Ping Pong Grips: A Guide for Players

Over 300 million people play table tennis all over the world. Whether you play with your family on Sundays, at your school, for a club, or competitively, you have to start with the basics: your grip.

Proper grip technique is going to set the stage for the rest of your game technique and success. In this article, we’re going to go over the two most common types of ping pong grips as well as some other grip options.

Let’s get started!

Penholder Grip

There are a few different variations on the penholder grip. Perhaps the most popular is called the “traditional Chinese penhold grip” that mirrors how you hold a pen.

Your thumb and first finger hold the handle of the table tennis racket like you hold a pen. The rest of your fingers will wrap around the back.

Slight adjustments on this grip gives you what’s called the “reverse traditional Chinese penhold grip” that moves the index finger to the same side as the thumb in order to backhand easier.

Other adjustments will change the spacing of your fingers, leaving your fingers touching the blade, overlapping your index finger/thumb, etc. While none of these variations is “right” or “wrong”, per se, you need to make sure you continue to follow proper grip technique while you play.

Shakehand Grip

Shakehand grip is another common grip used by both beginners and expert Olympic-level players. It’s called “shakehand grip” because it looks like you’re shaking hands with the racket.

With the shakehand grip, you’ll take your index finger and put it on the back (backhand side) of the racket, touching the rubber, with your thumb on the front (forehand side) of the racket.

The rest of your fingers go around the handle. The bottom of the “V” shape that your thumb and index finger make should be right at the edge of the racket.

V Grip

While those two ping pong grips are the most common and are typically the most often used by the pros, this more “minor” type of grip can work for you as long as you maintain your technique during play.

To use this grip, put a peace sign up with your grip hand. Take the handle vertically with the blade positioned above the handle.

Next, with the handle against your palm, you’ll rotate the blade so it’s perpendicular to your palm and situated in between the V of your peace sign.

Bend your “peace sign” fingers to give you a better grip. Curl your ring and pinky finger down, and let your thumb go where feels most comfortable. This is a bit hard to visualize, so check out these demonstration pictures.

Whichever Ping Pong Grips You Choose, Hone Your Technique!

These are the three most popular ping pong grips you can use. While there are other “minor” grip types you can try, these three are going to give you the best technique and the most control over the paddle.

Ready to learn some actionable techniques to win your next match? Read up on what the pros do to start the match outright with a perfect serve.