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Choosing the right table tennis racket

Choosing the "right" Table Tennis Racket

In almost no other sports does the equipment play such an important and decisive role. Whether you are a hobby player, who goes to a sports store to buy a table tennis racket for your leisure time, or a club player, who wants to change your racket after the season, because your demands and skills have increased, or you are dissatisfied with the current equipment, choosing a new table tennis racket is difficult. 

The often obscure product descriptions of the manufacturers do not make this any easier. Many companies work with value specifications for speed, spin and control. But these cannot be compared with other brands working with, again, a different value system. Add to this the infinite number of blade-rubber combinations that can be created from the range of pro rubbers and pro blades. Even for savvy equipment experts, it’s not easy to keep track of everything, as many new rubbers and blades appear on the market every year.

The blade makes the difference

Finding a suitable blade is not easy. Should it be an allround blade or the enormously fast carbon trowel? The most important thing is to be honest with yourself. It doesn’t make sense to buy the newest, fastest and most expensive blade if you can hardly play a backspin safely over the net or if the technique is not yet fully developed. 

The best thing is to find a compromise between what I want to play and what I can play. A youth player, who is able to play a safe topspin and has been playing an allround blade, which he got at the beginning of his TT career, should, if he now wants to have faster material, make a small step at once. For example looking for a blade with OFF- or instead choosing at first a faster rubber on the current blade.

The change of a blade should be well considered in any case. Your first step can be the racket of a fellow club member, whose equipment can be tested. In addition, there are many local TT stores where you can get test sets, which makes testing easier. Much more attention than on the attributes within the product descriptions should be devoted to the structure of the individual blade. Elastic 5-ply allwood blades without a fiber such as carbon support the spin game and are generally more controlled and softer to play. 

For higher training effort and stroking power, 7-ply solid blades or those with fiber-layer reinforcements should be considered. These are stiffer and often much more direct. The speed reserves are significantly increased, but it is more difficult to control such blade due to the lack of flexibility. Ultimately, it is also a matter of feeling, with which table tennis blade you feel comfortable.

The most important hint for the choice of your blade: Once a suitable blade is found, then it should be kept.

Influence of the rubber-blade combination

There is an unwritten rule that applies in most cases. Soft rubbers work better on stiffer, harder blades. Harder rubbers work well with soft blades. Let me put it this way now: Every player has a preferred hardness range, which can shift over time. It should not be too soft, but also not too hard. 

A player who exclusively plays with soft topspins should not combine hard rubbers with a stiff blade. However, the necessary power is missing if a soft rubber is mounted on a slow, tempo-elastic blade. For example, a slow, soft allround blade with medium-hard topspin rubbers or a harder carbon blade with soft rubbers is ideal. 

A table tennis bat lives from the overall feel. In addition, the hardness range generally shifts with your playing level. The better a player is, the harder the rubbers and blades are. This is mainly due to the arm acceleration of the individual player. In professional table tennis, hard rubbers with enormously fast, hard and fiber-reinforced blades are used almost exclusively.

There are no absolutes on this matter. But the overall hardness is a key factor in choosing the right racket. 

Conclusion

– Do not play too fast material, but according to your own abilities

– Rather change the rubbers than the blade.

– Testing is important, but should not be overdone

– Pay attention to the overall hardness of the table tennis racket

If you have any other suggestions on the topic: “Choosing the right table tennis bat” or have a question on this topic, just leave a comment, I’ll be happy to help 😉

An already good preselection with suitable bats for all performance classes you can also find in our article “Best table tennis rackets”. So take a look 🙂

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Marcel Arnold aka tt89player
Marcel Arnold aka tt89player

Hi there! I hope you like my Table Tennis Blog. As TT Equipment Expert I helped many table tennis players around the world to find their new rubbers, blades or rackets. Use my comparisons, guides and reviews to find the desired goods and play better in the sport we both love!