The initial step to being a master in the ping pong game is to learn How to hold a ping pong paddle. Fortunately, holding a ping pong paddle comes in many different styles and ways.
The most well-known way for beginners is a pen hold grip ping pong, undoubtedly a versatile style but the most critical one to master. There are also other ways and styles like the reverse pen hold, V, and Seemillier that can be interesting, but due to their rarity in use, you have to rely on yourself for practice.
These ways have their pros and cons, so you can opt for one that offers comfort to you at the end of the day.
3 Ways to Hold a Ping Pong Paddle
There are generally three ways commonly used to hold a ping pong paddle, so without waiting, let’s dive into the details of all.
1. Deep Shake Hand Grip
In a deep shake hand grip, fix the paddle blade in the gap between your index finger and the thumb, as this style will make a V shape between the index finger and thumb. Hold the paddle so that the right bottom edge will rest in that V on the side. The thumb is slightly relaxed and raised on the paddle’s rubber and is recommended for beginners in the game.
Now wrap up your ring, middle and pinky fingers around the paddle handle. Despite this, these are the only three fingers through which you can hold the paddle in a shake hand grip. The fingers will look like when you are doing shake hands with someone. The style is great, natural, and comfortable, and the player can use backhand and forehand, adding power and precision to the attacks.
To feel this grip try to move the paddle in an up and down direction in hand shaking motion. Against the outside of the paddle, rest your index finger. When you imagine a shaking hand, your index finger will point outward instead of curled on, which will help stabilize the paddle while swinging.
If this hold gives you comfort, allow the tip of your finger to rest against the side edge. Now roll your thumb around the front of the handle if you want to have more flexibility in the grip. This is a shallow shake hand grip and is beginners’ most natural used grip.
This grip gives more freedom in movement for a paddle, which will result in smoothly returning the ball.
2. Pen Hold Grip Ping Pong
Rest the handle of the paddle in between your thumb and index finger. You will notice in this way it will form a V shape created by your thumb and index finger, by holding the handle angled up toward rest its inner edge on V in which you hold a pen.
Now flip the handle between the index finger and thumb; imagine writing with the paddle instead of a pencil or pen. Try to move the paddle around a pen in writing motion to get the feel of the pen holding grip. Keep your remaining fingers relaxed if you want to get more flexibility in the wrist.
Chinese penholders grip is another penhold style in which you have to lightly grip the outer face of the paddle. With the tips of the ring, middle and pinky fingers so that your fingers should be relaxed. Gripping the racket will offer you a wide movement capacity and make the task easy for blocking and pushing the ball.
The downside of this grip is that it is difficult to use the backhand topspin consistently or spin of ping pong ball by using the outer side of the paddle. Now straight your ring, middle and pinky fingers. Holding the paddle with straight fingers can restrict the paddle blade motion, making it tough to reach the paddle angle to hit the ball.
Alternative Ways to Hold the Pen Grip Ping Pong
There are other alternative ways to grip the paddle in a ping pong game. You can go or the V grip for higher power and ball spin. In this way, you have to hold the paddle between your middle finger and index finger to create a V shape, as this style is a great way for wide-range shots.
This style is not well known compared to the Penhold ping pong grip and shakes hand grip. So finding a coach to learn this style can be an overwhelming task.
3. Seemiller Grip
Seemiller grip is another common way to hold a ping pong paddle. In this style, wrap your fingers around the paddle handle and place your rest fingers on its back, face closer to the bottom edge as you can get.
To grip the handle, use your thumb to grip the paddle blade and place the index finger on the other side.
The flexibility in the backhand wrist is restricted in this style. You can make the backhand shots using the forehand side of your racket. With the penhold grip, you can achieve topspin in a reverse way.
The grip is similar to the pen hold grips, as the difference lies in the angle you hold the paddle and the style of the game. This style is not uncommon in the Japanese, Chinese, and Korean pen hold styles.
In the opinion of experts, for beginners, the deep shake hand style is the best way to opt for holding a ping pong paddle. It is a practical, powerful and versatile easy grip to learn for beginners.
When a beginner has mastered a shake hand grip, he can be an advanced player by learning new techniques and grips. However, it will improve the game based on weaknesses and styles.
Each grip way comes with its pros and cons, and one can easily adapt the style according to his style and desire to have a comfort level. Therefore, it is worth experimenting and finding the best grip for their game.