A ping pong paddle, also known as bat or racket, is a small wooden racket covered with layers of sponge and rubber. It’s made up of three parts, namely, the handle and the paddle itself. The handle is also made of wood but some manufacturers put a rubber layer on top of the handle for easier holding.
The paddle is made of 6 to 7 layers of plywood and a sticky rubber coating. Most paddles have two different colors on each side and are made within regulation from the International Table Tennis Federation, an international group that oversees all activities of the sport.
To see what paddles work for you, first assess your skill level. If you are a beginner and only play for recreation, choose a product that is light and create a less bouncy effect. If the rubber is too hard, the ball tends to bounce too much and too fast. Intermediate and advanced players are good with slightly heavier paddles that give them the ability to hit hard, make the ball spin or travel faster and with higher intensity.
There are various styles of playing table tennis. Understanding these techniques will also help you in buying the paddle better suited for your needs. The term “spinning” is applied when you use a brush stroke with your paddle that will make the ball travel to your opponent.
There are various types of spinning, which are topspin, backspin, and sidespin. The type of the spin is characterized by the motion involved in performing it. For example, a front spin is done through making a forward motion.
You can predict the type of the spin that your opponent will be making by watching the angle of his paddle. The spin will then determine the strength of his hit. You can quickly strategize from there.
Aside from spinning, you can use three different ways of playing. You can choose between defensive, offensive and all-around. Defensive playing is done when you gauge the hits from your opponent and counteract with returns to make the opponent’s hits fail.
If you are playing on the offensive, you need to apply more force and strengthen your hits that will weaken your opponent. All-around techniques are applied if you want to be both offensive and defensive.
When you want to keep the game rolling and return as many hits as possible, then you are going on speed drive. You are most likely to smash the ball or return the ball with force if it bounces too closely to the net to maintain the drive. Defensive players block the ball to surprise the opponent. Blocking is done when the ball is hit as soon as it bounces back and with the same level of intensity as when it returned to you.
Holding the paddle is done in two ways. One is by penholder, or by holding the handle as if you’re holding a pen. The other way is through a shakehold, or when the hand is like shaking another, as what you would do to greet another person.
Some paddles are designed for harder hits and some are made for control and speed. There is a rating that is marked on the label and this will give you an idea on the paddle’s level of performance. Usually, the ratings are done from 1 to 10 and will be marked in terms of speed, spin, and control.
Experts think that the strength of a hit is not as important as control. Control of the ball means that you can maintain its strength and predict where it will land on the other side of the table. Spinning intensity will determine if you can return the ball or not. Your level of play will ultimately be your guide to see if you can handle the paddle or not.
In most cases, the quality and durability of the paddle will be another crucial factor. You can see this when buying the item online or check with the technician at the sporting goods shop. If you think of purchasing a ping pong paddle, make sure to check online customer reviews that can help you find the best-suited paddle for your needs.