How To Choose A Ping Pong Paddle: A brief guide

How To Choose A Ping Pong Paddle

Learn how to choose a ping pong paddle to improve your gameplay and scoreboard by performing better on the court.

Learn how to choose a ping pong paddle to improve your scoreboard by performing better in court. Honestly, there is no shortcut, you need to understand the considerable factors like speed, stability, spin, and control to decide a perfect fit for you. You can also Make ping pong paddles that are subcategorized based on the materials used, paddle surface, grip, and handlebar; each type of paddle has its own merits and demerits. Let’s explore!

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Choosing Ping Pong Paddle Based On The Material Choice

Ping-pong paddles are of different types based on their build quality, core construction, grip choice, and handlebar. Typically, there is no rule of thumb, meaning you need to consider the one that suits your playing style and level of expertise i.e., beginner, intermediate, or professional. In this section, I’ll share the needed information related to the classification of ping pong paddles for your ease.

The material choice is of great concern because it determines the durability, strength, and resistance of a ping pong paddle. It also contributes to secondary factors like weight, spin, control, etc., which ultimately impact your performance on the court. Let’s see the types of paddles based on the material used in their construction:

How To Choose A Ping Pong Paddle

Plastic Paddle

Plastic is extensively used in making ping pong paddles for its affordability and low maintenance cost. It is not prone to corrosion and gives a waterproof and weatherproof experience, which makes a plastic paddle suitable for both indoor and outdoor courts. Plastic is super lightweight and maneuverable, so you need to keep the aspect in mind before applying force onto the server. All-in-all, plastic paddles are best suited for beginners who’re looking for a featherlike paddle.

Wood Paddle

Secondly, the wood paddles are designed to offer a long-lasting and strength-wise better experience. Due to their increased weight (as compared to plastic paddles), wood paddles are better in terms of spin and control. However, you need to take care of the wood paddles and store them in a dry place because they are not waterproof.

Commercial Paddle

Then comes the commercial paddles which feature composite construction; meaning they can be composed of two or more materials. The commercial paddles are designed to improve the quality and performance in the court; for that reason, multiple materials are used in making them add on more characteristics. However, commercial paddles are quite expensive and not frequently available in all markets.

Customized Paddle

Lastly, you got an option to customize the ping pong paddle as well. That choice is legit for pro players only who know about their gameplay style, priorities, and requirements related to the material choice. On the other hand, an entry-level player who is not aware of the materials and their contribution to the game, will not be able to customize the paddles. Also, the customized paddles are a bit more pricey than simple read-to-play ping pong bats.

Choosing Ping Pong Paddle Based On The Paddle Surface

If we see a ping pong paddle, it has predominantly two parts: the surface of the paddle from where the ball is served and the handlebar of the ping pong paddle from where you hold it. The surface of the paddle varies based on the construction; like, honeycomb core, carbon surface, and rubber sponge. Each kind of paddle surface has its own merits and suitability, let’s go through:

Honeycomb Paddle

A ping pong paddle composed of a honeycomb means the core of the paddle is layered by the two surfaces. The core is also called a panel, and it is sandwiched between the layers to elevate the strength and power of the paddle. This advanced technology appears only in the newest models of ping pong paddles and is suitable for all players for its better spin and responsiveness. Please make sure to buy the honeycomb paddle in which the layers are bonded by strong adhesive.

Carbon Fiber Paddle

Carbon fiber is extensively used in making the surface of high-quality ping pong paddles. The fibers are woven or interconnected in certain patterns that improve the stiffness of the paddle and its responsiveness. In short, you’ll stroke better and your scoreboard will improve after switching to the carbon fiber paddles. Alongside that, the carbon fiber paddles are rightly weighed and thus will improve the efficiency of players on the court.

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How To Choose A Ping Pong Paddle

Rubber Sponge Paddle

Lastly, another common class of ping pong paddles is rubber sponges. The sponge is a porous material that possesses excellent shock absorbance properties; and for that reason, it is being widely used in making the surface of the paddle. When the ball strikes the paddle, the sponge absorbs the pressure and maintains impressive stability. While the edges of the surface of these paddles are layered with rubber that improves traction and keeps the paddle safe from breakage even on accidental falls.

Choosing Ping Pong Paddle Based On The Handle

As I said earlier, the second part of the ping pong paddle is its handlebar. The paddle is a handheld device, so it is imperative to give attention to the type of paddle to experience better gameplay. The kind of handle primarily influences the control, stability, and response rate of the paddle; therefore, you cannot take it for granted.

Flare Handle

The flared handle is thin from the top but has a wider edge. This design is engineered to prevent accidental slips during the game and provides unbeatable control. I found the flare handles better for beginners because they are super easy to grab and perform magically on the court. The flare handles are the most popular and so are frequently available in all marketplaces.

Anatomic Handle

On the other hand, the anatomic handles are wide from the middle section. These handles are designed to suit your plan and improve the rate of stability during the gameplay. Nevertheless, if you’re a beginner or pro ping pong player, the anatomic handle will suit your style and make the scoreboard better. However, the anatomic handles require a bit of practice at the start; all you need to do is to trust the process and be consistent.

Choosing Ping Pong Paddle Based On The Grip

The ping pong paddles are handheld equipment, right? You need to hold them for hours straight in the practice sessions as well as during your final match. That’s why the grip of the handle should be comfortable, sweatproof, and straight to prevent fatigue or injuries in the long term. Based on the grip, the ping pong paddles are mainly divided into two categories: shakehand grip ping pong paddles and penhold grip paddles.

Shakehand Grip

The shakehand grip has a uniform width from head to tail. It is designed to adapt your style of holding a paddle and gives you space to change the position in no time during the session. Shortly, the shakehand grip is friendly for beginners or players who switch the holding style promptly in the game.

Penhold Grip

Unlike the shakehand grip, the penhold grip is a bit thicker or wider from the base. These are circular handles and are similar to flare ones that improve circulation and overall gameplay. It is recommended to not pick too short or too long grip handles.

Related: How To Hold A Ping Pong Paddle

Other Considerable Factors for Selecting a Ping Pong Paddle


Control is an important parameter that requires your prior consideration when buying the best ping pong paddle. If you’re a beginner, control is something you need to prefer because it impacts your learning and delivery style. The ping pong paddles that are rightly weighed, spin to a good extent, and provide a firm grip are consequently easier to control.


The velocity at which the paddle delivers the ball is considered speed. To attack your opponents, you need to hit the ball with power; and for that reason, a powerful paddle is a must-have. In general, you need a powerful paddle to hit the ball and deliver speedy shots. However, you’ll sacrifice the controllability when you gain speed in shots.


Spin is synonymous with mobility or maneuverability. In this sequence, lightweight and portable paddles are preferred because they are easier to spin. But, if you’re a newbie, don’t rush for too portable paddles that spin like pros because these are difficult to control.


The size of the ping pong paddle is another striking element that needs your attention. Both extremes are imperfect; like, too big or too small. A paddle with a wide surface area is recommended to inexperienced players, while if you’re a professional player, go for a lightweight and compact ping pong paddle. Another feature that stands concurrently with the size of the paddle is weight.


Ping-pong paddles come in different weights depending on their sizes and shapes. You need to consider the compatible one; for instance, if you’re more into powerplay and speedy shots, a lightweight paddle will be feasible. On the other hand, a bit thicker and more weighted paddles provide good control over the ball.


Ping pong paddles are available in a vast range as per their cost. In simple words, you can get a paddle for as low as forty dollars to up to hundreds of dollars depending on your willingness to pay. It’s like the more sugar you add, the sweeter the drink will be. But there is no need to go for expensive and professional paddles if you’re an entry-level player. In my opinion, always start your career with something affordable yet effective and try out new things with time to decide on the perfect court partner.

Suggested Paddles

If you’re a beginner, there is no better choice than the JOOLA leisure paddle for its ergonomic design and compass sponge surface that in combination provides a comfortable, shock-resistant, and stable experience. If you’re aware of how to control a lightweight paddle, the STIGA Pro Carbon paddle is suggested for its quality, perfect grip, comfortability, and excellent body-to-weight ratio. Lastly, I found the Yasaka Mark V Carbon paddle most suitable for pro players for its excellent build quality and high responsiveness. If you want to visit more paddles for beginners have a look at 7 Best Pickleball Paddles For Beginners – Review.


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The Bottom Line

Now that you’re well aware of certain kinds of ping pong paddles and their distinctive characteristics, it will be easier for you to make a decision. In my suggestion, don’t rush for $600 paddles if you’re a beginner; do practice with affordable yet comfort-giving and controllable paddles to improve your gameplay. I hope you find the given information useful, see you in my next blog.

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