Ping pong or table tennis was developed since the 1880s when people try to make an indoor version of tennis. While baseball is popular in some Westen countries, this sport now spread wide over the world and especially favor in Asia.
When you decide to join in this competition, the must-have item you will look for will be a ping pong paddle. Depending on your place, you might call it a racket like original tennis, a ping pong bat or table tennis paddle. But even have different names, they are supposed to make you hit the ball easier and proper.
A ping pong paddle is a combination of a wooden blade with the handle and the rubbers faces. Based on the rule, a ping pong paddles can be designed in any shape, size, and weight. However, it still needs to be flat and unbending.
Types of ping pong paddle
After many developing years , players are now more concerned about the type of their paddle. With new techniques, they try to find a better paddle to fit with their playing style and improve their skills. To divide paddles, it depends on how you hold it and your purpose.
For holding, there are two types of grip. Shake-hand grip, which your hand will look like shaking hand with other, will help you secure to defense and return the non-preferred shots. While pen-hold grip comes from the way you hold your pen, could be a bit hard to use at the beginning but offer you a strong spin.
For your playing styles, you can choose between offense or defense. These two types are different from the rubber surfaces to be particular in controlling the ball. Offense paddles improve the control on the ball to help your spine stronger and harder when return. In the other hand, defense paddles offer a softer surface to reduce the spin of the ball and give you some unexpected shots.
How to choose the ping pong paddle
As I mentioned above, your preferred playing style will decide a lot in the choice of the most suitable paddle for you. It will be the key when you select your paddle. If you are a beginner player, an all-around paddle in the middle will be a good start for you. This way will let you practice and develop your skills until you find the way you want to go.
Otherwise, if you prefer to focus on attack or defense, then you can try each different paddle in that style to find the best ping pong paddle for you.
This part is important if you love spinning ball. A good rubber surface will make it easier for you to control the ball, switch direction and speed of your shot. Furthermore, to enhance or reduce the spin, there are many different textures of rubbers to do that. Pimples or waffling will grip and stick the ball to the surface which could give you more defensive options.
This factor is representing how the paddle absorbs the energy from the ball when return. It means you can strike back with a strong and fast shot or a slow but spinning one. By this way, you have to choose between power and control. A power shot is harder to control but could give you the win.
To get the right paddle you want, pay attention to the material between the wooden blade and the rubber surface. The thickness and the material of this sponge with decide how hard you hit the ball and control it too.
The next thing you want to know is how your paddles control the ball. The contact between them will affect your ball’s direction and power. It is indeed a combination of the blade, the thickness of the sponge and the surface of the rubber. However, these factors need to be balanced as you can see from above. Power will be exchange to spin so choose it wisely.
Finally, this is the factor every player cares about. In ping pong, the spin could be the key to win because it’s always hard to hit back. Good spin paddles will have a good rubber surface but also a light blade. So, look for a good rubber surface may be with some tips to enhance the grip on the ball. And choose a light blade to help you easy to strike back in many positions.
Top 5 best ping pong paddles
1. Caleson Professional
The Caleson ping pong paddles are made from carbon with the new carbon technology. This paddle provides more spin, speeds and control to improve your game a lot. About construction, they have a 2mm mid-pad under surface to increase the bounce and distance and the blade is create from a 5-ply carbon fiber cover.
Due to the carbon fiber, the paddle is pretty light and easy to use, even for new comer. Of course, there is a bag attached to carry it around so you can play everywhere. This paddle is considered to be a compact choice for the professional players. It will support you to enhance your speed and improve your skills to the next stage.
- Good grip on surface
- Solid and good built quality
- Perfect for spin-lover
- Easy to control
- Lack of power
- Still a bit heavy
- A bit short handle for handshake grip
2. MAPOL 4 Star
These paddles are great options to upgrade for beginner to intermediate, because you will get a pair of paddles for the price of one paddle. They focus on spin and control features so the blade is a bit heavy and quite slow. There are also 2mm sponges on both sides, which precisely to give better control and distance.
All of these make it even better for beginner and intermediate players. A beginner can learn their spin and control slowly and the power is not important at the first step. Meanwhile, intermediate can use the weight to train their arm and wrist to become stronger.
- Good and solid built
- Easy to control and spin
- Competitive price
- Heavy and slow
- Not fit for powerful player
3. Palio Expert 2
The Palio Expert 2 is a pretty new paddle to Palio’s line of paddles that offers incredibly good spin at a reasonable price range. It’s a paddle targeted from beginner to intermediate players. But it still definitely is satisfactory for experienced players who just look for a really decent paddle for their purse.
This paddle is very easy to use. You will realize it really spinner and faster than cheap paddles but not too much to be uncontrolled. When you’re new to table tennis, it takes time to develop your technique and sensation. So a really fast and spiny paddle would be very challenging for you to hit or timing correctly. But with the Palio Expert 2, you will find it much easier to control.
- Great control
- Great rubbers
- Good for developing proper technique
- Good price with case attached
- Speed is quite slow
4. STIGA Evolution
Stiga is one of the world’s top table tennis brands. They offer a general range of five pre-made paddles that are also ITTF approved. This means you can use their paddles in competitions.
The very first thing you’ll see in the Evolution is the great upgrade in the quality of the surface, which they call premium rubber. This is the stickiest rubber that STIGA provides and players will certainly realize a difference between this and lower quality rubbers of inexpensive paddles. This rubber offers you more spin with less effort and really works in serves.
The overall balance is nice with heavier in the head to focus on defense. Along with a good sponge, this paddle is aimed to defensive player with a close to table strategy to chop the ball. Besides, the handle works well with both pen-hold and shake-hand style.
- Great value
- Quality construction
- Good rubber
- Suitable for defensive style
- Need more speed
- A bit slow to aggressive players.
5. Killerspin JET200
The Killerspin JET200 is a great entry-level paddle for the beginner but want to improve their game. Even Killerspin is new in ping pong gears, they have already received a good reputation of making great quality and good-looking style equipment at a competitive price.
The rubber of this paddle is really standout. Its rubbers are definitely better than many garbage cheap paddles you have free when you buy a table – but not extremely better. However, this paddle is still well built and offers a solid feel in the hand that looks like a twice expensive paddle.
- Decent blade and good sponge for control
- Firm construction and smooth feeling
- Short in overall speed and power
- Non ITTF approved
The best ping pong paddle doesn’t need to be expensive or over power with new technology. And you cannot play up your game to a whole new level with it. You’ll still have to spend many hours of exercise and training. However, with better gears and some real opponents, those hours you spend might be more productive and full of fun and good memories.