Two of the top racquet manufacturers in tennis right now are Babolat and Wilson. Whether it’s the quality of players that both manufacturers have representing them, or the quantity, it’s sometimes very difficult to figure out who is best.
Racquet companies are much more than that though. As tennis brands, who wins between Babolat and Wilson? They both do things well, so looking at different categories beyond the racquets helps to make the picture clearer.
Neither Babolat nor Wilson has a reputation for having the best clothing. These companies produce clothing because they have their fans, but it’s usually not considered high-end. Both have pretty affordably priced clothing, but Wilson is usually just a little bit cheaper. Since the quality is basically the same, Wilson gets a slight edge in this department.
The average clothes offered by both companies are made of breathable material that is very easy to wear in all types of weather conditions. A lot of people might be initially skeptical that they will be able to deliver on comfortable clothing, but they do a solid job.
It might not be the best of the best, and designs are pretty basic from both companies, but the clothing they offer does the trick.
They are never going to make a ton of money off of clothing, so they don’t put a crazy amount of effort into making huge sales. When they sign players to racket sponsorship deals, Babolat and Wilson don’t also go after them for clothing.
Both Wilson and Babolat have a variety of shoes to choose from. They might not be the most well-known shoes on the top touring pros currently, but the good news is that they have pretty favorable reviews online. Out of the two companies though, Babolat seems to have the edge right now.
Why are they just a little bit better? For starters, Babolat heavily focuses on performance models only. While they have some cheaper options available, it’s mostly going to cater to a serious tennis player.
They also have a partnership with Michelin to develop a very durable outsole for the shoes. This is great news for people who are constantly burning through their soles, because it can get pretty expensive in a hurry. The Jete Mach and Propulse shoes both do a great job of lasting for a long time, and that’s why people stick with them.
Wilson has more affordable shoes mostly, and they come in standard, traditional colors. The Rush Pro and Kaos Mirage are both solid, but just not the same level of durable build as Babolat. Those not rough on shoes won’t mind, but others might.
This is the category that most people know of both Wilson and Babolat in the tennis world. They are the two leaders as far as racquets are concerned, and they put a lot of money into research so that they stay near the top.
Babolat is the relatively new player in the game, as they have really started to explode in the last couple of decades. For the most part, they have a fairly simplified lineup, mainly focusing on three different lines of racquets with several variations. The Pure Aero is designed for spin, the Pure Drive is designed for power, and the Pure Strike is designed for playability and well-rounded control.
Babolat has really embraced the modern game, as all the racquets are designed to hit the ball the way players do today. They are baseline-oriented racquets that provide a good amount of power so players can put the ball exactly where they want to.
As for Wilson, they have been around for a long time, so they approach racquets a little bit differently. Yes, they have their modern racquets that sell extremely well. However, they also are one of the few companies to hold onto some of the older ways to play the game, and their racquet variety shows that.
Perhaps the most popular racquet for all types of players these days is the Wilson Clash. A few years ago, it came out with new technology that made it the most comfortable and playable racquet on the market. Many companies have tried to emulate the success of the Clash, and they’ve done a fairly good job of matching what Wilson brought to the table.
The technology to make their racquets comfortable with the Wilson Clash then translated to other racquets as well. For example, the Wilson Blade comes in several different variations these days, and the same goes for the Wilson Ultra.
There really is no clear-cut winner for racquets right now between Babolat and Wilson. Mostly, this is due to the variety. Wilson does offer more types of racquets, so the odds of finding a perfect fit are better.
Both Babolat and Wilson have plenty of string options for all types of players. Babolat is mostly known for polyester strings, including their world-famous RPM Blast. Wilson has a little more variety, and they offer some popular solutions for synthetic gut, multifilament, polyester, and all ranges of string.
Modern players will likely love what Babolat strings bring to the table just a little bit more. They have really focused on ensuring their players who hit with a lot of spin can get the durability and bite on the balls that they really want. Wilson is a bit more traditional with the strings, and while they do offer some great polyesters that match up well, they aren’t all in.
Balls can be pretty difficult to compare directly because of accessibility. Many people may have never played with a Babolat ball in their life because they aren’t available like the widespread availability of Wilson tennis balls. That being said, they do exist, and some people have really fallen in love with what they offer.
High-level, championship-style balls pretty much break down like this. Wilson does a good job of offering a ball that performs well, but it’s not the most durable. The Babolat tennis balls start to look pretty old soon after opening, but they keep their liveliness fairly well. Many are impressed by how well they perform.
I listed my favorite Wilson tennis balls in this post.
Babolat and Wilson are great tennis companies overall, and both deserve plenty of praise. The slight edge goes to Wilson, and it mostly comes down to its richer history and greater size as a company.
It’s a sporting goods company that has been in business for a long time, and it’s just a little easier to access compared to what Babolat brings to the table. Babolat gets a lot right, but sometimes it’s hard to buy certain products, especially in the United States.
Ultimately, people should be making the final pick between companies based on their own personal experience. Trying out both is pretty easy, as it just takes a little bit of extra work to set that up. Getting the racquet right is especially tricky, but most people will find a way.
Everything else is pretty disposable, and trying both out is as simple as picking them up online or in person. If Babolat balls are available, try them out and see if they are actually better than the Wilson balls. The same can go for string, clothing, shoes, or anything else for that matter.