When we first start playing the game of table tennis, we want to know how to handle a paddle properly. Most new players have no idea how to place their hands and fingers to give them the ability to hit the ball more accurately with more power. There are many racket grips and one in particular that I would recommend for advanced players instead of beginners.
Here are two ping pong grips that you will benefit from depending on your level of play.
The shakehand Grip is considered to be the most famous grips of all due to its easy use and effectiveness. This grip is known to be the most famous in the western world but is also employed in Asian countries and is the first paddle hold in the table tennis world. I would definitely recommend this type of grip if you are barely starting out and want to find consistent strokes through the ball.
Within the shakenhand grips, are the two main grip types that are used which are shallow shakehand grip and deep shakehand grip.
Shallow Shakehand Grip
This grip makes it very easy for beginners to learn and develop their skills in order to improve more quickly. This grip gives more wrist flexibility which helps you with returning the ball more efficiently and add spin. It will also help you generate more speed on each of your shots on both the forehand and backhand.
The downside of this hold is that when the ball comes back fast at you, it might make you more hesitant to either hit a backhand or forehand which can make you miss. Eventually as you improve your game, it shouldn’t be difficult to know which shot you would rather hit.
Deep Shakehand Grip
This other shakehand grip, on the other hand will give you less wrist flexibility but will allow you have to have a tighter grip on the racket. It is very effective for those who would rather hit with less power and focus more on precision by hitting the corners. This might be a better grip for defensive players as they would rather wait for their opportunity to strike with precise shots
The disadvantage of this hold is that it will also make it difficult at time for beginners to know if they should hit a backhand or forehand which will create errors. If you want to focus more on offense and power, I would recommend the shallow shakehand grip.
the Penhold grip is the most frequently used after the shakehand grip and can be just as effective. However, this grip requires more practice and patience in order to be able to execute your stroke correctly and it is why I would recommend it to more advanced players.
The way your hands are placed on the paddle is very similar to the way you hold a pen, by placing your thumb and index finger in front of the paddle while the other fingers are in the back of the handle. There are three different penhold grip types which is the Japanese or Korean penhold, Chinese penhold and reverse backhand grip.
Chinese PenHold grip
With this grip, the three finger in the back are spread out and is a very popular grip in Asian countries. This grip has many advantages which for one allows you to put extra spin on your strokes and serves. The wrist flexibility it provides allows you to cut through many angles and add different type of spins. It becomes much easier to block the ball back when the shot comes back at you from powerful strokes. Therefore, playing close to the table is preferred and allows you to take the offense more frequently.
The disadvantage of this grip is the backhand side as it makes it very challenging to consistently hit powerful backhand with topspin. This weakness will be targeted by shakehand players and unless you have mastered the style, it’s going to make it more difficult to compete with others. Having said that, it hasn’t stopped any pro players from using this grip to dominate the game and win tournaments.
I recommend this grip to those who are more advanced as it proves to be an effective way to generate offense and stay close to the net.
Japanese or Korean PenHold grip
This grip is different from the Chinese one as it allows the user to stay further behind the back of the table while also generating more power with the forehand. This is due to having your back fingers straight instead of having them spread out. If you like to stay further back of the table, then some paddle will help you even further to maximize the effect of this grip.
The disadvantage of this style is that it will limit your wrist flexibility which means it will be harder to control your shots at great angles. I would recommend this grip also to more advanced players or those who want to try something new.
The reverse backhand grip can compensate for the weakness on the backside of the other two penhold grips. Usually you want to hit your forehand and backhand with both sides of the paddle, compared to the previous two penhold grips which relied on only one side. It is extremely effective in getting those low balls as well.
The downside of this paddle is that by switching side between the forehand and backhand it can create confusion and can force errors.
In the end, no paddle grip is better from the other but it is the player that will make a difference and decide the outcome of a match. However, for those who just started out, it would be recommended to employ the shakehand grip just because of how easy it is to use and build your skills over the long run. Over time, after improving significantly, you can start switching to the penhold grip and test to see if you like it or if it matches your style of play.
Choose whichever grip makes you enjoy the game of table tennis and results will come no matter what.