Xiom Ice cream AZX

Product information

4.50 star(s) 4 ratings

User stats

  • Hybrid design
  • Demanding
Had the pleasure of testing out the Xiom Ice Cream AZX over the last few weeks! After extraction from the trapezoidal prism box, here are the basic stats:

Thickness - 5.7mm
Weight - 87g
Headsize - 157x150
Structure - Koto-ALC-Limba-Kiri-Limba-ZLC-Koto



The build quality is super-high - nice finishing on the fiber layer, no blemishes anywhere I can see. The handle is wide, but fairly flat - it feels very comfortable to me, but it isn't as beefy as some bigly yuge euro handles. I'm happy to say that the wings are different to recent Xiom blades (e.g. Vega Pro) and the overall feel in the hand is excellent. Everyone's grip is different of course, so this is a very personal thing, but I'm glad Xiom have made this change.


I've put 9 sessions in with the AZX before finishing this review, 3 sessions each with 3 different setups. Initially I went with my current rubbers (QiJi, Moon Speed Special) to give a direct comparison to what I've been using recently. Then I switched to Rasanter R47 Ultramax on both sides in an effort to bring out the hybrid nature of the blade with a rubber I'm familiar with, and finally to Omega VII Pro on both sides.

Basic Speed and Drives

From initial reviews, I was concerned about the speed and if it would be too much to handle. Well, it's fast, but not insane. I'd put it slightly above a Viscaria, but noticeably below a MJ-ZLC.

The feel on basic drives is pretty sharp, but I've used harder Boll ALCs so it's not excessive. The ALC side feels a bit more "distant" than the ZLC - not hollow, but more of a "dry" feel for want of a better word. I didn't really notice a big difference in speed between the two wings here.

It's also pretty linear and easy to use, if you accept that the speed is generally high all the time.


When using more expansive strokes, you notice the big potential for power from the blade. Although there isn't excessive flex, it's simply fast. I found slow loops to be a little awkward because the blade just wants to go faster, deeper, more more and so on. It's very good from distance - you can play some massive strokes from 2m back, and the pace and spin result in some incredible bombs.

Looping is the time when the difference between the ALC and ZLC becomes really noticeable. The ALC side produces a meaningfully high arc in comparison with the ZLC. I was skeptical about this, but I have to admit that it appears to be a real feature of the blade. When looping hard, I can really load up the spin on the ALC side, but the ZLC goes much flatter and gives the impression of being faster (simply because it's a more direct path to the table).

Blocking, Flicks, Short Game

I found the blade to be medium stiff overall, which helps a lot when blocking. Add this to the sharpness of the initial feel and it works very well when blocking, if you can cope with the pace.

BH flicks are good - fast enough (obviously), direct, and the ZLC's lower-arc nature helps to keep the ball low when putting some zip on a short service return.

Short game was hard for me. It's a bouncy blade, and with hard eurojap rubber it's a handful for my level. I popped a lot of pushes and service returns up, especially with the R47. I'm used to more forgiving blades and would need to make adjustments.


This is a well-made blade, with a premium feel. It's fast and capable of very destructive play, without being uncontrollably quick. I feel that it suits a highly-mobile, dynamic player who attacks from mid distance and has great footwork and mobility. This doesn't describe me of course - but I can picture it being a real weapon for lots of younger/faster/better players.

The "hybrid" construction is interesting, and while I was initially skeptical it does have a noticeable effect on play. And it's also a bit different to other combination blades I've used in the past, and worthy of a bit of time to describe here I think. Previously, I've used Sanwei Two-Face, Valiant Terminator, and custom builds by Levi, tt-manufaktur and Ross Leidy but all of these used different outer plies to create the combination effect (the Valiant stands alone here in having ALC/ZLC as well as an outer ply difference). This approach does the trick, but introduces a marked difference in feel/speed between the two wings. This may be what you're looking for of course, but adapting to this imbalance takes time - the contrast between the FH and BH isn't intuitive by definition. The AZX is different here, because the basic properties of the blade feel very similar - feel, speed and so on. You just get a higher arc with the ALC side. It seems to have a singular aim - support the common need of the standard, modern two-winged loop player by having a dynamic, high arc on the FH side and a more direct, lower arc on BH - while introducing a minimum of disruption to the overall balance of the blade. I presume this is what Xiom are hinting at with their notes on blade balance and being the first hybrid of this type. If so, I think it's a success! I haven't used anything quite like it before, and it's a fascinating approach.
  • Precision
  • Speed
  • Handling
Weight: 91g

I was sceptical in the beginning as I have played a XIOM Vega Tour blade for quite some time and none of the newer XIOM blade were good enought to replace it. The special Hinoki feel combined with special core and ZLC was the perfect combination for me.

From the specs the IceCream AZX is nothing even comparable to Vega Tour with Koto outerply and ALC composite. Nevertheless XIOM was generous to have me play this blade and so I gave it a try. Glad I did, because IceCream blade is really outstanding.

ALC side has very crisp and noticable feedback, which helped me to improve my FH loops, as I can very well notice if I hit the ball more towards the center or outer of the blade. The loop arc is more noticable compared to my Vega Tour, even with rubbers that have a lower throw like the new Omega 7 rubbers. But most noticable is the very high precision that I can now put into my shots. Placement is much easier with this blade.
Ball contact is very short, but still looping backspin is working well.

ZLC side has less feedback (compareble with Vega Tour), but still enough to be noticable. The throw is a bit flater than with ALC, which requires a bit different technique when looping against backspin.

I did play ALC on FH (with various rubbers like Vega Pro, Omega 7 Pro and Omega 7 Tour). I can only anticipate that IceCream was designed for O7x rubbers (or the otherway round) but the O7x rubbers work extremly well with the blade. I first had the O7P on the blade and it already worked perfectly, but lately changed to O7T and this now the combination I stick with.

On BH (ZLC) the O7T was bit to much speed and I had less control in blocking, but with O7P it works as before.

I didn't mention spin so far, but the blade supports very well in generating spin. I didn't miss anything compared to my already spinny Vega Tour blade. I really like the higher precision of the IceCream, which makes even risky placement (loops to wide FH or parallel blocks towards the edge of the table) much easier.

The IceCream Blade definitly is a blade for people that do regular systematic practicing. It will be hard to manage this blade and the O7x rubbers with only 1-2 hours fun table tennis a week. The blade has a higher speed than Vega Tour, but as the the Vega Tour it is very linear in playing.
No bouncy effect that kicks in when you don't need it. If you hit the ball hard, the shot is blazzing fast, if you only touch the ball, it is short and slow. I really like this behaviour.

A small comment on the handle. XIOM really did change the handle for the better. The handle now fits perfectly in my hand and the cross over to the blade itself is not as edgy as with the Feel Series.

Professional equipement developed by XIOM... I really like it. I found a very worthy replacement for my Vega Tour (which I will keep because of it special material combination)