Updated: May 29, 2015

Table Tennis Paddle Reviews:

In the world of table tennis and Ping-Pong, there is a fierce battle among diehard fans. It isn't just on the table; it's off the table, and it centers on the question, "What is the difference between table tennis and Ping-Pong?" Most of us would say, "Absolutely nothing! Let's play!" But there are those purists out there who will tell you that Ping-Pong is a game. Table tennis is a sport. They're technically right; we have the Olympic sport of table tennis, not Ping-Pong. Ping-Pong is a brand name, while table tennis is the actual game. Sorry. The actual sport. If this doesn't concern you in the least, you're like millions of fans around the world who use the two terms interchangeably. Whatever you call it, there is no doubt that this is a great game for virtually everyone. Next time you host a party or have a long evening in front of you, break out the table tennis racquets or Ping-Pong paddles and have some fun.
ping pong paddles

How to Choose Your Table Tennis or Ping-Pong Paddle - If you think all table tennis paddles are alike, well, you probably think table tennis and Ping-Pong are one and the same. In fact, you can buy any old table tennis paddle and have a great time. There are sets available at discount stores and online very inexpensively. The racquets, too, are inexpensive, and a pro wouldn't be caught at a tournament with one of these posers. They are, however, great for family and casual use. If you are playing with your 10 year old, you don't need a $200 Butterfly blade. A set like the Stiga Classic 2 Player Set for $11 will be terrific. If you want to take your game to the next level, you may want to bring your paddle to the next level as well. What to Look for in Your Table Tennis Paddles - Pro and serious players don't typically buy their racquets pre-assembled. Instead, the blades (the wooden part) and the rubbers are sold separately and assembled by the player to achieve a customized paddle. Whether or not you opt to do this, there are some features to look for:

*Weight. A heavier blade lets you hit the ball with great force. The downside is that you tend to be a bit slower. A lighter blade speeds up your response time, but you won't get the force. You can always compromise and get a middle-of-the-road weight. Related to this is weight distribution. If you are a power hitter, you may want the weight to be at the head of the racquet for extra emphasis on returns. If you prefer more control, you want the weight distributed near the handle. *Flexibility. Blades can be stiff, which allows for more force when the ball is struck, or flexible, which reduces power but is better suited for "finesse" players. *Handle shape. A flared handle is well-suited for those with strong forehand strokes. The slightly flared handle allows a player to maintain a good grip while striking the ball. A straight handle is a good choice for those who have weaker forehand strokes and stronger backhands because they can change their grip quickly. *Budget. You can spend under $10 or several hundred dollars. The frequency and intensity with which you play are big factors in your decision. For casual players, an inexpensive pre-made paddle is perfectly fine. But if you want to spend a little more for a top quality racquet, you'll see improvements in your game as you learn how to handle the "bat."

You can browse the best selling table tennis racquets here.

Best Table Tennis Racquets and Ping-Pong Paddles:

If you want a casual game - or to beat your friends and family members unabashedly - Hub Pages recommends the Gamecraft 2.2 mm Standard Table Tennis Paddle as the best "cheap table tennis paddles." The Gamecraft paddle is a 2.2mm standard table tennis paddle with sponge rubber, tapered edging, and a leather grip. The Hub Pages review said it had good speed and balance and was great for casual or even emerging advanced players - but don't expect to win any tournaments. For many people, that is just fine, especially for $5 per paddle. Also recommended as a good, inexpensive choice is the Economy Ping Pong Paddle from SSG for $8. Now let's take a look at higher end table tennis racquets. A favorite of Amazon and Buzzillion reviewers is the Joola Smash Recreational Table Tennis Racket. While "recreational," the Joola is for serious players. It features a light weight of 0.4 pounds, PULS System, which are special middle veneers for a larger sweet spot, Power Grip, flared handle, and ergonomic grip. Users remark on the exceptional spin control and speed of the racquet. A great choice for the dedicated player, the Joola goes for about $60. Joola makes a variety of racquets, which you can check out on Amazon. Stiga is a major manufacturer of table tennis equipment. Used in over 100 countries and by many professional players, Stiga sells a variety of paddles in a range of prices. The Stiga Supreme Table Tennis Racket features a "Future" rubber with ACS Technology, anatomic Italian composite with WRB system, 2.0mm sponge, 6 ply extra light blade featuring Tube Technology and Crystal Tech Technology. The Stiga has a regulation inverted surface, so it is perfectly acceptable for use by amateurs and professionals. This is about $43. Another top name is Butterfly. These racquets are also used all over the world, and most of Europe's top players turn to Butterfly. While they typically use customized blades and rubbers, you can find pre-assembled Butterfly paddles online. The Butterfly 7285 Viscaria FL Table Tennis Racket is a top of the line racquet with a sleek design, fast, well-balanced carbon and arylate layers, unique rubber and sponge combination for exceptional speed, control, and spin, flared handle, Bryce rubber, 1.9mm sponge, and USATT and ITTF approval. The deluxe, advanced Viscaria is $225. Whether you are a beginner, a serious amateur, or a pro, you can find the right fit for your table tennis style. Enjoy the game even more with the best equipment.