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Choose Heavy or Light Racket – Which One Is Better?

If you are a new player, you should pay attention to your first equipment. Don’t make the same mistake when choosing your first racket. There are many parameters that you should consider to choose the right weight of your racket. Are heavy table tennis rackets better than lighter ones? What is the optimal weight of a table tennis racket?


Racket’s weight

In table tennis, the weight of a racket can vary from 150g to 250g. A racket is a blade and 2 rubbers (one backhand, and one forehand rubber). In general, a rubber has an average mass of 40-50g. So two rubbers weigh about 80-100g (it also depends on the thickness of the rubber, the density of the sponge, and the size of the blade).

Fan Zhendong personal racket
Fan Zhendong personal racket (Viscaria with Infinity handle)

 

Choose heavy or light racket ? Optimal Weight

Watch this video.

 

I will classify the blade’s weight into 3 domains: Light, Normal, Heavy.

  • Light blade: 75g to 80g. They are all light blades.
  • Normal range: from 80g to 87g. Most of the table tennis blades in the market are in this range.
  • Heavy side: from 90g to 95g. Used by the advanced player, and most professional players use a custom blade, which is always heavier than the commercial version.
Light Normal and Heavy racket weight
Light Normal and Heavy racket weight

 

Fact: Fan Zhendong used a 93g custom-made blade (Stiga). Ma Long used a 91g DHS custom blade.

Many players insist to use light and lighter blades. Is it really good for you? And you, an amateur player, just want a lighter, lighter, and lighter blade (around 70–80g). I don’t think so.

Pro players use 90g Viscaria, with Hurricane 3, the total racket weight is 199g
Pro players use 90g Viscaria, with Hurricane 3, the total racket weight is 199g (photo by tt-review)
Actually Ma Long is using DHS 968-997 blade
Actually Ma Long is using DHS 968-997 blade
Fan Zhendong blade in World Cup 2018
Fan Zhendong blade in World Cup 2018


Advantages of a light racket

Light blade:



  • Easier to swing. Easier to spin, and maneuver close to the table.
  • But lack of power, especially far from the table
  • Quicker and more reactive near the table
  • A lightweight blade is better at counter-attack
  • A lighter blade can help you to accelerate it faster.


Is a heavier racket better?

Heavy blade:

  • Require good acceleration, and good technique (hit at the right timing)
  • Power, Faster, (especially at far to mid-distance)
  • Easier to dampen the shot – better for a blocker. Better re-bounce force
  • You need to play further from the table, for a bigger swing, more powerful shot, and more spin
  • Better control because the heavier blade will vibrate more (give more feeling) for the hard shots.
  • Better power to attack and counter-attack (crucial in modern table tennis nowadays)
Ma Long personal blade with his smile
Ma Long personal blade with his smile


Conclusion

If you are a fast player, you stay close to the table, and you love counter-attacks then you should choose a light and fast blade. 

If you play far from the table, with a bigger stroke, then you need a head heavy blade. You have more time to react with a bigger swing far from the table.

So it’s up to you to choose. I’m using a 91 g table tennis blade for info. But I recommend you more on the heavy side.

personal racket of Ma Long, and Timo Boll in this German Open 2018
Personal rackets of Ma Long, and Timo Boll in this German Open 2018

My advice:

The weight of the blade is just a small factor. The most important thing is the blade center of gravity. You need to hold the racket first, before buying it.

If you are not a professional player, then you can choose the 185 – 188g racket that works the best, where the blade is 85 – 88g.

If you are old, and you don’t want injuries then you can choose below 188g. But don’t choose below 180g, you will lack power in your shot when you play far from the table. Always ask the seller to give you the exact weight. Always confirm with the seller the weight of the blade before ordering it online!

H3 Blue 41 and H3 Orange 39 at 196g
H3 Blue 41 and H3 Orange 39 at 196g

For the good of your table tennis, use the heaviest racket as possible as you can. My overall racket is 205 g. What about yours?

With the new ball (the new trend of table tennis), most of the new generation in China prefer using a smaller-head, light, and fast blade, which is good for counter-attack style.



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Table tennis coach in France since 2012, founder of pingsunday.com (the best online coaching program for table tennis players). Born in Vietnam in 1983, Ph.D. in Université Pierre Marie Curie. Read more about him.

16 thoughts on “Choose Heavy or Light Racket – Which One Is Better?”

  1. Weight of the blade is just a small factor. The most important thing is blade center of gravity. If the weight is more towards the handle, then it will feel light even you put a heavy rubbers. If the blade weight balance is towards the head, even light rubbers, it will feel so heavy. So it’s a matter of feeling when you buy or hold a blade to choose and sometimes it’s your luck to get a balanced blade.
    I prefer a heavy blade with heavy rubbers but with a good balance. Not feeling so head heavy.

    Reply
  2. As not professional player I find 185 – 188g racket works the best, where blade is 85 – 88g. Flared handle. Some rubbers are 46g some 51g.

    Anything outside of that range makes racket unbalanced. I can go as high as 193g but it becomes harder to play, racket is less forgiving to tiny mistakes.

    If you do not want injuries stay below 188g.

    If you want at least some power in your shots, try not to go below 184g.

    Always ask seller to give you exact weight. Always confirm with seller the weight of blade before ordering it online!

    Reply
  3. I love 84 gm blades and have been using for like 2 years. I started using a custom 100gm blade! My strokes are so much better. I used to hate heavy blades but one day I was forced to use this and have not looked back after. Yes…its lot of work so keeps my attention in the game. Once I hit flat the opponent usually gets out of the way 😉

    Reply
  4. Hi coach,

    I have a Chinese penhold set up of 203g. Do you think it’s too heavy for a penholder? I find when I use between 187-190g, I’m a bit more consistent and confident, but I really must exert much more body and power to make any kill shots.

    Do you know any professional penholder weight set ups?

    Thanks and nice work!
    ALaS

    Reply
  5. Hola
    Con respecto a la madera de Fan Zhendong, en lo personal no creo que use madera Viscaria con mango infinity, pues en la foto mas bien parece un infinity por que esta cuchilla realmente luce así tiene dos placas de madera mas oscuras que se asimilan al arylate-carbon de la madera Viscaria, esa es mi humilde opinión.

    Lo otro que me pareció súper buena la información sobre el peso de la raqueta, estoy totalmente de acuerdo que el peso le da mas poder al golpe, quedaría mas claro con alguna información sobre la distribución del peso en la raqueta.

    saludos desde Horcón, Chile.

    Reply
  6. Thank you for all of your advices, coach 🙂 I love most of what I ready from you and I try to apply it whenever I can 🙂

    As for the weight of racket, I have one question: is your today’s piece of advice for all kind of rubbers?
    I have a short pip rubber on forehand, is it also more viable to add weight on my blade?

    Reply
  7. Dear SpinnerZ

    Thank you very much for your nice words. 😀
    We just love the same sport – table tennis. I don’t even know other players.
    But I’m happy that you love my articles.
    Thank you for your beers 😀
    ert

    Reply
  8. When I first started my TT journey at the ripe old age of 42 years old, it was with the intention to get healthier. My initial idea was two middle age blokes hitting a light weight ball around a table with some paddle whilst holding a bottle of Lager on the free hand. I mean, how difficult can it be?

    Until Coach Emrathich comes in with all the scientific and technical explanation about TT. It is just so mind boggling.

    But, please don’t stop Coach… please continue your good work and research. Really really appreciate it. If I ever have the good fortune to meet you in person, you can have as much beer you want from me.

    Reply
  9. Very interesting information!
    I’m a penholder, and I don’t have much strength (I’m only 14 years old). I’m currently using the Stiga Allround Classic. Should I still get a heavier blade when I’m good enough to go a level higher?

    Reply
  10. Mine is 92gram, with two max rubbers the combo is 184gr which i found a little on heavy side. But the spin created is incredible.

    For amateur level i think optimal range varies from 80-88gr.

    Reply
  11. Wow. That’s very inspiring. Again, thank you for showing the good way. Yes, no pain, no gain. I really thank you for any advice given by you coach EmRatThich.

    Good side is no one will dare to try or even borrow my heavy racket.

    Reply

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