Babolat (About The Brand)
About the Babolat
BABOLAT is a French Sports Equipment Manufacturing Company.
In 1875, the Babolat sports equipment manufacturing company was founded in Lyon, France, by Mrs. Pierre Babolat.
The Babolat story begins with a family business and its first venture into the world of sport in 1875, when tennis and badminton were still in their infancy. The Lyon-based brand owed its early success and expertise to a raw material – natural gut – from which the first racquet strings were made. It subsequently became the leader in racquet-sports equipment – frames, strings, shoes, clothes, balls, grips, accessories, and bags – and technical equipment for racquet preparation professionals.
A specialist in processing natural gut for sausages, surgical thread, harmonic music strings, and archery.
It becomes the first company to specialise in racquet games, and embarks on its adventure in the world of sports.
After taking over the business from his father, Albert creates the benchmark VS in 1925. A natural, revolutionary string, it is made famous by the French tennis “Musketeers” (Jean Borotra, Jacques Brugnon, René Lacoste and Henri Cochet) and Suzanne Lenglen. Almost a century later, the VS remains a global benchmark in the world of racquet sports, with more than 100 Grand Slam tournaments won by champions equipped with Babolat VS strings.
By now, tennis has grown into a truly global phenomenon. Paul Babolat builds an international retail network for his products. Babolat quickly becomes a household name among players across the globe, including in Argentina, Germany, Italy, United States, Scandinavia, Eastern Europe, Australia, and Japan.
Paul Babolat expands Babolat’s range while continuing to design innovative products better adapted and more accessible to players. One of his inventions is Elascord – the brand’s first synthetic (nylon) string.
Babolat launches a complete range of accessories for racquet frames including leather and synthetic handle grips, and Babol coating to protect gut strings.
Babolat changes the brand signature on its strings, adding a double line to the bottom of the stringed area so players always know it is equipped with Babolat strings, whatever the frame brand.
After launching the first electric stringing machine, Cordynel, the brand releases Elastocross – an accessory that extends the working life of strings by making them easier to reposition. The brand creates “Team Competition” – a group of outstanding racquet preparers who assist professional players at tournaments all over the world and offer a service that measures up to the standards of the badminton, tennis and even squash circuits. Jahangir Khan dominates the world squash scene with his VS string.
Babolat once again makes its mark on the world market by launching a range of multifilament synthetic strings (VX, Le Muscle).
The RDC (Racquet Diagnostic Center): another Babolat innovation. This professional machine precisely measures the characteristics of racquet and strings in under two minutes. Badminton becomes an Olympic sport at the Barcelona Games the same year.
Babolat unveils its first badminton frames and enjoys one success after another; it is now one of Europe’s leading brands.
Padel, a new sport similar to tennis in Spain, Central America, and South America. The brand adds its first racquet to its existing accessories and drives pédal’s growth.
Babolat also launches Sensor, a new range of finely tuned stringing machines for badminton and tennis.
In 2001, Babolat launch of its first tennis balls. This marks a new milestone in its global commitment to players through clubs and tournaments.
Building on the performance of its tennis shoes, Babolat launches a range for badminton players, again in partnership with Michelin.
Babolat Play provides players with an overview of their game – ball serve speed, shots, impact locator, spin effect; etc. – for each match or training session, to compare with previous performances or other players, including pros. This allows each player to track their progress. All you have to do is turn on your racquet.
Another extraordinary performance by Rafael Nadal with his 12th French Open title and 19th Grand Slam crown. Meanwhile, another Spanish player also shines… at Padel. Juan Lèbron becomes the world No. 1 with his Viper Carbon pala racquet, Jet Premura shoes, and dedicated Babolat outfit. Babolat finishes 2019 with two world number ones in two different sports.
Björn Borg, with 100 victories under his belt including 11 Grand Slam tournaments with the VS string, becomes a tennis rockstar for a generation of players, along with Arthur Ashe, Martina Navratilova, Jimmy Connors, and John Newcombe.
Yannick Noah wins the French Open against Mats Wilander. Both players use racquets equipped with VS strings. Yannick becomes an icon in France and worldwide.
Babolat launches its first tennis frames. By creating a complete range including Pure Drive, Pierre Babolat invents an extraordinary racquet globally associated with new playing styles. Initially launched in France, it is soon marketed in Spain (1995), Italy (1996), Austria (1997) and Germany (1998), before conquering countries worldwide, including Japan in 1999, and the United States in 2000. Since then, Pure Drive has become an iconic and internationally best-selling racquet.
With Pure Drive, Carlos Moya dominates the clay court season with successes in Monaco, Rome, and most memorably, the French Open, and is the first player to win a Grand Slam title with a Babolat racquet. He becomes world No. 1 in March 1999. The two junior winners, Fernando Gonzalez (CHI) and Kim Clijsters (BEL), are also equipped with Babolat racquets, and the champions will soon become household names.
In partnership with the renowned French brand Michelin. Babolat launches its first tennis shoes on the initiative of Éric Babolat. Together with its shoes and clothing ranges, it continues to innovate in the field of tennis with the release of an aerodynamic racquet adapted to modern playing styles: the Babolat Aeropro Drive.
Andy Roddick (USA) and Kim Clijsters (BEL) become ATP and WTA No. 1 players with their Babolat Pure Drive racquet – a first for any brand in the history of tennis.
At just 19, Rafael Nadal wins his first Grand Slam title at the French Open with the Babolat Aeropro Drive racquet specially designed to enhance his extreme lift.
Andy Roddick, American No. 1 tennis player, chooses Babolat Propulse shoes in addition to the Pure Drive racquet and Pro Hurricane Tour & VS hybrid stringing to hold the world record for the fastest service: 249 kmph!
The new RPM Blast tennis racquet string arrives in clubs around the world, Babolat Pro Team players ensure the brand shines in international competitions as Rafael Nadal (ESP) and Francesca Schiavone (ITA) win the French Open at Roland Garros. Rafael Nadal also wins the US Open, along with Belgian player Kim Clijsters, capping her return to the competition circuit.
Brand launches its new racquet, the Pure Strike, offering an innovative design, responsiveness, power, control and more accuracy for attack-minded players.
It soon establishes its reputation as the brand’s third racquet in the Pure range, along with Pure Drive (power and versatility) and Pure Aero (power and spin).
Rafael Nadal excels himself by winning the French Open for the tenth time! Nadal becomes the first player in the Open era to win the same Grand Slam title ten times. Babolat marks the event by releasing a new limited-edition racquet: the Pure Aero Decima.