On the program of pala test by Stéphane Penso Babolat Technical Viper. A powerful new weapon for a informed public.
Viper's third test!
After being able to test the model Babolat air Viper and the Babolat counter Viper, the latest version of the Viper range is the eagerly awaited Technical, a name that says a lot about the segment it covets. Three Vipers to replace one of the most famous palas of last season, that of Andalusian Juan Lebrón, still and always faithful to the brand.
The racket padel par excellence of the Lyon firm has become one of the great references of the market and, to a large extent, thanks to the exceptional performance of the one who is now number 2 in the ranking of World Padel Tour.
A company that is linked to the world of padel for many years, and which has experienced exponential growth thanks to a very studied policy where the premium quality product is the main protagonist.
Control exam in ideal conditions for the season (December), covered structure, temperature 7 °, new Comp Ball Wilson balls.
Regarding the design, as you can see, this changes drastically from the 2020 models.
Always the same dominant colors, but arranged in a completely different way. The new Technical Viper uses black, but no longer in its entirety, combining fluorine tones with yellow and red on a white stripe where the name Babolat is inscribed in its verticality (and does not risk escaping you).
The diamond shape of this pala is similar to that of the Viper Carbon2019 (apart from the bridge which is now open), unlike the hybrid shapes of its two sisters Counter Viper and Air Viper.
► New oversized diamond mold and slightly high balance
► Carbon construction, reinforced with 12k woven fiber
► Core with 3 layers of Eva foam of different densities
► Improved control thanks to the new distribution and size of the holes
► 3D Spin + on its surface which generates a rough feel
► Vibrasorb System technology which reduces the risk of injury
In more detail, this racket has a 100% carbon frame, 12K woven carbon fiber, offering a more powerful response to the strike thanks to the deformation of the carbon, as well as an obvious stiffness that will offer the precision needed to place the ball wherever you want.
Babolat uses for its new recipe a succession of 3 different EVA layers. It incorporates the X-Eva foam which will offer you great dynamism in energetic engagements. The two outer layers, denser, bring explosiveness on extreme hits while the inner layer, softer, gives more tolerance to the pala. An ideal technology to give more punch and precision to the racquet.
Let’s not forget the 3 major innovations that characterize these “Vipers”:
- Holes Pattern System: reworked hole pattern around the racquet´s “Sweet spot” for a better feeling of power and improved precision gain thanks to an optimal air penetration rate.
- 3D Spin +: this process incorporates a slight relief on the sieve in order to increase tenfold the effect and the feeling of control.
- Vibrating System: Babolat is distinguished by the use of an elastomeric material associated with the graphite present in the heart of the racquet.
This combination provides ideal playing comfort but above all greatly reduces the risk of tendonitis. The integration of the Vibrasorb System, Powered by SMAC, reduces vibrations due to the stiffness of the carbon while also offering more playing comfort.
The weight of our guest is 366 grams for a balance of 270mm. I was surprised as I was expecting a few grams more, especially for a diamond shape oriented for vigorous forwards. But that's quite a good thing, so you can add more weight as you wish to find the perfect combination for your game.
The balance towards the head of the racquet is nevertheless obvious, and the handling is very correct for this range of racquet.
The grip benefiting from an upgraded vertical surface is extremely appreciable, but the strap is unfortunately of the simplest kind.
On the track
As expected, defensive play is a challenge with this pala due to the head balance and the smaller “Sweet-Spot”.
On the other hand, the blows which fit in full frame in the “Punto dulce” are rewarded by a sensation of exuberance with the exceptional sound.
At net, this is precisely where the Viper shines.
The new core as well as the hard 12K carbon fiber surface make it very responsive when hit hard. It is a pleasure to play volleys and high balls, and even more enjoyable when you have to spike.
This pala is quite simply programmed to triumph in the attempts of par 3. As agreed, it outclasses its two sisters in terms of power, and especially all the rackets that I have been able to test so far.
The Technical Viper does not offer any surprises regarding other expectations on this type of racket. It's all about explosiveness and power, the ability to tame it and the ability to understand it. Of course, it will take a few long months of learning to use the machine serenely and only experienced players will fully benefit from the performance and punch provided by this pala.
The Technical is the least innovative of the new Vipers.
Its classic shape and the raw power it develops are the same as in many other rackets in this category. This is not necessarily a bad thing, as it is a well proven and popular concept, and so you know what to expect if you buy this pala.
Explosive power and surgical precision are in the spotlight to the delight of players who love rigidity and accuracy.
This is not a racket for the beginner player as it requires fairly precise hits to produce decisive results. The lightning that it provides in smashes and the frenzied enthusiasm of hitting all the balls like an "ox" will make you forget that the padel is a sport where the point is built calmly, where the abuse of power is only necessary to overwhelm the opponent and finalize the point.
If you manage to channel this euphoria, then this pala will be an exceptional model that will offer you the precision of a Swiss watchmaker and monumental power when it comes to concluding.
What makes <span style="font-family: 'arial black', 'avant garde';">inlingua</span> different
- Monstrous power
- XXL grip
- Astonishing precision
- Fairly stiff
- Reserved for the elite
Thanks to Fred Bertucat (Babolat) for his technical exchanges as well as to Stéphanie, and especially to Vincent and Manon from the agency 187.com without whom nothing would have been possible.
Julien Bondia is a teacher of padel in Tenerife. He is the founder of AvantagePadel.net, a software very popular with clubs and players of padel. Columnist and advisor, he helps you to play better through his many tutorials padel.