular Pure Aero 100 and ups the ante to offer more advanced players feel, control, and stability. It suits more of an all-court game than the very baseliner-friendly Pure Aero 100.
About the gear
- Model: Babolat Pure Aero VS
- Grip Size: 4 ⅜ / EU 3
- String and Tension: Babolat Addixion 16g at 55lbs
- Head size: 98
- Racquet Length: 27
- Any Customizations: NA
- Height: 5’11”
- Weight: 185lbs
- Previous Racquet Played With: Head Graphene 360+ Gravity MP
- Experience: 28 years of playing tennis
- NTRP/UTA Rating: 5.0
- When I tested these: August 2022
- Days tested: 5
- Court Surfaces: Hard
- Match Play/Practice Session/Both: Both
- Where I’ve used it: Kingsford High School, Kingsford, MI
How it performs
What I was looking for
I am not in a hurry to replace my Head Graphene 360+ Gravity MP since it suits my game so well. It has a great feel, plenty of control, and just enough pop for my needs. If I needed to find something negative, it would be stability against heavy-hitting opponents. I have been testing racquets throughout the summer to see if there are any racquets that retain the magic of the Gravity MP with more stability.
Why I chose not to purchase this gear
I wanted to like the Pure Aero VS as it takes the very popular Pure Aero 100 and gives it more control, stability, and feel, which were the things I disliked most about the Pure Aero 100. What I found was that the feel was still harsh, the sweet spot was too small, and it still was pushed around against heavy ground strokes. In the end, it just didn’t do it for me, and I am sticking with the Gravity MP.
What I love about it
- Power: While the Pure Aero VS is a toned-down version of the Pure Aero 100, it still has plenty of power on tap on ground strokes. It maintains the open 16x19 string pattern and a relatively high 67RA stiffness which contributes to that power.
- Maneuverability: The Pure Aero VS is a very similar, moderate 321RDC swingweight to my Gravity MP and offers some good maneuverability to generate racquet head speed and topspin.
- Volleys: That maneuverability I mentioned above helps the Pure Aero VS shine at the net when reacting to hard-hit passing shots.
- Control: The Pure Aero VS offers much better control than the regular Pure Aero thanks to its thinner, more flexible beam and smaller head size.
Issues I’ve encountered
- Feel: The Pure Aero 100 is my least favorite racquet on the market in terms of feel, and while the Pure Aero VS improves the feel compared to that one a little, it is still much too harsh for my preference.
- Ground Strokes: The Pure Aero VS was very hit-or-miss for me on both forehands and backhands. I struggled to find the sweet spot consistently, and the harsh feel was especially jarring when hitting a bit off-center.
- Stability: As I mentioned in the maneuverability section for things I love, the Pure Aero VS has a similar swingweight to my Gravity MP, and it gets pushed around against big-hitting opponents.
- Serves: I struggled on serve with the Pure Aero VS. The sweet spot was hard to find, and as a result, I hit a number of weak serves, which I rarely do.
Favorite moment with this gear
The Pure Aero VS is a very spin-friendly racquet, making it easy to hit high-looping forehands as a change of pace midpoint. This was especially useful during a tight match against my friend Brian. He was starting to wear me down with relentless, deep forehands, so I started to throw up some higher, looping shots rather than returning his power with power and risking errors as I tired. This change of pace helped turn the tide of the match by giving me more time to move forward and take advantage of shorter returns that he hit off the looping shots.
Value for the money vs. other options
The Babolat Pure Aero VS is tied for the highest-priced racquet at Curated with a standard price of $279. Compared to comparable racquets such as the Head Extreme Tour, Yonex VCORE 98, and Wilson Blade 98 16x19, it still provides decent value as it is within 5-10% of the price of those racquets.
The Babolat Pure Aero VS is well suited for aggressive all-court players who build their games around spin. It offers a more controlled response than the hugely popular Pure Aero 100, suiting higher-level players.