Babolat Pure Strike 18×20 vs 16×19 (Two Great Racquets)
It isn’t every day that a company makes two varieties of the same racquet, now that I think about. I have never seen a company even trying to do that. But Babolat wanted to try out that endeavor and I think they really knocked it out of the park with this one. Babolat in 2017 wanted to remake their not so popular Pure Strike series into something that people would actually crave to buy. The 2017 Babolat Pure Strike (both the 18×20 and the 16×19 version) is a great intermediate to players frame and I recommend it to pretty much anyone that wants to try something different from Babolat.
This guide goes great with my intermediate racquet finding guide. If you are not interested in Babolat and want to try something else then that post should help you out in picking something that you might like and enjoy.
Babolat always comes out with racquets that have a lot of power because of their thick beams and high stiffness indexes. With the Babolat Pure Strike, they wanted to bring something new to the masses rather than the boring but tested Pure Aero and Pure Drive series.
I have tried both of these racquets, and pretty much like them both but there is always a favorite racquet that I’ll be interchanging with my other head racquet with some lead tape.
My favorite from the both of them is the Babolat Pure Strike 16×19. A 98 sq.in frame with a powerful but controlled persona is all I want pretty much. The 16 x 19 variant definitely provided me with that solid player’s feel. The beams on both the racquets are right where I want them to be. I am a very control-oriented player who likes to have power but can’t really produce it due to my technique, so this racquet more than covers for that. If you are a control player like me and wants to have a little more power to your game, I would a hundred percent recommend you get it. You can check current pricing on Amazon by clicking here. Anyone who is an intermediate to an advanced player should get this one and you won’t regret it all.
The racquet does not lag behind in anything like other Babolat models like the Pure Aero ones which lack control and same is the case with Pure Drives.
You probably came here to know which one you should buy, because there are two choices of a racquet that pretty much looks the same and you are confused. I’ll be going over what both racquets are good at or what both racquets are bad at and hopefully by the end of the day, you’ll have a clear direction on which racquet should you spend your hard earned money on.
Technical Specs of Both The Rackets
Babolat Pure Strike 18×20
|27 inches||69 centimeters|
|Head Size||98 square inches||632 square centimeters|
|Balance Point||13 inches / 33 centimeters||4 points headlight|
|String Pattern||18 Mains/ 20 Crosses|
Babolat Pure Strike 16×19
|Length||27 inches||69 centimeters|
|Head Size||98 square inches||632 square centimeters|
|Weight||11.3 ounces||320 grams|
|Balance Point||12.87 inches / 33 centimeters||5 points headlight|
|String Pattern||16 Mains/ 19 Crosses|
Review of The Babolat Pure Strike 18×20
The Babolat Pure Strike 18×20 is my second favorite of the two, but that does not mean in the slightest that it is a bad racquet. When you have two choices, you just have to pick out the one that suits your game better. This is the perfect racquet for players that love to take big whips on the ball but the ball just lands a little long over the baseline. This racquet was a joy to play with because of the control it provided.
The hybrid frame construction of the racquet is made to provide excellent feel and response, and it definitely provided that raw feel in the shots. The new FSI power technology gave this frame awesome power and topspin while being a relatively light frame.
This racquet is great if you really want to take control of a rally from the onset of the point, with great responsiveness on the net I could feel like this could be my favorite doubles racquet. I have always enjoyed volleying more than anything and this frame was right up my alley when it comes to that.
Do you have kids and you want them to get into tennis? I have just the post for that, my racquets for children post is great if you can’t make up your mind.
I really enjoyed the racquet the moment I stepped on the court. The solid and powerful yet controlled feel on my strokes very well. Since I lack a little bit of spin in my game naturally, my weaker shots did tend to stay closer to the service lines or the no-mans land of the court. But when I wanted to be extremely aggressive, I could without having any fear that I would over hit the ball.
This racquet is great if you have a very consistent game, as I was very dialed in on my targets and could hit them whenever I wanted. It felt like I was actually controlling at my own will as long as I had some power and spin behind it.
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The racquet did struggle with getting the topspin that I usually desire from my racquets but it didn’t lag too far behind. If the 16×19 variant is a 10 in the topspin department than this definitely an 8.5 on my scale. So, don’t think of it as a racquet that won’t give you any spin at all, most modern racquets are not made like that.
This is a great racquet if you have trouble finishing short balls close to the net as it stops you from over hitting the ball just enough to keep it in the court. If you are one of those that always gets conscious about finishing short balls then this is the racquet for you.
While this racquet might not have the same ability to switch from defense to attack, as long as you start the point in control this will help you remain on top of your opponent. This racquet lacks a bit in defensive situations, so are you, someone who plays the pusher game, I would advise staying away from this one and pick the 16×19 one.
Both the racquets provided me with great feedback and I could feel my power getting transitioned into the ball. The sweet spot is a little smaller because of the tighter string pattern and lower twist weight, so if you are a beginner that is moving to the intermediate level, this racquet might not be the best for you.
With a little bit of adjustment to my game, I was able to take advantage of this racquet fully. But I still prefer my 16×19 patterns.
I loath racquets that can hit a volley as sweet as I intended them to be. I am predominantly a singles player and stay close to the baseline most of the time. Sometimes you do have to play doubles, especially when you have a father who loves doubles.
This racquet is awesome at volleys, the 18×20 with its close string pattern and lower twist weight was a joy to hit volleys with. The racquet is very very maneuverable at the net. I felt very connected with the string bed and the racquet behaved in a predictable way, so I was able to control the balls on the net. The lack of power of this frame compared to the 16×19 one makes it a great volley racquet. If you are a doubles player who loves those drop volleys to annoy your opponents, then pick this one up.
Half volleys are always a problem for me because I tend to overhit them sometimes, but this racquet comes to the rescue and just comfortably hits the ball over the net for a drop that I’ve always wanted to hit.
Since the racquet is very maneuverable in the air, hitting those low pickup volleys was a total breeze. Same is the case when it comes to body volleys.
This racquet is a little jack of all trades kind of a racquet. This racquet can give spin to the ball, provide control to the racquet head speed, and give a lot of power when it comes to serves. I loved serving with this even more than the 16×19 version. The racquet gave me a lot of pop and power which I usually lack on my normal serves.
The control and the spin were really made easy because the way the racquet is made because I could really get a good wrist snap into my serves. I am more of a flat and slice kind of guy and I enjoyed them both with the racquet.
No matter where I wanted to put the ball in the service box, I could without any resistance from the racquet. The maneuverability of this racquet is all I’m gonna rave about because that is the main reason this racquet is as good as it is. I really love hitting the ball flat on the T in the middle of the court and the raw power of it was great, plus the control of this one that the 16×19 lacked gave me a sense of comfort.
My consistency with this racquet increased compared to my regular racquet of choice and I loved it. I was winning practice games without dropping a point at times, while before I would always struggle because my first serve would go long and I had to rely on a smaller second serve.
If you are having trouble choosing a racquet that fits you best, I recommend you visit my Babolat Buyers Guide. It is detailed, comprehensive and sure to help you make a purchasing decision.
Review of The Babolat Pure Strike 16×19
The Babolat Pure Strike 16×19 is a godsend for those people (me included) that were getting bored of the iconic Pure Aero and the Pure Drive series and needed something to change up the market. I love the Pure Strike 16×19 as it looks great, has the best head-size for me (I find 100sq.in to be a little too big) and can easily substitute for a players frame if I so do desire.
Babolat’s iconic racquets are so popular that all their other racquets seem to get sidelined, but this racquet is doing it right. Being endorsed by Bethanie Mattek Sands and Dominic Thiem makes it all the more desirable for both doubles and singles players. The 16×19 variant brings the same playability of its big brothers, but it comes with a lower stiffness level and a boxier beam.
The one thing that really sold me on the racquet is that this racquet is explosive and by explosive, I really mean a lot of power, but not so much as you can’t control. The lower beam allows the racquet to maintain a great balance between power and control of a player’s racquet. I would go as far as to say that it is a softer Pure Drive, and don’t get me wrong I love the Pure Drive too but sometimes it belts in a lot of power which can be a little hard to control.
It packs a very stable response into a light and speedy player’s frame, and the racquet doesn’t have any downsides as far as I can tell.
If you have already own a tennis racquet but don’t know what kind of grips to get, you could either go to my Tennis Replacement Grip vs Overgrip post or my Best Grips For Sweat post. Both of these will have something that you end up enjoying. Do not skip out on grips, they protect your standard grip which can be hard to find a lot of times.
This is an ideal player’s racquet and by player’s racquet I mean, a lot of pros and college players can play with it without really customizing it. The 16×19 Pure Strike has a very precise, fast, spin friendly feeling to it. Control and feel are just thrown in there just to add more sugar to its awesomeness. The other that comes close to it is the Wilson Blade 98 (which I also love a lot).
This racquet is great on the defense, and if you are facing a heavy server, this racquet will help you turn the point around. I love this racquet because of this, I am a baseliner who doesn’t hit very hard and people can take advantage of that. This racquet helped me destroy the ball on returns, turning the points I should’ve had trouble into desirable scenarios.
The level of spin and power this racquet provides with just a little bit of control sprinkled in is something I always dreamed about. I felt very connected to my shots and I felt like I could pick a ball at a whim.
This racquet made me a fan of Babolat yet again, and I will keep on buying the Pure Strike variations for the foreseeable future.
A 16×19 pattern lends itself to an awesome feeling volley. My volleys were very controlled and I could hit the ball in any direction with as much power or spin that I wanted. Even if I messed up a bit on the approach the racket helped me out in finishing the ball without any issues. The racket is great for any doubles or serve and volley players. Even if you are learning to volley this racket will help ease the learning process.
This racquet is great for some easy spin on the ball. The string bed makes it very easy for the 16×19 version of the racquet to make your kick serves killer. The racquet was very powerful as well as well as controllable, just like its twin the 18×20 pattern. The connection to the ball is amazing and the power it generates because you can really feel it is second to none.
But I felt a bit overwhelmed by it, nothing too out of the ordinary but it did take a little getting used to. Due to its aerodynamic construction, the racquet head speed comes extremely fast and if you don’t have a habit of these kinds of racquets then it can a little out of hand.
Hitting slice serves was great with this racquet but the 18×20 variant worked just a bit better I would say.
If you are a counterpuncher who prolongs points and loves control then you the racket of choice for you is the Pure Strike 18×20 one. If you are a power and topspin oriented player who has a heavy serve then I would recommend the Pure Strike 16×19. You can check the prices of both on Amazon by clicking here and here