Tips on Table Tennis Paddles

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Table tennis is an exciting indoor sport where in the right equipment is a factor – in our case, table tennis paddles. Investing in the right paddle makes the progress and the fun worth it.  Table tennis is good for those indoor activities if you want to spend the summer at home and relax with the family.  Not only is it fun, it’s good exercise as well.

Every sport needs a good player with the right gear. In our case, it’s the table tennis paddles.  For beginners, this may be a daunting and overwhelming task. This is due to the fact that there are a lot of stuff to choose from; sponges, rubbers, blades – all with different combinations and effects for said combination. So how do you choose the right one?

Table Tennis Paddles for Newbies

Table Tennis Paddles

Table Tennis Paddle

  • The right paddles are actually ones that fit a specific playing style. With this in mind, it is important for starters to know how they want to play or let it come naturally as you play. It is also equally important to choose a paddle that lets you develop your strokes correctly. Going ahead and buying the most expensive paddles for advance and professional players is certainly not going to help. These are built for pros; you might not even notice any difference in play yet.  Let’s just start where everyone else starts – the basics.

Table tennis paddles are divided into three main parts – blade, sponge, and rubber topsheet.

  • The blade is the overall structure of the paddle and is usually made of wood.  It’s where all these combinations will take place. For newbies, choose something that is light and easy to manoeuvre with. Take not also of the hand grips and check if it suits your hand and the way you make strokes.
  • Sponge and the rubber topsheet – These usually go together in pre-made packages or sold separately for custom and advance players. For starters, one should consider buying the pre-made ones since its just “slap-and-go” and ready for use.  All you need to do is glue it in the blade. And cut the excess off. You might want to ask assistance from the shop or your coach if it’s your first time.

Another good recommendation would be to go for pre-made table tennis paddles. The rubber is already glued to the paddle so all you need to do to start playing is open the packaging. Same things to look for as well – hand grip, weight, easy handling etc.

Table Tennis Paddles – The Rubber part

Table Tennis Paddles

The Table Tennis Paddles

As mentioned earlier, the rubber part of table tennis paddles consist of the sponge and the topsheet. These cover both sides of the paddle and play a major role in ball physics later on. Table tennis paddles come in standard red and black rubbers as approved by the ITTF (International Table Tennis Federation).

Though it may be overwhelming to choose from the different sponge types and rubber topsheets, choosing something that will help you develop strokes will narrow down your choices.  This is key; understand that strokes and style of play will come naturally. Being a generalist for now is a good thing. Giving yourself enough time to fully develop and discover your playing style makes way for a very good player later on.

The different combinations of sponges and rubber topsheets in paddles is another big topic on its own but for now here are the basic stuff to remember:

–          Thick sponges for offense, thinner ones for defense.

–          Harder sponges for faster strikes but less control, softer ones for spins and more control.

–          Rough Rubbers or “Pimples-Out” are good for chop blocks and overall defense. The long pimples version offers more grip to the ball once in contact adding to control and precision counter-attacks

–          Smooth Rubbers or “Pimples-In” offers a balance between defensive and offensive striking and is recommended for all beginners.

Table Tennis Paddles

table tennis paddle reviews

It’s a good idea to start with table tennis paddlesthat is defensive and the other side and a generalist on the other. You might even try a full offensive and defensive on opposing sides but remember to make quick switches every now and then. The reason why it’s recommended to have at least one generalist side of your battle is for you to develop strokes well.  Beginners most of the time have the tendency be using one side more often and forget about the other.

If you’re going for the generalist/defensive combination you’ll still be making minor switches. Since either side can offer defensive strikes. Keep practicing and try to do all your strokes be it backhand, forehand or with the pen type hold –whatever suits you and makes you comfortable. Remember, it’s all about getting the feel and observing your playing style to develop it.

Keep in mind that it’s not the price that counts – heading out for the expensive ones are a waste if you don’t give yourself the time to develop. Start simple, it is quality and the right combination paired up with a good price that counts.

Taking care of your Table Tennis Paddles

Once you have selected your paddle, you’ll be sticking with it for while depending on your skill progression. Since you’ll be with it for a longer indefinite time, knowing how to store and maintain your paddlesare just as important. It also saves you money from buying rubbers and sponges every now and then. No one wants their quality paddles to go bad quickly right? The feeling that you haven’t quite made a lot of fun with it yet is truly a bummer.

Table Tennis Paddles

table tennis paddle reviews

  • Special storage cases can be bought for your table tennis paddles. Some can store pairs and have nifty pockets for extra balls, and other accessories. A good idea is to go with a racket  case that fits everything you might need. Make sure that the case covers the entire body of your paddle, not just the head part.  Overall protection is safer when you’re carrying it around your bag. Also, Keep it in room temperature as rubber degrades over time quicker in temperature extremes.
  • Special covers can also be bought for the rubber topsheet,. They may come in thin plastic covers with a sticky side that comes in contact with the rubber to prevent moisture absorption as well as dust and dirt. Most pre-made rubbers come with them. So use it on your rubber topsheet while not in use. If you ever feel that it’s time to change covers, there are ones that are sold separately as well.
  • Edge Tape is also a good idea during play,. Not only it fixes the rubber well and tight during play, it  also protects the paddles from breaking easily. It prevents splintering when dropped or accidentally hit on the table.

The athlete may be of pure skill but the right gear makes him even better.  Always remember that experts are developed in time.

Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoy. Please don’t forget to share this with your friends. Good luck in choosing and taking care of your table tennis paddles.

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