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How to Upgrade Your Table Tennis Racket Based on Your Skills

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Need To Upgrade Your Table Tennis Racket?

You have been playing table tennis for a long time now, and it seems like you have been a pro in this game. Thus, you think of upgrading your old table tennis racket whose Rubber has already worn out. Following the need, you entered the shop and saw hundreds of rackets lying there.

Now, what's next? Which table tennis racket to go for? Are you stuck? Well, you don't have to worry, today we will discuss everything you need to know before upgrading your table tennis racket.

Let's dig into the "need to upgrade your table tennis racket?" There are three most common components which you should seek before upgrading your table tennis racket.

  • Blade: The blade is the piling of wooden sheets.
  • Rubber: Rubber is the elastic component that is attached to the blade with the help of glue.
  • Handle: Handle is the lower part that is used for gripping the paddle.

However, before checking these vital things, the first question you might ask yourself is: What level are you standing? Are you a beginner? An intermediate? Or a professional?

Let's discuss the paddles according to each standard.

What racket should you go for?

If you are a beginner who plays occasionally and just for fun, you don't have to spend many bucks on buying expensive and professional paddles. Plastic molded bats or pimple bats can work and are durable for newbies who are just getting started.

If you are an intermediate player who plays more often than beginners, and your concern is derived towards generating spins, then Rubber racket with a thicker sponge may play a pivotal role. The best thing about these bats is that you can structure your strokes and generate spins, which will give you an upper hand over your opponent.

Custom bats are more suggested to professional players; in custom bats, the Rubber and blade come separately, which gives you a choice to generate your own bat according to your need. These paddles are formatted to create fast serve and a massive stroke, which could be controlled by professionals.

Once you have decided your level, it's time to look for the best paddle around you. The best paddle is the one with the best components. Let's discuss each part and what you should prefer as a table tennis player.

Which blade to choose?

The blade used in the paddle is the primary cause of speed, which is generated during a serve. There are mainly five types of blades that you might have to choose before upgrading.

  1. Offensive plus (+) blade
  2. Offensive minus (-) blade
  3. all-round blade
  4. defensive plus (+) blade
  5. defensive minus (-) blade

It's important to mention that the speed decrease as we move downwards. Thus offensive, plus generates high speed in comparison with other blades.

Which Rubber to choose?

When it comes to Rubber, Rubber's quality and durability are the most common factors that are kept in consideration. Rubber is the primary cause of generating spin. However, even the best rubbers won't last over a year. Rubber mostly comes in four forms.

  1. short pips
  2. long pips 
  3. anti Rubber 
  4. smooth Rubber

If you are looking for some spin, then smooth Rubber is preferred by the TT professionals. We can also differentiate the rubber based on its softness. The soft rubber can produce more spin. 

Which handle to choose?

Let’s now talk about the handle of the racket. There are 6 types of table tennis handle, out of which the flared kind of handle is the most used one. The flared handle becomes thicker at the end, giving more grip, even if you are sweaty and slippery.

On the other, sponge is also one component that plays a pivotal role in stroke play. The sponge usually comes along with the Rubber; if you want your opponent to face quick and speedy serves, then the paddle with a thick sponge would help you.

Does your style matter?

Sketching your style before upgrading is essential, especially if you are upgrading from one level to another. The style matters if you are a defensive, offensive, or counter-attacking player. This could be witnessed by the fact that most defensive players may choose a quick and fast paddle to reach up to the strong serve from offensive opponents.

Likewise, the grip also matters if you are prone to forehand or backhand. However, if you play similarly on both forehand and backhand, then a ready-made advanced bat may be the most straightforward option to start with. 

How to choose the best paddle for you?

If you are stuck on what to choose, then The best way to choose and recognize your style is to practise different shots like top spins, pushes, flicks, etc. it not only helps to understand your stroke. But it will also help you know your preferences.

You can also use your friend or partner's paddle and try to figure out the difference and between yours and the other paddles.

Once done, choose the paddle that suits you.

What mistakes you should avoid?

The most common mistake which many people make is that they quickly shift to other paddles. According to TT professionals, one should use a paddle for as long as they can.

Quickly upgrading your paddle will indirectly affect the stroke and eventually, your playing technique. Thus, sticking with one bat for a long time is the best way.

Can beginners buy custom paddles?

The custom paddle should only be used by professionals. If you aren't a professional and are going for a custom paddle, you would not only end up wasting your hundreds of euros but also end ruining your technique and stroke.

Custom rackets are fast and can generate a great stroke. Beginners who are trying to use these quick rackets become tentative while serving as their response time doesn't match with the serving speed.

Thus from the above article, we have concluded that it's unnecessary to buy trendy and expensive paddles thinking these paddles will improve your game. You only need to buy according to your needs, comfort, and what suits you the most.  

Other Questions

Which table tennis racket is best for beginning players?

Cheap and less professional rackets are good when you are just starting with table tennis. 

You should note that as a beginner, it would be preferable to go for a racket that enables more control and good feeling than speed and power. This will ease the learning process and make you enjoy the game the more.

Some good beginners' rackets are;

  • Butterfly 401 shakehand ping-pong paddle. This is one of the best rated rackets. It had been awarded the buyer's choice. 
  • Palio Expert 3.0 table tennis bat. This bat gives a lot of control and good feeling.
  • Eastfield Allwood Table Tennis Racket. Although a little expensive, this bat is well rated for its exceptional control. It makes it easy for the player to loop, smash and attack. The flared handle enables a lot of comfort.

Wilson Clash 108 racket. One of the most arm-friendly rackets in its category.

 

Which table tennis racket is best for intermediate players?

If you have been playing for more than a year now, you must be good to go for an upgrade. Intermediate players' rackets must enable speed and control. You obviously should also still get one that gives you a good feeling.

The following rackets are perfect for intermediate players.

  • Eastfield Allwood Table Tennis Racket. They are made with a 5 ply all around blade, which offers medium speed and exceptional control. They are ITTF approved– they can be used in leagues and tournaments.
  • Palio Legend 3.0. Made with Palio Hadou rubbers which are a little difficult to control but give a wonderful spin and power to players good at the forehand and backhand loop technique.
  • Killerspin JET800 Ping-pong paddle. They are made with a 5+2 layer wood, 2.0mm high tension Nitrx-4Z rubbers which offers a good speed, and carbon fiber blade, all approved by the ITTF.

What table tennis bats do professionals use?

Being at the professional level requires professional equipment. So the bats should not only be the best but they should also have precise features. These, to make it worthy for competitions and bring the best out of the players' competences– but before anything else, they have to be compliant with the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) issued specifications. They have to

  • Be made with the appropriate materials. That is wood (Balsa, Limba or Cypress), rubber covering.
  • Have a good level of tackiness. That is how 'sticky' the rubber feels (for more spins).
  • Have a pimple surface.

Some great rackets for professionals are;

  1. STIGA Pro Carbon Table Tennis Racket. Made with balsa wood, they are very light weight.
  2. Palio Master 3.0. This racket perfectly balances speed and control. They have a 9/10 spin rating, a 8/10 on speed and 8/10 on control. 
  3. DHS Hurricane Long 5. They have a speed of 97, a control of 93 and weight 92 g. These rackets have a very fast blade, offer clear feel and are stable playing strokes. 

 

References

If you require more information, please check these references

Unplugged: Evolve from Technology to Upgrade Your Fitness, Performance, & Consciousness , article, "books.google.co.uk", retrieved on, Sun 19-July-2020

Ball-and-Paddle Games , article, "books.google.co.uk", retrieved on, Sun 19-July-2020

Table Tennis , article, "en.wikipedia.org", retrieved on, Sun 19-July-2020

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