Rafael Nadal’s racket, the Pure Aero has been one of the top-selling frames over the last 15 years and has helped Babolat to become a worldwide tennis brand.
I have compiled the below guide to help tennis fans understand what racket Rafael Nadal is playing with on tour and whether the retail version is anything like it.
What Racket does Nadal use?
Babolat released the Rafa Origin tennis racket in 2023, with its main selling point being that its specs were much closer to Nadal’s Aero Pro Drive Original than the regular Pure Aero Rafa tennis rackets.
Rafael Nadal Racket Specs
Below are the racket specs for the Rafa Origin, which are meant to be very close to the specs of the racket that Nadal plays with on tour.
|Release Date:||11th of April 2023|
|Strung Weight:||337g (11.9oz)|
|String Pattern:||16 x 19 (8T,8H mains skip)|
|Balance:||1 pts HL|
|Frame Stiffness Rating:||70|
|Beam Width:||23mm / 26mm / 23mm|
|Colors:||Black, Pink, and Yellow|
|Swing Style Required:||You need a long and fast swing|
|Power Level:||Low powered|
|Recommended Level:||Advanced player (not recommended for beginners)|
What Grip Size does Nadal use?
Nadal uses a 4 and 1/4 grip size with an overgrip, which is considered a small grip size for someone who is 6ft 1in tall.
Nadal and other top 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 Wilson Pro Staff RF97, just because 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.
Therefore, it is better to find a grip size that suits you, as 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 Rafa play with a Vibration Dampener?
How does Rafael Nadal string his racket?
As confirmed by Uncle Toni in the video below, Rafa strings his racket with Babolat RPM blast in the crosses and the mains.
Generally, the string tension on his rackets will be 55 lbs on the cross and main strings.
Unlike many top players like Federer and Djokovic, Nadal does not tend to vary the tension on his racket.
Can You Buy Rafael Nadal’s Racket?
It is slightly easier to get your hands on a racket with similar specs to Rafa’s actual racket than it is for other top players such as Novak Djokovic, as you can usually find old Babolat AeroPro Drive Original for sale on websites like eBay and Pro Stock Tennis.
Although it is fairly easy to get a Babolat AeroPro Drive Original and customize it so it matches Rafa’s specs, I would not recommend it, as Rafa’s racket is far too heavy for the vast majority of club players.
Nadal’s 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 Pure Aero Rafa, as it is lighter and easier to play with.
Should I buy the retail version instead?
If you are looking for a frame that looks and feels similar to Rafa Nadal’s racket then I think the Pure Aero Rafa is a good option.
Although the retail version is lighter than Rafa’s racket, it will be a better option for the vast majority of recreational tennis players.
The retail version 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?
As the Pure Aero Rafa has been a top-selling tennis racket for many years now, you will find that most online tennis shops will have it in stock.
If you are considering buying it and would like to support my blog, then consider purchasing it 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 it.