Table Tennis Grips

Professional table tennis players grip their rackets in many different way. As per the rules of table tennis, there is no set way to hold the racket. There are two major families of styles; penhold and shakehand. There are other, less popular grips, but for now, we will focus only on these two.

Penhold Grip
Penhold styles have dipped in popularity recently because they had a huge weakness on the backhand side. This weakness puts new penhold players at a disadvantage against their shakehand opponents. Even with this, the best Penhold table tennis players have been winning world championships, the world cup, as well as the olympic games. The backhand weakness can be mitigated by having good footwork, or by using the reverse penhold backhand loop.

Shakehand Grip
The Shakehand grip has been around longer than any other grip. This grip places the index finger extended over the racket head perpendicular to the handle. It gives an almost even power spread over forehand and backhand shots, however, it also creates a wider gap in between. Almost every European table tennis player and ~67% of Asian players play with the Shakehand grip.