Best table tennis bats for intermediate players

Best table tennis bats for intermediate players

When players I coach progress from beginner to intermediate standard, I encourage them to buy a better bat. But what the heck should they buy? There are just so many bats available – all with different levels of speed, spin and control. Plus decisions need to be made about rubber thickness, blade speed and handle shape.

For a player who is buying their first ‘proper’ bat, it can be quite an overwhelming experience. But do not worry, help is at hand. In this blog post, I share the advice I give to the intermediate players I coach (including specific recommendations). I hope my advice helps you too…

[Related: If you are a beginner player, take a look at my blog post ‘Best table tennis bats for beginners‘. If you’re an advanced player, take a look at my blog post ‘Best table tennis rubbers and blades for advanced players‘]

Spin, speed and control

Many beginner players start with fairly basic bats. They’re not too fast or spinny but they do have plenty of control. This is ideal for a beginner. But as your technique improves, you should improve the quality of your bat too. As a general guide, you should be looking to buy a bat which is a little faster and can generate more spin than your existing bat, but still retains good control.

In other words, don’t jump from a beginner bat to a really advanced, super-fast and super-spinny bat. You may find it difficult to control the ball, as the rubbers on these bats are very responsive. Instead you want something in between – faster than your beginner bat, but not as fast as the bats the professionals play with.

Custom-made bat or ready-made bat?

At the intermediate level, it doesn’t really matter if you buy a custom-made bat or a ready-made bat. It won’t be your ‘forever’ bat. You’ll probably use it for a 12-18 months and then buy something better again.

If you want to buy a custom-made bat, you need to choose a rubber for your forehand, a rubber for your backhand and a blade.

The benefit of a custom-made bat is that you can choose any combination. For example, you may want a faster rubber for your forehand (for attacking play) and a slower rubber for your backhand (for all-round play). You can customise the rubber thickness (thicker = faster, thinner = slower) and the shape of the bat handle.

For table tennis geeks, like myself, this level of customisation is wonderful. You can lose hours researching and reading reviews, as there is just so much choice available.

However, this doesn’t appeal to everyone. If spending hours trawling through table tennis equipment websites isn’t your thing, then you should consider buying a ready-made bat (recommendations below).

A ready-made bat usually has the same rubber for both the forehand and the backhand and limited choice on blade, rubber thickness and handle shape. The quality of the bat is good, but there is simply less customisation and less choice available. But if you play a similar style for both forehand and backhand strokes, then it’s fine the have the same rubber on both sides of your blade.

Cost

A intermediate bat is going to cost more than a beginner bat. You’re paying for the extra quality of material. However, you don’t need to spend a fortune. Typically, a good intermediate bat will cost between £50-£120. From my experience, a ready-made intermediate bat is usually a little cheaper than a custom-made intermediate bat.

Recommendations

There are hundreds of rubbers and blades available to buy and there is no way I (or anyone else) have tested them all. But here are a few blades and rubbers I recommend for intermediate players based upon my own playing and coaching experience.

Blades

  • Buttefly Boll Allround Blade
  • Stiga Classic Allround Blade
  • Andro Super Core Cell Allround+ Blade
  • Joola Mikado Allround+ Blade
  • Tibhar Balsa Allround blade
  • Yasaka Silver All Wood

Rubbers

  • Butterfly Roundell Soft
  • Butterfly Rozena
  • Yasaka Mark V
  • Tibhar Evolution EL-S
  • Andro Shifter Powersponge
  • JOOLA Zack

If you want to buy a custom-made table tennis bat, you will need to purchase via a table tennis shop. Take a look at my list of shops in UK, USA, Europe, Asia and Australia.

You can also buy ready-made bats from table tennis shops. On their websites look for ‘pre-assembled’, ‘ready-made’ or ‘complete’ bats.

Another good option for ready-made bats is Amazon. The good thing about Amazon is you can read lots of user reviews to help you make an informed choice. My personal favourite is the Bribar Allround Professional (read review), but all the table tennis bats listed below are very good choices for intermediate players.

Recommended bats (UK)

Recommended bats (USA / Canada)

BEST-SELLERS: Take a look at my list of the most popular table tennis bats purchased by readers of my website.

Final thoughts

Whatever bat you decide to buy, remember – get something faster and spinnier than your existing bat, but not too much faster and spinnier!

I remember the first ‘proper’ table tennis bat I bought when I played my first league season about 10 years ago. I was intermediate standard, but wanted something fast like the other players in the club. I looked through the catalogue and picked out a very fast rubber for my forehand, a very fast rubber for my backhand and an offensive blade. It was a very quick bat, to help me play fast table tennis.

What happened? I had a terrible season. I just couldn’t control the ball. Yes, my shots were fast, but they weren’t landing on the table! Attacks went long, pushes popped up high, blocks catapulted off my rubber. In short, the bat was too fast for my developing technique.

When the season finished, I bought my next bat. This time I went for an all-round blade, and rubbers with a bit more control. There was an instant improvement. I stopped making so many unforced errors and I was enjoying my table tennis again.

Moral of this story? Just because you’re improving, it doesn’t mean your Ma Long yet! Buy a faster bat, yes, but not too fast! Make sure you still have plenty of control.

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About Tom Lodziak

I’m a table tennis coach based in Cambridge in the UK. As well as coaching I also write table tennis articles and make table tennis videos. Read more about me.

116 thoughts on “Best table tennis bats for intermediate players

  1. Hi Tom,

    I read your blog and found very useful information here, but I’m still confused about which bat should I buy.
    Actually I’m looking for a ready made bat with very good spin.
    Recently I’m using ‘GKI XX Offensive’ This bat provide me a very good spin. But I want to improve my game and spin is my strong point. So can you please guide me which bat should I buy?
    If you didn’t find good option with pre-assembled bat then I can also go with the custome one.
    Thanks in advance.

    • Hi Himanshu

      It sounds like you have reached a standard where you should be thinking of buying a custom made table tennis bat. Any of the rubbers I mention in the blog post – Butterfly Roundell, Yasaka Mark V, Andro Shifter Powersponge, Donic Vario – would be a good progression for you. They will help you generate more spin and speed than the GKI XX Offensive.

      Tom

  2. i noticed one of your recommendations for a premade was donic waldner 900. isnt it a recreational racket too. I was just confused because i know that recreational rackets arent good for serious players.

    • Hi Yousaid

      The Donic Waldner 900 is a decent bat for an intermediate player – and a reasonable price. But as a player improves and moves from intermediate to advanced, he/she will need to upgrade to better equipment.

      Tom

    • Hi Steve

      It depends what type of bat you’re looking for. I’m coaching a player who had a very fast bat, but was struggling to keep the ball on the table. He switched to the Palio Master 2 and he found it much easier to control the ball. He can still generate plenty of spin and speed. It’s not as fast as his other bat, but he makes less errors. Take a look of the reviews on Amazon to see what other players say.

      Tom

  3. hi tom,
    i just wanted to ask what is the best pre made racket, for an advanced player, with a price range of $70-80.

    thanks

  4. I have customized bat (Joola carbon plus blade and stag ninja fire rubber both side). I feel Bat is bit heavy and difficult to play shots, spin is good. I am looking for change in rubber. I searched in internet & blogs also with my colleagues, many of them suggested Yasak Mark V rubber and some suggested Donic Blue Fire M2.
    Please advise me which one to buy. shall I buy Mark V onside (red) and Donic Blue fire M2 other side (Black)?

    • Hi

      Both Yasaka Mark V and Donic Blue Fire M2 are decent and popular rubbers. If you know anyone who plays with these rubbers, you should borrow their bat, so you can try them out before you purchase. The benefit of buying two different rubbers, is that you get to test which works best for your forehand and backhand. If you really prefer one over the other, then just buy a second sheet of your preferred rubber.

      Let me know how you get on.

      Tom

  5. Nice article Tom. Does your advice stand with the new plastic ball or should intermediates look for a bit more spin and speed now do you think?

    • Hi Mark

      Good question. I think there is still so much variation between the different brands of plastic balls. I have four brands of plastic balls and they all play differently. I think it will be a while before we have a standard type of plastic ball and therefore a range of bats which are perfectly suited to whatever the standard plastic ball becomes. In the meantime, the bats which were popular before the plastic balls and still the best bats to buy.

      Tom

  6. Hi Tom just bought the Tibhar Powercarbon XT premade bat with Volcano rubbers. Are these rubbers replaceable or are they factry glued. Not wanting to change immediately but for later. Just getting used to carbon tho and finding it mor difficult to create spin. Any suggstions?

    • Hi Frank

      I’m not certain whether this one is factory glued. I have just contacted the company which sells the bat and asked them this question. I will let you know when I hear back from them. Interesting that you have find it hard to generate spin. The Volcano rubbers certainly won’t be as spinny as top-end rubbers, but are a lot better than entry level rubbers. Out of interest, what were you using previously?

      Tom

      • Tom
        Thanks for your prompt response re manf brand of Tibhar Powercarbon XT bat as I couldnt find it anywhere on the Tibhar websites. Further under description no mention of opportunity for replacement of rubbers to retain bat. Previous bat using Friendship 729 rubbers. Have to admit that my particpation is rcreational but competitively!! Perhaps lack of spin ability due to my poor technique. Would carbon layer make a difference to spin?
        Regards Frank

        • Hi Frank

          The company just replied. The bat is put together with table tennis glue, so you will be able to remove and replace the rubbers when needed.

          Tom

          • Hi Tom was just watching your video on blocking, very helpful. Btw re my Tibhar xt carbon purchase above, I am disappointed that the rubber breaks off at edges on this bat. Our club bought a few and same thing happened within a few weeks. I have played on with it as I like how light the bat is but going back to your reply that manf says the bat can be used with new rubbers, what would you recommend? I am recreational player but competitive for a few years now. Noticed in your video comment you used Joolle rubbers but they might be too expensive.

          • You could try the Joola Zack rubbers (which are used on the Bribar Allround Professional bat). These are durable rubbers and not too expensive. They will be a bit faster than the rubbers on the Tibhar xt bat, but still controllable.

  7. Hi Tom,

    I am an intermediate player and trying to develop my self, what do you think about Timo boll ALC bat, is it good for my stage now, and which do you prefer timo boll ALC or ZLC as I care about spin and control more than speed in time being

    thanks in advanced

    • Hi Hisham

      Both blades (Timo Boll ALC and Timo Boll ZLC) are fantastic, but they are more suitable for advanced players. They are very fast blades. If you play at the intermediate level and are more concerned about control than speed, I’d go for the Timo Boll Allround blade. As you improve from intermediate to advanced, then you can certainly think about upgrading to Timo Boll ALC or ZLC. But for the time being I’d go for a blade with less speed and more control.

      Tom

      • Hi Tom,

        Thank you so much for your replay, I will definitely take your advice and go for Timo Boll Allround blade.
        as I want to improve my playing in the right way, and proper track.

        thank you again

        Hisham

  8. Hi Tom
    Just bought the killerspin jet600 racket and am still wondering if a made the right choice, i really like to attack but also want control of the ball. Do you think it is going to help me improve my play??

    • Hi

      Don’t worry – you’re not alone. Every time I buy a new rubber or blade I usually have doubts whether I bought the right one! I think the Killerspin Jet600 is a decent choice if you like to attack with control. Play with it a few times and fingers crossed it will help you play better.

      Tom

  9. Hi Tom,

    Can you please help me out with the bat that i should use now as i am very confused on that part.
    I have playing constantly since the last 2 years with GKI KUNG FU. my strong points are back hand smash and chop as i am a defensive player. Still don’t have gud command over my forhand top spin but i am working on it.
    can you suggest me a good bat according to my style of play or any customized one would also help ?

    thanks in advance

  10. Great post Tom! I used to play at school 12 years ago and since then played a few times. I still retain quite a lot of my old skills though. I would consider myself an intermediate, although an allrounder, may be a bit more on the defensive side as I tend to simply return the ball quite a lot and tend less to aggressively respond. So, allround and may be leaning slightly to defensive. I have been researching and am confused between the Stiga Evolution, Palio Expert/ Master/ Legend. From what I read, Legend is a very fast bat and I’m more likely to land the ball out of the table using it. Master and Expert seem to be good choice. But Stiga Evolution also has good reviews and many more in number than Palio! Still, which out of these mentioned rackets would you recommend? Please correct me if I’m wrong, but from what I understand I need an allround racket that is not too defensive or too fast?? I don’t intend to enter competitions but play more for hobby/ recreation purpose. Though I absolutely love TT so buying a cheap racket would be my insult to myself!

    Regard!
    Zorba

    • Hi Zorba

      As you like to play a little more defensively, I’d probably recommend the Stiga Evolution bat. All three of the Palio bats – Expert, Master and Legend are more suited to players who try to play more attacking. The Palio bats may be too bouncy for your playing style. However, if you want to develop your game and play more spin attacks, then Palio would be the way to go. One final thought – for your playing style you should also consider the Eastfield Allround bat. This may be ideal for you. It has excellent control. You can read my review here.

  11. Hi Tom,

    I used to play til 6 yrs ago ,have won school and college titles . want to improve my skill , i have an offensive forehand with lots of power and spin and a weaker backhand which is more in defensive side. I play a very good chop in both fore/backhand which i rarely used as i prefer offensive style. Advice me suitable racket .

    • Hi Suraj

      If you prefer to play offensive style, then you should get an attacking racket. You could try using Yasaka Mark V rubbers. You will be able to generate speed and spin, but they offer a bit more control compared to the very fast rubbers. Here’s a link to reviews.

      Tom

  12. Hi tom my rubber of my palio legends 2 are done so i buy a dhs 3 neo for my fh and a donic baracuda for my bh. Do you think i make a good choice

    • Hi Dom,

      I think the Donic Baracuda rubber will be a good progression from the Palio Legend 2. DHS Hurricane Neo 3 will feel quite different to the Palio Legend, so may take a bit of getting used to. It’s a good rubber, but it is very different to what you have been playing with. But it’s all about trial and error. Give it a go. If you don’t like either rubber, you can always try something else!

      Tom

        • Hi Dom

          The main difference is the sponge hardness. DHS NEO Hurricane 3 has a harder sponge. The ball will bounce lower when it hits the rubber. Palio Hadou has a little more sponge, so the ball will bounce a little higher when it hits the rubber.

          Tom

  13. I have been playing for 18 months now and i have a butterfly wakaba 2000 andpd I am thinking of buying a new one please suggest me something. And I am a offensive forehand player anddefensive at backhand. I was thinking about donic coppa jo gold at th and yasaka mark v at bh and a carbon ply or killerspin jet800.

  14. Hi
    I want to get a bat called Fireblade Ninjato. I am an offensive player who is also looking for a lot of spin but more speed. I need control in a bat but not too much because I think I am quite good at it. Please let me know whether you think it would be a good bat for me.

    • Hi Abrar, I’m not familiar with this bat. But I have read the reviews online and it seems quite good quality for the low price. So you could try it out. If you don’t like it you won’t have wasted much money.

  15. Tom, my son is around 1000 and seriously learning. He has been using Stiga allround + Sriver FX for 2 years now. Time to get a new bat and rubbers. What should I get for him? Looking for a good balance of speed and control and dont want to get him into Tenergies yet. Unless you recommend that. He has a good forehand and building up topspin skills. Not spinning a whole lot yet. Thank you for all the work you do here!

    • Hi Norvuhs,

      Sounds likely your son is progressing well. Keep the focus on topspin – this will help him improve quickly. In terms of bat set-up, you could keep the same blade for the time being and just get some new rubbers. Take a look at Butterfly Rozena, which I mention in the blog post. This rubber has similar properties to Tenergy, but not as fast. Your son will be able to generate plenty of topspin, but the rubber is controllable.

      Tom

  16. Hi Tom I have a Stiga Master blade with Mark V for backhand and Donic JP gold for the forehand.I am thinking of buying a Stiga Pro carbon pre made .Do you think it is a better bat or at the same level.

  17. I have seen that KILLER 800 to be similar to Stiga Pro carbon. I am a 60+ player playing after 20+ years just to rekindle the passion for the sport.I am an offenceive player and push is my best defence on my backhand. As mentioned in my previous mail I am using Stiga master ply with Mark V BH and Donic gold JP on FB. Should I remain with it or change to Stiga Pro carbon or Killer 800
    Out of the the TWO which rubbers last longer Thanks in advance
    S K Manjunath

  18. Hi tom,

    I want to change my racket rubber but i d’ont know what is the best bh and fh rubber. Can you help me, i am a all around player.

  19. Hi Tom,

    I have been playing since 2 years at my office recreation. I am using GKI offensive XX bat since last 10 months.
    I have good control now with this bat, but i feel this a bit less spin and long range shots and loops are not fast enough to kill the ball. I have won few Tournament in my company. But my confusion is , i have participated few tournaments outside company, where TT board i felt a bit slow and lost few games easily. So i want to change my racket now.

    My backhand blocks are weak but forehand i do block easily , and forehand and backhand smash close to the board are good.

    I have planned to take Tibhar Carbot Shot blade with YASAKA mark V and Donic coppa Gold.

    Can you suggest me for my playing style which i should go for.

    • Hi Srikanta, thanks for message. It’s very difficult for me to suggest a playing style without seeing you play. If you can make a video of you playing and send to me and can take a look and suggest some areas of improvement.

  20. HI Tom,

    Thanks for replying.

    I want to go for Custom made racket.

    My forehand is good. I love to loop. I like to do back hand flicks.

    Currently i am using GKI offensive XX, which i feel a bit slow and less spin. I have to get a lot of power from the ground to get more speed with spin.

    Could you please suggest me , which blade and rubber i should go for.

  21. Hi Tom,
    How do I know if my level is beginner or intermediate? I used to play when I was in high school and sometimes in college at least 10+ years ago; not a lot, no competitive. Now I would like to pick up again. I got the both Palio Master 2 and Stiga Carbon Pro rackets per you suggested. Should I use the Palio Master 2 racket to practice on the technique for now?

    thank you
    Josie

    • By the way, I have 4 rackets total; I purchased 2 rackets years back when I was in college but did not use them often so they are still in good condition; one is Butterfly world champion Kong LingHui and the other one is Yasaka Sweden Mark V; both are premade. I can feel a little different on each of them; but would like your suggestion when should I use them so that I can improve my technique.

      • Hi Josie

        I think the Mark V, Palio Master 2 or Stiga Carbon Pro would all be suitable for the standard you describe. They are all of a similar quality. Which one should you use? I would go with the bat you like the feel of the most. If you find you play better with one bat compared to the others, then use that one.

        Tom

        • Thanks for replying, Tom.

          I like the feel of Mark V most. However, I saw that the red one is Mark V and the black one is Mark V M2. I don’t know the difference between two, which one should I use for FH and BH? I purchased this racket based on some experienced people I played with years ago, and I’m clueless about the rubbers.

          • Hi Josie

            Mark V M2 is a faster version on Mark V. With this set up, players typically use Mark V for BH and Mark V M2 for FH. But you should try out both sides for your FH and BH and see what option you like best.

            Tom

  22. Tom, this is an excellent article. I consider myself an intermediate player who relies on BH and alot of backspin via chop shots and side spin. I typically am a defense player and prefer to disrupt their game and play alot of spin and have quite a bit of control. Was wondering what your suggestion would be for a bat

  23. Hello
    I play tennis for 2 years.the first pallet Xiom solo and xiom musa.I trained and worked the palette 2-3 times a week.3 months ago change rubber with Nitaku renanos hold.Now my pallete its very good.I intend to change the wood for more litle speed and spin.My question : Nittaku Acoustic Carbon Inner large its good?I am diverse player but i like topspin.Thank you

    • Hi, I have not used the Nittaku Acoustic Carbon Inner blade, but it has a very good reputation and very good reviews. It’s a blade I’d like to try out for sure. If you do buy it, please let me know if you like it.

  24. hi Tom

    I have bought a new set up for my bat which is good.
    I am using Tibhar power G7 blade, Mark V and Hurricane 3 rubber.

    Thanks for all of your efforts for guiding us.

  25. Hi, Tom! I have no idea what level I am, I suspect an intermediate with maybe some talent for more, I only play with my close friends (who are all lawn tennis formes pros, they only play table tennis once a week or so) so I would be so grateful if you told me what kind of wood and rubber would you suggest for my style of play. This is a video on YouTube with me playing (the fat one with the glasses in the dark t-shirt): https://youtu.be/7yUouTZ71Zw

    • Hi Peter. Thanks for sharing the video. It looks like you have some decent shots. From what I could see from the video it looks like you play quite a flat hitting game. So you need to think if you want to keep with this playing style. If you do, then the Stiga Allround Classic bat mentioned in the article could work for you. Or if you want to go for a custom set-up, the Mark V rubber and Yasaka or Stiga blade should work well. But if you want to develop a topspin style game, I’d recommend going for Butterfly rubbers and blade or even the Palio Legend bat. Hope this helps. And keep playing. You have some skills!

      • Very interesting observations, thank you very much for your answer, Tom! Yes, I think I want to add topspin style shots to my game, yes, I’ve been told that my quick flat shots really bother some experienced opponents and are trickier than they seem, as I can sometimes move very fast when I execute them (in spite of my 94 kg weight 🙂 ) and have a very long arm span for my height (1,92 meter arm span to 1,79 height). In your expert opinion, will a new (Palio Legend type bat and rubbers) affect my beloved fast flat shots? I mean, is this only a welcomed addition or I have to change everything and adapt from zero?

        • Hi Peter, you could try the Palio Legend. I coach a flat hitting player and he used this bat quite successfully for a while. And it’s not too expensive. So if you don’t get on with it, then you won’t have wasted much money.

      • I think it is a useful info to consider I now use an Avallo AVX-V1 wood/bat with Palio CJ 8000 Extreme Speed rubbers. Not too spinny but quite fast. I also own a lightning fast top of the line Donic Schildkroet Carbotec (100 percent carbon bat) with the same rubbers but some of my regular partners won’t let me use it against them as they say I have to use a bat with some percent wood because some regulations say so. I think that’s not too fair as lawn tennis rackets have no restrictions to the materials used (and I am also a lawn tennis lover, although I like table tennis more).

  26. I read your blog and found very useful information here, but I’m still confused about what should I buy. Recently I’m using ‘GKI Euro Star.’ This bat provide me a very good spin. But I want to improve my game and spin is my strong point. So can you please guide me which bat should I buy? I’m a defensive player but also a player that uses a lot of spin. Thanks in advance.

    • You could try any of the bats I recommend in the blog post. Maybe you should try the Palio Legend in the fist instance? This will be faster than the bat you are using at the moment, but you will be able to generate a lot of spin.

  27. Interesting read.
    I used to play back in the early 80’s at what I would say was intermediate level and recently started playing again at work.
    Have tried all sorts of pre made bats and one custom one but still yet to find the right one.
    I would say my play is leaning towards the defensive side but happy to switch it depending on the opponent style.
    My old 80’s bats still play best for me even though they are slow and the rubber probably really degraded by now.
    These were both Dunlop pre made bats, not the crap they sell these days, with Yasaka rubbers.
    The sponge on these rubbers was always quite thick and soft but no idea if this is still replicable and legal these days if I progress to competitive play. I know the old bats are red rubbers both sides so that’s out for a start. Old bats were Dunlop Spin Master and Spinner.
    New bats I have tried are, Palio Expert and Master, DHS A4002 and a custom bat with Palio blade and rubbers I can’t recall but it is say to bouncy and I can’t control it.
    Best one so far out of these has been the DHS but I still play better with my old Spin Master.
    Any ideas ?

  28. Hi Tom

    I’m in desperate help here. I’m a player with Intermediate skill level and I’m currently using a DHS bat. A red Hurricane 8 for my forehand and a black Tin Arc for my backhand. I recently bought a custom bat because I have been using my current bat for a year now and bought the Zhang Zike T5000. What rubber would you recommend for the blade at Intermediate skiIl level?

    • Hi Alex, did you like playing with Hurricane 8 and Tin Arc? If you are used to these rubbers, you could simply put on your new blade. They are decent rubbers. Or are you looking for something completely different?

  29. Hi Tom,

    I would like to go for a combination of Yasaka Mark V (for the forehand) with a slower rubber for backhand (for all-round play). Can you suggest an appropriate rubber. Something like a Phantom D13 I used years back.

    thankyou very much

    • Hi, you should take a look at Butterfly Tackiness Drive. I used this for a couple of years. It is a good backhand rubber if you want something a bit slower and easy to control.

  30. Hi Tom!

    I have been playing TT since childhood but with no proper training, I prefer to do offense thru longshots with my FH, and block/chop with by BH, i still consider myself always new to this sport since there are still many things to be learned, im currently using a dunlop premade racket though i can no longer remember its exact name, now im planning to buy a premade or customized racket, any suggestions for my offensive FH and defensive BH style? Im also accustomed now to a heavier racket, my friend let me used his racket which is lighter and it really ruined my game.

    Hope that you can guide me 🙂

    Thank you!

    • Hi, my advice to you is to try out different player’s rackets. It’s likely that any new custom made bat will feel very different to your Dunlop pre-made bat. So ask other players if you can hit with their racket for a few minutes and you’ll soon get an idea of what you do and don’t like.

  31. HI, I am using Yasaka Mark V for both side and the blade is Stiga All round Clasic.
    Regularly I changed the rubber to Yasaka mark V only. But I want to change it the rubber .
    So can you please suggest me which will be the best rubber for me.

    playing style :I use topspin & shots from forhand.
    Backhand most of the time I use chop , slow topspin & push.
    I use to play attacking shorts from forhand most of the times.

    So can you please suggest me which rubber will be best for me in FH and BH rubber

    • Hi Bobby

      It might be worh sticking with Mark V on your backhand. This is a good rubber for mixing pushes and some slow topspin. For your forehand, you could try either Butterfly Rozena or Tibhar Evolution EL-S. These will allow you to generate more topspin with your forehand strokes.

  32. My daughter is playing TT for the last one year. She was using a STIGA NINZA ATTACK ready-made Racket. But now her coach says she should use a NITTAKU TESURA Blade with gki euro chelonz rubber (red) and tibhar aurus rubber (black). Kindly suggest what is good for someone who wants to have a good control, spin and medium fast in her game. Is the Nittaku Tesura blade good? What rubbers combine well with this blade? Please suggest.

    • I would follow the advice of your daughter’s coach. Your coach will have a better understanding of your daughter’s game than I will. The equipment the coach suggests seems appropriate for someone who has been playing for over a year.

      • Thank you so much Mr.Tom…always would need your valuable advice to see my daughter successful in this beautiful game of ping pong… Would love to know if the rubbers suggested by him are good enough…what worries me is the GKI rubber…How good is it?

        • The GKI Euro Chelonz rubber is ok – nothing spectacular. There are of course many better rubbers available. But I don’t want to contradict your daughter’s coach, as the coach may have recommended this rubber for a specific reason. I would give it a go – you can always switch to something else if it doesn’t work out.

          • Yeah you are very true…I have the option to change the GKI rubber if it doesnt work for her…for backhand he suggested Yinhe Moon Speed. So for the time being Isha my daughter will be using Nittaku Tesura Blade and these two rubbers and hope she does well.

  33. Hi Tom!

    Thank you for all of your support on table tennis.

    I have been playing TT on and off for many years but regularly for the last 15 months about 3 to 4 times a week. Many months ago I started playing with Tibhar Stratus power wood with Donic Baracuda 2.0 on both sides and my game really improved. I really like this setup but feel like I can go to the next level. There is so much to choose from and nothing to try Can you please suggest some blades and rubbers. My Ittf rating is around 1300. I love to play topspin and my backhand flick & smash is pretty powerful. I am more like an offensive player I tend to like lighter setup. Please advice.

    Thank you so much

  34. As a player develops is it a good idea to change blade and rubber at the same time?

    Which is more important to long term development blade or rubber?

    • I have always changed one element at a time. So same blade, but different rubber. I then have a better idea about how the new rubber is different to the old rubber. Both blade and rubber are very important. You need to get the right equipment to match your level and style of play.

  35. Hey Tom,
    I’m more or less just getting started in table tennis and I’m thinking about buying a Butterfly 603. Do you think this is a good choice? Also, about how long would a bat like this last until I need to replace it?

    • Hi Rhys – I usually recommend Palio Expert for beginner players. It has good control, but you can generate decent spin and speed. I don’t know too much about the Butterfly 603, but it seems to have decent reviews on Amazon, so may be ok. If you play once a week, you’ll probably need to replace after one year.

  36. Hi Tom
    Great site. Ive been playing for about 2 years now using a DHS A4002 for last year. Ive got good control and spin but now need a bit more spin at times. My main issue is i dont feel i can generate enough speed on my fast top spin flicks and smashes to finish my opponent when the oportunity arises. I was considering the Stigma pro carbon or evolution to improve speed but maintain spin. I know control will suffer initially until used to it. What complete bat would you recommend?

    Thanks
    Mick

    • Thanks Mick. If you want a bit more speed, you could try the Bribar Allround Professional or Palio Legend 2 (links above in the blog post). These may feel a bit different to the bat your are using. So you may have to play for a few weeks to really adjust to the rubbers and extra speed.

  37. Hi,
    What are your thoughts on chinese rubbers, like the friendship 729?
    Are they suitable for european players too?

  38. Hey. I have been playing since 10 years now. I played with a Waldner 1000 till 2 years ago. My game is pretty advanced now. Would you recommend the Donic Carbotec 20,50 or 900? Also Donic had the weight-management metal in my Waldner 1000.
    I loved my W 1000 but should I make a jump to Stag or GKI or the MOST trusted Stag?
    My budget is around $50-70 for a bat with a blade.
    Do help!!

  39. Hi Tom,

    Love your videos. Need your input on new bat and rubbers.

    Used to play about 25-35 years ago with Stiga Bengtsen and Johansson blades with Yasaka Mark V and 729 Friendship rubbers.

    Got back into TT recently. Noticed players are using a new ball and playing with some new techniques. I put new 2.0 rubbers on the Johansson blade – Donic Big Slam Bluestorm (red, FH) and Donic Barracuda (black, BH). Played with an intermediate level player last weekend – had a hard time reading and returning sidespin serves. Issues are limited practice time and poor technique. My smashes and spinny serves were good.

    I want to buy a modern blade with new rubber. My playing style: close to the table, spinny serves, bh and fh smashes, a few loops, some pushes to receive short serves, lots of bh and fh flicks, chop blocks, varied placement, third ball setup/attack and fifth ball attack, etc. I am starting to fh loop more, but poor footwork so far. What would you recommend for blade and rubbers (fh and bh)?

    Appreciate your considered response.

    Miles

    • Hi Miles – Actually you have chosen two pretty good Donic rubbers. It might be worth persevering with this set-up for a little longer? What do you like / dislike about the rubbers / blade you are using? Do you want more/less spin, speed, control? If you can give me a little more information I can make a recommendation for you.

      • Hello Tom,

        I appreciate the reply.

        To answer your questions, I wanted to try a new blade that would be a bit faster than my two Stiga wood blades (30+ years old but still look great). I have done quite a bit of reading since I wrote to you. I think I would like the blade/rubber combination to fall in the following order (more to less) – spin, speed, control.

        I think I don’t want a carbon blade (a bit too fast with a corresponding lack of control?) but I would be open to a carbon blade suggestion from you. How about one of these: Timo Boll Allround / Timo Boll Spirit / NIttaku Acoustic?

        Rubber-wise, I would like spinny rubbers because of the new bigger ball. I know I have to improve my technique but it seems harder to impart significant spin with the new balls. What do you think of the Yasaka Rakza 7 / Xiom Vega Pro / Friendship 729 for my backhand and the DHS Neo Hurricane 3 / Donic Bluefire M3 / Tibhar Evolution MX-P / Stiga Mantra H for my forehand?

        I got the above choices from the various responses you gave to other players. But, please don’t limit yourself to my suggestions. Just a reminder, I am a hard flat hitter but am enjoying looping more and more.

        I will keep the Stiga blade with the Donic rubbers as a backup.

        Thank you, and apologies for the long inquiries.

        Miles

        • Hi Miles

          I have another blade suggestion for you. You could try the Joola Fever blade. This is a carbon blade, but it is very controllable. For backhand either Rakza 7 or Xiom Vega Pro would be very good choices. For forehand, I really like Tibhar Evolution MXP, or you could try a new rubber from Joola (Rhyzer 48 or 50). I’m using Rhyzer 48 at the moment and it’s great for spinning the 40+ balls.

          Tom

  40. Thanks Tom!

    I will check out the blade and rubbers that you suggested. If I get any of those, then I will send you some feedback on my experience.

    Much appreciated,

    Miles

  41. Hello Tom

    My daughter 12 years of age has picked up her game very nicely in last six months using Palio Expert 2 Racket.
    Her Fore-hand Counter & Topspins are very strong. Back Hand Counter is also good. Yet to learn Back Hand Topspin.

    Rubbers of her bat are now coming out of sponge and I will like to replace these Rubbers. Which rubbers you recommend to put on the Blade of Palio Expert 2 to make the racket even better and improve her game further.

    Nitin Jain

    • I’m coaching a few players who have progressed from the Palio Expert to the Bribar Allround Professional. This is a bit spinnier and faster than Palio Expert, but still easy to control. You could either buy the complete bat or if you just wanted rubbers, then buy two sheets of Joola Zack.

  42. Hey ,
    This is Yash Vyas .

    I am an state level player and recently had yasaka mark V on both the sides and a joola carbon blade. I want to upgrade my racket but dont want to spend a lot as well like the blades and rackets recommended by u for advance players.

    I play a lot of top spin shots in the forehand and want something like an all rounder in the back hand with control spin and a bit of power. The blade must be easy to control.

    Can u plz recomend me which rubber and blade to buy.

    Plz reply asap. 😀

    • Hi, you could just keep the same blade and change the rubbers. This way you still have a controllable blade an something you are familiar with. For rubbers, you could try Xiom Vega Pro on both sides. Maybe get a thicker sponge for FH and a thinner sponge for BH.

  43. hi tom! i love your youtube channel! my question is, which chinese brand & model of blade & rubbers do you prefer for an intermediatish player (playing almost everyday for 6mos.) I like to attack on third ball and return winners (ultra aggresive haha) I prefer chinese brand since they are more cheaper and I’m Asian.. more power to you tom & your channel!! thank you..

  44. Hi Tom
    After many years away from playing I returned this summer with a stiga energy bat with power LT on both sides. I play to a good standard. I feel good on my backhand, generate good speed and topspin but retain great control for blocking, however on my forehand I don’t get the pace and spin I would like, I also serve with my forehand and get average spin on the ball.
    With only just returning I feel I need the control but looking for more spin. I do have a good technique. I was thinking about keeping the LT on my backhand but trying a tenergy 05fx on the forehand, would change the blade if necessary too.
    Thanks.
    Stevie

  45. Hi Tom,
    I’ve been playing for years socially with cheap bats but I’ve now joined a club to play more seriously. Do you think it would be too much of a step up for me to buy a ‘Bribar Allround Professional’ or ‘Stiga Allround’ please? I like the idea of buying a ‘proper’ blade that will last me for longer than a ready-made bat…
    Thank you!
    Andy

    • Hi Andy, if you have joined a club and playing a bit more seriously, it’s probably a good time to get a better bat. Both the Stiga and the Bribar bat have good control, so hopefully the switch will be ok for you. The Stiga bat is a little slower and the Bribar bat a little faster. So it depends on your playing style. If you want to play with more speed and spin, go with Bribar Allround Professional. If you play with a bit more safety, then maybe Stiga Allround is the better option. but both are good bats.

  46. Hi Tom

    An older player, I have been playing lower league table tennis for about 10 years now. I have a preference for anatomic handle and have bought Stiga consistently. At first Revtech 4 star with ACS and tube and EVO rubbers, but since they stopped making it, a couple of Stiga Virtue S4 but switched to a Premium 5 star bat as this is slightly lighter and I have a hunch it might suit me better). I now see the Premium has been discontinued, and Stiga no longer make an anatomic handle bat at all, so once my current bat has worn out I don’t know where to turn.

    In addition, my game has relied a lot on spin, with very spinny serves, backhand chopped drives and a good forehand smash, but as I have progressed I am finding I need to develop a new game with something more than chop, which more experienced players have little trouble with. I would miss the power and capability of the bats I have had but a little extra control might be helpful.

    I’d like your suggestion about an anatomic factory bat, or else blade and rubber combination that could help me evolve. If you have any comments on my choices, feel free.

    Thanks

    Si on

  47. Hi Tom
    I have been playing league table tennis for about 3 years now. My first bat was a Palio master which I found I could not keep the ball on the table. On advice I then purchased a Stiga all round legend which was much better. This year I have returned to using the Palio and have been playing well with it but the rubbers are now 3 years old. What would you suggest to replace the rubbers with or would it be better to upgrade the bat to the legend.

    • Hi David – if you have been playing well with Palio Master, you could simply buy the same again. the Palio Legend is faster than the Master, so only switch to this if you really want to have more speed. Otherwise stick with the Palio Master.

  48. Thank you Tom for your reply. Could I replace the rubbers on my master if so what rubbers would be best.

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