When picking out a first ping-pong paddle, the most important considerations include different types of blades and rubbers. Learn about shake-hand style paddles and pen-hold styles with help from the owner of a table tennis company in this free video on ping-pong paddles.
Hi there! I'm Judy Hoarfrost from Paddle Palace Table Tennis Company and our topic is choosing your first table tennis racket. We did the math. Paddle Palace customers can choose from literally over 250,000,000 different blade and rubber combination and that can get amazingly overwhelming for some of our customers when you're trying to choose a new racket. So here's a few tips to help you make a knowledgeable decision. First of all there's two main components in our racket. There's the blade which is the wood part and then there's the different rubbers and I'll talk about that as well. Now in the blade there's actually two different kind of styles. There's a shake hand style and there's the pen hold style. The shake hand style is what most of our customers use; probably over ninety, ninety five percent of our customers use the shake hands. You hold it like your shaking hands with it and you use both sides of the racket. There's also the pen hold style which is use, is more popular in Asia than it is in the Western world; but, even there the shake hands is, is more popular these days. But with pen hold you're using, you're holding it like you're holding a pen or chopsticks and you're using just one side of the racket. So when you're using your racket, there's a handle style and you're; well actually what handle style you want and you're going to go, "What's that?" Well here's the flared; the flare comes in the middle and flares out the end. And this is probably used by over eighty percent of our customers. The other twenty percent, most of them use an anatomic or a straight handle. This is an anatomic handle; it bulges out a little bit on, in the middle and flares out a little bit at the end. And this is a shake hands or excuse me, this is a straight handle and basically it's just straight up and down. Probably the most important variable that you're going to choose is the speed of your blade. And the blades range in speed from very fast; which would be an offensive plus rating to offensive minus, all around , all the way down to the slowest would be defensive minus and all the blades also has a number speed rating. So you can compare all the blades for how fast they are. And why is the speed important? Well, if you're just starting out in the sport, you don't want a blade that's too fast. If the blade is too fast, what's going to happen is the ball is going to fly off at the end of the table, you're going to, not going to have any control. What the speed of the blade means is that with the same amount of force, the ball will go farther. With the defensive blade, if it's a slow speed, it's not going to go as far with the same amount of force as an offensive one. So you're not going to want one that's, that's flying around too fast if you're just starting out. For most players who are beginning, intermediate I would recommend an all around speed. If you're living dangerously, maybe offensive minus, something like that. Another choice to make is how heavy is your blade. Now most blades ranging weight from about 70 grams to a 100 grams with the average being about 86 grams. Here again with weight, it's kind of more personal preference. Some players think that if it's a heavier blade, they're going to get more power. Some players think with a lighter blade, they're going to get more quickness. But my feeling is you just use a weight that's comfortable for you; keeping in mind that if you're using thick rubber, the rubber can add a lot of weight to your blade. So if you don't want the whole overall racket to be too heavy, don't choose a, a heavy blade. Now let's talk about rubber. There's four main types of rubber in table tennis. There's smooth; short pips, long pips and anti. The smooth rubber is the most popular rubber for the modern game because you can get lots of speed and spin with the smooth inverted rubber. Basically what it is is a, a smooth surface with pips going towards the inside and a layer of sponge that you then glue to the blade. The short pips rubber is use by, it's still pretty popular but not nearly as popular as the sponge. It's not as spinny because the ball doesn't grip as, as much. But the pips are facing outside; there's a layer of sponge. There's also the long pips with, which has spin reversal that's mostly use by defensive players. I don't recommend it for people starting out and anti rubber which is smooth on the outside but it doesn't grip the ball and it mainly just gives a, anti no spin shot. A decision you need to make is what sponge thickness you will use. The rule of thumb is, the thicker the quicker. The thicker the sponge, the faster it will be. The thinner the sponge, slower it will be and the more control you can get with thinner sponge. So anyway, there's lots to know when choosing a racket. If you would like more help or maybe more personalize assistance in choosing your equipment, you can contact us at Paddle Palace or check our website at paddlepalace.com.