If you didn’t have a ping-pong table or tennis table as a kid, then you most likely had a relative or neighbor who did. It was the perfect way to spend an afternoon and it could get pretty intense and competitive. Losing to your little brother simply wasn’t an option.
Today, table tennis, the upgraded version of ping pong, is serious business. So serious that in 1988 it became an Olympic sport. So what does it take to be a world class ping pong player? The obvious criteria are speed and agility. For a game that is pretty much played standing in one square meter, it’s pretty fast-paced. Then comes the equipment. Every player worth his weight in Olympic gold has his own paddle. We’ll look at some of the best ping pong paddles that will help you improve your game at the table.
The Best Ping Pong Paddle
Lightweight and easy to hold, this STIGA Pro Carbon Performance-Level Ping Pong Paddle will help you lift your ping pong game to a higher level. It absorbs vibrations away from the handle for superior comfort and maneuverability. This ping pong paddle is approved by the ITTF so you can play a great game recreationally or competitively. If you love these kinds of games, make sure you also check our guide to the best foosball tables.
Performance-Level Table Tennis Racket
ITTF Approved Rubber for Tournament Play
Features Carbon Technology for Power and Speed
Performance Ratings- Speed: 99 Spin: 100 Control: 80
7-Ply Extra Light Blade, S5 Rubber, and 2mm Sponge
- Weight7.5 ounces
Killerspin JET200 Table Ping Pong Paddle is a gift boxed ping pong set ideal for the budding beginner who has recently discovered a love for table tennis. It has been designed to give you full control of the paddle so you can hit the ball with precision. The grip is fantastic and it comes with a memory book so you can record all your game scores and your overall progress. This is the best value paddle and would make a great gift.
Great For Beginners
Includes memory book to record progress and scores
Designed for great paddle control
- Weight6.2 ounces
This set of table tennis paddles is perfect for an afternoon of family fun. The convenient carry bag comes with 4 paddles and 8 balls, ready for some family action. JP WinLook Ping Pong Paddles have been designed with an ergonomic handle making it perfect for all ages. For more tennis related equipment, check out our guide to the best tennis balls.
4-piece Pack superior quality custom plywood paddles
5-plywood blade with ergonomic flared handle
Convenient carry bag with paddles for 4 players
Perfect for all ages
- BrandJP WinLook
- Weight2.45 pounds
Take these top ping pong paddles with you to your next local tournament and you can get your own team competition going. Or get a game of two-on-two started on a rainy day. Either way, you’re set with this set of paddles. STIGA Performance 4-Player Table Tennis Racket Set is the perfect starter set for all ages.
Four Performance Rackets and Six 3-Star Balls (3 White/3 Orange)
USA Table Tennis (USATT) Approved
Racket Rubber Inverted for Increased Ball Control and Added Spin
3-Star Balls Meet ITTF Regulations for Tournament Play
- Weight1.45 pounds
Even an amateur ping pong players deserve a cool paddle and Ping Pong Paddle JT-700 with Killer Spin is sure to please. It is available in fun colors so each player can show a little individuality. The paddle is easy to hold and each shot will give the ball great spin that will be hard to return. It comes with a free case that can hold 2 paddles in case your individual game can quickly turn into a doubles match. If you love playing games outside, check out our guide to the best baseball bats.
Cool design – perfect for the youth tennis racket.
Ping pong racket with high-quality rubber
High degree of twisting of the ball
Excellent technical results – great for amateurs
5-Ply pure wood structure
- BrandSport Game Pro
- Weight6.7 ounces
This Killerspin JET800 Speed Ping Pong Paddle will help you play a really fast-paced game. The flared handle fits tightly so you can slam the ball out of your opponent’s reach faster than the blink of an eye. This is the type of ping pong racket the pros would love to play with and the memory book will help you to recall all of your victories. It is also gift boxed for the beginner or seasoned player.
Ergonomic Flared Handle
Dual Carbon Technology
Memory Book To Record Scores And Progress
Premium Rubber For Superior Play
- ModelJet 800
- Weight9.4 ounces
Serious table tennis players need professional ping pong paddles and this one definitely pleases those who love this game. Idoraz Table Tennis Paddle will give you the winning edge over your opponents. It has all the spin and control in a paddle that fits perfectly in your hands. Hit all the fast shots and play like a pro. Our guide to the best basketballs offers more great products like this, for those who love playing outside. Make sure you also check our guide to the best tennis rackets.
Great Grip For Superior Spin
Excellent Balance For Greater Control
Free Carry Pouch
- Weight11.2 ounces
If you’re looking for the ultimate gift for the avid table tennis player then the DHS HURRICANE-II Tournament Ping Pong Paddle is what you need. It comes in a stunning gift box complete with a case, wristband and balls in classic red on one side, black on the other. This ping pong bat has great spin and is easy to control to gives more game focus than ever before. Get one for a friend and one for yourself for some fierce competition.
DHS HURRICANE-II Table Tennis Shakehand Racquet
Fitted Play: All-Round; Comes in one racket with cover and two balls in a gift box
Comes with a Landson wrist support
Amazing control and spin
- Weight3.2 pounds
Sometimes you want a simple table tennis racket to approach the table and play. At the same time, you still want a racket that will give you superb control, lots of spin and speed to give you the winning edge. This Palio Expert 2 Table Tennis Racket comes with its own case and is perfect for those just discovering the fun of table tennis, or for those who like to play recreationally. You’ll hit the ball with precision and give your opponent a run around the table. Be sure to also check out our list of the best basketball hoops for more great items like this.
Perfect racket for beginners
Help you spin the ball with flare
Designed with accuracy in mind
- BrandExpert Table Tennis
- Weight7 ounces
The only thing missing with these really good ping pong paddles is the table. This is the ideal starter set for the whole family or your group of friends. Table Tennis Ping Pong Set comes complete with 4 paddles and 6 balls. The paddles have a superior ergonomic grip for exceptional ball control and will. These are professional quality paddles, without the professional quality price tag. Play for fun, or play to win.
Perfect Table Tennis Set
Beginner To Professional
- BrandAbco Tech
- Weight1.63 pounds
Ping Pong Paddle Buying Guide & FAQ
How We Chose Our Selection Of Ping Pong Paddles
Brand - Choosing the right brand of ping pong paddles is your reassurance that you are purchasing a quality piece of sporting equipment. We chose brands from manufacturers that understand the sport, the science and the dynamics involved in playing table tennis.
Quality - Even the best ping pong paddle is going to take a considerable pounding which means quality is important. We look for a flared, ergonomic handle made of top quality wood for superior handling. The other materials used to make ping pong paddles also need to be top notch so we looked at the type of rubber used. This sort of quality will ensure you can play table tennis at a professional level, but also enjoy playing for fun too.
Reviews - Buyers' experiences are always a good indication of how well a product performs so we like to check the reviews of people who have actually used the product. When it comes to the best ping pong racket, we looked for those that had the most positive customer reviews. Reviews are a great way to get a feel for a product without buying it first.
Price - When choosing a selection of ping pong paddles, we look at a range of prices to suit every budget. Value for money is also important so whether the best table tennis paddle is at the higher end of the price range for professional players, or a little more affordable for beginners, quality should not be compromised.
Features To Look For In Ping Pong Paddles
Playing Style - Some players like to play a fast charged game, others like to play more in attack mode. Then there are other players whose main focus is on ball control, while others like to play defensively. Some paddles also offer a lot more spin than others so this will also appeal more to some players than others. The key is to try a few different paddles to find the best table tennis bat for you.
Material - There are a few basic components that go into making a ping pong paddle. They include the wood that is used in the handle and blade, the rubber outer layer, the sponge underneath the rubber and the glue used to keep it all together. The blade, also known as the body of the paddle is designed for control and speed. The type and density of the rubber will depend on a player's particular style and the handle, which is usually made of wood may be flared or not, depending on how the player likes to grip the paddle.
Performance - Most seasoned players want a paddle that will give them a great deal of spin. This high powered spin makes it difficult for the opponent to return the ball. How the paddle is held also assists with maintaining precision so an ergonomic handle is also going to help in the overall performance of the player's game.
Weight - If you like to hit the ball with a lot of topspin, then a heavier ping pong paddle may be preferable. Hitting a topspin may be a little difficult with a heavier bat, but if hit correctly, the shot can be devastating. A light paddle generally gives the player the ability to hit the ball a little faster, and slice them over the net. Whether you like to play offensively, defensively or you consider yourself an all-around player, you need a paddle that is comfortable to hold with the weight being appropriate for the type of spin you like to put on the ball when you hit it.
Blade Layers - The blades of a ping pong bat usually have three, five or seven layers of wood. There is also a layer of sponge that is glued under over the layers of wood and is then covered with the final rubber layer. The thicker, heavier paddles have multiple layers and are all-around players and those who love to hit a fast spin prefer, more layers and other players may prefer fewer layers on the blade which will make it lighter.
Rubber Textures - The best table tennis racket will have two different sides. One side is usually dimpled and the other side will most likely be smooth. The dimpled side has bumps commonly referred to as pimples. There are two main types of pimples, and they are either long or short. The short ones are great for offensive players who like to block or return the hit with speed, the long pimples are more suitable for those who like to play more defensively.
The other side of the ping pong paddle is generally a lot smoother and this smoothness allows for different types of ball strokes and may appeal more to professional players.
Sponge Thickness - Ping pong paddles have a layer of sponge underneath the top rubber layer. For the most part, the thicker sponge will usually be better paired with the rubber suitable for offensive playing, while the thinner sponge will be better suited for the style of defensive players.
The thickness of the sponges can vary from 2.0 or 2.5 mm for the offensive style of play, while a sponge thickness of 1.0 or 1.5 mm will work well with defensive players.
Key Tips to Advance Your Ping Pong Game
Know What Spin Works For You – Every player has his own style of player and favors a particular spin more than others. Once you discover yours, you’ll go a long way to improving your game.
Learn The Correct Angle Of Your Paddle – Whether you are hitting, serving or returning serve, learn how to correctly hold the paddle. The angle you hold the paddle can make all the difference to your game.
Practice, Practice, Practice – There is no real secret to becoming a great ping pong player. Practice is the key to your success. Whether you practice with a friend or with a coach is up to you, but keep practicing.
Use Your Body – How you position your body at the table will make you or break you in the world of ping pong. You need to have the right stance at the table and be ready to return the hit fast. It will also help you if you can use your whole upper body to return your opponent’s ball with a forehand.
Ping Pong Paddle FAQ
Q: What Is A Ping Pong Paddle?
A: A ping pong paddle is a small tennis racket or bat used to play the game of ping pong or tennis. The paddle itself is of a solid and made up of layers of wood, sponge, and rubber with a short wooden handle.
Q: What Is the Difference between the Red and Black Side on Ping Pong Paddles?
A: Ping pong paddles can come in a range of colors, however, for professional competition one side must be red, and the other black. One side may be made of a dimpled rubber for more spin and a smoother side for more ball control. The color differences make it easier for the player to determine which side to use to hit the ball in a certain way.
Q: How Should I Maintain My Ping Pong Paddles?
A: You should clean your paddle regularly using tepid water with a mild detergent and a soft cloth. You should also inspect the rubber to ensure it is not separating from the blade.
Q: Is Ping Pong different To Table Tennis?
A: Once upon a time, ping pong and table tennis were pretty much the same game. Since 2011, the games have become somewhat different from each other. Table tennis plays the best of 11 points, over 7 games and ping pong you need to win 15 points and the best of 3 games. Table tennis is played at a much higher pace and has become an Olympic sport.