Babolat Pure Aero 98 [REVIEW]
Tennis Racquets

Babolat Pure Aero 98 [REVIEW]

The Babolat Pure Aero 98 is just the right racket for players who play with lots of spin and just as much speed.

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  • The most important thing about the Pure Aero 98
  • Successor to the Pure Aero VS
  • More control than the Pure Aero (100)
  • For players with high swing speed

What’s new with the Pure Aero 98?

The Pure Aero 98 has only been slightly changed on paper from its predecessor, the Pure Aero VS. But I can say in advance that in practice it feels like significantly more changes that are not so easy to find in the technical details.

The new 98 is 2 points softer and now has an RA of 65.

Babolat removed some technologies that were present in VS but also added some new ones.

Tech Pure Aero 98 Pure Aero VS
Aeromodular 3
FSI Spin
SWX PURE FEEL
NF² – Tech
Cortex Pure Feel

Babolat Pure Aero 98

What’s a “Pure Aero 98”?

The Pure Aero has been the successor to the AeroPro Drive for about 10 years and has been the topspin #1 racket since day one.

The new Pure Aero 98 is the successor to the Pure Aero VS. The VS was a very popular variant with a little more control for tournament players. The difference to the “normal” Pure Aero lies in the smaller club head, which is 2 sq in smaller, i.e. 98 sq in.

Babolat decided to put the VS in the regular Pure Aero series and renamed it the Pure Aero 98. I think the name change makes sense as it was quite confusing as nobody knew what “VS” stood for.

Technologies in the FX 500

All the technologies in the Pure Aero 98 are explained here in an easily understandable way:

 

How does SWX PURE FEEL work?

The SWX Pure Feel is a special material in the graphite of the frame that reduces vibration and changes the racket’s sound.

 

What does SWX PURE FEEL do for me?

The frame is significantly softer and therefore more arm-friendly.

 

How does NF²-Tech work?

Softer and more flexible fibers are installed at the 3 and 9 o’clock positions in the frame to improve shock absorption.

 

What does NF² – Tech do for me?

NF² protects your arm and keeps tennis elbow away.

 

How does FSI SPIN work?

FSI-Spin describes the wider string bed, which is created by a special arrangement of the eyelets.

 

What does FSI SPIN do for me?

The open string bed increases spin and turns the Pure Aero into a spin machine.

 

How does AEROMODULAR 3 work?

AeroModular is what gives the Pure Aero its shape and describes the aerodynamic shape of the frame.

 

What does AEROMODULAR 3 do for me?

You can swing the racquet faster, increasing power and spin.

 

Design

The Pure Aero 98 goes a little further away from the yellowish hue and is mostly just black.

I think that’s very good because I can’t see the yellow shade after 20 years with the AeroPro Drive, then Pure Aero and currently HEAD Extreme Pro 😛

Variants

You can buy the Pure Aero in the following variants:

This review is all about the Pure Aero 98.

  • Pure Aero
  • Pure Aero 98
  • Pure Aero Team
  • PureAeroLite
  • Pure Aero Super Lite
  • Pure Aero Rafa
  • Pure Aero + (Extended)

Specs

Property Value
Head size 630 cm²
Length 685mm
Weight (unstrung) 305g +/- 7g
Balance (unstrung) 315mm +/- 7mm
Flyweight 295
String pattern 16/20
Rigidity (RA) 70 +/- 3
Beam width 21/23/22
structure Carbon
Recommended stringing RPM Blast / RPM Rough
Recommended Voltage 23-27kg
Recommended grip Syntec Pro
Strung / unstrung Unstrung

Pro Players

These players “play” or promote the Pure Aero 98.

Please note that the clubs are most likely special frames that are not commercially available. They just look like the Pure Aero 98 because the racquet got the right paint job from Babolat.

 

Babolat Pure Aero Drive 98 Review

Finally, let’s get to the important part that you’re probably here for. The test!

Independent & Unbiased

All products featured on FourtyLove are tested independently by me. I do not favour any brands nor do I receive any money from brands influencing my results. I might earn a small commission if you buy products through my affiliate links.

1

Rackets Tested

1.600

Hits per Racket

6

Hours Tested

481.630

Readers

Groundstrokes

I like the Pure Aero 98 very much from the base line and convinces directly with a lot of power but also extreme spin. It’s very easy to get good distance into the ball, but control doesn’t suffer from the extra power as long as I’ve played enough spin.

The forehand was my favorite of all the shots and if I could pick one racquet just for my forehand it would definitely be the Pure Aero 98. The quicker I hit the forehand the easier it was to control the balls. The spin has increased, the pace has increased and the control has not decreased.

When importing, I had more problems playing precisely than during the rallies at a much higher speed. My thesis first: A racquet for players with a fast swing speed.

Since I also had the Pure Aero VS with me during the test, I was able to compare the two from rally to rally. One of the biggest differences is how soft and cushioned the racquet feels on the forehand and backhand.

Despite the new stringing and new balls, I had significantly more problems with the VS to get a constant and good length into the balls. The Pure Aero 98 makes this much easier and tends to be too long on shots without the need for topspin.

Volleys

The volleys felt very good. In contrast to the Pure Aero 100, I had more control over the ball and felt like I had it in the racquet longer.

However, the new 98 is much more dampened at net and sometimes gave me too little feedback about the hit.

Serves

One of the great strengths of the Pure Aero 98 for me is the serve. Flat and fast serves are no problem and very easy to control. The control of the 98 compared to the 100 Pure Aero on serves is tremendous!

Kick and slice serves felt like they were on another level to me! The spin the 98 generates is insane. I would not have expected this.

Returns

As with all other Pure Eros, the strength of the 98 lies in the shots from the baseline with lots of topspin. And that’s the same with the return. As long as I get a lot of topspin into the ball, I can unpack a high defensive return, but also aggressive forehand boards.

 

What I like about the Pure Aero 98

I really like the extra control, especially at net and on serves. This gives me more confidence to use the 98’s offensive potential and move up after quick forehands and finish the point at the net.

A big plus also goes to Babolat for the significantly softer and more comfortable feel when hitting compared to the VS. The Pure Aero 98 has done my arm way better than the VS does!

What I do Not Like about the Pure Aero 98

The Pure Aero 98 is an awesome racquet that I have nothing to complain about. Negative aspects of the 98 are only found by players who just don’t suit him. Things like launching too high are characteristics of a Pure Aero that make the racquet what it is.

If I’m allowed to complain at the highest level here, I would reduce the dampened feel of the racquet by a few percent, as it sometimes gave me too little feedback for a control racquet.

Who is the Pure Aero 98 for?

The Pure Aero 98 is for players who want to topspin everything but don’t necessarily fall into the moonball category. It is extremely spin-friendly and has a high launch angle, but is best suited for very aggressive topspin players who also want to hit the net.

Babolat himself describes the 98 as a “fast spin” racket, probably meaning what we imagine when we think of Carlos Alcaraz, Holger Rune or the FAA.

Who is the 98 not for?

While the Pure Aero 98 is much more designed for control than all other Pure Aeros, it is and remains a yellow and black Babolat and is therefore only controllable when played with a lot of spin.

The 98 and all other Pure Aero variants are not recommended for players who act with little spin, as it cannot be controlled due to its high launch angle and power.

Players who play with lots of spin but grind more defensively on the baseline and rely on moon balls can certainly play with the 98, but will certainly be happier with the 100 Pure Aero.

Should I switch or upgrade to the new FX 500?

Pure Aero 98 vs Pure Drive 98
The Pure Aero 98 is much more designed for control.
If you no longer need the power support from the Pure Drive, switching to the Pure Aero 98 is highly recommended.
The Pure Aero 98 is also better designed for spin than the Pure Drive with its higher launch angle.

Pure Aero 98 vs Pure Aero (100)
Compared to the “normal” Pure Aero, the 98 is much more designed for control. It doesn’t generate as much power and spin as the 100 and the ball launches a bit lower.
For players who consider themselves a little more defensive, the 100 is a better choice. If you want a more aggressive player or think you’ve just gotten “better” than a tennis player and you’re looking for something new, the 98 is the most obvious option.

Pure Aero 98 vs. Pure Aero VS (predecessor)
An update to the new 98 is worthwhile. The new frame feels noticeably softer and, according to many reports, is noticeably more arm-friendly than its predecessor.
It is significantly easier to play and generates more spin and power than the VS. The 98 is better than the VS in every category.

Pure Aero 98 vs Yonex Ezone 98
These two racquets play almost identically!
The only differences I could see is that the Ezone generates more spin than the Pure Aero 98, but the Pure Aero cuts through the ball much better and has a little more power.

 

Similar rackets to Pure Aero 98

The Pure Aero 98 plays very similar to the following rackets:

  • Babolat Pure Strike 16×19
  • Dunlop SX300 Tour
  • Yonex EZone 98
  • HEAD Extreme Tour
  • Tecnifibre TFight 300

Questions?

Of course you can also ask me questions about the new Babolat Pure Aero 98 in the comments.

I am happy to help you.

Timo GD

32 years old and has been playing tennis since the age of 9. Formerly ranked top 400 in the country and would have surely become ATP #1 if it hadn’t been for something else.

More about Timo

Timo GD

  • Racket
    HEAD Extreme Tour (2022)
  • Strings
    IsoSpeed Baseline Control
  • Dampener
    none, useless.
  • Tennis Shoes
    Nike Zoom Cage 4
  • Racket Bag
    HEAD Gravity Duffle Bag
  • Tennis Balls
    Balls Unlimited Code Black
  • What else?
    Blackroll, headphones and a banana. Absolute must haves.

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