Expert Review: Babolat Pure Aero Rafa 100 Racquet · Unstrung

This review is my honest opinion of the racket, which I purchased with my own money in May of 2021.

A man holding the Babolat Pure Aero Rafa 100 Racquet on a tennis court.

Me with the racket after a quick match! All photos courtesy of Nicolas Carrero

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About this Review: This review is my honest opinion of the racket, which I purchased with my own money in May of 2021.

My take

The Babolat Pure Aero Rafa has electric power and top spin! Intermediate to advanced players looking for a topspin-heavy racket with great maneuverability should try this racket out.

Man holding the Babolat Pure Aero Rafa 100 Racquet.

Close up on the "Rafa"

About the gear

  • Model: 2021 Babolat Pure Aero Rafa
  • Grip Size: 4 1/2
  • String and Tension: Babolat RPM Blast, 55lbs
  • Head size: 100 sq. in.
  • Racquet Length: 27”
  • Any Customizations: Wilson Pro Performance Overgrip

About me

  • Height: 5’10”
  • Weight: 170 lbs
  • Previous Racquet Played With: Wilson Clash 100, Babolat Aero Team
  • Experience: 20 years
  • NTRP/UTA Rating: 3.5

Test conditions

  • When I bought these: May 2021
  • Days tested: 4 days
  • Court Surfaces: Hard
  • Match Play/Practice Session/Both: Both
  • Where I’ve used it: Dorado, Puerto Rico, Ritz-Carlton Reserve

How it performs

Control
4/5
Feel
5/5
Maneuverability
5/5
Power
5/5
Stability
4/5
Versatility
4/5

What I was looking for

I was expecting mostly control and spin seeing as I have been using the Aero Team, which is a bit lighter and control-oriented than this racket but from the same family. I was pleasantly surprised when I started hitting with it.

Why I chose this gear

I am a big Rafa Nadal fan and my mother is an even bigger fan. She bought the racket from us at Curated a few months after it was released! I have an older Pure Aero and the recent Aero Team, so I’m definitely a big Babolat fan. I wanted to try out the racket after seeing Rafa use it the last few years on tour. This racket surprised me at first contact. I don’t play with much topspin, and yet my forehand was landing deeper and had a higher arch within minutes of playing with this racket.

Inner paint job of the Babolat Pure Aero Rafa 100 Racquet.

Close up so you can see inner paint job

What I love about it

  • Control: The racket has a smooth feel and good control. The added flexibility helps make it feel less stiff and it feels really nice and responsive when making contact with the ball. It has a feathery touch but doesn’t get overpowered either.
  • Power: This is what I mostly took out of the week of testing (along with topspin). My ground strokes were landing deeper and I could return powerful serves more effectively than my lighter, control-oriented Wilson Clash 100. A thick racket beam combined with the RPM Blast strings makes the ball pop every time.
  • Feel: Babolat used a Cortex dampening material on this racket and it shows. The material is placed on the racket head and it really helps with the feel and impact when making contact with the ball. Cortex dampening is used to create a softer touch and feel than previous Aero versions.
  • Stability: FSI Spin technology is used on this racket. This means that the strings are strung with a bit more space in between them and a bit wider than most rackets, which lends itself to more topspin and power.
  • Maneuverability: Like the Aero and Aero Team, this racket is light and great for baseline ralliers. Having to run to the corner to defend a deep shot is easy with this racket.
  • Appearance: It wouldn’t be a review of this racket if I didn’t mention its paint job and cosmetic feel. The yellow combined with the purple, and a touch of orange, works really well. Very unique color combination, as far as tennis rackets go. It looks awesome and doesn’t scrape or get discolored at all after more than a year of being used. One of the best-looking rackets out there, for sure!

Issues I’ve encountered

  • Versatility: Sometimes the racket would feel a bit unstable at the net and with volleys, but that may also be likely due to my suspect net game.

Full Babolat Pure Aero Rafa 100 Racquet and tennis ball.

Favorite moment with this gear

My favorite moment with this racket definitely has to be my first day trying it out. Coming off the control, feel-oriented Wilson Clash 100, this racket felt like it added power to my game immediately. My forehands would loop a bit more than they usually would and I attribute that to the natural topspin this racket gives. Had me thinking I was Rafa!

Value for the money vs. other options

This is definitely one of the best tweener rackets on the market. As far as 100 square inch rackets, Babolat is king. And they hit it out of the park again with this one. Anybody looking for more power and spin without having to get a heavier racket should give this racket a try. This racket is comparable to the Aero Team and the normal Aero; both are less expensive options. The Pure Aero might have more pure power to it than both of those but the feel is similar. The Wilson Clash 100 is another racket that feels pretty similar if both of them are played back to back. The main difference players will feel with the Rafa is it has a bit more stability and power. At a lower price than the Clash, it’s a great option!

Final verdict

The Babolat Pure Aero Rafa 100 is ideal for intermediate to advanced players looking to add more bite and spin to their game. The feel and look are an added bonus. If it works for arguably the best player ever, it works for me!

Selling Babolat on Curated.com
Babolat Pure Aero Rafa 100 Racquet · Unstrung
$259.00
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Written By
I was born and raised in Puerto Rico under a huge tennis family. My dad and uncle both represented Puerto Rico in the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City and both won college titles in the states. I wasn't quite as blessed with their talent, but I was blessed to be around them all my life and have grown wi...

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