The Rafael Nadal Racket has been one of the top-selling rackets over the last 15 years and has made Babolat a worldwide tennis brand.
I have compiled the below guide to help you understand what racket Rafael Nadal plays with on tour and whether the retail version is anything like the tennis racket Nadal plays with on tour.
What Racket Does Rafael Nadal play with?
Rafael Nadal currently endorses the Babolat Pure Aero Rafa Tennis Racket (see image above) but the tennis racket he plays with on tour is actually the Babolat Aero Pro Drive Original pro stock frame.
Each time there is an update to the Babolat Pure Aero, Nadal’s AeroPro Drive Original gets a paint job to look like the latest retail version.
This is common practice to boost tennis racket sales amongst racket manufacturers like Babolat, Head, and Wilson.
Babolat Pure Aero vs Rafa’s Pro Stock Frame
Below are the racket specifications for the retail and pro versions of Rafael Nadal’s Racket.
As you can see from the below specs, the main difference between the retail and pro versions of Rafa’s Rackets are the extra swing weight and the balance being slightly less head light.
Unlike many other pro rackets, the retail version isn’t a million miles away from the tennis racket Rafa plays with on tour.
|Rafael Nadal Racket||Retail Version||Pro Version|
|Head Size:||100 Inches||100 Inches|
|Racket Length:||27 inches||27 inches|
|Strung Weight:||318 grams||343 grams|
|String Pattern:||16 x 19||16 x 19|
|Balance:||4 pts HL||3 pts HL|
|Swing Style Required:||You need a long and fast swing||You need a long and fast swing|
|Power Level:||Low-medium powered racket||Low powered racket|
|Recommended Level:||Intermediate-advanced player (not recommended for beginners)||Advanced player (not recommended for beginners)|
Can You Buy Rafael Nadal’s Actual Racket?
It is slightly easier to get your hands on a tennis racket with similar specs to Nadal’s actual racket than the rackets of other top tennis players such as Novak Djokovic, as you can usually find old Babolat AeroPro Drive Original tennis rackets for sale on sites like eBay and Pro Stock Tennis.
Although it is fairly easy to get a Babolat AeroPro Drive Original and customize it so it matches Nadal’s specs, I would not recommend it as Nadal’s racket is far too heavy for the vast majority of club players.
Nadal’s racket specs work for him as he has trained for years to master his craft but if you are a weekend warrior then his specs are not going to be good for your game.
In the vast majority of cases, you will be better off, going with the retail version of his tennis racket.
What Grip Size does Rafael Nadal use?
Rafael Nadal uses a 4 and 1/4 grip size with an overgrip on his tennis rackets which is considered a small grip size for someone that is 6ft 1in tall.
Nadal and other top tennis pros like Federer and Djokovic favor a smaller grip size with overgrips so that they can get more spin on their serves and groundstrokes.
As mentioned in my article on Roger Federer’s Tennis Racket, just because tennis pros like Rafa and Roger use a 4 and 1/4 grip size, that doesn’t mean it is right for you, as everyone’s hands are different so it is better to find a grip size that suits you.
If you play tennis regularly with a grip size that is too large or too small for your hands, then this can lead to wrist, elbow, and arm issues.
Does Rafael Nadal play with a Vibration Dampener?
Like many professional tennis players, Rafael Nadal plays with a Vibration Dampener on his tennis racket.
Nadal uses Babolat’s Custom Dampeners on his tennis rackets which are available from Amazon.
How does Rafael Nadal string his Racket?
Rafael Nadal strings his tennis racket with Babolat RPM blast in the crosses and the mains.
Unlike many top professional tennis players like Federer and Djokovic, Nadal does not tend to vary the tension on his racket during the year.
Generally, the string tension on Rafa’s tennis rackets will be 55 lbs on the cross strings and main strings.
Should I buy the Babolat Pure Aero Rafa Tennis Racket?
If you are looking for a tennis racket that looks and feels similar to Rafa Nadal’s racket then I think the Pure Aero Rafa is a good option.
Although the Pure Aero Rafa is lighter than Rafa’s racket of choice, it will be a better option for the vast majority of recreational tennis players.
The Pure Aero Rafa tennis racket will also be more spin-friendly and you will be less likely to have arm or elbow issues with it.
Where can I buy Babolat Pure Aero Rafa Tennis Racket?
As the Babolat Pure Aero Rafa has been a top-selling tennis racket for many years now, you will find that most online tennis shops will have the tennis racket in stock.
If you are considering buying the racket and you would like to support my blog, then consider purchasing the Babolat Pure Aero Rafa Tennis racket by clicking on the Amazon button below.
By doing this, I will receive a small commission from Amazon and it won’t cost you any more to buy the tennis racket.