Ping pong paddles, (sometimes known as table tennis bats), are probably not something you’ve given a lot of thought to if you don’t really play. Of course, most of us have picked a ping pong paddle up at some point, perhaps while on vacation or at a friend’s house – and spent a few minutes batting ping pong balls across the table for fun, just using whatever bat was lying around. However, if you want to play more regularly then it’s best to buy yourself a couple of ping pong paddles.
Ping pong should be all about enjoyment and achievement – having fun and doing your best, so learning with the right equipment is crucial to avoid you losing heart and interest.
So what kind of ping pong paddle is the best choice for beginners?
There are quite serious differences between the kind of table tennis bat that is best for beginners, compared to the type which best suits a more experienced player, so here are some clues on what to look for to make sure you find a paddle offering the right amount of control and spin for someone new to it all.
- Lightweight – heavy bats will make it hard to get used to the standard strokes and movements.
- Comfortable handle – it needs to be the right size, not too small or too big.
- Rubber pimples facing out are better than paddles with the pimple facing in, as they make the entire surface of the paddle playable.
- The sponge between rubber is best at between 1 – 1.5mm for beginners.
- The rubber covering is best measuring in at between 1.5 – 1.7.
- A price point of around $20-30 is considered perfectly adequate for a beginners ping pong paddle. Go cheaper and you risk buying a product which will be pretty useless, make you develop bad techniques and generally cause you to lose interest in learning.
- Speed. A medium speed ping pong paddle is best for beginners as it will help keep the balls in play, and allow for the right amount of control while still generating a decent enough spin- whether that’s from the top, side, or back of the paddle. Look for a bat with medium speed blades and rubbers.
- Pre-assembled. These are always the best way to go as a ping pong beginner.
- Buy fresh! That may sound like a strange instruction or a ping pong paddle, after all, it’s not like it’s fresh meat or fruit, but even so, they can start to lose their quality if wrapped in plastic and left on shelves for a long time. This is why it’s best to buy your ping pong paddle from a source where many others do too, reducing the risk of being sold something which has started rotting in the bag, so is already past its best when you come to own it.
A decent beginner’s bat will last a year or two before you need to start looking again, but dedicated ping pong paddle sites will help guide you at all stages of your bat buying journey.