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Whether you’re buying your first tennis racquet or upgrading your current racquet, finding a new one can be a tough job.
We will attempt to help with this daunting endeavor by comparing two of the most popular racquets on the market, the Babolat Drive Max 110 and the Wilson Hyper Hammer.
Before we get into the specifics of the Babolat Drive Max 110 vs. Wilson Hyper Hammer, let’s check out some of the main characteristics of a tennis racquet.
There are three main factors to consider when choosing a racquet.
A racquets head size refers to the total surface area of the string bed and is measured in square inches or centimeters.
The larger the head size, the more power and forgiveness the racquet gives the player. Smaller head sizes afford more precision and control with every shot.
In general, professional and advanced club players will use standard racquets (less than 98 square inches) because they can provide their own power and hit the sweet spot with consistency.
Beginner players often start with oversized racquets (106 + square inches) for extra forgiveness on off-center hits, while intermediate players frequently use mid plus racquets (99-105 square inches) that offer a nice blend of power and control.
Weight affects the performance characteristics of a tennis racquet. A heavier racquet brings more stability and power throughout the swing.
Heavier racquets also absorb more shock than lighter racquets which can give players better feel for the ball.
This is ideal for players with long, fast strokes that prefer hitting flatter balls with pace and depth.
Lighter racquets enhance maneuverability and provide easier access to spin.
This is optimal for handling volleys at the net, spinning lobs into play, and generating angles inside the lines.
In addition to racquet performance, the weight of a racquet significantly affects arm comfort.
Playing with a racquet that is too heavy can lead to poor form, arm discomfort and possible injuries in the future.
Head Heavy/Head Light
Balance is measured in points and indicates the distribution of weight within a racquet.
This is categorized in three ways:
- Head light
- Head heavy
- Even balanced
Head-light (HL) racquets have more mass in the handle of the racquet.
Head Heavy (HH) racquets have more mass in the hoop of the racquet.
Evenly balanced (EB) racquets have even mass distribution throughout.
While head light racquets are usually heavier, they also give players added maneuverability and more control in the head of the racquet.
Head heavy racquets give light weight racquets more stability and power, as the added weight in the head helps prevent the frame from moving or twisting during the swing.
Even balanced racquets tend to strike a happy medium between the maneuverability of head light and stability of head heavy frames.
Babolat Drive Max 110 vs. Wilson Hyper Hammer
It’s interesting to note that both the Babolat and Wilson brands have impeccable reputations as manufacturers.
Your choice between these two great racquet options will have to come down to the specifics of each racquet and what you’re looking for, since both companies produce a stellar product.
Let’s take a look at those specifics below.
Babolat Drive Max 110 Tennis Racquet (Prestrung)
Babolat has done a great job of expanding their Drive Series of frames.
The Drive Max 110 is a fine choice for players of all levels looking for singles or doubles play.
A solid light weight frame with an ample sweet spot, it provides excellent power from all areas of the court, especially on serve.
This is a great option for a player looking for a easy swinging racquet that offers huge power and high comfort.
View this racquet at Amazon to learn more about how it might work for your game.
Specs of this racquet include:
- Head Size: 110 square inches
- Length: 27.5 inches
- Weight: Strung 9.8 ounces (Unstrung – 9.2 ounces)
- Tension: 50-55 pounds
- Balance: 2 points head heavy
- Beam Width: 27/27/28mm
- Grip Type: Syntec Soft
- Power Level: High
- String Pattern: 16 mains/20 crosses, moderately dense and makes for solid and consistent feel on all shots
- String Speed: Slow-Medium
- Swing Weight: 302
From the Baseline
The Drive Max’s extra length is evident from the first hit, both with a weighty feel and added power.
When combined with the large head and wide beams, the Drive Max 110 sends the ball effortlessly from baseline to baseline.
If you notice any stiffness, you can have your racquet strung with a soft string.
The sweet spot is generous and is higher in the string face than the Drive Max 105, but still below center.
The wider beams and oversized head make miss-hits high on the face more powerful and easier to control. The string pattern, while not overly spin-friendly, doesn’t stop you from spinning the ball if your swing is right.
Like the 105, the Drive Max 110 is best used by a flatter hitter but does provide more than ample power from the backcourt.
At the Net
The Drive Max’s 110’s length doesn’t help it at the net, but its light weight makes up for it.
The maneuverability is good for everything except the fastest volley exchanges.
Feel and touch, as you would expect with a stiff frame, are not optimal, but it powers away at swing volleys and floaters with ease.
The same is true for overheads, where the added length provides ample leverage to drive away almost any lob you are confronted with.
On serve, the Drive Max 110’s stiff upper hoop is a great aid in serving power, showing great stability on balls up high.
The great spacing of the string bed gives fine control and great spin on slice and kick serves.
It does, however, seem best-suited to bashing flatter deliveries deep into the opponent’s service box.
Features and Details
With the Drive Max 110, Babolat serves up a lot of power and comfort to the 2.0 to 4.0 player.
Offering a luxurious sweet spot, this very forgiving oversize racquet handles smooth from the baseline.
The shorter strokes deliver good depth with impressive precision.
The light weight translates into explosive swings making it easier to add pace and spin.
Thanks to its maneuverability and 27.5 lengths, the Drive Max 100 supplies the speed and leverage needed for aggressive serving.
At the net, the added reach and stable feel at impact makes hitting volleys a breeze.
The light weight of the racquet is also perfect for quick exchanges and decisive “put away” shots.
Wilson Hyper Hammer 5.3 Strung Tennis Racket
The Wilson Hyper Hammer 5.3 is a great racquet for those looking for a great combination of power, control, and maneuverability.
it is 27.5 inches and offers greater reach than standard reach racquets.
That said, however, it does not limit your ability reach or react to balls that are closer to your body.
It has a larger, oversized frame, which is designed to provide explosive power. It is lighter weight so as to not cause additional fatigue or strain.
- Head Size: 110 Square inches/ 709.68 Sq.cm
- Length: 27.5 inches/ 69.85cm
- Strung Weight: 9.0 ounces
- String Pattern: 16×20
- Composition: Graphite
- Grip: 4 1/8 – 4 ½
Featured image credit: DepositPhotos.com