The most important piece of equipment in table tennis is the racket. The racket is made of a wooden blade and covered with rubbers on both sides. It is also called ping pong racket or table tennis paddle, or table tennis bat.
The wooden part of the racket is called a blade, there is no official restriction to the size of the table tennis blade, but most blades are about 6.5 inches long and 6 inches wide.
According to the official table tennis rules, players must cover the blade’s sides for hitting the ball with ITTF approved rubbers, and the color must be red or black.
Table Tennis Racket Guide
As a beginner, you should have your own TT racket.
There are two types of the table tennis racket. They are the premade and custom-made rackets.
This type of racket is made with the rubbers already attached to the blade direct from the manufacturers. A premade racket is the best choice for a beginner.
However, the downside of the premade racket is that most of them have been in their packs for a long time in sports shops, and the rubbers may start to deteriorate.
This is why it is advisable to buy a premade racket from an online table tennis store instead of just any sports shop.
Custom made rackets
In this case, the racket components (the blade and rubbers) are bought separately and assembled by the player or the supplier.
These components can be purchase separately and assembled according to your level and style of play. Most suppliers normally charge an additional fee for such services.
There are 3 categories of TT racket. They are the offensive (OFF), defensive (DEF), and all-around rackets (ALL).
The offensive racket is faster and creates more spin on the ball. It is mostly used by players who use the attacking style of play.
The defensive racket is slow and has less spin on the ball. It is mostly used by players who use the defensive style.
The all-around racket has medium speed and spins with good control of the ball. I will recommend this category of racket for beginners.
The TT racket components are the materials that are used to produce or assemble the racket. The racket components consist mainly of the table tennis blade and table tennis rubbers.
The rubbers are glued to the table tennis blade either directly from the manufacturers (premade) or assembled by the players or by the suppliers who will do this for a fee.
Before choosing your TT racket (premade or custom made), you must know what kind of table tennis grip you will use and how to use it.
What You Need To Know
There are different grip types in table tennis or ping pong, but the most commonly used are the penhold and shakehands grip.
The penhold grip is common among the Asian players (mostly Chinese, Japanese, and Korean players); the players grip the racket as if they are holding a writing instrument.
The shakehand grip is mostly used by western players (none Asian players). The players grip the racket as if they are shaking hands with someone.
You will also need to know the kind of racket handle that fits you. The three most common types of handle are the straight, anatomic, and flared handles.
I recommend the shakehands grip racket with flare or straight handle because it is more comfortable and will help you quickly develop your table tennis techniques.
Buying a premade racket or assembling your own custom racket is not cheap. So you will need to know how to protect your racket from damage.
Your racket can get damaged easily if you do not take proper care of it. You can use a racket cleaner to clean your racket after use.
You can also buy a table tennis racket case to keep your racket when you are not using it. You should also keep your racket away from heat or direct sunlight.
Choosing Table Tennis Racquets To Play Ping Pong
A game of table tennis can be a leisurely activity for the family or a fun way for you to get in shape. Most sports clubs have table tennis tables so that members need only to bring their own table tennis racquets. Buying your own racquet for the first time is often a major decision you must make because a table tennis racquet will have a major impact on your playing skills.
Get The Right One For Yourself
When buying your first ping pong paddles, you want to know what to look for and what to avoid. A bad paddle or inadequate rubbers can greatly affect your overall rate of improvement.
Knowing what to look for when shopping for ping pong paddles is essential to your performance and your table tennis game quality.
Common Mistake For Many People
The most common mistake that many people make when purchasing ping pong paddles is buying premade paddles. The problem with these kinds of ping pong paddles is that they come with the rubbers already attached.
Since the typical life of the rubber is not more than a year, this can be a major disadvantage, and in most cases, a waste of money. If the paddle is old stock, you may not get what you pay for, and opting for a newer paddle would have meant better performance.
The second thing to consider when picking out ping pong paddles is your blade. You don’t want a blade that is too fast or slow. A good all-around blade from a manufacturer such as a Butterfly or Stiga often offers the best performance and is the most reliable option for those just beginning or who want a more competitive edge.
The grip and type of grip are other important factors for ping pong paddles. You want a grip type that is the most suited to your style of play and a grip that feels comfortable.
Basic Types of Table Tennis Racquets
There are two basic types of table tennis racquets to choose from:
* Recreational racquets
Recreational types are pre-assembled wood and rubber racquets that provide good to moderate performance levels, sufficient for beginners and recreational players. These racquets are less expensive than custom-made types and are usually available in most sporting goods stores. If you don’t want to go through the hassles of selecting wood blades and rubbers and gluing them together, then this type is for you.
* High-performance custom racquets
Seasoned players invest in high-performance table tennis racquets because they provide the right spins and speeds best suited to their playing styles. This type of racquets is made of specialized and higher quality table tennis rubber and blades, which produce higher speeds and spins than recreational racquets.
Competitive players assemble their own racquets by choosing the type of rubber (inverse, pips, or antispin), padding, and blade (natural wood or composite materials). Users of custom racquets generally enjoy playing advantage against opponents with recreational racquets.
How To Select Custom Table Tennis Racquets
Getting a high-performance custom racquet is a good idea for those who regularly play table tennis or want to develop their games. Unlike recreational racquets, custom racquets allow you to replace rubbers when they are worn out, damaged, or no longer responsive to your playing style.
Consider your playing style when buying a custom racquet and choose from among the following:
* offensive spin, which produces high spins with less emphasis on speed
* offensive speed, which produces high speeds with less emphasis on spin
* all around spin, which provides superior spin control and the ability to mix in topspin offense
* all-around speed, which provides enough control and high offensive ability to mix in topspin offense
* defensive spin/control, for defensive play, when you want to control the rhythm of your opponent’s game by producing deceptive returns and a variety of spins.
As you develop your skills, you will want to change blades or rubbers or table tennis racquets altogether, so it’s best not to buy the most expensive racquet immediately.