A table tennis blade is the wooden part of the ping pong paddle. Although amateur paddles come with the rubber pre-attached to the wooden part of the paddle, professional players generally buy their blades and rubbers and assemble them separately.
There are many subtle differences among table tennis blades that might make a blade more effective for one type of player than for another. Some of these differences are discussed below.
Heavier vs. Lighter
A heavier table tennis blade will allow you to hit the ball with incredible force, but it will also slow down your response time. A light blade, on the other hand, allows you to hit the ball quickly, but it does not allow you to use the level of force you might get with a heavier blade. Most players compromise on this issue and choose a blade that is somewhere in the middle.
Stiff vs. Flexible
If you are a fast player who likes to hit hard, then the stiff table tennis blade will be your greatest ally. If, on the other hand, you rely less or brute force and more on subtle tactics like putting an unexpected spin on the ball, chances are you’ll be more comfortable with a slightly more flexible blade.
Weight at Handle vs. Weight at Head
If you are a player who likes to go on the offense, you probably want most of the weight of your tennis table blade to be located at the head to give that hard return a little extra “oomph.” A defensive player will probably be more comfortable with the control offered by a blade where most of the weight is located near the handle.
Handle Shapes: Flared vs. Straight
Most players have strong forehand strokes and therefore prefer a table tennis blade that flares slightly at the bottom of the handle, allowing them to keep control of their grip even when they are striking the hardest. Some players, however, have very strong backhands and not so formidable forehands. The players with strong backhands tend to prefer to use a straight handle so they can shift the table tennis paddle easily in their hand without worrying about a flared handle getting in the way.
Some players prefer to use an anatomic handle, meaning a handle that is shaped to roughly accommodate the human hand.
Some Additional Advice
Assembling a blade and a rubber covering to make the best product for you can be expensive and time consuming. If you are a casual or amateur player, you probably don’t need an expensive blade. In fact, some amateur players buying their first table tennis blade learn that a professional blade sends the ball flying fast and hard. It takes some time to learn to control the stroke.
Once you have gone to all the trouble of buying and building your table tennis paddle, don’t lose your temper and slam the paddle to the floor, throw it at someone or hit someone with it, or smash it against the table. Not only could you hurt someone else, you could destroy a unique and expensive piece of equipment.
Playing a good game is only half the battle in table tennis. You also need to find equipment that supports your style of play. That is why so much thought should be into choosing the table tennis blade that works best for you.