Due to the good initial reports about the Azalea blades (Allround and Offensive) from yogi_bear and others, I decided to purchase the Offensive version and put a pair of modern offensive rubbers on it. Currently I am using GEWO Nexxus EL Pro 43 and 38 on this blade. I concede that my perception of this blade versus others is influenced by the performance of these rubbers, but the blade makes its character known at any rate.

For an introduction to the Azalea series, please consult yogi_bear's fine review of the Azalea Allround.

Let's get the appearance question out of the way right up front: This blade has some lavendar/pink detailing. It does not really look like a "women's blade" however, and if you skip this blade because of how the handle looks, I can only say that you are really missing out. The key question you should ask is, "Do I want a lightweight blade with good power and control?" If yes, then do not hesitate to try this blade.

The Azalea Offensive has replaced the Ayous second/fourth layers with Spruce, and this is very effective in giving real power to your shot once you try to put some pace on the ball. During pushes and light chops, you feel the Limba top layer, but with topspin counters and blocks you feel the Spruce engage the ball. The effect is well managed and fairly linear in feel.

There is some vibration when hitting toward the end of the blade, as expected, but the vibration is well managed. The control is not simply due to the softer Limba top layer but also to the light weight of the blade, which makes quick adjust of position and angle so easy, and makes the blade not too bouncy. The power is sufficient for mid distance, but this is not a pure power hitting blade. The sound of the blade during aggressive hitting is pretty high pitched, but not so metalic as with a carbon blade. I have a feeling that the Azalea Offensive lies between the Azalea Allround and the Infinity VPS V, sharing the light weight of the Allround but having some of the harder feel of the Infinity during aggressive play.

I am very happy with this blade and rubber setup. If you like the feel of a lightweight blade but need some power in your shots, you owe it to yourself to try this beautifully designed and constructed blade. Highly recommended!

-- Tim