How To Hold A Ping Pong Paddle - Learn The Best Way To Hold

How To Hold a Ping Pong Paddle – Learn The Best Way To Hold

Last Updated on July 4, 2022

Ping pong is a popular sport and is played all around the world.

With that being said, you can understand that there are different playing styles which depend on the region and culture.

One of the biggest differences between playing styles from different regions and cultures would be the way players hold a ping pong paddle.

Many ping pong players use one way of holding a ping pong paddle that is called shakehand grip, while some of the other players prefer holding the ping pong paddle in a different way that is called penhold grip.

Maybe you have a question, how to hold a ping pong paddle chinese style?

Well, European players are mostly using shakehand grip while with some Chinese players, you will most likely spot penhold grip more often.

How To Hold a Ping Pong Paddle?

Two most common ways to hold a ping pong paddle would be:

  • Shakehand grip
  • Penhold grip

This two different ways of holding ping pong paddle are one of the most common ways, and while there might be other ways to hold ping pong paddle, professional players stick to these two.

They’re the most efficient ways to hold a ping pong paddle, and no matter how much you debate which holding style is better than the other, it’s mostly up to the personal preference.

Shakehand gripping pong players mostly find penhold grip uncomfortable and hard to use, while they can do everything they need with shakehand grip successfully.

On the other hand, penhold gripping ping pong players enjoy this holding style better because they find it more comfortable, enjoyable, and sometimes even more successful.

When you are beginning to learn table tennis, most likely you will automatically start by learning with the shakehand grip because it’s one of the simplest yet most efficient ones.

However, later when you become a more intermediate player you might decide to transition yourself.

Difference Between Two Ways To Hold a Ping Pong Paddle (Shakehand vs Penhold)

Shakehand vs Penhold Grip

The main difference between shakehand grip and penhold grip holding style is the ability to do moves differently.

Penhold style will allow you to do a range of different moves, and doing the normal moves that shakehand gripping players do will take a little bit different way to do it.

Penhold players mostly use the forehand side of the paddle, even when they’re doing the backhand moves.

The key is in the holding style that allows them to easily do it without switching the paddle to the black side.

Therefore, penhold players will more likely have the same rubber on both sides of their paddle.

Penhold players might have more efficient topspin than shakehand gripping players, however, if they’re caught on a wrong leg or holding their paddle in the wrong direction, it might be lost a point for them.

While shakehand gripping players have a wide range of moves, and even if they get caught in unwanted position, they have higher chance to do perform the move correctly and even save a point.

It’s mostly up to the players to decide which gripping style they will use.

What Is The Best Way To Hold a Ping Pong Paddle?

Holding Paddle

There actually isn’t the best way to hold a ping pong paddle, however, these two most common ways have its advantages and disadvantages.

The most important thing is that how you feel about the paddle holding style you are using and whether you think that you’re getting the most out of it.

If you feel like you could benefit from the other holding style, maybe you should try it out and see how it goes.

However, keep in mind that you won’t immediately be able to see the benefits once you switch your holding style, however, the benefits come once you perfect the holding style you’re using.

Although penhold style can be tempting, don’t think that it will make you a professional player just because you saw some professional player use that kind of holding style.

Pen holding style won’t only make you a better player even if you perfect it.

Some players just prefer to stick with a shakehand paddle holding style, and that’s working out for them perfectly fine.

You don’t need to overthink this too much but simply follow your instincts.


There have been many discussions about which paddle holding style is the best, and whether is it worth switching to another holding style with a purpose of improving your skill.

In my opinion, you shouldn’t obsess yourself withholding style, and yet use that time to practice and improve your game skill in another way.

Especially if you’re a beginner, it’s important not to waste time thinking about the perfect paddle holding style until you’re at least an intermediate player.

Switching between paddle holding styles as a beginner or an amateur, it’s only going to slow down your learning curve.

What paddle holding style do you use?

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