Best Ping Pong Paddle:
Ping pong is a great game played in homes, bars, and rec centers around the world. For the average player out there, choosing a paddle shouldn’t be a hard decision. The Cornilleau Perform 600 Table Tennis Racket is one of the most popular choices for family or recreational play. The paddle comes with premium rubbers for great control and spin (7+ rating). The average player will enjoy hitting with these paddles and their games will improve with consistency and accuracy.
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As you get better you might hear terms like shakehand or penhandle grips. These are just names of the style of paddle grip that advanced players have. They hold the handle of the paddle slightly different (much like tennis players) to give them superior control of spins and speed. Does the average recreational player need to be concerned with that? No. For those of you that excel at the game, consider buying a more expensive set of ping pong paddles as they will help improve your game (like the Cornilleau Excell 2000 Carbon. The higher quality paddles typically have smooth rubber surfaces which allow the cushioning of the ball. This is important because the ball will stay in contact with the racket longer allowing for more spins when the ball comes off the face of the paddle. You will see topspin, slice, and additional speed put on the ping pong ball.
Cornilleau is the one company that produces these types of rackets and reviews show the paddles to be the best. You are looking at $30 to $100 for the best ping pong paddles from Cornilleau. We prefer the Cornilleau Perform 600 Table Tennis Racket at about $50. Specs on this racket are 5 wood plies, 1.8 millimeter sponge, and flared handle. It gets a 7.5 rating for spin, 7 for control, and 7.5 for speed. The more aggressive the player, the more the racket matters. As you continue to play ping pong and improve on your strokes, you realize the harder you hit the more likely you make mistakes. The key fact to remember is that superior rackets will help keep those errant shots in the court by producing more spins that bring the ball down to the table.
We have all watched the Olympics ping pong action and those guys are amazing. The ball is whizzing around the table at mach speeds and the spins are unbelievable. The eye hand coordination of the players needs to be perfect in order to play at that level. They all use the best rackets the market offers and many of those players even build out there own. They buy the wood paddle and the ITTF approved rubbers and assemble it themselves. It all comes down to how you swing the paddle and if you want to generate more power and spin. If you are going to hit topspin or slice, you need a racket that will deliver those results.
The Cornilleau family of rackets (Cornilleau Perform 600) are perfect for intermediate to advanced players (Cornilleau Excell 2000 Carbon Table Tennis Racket) that like to hit with more spins and be able to control the ball at higher speeds. As we noted above, recreational players that don’t hit with spins or fast speeds, they can buy basic paddles at their local sporting good stores or online at Amazon.com. The paddle won’t make that much of a difference for them. One caveat we will mention is that many beginners can’t even play with the Cornilleau rackets very well. The ball ‘jumps’ off the racket rubber surface and there is no control. We were taught how to hit spins at a young age and so hitting with the smooth, rubber surface always seemed natural to us. Going back to the basic dimpled rackets actually makes us play worse.
With 35 years of competitive play, I only teach my students how to play with superior rackets so that their game can progress beyond beginner/intermediate levels. I have seen players try to change rackets and grip styles later on and it’s not easy to retrain your brain. Watch the video to the right on ping pong paddle types and see how the differences effect your game.
We are listing a few additional products below for those that like to make their own paddles using blades and rubbers they purchase individually.
Top 5 Blades:
1. Timo Boll ZLC Blade
2. Zhang Jike Super ZLC Blade
3. Harimoto Innerforce ALC Blade
4. Timo Boll ALC Blade
5. Viscaria Blade
Top 4 Rubbers:
1. Dignics 80
2. Dignics 05
3. Tenergy 80
4. Tenergy 05 FX