Rafael Rafa Nadal Perera, the legendary Spanish tennis player, will always be one of the greatest tennis players of all time in history. Moreover, he is one of the most loved and famous athletes in the world. He has been entertaining the tennis fans for the last two decades with his never-say-die attitude.
On hard court, it is debatable whether he is better than Djokovic and Federer. But on clay, he is undoubtedly the best player in the world.
Rafael Nadal has dominated the ATP Tour for more than a decade and a half. The Spaniard has developed a reputation that has attracted tennis fans from all over the world. His current ranking is No. 3 in the world.
He has pocketed 20 Grand Slams, which is a record alongside Roger Federer. He has 13 French Open titles, 86 ATP singles titles and many more.
If you are interested in knowing about Rafael Nadal Racquet and its specs that he uses to carry on this hard work, you are on the perfect site.
Table of Contents
- What Racquet Does Rafael Nadal Use?
- Why Is Rafael Nadal’s Racquet Painted Like Something Else?
- Specs of Rafael Nadal Racquet
- How Does Rafael Nadal Racquet Play?
- What Strings Does Rafael Nadal Racquet Use?
- Can You Buy Rafael Nadal Racquet?
- Final Words
What Racquet Does Rafael Nadal Use?
Since his debut, one thing that has not changed is his racquet. This 20 Grand Slams winner has been using Babolat frames since he started tours in 2004.
Since the early 2000s, he has been solely responsible for Babolat’s increasing global success. He has been endorsed with one of the best tennis racquets in the market called Babolat Pure Aero.
But his tennis racquet is not what you think it is. Though he endorses Babolat Pure Aero, he has been using Babolat AeroPro Drive Original all the time. This racquet was designed for him in 2005.
Throughout his career, the Spaniard has used the same Babolat AeroPro Drive racquet, with minor customizations. He uses a modified version, as do the rest of the players, with nominal weight and balance changes. But this is under paint job of Babolat Pure Aero.
Why Is Rafael Nadal’s Racquet Painted Like Something Else?
A few days ago, Rafael Nadal and Babolat celebrated their 20 years of association. On this occasion, they have launched a new Rafael Nadal signature Babolat Pure Aero Racquet. In the past, he has used many Babolat racquets. But he is the most comfortable with the Babolat AeroPro Drive from 2005.
Because Babolat wants to sell more of their latest product which is Babolat Pure Aero, and a model that is ten years old is not so feasible for them, they are painting Rafael Nadal’s Babolat AeroPro Drive into Babolat Pure Aero.
They are doing what most companies do nowadays. They are producing more AeroPro Drive for Rafael Nadal and painting them like the latest models.
Specs of Rafael Nadal Racquet
As I have mentioned before, Nadal has been using the AeroPro Drive Original since 2004. Like other pro players, he has made a couple of changes or customizations to his bat over the years. His current racquet specifications are as follows:
- Head Size: 100 in²
- Length: 27 inch
- Strung Weight: 343 grams
- Unstrung Weight: 300 grams
- Balance: 33.5cm (3pts HL)
- Swing Weight: 360
- String Pattern: 16 x 19
- Dampener: Babolat Custom Damp
- Grip Style: Babolat Syntec Pro Black + Babolat VS Original White Overgrip
- Grip Size: 4 1/4″ (L2) + Overgrip
- Stiffness: 72
- Composition: Graphite/Tungsten
- String: Babolat RPM blast 1.35
- Beam Width: 23-26-23 mm
The racquet was unchanged for eight years since it was launched. But after Novak Djokovic started to dominate in 2012, Nadal decided to add some more weight to his racquet.
As a result extra 3 grams were to the head of the racquet. Then, in 2017, another 2 grams were applied to the same spot on the frame, at the top, and Nadal has stuck to that specification to this day.
How Does Rafael Nadal Racquet Play?
The Aeropro Drive is an excellent option for a diverse range of players. The latest Cortex Active Technology at the top of the handle gives this version an even firmer feel thanks to the Cortex material and new handle construction. The Aero shaft was created with higher swing speeds in mind. The result is more power and spin.
Nadal’s game is built around heavy spin, and his technique and grip enable him to generate high RPMs on the ball. The Aero Pro Drive was created to further that goal; it’s an aerodynamic frame with an open, spin-friendly 16 x 19 (main x cross) string pattern that cuts through the air.
Apart from spin, there isn’t much else to consider in this racquet’s style. Touch and feel aren’t something you’ll find in an Aero Pro Drive. Considering that Nadal’s game takes him forward for the quick put-away, and he doesn’t use drop shots or slice too much, they’re unnecessary.
This racquet is certainly not for everyone. Although the racquet is fun to play with, it is not recommended for beginners. I can only suggest Nadal’s racquet to intermediate and advanced players who are comfortable with smaller sweet spot racquets.
The Babolat AeroPro Drive Racket has a few unique features that allow it to be one of the best rackets for tennis players. These characteristics include:
Aero Modular Technology
Aero Modular Technology allows for different beam profiles. The Babolat AeroPro Drive is one of the fastest frames thanks to the Aero Modular technology. This is due to using a more aerodynamic template, with varying beam widths of 23mm, 24mm, and 26mm at the racket’s throat, shaft, and head.
The Babolat AeroPro Drive Racket’s aerodynamic nature, combined with its lightweight, allows for quicker contact with the ball and a better chance of controlling the return shot. Increased force is possible thanks to Aero Modular technology, which removes the need to compromise stability features.
Cortex System Technology
The Cortex Device Technology, also known as the Cortex Feel Technology, is featured on the Babolat AeroPro Drive. The Cortex System Technology is a one-of-a-kind handle design that minimizes unnecessary vibrations induced by ball effects.
As a result, you’ll get the most out of your ball. The Cortex System helps in the elimination of high-frequency and unwelcome vibrations. As a result, even when a lot of force is created behind shots, the comfort level is improved.
The device in the grommets is referred to as Woofer Technology. By increasing contact time and power, this design allows players to engage more with their shots. The frame of most tennis rackets is static, with most grommets locked in a fixed position, and the strings follow suit.
When the strings come into contact with the ball, only a few of them actively move when the ball is hit. The Babolat AeroPro Drive Racket, on the other hand, is driven by a piston and pulley mechanism housed in the grommets.
The piston system aids in giving the strings a spring-like quality, which enhances the overall surface’s ability to deform further on impact.
This system helps in extending the ball impact length (roughly 25 percent longer ball contact). Unlike the strings of a conventional racket frame, which are locked in place, this racket’s strings are free to travel about.
This is why the Babolat AeroPro Drive is so famous because of the amount of spin it can produce.
- The perfect tool for aggressive baseliners
- Allows faster swings, more spin, and better mobility without sacrificing control and comfort
- Recommended for long and short-swinging players who are intermediate to advanced
- Powerful serves and groundstrokes
- Versatile enough to cover the entire court and play several volleys
- Sacrifices a little power for control
- It will feel stiff to some—players with tennis elbow may find the more rigid frame to be too much for their arms.
What Strings Does Rafael Nadal Racquet Use?
Nadal has been using Babolat RPM blast 15L gauge/1.35mm shaped polyester string since 2010. Previously, he had been using Duralast and Pro Hurricane Tour. To gain more control, Nadal briefly switched to Luxilon Big Banger Original 130 at the start of 2016.
Though the string provided more strength, Nadal felt he had less control because the strings moved more. So, he quickly returned to the Babolat RPM Blast setup.
Can You Buy Rafael Nadal Racquet?
You’re in for a challenge if you want to buy Nadal’s racquet and don’t want to get a replica of what looks like Nadal’s racquet.
Since the APD original was released in 2005, Babolat no longer produces the racquet, making it almost impossible to find a brand new one today. If you don’t mind using a used racquet, you can find them on sites like eBay and Prostocktennis.
And if you want to buy the Babolat Pure Aero racquet that Nadal seems to use, you can find it pretty much anywhere. It’s recognized for being the world’s most spin-friendly racquet. So, if the spin is a significant part of your playing, the Pure Aero is a must-have.
Although the Babolat AeroPro Drive features a lot of cutting-edge technology, a racquet’s requirements will also say a lot about how it performs on the court. The most significant distinctions between the Rafael Nadal Racquet and other racquets are the additional technologies that highlight the racquet’s inherent strengths.
So, if you prefer maximum speed, spin, and stability for full-court coverage, this well-balanced Babolat AeroPro Drive is the way to go.