Joola Aruna OFF Blade
Type: Carbon OFF
Composition: 7 ply (Hinoki, Koto, Carbon, Kiri Core, Carbon, Koko, Hinoki)
Rubbers used with blade: Joola Rhyzm
Hi everyone, during our recent visit to the 2016 World Cup in Saarbrucken we met up with world number 25 from Nigeria Quadri Aruna to review the Joola Aruna Off blade. Together with Aruna, Joola designed this personal blade for powerspin players in mind. Watch the full review in the video below:
This premium carbon blade feels very well balanced, has a comfortable handle and smooth edges. The blade design uses the colours of the Nigerian national flag, which adds a nice personal touch. The composition of the 7 ply Aruna OFF blade has hinoki as the outer layer. Hinoki is a prized Japanese wood which is both soft and bouncy at the same time. Hinoki is used as the outer layer to absorb incoming speed and spin and to give the blade soft feeling and touch. The second ply used is koto, which is a harder wood to add more zip to the blade. The Koto is followed by a carbon layer and finally the kiri core.
The Aruna blade series comes in 2 types. The Aruna off and Aruna Off+. Quadri chooses the slightly slower Off version as his blade of choice. The Aruna OFF+ is the faster version of the two and is composed of 5 plys.
The Aruna blade weighs 84 grams and has a thickness of 5.8 mm.
Aruna is renowned for his powerful forehand topspin and I noticed early on I was able to control the ball with ease. This hasn't always been the case when I've reviewed blades with other pro players, where it has taken more getting used to their speed, with more responsive, harder blades. The blade has a soft and solid feel on impact which gave me the control to keep the ball on the table.
When playing a topspin stroke I produced a medium throw with good safety and control in my shots. The blade has good dwell and soft feel when topspinning, the Aruna OFF is softer than a Carbonado or a Timo Boll ALC for example.
When blocking for Aruna, I had superb control and feeling even with Quadri rocketing his verocious topspins at me. The Aruna OFF is not as fast as a Butterfly ALC or a Joola Wing Carbon for example however packs bundles of control. When playing a harder stroke the speed was more than enough to play out right winners due to the harder inner koto layer. (Aruna also demonstrates he can hit the ball at extreme speeds, using slow mo cam with this one.)
The blade has lots of dwell, the top hinoki veneer soaks the ball into the blade producing lots of rotation on the ball. Minimal effort was needed to topspin heavy backspin balls, a quality I really liked about this blade.
Quadri Aruna talks about serving in the video.
Backhand flick and spin
The spin capabilities this blade has work just as well in the short game as they do when serving. With the blade being more control based rather than purely speed based, it grabs the ball well over the table producing high levels of spin especially with the modern backhand flick.
When touching short, the blades soft outer ply allows for good dwell in the serve and receive game.
When Aruna made a forehand counter topspin it was pretty much game over for me. Aruna mentioned how he liked this blade for counter attacking shots due to its control and stability against spin.
Top to top
When away from the table I had to put a bit more effort into my shots to get good speed over the table. A bit more kick in spin and speed would have helped me a bit more when away, however the control and safety in the stroke was excellent.
Our overall impressions after playing with The Joola Aruna OFF is that it is a well designed, high quality 7 ply carbon blade. With its main attributes being good control and spin due to its soft Hinoki outer layer. The blade is fast however it is no rocket and possesses a very good balance between control and speed which helps especially with service/return and opening attacks. The blades high levels of feeling gives good stability in your strokes in point play and for close range punch type shots.
The soft hinoki top ply also helps when playing spin shots against backspin. As mentioned throughout the review, I felt very comfortable with this blade especially when blocking. As the increased dwell time and reduced responsiveness, gave me that control I needed to keep the ball on the table even when playing against the world class player Quadri is.
Due to Aruna’s superior technique and the ridiculous power he possesses the Aruna OFF is easily fast enough for him. However for mere mortals like me who are used to a harder blade the Aruna OFF+ may be a better choice if you still wanted something within the Joola Aruna range.
This blade is suited for players who want that bit more control and spin than a faster, harder carbon blades provide.This blade will also work for power players who can get that extra speed through technique. We feel that Joola and Quadri Aruna have definitely Combined well and created what seems to be an advancement to the popular Joola Rosskopf blade.