Starting out with a dependable, flexible racquet can be highly beneficial for all types of tennis players. That is exactly what Babolat is aiming for with the Babolat Boost Drive.
A full-size adult racquet that is lightweight, a bit oversized, and priced affordably is certainly enticing. Does it live up to expectations?
Before going into the review, here are our overall ratings after over 10+ hours of testing on court.
The main purpose of this racquet is to be very user-friendly for baseline players learning the modern game. It does exactly that, as it is very lightweight and easy to swing for all types of players.
The racquet weighs in at 9.6 ounces, and with the swingweight at 312, those just beginning to learn the game will be able to move around pretty easily on the ground. Players have 105 in.² to play with as well with the head size, which means a large sweet spot. Without having to be too precise, players have the chance to hit out on all types of shots.
The only problem that a player might run into with the Babolat Boost is if they are going up against harder hitters. Eventually, a player will need to graduate to something a little heavier to take on those powerful strokes. It is a little too easy to be pushed around with this racquet on the ground if a player is advanced enough.
There is always the option of adding some lead tape to the racquet for some heft, but more often than not, players will go ahead and purchase something new. It just makes more sense to have a better base racquet to go with when trying to reach the highest level of play.
As long as a player is going up against someone of a similar skill level, they will be just fine with the Babolat Boost. It is a great racquet to return with to a certain extent, and it will be able to handle all types of serves in a match.
As one of the better full version racquets to practice with, players can mix in hard returns and blocking shots back deep in the court. It has a good amount of precision, which is all that a person can ask for when they are trying to become better as a returner. Most players who are using this racquet are trying to learn on the go, and that is where the 105 in.² head size comes in handy as well.
The maneuverability of the racquet also helps considerably for those going up against harder servers. Making smart decisions on returns can set a person up in a great way to potentially win the point. It is definitely one of the better return of serve racquets in this class.
For a lightweight racquet that is designed for beginners and junior players, it is a surprisingly good option for serving. Babolat has always been well known for delivering strong serving racquets for players to count on, so maybe it should not be that surprising that this one also works well. While it is not perfect, being able to learn many of the basics with great rewards is always nice.
The open string pattern on the racquet allows players to have the ability to generate spin from the very beginning. Players trying to learn the modern game will like this, and the power is pretty easy to access as well. There are reasons to work on serving with this racquet, and players should be able to turn the corner and really see just how much success they can have early on in their maturation process.
Control is one thing on the serve that seems to be a bit erratic at times. Players might find it a little bit difficult to dial in and get their serve going in the direction they need it to go every single time.
It is frustrating to say the least, but that is usually when it is time to move onto another racquet in the first place. It is a great racquet to learn with, and hit serves up to a certain speed level, but a more player-friendly racquet is needed eventually.
Still, feeling that reward of popping first serves and building confidence is never a bad thing. Getting a consistent second serve helps players move up a level as well. The open string pattern allows players to mess around with different second serves and see what works best for them. Some even tap into a new level of spin they did not know they ever had. The Babolat Boost makes all that possible.
Despite being a little lightweight, this is one of the best Babolat racquets in its class. The 105 in.² head size has a very generous sweet spot that allows players to put the ball where they want to on volleys. Even though it may seem a little flimsy, it can redirect volleys and control points at the net.
This is great news for people who have always struggled in the past to get their volleys down as they try to up their ability to play the sport in general. Volleying is one of the toughest things for beginners to learn, but this allows for quite a bit of practice.
The racquet comes with a string already, but some players will see even more success with their volleying by using a polyester string that plays a little bit differently. Once the initial string breaks or starts to feel dead, it might be wise to try a different type of string out with a change in tension to see how much of an increase in volleying success a person can have.
Singles and doubles players will like the maneuverability of this racquet. It never feels sluggish, and the touch on the racquet is good enough for some drop shots near the net as well.
Mishits on volleys are a bit uncomfortable, but it is a very comfortable and muted feel that provides the type of feedback most players are looking for when hitting the sweet spot. Learning with this racquet is a great overall experience with volleying.
Babolat Boost Drive Specs
|Babolat Boost Drive||Specs|
|Head Size||105 sq. in|
|Weight (strung)||9.6 oz / 272g|
|Balance||3pts Head Light|
As long as people are willing to admit who the Babolat Boost is made for, they will be just fine. It is an all-around racquet that has plenty of playability for those who are still in the learning stages of the game. It is very user-friendly, and players will feel comfortable using this racquet against all types of players.
It will hold up well even as a player moves up to new levels, but eventually, they will probably want to go to something a little heavier. That is where one of the three main lines of Babolat racquet can really come in handy.
For a racquet that is only $100, this is definitely a great value overall. Players wanting to learn the game the right way and use a racquet that does not feel like something super cheap is always a plus.
This has a look and feel of the same type of racquet used on tour, just with slightly friendlier attributes so that new players are not overwhelmed. Junior players and adults getting into the game for the first time will find learning the game to be a very fun and enjoyable experience. If you are interested, you can check the current price on Amazon here.
Check out my other Babolat racquet reviews: