Holding your racquet well is the basis for being comfortable and making progress because this grip has a direct impact on the contact of the ball on the coating of the racquet. Depending on the styles, there are two main types of racket grip in table tennis: The orthodox style, also called European, and the penholder style, with Chinese, Japanese or Korean grip.
The European or Orthodox style
It is the most common in Europe and undoubtedly the most natural, the one that the amateur table tennis player uses spontaneously. The racket and the hand are an extension of each other. The index finger is stretched over the wood. The forearm is aligned with the racket handle. We use both sides of the racket.
- Advantage: good freedom of movement, easy forehand and backhand
- Disadvantage: less freedom in the wrist for spin
The pen holder style
This is the stylethat Asians have generally adopted. You grab the handle of the racquet like you would do for a pen, between your thumb and forefinger. Thus, the pallet is at the level of the palm of the hand and the handle, above. Despite this Asian predominance, it was in Europe that Anna Sipos, Hungarian emeritus champion, developed this technique in the first half of the 20th century. Usually only one side of the racket is used, the second can then be covered with cork.
Chinese technique: the back fingers are folded
Japanese technique: the middle finger is stretched over the back of the racket
Korean technique: variant of the Japanese grip with the fingers staggered
- Advantage: a lot of freedom of movement of the wrist for spin
- Disadvantage: the backhand is difficult to perform
Which racket for which style ?
It is important to note that the racket handles are not the same depending on the playing style. Indeed, the latter are shorter for a penholder style and can have ergonomic variants. It is therefore necessary to equip yourself correctly to optimize your game.