Last updated: August 20, 2021

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Today our subject is table tennis rackets. In this article, you will learn which are the best products according to your style of play. There are several types of table tennis rackets available for sale in the market today, and because of this, people may be confused as to which item to buy.

To clarify your doubts regarding table tennis racquets, we have created the following guide with all the necessary information and tips for you to buy yours.




Summary

  • One of the criteria for choosing your table tennis racket is whether it is suitable for indoor or outdoor use (indoor or outdoor).
  • Table tennis rackets price depending on the material it is made of, among other features.
  • Among the features to look for in a table tennis racket are: power, control, effect, handle shape, colours, rubber, durability, playing style, playing level and weight.

The Best Table Tennis Racket: Our Picks

Buying Guide

A dynamic sport, where you have to keep your eye on the match in order not to miss any moves. This is table tennis - also called ping pong when played for leisure. Do you like the sport? Do you want to be the best among your friends or maybe even take part in official competitions?

Then you will need a quality table tennis racket. And in this Buying Guide, we will bring you information that will help you choose the ideal model.

pessoa em close executando saque em tênis de mesa

A quality racket can raise the level of your game. (Source: Jiř� Zuz�nek / 123RF.com)

What are table tennis rackets?

The table tennis racket is used in training and competitions of this sport and should have several characteristics to suit the style of play of each player.

A good table tennis racket provides control over the ball so that you can dominate a game. This depends a lot on the characteristics of the racket, such as rubber, weight, etc.

Some table tennis rackets that people usually use, especially when they practice the sport just for fun, are considered of low quality. Mainly the rackets that do not have rubber or coating. Changing equipment can change your way of playing.

What are the advantages of buying a good table tennis racket?

Ahead of the variety of rackets that exist in the market currently, many practitioners finish opting for the cheapest. What these people do not observe is that the probability that a model as this one does not offer a good quality of game is very great. In addition, models considered cheaper do not offer the same durability.

With this, the rubber, within a few months, ends up losing the texture and becoming thin, which is terrible for the game. Good quality rackets offer remarkable control and performance. This way it is possible to achieve the most varied effects! One of the most used effects, Topspin, is very difficult to apply to a racket that has lost its rubber texture because the ball usually falls off the racket as soon as you try to apply this effect.

Did you know that Topspin is the most used stroke in table tennis and also the easiest to execute? In it, the player hits the ball from bottom to top, with the objective of making it spin, to rise and fall suddenly, making it difficult for the opponent to receive.

The worst thing is that there is no way of recovering the rubber of the table tennis racket once it loses quality. It won't be of much use for the game and you'll probably have to buy another one. For being a sport that demands a lot of speed of movements of the players, take care for not beginning with a racket very advanced for its level. Racquets that require more agility are recommended for people who are more experienced in the sport.

Advantages
  • Control over the ball
  • Effects
  • Power
Disadvantages
  • Can be low quality
  • Durability can be low
  • Good rackets tend to be expensive

There is difference between table tennis rackets for indoor or outdoor use?

Although the game of table tennis generally occurs in covered places, also known by the word in English "indoor", it can also happen externally (outdoor). However, to play outdoors, you need the right type of table and favourable weather conditions.

In addition, the type of table tennis racket you need in the case of outdoor games is different. You will need a more resistant piece of equipment, as you will be subject to varying weather conditions. Usually, table tennis rackets for outdoor use are composed of a plastic material, which is a material that is also more resistant to impacts.

The indoor rackets are usually more used, especially by those who want to progress in the sport, because they provide greater precision in the effects. The material they use is wood. See below the main differences between indoor and outdoor rackets:

Indoor rackets Outdoor rackets
Quality Greater precision and control More resistant, can face different weather conditions
Material Wood Plastic
Ideal for Frequent athletes or competitors Progressing in the sport

What effects can I achieve with a good table tennis racket?

Control is the most important skill during a table tennis match, as it represents the ability to respond to the opponent's balls. In case you don't have so much quality in your strokes, but you have consistency in the capacity to return the balls for the adversary, there is a good chance that he will commit some mistake in some moment, and that you make the point.

After some time training ball control, you will find that it requires not only physical responses, but also mental ones. This is because in many cases you will be expected to give an immediate and accurate response. Some rackets give you better control of the ball, both because of the material of the flat part and the handle, which allows a firmer grip.

Imagem mostra dois profissionais jogando tênis de mesa em um campeonato.

The control on the ball is one of the most important things of the table tennis. (Source: djimenezhdez / Pixabay)

The control results in one of the most important things of table tennis: the effects, because they serve as a strategy to give more acceleration and rotation on the ball. Knowing how to use these techniques defines the player's level a lot. Some of the table tennis effects are the following:

  • Backspin. This effect allows the ball to spin backwards and decelerate;
  • Topspin. This effect causes the ball to spin forward and accelerate;
  • Sidespin. When the player strikes the ball from left to right or vice versa, this generates rotation on the ball;
  • Dead Ball. This occurs when a stroke cuts off the ball's effect.

As with control, higher quality - and therefore more expensive - racquets allow the player to put more effect on their shots.

Does the rubber of the racket matter?

In the past there was no rule regarding the colours of table tennis rackets, and therefore most of them were black on both sides. What began to happen is that people put rubbers that made the opponent's game very difficult, and it was very difficult for the opponent to know which rubber was being used in each stroke of the opponent. Nowadays, players are allowed to inspect the opponent's rackets before matches to find out which rubbers they use in their rackets.

raquete de tênis de mesa preta encostada na bolina em cima de mesa de ping pong

By knowing the type of rubber used by the opponent, the player can better prepare for the match. (Source: HeungSoon / Pixabay)

Thus, the player can better prepare for the game, already knowing the type of rubber and on which side of the racket it is being used by the opponent. This, of course, serves for professional competitions. If you are an amateur and just want to have fun playing table tennis, there are options of various colours and you can look for one that has your favorite colours.

Purchase Criteria

There are certain characteristics of a table tennis racket that should be analysed before purchase, such as the following:

  • Power
  • Handle Shape
  • Rubber
  • Durability
  • Playing style
  • Playing level
  • Weight

Below is a detailed description of each of these characteristics, which will help you make the best choice.

Power

To obtain to effect plays with force is one of the strategies of offensive players, who normally are some steps farther of the table at the moment of the game. Racquets that are designed for players who enjoy offensive and power games are usually a little heavier than normal, as this is one of the characteristics that help give strength to the shots. When the rubber part is rigid, it absorbs less impact, which provides extra power when hitting.

Handle shape

The format of the handle of a table tennis racket does not possess a very great influence in the game, it depends very on the personal taste of the player. It can be of the following forms:

  • Straight. As the name implies, this is a straight handle;
  • Concave. This type of handle is narrower in the centre and wider at the ends;
  • Anatomic. This is a thinner handle at the end where it is joined to the racket, and a little wider at the other end.

Rubber

The rubber is very important to guarantee a quality game. Many people prefer to customise table tennis rackets with rubbers bought separately, as they provide greater grip. There are several types of rubbers for table tennis, and, one of them, for example, is known as pin, which is used by those who want to take the effect of the opponent's ball. Therefore, the use of a specific rubber in its racket of table tennis passes much for the question of the strategy of game also.

Durability

Durability is an important item for a table tennis racket, because when its rubber is worn out, it is necessary to change equipment. And, many times, depending on the quality of the racket, this can happen with only some months of use. One clue to know if your rubber is worn out is through the effects.

If you train and cannot learn or apply certain effects, it could be a sign that your rubber is worn out. An important tip to increase the durability of your table tennis racket is to wash the rubber once a week. Just be careful not to wash it with running water, because it can peel the rubber off. Rather, carefully wipe it with a damp cloth.

Style of game

To define your style of game is very important to know which table tennis racket to choose. The following styles are the most common:

  • Aggressive. This is a common characteristic of professionals, who have a very fast game, and which includes techniques that can finish off the opponent very quickly.
  • Controlled. This player uses a style of play that mixes the aggressive characteristics, with the defensive ones. It is usually found more in the game of beginners and intermediate practitioners, who usually wait until the right ball to attack.
  • Defensive. Some players, including professionals, usually play a more defensive table tennis, although this style still is not so used as the offensive one. This depends on strategy, and can help slow down the speed of the game.

Depending on your style, a racket that provides a faster or slower game will be ideal. In this case, the advice of someone more experienced can be of great value.

Level of play

Analyze what your level of game is before buying a table tennis racket is very important.

  • Beginner. A beginner in table tennis is a person who has no knowledge of the game's techniques. This practitioner usually plays just for fun. You can choose a cheaper racket to start with and, when you realize what your style of play is, change your equipment.
  • Intermediate. This is a player who knows a few techniques, and is trying to learn more. At this level, the table tennis player should know his style of play to choose a racket that offers more precision in the strokes.
  • Advanced. This player has strategy and extends well the techniques of the game.
  • Professional. These are people who have a deep knowledge of the game, and practice table tennis professionally. They are the category that possesses more difficulties in choosing a racket, therefore they possess quite specific preferences with relation to the equipment that they use.

Weight

The weight of a racket depends a lot on your style of play, and it works just like in the game of tennis, where the following happens:

  • Light rackets. They offer greater speed and agility in applying the effects on the ball;
  • Heavy rackets. They offer the possibility of playing with greater power.

It is therefore important to know what your style of play is before opting for a table tennis racket, as this will give you a lot of hints about the equipment you need.

Image source: djimenezhdez / Pixabay

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