How To Choose A Ping Pong Paddle: A Beginner’s Guide
A paddle is your main arsenal in ping pong. Hence, you should never ignore its quality.
Now, others think that any paddle would work. If you are one of them, I hate it to break it to you, but what you are thinking is quite wrong.
You see, ping pong paddles have different specifications. Some are designed for attacking, blocking, and all-rounder playing styles.
Depending on your preferences and skill level, you need to choose the right kind of paddle. The following guide can help you out.
The Anatomy of the Paddle
The paddle has multiple parts. The handle, the blade, rubber, and sponge.
Each of these parts plays a part in the overall performance of the paddle. Interestingly, there are unlimited ways of combining these parts, with each of them producing a different kind of play.
Picking a good set for ping pong will deliberately make you win games and improve your skills.
Handle and Grip
The first thing that you need to consider is the grip or the way you are going to hold the paddle.
Some paddles have handles that are for shakehand grip, which is considered to be the basic and most user-friendly. However, in some places, especially in Asia, players there are using paddles that have penhold grip.
Keep in mind that the penhold is more technical than the shakehand, so there’s a need for you to learn it.
A straight handle is suitable for players that have a loose grip. But for firm holders, a flared handle is the most appropriate.
The next thing that you need to inspect is the blade. Specifically, the blade is the “main body,” which, in turn, determines the overall power of the paddle.
If the blade is light and rigid, then it is great for offensive and aggressive players. Meanwhile, if it is heavy, then it works well for players who specialize in blocking and defending.
Are you into fast-paced games? Then the blade should be composed of at least five layers of material; it should be lighter, too, so that it can be more responsive to your strokes.
Wooden blades are the standard. However, those that incorporate titanium carbon or carbon fiber are known to be lighter than their counterparts.
A wooden blade is undoubtedly the main arsenal of defensive players.
Another essential part of the paddle that you should never miss is the rubber. After all, it is not actually the blade that contacts the ball at the time; it is the rubber, and that alone should make you more cautious in picking this one.
In the world of ping pong, rubbers are gauged on their stickiness or how much grip they can produce. They are also assessed by how firm they are.
A tacky rubber can create better spins to the ball. The spin becomes greater if the rubber is soft because it allows longer contact time with the ball.
Hard rubbers are good for smashing and straight strokes. Make sure that you opt for them if you are an aggressive player.
The next part that you should take a look at is the sponge. Many people are ignoring this, but by all means, you should not commit that mistake.
The sponge is the one that gives the overall response to the ball once it gets in contact with the rubber. Depending on the sponge material and classification, it could either fit for aggressive, defensive, or all-rounder plays.
There are three ratings that come with the sponge: thin, medium, and thick. A thick sponge has a thickness of 2.00 mm or more, and they are great for making fast-paced plays.
Meanwhile, defensive players tend to prefer thin sponges because they produce less bounce rate. As a result, the player can have better control over the ball.
With all these things being laid out here, I hope that you have learned all the fundamental aspects of choosing a ping pong paddle. This is a simple guide, but it can certainly help you find the right one that can fit your playing style and preferences.
Once you have good ping pong paddles, invite your family to play with you! It is a nice way to bond with them!
Good luck hunting!
That’s it for now. If you have questions or suggestions, feel free to drop them in the comment section below.