While growing up, a ping-pong table was a staple of my childhood. Neighborhood friends would come over and we would play all day and into the night. Often they would bring their new paddles thinking this would make the difference and improve their game. Sometimes it helped but often it didn’t.
In general, the best ping pong paddles have an easy-to-grip handle and sufficient padding for defense and give the ball spin on your return shots. I prefer to paddle with a lot of pop and not a lot of padding. But what works best for me may not suit your style of play.
Ping pong paddles are a personal preference although the best ones do share similar qualities, and high-end ones will improve your game. In this post, we will consider five of the best ping pong paddles you can buy today. Afterward, in the buyer’s guide section, we will discuss the vital factors to consider when buying a ping-pong paddle.
Update: After writing this article my son bought me a new set of paddles, the Nibiru Sports Ping Pong Paddles. Prior to receiving these, I hadn’t played with them. They grip the ball well and deliver a lot of action, they are great if you use a lot of backspin.
If I would have tried these they would have ranked high up on my list of paddle options, but not at number 1. The Stiga Pro is the best when it comes to performance but when it comes to quality and price the Nibiru Sports is an excellent option.
Best Ping Pong Paddles
1. STIGA Pro Carbon Performance Level Racket – Best Value
Stiga is famous within table tennis circles. The company is one of the most famous manufacturers of ping pong and table tennis gear. The STIGA Pro Carbon Performance-Level Racket is a premade racket that delivers excellent performance and helps every player that hopes to improve their gameplay.
The paddle is ITTF approved; thus, it can be used in professional competitions. The design is quite attractive, although that isn’t what makes it one of the best expert-level ping pong paddles.
It features dual layers of carbon that are integrated into the blade. Thus, aside from the wood layers, this high-performance carbon makes the paddle very rigid. As a result, it delivers high levels of speed and power.
Stiga introduced WRB technology into this paddle. WRB stands for weight balance, rate of recovery, and ball sensitivity. This technology provides an increase in the rate of recovery and vastly improves the sensitivity of the paddle. All of this adds up to give a paddle that feels great to hold and even better to use.
For players that enjoy going on the offensive by looping the ball or smashing it with force, the STIGA Pro Carbon Performance-Level Tennis Racket is an ideal companion. Despite the new technology and the overall pleasant performance, it still comes with its flaws. For instance, the high-performance carbon embedded into the blade makes it very rigid. Hence, you cannot easily hit the ball with finesse. Furthermore, the paddle has less than satisfactory backspin.
Considering the price it comes at; however, these concessions are not very surprising. Click here to see the best price.
- ITTF approved ping pong paddle
- WRB technology enhances the performance
- High-speed ping pong paddle
2. Killerspin JET200 Paddle – Ping Pong Paddle for Newbies
The JET200 Table Tennis Paddle is a paddle that is made for beginners. It is an entry-level paddle, and this is reflected in some of the features.
Nevertheless, if you are planning to use it for recreational purposes and not a serious competition, you will enjoy this ping pong paddle.
The paddle features a 5-layered blade that provides rigidity and power. The sponge layer on the paddle is merely 1.8mm thick.
The International Table Tennis Federation does not approve of the rubbers on the paddle. Therefore, it is not possible to use this paddle in official competitions. As we pointed out earlier, it is just an entry-level ping pong paddle.
In spite of the lack of ITTF approval, it delivers a decent spin that can make it hard for your opponent to pick your serve. It is an excellent ping pong paddle for beginners. With this paddle, you can learn about the basic techniques of ping pong before using something more professional.
The paddle is available in three colors: with none of the variations coming in black and red. You can get it in Mocha, Lime, or BluVanilla.
One thing we liked about the paddle is the flared grip. This handle means that it is thicker at the base. Hence, when you’re using the paddle, there is no worrying about whether it would slip out of your hand.
The rubber covering on the paddle provides players with excellent control at the expense of power. However, this design makes it easier for beginners to use as they can focus on controlling their service rather than mishitting the ball. Click here to see the best price.
- Comes at a low price
- Ideal for beginners
- Has a protective box
- Not great for expert players
- The handle is of poor quality and lacks durability
3. Idoraz Table Tennis Paddle Professional Racket – Best Paddle for Backspin
A high-quality ping pong paddle can mean the difference between victory and defeat. Therefore, you should get yourself a high-quality paddle that delivers excellent power to overcome your opponent.
The Idoraz Table Tennis Paddle Professional Racket is a fantastic paddle and one of the best rackets on the market.
If you are a table tennis lover, or you take it more seriously as a professional, you will have fun with this paddle. It is especially great for folks that seek to improve their gameplay.
As we carried out this ping pong paddle review, we observed that the paddle gives terrific balance and a nice spin. It is approved by the International Table Tennis Federation to be used in competitive table tennis games.
The construction of this paddle is robust and durable. It is made of pure wood, which makes it deliver control and helps your gameplay. The design of the paddle specifically assists you in gaining more control over your backspin.
It is a lightweight paddle, coming in at about 0.4 pounds. Hence, carrying it is easy, and it feels like an extension of your arm. If you love playing a rapid game, you will enjoy using this paddle. The paddle comes with a case, so you do not have to buy one for the racket. Click here to see the best price.
- Lightweight, durable design
- Relatively low price
- Tacky rubber ensures more control, especially over your backspin
4. Sportout Sriver-He Rubber Ping Pong Paddle – Best Ping Pong Paddle for Expert Players
The Sportout Sriver-He Rubber Paddle comes with nine plywood and eight-ply carbon blade. Hence, it is a rigid ping pong paddle that is different from most of the typical paddles on the market.
The extra-solidity and stiffness ensure that your attacks are potent. As this paddle delivers more power than usual, it can be difficult for beginners to use. Expert players will find it an ideal paddle.
The rubber covering of the Sport out Sriver-He Rubber Paddle is ITTF approved. It comes with an inverted sponge that is highly elastic.
Therefore, it can be used in competitive matches. The rubber with the inverted sponge ensures that the ball has more bounce than usual and it spins magnificently.
The handle of the paddle is flared. Most high-quality rackets come with this design. The flared handle makes holding the paddle far easier. During our testing, it felt very comfortable to hold. We could use it for extended periods without feeling fatigued. The handle features a sweat-absorbing design which ensures that sweat does not lessen your grip on the paddle.
The whole paddle is held together by glue. This glue features Nano-carbons that hold the paddle together, even at a molecular level. Although the paddle is a professional paddle, beginners can also use it. Click here to see the best price.
- Comes with an impressive grip
- Super-comfortable handle
- Comes at an affordable price
- ITTF approved rubber that is great for pros
5. JOOLA Infinity Overdrive – Overall Best Paddle
The Joola Infinity Overdrive Ping Pong Paddle is more expensive than the other paddles on this list; however, it is worth every penny. After thoroughly testing all the products, this is without a doubt the best we have tested.
Joola is known for the high-quality of its ping pong products. In a fine line of ping pong paddles, the Joola Infinity Overdrive stands above every other ping pong paddle available.
The design and construction of the paddle are superior to every other paddle we tested. It feels incredible. It offers an impressive grip; it is sweat resistant and overall feels like nothing we’ve held before.
Aside from the beautiful design, the incredible performance it offers cannot be compared with previous versions. The base of the blade is made of 5-ply wood while dual layers of carbon reinforce the wood. Hence, not only is it durable, but it enhances your performance.
The combination of different materials improves the paddle’s ability to absorb any vibrations. It offers the player a tremendous amount of control despite the speed and power on display.
If you are a professional player, you will be hard-pressed to name another ping pong paddle that delivers similar incredible overall performance. The performance ratings of the paddle are a fair indicator of its high quality. It has a speed rating of 100, spin rating of 99, and control rating of 92. Click here to see the best price.
- Excellent value for money
- High-end ping pong paddle
- Large sweet spot
- Unbelievable spin
How to Buy the Right Ping Pong Paddle
There are loads of impressive ping pong paddles available on the market. And many low-quality paddles will affect your game for the worse. So, before heading out, whether online or offline, you need to recognize the essential factors to consider when buying a ping pong paddle. By considering these factors, making the right choice will be easier for you.
Before discussing these factors, we will first consider the parts that make up a ping pong paddle.
Parts of a Ping Pong Paddle
Two significant parts make up a ping pong paddle. They are; blade and rubber. The blade includes the handle of the paddle, while the rubber consists of the sponge.
The blade is typically made of up to nine layers of wood. Aside from wood, some blades are also made up of carbon. The blade includes the handle of the paddle. It can be flexible or stiff, depending on the materials used in making it.
If the blade is rigid, it will deliver more power and make the ball travel faster. A flexible blade reduces the speed because it absorbs the kinetic energy of the ball. However, it offers more control.
There are three types of handles on the market. These are the flared handle, anatomic handle, and straight handle.
As the name implies, the flared handle is designed bigger and thicker at the base. Therefore, it offers more grip and prevents slipping. This is my preferred style.
The anatomic paddle handle is designed to be thicker in the middle while the straight handle is, well, straight from top to bottom. The straight handle is an excellent choice for players who have a very tight grip on the handle of the paddle.
The rubber determines the amount of spin you can put on a ball. If the rubber is sticky and soft, it will deliver a considerable amount of spin on the ball. The softer and tackier it is, the more spin you can achieve and vice versa.
Ratings of a Ping Pong Paddle
Having considered the main parts of the ping pong paddle, let’s now see the vital factors to consider when choosing the ping pong paddle.
Each tennis player has a unique playing style. You might prefer striking the ball with more power than control or might enjoy a more controlled technique. Recognizing the type of player you are will assist you in choosing the best paddle that meets your needs.
If you are a novice, you are still evolving and developing a playing style; hence, it might be smarter to choose a paddle that doesn’t offer more power than control, or more control than power. The better you get at playing, and as you mature, you will realize the style of playing you enjoy and choose a paddle that suits that style.
While you might assume you play a particular style, the best way to identify your style of play is to have a coach or friend play against you or watch you play. They will be more objective and will point out the flaws and strengths of your gameplay.
The material of the paddle
This aspect has been touched when discussing the parts of a ping pong paddle. A typical ping pong paddle has a handle and blade made of wood, a rubber covering, a sponge beneath the rubber coating, and the whole thing is held together by glue.
The flexibility or stiffness will affect the power of the paddle. As the blade is made up of a maximum of nine layers of wood, the more the layers, the heavier the weight of the paddle. Fewer layers of wood make the paddle lighter.
On the other hand, the type of rubber used and the level of padding will affect spin and control. The best pro ping pong paddles have two sides with differing characteristics. On one side there is an indentation, while the other side is typically smooth.
The side with an indentation often has bumps. The bumps are either long or short. The short-bumped ones are ideal for players that love to hit with power and speed while the long-bumped ones are great for players who prefer to play it safe.
The sponge is another part of the paddle you must pay attention to. It is that layer that lies between the rubber and the blade. The thicker it is, the faster the paddle. Sponges come in three different ratings. These ratings are the thick sponge, medium sponge, and thin sponge.
If your playing style dictates that you hit the ball with topspin to spare, then it would be smarter to acquire a ping pong paddle that is relatively heavy. Although it might initially be difficult to achieve topspin with a heavy paddle, once mastered, it is almost unstoppable.
If you prefer a fast game, a lighter paddle is ideal for you. Either way, the important thing is that you feel comfortable with the paddle. With comfort comes perfection in your game.
The way you hold the paddle will affect the type of paddle you should buy. There are two main types of grips; the Shakehand grip, and the Penhold grip. Most of the paddles found on the market are designed for players that prefer the Shakehand grip.
Therefore, you might have to search a bit harder to find a paddle that supports a Penhold grip if that is what you are more comfortable with.
Paddles come in different styles and different prices. Some are very cheap, while others have eye-watering rates. Thus, before you choose a ping pong paddle, you should consider your budget and how much you are willing to spend.
No matter how much you pay for the paddle, ensure that it delivers excellent value for the price. If you are a beginner, a moderate or low priced paddle might be sufficient for you. However, if you are a professional or expert player, you might want to opt for professional paddles which tend to cost more.
Brand and Reviews
Some brands have been in the business of making ping pong paddles for decades. Thus, in most cases, they produce paddles of high quality, and that will meet your requirements. Before choosing a product from a brand, check out what others who have used the product are saying. That way, you will learn from their reviews and can determine if a product is right for you or not.
Why are there two colors on a ping pong paddle?
There are two colors on a ping pong paddle: red and black. The red part of the paddle is meant for attacking play. The black side is traditionally for defensive transitions. Each side comes with different surfaces. The red surface is smooth and delivers more power while the black side has bumps which slow down the speed of the ball while increasing the spin.
While this might differ depending on the type of paddle, the different colors make it easier for the player to know which side of the paddle to use for defense or offense.
Which side of a ping pong paddle is forehand?
The traditional way of playing dictates that one must play forehand with the red side of the rubber. The black side, they say, is meant for backhand strokes.
How you can maintain your ping pong paddle.
To ensure that your paddle lasts for as long as possible, you must regularly clean it. You can do this by wiping with a soft, clean cloth, lukewarm water, and mild soap. Regular inspection will help you notice any defects on time and carry out repairs.
Do Ping pong paddles come in different sizes?
Ping pong paddles can come in a variety of shapes, weights, and sizes. However, there are limitations. For example, according to the ITTF, the paddle must have a flat blade and at least 85% of its entire structure made of wood.
Is there any difference between Ping Pong and Table Tennis?
There is no discernible difference between Ping Pong and table tennis. However, since around 2010, the two games diverged in some areas. The main difference between them is that table tennis plays over seven games while ping pong is over three games.
We know that choosing the right ping pong paddle can be quite challenging. We hope that this review and guide has made the process of choosing the best paddle easier for you. What are you waiting for? Go out there and make the right choice!
Best Selling Ping Pong Paddles
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- Item: Colored Ping Pong Balls
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