Buying Your First Table Tennis Racket

One of the most significant steps a new ping pong player takes is buying their first table tennis racket. If you've so far only played with no-name paddles purchased from a chain sports store, graduating to a real racket will help develop your style. Also, choose carefully because making the wrong decision can hold you back when you could be making progress. Therefore, it's crucial to understand what to consider as you make your decision. Don't buy a pre-made racket with the rubber already on. The best performing rubbers are under a year old – and who knows how long a pre-made paddle has been on the store shelf.

Step one in your selection process is deciding on a blade. You'll quickly see that there are an enormous number of options. Just about every one you pick up will have promises on the label that it will make you play like a pro. Your best option is an all-around blade from a well-known and reputable company. When you're still developing your style, it's vital to avoid blades that are too fast or slow. As you learn more, that warning will make greater sense. Make sure to compare grips and think through their pros and cons. The grip on the first serious racket you buy will probably be the one you stick with forever.

Pay careful attention to what feels best in your hand when you select a handle type. Flared or straight handles are the most common choices, but there are conic and anatomic options out there. Some players feel flared handles are better for forehand shots and straight ones for backhand, but you need to play more and develop your preferences to decide. The idea is to select a handle that sits nicely and comfortably in your hand. You might also ask other players who you know whether or not they have something you could try for a while. Many hang on to their old equipment and might be able to help.

Step three is buying a rubber, and smooth ones for both sides are best at first. Having suitable all-around smooth rubbers gives you the most options to develop your game. More specialized rubbers limit the strokes you can use, and you'll gain less experience when you practice. At first, your new racket will; probably fell harder to control. But as you become used to it, you'll begin to understand how much difference it can make. Ask an experienced player to help you glue down the rubber for the first time. Like everything else, there is a way to do it properly. It's a good idea to learn how to do it yourself.