If you’ve ever watched table tennis during the Olympics, you know that there are several ways to hold a table tennis bat.
It also doesn’t mean that all of them are the best for you, however. Each type of grip has its advantages and disadvantages.
Read on to learn more about the different types of grips that you can use in your next table tennis tournament.
The Shakehand Grip
The Shakehand Grip is the most common way that people will pick up a table tennis bat. With this grip, however, there are some finer points to know about as opposed to holding the grip as if it’s a death grip.
Most people will wrap their thumb and index finger around the handle of the bat. That will only give you less control over the bat and the ball when you hit it.
The proper Shakehand Grip is to let the handle lay in the palm of your hand and wrap your pinky, ring, and middle fingers around it.
Then at the top of the handle, create a V with your thumb and index finger. The advantage of holding the bat this way is that you get more control and power. You can also easily switch from backhand to forehand.
The Penhold Grip
The Penhold Grip saw a resurgence during the Rio Olympics in 2016. After the Shakehand Grip, it’s the second most common way to hold a table tennis bat. It is very similar to holding a pen, which is how it got its name.
You hold the bat just like you would a pen, with your thumb and index finger wrapped around the top of the handle. The other fingers rest on the other side of the bat. There are Penhold bats specifically for the Penhold Grip, with the rubber coating only on one side.
With the Penhold Grip, you don’t have as much power or a good backhand. However, the strength of this grip is in speed. You can react to the ball much more quickly and it’s harder for opponents to guess what you’re going to do next.
Keep in mind that there are several variations of the Penhold Grip. Don’t be confused by the different styles, they’re just slight variations of the same grip.
Holding a Table Tennis Bat the Right Way
If you’re new to table tennis or you’ve been at it for a while, you know that learning how to hold a table tennis bat is the foundation of being a great player.
As you can see, there is no perfect solution to hold a table tennis bat. Each way has advantages and disadvantages.
At the end of the day, you have to decide what works best for you. You can do that by experimenting with different grips and finding the right one for you.
Want to know more about playing table tennis? Read this guide that shows you how to play like a pro in 10 days.