Babolat Pure Strike 2024 [REVIEW]
Tennis Rackets

Babolat Pure Strike 2024 [REVIEW]

The new Pure Strike Gen4 offers a classic yet modern player experience with precision, control, and comfort on the court. Particularly, the 97er with its 16×20 string pattern will undoubtedly be a convincing choice for players aiming to reach deep into the single-digit rankings due to its unique blend of control and power.

Do you play with the new Pure Strike Gen4 like Dominic Thiem did in his prime? Probably not. I still tested it though!

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  • The key takeaways about the Babolat Pure Strike Gen4
  • No new mold, so largely the same frame as the last generation
  • First update for the Pure Strike after 5 years!
  • Update with the latest technologies from Babolat
  • Frame slightly softer for a more modern playing feel

What’s New with the Pure Strike Gen4?

The new Pure Strike Gen4 is now equipped with the latest technologies, FSI Control and NF², which are already found in other top models from Babolat.

Tech Pure Strike Gen4 Pure Strike Gen3
Control Frame Technology
FSI Control
NF² – Tech

Babolat Pure Strike Gen4 16×19 2024

What is a “Pure Strike”?

Originating as Babolat’s “Project One 7” and now available as the Pure Strike. After discontinuing the Pure Control, Babolat left a huge gap in the racket lineup from the French racket manufacturer, which was closed again with the Pure Strike. The racket has been selling and playing very well since its release, which is certainly due to the successes of Dominic Thiem.

The Pure Strike is Babolat’s racket for maximum control, serving as competition for the HEAD Prestige or Wilson Pro Staff, but equipped similarly to the HEAD Gravity for a control racket with an extra touch of power and above all, spin. In short: The Pure Strike is a modern control racket.

Technologies in the Babolat Pure Strike Gen4

Here are all the technologies in the new Pure Strike Gen4 explained in an easy-to-understand manner:

 

fsi-control

How does FSI Control work?

FSI-Control describes the tighter string bed created by a special arrangement of grommets and a built-in Woofer system.

What does FSI SPIN do for me?

The tighter string bed increases the dwell time of the ball in the string and thus improves the “feeling” and control.

 

nf2-tech

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 at bay.

 

control-frame-technology

How does Control Frame Technology 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 Control Frame Technology do for me?

NF² protects your arm and keeps tennis elbow at bay.

 

swx-pure-feel

How does SWX PURE FEEL work?

SWX Pure Feel is a special material in the graphite of the frame that reduces vibrations and changes the sound of the racket.

What does SWX PURE FEEL do for me?

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

Design

The new Pure Strike in its fourth generation doesn’t appear to have changed much at first glance. However, upon closer inspection, there are a few small and beautiful details that, in my opinion, have visually enhanced the Pure Strike.

Orange/Red

While the Pure Strike Gen3 (2019) had two black and two orange stripes on the racket head, the Gen4 is now much more minimalist with only orange stripes.

 

 

Details

Small designs can be found all over the racket frame, indicating either the Pure Strike or the technical specifications:

Variants

The new Babolat Pure Strike Gen4 is available in the following eight variants:

  • Babolat Pure Strike 16 x 19 Gen4
  • Babolat Pure Strike 100 Gen4
  • Babolat Pure Strike Team Gen4
  • Babolat Pure Strike 97 Gen4
  • Babolat Pure Strike 100 16 x 20 Gen4
  • Babolat Pure Strike Lite Gen4
  • Babolat Pure Strike 18 x 20 Gen4
  • Babolat Pure Strike Junior 26

 

All Pure Strike variants explained in one sentence:

Babolat Pure Strike 16 x 19 Gen4

Babolat’s flagship from the Pure Strike series with a lot of control and a good mix of power and spin.

 

Babolat Pure Strike 100 Gen4

The Pure Strike with the 645cm2 large head size for the advanced player.

 

Babolat Pure Strike Team Gen4

The lighter Pure Strike for advanced beginners.

 

Babolat Pure Strike 97 Gen4

The most demanding Pure Strike for very good tournament players.

 

Babolat Pure Strike 18 x 20 Gen4

Along with the 97, the most demanding variant, but for very good tournament players who want absolute control.

 

Babolat Pure Strike 100 16 x 20 Gen4

The Pure Strike between the classic 16 x 19 and 18 x 20 for players looking for an all-rounder with a lot of control.

 

Babolat Pure Strike Lite Gen4

The lightest Pure Strike for beginners, juniors, or ladies.

 

Babolat Pure Strike JR 26

The 26-inch (66.04 cm) variant for older children.

Specs

Here you find a table of all speces of all variations of the Pure Strike Gen4:

Model 16 x 19 100 Team 97 100 16×20 Lite 18×20 Junior 26
Head Size 632 cm² / 98 in² 645 cm² / 100 in² 645 cm² / 100 in² 626 cm² / 97 in² 645 cm² / 100 in² 645 cm² / 100 in² 632 cm² / 98 in² 645 cm² / 100 in²
Length 685 mm / 27 in  685 mm / 27 in  685 mm / 27 in  685 mm / 27 in  685 mm / 27 in  685 mm / 27 in  685 mm / 27 in  660 mm / 26 in
String Pattern 16 x 19 16 x 19 16 x 19 16 x 20 16 x 19 16 x 19 18 x 20 16 x 19
Frame Stiffness (RA) 68 +/- 3 68 +/- 3 69 +/- 3 67 +/- 3 68 +/- 3 69 +/- 3 68 +/- 3 64 +/- 3
Frame Thickness 21-23-21  21-23-21  21-23-21  21-22-21  21-23-21  21-23-21  21-23-21  21-23-21
Swing Weight 305 295 275 295 295 265 305 240
Balance (unstrung) 320 mm +/- 7 320 mm +/- 7 325 mm +/- 7 310 mm +/- 7 320 mm +/- 7 330 mm +/- 7 320 mm +/- 7 320 mm +/- 7
Weight (unstrung) 305 g +/- 7 g / 10.8 oz 300 g +/- 7 g / 10.6 oz 285 g +/- 7 g / 10.2 oz 310 g +/- 7 g / 10.9 oz 300 g +/- 7 g / 10.6 oz 265 g +/- 7 g / 9.3 oz 305 g +/- 7 g / 10.8 oz 250 g +/- 7 g / 8.8 oz
Price (RRP) 280 € / 259 $ 280 € / 259 $ 280 € / 259 $ 270 € / 249 $ 240 € / 219 $ 170 € / 149 $ 250 € / 229 $ 125 € / 109 $

 

Professional Players

These players “play” or endorse the Babolat Pure Strike Gen4.

Please note that the rackets are most likely special frames not available in stores. For example, Dominic Thiem’s Pure Strike is actually the Pure Strike Gen3 with additional weight added with lead tape at the 6, 9, and 12 o’clock positions, as well as extra weight in the grip. His racket simply looks like the Pure Strike Gen4 because it has been given the appropriate paint job by Babolat.

Babolat Pure Strike Gen4 2024 Review

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

For the Pure Strike Gen4 test, I tested the three most important rackets from the series, which are of interest to most players:

  • Pure Strike Gen4 100 16×19
  • Pure Strike Gen4 98 18×20
  • Pure Strike Gen4 97 16×20

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.

3

Rackets Tested

800

Hits per Racket

8

Hours Tested

601.740

Readers

Groundstrokes

100 16×19

The new Pure Strike Gen4 offers good precision and control in basic strokes, just like in the previous generation. With the 16×19, I immediately noticed that it delivers a lot of power and spin, allowing for long shots close to the line with sufficient spin and height over the net. In basic strokes, I find the Gen4 slightly better than its predecessor, with the biggest difference being the new feel upon impact. The new Pure Strike feels softer and simply better, which is certainly due to the new technologies developed in the last 5 years since the last Pure Strike.

98 18×20

The 18×20 Pure Strike Gen4 immediately reminds me of modern control rackets like the Gravity, as it surprisingly delivers a lot of power and especially spin on the forehand. The thin and, by Babolat standards, soft frame feels very good on ball contact and provides a lot of touch. For players with a lot of topspin (like myself), the 18×20 is surprisingly good to play from the baseline.

97 16×20

The 97 Pure Strike demanded a lot from me right from the first shot and immediately showed that it should only be played by players who really know what they’re doing. The small sweetspot brought me some inconsistent hits and unusual errors with the forehand. However, for the rare occasions when I did hit the sweetspot, the 97 Pure Strike was incredible. A very pleasant, minimally dampened feeling upon impact, yet still providing a lot of feedback, which is not common with many rackets nowadays. I could place my forehand and particularly my slightly flatter backhand very accurately, and I must say that the 97er definitely plays in the same league as a Prestige and a Percept.

Volleys

100 16×19

The 100 is definitely comfortable at the net, but seemed somewhat unstable on certain volleys. Otherwise, it makes a good impression, but nothing outstanding.

98 18×20 / 97 16×20

The 98 as well as the 97 seemed much more stable at the net and allow for extremely well-placed volleys under the condition that you also hit the significantly smaller sweetspot. Both variants also move wonderfully quickly, allowing you to bring the racket precisely and in time behind the ball.

Serves

100 16×19

The 100er Pure Strike Gen4 supports my serve in every aspect and feels almost identical to the HEAD Speed MP. Spin, power, and control are very balanced here and leave little to be desired.

98 18×20 / 97 16×20

With the two variants for very advanced players, I, even with a former LK01, notice a lack of power. I managed to hit precise serves very well, but quick serves that surprise the opponent became difficult because the rackets don’t provide much speed support. However, this is not the task of a control racket and therefore not surprising. What is surprisingly positive, though, is the amount of spin I could generate with both rackets, but especially with the 98 18×20, allowing me to “kick” and “slice” the ball effectively.

Returns

In returns, the Pure Strike Gen4 shines with its feel and control.

100 16×19

The 100 is significantly easier to maneuver, so I was able to get the racket behind the ball better and return with great depth.

98 18×20 & 97 16×20

The two sportier variants are extremely precise and dangerous for the opponent when returning, although it is significantly more difficult or demanding. Both rackets are heavier and generate less power. When I was well positioned, the 98er and 97er Pure Strike Gen4 were a dream for a return racket. Incredibly stable at the point of contact and precision that you couldn’t miss a beer coaster with.

What’s Good About the Pure Strike Gen4

The new Pure Strike Gen4 resembles many aspects of the first prototype of the Pure Strike, the Project 107, and the second generation, combined with some nice technologies that improve the feel of the racket.

Babolat is moving away slightly from the Pure Strike Gen3, which I like, as the new Gen4 allows for better swings. What I like most about the Gen4 is that while it is arm-friendly, it definitely isn’t as “muted” as the Pure Strike Gen3. The damping technology, which has been moved from the 3 and 9 o’clock positions to the racket neck, works wonderfully. Hopefully, Babolat will keep this feature.

What’s Bad About the Pure Strike Gen4

I really tried hard to find something bad about the fourth generation of the Pure Strike, but I could only find minor issues.

100 16×19 & 98 18×20 & 97 16×20

I just don’t like the Babolat grip :/ The shape doesn’t fit well in my hand, I find the grip too short for a two-handed grip, so it always feels somewhat insecure for my peers when I swing a Babolat tennis racket.

98 18×20 & 97 16×20

With the sportier variants, especially on the two-handed backhand, I miss the racket head speed to hit dangerous and long shots. However, this is the case with almost every control racket.

Who is the Pure Strike Gen4 Suitable For?

The Pure Strike Gen4 is ideal for players seeking a blend of classic control and modern power and spin. It is suitable for players prioritizing precision and feel but still seeking some assistance with power and spin. The Pure Strike Gen4 remains a control racket but appears much more modern in its fourth generation, thus targeting modern, advanced player types.

100 16×19

As described above, but with the 100er 16×19, you sacrifice some control for more power and spin. The 100er Pure Strike Gen4 is very similar to the HEAD Speed MP, albeit losing one point each in power and spin but gaining one point in control.

98 18×20

The classic control racket, for the Prestige player who wants to try something different.

97 16×20

The modern control racket, for modern player types. The racket is very similar to the Yonex Percept 98, but in my opinion, it’s much harder to play with. The 98 16×20 Pure Strike Gen4 is for truly advanced tournament players who hit the ball extremely cleanly and have good racket head speed. I believe that the 97er Pure Strike is even a better choice for top players as a control racket compared to the Percept.

Who is the Pure Strike Gen4 Not Suitable For?

Players who heavily rely on spin support or prefer rackets with a more forgiving sweet spot are definitely less suitable for the Pure Strike Gen4.

100 16×19

Here, there’s a bit more spin and power, but less than with similar rackets like the HEAD Speed MP.

98 18×20 & 97 16×20

Both variants are extremely control-oriented but cannot compete with the ultimate control rackets like the Prestige or Pro Staff. For players who seek nothing but control and are willing to sacrifice everything else for it, these two Pure Strike Gen4 variants are not suitable.

Pure Strike Gen4 vs. Pure Strike Gen3. Should I Upgrade?

Yes! For players using the Pure Strike Gen3, upgrading to the Pure Strike Gen4 definitely offers many advantages. Improved feel and control are the biggest differences.

The Pure Strike Gen4 is better than the Gen3 and even comes close to Gen1 and Gen2. A very good update from Babolat, which fits perfectly into the Babolat range.

Pure Strike Gen4 vs. Pure Strike Gen3. Should I Upgrade?

Yes! For players using the Pure Strike Gen3, upgrading to the Pure Strike Gen4 definitely offers many advantages. Improved feel and control are the biggest differences.

The Pure Strike Gen4 is better than the Gen3 and even comes close to Gen1 and Gen2. A very good update from Babolat, which fits perfectly into the Babolat range.

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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