Table tennis is one of the world’s most popular racket sport with hundreds of millions playing the game for recreation, exercise or competition. As table tennis tables are set up in schools, health clubs, sports centers and most homes, ping pong paddles and balls are all you need to get a game going.
Your table tennis bat or racket is your personal partner that can make or break your game which is why most players carefully choose their rackets.
Each racket is composed of two parts: the blade and the rubbers.
- Blade: This is generally made of wood and can be combined with other materials to create different kinds of play for as long as 85% is natural wood. Manufacturers may add carbon fiber to strengthen and stiffen the blade for increased speeds or aralyte which has a softer feel than carbon for reduced vibration and also increased sweet spot.
- Rubbers: These cover both sides of the blade and can be pimpled, reverse or anti spin rubbers.
* Pimpled or short pips are often used by defensive players who want a paddle that can alter the rhythm and speed of the game, block and chop well, and hand deceptive returns to the opponent.
* Reverse or smooth rubber is chosen by aggressive players who want to produce powerful strokes and forceful spins as this material promotes high speed plays.
* Anti spin rubber has a “no surface” grip often preferred by defensive players whose strategy is to disrupt the rhythm of a powerful opponent’s game.
Buying your first table tennis racket can be easy if you know your skills level and type of play.
There are two kinds of bats: pre made and custom.
- Pre made bats are ready made paddles that are easily found in sports stores and specialty shops. These are less expensive than custom made bats and are ideal for beginners and recreational players.
- Custom bats require separate purchases of the blade and rubbers which are then joined together using special glue. Seasoned and competitive players often choose the parts of their rackets according to their skills, playing style and strategy. Custom rackets offer the practical advantage of being able to replace the rubbers when they are worn out, damaged or no longer suitable for your playing style