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How To Choose Your Table Tennis Racket

Top tips to help you choose your ideal table tennis racket. Which one is best?
Part one - The basics.

Part One  |   Part Two  |   Part Three  |   Part Four  |   Part Five

 

Table Tennis Racket

When you're looking to buy a table tennis racket you'll probably discover that you're faced with a bewildering choice of different rackets and therefore not know which one you should buy.

So how can you make the right choice?

Well, all you need is a little insider information and then you can make an informed choice.

And knowing what makes rackets different from each other means that you'll be able to choose the one that's most suitable for YOU.

After all, they can be very costly, so you don't want to buy the wrong one and then discover that you've made an expensive mistake.

So if that's the position you find yourself in and you need a bit of background information, I can help you.

You see, I've been playing and writing about table tennis since 1971 and I've built up a wealth of knowledge about choosing table tennis equipment so, in this five-part series of pages about the racket, I'd like to share that knowledge with you.

So let's take a closer look at the basics first and discover what you need to know before you choose your table tennis racket.


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Racket, paddle or bat?

Buy Your Racket Here

Butterfly, Stiga, Killerspin & more


Click here to view at amazon.com

Click here to view at megaspin

Click here to view at amazon.co.uk

Buy Your Racket Here

Butterfly, Stiga, Killerspin & more


Click here to view at amazon.com

Click here to view at megaspin

Click here to view at amazon.co.uk

Depending on where you live in the world you may call them table tennis rackets, table tennis paddles, table tennis bats, ping pong rackets, ping pong paddles or ping pong bats ... but we're all referring to the piece of equipment that you use to hit the ball.

However, the official Laws of Table Tennis refer to it as a table tennis racket, so I'll be using that term throughout these pages.

If you use the term ping pong you may also be interested in my article about the difference between table tennis and ping pong.


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Can a table tennis racket be of any size?

The official rules of table tennis state that a racket can be of any size, shape or weight, but the blade must be flat and rigid and made of at least 85% natural wood.

However you'll find that most rackets are actually all very similar in size - about 15cm (6 inches) across and 25cm (10 inches) long including the handle.


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What is a racket?

A table tennis racket is made up of two distinct parts...

Table tennis blade

1) A wooden blade which incorporates the handle...

...and...

Table tennis rubber

2) table tennis rubbers which are affixed to each side of the blade using water-based glue.

 

Composition of a table tennis racket

Here's a side view of a racket showing the wooden blade with table tennis rubbers affixed to each side of the blade.

So, now that we know the basics, let's take a look at how to choose your ideal table tennis racket.


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Ready-made or a customised racket

There are two basic choices available when buying a table tennis racket. You can either buy a ready-made racket or buy the individual pieces and make your own customised racket.

Ready-made, pre-assembled rackets are more suitable for players who are just starting to play table tennis and for players who only play occasionally or who only play as a fun social activity with their friends.

Customised rackets are more suitable for players who have been playing table tennis for at least a year and intend to keep playing regularly in order to improve their skills, and for players who want to play competitively.

 

Buy Your Racket Here

Butterfly, Stiga, Killerspin & more


Click here to view at amazon.com

Click here to view at megaspin

Click here to view at amazon.co.uk

Buy Your Racket Here

Butterfly, Stiga, Killerspin & more


Click here to view at amazon.com

Click here to view at megaspin

Click here to view at amazon.co.uk

Ready-made, pre-assembled rackets are often available in your local sports store but I wouldn't recommend buying one from there.

The main problem with buying this type of racket from your local sports store is that you don't know how long it's been in the packet, and table tennis rubbers deteriorate with age and exposure to light, even if they've been kept in a sealed packet.

So I'd recommend that you buy online from a supplier who has stock which is more likely to be sold and replenished more frequently.

Amazon sell many different ready-made, pre-assembled rackets and any of them will be sufficient for a casual player.

But if you're serious about playing table tennis...

I recommend...

Buying each element of your racket (blade and rubbers) separately and buying a recognised brand such as Butterfly, Stiga, Donic, Joola, TSP, Yasaka etc.

Buy Your Blades Here

Butterfly, Stiga, Killerspin & more


Click here to view at amazon.com

Click here to view at megaspin

Click here to view at amazon.co.uk

Buy Your Rubbers Here

Butterfly, Stiga, Killerspin & more


Click here to view at amazon.com

Click here to view at megaspin

Click here to view at amazon.co.uk

Buy Your Glue Here

Butterfly, Donic, Killerspin & more


Click here to view at amazon.com

Click here to view at megaspin

Click here to view at amazon.co.uk

Buy Your Blades Here

Butterfly, Stiga, Killerspin & more


Click here to view at amazon.com

Click here to view at megaspin

Click here to view at amazon.co.uk

Buy Your Rubbers Here

Butterfly, Stiga, Killerspin & more


Click here to view at amazon.com

Click here to view at megaspin

Click here to view at amazon.co.uk

Buy Your Glue Here

Butterfly, Donic, Killerspin & more


Click here to view at amazon.com

Click here to view at megaspin

Click here to view at amazon.co.uk


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What style of play do you use?

Before you can decide which customised racket is best for YOU, you'll first need to consider your style of play.

If you're just starting out, then you don't need to be too concerned with this. Just buy any ready-made, pre-assembled racket. But if you're progressing from a ready-made, pre-assembled racket to a customised racket, you need to consider your style of play.

Do you have an attacking / offensive style of play or are you a more defensive type of player?

Maybe you're neither one nor the other - perhaps you've developed a counter-attacking style?

However, the vast majority of players will initially have an "allround" style of play.

So, when you've considered what style of play you use, you'll be ready to move on to the next stage.

So we'll explore these issues further in Part Two - what type of table tennis blade do you need?

 

Part One  |   Part Two  |   Part Three  |   Part Four  |   Part Five


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MORE PAGES ABOUT
CHOOSING YOUR TABLE TENNIS EQUIPMENT
For more information, tips and recommendations about table tennis equipment, take a look at my other articles...

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