If you are buying a ping pong table, or you have one already, there will come a time when you need to buy a paddle to go with a new table or buy one to replace an old or broken paddle. If your paddles came with the table, then you did not have much choice, but if you are in the market for a new paddle, then the choices are infinite.
In fact, it can be hard to know where to begin or what to look for.
We have you covered. We have compiled everything you need to know into this handy buying guide. Take a look and then be empowered to make an informed choice. The next time you play, your opponent is not going to know what hit them.
Tips When Shopping for Ping Pong Paddles
Ready-made vs. Customized Paddle
This really depends on your skill level, budget, and how you play. Most players will buy a ready-made paddle. There are many varieties, of course, but each one has been created with many players in mind.
They are one-size fits all options. If you are a beginner player or you only play once in a while, this will be what you choose. You can find these at sporting goods stores or online, and they do not have to set you back a whole lot of money.
If you are an intermediate or expert player, or you want to play more competitively, then you may want to purchase a customized paddle. These will be more expensive, but they will be customized to your exact style of play.
The blade is the wooden part of your paddle and incorporates the circular part on top and the handle. These are mostly made of wood, but there can be small amounts of other materials in there. Traditionally, the blade is made up of at least 85% wood. Carbon fiber will make the blade faster and harder, allowing you to strike the ball with more force. This will also cost you more.
Penhold blades are used by many Asian players. The handles are styled as if you were holding a pen. This grip is good for intermediate and expert players, but beginner players may find it hard to grip the bat and hit the ball with this handle. If you are a beginner player, we do not recommend buying a paddle with this handle.
The Western grip is the grip which most players are familiar with. The bat is held as if you are shaking hands with it. Most players play with this grip, and the grip is recommended for beginner players.
The handle is also broken down further, and the choice is based on what feels comfortable. An anatomic handle bows outward, a flared handle bows inward, and a straight handle is straight. Take a few different handles in your hand and choose what feels most natural.
Ping pong paddles are inexpensive items, but the better you get, the more you are going to want to spend to get a good customized racket. The best players customize their rackets to effectively enhance their play.
The Importance of Construction
Consider The Part You Hit With
The circular part of the blade is also broken down by your style of play. You may not know your style of play until you have been playing for a long time, so you are best to settle for an all-round bat. The all-round blade is great for beginner players and those who like to play on the counter-attack. The blade gives good control of the ball.
Attacking blades are great for offensive players. The ball is harder to control, but you can generate more power in your shots. Defensive bats give you more control over the ball, but less speed.
Your paddle should have rubber on both sides of the blade to hit the ball with. Each side will impart different spin on the ball, and the rules state that each side should be a different color so that an opponent can see which side you are hitting the ball with.
You should choose a rubber coating which is approved by the International Table Tennis Association (ITTF), to ensure that you are getting a good quality of rubber and one which is approved for tournament play. The type of rubber will also dictate your style of play.
Thick rubbers are better for attacking play and will generate more force on the ball. Thinner rubber will give a more controlled approach and will slow the ball when hit. Pimples face out on your bat will also affect your play.
Short pimples are great for a faster or counter-attacking game. Long pimples are great for defense and adding unusual spin to a shot. When the pimples are facing in, they give expert control and allow you to develop your shots. They are recommended for more advanced players.
The Importance of a Strong Glue
The last part of the puzzle is the glue. The glue holds the rubber to the blade and can affect your style of play. Quick glue sheets are easy to use, but there is the hazard of getting the glue on your fingers. The glue is cheap and is fine for most all-round players.
Water-based glue is used by a lot of regular players and is very easy to use. Apply it to the blade and attach the rubber. You can also find speed water-based glue which will increase the speed of your game and help attacking players.
Choosing the best racket for your play could be as simple as buying a ready-made one from your local sports equipment store. For a beginner or new player, this will be fine, but once you start to improve and play more, you are going to want a customized paddle, and there are a lot of options.
By knowing your game, you can choose the customizations which will benefit your style, and you will develop into the best player you can be. Being a good player also requires a great table to play on. Check out www.bestpingpongtables.io/ for some awesome products