Table tennis grips: Pros and Cons

Table tennis grips: Pros and Cons

How to choose the best table tennis grips that suit your playing style? Today I explain to you 2 thing:

  1. how to hold the table tennis correctly!
  2. and how to choose the right handle for your racket.

Chinese coach focuses a lot on table tennis grip. Read the best tips from Chinese coach for the grip here.

5 types of table tennis grips:

In general, there are 3 main grips in table tennis: shakehand grip (or European grip), penhold grip (Chinese grip), and Japanese/Korean Penhold grip (variation of penhold style). There is also a small variation like V-grip (American style), pistol grip (unorthodox style). However, in the modern table tennis games, the main grip style is: Shakehand (95%), and only 5% of players use the Penhold style.

Each type of grips has some pros and cons.

  1. Shakehand grip: balance and adaptive
  2. Penhold grip: deceptive and 3rd ball attack
  3. Japan/Korean grip: Powerful block on 2 sides
  4. V-grip: fast attack on the forehand
  5. Pistol grip: Easiness to spin

1. Shakehand grip: balance and adaptive

Timo Boll‘s grip is very narrow and a clearly Forehand oriented grip. The index is very high and can support your Forehand stroke.

timo boll's grip: European style and forehand favorite grip. He does change grip during rallies.
Timo Boll’s grip: European style and forehand favorite grip. He does change grip during rallies.

Zhang Jike and Ma Long have a different position of thumb and index finger.

His grip is very compact. The thumb is a little bit higher which support his backhand.

Zhang Jike's grip: shakehand style with backhand favorite grip
Zhang Jike’s grip: shakehand style with backhand favorite grip

While Ma Long’s grip is forehand/counter loop oriented.

Ma Long's grip: modern shakehand grip and forehand dominant style
Ma Long’s grip: modern shakehand grip and forehand dominant style

2. Penhold grip: deceptive and 3rd ball attack

Wang Hao always has 2 fingers on the bat at all time, so he can have a very good Reverse Penhold Backhand. These fingers serve as good support for your backhand.
The thumb is on the forehand rubber and is not as deep as Ryu Seung Min’s forehand grip.

wang hao's grip: Modified Chinese Penhold grip style
wang hao’s grip: Modified Chinese Penhold grip style

While Ryu Seung Min’s forehand grip is “deeper” (his thumb is very forward), his traditional backhand grip is different. His fingertips don’t touch the rubber.

Ryu Seung-min's grip: Traditional Jpen grip. Only block, and drive at the backhand side
Ryu Seung-min’s grip: Traditional Jpen grip. Only block, and drive at the backhand side

Ma Lin is somewhat in between. Liu Guoliang says if you want a good backhand like Wang Hao to use Wang Hao’s grip. If you want good forehand use Ryu Seung Min’s grip. If you want a good third ball, serve, and serve return, use Ma lin’s grip.

ma lin's grip: Traditional oldschool penhold Chinese style
ma lin’s grip: Traditional old-school penhold Chinese style

3. Japan/Korean grip: Powerful block on 2 sides

Liu Guoliang explained about penhold grip of Ryu Seung-min
Liu Guoliang explained about penhold grip of Ryu Seung-min

Nowadays, most of the table tennis player will choose to play “shakehand”. It’s considered as the modern table tennis grip. China is the only country that promotes the conventional “penhold style”.

It’s important to keep the style of penhold because of its flexibility and variation. It is part of the beauty of table tennis.

I think that table tennis coach should help promote penhold to western players.

Korean/Japanese penhold grip limits the use of reverse backhand penholder
Korean/Japanese penhold grip limits the use of reverse backhand penholder

4. V-grip: fast attack on the forehand

V-grip is an orthodox grip. It’s similar to Danny Seemiller grip.

backhand with forehand side (orthodox grip) - used by American players Bogan and Seemiller
backhand with forehand side (orthodox grip) – used by American players Bogan and Seemiller
Coach Dan Seemiller, 5 time US singles champion, 12 time US doubles champion, 1999-2009 US men's team national coach
Coach Dan Seemiller, 5 time US singles champion, 12 time US doubles champion, 1999-2009 US men’s team national coach
Seemiller grip
Seemiller grip

5. Pistol grip: Easiness to spin

The pistol grip is an orthodox grip, it’s a lite variation of penhold grip. However, it’s more comfortable on the backhand side.

Pistol grip - like holding a gun
Pistol grip – like holding a gun
Pistol grip
Pistol grip
SANWEI Pistol CQ1 RH Pistol table tennis bat
SANWEI Pistol CQ1 RH Pistol table tennis bat

Comparison of shakehand versus penhold:

  • Shakehand grips propose many advantages: the balance between forehand and backhand. Power away from the table. No weakness at the two wide sides. Aggressiveness to return the ball (with the backhand flick over the table).
  • There are some advantages of penhold that many people don’t think about. Such as the wrist flexibility close to the table, the ability to quickly change directions without making it obvious the way shakehand is (for example, the flick is very easy to see for shakehand, but you can make it much more deceptive for penhold)
  • Penhold doesn’t have the “elbow weakness” because penhold style covers very well in front of the body. The main weakness of “shakehand grip” is the elbow.
  • You follow, and attack to the elbow! It’s deadly to the shakehand player!
 ShakehandPenhold
Prosbalance between forehand and backhanddeceptive serve and 3rd ball attack
Forehand Power910
Forehand flexibilityNormalHigh
Forehand coverGoodVery Good
Forehand flickAverageGood
Backhand Power85
Backhand flexibilityHighWeak
Backhand coverGoodWeak
Backhand flickGoodGood and Deceptive
Backhand loopGoodAverage (without RPB)
Elbow weaknessVery weakNo
ServiceGoodVery Good
Third ball attackGoodVery Good
Quick rally - counter attackGoodBad
RequireBalance footworkQuick footwork
Shakehand vs Penhold grip

 

Keep the beauty of penhold style:

I encourage coaches to not just give a shake hand paddle to every kid, but to choose some of the kids that are quick to adapt to try penhold.

Xu Xin's style is so beautiful!
Xu Xin’s style is so beautiful!

Liu Guoliang gives us a good introduction to grip the bat based on your playing style.

Holding your racket is the first and the basic technique that you should master!

These are the example of good grips that you should learn. The grip of a professional table tennis player is worth studying. You can modify your grip based on your penhold style or shakehand style.

Xu Xin's grip: Effective to play away from the table. But weak at backhand's attack.
Xu Xin’s grip: Effective to play away from the table. But weak at backhand’s attack.

How to hold the bat correctly

I will explain to you how to hold the table tennis bat/racket correctly by using the to Chinese coaching.

“Holding a table tennis racket” is the first table tennis lesson. Having a good grip in table tennis is crucial as it allows you to optimize your technique.

Without a correct grip, you cannot do the strokes correctly and never improve to a high level of table tennis.

What does the correct shakehand grip look like? Here you are!

Learn to hold on the first day

Some coaches didn’t correct the grip or didn’t show their players how to hold the bat correctly at the beginning. That’s the main reason that the players never progress or just improve slowly.

The coach just said “Hey, pick up your racket and start training on the table”.

It’s not a good way of coaching the beginner player.

In China, the coach shows the principles of the grip and lets the young kids play with the ball (without the table) at least one week. The kids must feel his racket and adapt his grip. This first lesson is very important as the grip will stay with you all of your table tennis life.

Learning good grip is your first table tennis lesson
Learning good grip is your first table tennis lesson

 

 

Table tennis grip tapes

If you have any problem with your blade handle, you should use a table tennis grip tapes. Why?

Because if your table tennis handle is too slim, too thin, it will affect your game. A too thin handle is very dangerous because your blade can fly away at any time.

table tennis grip tape is a solution for too slim and narrow handle
table tennis grip tape is a solution for too slim and narrow handle

Or you need to hold your racket tightly, and you know “Holding too tight your racket will kill your game“!

Should I use a table tennis tape?

Yes! Using a table tennis grip can enhance your execution of shots and improve your game.

The grip tape is normally very light and thin! It only adds about 2g – 3g to your blade. However, it is sticky/ grippy, which can enhance your grip and your feeling.

Which are the best table tennis tape?

You can buy the tape from Butterfly, NittakuXiom or Paddle Palace.

Nittaku grip tape will do the job perfectly! That’s the one that I like the most!

Nittaku table tennis grip tape Very high quality tape
Nittaku table tennis grip tape Very high-quality tape

Nittaku Table Tennis Bat Wrap Handle Grip is useful! And they last for a long time! At least 3 years if you keep your handle properly.

Xiom Table Tennis Racket Grip Tape
Xiom Table Tennis Racket Grip Tape

Xiom or Paddle Palace is another cheaper solutions if you don’t buy the Butterfly or Nittaku grip tape.

You can also buy some cheap Anti-Slip Sweat Absorbing Soft Grip Tape from China.

Order Butterfly table tennis soft grip tape here.

Or buy XIOM Table Tennis Racket Grip Tape GT1 Excellent Pingpong Paddle Grip Tape, Made in Korea (2 Grip Tapes in a Package) here.

Read more:

Please share this article with your teammate. [ratings]

Related Posts

5
Share Your Passion & Ask Anything

avatar
Photo and Image Files
 
 
 
5 Comment threads
0 Thread replies
0 Followers
 
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
4 Comment authors
IftyDipin Rajannarendran ramakrishnanNizar Recent comment authors
  Subscribe  
newest oldest most voted
Notify of
Nizar
Guest
Nizar

dear coach. I have used the Nitakku grip. Its very good. I recommend it too.

narendran ramakrishnan
Guest
narendran ramakrishnan

Hi coach
I am planning to add grip tape on my bat’s handle . Will it reduce the good feeling/vibration that i have?
thanks

narendran ramakrishnan
Guest
narendran ramakrishnan

Hi Coach
I am planning to add a grip to my bats handle to make it thicker. will it reduce the good feeling / vibration that i have?

thank you

Dipin Rajan
Guest
Dipin Rajan

Hi Coach,

My palm is too big and my paddle handle is not long enough, so it changes my grip while I am playing. Will using a thick grip tape will help me with my grip and accuracy.

Regards,
Dipin Rajan

Ifty
Guest
Ifty

Thanks

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!