How to hold a Ping Pong Paddle – Types of Grip You Need to Know

How to hold a Ping Pong Paddle - Types of Grip You Need to Know

Are you a sports enthusiast? Do you dream of becoming a player/ an athlete, but afraid of being outplayed by taller and bigger ones?  Are you hesitant to engage in any sports because you do not like to risk getting injured?

Well, the good news is you may not be that tall, but you can still play sports. Not all require you to get physical with your opponent. So, get out of your comfort zone and play Ping Pong!

There is no height requirement, as long as you can reach the table top! No need to worry about injuries. If you know how to hold a ping pong paddle properly and with awesome footwork – you’ll be just fine!

Here are the types of grip you need to know.  Familiarize yourself with the different ways on how to hold a ping pong paddle, and start your first game ever!

Types of Table Tennis Grip:

1. The Shakehand Grip

This type of grip is known to be more famous among western players. It is named such because the blade rests on the V-shaped made by the player’s thumb and index finger, this grip gives an impression that one is about to make a handshake.

If you will further study a player using this grip, you will notice that he/ she holds the paddle with the index finger on the side of it directly facing the body, and the thumb rests on top of the other fingers, which are encircled around the blade.

The two variations of Shakehand Grip

Shallow Grip – It is a natural grip for a beginner. This type of grip promotes wrist flexibility. Moreover, it increases your spin ability while performing loops or serves.

Some of the advantages for using this grip are providing the player with stronger power and spins when attacking or brushing the ball, using it both with a backhand and forehand strokes and attacking the ball from either side of the table.  This grip is very efficient against short balls the opponent lobbies over.

Deep Grip – Such grip prevents too much movement of the paddle in the player’s hand. Thus, ensuring a firm grasp. Aggressive players employ this grip for smashing the ball. It does not require wrist flexibility. Furthermore, this grip is used for attacks that need precision and lesser power.

Whether a player chooses shallow or deep grip, the disadvantage is there will always be a point of indecision.  During this indecision, an opponent may perform an attack.

2. The Penhold Grip

To use this type, one has to hold the paddle same way he/she would hold a pen. Just like the manner of holding it, when he/she is about to write.  This means the thumb and the index finger are in front of the handle while the remaining fingers curled around the back of the racket.  It has three different variations.

Japanese or Korean Grip – No it has nothing to do with your K-pop idol or Manga Comics!

With the Korean/ Japanese Grip, a player can attack the ball with ease, while standing far from the table. He/she places the fingers straightened rather than curled at the back of the bat.

This move provides more power to forehand strokes.  One weakness of this grip is the restriction of the blade movement. As a consequence, players may find it challenging to adjust the racket in different angles in order to reach the ball.  Beginners may find this technique difficult to master.

Chinese Grip – As compared to Shakehand grip, this one allows free movement of the wrist. Another advantage is there is no crossover or point of indecision when players use Chinese Grip. The forehand strokes are more efficient and powerful for all kinds of serves.

Blocking and pushing on the backhand side becomes easier. The same forehand side is what the player utilizes to defend, counter or attack against shots.

However, this technique is said to drain the player’s stamina easily. Consistent backhand topspin can be difficult to perform when using this grip. Those who use this grip prefer to stay close to the table.

Reverse Backhand Grip – In table tennis, players who are described as attacking style player, use this technique. Such a player prefers to play with heavy topspin on both sides. With this grip, the back of the penhold bat is used to hit the backhand. Furthermore, the flexible wrist movement makes it possible for accurately attacking short balls on the backhand.

Contrary to the advantages, with this grip comes difficulty in hitting the ball across the net line.

In Reverse Backhand Grip, it’s challenging to make a topspin ball from the backhand side which does not come with sidespin.

3. Other Types of Grip

3.1 Seemiller Grip – It’s named after Dan Seemiller, the person who popularized this grip in the 1970’s.  With this grip, your racket is held similarly to the Shakehand grip. However, a 90-degree turn is done so that the thumb and index fingers are used to hold the sides of the bat. One of its advantages is permitting good blocking on both sides.

It allows excellent wrist movement on the forehand stroke, making a powerful forehand topspin. The grip does not create the problem of a cross point that other techniques have. To know more about this type of grip you can read here.

3.2 V – Grip – This is done when the blade is held between the index and the middle finger. Initially, the fingers are spread apart to form a letter V. After the blade is in place, the middle and the index fingers curl down at the blade. Gripping it, together with the ring and pinky fingers wrapped around the handle, while the thumb can be placed wherever you like it.


For beginners, the Shakehand grip is the most advisable to use for starter game. Master this first, then you may use other types of grip, as you advance your level/skill as a player. You will discover the technique/s which you are more comfortable with. You may also find out combinations that may lead to your winnings.

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