Are you awed by how prolific ping pong player get to hit the ping pong correctly and win against their opponents fast? Do you wonder if there was a way that you could make your hand capable of those shots and spins? Well, you are in luck – know the secret! Even though it takes skill, time, and patience to be a master of the game, there is something else that is even more important – the ping pong paddle. Yes, you need to have the perfect ping pong table but, without your best ping pong table, there is nothing you can do.
Just like you, most of us got mesmerised by how good some players were and how they chose their best paddles. However, time and research happened, and we learnt a few things about how to buy the best ping pong paddles. These considerations include:
The type of paddle
There are two main types of ping pong paddles – the manually assembled paddles and the factory assembled paddles. Which one is the best? To answer this question, you ought to respond to another question – how often do you play? The frequency with which you play determines how long a paddle lasts and this directly relates to the type of paddle chosen. Here is a secret, if looking for a paddle that will last long (everyone does this) go for the manually assembled paddles rather than factory assembled paddles.
Even though the runner dries out after a few uses, a manually assembled paddle – though expensive, has more resilient materials incorporates in the design compared to factory assembled paddles. The former is also customizable, and you can change the rubber as often as you need to.
Type of blade
The blade determines how you hit the ping pong on the table tennis table. For this reason, different companies use various types of materials as they look for ways of conquering the market. The main types of blades on the market include the use of single or mixed materials. The single materials include carbon, Kevlar, Zylon, fibreglass, and Aralyte. Mixed materials incorporate the use of carbon with Kevlar, aralyte, or Zylon.
Even though the blade determines the kind of handle you use, you should also consider getting a paddle whose handle has a grip that feels good. The following are the main types of handles you can pick:
A flared handle: this is the most common type of handle. It features a handle that is thinner at the top and flares slightly towards the bottom.
Straight handle: this handle has a uniform width throughout. It comes in three variations – rounded, flat and square. The rounded straight handle works with normal blades, the flat handle work for oversized and defensive blades, and the square handle is a newer handle on the market.
Anatomic handle: this handle is similar to the flared handle except for the widened middle section. This midsection bump makes the handle fit well in your hand.
Special handles: these are common for players with disabilities.
Donic Dotec handles: these are the most comfortable handles, and they are a big step from anatomic handles. They are preferably by individuals with injuries on their wrists.
Are you an aggressive player, a control-oriented or a player who is highly dependent on spins (defensive pro)? Are you a beginner, an intermediate player, or a pro?
If you are a beginner, you need not worry about the blade options and the different rubbers available. You need to focus on learning how to play, and this means that you need a paddle that isn’t too fast or too slow. It should have a larger spot to get the ball over the net. However, this doesn’t mean buying cheap paddles because they will cost you later on.
For intermediate players, you may consider getting a customised paddle (manually assembled) as well as rubber for your forehand and backhand. You also have to consider the blade – is it light, heavy or defensive?
For advanced players, a customised paddle with a super-fast, super-durable, super-spinny and a super-control power. You will also need the best blade for a high level of performance in the game. For power and spin, look at the blade. For smashing, you will also need more blade layers, more than five. A pro is in a better position using a paddle with at least 65 layers of wood combined with other materials like carbon fibre or even titanium carbon.
Read More: Tips On Buying Table Tennis Table.
The power rating of a paddle is the measure of the energy absorbable by the paddle when it returns a shot. The higher the rating, the lower the power absorbable, which means that such a paddle provides a bigger and a stronger return. The power of a paddle doesn’t rely on the strength of the material used in the blade and the handle only, the padding between the rubber surface of the blade and the paddle matters too. Most blades have laminated wood glued together, or they may have a thin layer of carbon fibre or fibreglass sandwiched between the wood layers making them light weight and of a low energy absorption.
Control reflects how a paddle strikes the ball and for how long it holds the ball when hitting it. Control is, therefore, a function of the quality of the rubber used plus the thickness of the padding. You get more control with tackier rubber, and this helps in allowing for better placement of returns. Use of a few millimetres of foam adds control. You have a stronger grip when the face of the paddle has the rubber piping facing outwards. High control paddles are common with defensive players.
The spin depends on the quality as well as the rubber’s installation. A higher spin paddle has pips of its rubber facing the blade. This orientation allows striking of the ball with a smoother surface. These pads are also lightweight and give you an extra freedom of manipulation. Most paddles with higher control ratings have similar ratings for the spin.
A single or double sided paddle
A paddle that works on both sides is preferable and lasts longer compared to a single-sided paddle. You may want to consider the fact that purchasing two rubbers is expensive. Only but the two-sided paddle if it is worth the price. If you want to know more about buying a proper paddle read our guide here.
With all the functionality features covered, you may be wondering – how will the best paddle cost? The best paddles are not necessarily expensive, but they are not very cheap either. Work with a budget and check out the features of the paddle before purchase. You should also consider looking up reviews to learn more about the paddles while determining if they are worth the price.
It’s a wrap. Keep these considerations in mind when looking to buy a new ping pong paddle. Something else worth mentioning is that just having the best paddle doesn’t automatically make you the best player. You have to practice a lot and lose many games to be one of the best. Besides being a pro, once you master the game, you will be healthier, smarter, you’ll have new social connections and your professional life will improve because ping pong forces you to think on your feet. Your planning skills also improve.