Read this BEFORE you buy your first table tennis paddle

By Karl Freitag/VBTTC



If you’re ready to get serious and buy your first table tennis paddle, be sure to read this article first.

You see, a lot of players will buy their first paddle from Walmart or a sporting goods store. Don’t make that mistake. To put it bluntly, the table tennis equipment sold in these places is GARBAGE. It will put you at a disadvantage against other players and most of it isn’t even legal for organized tournament play. For decent equipment, you need to purchase online.

Below are a few reputable sources:

But beware. The first thing you’ll notice is there are are hundreds of different paddle variations available. Fast…slow…light…heavy…hard…soft…thick sponge…thin sponge…pimples in, pimples out, tacky surface, grippy surface, smooth surface…it goes on and on.

How do you decide which paddle is right for you?

That’s what this article is all about. The best place to start is with an all-around blade with medium-speed control rubbers. You need to order the blades and rubbers separately (the sellers will assemble the paddle for you free).

A good budget setup will run about $40 and something a little better will be about $80. There are many choices, but don’t worry. I’ll share specific recommendations below.

Budget Setup

A good budget “ALL” blade is the LKT Instinct available from Zeropong for $16.


For rubbers, get the 729 Super FX-C (Control) rubbers. You need one in red and the other in black with 1.5mm sponge. The rubbers are $10 each, so all together the package will set you back $36.


Better Setup

If you want to spend a little more, I recommend the Stiga Allround Classic ($36.95) blade available from Paddle Palace. Most people prefer the “Flared Legend” style handle.


For rubbers, try Butterfly Flextra ($21.99). Again you need to order one in red and one in black. All together with the blade it should run a little over $80.


The equipment listed above will give you many hours of fun and satisfying table tennis.

Maybe in six months or a year or two, after you master the various strokes and get comfortable reading spin, you might want to try something a little faster or spinnier. But before that, you need to isolate your strengths and develop your own unique playing style.

All of these recommendations are solid, proven setups for you to learn and play a good game.