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There are many racket hand types given that people from diverse sporting cultures with different creativity can create the most suitable ones for the handles. However, only a handful of handles are widely available because they are suitable for many players.
There are countless handle types, depending on the geographic area and the creativity of people from different sports cultures. The handle types can be made to best suit the hands and playing style in these cultures.
Therefore, in this article, I’ll just show the 6 most popular table tennis handle types in the world.
Flared Handle (FL): Shakehand grip
The Flared Handle has a shape that is small at the head and flared-wide like an arc toward the tail. This is the most popular grip today.
The advantage of this handle type is that the curve line runs gently along the palm when holding, creating a nice hand touch. The contact area between the palm and the handle is very wide, along with its curved degree allows it to be firmly held in the palm of your hand, facilitating the forceful stroke and a more confident feeling.
However, the downside of this type of handle is that the flared part of the tail can cause discomfort for your wrist when turned left and right. This handle grip is well suited for a powerful one-winged attacker style.
Straight Handle (ST): Shakehand grip
The Straight Handle has two edges that run straight and parallel from head to tail. This is the second most common type of handle.
ST gives the user an excellent ball feeling and the ability to handle the ball flexibly. Thanks to this feature, it’s more likely to be preferred by the players with the two-winged looper style. The handle’s tail is not rubbed on the wrist, so the wrist-related techniques are implemented very effectively.
Conical Handle (CO): Shakehand grip
Conical is the exclusive handle from STIGA, which is very comfortable and recommended for widespread use. CO can give the players a comfortable holding. The handle is thinner at the top and wider on the bottom. This grip is great for players who are considering between the Flared Handle or the Straight Handle
CO is ideal for the all-round playing style, soft style with spin. However, this grip is not suitable for those with big hands.
Anatomic Handle (AN): Shakehand grip
The Anatomic handle tends to be slightly bulging in the center of the grip. This grip is designed for people with big hands. This handle’s advantage is that its protruded part allows for a comfortable touch.
Also, it gives players a relaxed grip when retracting the left wrist, which is very convenient for backhand loop and spinning techniques. However, they will need to practice more with the wrist strokes on the table’s right side.
Chinese Penhold (CPen): Penhold grip
Penhold helps widen the wrist’s angle, and players using penhold grip often take advantage of both the force and dexterity of the wrist to make the force, spinning, or falling point effective for both close-table and far-table attacks.
The big downside of penhold grip is that it’s almost impossible to use the backhand attack technique.
Recently the Chinese have been trying to improve this weakness, and players who have good backgrounds and went through rigorous training like Wang Hao or Xu Xin can perform both backhand and forehand attacks. However, when this shortcoming is improved, the strength of the forehand attack is somewhat reduced.
Japanese Penhold (JPen): Penhold grip
The JPen grip is on its last leg right in its home country of Japan.
However, the JPen grip was introduced and promoted very effectively by the Koreans. The high wrist opening help close-table and far-table attacks become very powerful. This kind of handle restricts the backhand attack technique. Most of the players who use this grip only use backhand block and push, whereas professional players often have speed blocking and pushing techniques to somewhat deal with the passivity.
This playing style requires a long arm span and right and fast legs movement. The successes of classic JPen players, namely Yoo Nam Kyu, Kim Ki Taek, Kim Taek Soo, and most recently, Ryu Seung Min, have shown that this grip does not fall behind.
The greatest power and strength and the characteristic enthusiasm of Japanese penhold table tennis players create spectacular and emotional matches to the viewers.
The Butterfly Nitchugo is an ideal start if you want to follow this exceptional handle grip!
Table Tennis Handle Type Comparison
|Flared Handle (FT)||For a nice, comfortable and good hand touch||/|
|Straight Handle (ST)||For the most flexible ball handling||/|
|Conical Handle (CO)||For all-round playing style||Not suitable for big hands|
|Anatomic Handle (AN)||For big hands||Weak at long distance|
|Chinese Penhold (Cpen)||For the best exploitation of force and pulling from the wrist||Weak on Backhand|
|Japan Penhold (JPen)||Requiring many techniques, not recommended||Weak on Backhand|
The shape of the handles will be available to each blade. I recommend that green players use the ST or CO or another handle that suits their personal preference. There is no best handle. Once you have mastered the basic skill and experienced many different handles, how you select your table tennis handles is also the way you establish your playing style.