Ping pong is an amazing sport that requires precise hand-eye coordination and quick reflexes. It takes skill to hit the ball and even more skill to hit the ball on the table. Basic skills to know are being able to serve the ball and being able to hit the ball on the other side of the net. This guide starts from the very beginning and teaches newcomers to ping pong on how to hold a ping pong paddle properly. It is important that beginners start with learning this because it gets more difficult to get used to a different grip as they become more skilled to the sport. So it is better to start off with a proper grip. Let's get started!
-A ping pong paddle
Shakehand Table Tennis Grip
The shakehands grip is when the racket is held as if the player is performing a handshake. The shakehands grip is very popular among western players. This is why it is also referred to as the western grip.
The shakehands grip is very simple to learn, it allows easy flexibility of the racket and very good for players that attack from both side. The shakehand grip has its own table tennis blade specifically made for that kind of grip.
To learn the shakehands grip is very easy, just follow these simple steps.
1. Give your racket a handshake by the handle and extend your index finger.
2. Your thumb should be along the bottom of the blade and your index finger at the other side of the blade.
3. The blade is held between the thumb and index finger while the remaining three fingers should be around the racket handle.
4. When playing a backhand stroke or serve, use the thumb finger as support and if you are playing a forehand stroke or serve use the index finger as support.
5. The middle fingers which are wrapped around the handle of the racket are used to carry the weight of the racket.
Having very good control over the racket due to your firm grip, giving better natural consistency
Players using the shakehands grip always have what is called a crossover point or area of indecision; this is when the ball cannot be struck easily by either forehand or backhand but this rarely happens in a game and can always be handled.
Table Tennis Penhold Grip
The penhold grip is common among the Asian table tennis players. It is a grip pattern that the racket is held as if one is holding a writing pen.
Unlike the shakehands grip, the penhold grip involve holding the racket like a pen by using the thumb and the index finger to hold the racket handle and the remaining three fingers are curl around the back of the racket.
There are two types of penhold grip; these are Chinese penhold grip and the Korean penhold grip. What is the difference between the Chinese penhold grip and the Korean penhold grip? Let’s find out....
The Japanese penhold grip
The Japanese Penhold handle is a type of Penhold handle with an added cork block for a slightly different grip. This block gives some added stability at the expense of reduced wrist flexibility.
The Chinese penhold grip
A round racket blade is used for the Chinese penhold grip and it involves the use of the thumb and index finger to hold the racket like holding a pen, but unlike the Korean penhold grip, the remaining three fingers are curl around the back touching each other.
The difference between the Korean and Chinese penhold grip is the type of racket and the way the racket is held. In the Korean grip the remaining three fingers are curled around the back of the racket without touching each other while in the Chinese grip the remaining three fingers are curled around the back of the racket but touching each other.