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How To Choose Your Table Tennis Racket/ Paddle

“What is the best table tennis racket?”, and “How to select a table tennis racket?” These are the 2 common questions that every new (beginner) table tennis player asks.

Understanding the parameters of a racket

Beginners often misunderstand the parameters of a racket. Here is the quick recap for you:

Liu Guoliang There is no best paddle in the World. The best paddle is the one that fit your style the best. (2)
Liu Guoliang There is no best paddle in the World. The best paddle is the one that fit your style the best
  • Handle Shape: It’s very important! There are 6 types of handles. Choose the right one that fits your playing style. Handle size is very important. It’s the place where you put your finger to apply the right pressure (place the thumbs on the neck of the blade).
different handles type of Timo Boll ALC
different handles type of Timo Boll ALC (more info)
  • Blade’s composition: 5-ply, 7-ply, 9-ply, or ALC, or ZLC? Allwood or carbon racket?
  • Thickness: The optimal blade thickness is from 5.7mm to 6.1mm in this modern table tennis.
  • Weight: The optimal weight of a blade is about 85g to 93g.
  • Blade size: Don’t choose a too small racket (lack of feeling and flexibility). Don’t choose too-big head (only for the defender). The optimal size is about 157-160 mm (length), and 149-151 mm (width).
  • Class/Speed/Control: There are DEF, ALL+, OFF-, OFF, OFF+, and OFF++ blade. A balance between speed and control. The best range is ALL+ to OFF- for beginners to advanced players.
Butterfly Rebound speed on the scale of 10 to 12
Butterfly Rebound speed on the scale of 10 to 12
  • Price: Don’t waste your money. Around 20 USD to 80 USD is so good for a good racket. Read here for a cheap example under 40 USD.
  • Combo: Knowing how to combine the right rubbers on the right blade is important. Search “table tennis equipment pingsunday” to learn more.

The right racket + rubber combination

What is the best combination (racket + rubber) in table tennis? Best paddle for a beginner? top bat for the spin or for speed? These are the common questions that you asked.

Today, coach EmRatThich will explain 3 types of setup in table tennis. You will understand more about the table tennis equipment, and why Chinese players love using a very hard rubber on a flexible blade.

Watch this video:

How to choose best setup in table tennis
Watch this video: How to choose the best setup in table tennis


The best racket for beginners

Some players asked me:

Dear coach, I’m new to table tennis. So which table tennis rackets should I buy?

The best rackets for beginners usually give you control and spin.

As beginners, you need to focus on the feeling. Because the feeling will help you improve very fast.

Best Budget Rackets for Beginners - Saving Tips
Best Budget Rackets for Beginners – Saving Tips

How to choose a table tennis racket

There is a list of the top 10 best table tennis rackets. You should read this list to understand more.

“The best racket is the equipment that suite your playing style”.

How to choose the right table tennis racket for your style
How to choose the right table tennis racket for your style

Understand Table Tennis Equipment

Do you need a Viscaria blade, a DHS Hurricane 3 national blue sponge rubber, and a Butterfly Tenergy 05 professional version to improve your table tennis?

No! Choose a good blade for your playing style!

Do not choose another one’s paddle. Coach EmRatThich helps you understand your table tennis equipment (racket + rubber) under the viewpoint of a Chinese coach.

From now, you can choose your best table tennis combo setup including racket and rubber.

Attentions! Some website just makes a bad review of the paddle. The review is not credible because the equipment is biased to the referral subject.

Watch this video:

Understand Table Tennis Equipment - Choose Best Paddle and Rubber
Watch this video: Understand Table Tennis Equipment – Choose Best Paddle and Rubber

Here are my tips to choose the right blade (OFF, OFF+, Carbon blade)

Guide to choose the right table tennis racket for the beginner
Guide to choosing the right table tennis racket for the beginner

You need to choose the racket that provides you the feeling. It’s the most important factor in table tennis.

The feeling is the good vibration frequency that your hand will fill during the shots.

flex-hardness - the feeling in table tennis
flex-hardness – the feeling in table tennis

There are 2 options that help you choose the right racket (paddle) in table tennis.

2 Option to choose the right paddle

The racket quality and table tennis techniques evolve with time. Of course, you are new to table tennis, and you may hear about the best equipment nowadays like Butterfly, Stiga, DHS, Donic, Tibhar, Joola, Cornilleau, Nittaku, Darker, etc. Each year, there are hundreds of new blades, rackets, and rubber are released.

Should I buy a premade racket as my first ping pong racket
Should I buy a premade racket as my first ping pong racket

A racket is a combination of the blade and 2 rubbers: 1 forehand rubber, and 1 backhand rubber. You have 2 options:

TO WELL CHOOSE YOUR RACKET trust the real professionals coach!

You always need a coach - even at the world class level
You always need a coach – even at the world-class level

Option 1 – Build your own racket

I have explained it previously. Knowing how to build your own racket is very important.

It’s the key to learning when you progress in table tennis.

So you need to understand your playing style first. Ask your coach, or ask me about how to choose the right racket.

Then select the right blade. Take a look at the top 10 blades here.

Then you add the backhand rubber (in red color). Each backhand rubber will fit your backhand style. Best backhand rubber to look at.

And finally, complete your setup with a good forehand rubber (Chinese forehand rubber or hard ESN rubber).

Guide to choose the right table tennis racket for the beginner
Guide for choosing the right table tennis racket for the beginner

Option 2 – Select the best rackets

Here is the list of the best rackets that fit very well new players in table tennis. I recommend this setup for my players. So don’t worry, these rackets are great for your development.

Read below for the top 3 rackets for beginners.

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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.

18 thoughts on “How To Choose Your Table Tennis Racket/ Paddle”

  1. Hello Coach ,
    1. I own a Nittaku Accoustic ( wood) blade ; i have used Andro power grip SFX( max) or R48 and find the R48 better – now do you think Yasak rakza Z or MX-P ( or MX-S) will also be a good alternative ? ( for grip/ spin/ feed back) .
    2. recently i had borrowed a Zang Jike ALC with MX-P and Ginus rubber and played for 2 days; and i felt that blade has wonderful feel and control (despite being fast) with the MX-P side having better grip+ control ( could easily flick fore hand – back hand side @ 6 inch from net); do you think R48 or Rakza Z will also pair well with this blade ?

    Kaushik Chatterjee – India

  2. my kid plays Joola Nobilis (1.2mm hinoki outer veneers zylon/carbon)with 50°ESN type backhand rubber and Dhs h3neo in 41°
    hardness for some time now .
    This combo has proven to be fast but unforgiving .Coaches have all been not so positive urging for much softer setup
    but my kid loves the feeling and feedback.
    fh openup has proven to be a real challenge as without power from the ground there is no hope to produce any quality with thus combo ,no scope for being hesitant or playing half effort .It’s either full commited all in brushing of the ball with maximum speed or that ball will not make it past the net , fly 3m high missing the table or you get a punishing return for your
    weak stroke.
    I guess this is not for the average youth player in europe, but when she is in full swing , this is awesome to watch and sucks you straight into the glory feeling of mastering such delicate equipment….

  3. Dear Coach EmRatThich,
    based on your recommendations would you recommend having the following set-up:

    Yasaka Ma Lin Extra Offensive blade (ST) with
    Xiom Omega V Asia forehand (sponge: max) and
    Xiom Omega Europe backhand (sponge: 2.0)?

    The only principle that is not respected is that the Yasaka blade is too cheap compared to the rubbers (80-20% rule). Is it still fine like that or what would you change for a beginner-intermediate player?
    Best regards,

    • Hi Cyan. The 80-20 rule is just to say the blade is important. Your setup is great. Ma Ling Offensive is a very good blade for it’s price. Xiom Asia Max on Forehand, and Europe 2.0 is a very very good combo. You have a nice combo! I’m sure!

  4. I see lots of players have questions for the coach. Why don’t you exchange with him on his Patreon page so he can have the time to help you. These people have lives too and we should support their efforts instead of expecting everything for free.

    Look at the amazing amount of work he has given us for free *Videos and PingSunday.com). We all need to step up and return the favor!

  5. i am 71years old.have played for 50years,butterfly, sardius,mazanov,photino,and now tibhar( ofensive alfa)with flextra,seriver,mitaku,and corbori play aslooper,attacker,spinner.mydefence and back-hand attacking is weak.please let me know which racket fits me best.thanks

  6. Hey Coach, i am currently playing tibhar mx-s in my forehand on inner force zlc. I am an intermediate player, but feel lack of control with mx-s. Should i try a chinese rubber? If yes, which one? Neo or not Nea, Hurricane II or III and blue or normal sponge? Should i boost a little or not? I play very forehand oriented attacking game, with a lot of spin in 3rd ball, but struggle with the plastic ball, because it is now easy to block for my opponents, whereas with celluloid, they alway blocked over the table, because there was more spin… is there a rubber, that will enable me again to do crazy spin, hard to block shots? On backhand i use EL-S and i am super happy.
    Thanks so much coach

  7. I’m older player and problems with my neck. So I can’t play aggressive style any more.
    Have you any ideas to choose the playing style and racket/rubber ? I would like play TT because it’s so fun. Thanks in advance

  8. Wow, I had no idea that so many different factors had to be taken into consideration to make sure that you’re choosing the right tennis racket. I’m particularly surprised to learn that so much of it has to do with picking the right rubber on the racket. After all, I would have never guessed that rubber that is too soft or too hard could have an impact on how the ball is spun.

  9. Hi, coach. I liked the suggestion for choice rubber based in hardness (mainly for begginers). Flexible blade and Hardness Backhand rubber with ~40 degree of hardness. And in Forehand, rubber with hardness between 45-47 degrees. But I’m actually use Butterfly Sapphira on backhand and Forehand on a Butterfly Grubba Blade (I’m begginer). But Sapphira rubber is only 35 in hardness. What rubber I have to choose for more hardness? Thanks.


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