Finished racket — consists of a base, lining, neck and handle. Used by beginners and amateurs. It is inexpensive, but worse in performance than the national team.
Team racket – consists of a base and separate overlays; purchased in parts and then assembled. Such a racket is much more expensive than a regular racket, used by professionals or advanced amateurs.
Interesting: in sports, professional athletes always carry a spare racquet identical to their main racquet. It can come in handy if the main one breaks down.
- straight handle
- Tapered handle
- Concave handle
rackets for beginners (one star) — the first racket worth buying if you are just starting to play table tennis. It is enough to learn the basic tricks or just play for fun sometimes.
Amateur rackets (two or three stars) — the best option for lovers.
Semi-professional rackets (four to five stars) — are used by experienced players. Usually national teams, as the athlete already has an idea of what grounds he needs.
Professional rackets are the most expensive, it makes no sense to buy them even for amateurs.
The racket is selected depending on the chosen style of play.
Defense (DEF) — used to play in defense, when the ball receives bottom rotation, twisting and cutting are used at a far distance from the table.
Universal (ALL) racket
- (ALL) — for playing in defense, in which attention is focused on ball control (stand, undercut);
- (ALL-) – for a balanced game that combines attack and defense (ball control);
- (ALL+) — for playing in the attack (counter-attacks, support, discount) using top spins.
Attack (OFF) racket
- (OFF) – for playing with high speed and using spins;
- (OFF-) – for a balanced game, combining accuracy, ball control and a lot of spins;
- (OFF+) – for very intense play with sharp attacks.
Speed — determines how fast the ball bounces off the racket when hit. Distinguish between slow, medium and fast bounce of the ball.
There are the following speed options:
- 3-4 points — for playing defense;
- 4-7 points — for playing in a universal style;
- 8-9 points — for playing in the attack.
CONTROL — determines the amount of effort required to hit the ball on the table. This indicator is especially important for beginners, since the degree of controllability of the racket, and hence the comfort during the game, depends on it.
There are the following control options:
- 5-7 points — for playing in the attack;
- 8 points — for playing in a universal style;
- 8-10 points — for playing defense.
Rotation — determines how much you can spin the ball with a racket. A model with a high rotation rate is recommended for a defensive style of play that uses a variety of spins, undercuts on counterattacks.
Important: for a game that combines defensive and attacking styles, it is necessary to choose a racket with a balanced ratio of these parameters.
They are glued to the bases on both sides and serve for a good grip of the racket with the ball.
One type – a racket with smooth bases on both sides, but with different characteristics: one has a high speed, the other has a strong spin. Such a racket is not turned over during the game.
different type – a racket with a smooth overlay on the right and spikes on the left (for left-handers — vice versa). Used for offensive play. This racket is quite often turned over when serving.
attacking — a racket with a smooth overlay on the right and anti-spin or long spikes on the left. Designed to «destroy» the opponent’s game. With the help of an attacking racket, you can change the rhythm of the game or set a complex trajectory for the flight of the ball. Such a racket is turned over throughout the game.
Read more in our article How to Choose Tennis Racket Rubbers.
The sponge is located between the base of the racket and the rubber pad, providing the ball with rotation on impact. There are sponges with the following thickness:
- 1 mm — low speed and excellent control;
- 1.5 mm — balanced combination of speed and rotation control;
- 2 mm — high speed and strong rotation, but poor control;
- 2.5 mm — maximum speed and rotation, but worse control.
The following thicknesses are recommended for different playing styles:
- up to 1.7 mm — for playing defense;
- 1.5-1.7 mm — for a universal style;
- 2 mm and above — for playing in the attack.
The most common sponges are 1.5 thick; 1.8 and 2 mm.
According to the rules, 85% of the racket base is made of wood. But to improve elasticity and stiffness, carbon layers, pressed paper or fiberglass are added. At the same time, the reinforcing layer should not exceed 7.5% of the total thickness and be more than 0.35 mm. It should be noted that in expensive models there are several layers of wood of different species, as well as titanium.
Important: The quality of the adhesive connecting the layers is also of great importance. It must be applied in a uniform and very thin layer.
Number of layers
The base can consist of a single layer (from balsa or Japanese cypress) or be multi-layered (3-13 layers). The speed of the ball rebound from the racket and its weight depend on the material of the layers and the sequence of their connection.
- 3-4 layers — for playing defense;
- 5 layers — for a universal style;
- 3-5 layers — for playing in the attack.
A racket that is too heavy has enough inertia, so the hand gets tired quickly; a racket that is too light is prone to vibrations that cause discomfort in the hand. The most important thing when choosing a weight is balance.
The weight of a racket with overlays ranges from 150 to 200 g, and without them — from 75 to 110 g.
Straight — used by athletes who flip the racket during the ball.
Flared («dovetail») — not very convenient for turning the racket or changing the grip during the game.
conical — middle option between flared and straight handle. Occurs rarely.
Concave — recommended for experienced players as it is not very comfortable for quick turns or changing grip during the game.
Anatomical — suitable for beginners, as the hand gets tired much less even during a long game. However, the price of such a racket is somewhat higher.
Important: when choosing a racket, you should pay attention to the thickness of the handle: it should fit the athlete’s hand, be its continuation. A too thick handle is inconvenient — it is difficult to play with such rackets for a long time.
The racket usually comes with plastic balls. It is better to buy individual balls made of celluloid rather than plastic.
To find the best ball, you can do the following test: take several different balls and throw them over a flat table. You should choose one of them that will jump when rebounding. above.
Important: The main colors of the balls are white and orange.
- When choosing a racket, you should rely on your own feelings. The athlete must «feel» the racket. If this feeling is not present, then such a model is not worth buying.
- It is important that the racket does not slip in the palm of your hand with a strong swing.
- If you plan to change the pads, you must purchase a special glue in advance. For this purpose, you can not use ordinary glue, as you can ruin both the pad and the base of the racket.
- The racket should be stored in a dry place, since its base is made of natural wood, which is sensitive to moisture.
- The racket should be wiped from time to time with a lint-free damp cloth. Only clean water can be used, no chemicals (gasoline, acetone, solvents) are used.
- It is advisable to purchase a racket case that protects it from falls and bumps.
For beginners or children, you can buy Sprinter, Enebe, Torneo, Sponeta rackets. They are inexpensive compared to popular brands, but they are enough for teaching table tennis.
The best rackets are products of the brands Donic, Joola, Adidas, Stiga, Cornilleau. They are of high quality and reliability. Some manufacturers are specialized, such as Joola or Stiga. The specialists of these companies have developed a lot of the latest technologies for rackets and other sports equipment. It should be borne in mind that models of these brands are more expensive than others. However, their acquisition is fully justified if you love table tennis and plan to do it all the time.