The player from Pehuajó, an indisputable icon throughout the world, plays his last tournaments on the circuit Premier Padel, armed with a new pala which seems to be a tribute to his greatness.

The latest from the collaboration between Wilson and Fernando Belasteguin, the Bela Pro 2.5 presents itself as a weapon of choice to help him win a final trophy during his last professional season.
Let's examine together whether the latter constitutes a real revolution or a simple improvement compared to previous models.

First of all, let's focus on its shape.

For many years, Fernando Belasteguin favored diamond rackets, characterized by:

  • A balance in mind: favoring striking power.
  • Great rigidity: offering better precision.

The era of lightning aggression

At the time, Fernando Belasteguin stood out as one of the most explosive left-wing players on the circuit. His ruthless style of play required a pala that could meet certain demands for power and accuracy.

The different brands with which he collaborated (only 3) worked tirelessly to improve the design of his rackets, adjusting them precisely to meet the offensive prerequisites of the Argentine maestro.

The evolution of his playing style is partly explained by a natural decrease in his muscle tone linked to his advanced age (he recently celebrated his 45th birthday), and his difficulty in adapting to the increasing demands of the game. padel modern. To comply with his current physical condition and the new challenges he faces, he has now opted for a teardrop reference (leaving behind the diamond shape that accompanied him for most of his career), thus guaranteeing several advantages. It offers a perfect balance between increased maneuverability (lighter at the head, it allows easier movement) and controlled power (thanks to its teardrop shape which retains significant offensive capacity despite the readjusted balance).

In addition, it offers superior comfort (the increased sweet spot reduces vibrations and joint stress), thus meeting the new playing requirements and physical constraints of the one we affectionately nickname “Bela”.

Adapting to the right-hand position reduced his raw power requirements, while the sensitivity of his shoulder required a model that was easier to handle and less muscularly taxing.
This is how the teardrop shape turned out to be the most appropriate choice for the last season of Juan Tello's current partner.

A characteristic style

This new reference retains the characteristic style of the latest Bela Pro range, featuring the emblematic color of the American brand, celebrating the exploits of the player and his influence on the world of padel, with a deep red predominating over the majority of its surface.

This energetic color captures attention more effectively than any other and is often used to signal strong and contradictory emotions, such as love, anger, courage and danger, but also to evoke seduction.

Red is associated with intensity and power, which characterizes this new racket perfectly.
The interior of the bridge sports a brighter, flashier shade of red. This subtle detail embellishes the design of the racket, adding an additional dimension of prestige.

The new version highlights the famous W logo in contrasting black, bringing a touch of recognition which was subtly present in V1, but completely absent in V2.

Bela's signature above the bridge as well as the padded wrist strap are still relevant today, as is the inscription with her daughter's handwriting which is embroidered on it "Un Belasteguin nunca se rinde" (a Belasteguin never gives up ).

The length of the handle is satisfactory, however, it is still quite large (or at least thicker than average), which can be a problem for people with small hands, especially if an additional overgrip is added.

However, it is always possible to remove the original grip to gain a few precious millimeters.
For those who prefer to keep it, the famous Grip Shock Shield, which combines a proprietary polyurethane and an Izo-Zorb alloy provides an excellent combination of grip and cushioning. It should be noted that the wrist strap is no longer removable on this version, but the superb cover is still provided.

At the heart of innovation is the C2 structure

Featuring a uniform carbon tubular construction made with extreme precision, this technology features the addition of a low-density composite material to the frame of the racket, allowing for greater flexibility and better shock absorption. vibes. This unique design aims to achieve an ideal balance between durability, feel and responsiveness, allowing players to execute a variety of shots with precision and confidence.

We then find everything that was previously introduced on the old versions, namely:

  • Primero Carbon Face 3 K: blend of incredible power and maximum responsiveness, optimizing propulsion when leaving the racket.
  • Spin Effect Signature Texture: The A-shaped textured surface (taken from Bela's signature) grips the ball on contact to enhance spin and provide great feel on every shot.
  • Firm EVA Core is a rigid foam that offers maximum power, better precision and superior durability to soft EVA foams. This choice is suitable for experienced players looking for power and precision, but it may be less comfortable and forgiving than softer foams.
  • Sharp Hole Technology: The racket's holes are strategically designed to optimize aerodynamics and promote greater ball speed and better air penetration, while widening the sweet spot.
    Also note that the top of the frame now benefits from a transparent protector to protect it from impacts and scratches.

And what does it look like on the track?

From the first moments, the racket still seems as imposing. It's not a question of balance, which has been reduced in this new version, but rather a feeling of holding a still robust pala, designed for players with great muscular strength!

This racket excels in blocks, offering remarkable stability against opposing attacks, and is particularly effective on high balls and decisive smashes.

Less rigid than its predecessors, 2.5 benefits from a sweetspot generous, comparable to the best models on the market. Even off-center hits now find power and precision, making the racket more forgiving and less punishing.

It is true that maneuverability in intense rallies is not its strong point, but if you have a powerful arm ensuring excellent swing responsiveness, this should not pose a problem for you.

Backcourt defense: notable progress

Although the racket retains its impressive feel in the hand, it is important to point out that readjusted balance and increased flexibility of the sieve compared to previous versions now make it easier to get out of delicate situations.

Despite the fact that she is not designed to be a defensive jewel, it now offers a satisfactory level of performance in this area, which makes it more versatile and accessible to a wider audience.

Conclusion: an exceptional racket for an exceptional player

With the Bela Pro 2.5, Wilson offers Fernando Belasteguin a formidable tool for his final season on the professional circuit.

The latter had to make a strategic decision to face a final challenge by changing the shape of his racket, in order to adapt to the evolution of his game and his physical limitations.
This pala which combines power, precision and aesthetics, has all the qualities to allow the “Boss” to shine one last time and leave an indelible mark in the history of the padel.

If the V2 had already reduced the excessive rigidity and widened the limited sweet spot of the V1, this new version goes even further in terms of versatility and pleasure, by offering significantly improved playing comfort, allowing you to fully express yourself without tensing up.

The Chicago company was able to adapt to the new wishes of the Argentine star by providing a less restrictive and less tiring model, while retaining its legendary punch in offensive situations.
However, be careful, this reference remains as massive and very demanding as ever, requiring excellent mastery to fully exploit its full potential.

It remains the ideal choice for powerful and technical left-handed (or left-handed) players (Lucho Capra), as well as aggressive right-handed players (Thomas Leygue).

For those who prioritize maneuverability or for players wishing to opt for a racket from the Bela range, the LT (Light) version, recognizable by its characteristic white color, is an alternative to consider. This lightweight version offers increased maneuverability, allowing ultra-fast changes of direction and amplified ball output thanks to its soft core, without sacrificing raw power.

As for players looking for a more tolerant and flexible racket, while combining the robust essence of the Pro version and the soft rubber of the LT, the Elite model will better meet their expectations.

In short, the 2.5 terminology represents a light update which was able to rectify the faults of the previous models, while preserving their offensive character.
The use of a half unit (2,5) rather than a whole number (3) suggests that the improvements were minor, in anticipation of a definitive version which would crown in the most beautiful way the exceptional career of the Argentinian virtuoso?

I would like to warmly thank Wilson Europe for sending me this exceptional racket for testing.

And that's not all ! The package contained another surprise that I will reveal to you in a future article, to be published very soon. Stay tuned !

Stéphane Penso

Fan of padel, Stéphane has become the official tester of the planet padel in Europe. Everything goes through his expert hands. Thanks to his extensive experience in the snowshoeing world, he is able to scan your gear from head to toe!