Matt Hetherington practicing with the JOOLA Aruna Off Blade
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JOOLA Aruna OFF Blade Review by Matt Hetherington

Initial Thoughts: I first tried the JOOLA Aruna OFF blade whilst doing a review of the Rhyzm-P rubber for JOOLA in 2017. I instantly fell in love with the setup and began using the Aruna OFF as my blade, and despite trying other blades since that time, the Aruna OFF has been my blade of choice, and remains so to this day!

Why I Chose the JOOLA Aruna OFF: When it comes to blade selection I look for something with a very fine balance, I want something that has the feeling of an all-wood blade, but I need the extra bit that a carbon blade has to offer. The market today is full of stiff and fast carbon blades, but it can be difficult to find softer carbon blades which allow for more feel and subtlety in your game.

The Aruna OFF had that exact feel that I was looking for, in fact in the beginning I had to double check the composition to make sure it was a carbon blade. The feeling was very good.

The Composition and Strengths: The Aruna OFF has an outer layer of hinoki wood, a wood which is very well known for offering good touch and feeling for the players who use it. I believe this is a really key element in the blade composition which makes it so well balanced.

The blade offers a lot of control and touch, but still has the secondary bite from the carbon layer which allows you to play with aggression. The unique thing is that the blade really offers the ability to change gears, even with faster rubber combinations. You can easily switch between the finesse of touch blocking and inside-out shots to a more offensive combination of third ball attacking and hitting through your opposition.

The JOOLA Aruna off, Matt Hetherington's table tennis blade of choiceThe blade also allows you to feel the rubber more on your racket. Where stiffer blades often create a hard feeling through the whole racket, which a lot of offensive players find desirable, the Aruna OFF gives you the chance to feel the ball sink and feel it rebound off your racket more, this is a feeling that is well suited to my game style – hence my decision to use this blade.

Good Combinations: I initially started using the Aruna OFF with Rhyzm-P on my forehand. This allowed me to play a lot of fifth ball attack and create more acceleration on the ball through topspin, it was a spin control game at a reasonably high pace, with plenty of variation.

Since a few months ago I have changed to the Rhyzer50 pro and have moved to a move aggressive playing style, and have been able to make more assertive attacking strokes, third ball attacks and powerful follow-ups on opening balls. While the Rhyzer50 pro offers the speed and firmness that I need to achieve that, the Aruna OFF provides the stability that I need to be able to control those strokes.

Perfect, For Me: The Aruna OFF is not a blade created for all out power, if that is what you are searching for then a faster blade like the JOOLA Energon may be more suited to you. What the Aruna OFF really offers is a unique feeling and a good balance of stability for offensive players. It allows the rubber to do more of the work, bringing out the best properties of your rubber choices.

It gives you the confidence and touch to be creative, while being a consistent foundation for a range of advances techniques and a steady support when risks need to be taken.

The JOOLA Aruna OFF is a good candidate so far for my career blade choice!

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