Ping pong paddles aren’t all the same. If you decide to buy one for yourself or for a friend, there are some factors and key features that you should consider. To excel in the game or bring your ability to a higher level, you need a good ping pong paddle. The following guidelines can help you choose the best ping pong paddle for your needs.
- What is a ping pong paddle?
- Features to consider in Good Ping Pong Paddles
- The Best Ping Pong Paddles 2021
- 1. JP WinLook Ping Pong Paddle Set
- 2. STIGA Pro Carbon Ping Pong Paddle
- 3. Upstreet Ping Pong Paddle Set
- 4. DHS HURRICANE-II Tournament Ping Pong Paddle
- 5. STIGA Evolution Ping Pong Paddle
- 6. Butterfly 401 Ping Pong Paddle Set
- 7. STIGA Pure Color Advance Ping Pong Paddle
- 8. Killerspin JET 600 Ping Pong Paddle
- 9. EastPoint Sports Ping Pong Paddle
- 10. Palio Master 2 Ping Pong Paddle
- Guide to Buying the Best Ping Pong Paddles
- Bottom Line
What is a ping pong paddle?
A ping pong paddle is also called a bat or a racket. Although there are several variations available is sports shops, the paddles they make are basically the same, made up of a flared or straight wood handle attached to a blade made of solid wood or carbon fiber.
To allow for more technical and higher-skilled shots, rubber material which often has “pimples” or “dimples” that cover the blade. Generally, the rubber is black on one side and red on the other. This purpose difference is part of the regulations governing the game. It prevents players from tricking opponents with a different kind of shot.
Features to consider in Good Ping Pong Paddles
Owning the best ping pong paddle is one sure way to increase your chances of winning a match. The features of these paddles have increased over the years. Today, there are hundreds of paddles for you to choose from. Even if you’re not new to the game, choosing one might still be a bit overwhelming.
This article will provide you with important information about the features to consider when selecting a paddle to suit your own needs. Hopefully, after going through with this piece, you’ll be better equipped to decide. Ping pong is a very competitive sport and having the best paddle will be an advantage.
Before getting yourself a new ping pong paddle, you need to know first your player type. Are you just beginning or are you a pro? Are you a defensive or offensive player? Knowing the answers to these questions can make deciding easier.
Also, your experience level has a bearing on which paddle will suit you best and how this can improve your game for a faster pace. To win more games as well as improve quickly, you have to have the best ping pong paddle. Just ask all the top ping pong players and they will certainly agree.
If you’re a beginner, you need the best paddle to put the ball on the table consistently. Since you’re relatively new at the game, it’s recommended to study its fundamentals, especially developing proper stroke mechanics. As a beginner, you must concentrate on the fundamentals.
If you’re an advanced or intermediate player, you should hone your skills by learning the different techniques and moves required to win games. This time, you won’t need spin and speed. As an intermediate player, you can acquire paddles rated close to the top. As an advanced player, you can spend more to get the best possible paddle you can afford.
By this time, you should already have developed your own playing style. If you are a player inclined to attack the ball a lot or hit it from the table further, you can do the best playing with a faster and heavier racket.
But if you’re more of a defensive player, meaning you’re good in blocking your opponent’s shots of chopping the ball, then you need a slower, lighter, and easier to control paddle.
Power is the first factor of a paddle’s rating. It involves more than the hardness of the material used to construct the blade. It also involves the padding used between the blade and the rubber surfaces. Generally, all paddle blades are of laminated wood attached to each other with glue.
On some paddles, there is a thin layer of either fiberglass or carbon fiber sandwiched in between the layers. This makes the paddle lighter and absorbs less energy. Power ratings on paddles are a measure of the amount of energy they can absorb when you return shots.
A higher rating means the paddle can absorb less power which provides a stronger return. A disadvantage of a higher rating is that you have less control when making shots. This is why paddles with higher power ratings are less preferred by those with a defensive style. Conversely, offensive players prefer paddles with high ratings.
The different racket parts
Each ping pong rackets typically have two parts and learning more about them can help you decide which paddle to choose for your games.
This is the part of the ping pong paddle made of wood and it includes the handle. On average, the paddle’s blade consists of 5 to 9 wooded layers including other kinds of materials sandwiched between them like titanium carbon or plain carbon.
The more number of layers, the stiffer the racket. Carbon makes the blade firmer and keeps it lightweight. Based on layers and material, the carbon can become either rigid or flexible.
A rigid blade can transfer almost all of the stroke’s energy to the ball. This leads to an overall faster racket while a flexible blade can absorb some energy making the ball travel at a slower rate.
The handle of the racket can be of three types. If you’re not sure which one fits you best, try the different types. You can also settle for the most popular one, the flared handle. Here are the most common types of handles for ping pong paddles:
- A flared handle is usually has a thicker bottom. This prevents the paddle from slipping out of your hand while you play. This is the most commonly used type of handle.
- An anatomic handle is wider at the center to fit the palm of your hand.
- A straight handle’s width is the same throughout from bottom to top.
The rubber includes the sponge of the paddle. This part puts less or more spin on the ball. How much spin depends on the thickness of the rubber and the sponge. The technology and materials used during the manufacturing process determine the properties of the thickness and tackiness of the rubber.
A soft type of rubber gives more dwell time to the ball on the paddle, thus, producing more spin. Conversely, a sticky type of rubber places more spin on the ball.
Different types of ping pong paddle combinations
The ping pong paddle’s blade stiffness can either be more flexible or less. The rubber’s hardness can either be hard or soft. You can combine these properties into four combinations to get the perfect racket that suits your own personal requirements.
Here are the common types of ping pong paddle combinations for you to choose from:
A flexible blade with soft rubber
This combination is the best for rotation and consistency. It’s ideal for players who spin the ball a lot. Although it has a slow setup, it does provide the layer plenty of control.
This is the perfect combination for mainstream defensive players or spin-oriented, controlled players. With it, you can win more points by spinning your shots. Furthermore, you will commit fewer errors because you possess a lot of control over the paddle.
A stiff blade with hard rubber
This racket is best for rebound speed. It’s fast but provides less spin and almost no control. It’s ideal for offensive players who hit hard and attack close to the table. Because of the huge speed, you sacrifice the spin. With this combination, you won’t feel much because of the stiff blade.
There is minimum vibration or the frequency of vibration is too high for you to notice. The best thing about this composition is that it gives you plenty of speed. Combined with a carbon blade, this produces the quickest setup among the different types.
A stiff blade with soft rubber
This combination yields the best catapult effect, meaning good spin and speed. It’s ideal for players who rely on the catapult effect for maximum spin. This style is great for offense and blocking.
The best playing strength for this combination is close to mid-range where spin and speed are good. However, there is not enough consistency when it comes to far distances.
A flexible blade with hard rubber
For a kick and spin effect, this paddle combination is very effective. This combination is ideal for looping styles of play and is most effective in mid-range to far plays.
The speed isn’t that great but it’s compensated with correct techniques like power from the ground or hit by the legs. Presently, this is one of the best types of paddle combinations.
Quality and price
Because ping pong is a fast and furious game, the paddles will get subjected to a lot of pounding. This means that, especially for professionals, the paddle has to be of great quality. The best ping pong racket should have an ergonomic handle and made of quality wood to ensure superior handling.
Other materials used to make paddles should also be of superior quality, specifically the kind of rubber used. This ensures that you can perform at a professional-level while enjoying the game as well.
The pricing of ping pong paddles varies depending on your budget. Getting great value for your money is essential. As a beginner, you can get yourself a paddle at a more affordable price without compromising on the quality. As a professional, you can opt for one at a higher price range.
The Best Ping Pong Paddles 2021
This four-piece ping pong paddle set is of high-quality custom plywood. The JP WinLook Ping Pong Paddles are technologically designed to ensure speed, spin, and control. The set also includes 8 high-quality, tournament balls. Both paddles and balls are ITTF-approved and suitable for official competitions.
The 5-ply wooden blades of the paddles have ergonomically designed handles allowing you to grip them comfortably for long periods of time. The paddles guarantee the best performance thanks to the elastic pads and eco-friendly rubber sheets.
Value for money
Since this is an entire set, you get great value for your money. It’s an all-in-one solution to serious game time. It comes with balls, paddles, and a carrying case to conveniently store all of your equipment. The high-performance paddles come with a cushiony sponge leather that adds to their bounciness.
Another feature that makes this set of ping pong paddles is that they’re suitable for beginners, intermediate players, and advanced players. Whether you want to play in tournaments or at home with your friends and family, this set has got you covered. The paddles are also suitable for players of all ages making them a perfect choice for families.
The STIGA Pro Carbon Ping Pong Paddle has an innovative design thanks to the perfect combination of advanced materials and cutting edge technologies. With this paddle, you can enjoy extreme spin and power just like the paddles of the top players all over the world.
The performance-level paddles have ITTF-approved rubber making it perfect for tournament play. It features a 7-ply extra lightweight blade with a 2-millimeter sponge and S5 rubber. The unique carbon technology creates speed and power while the ACS technology improves control.
This paddle utilizes a 7-ply blade with 2-ply carbon fiber. This combination of materials makes the paddle more rigid when you return shots and it also reduces the paddle’s weight. The paddle provides you with a top-level spin with a rating of ten. This is one of the most impressive features considering how lightweight the paddle is.
Another impressive thing about this paddle is that it provides professional-quality play at a more affordable price. It’s an excellent choice for intermediate players and beginners who want to step up their game. Also, all of the features make this paddle perfect for those who want a game that is more offensively-aligned.
The makers of this ping pong paddle set specialize in the creation of high-performance ping pong paddles. The composition of the paddles is sponge and rubber and they offer the perfect blend of durability and performance. The blade of the paddles contains 5 layers plus the sponge and rubber layers allowing them to accommodate more speed.
The Upstreet Ping Pong Paddle Set contains paddles with 5 layers of materials in their blade segments. Underneath the blade’s rubber is a sponge layer that’s thicker than the competition. This thicker sponge layer makes the paddles faster. This is one of the priorities of the manufacturers as they designed the perfect paddle.
Apart from the durable blade materials and the sponge that accommodates more speed, the thickness and texture of the rubber is very special too. This is because the manufacturers had woven the Upstreet advantage in the rubber’s depth texture.
Rather than getting a single paddle, this product is a complete set. For the paddles, the brand offers a sleek and simple design without compromising on the quality of materials. These professional-grade areas also offer superior control, speed, and spin to improve your game.
One of the most standout features of this paddle is its unique design. Each side of this paddle features a different kind of rubber. On one side, the paddle has Hurricane rubber that produces a lot of spin making it perfect for offensive players. On the other side, the paddle has G555 rubber that’s slower and offers more control.
The DHS HURRICANE-II Tournament Ping Pong Paddle is a professional-quality paddle that comes with an elaborate package. To improve portability and convenience, it comes with a carrying case, a protection band, and 2 balls. This makes it perfect for personal use or to give as a gift.
Provides superior spin
The main feature of this paddle is that it offers huge levels of spin. Using this paddle will make your top spin much more devastating even without the added effort. The dual-purpose rubber materials on this paddle make it suitable for less-bouncy defense and powerful forearm swings for offense.
This is a lightweight paddle that has low vibration each time it comes into contact with the ball. Packed in the carrying case, the paddle remains secure and protected from damage. Add the balls to the mix and you have everything you need to start playing!
The STIGA Evolution Ping Pong Paddle features an innovative and exciting technology in its Shock Dispersion tube. The modern SDT technology uses a composite rod already integrated into the blade and handle The tube allows vibration and energy to get transferred out of the paddle’s handle to improve your feel, speed, and control.
The paddle includes other innovative technologies too. The Nano Composite Technology makes the bonds in the rubber part of the paddle extremely tough. The tight bonds also add to the paddle’s increased speed and spin rates.
The paddle also features ACS Technology in the form of multiple miniature air-capsules embedded into the ultra-lightweight material made of rubber. The air-capsules allow the paddle to achieve maximum elasticity and high speed. Finally, the Crystal Technology allows the blade to increase speed and shift balance easily.
The paddle comes with a special Shock Dispersion tube that absorbs vibrations and transfers energy from the handle each time the paddle comes into contact with the ball. This helps improve speed, gives you a better feel, and more effective control. With it, you can elevate your gaming experience.
The paddle in this set has a red-colored forehand side and a black-colored backhand side. It has thick Yuki rubber that’s ITTF-approved making it suitable for official ping pong competitions and tournaments. The sponge and rubber layers provide added tackiness and a spring action to add spin each time you strike the ball.
The Butterfly 401 Ping Pong Paddle Set is a professional-quality product that includes a paddle, a carrying case, and a gift box too. You can use it for your own games or give it to someone close to you. The high-value ping pong paddle will provide you with the perfect blend of control, speed, and spin.
This is the best ping pong paddle for all levels of play. You can grip this paddle with the classic shakehand grip thanks to the flared handle with a wide bottom. This handle design provides superior comfort no matter how long your games last.
The carrying case included in this set adds to its convenience. Apart from protecting your ping pong paddle from damage, you can also use the case to store your paddle and bring it around with you wherever you go. It even comes with a 30-day warranty from the manufacturer.
The ACS Technology of STIGA Pure Color Advance Ping Pong Paddle means that it contains several air-capsules within its ultra-lightweight rubber. This allows for high speed, outstanding control, and maximum elasticity. The Crystal Technology hardens the blade’s surface to increase its speed.
With this paddle, you will become fiercer as a competitor. This is an offensive racket that boosts your game with a 3S rubber and a 1.5-millimeter sponge layer. These allow you to have the perfect response each time you volley. It has a concave handle so you can unleash your power with each hit.
All of the components and parts of this paddle are extremely reliable. The 3S rubber, the sponge later, the 5-ply blade, and the concave handle. All of these work together to carry out all of their roles to make you a more effective player.
Thanks to the Crystal and ACS Technologies, this paddle has an edge over the rest. It’s powerful enough to withstand very high impacts without breaking apart. You can also use for long playing sessions making it a great paddle for when you need a lot of practice.
This is one of the most balanced paddles of the brand. Its blade comes engineered with 5 layers of different types of premium wood. These layers provide the paddle with a dense but lightweight base for increased power and precision placement. It’s suitable for players of all skills levels.
The Killerspin JET 600 Ping Pong Paddle offers you a soft feel along with an adequate amount of spring for any hard-hitting players. The manufacturers developed this paddle to improve the game of finesse-oriented yet aggressive players. With this paddle, you can put your mind at ease and focus on the game.
The manufacturers constructed this paddle using 3 different kinds of premium-quality wood that complement each other. It provides control, speed, and a lightweight feel. This allows you to make precision shots while increasing your powder when you need to let loose while playing.
The rubber part of the paddle is of Nitrix-4Z, an ITTF-approved, high-tension rubber that provides more power and speed. The rubber’s topsheet provides superior grip each time you strike the ball giving you the advantage to make heavy-spin serves. It also offers good control so that you can counter spinny shots.
With this paddle, you can up your skills as it serves as a replacement or an upgrade for casual or competitive play. It has a rubber facing for superior speed and spin. Use it to serve and spike better than your opponents. Thanks to the sponge backing, you can strike the ball harder and control the paddle better to maintain your edge throughout the match.
The EastPoint Sports Ping Pong Paddle is one of the more affordable options out there without compromising quality and performance. Despite its reasonable price tag, this paddle will help improve your game each time you practice. As with other paddles, this has red-colored rubber making it stylish, subtle, and suitable for different kinds of competitions.
This is one of the best ping pong paddles as it’s very dependable. It comes with a high-tack design with rubber that provides the perfect combination of spin and speed. The rubber also has a sponge backing allowing it to withstand hard strikes while providing you with more control over the ball.
New and improved
This paddle comes with a new and improved design from the brand. It’s the perfect paddle for players who want to elevate their skills as it provides a high level of power and spin without compromising control. It’s recommended for players with different skill levels, even the ones who have already mastered the basics.
A great starting paddle
The Palio Master 2 Ping Pong Paddle is also an excellent paddle to use for practice as it offers amazing control too. Whether you’re a beginner or an expert, this paddle with a carrying case ensures that you get great value for your money.
The paddle has a 5-ply blade made of wood offering you a fantastic feel for the ball. It has CJ8000 rubber material that is both grippy and lively so that you can hit the ball with good spin and speed. Hitting the ball in the right way with this paddle ensures deadly smashes.
Guide to Buying the Best Ping Pong Paddles
There are many factors to consider when buying a ping pong paddle. Keep in mind that the best ping pong paddle is the one that complements your skills. Consider the following factors when finding a paddle for yourself:
Should you buy pre-made ping pong paddles?
If you’re interested in buying a ping pong paddle online, you need to be very discerning. We have already shown you some of the best products on the market. Now, it’s time for you to pick the right one.
If there is any basic advice to give about ping pong paddles, that is not to purchase a premade racket. This can be the worst decision you make, especially as a beginner player. Here are the reasons why a pre-made paddle is a no-no:
- Since there are several maneuvers for playing ping pong, do you think a premade racket can fit all these styles? Will a premade racket be good for your game? Definitely NOT!
- Most premade rackets come cheap but are of low-quality. These are mass-produced, not made with careful thought and consideration. Also, the wood used is of bad quality and it tends to absorb humidity.
Instead of opting for a pre-made paddle, get for yourself a paddle with a much higher quality setup.
At the beginning of the article, we discussed the different features to consider when planning to buy a ping pong paddle. Now, we will go through more useful things for you to think about when determining which paddle to buy. Here are the basic attributes to look out for:
This basic attribute is relatively straightforward. This attribute refers to the maximum possible speed you can imprint on the ball while playing. But what you may not know is that when you choose a faster ping pong paddle, you won’t have to exert a lot of energy to ensure the same speed. If you’re a fan of speed, take this into consideration when making a choice.
This ability of a ping pong paddle to generate enough speed mainly depends on the quality of the rubber used for it. When the rubber is both tacky and soft, you can put more spin on the ball. For attacking players, speed is the only crucial attribute they want.
But for other types of players, spin is important too. In particular, offensive players depend on spin so they can perform quicker forehand loops. As for defensive players, they need enough spin to inflict a huge backspin as they chop the ball.
This attribute is a combination of speed and spin. A paddle that’s either spin-focused or fast provides you with less room for mistakes, but this will lead to a lack of control. Control tells you how accurate and consistent your shots will be.
If you’re a beginner, you should opt for a slower paddle that you can control more easily. Advanced and intermediate players may opt for paddles with more power. However, unlike spin and speed, you can improve control by improving your skills.
Most ping pong players use a Shakehand grip while playing, but there is also a good number who use a Penhold grip. The final attribute to look out for is the grip and you can determine this by knowing your own grip style.
In general, players who have a loose grip on the handle can choose a paddle with a straight handle. This offers more comfort. For players with a firmer grip, you may choose a paddle with a flared grip. It would be even better if you can actually hold the paddle to check which one suits your grip.
As aforementioned, there are different types of materials used in ping pong paddles. Manufacturers use wood for the blade and handle, rubber for the outer layer, sponge underneath the layer of rubber, and some kind of glue to keep everything together. The blade of a ping pong paddle determines its speed and control.
The density and type of rubber to choose for your paddle depend on your playing style. As for the handle, choose the best type depending on your grip. When it comes to the overall material, the first thing to look for is the material of the handle and blade.
It’s best to choose a paddle made of wood or a combination that includes wood. These are the most durable. On the other side of the spectrum, it’s not recommended to choose paddles made of plastic as these might splinter and break easily.
The glue that holds everything together
While most people don’t even consider the glue used to attach all the parts together, it’s more significant than you think. Some types of glues are more quick-drying and stickier than others. If you plan to join a tournament, make sure that the glue used for your paddle is ITTF-approved.
Ask about the glue used or check this information in the specifications of the product when purchasing online. The best type of glue is solvent-free and water-based. Such a glue comes approved by the ITTF which means that you won’t run into any issues.
The feel you get from the paddle depends on the dimensions of the blade. It also comes from the frequency of vibration each time you hit that ball. Upon contact, the vibrations get transferred to the paddle’s handle before going to your hand.
The vibration measures the frequency or number of swings the paddle’s blade produces while you play. The higher the frequency, the higher the vibration. High vibration means that you get less feedback. This, in turn, makes it more difficult for you to control the paddle. Also, a paddle with a high frequency feels harder when you hold it.
If you want a paddle with high vibration and your control isn’t compromised, make sure that the paddle you choose has this feature. Another way to look at it is that the vibration has an effect on the feel and speed of the paddle while you play.
If you tend to hit the ball with plenty of topspin, you may want to opt for a heavy ping pong paddle. While this type of hit can be quite challenging with a heavy paddle, hitting correctly will devastate your opponent.
In general, light paddles allow you to hit the ball faster and makes it easier to slice over the net. No matter what type of player you are, choose a paddle with a comfortable weight. Also, choose one that allows you to make the type of spin you want each time you hit the ball.
What are the official ping pong paddle requirements?
No matter what type of player you are or what skill level you have, learning about the official ping pong paddle requirements will help you out a lot if you plan to join tournaments and official competitions in the future. Here are the requirements for your ping pong paddle:
- The paddle’s blade should have one red and one black side. It should also have a covering of sandwiched or pimpled rubber. The color difference adds to allows you and your opponent to learn how each of the sides affects your game.
- All the materials of the paddle shouldn’t be chemically altered. Also, any parts of the paddle beyond and above the length of the blade’s face shouldn’t have any covering.
- There is no issue if any minimal changes occur to the continuity or color of your paddle because it got damaged during competition.
- When playing in official competitions, umpires and opponents get to inspect each other’s ping pong paddle to ensure compliance.
Proper maintenance of your ping pong paddle
As with any other type of sports equipment, your ping pong paddle will pick up grime and dirt when you use it. Because of this, you must learn how to maintain your paddle properly to ensure its peak condition for optimum performance.
If you have a paddle with a tacky, defensive blade, maintenance becomes even more significant because of the texture. You don’t want dirt to accumulate on any part of your paddle as this might cause you to lose your competitive edge, especially in terms of control.
When cleaning your ping pong paddle, all you need is water and soap. If you want to ensure the proper maintenance of your paddle, here are some ITTF-approved steps to guide you:
Prepare the water
For this task, it’s best to use filtered, room temperature water. Pour the water in a bowl and add 1 to 2 drops of liquid dish soap. This helps with the process of cleaning, especially if the robber of your paddle has become oily.
Dip a sponge in the water mixture
Take a clean sponge and dip it into the water mixture you have prepared. Wring out the sponge so that it’s not soaked, just damp. You will use the sponge to draw sediments from your paddle, but excess water shouldn’t soak into the paddle’s blade.
Use the sponge to clean your paddle
Using the sponge, clean the rubber part of your paddle using long and sweeping motions from top to bottom or vice versa. This prevents the sediments from spreading all over the paddle.
Allow it to dry
After cleaning both sides of your paddle, set it on a dirt-free surface to dry completely before you use it again.
There you have it, all the information you need to purchase the best ping pong paddle to suit your needs. Apart from giving you a list of the best products available on the market now, e have also provided you with a buying guide to help you determine which paddle to purchase.
Remember that choosing the right paddle will help elevate your game. Even as a beginner, you can feel more confident when the paddle you use makes you feel comfortable, skilled, and allows you to play freely. With the choices we have presented, you’re sure to find one that suits your needs.