Learning how to make a ping pong paddle make seem like a tough job, especially if you’re not handy in the workshop, but here, you’ll find a simple, fast way to create your own custom paddle. So, what equipment do you need? What type of blade design should you choose? Read on to find out?
Making A Custom Paddle
If you have looked for the best ping pong paddle for your home setup and weren’t able to find a model that was right for you, then making your own paddle can be a great alternative.
If you’ve taken your home setup to the next level and decided to make a ping pong table on your own, then making your own paddle is the next step. Using a custom paddle can be a total gamechanger, allowing you to create paddles that are specifically tailored to your playing needs and your current skill level. Many people make the mistake of making paddles based on their playing goals, instead of their current skill level. This can result in a paddle that’s difficult for you to control.
A paddle consists of two main parts. The rubber located on the blade, which determines how the ball will travel, and the blade, which is the skeleton of the paddle. Putting together your own paddle is pretty simple and will allow you to create a paddle that’s perfect for your playing style and goals.
Standard paddles will come with the rubber and blade as a single assemble. These are designed for a specific style of grip and play. A custom paddle is made to a person’s preferences and specifications.
If you make your own paddle, you can choose a thick blade that’s paired with thin rubber, or a thin blade that’s paired with thick rubber. You can also shape the handle in the handshake or pen style.
Before you get started making one, you should know that there are some drawbacks to making your own paddle. First off, it can be more expensive to make your own paddle than it is to purchase a premade model. Next, you’ll need to ensure that the materials you use fall within the table tennis rules.
So, if you’re not willing to make your paddle an investment, then you may be better off purchasing a premade model that will suit your style and stick with that instead.
ITTF Approved Materials
If you want to make a model that’s ITTF compliant, then you’ll need to do your research. As an example, a blade must be made out of at least eighty-five percent wood. The rubber should not exceed a thickness of two millimeters including the adhesive and sponge used. The ITTF requires these specifications to prevent other players from having an unfair advantage.
Now, let’s look at each part of a standard paddle and learn what you can do to customize, while ensuring it’s still ITTF compliant.
A paddle blade is made out of several layers of plywood, typically three to seven layers. You’re not going to be able to make your own plywood, unless you own some advanced equipment. This means you’ll need to stick with prefabricated wood. The thickness of the wood will have a major impact on how the force is transferred from the paddle to the ball.
For executing trick shots and improved ball control, thinner plywood tends to work the best. This is due to the fact that it features more give and flexibility. If you’re planning on just batting a ball back and forth, then a lighter blade is a great choice.
Thicker blades will be a better choice for power players. If you use a thick paddle, then the odds are you’re a player that prefers to send the ball shooting across the table to your opponent at a speed that you don’t want your opponent to be able to see. This is very similar to the difference between a place hitter and a power hitter in baseball. If you’re looking for speed, then you want a blade that’s ¾ of an inch to one-inch thick.
Next, you’ll want to consider the rubber. The rubber consists of two separate pieces that are glued onto the blade. The purpose of the rubber is to transmit the energy from the player’s swing to the ball. If a poor quality rubber is used a paddle will not last long because of the thinness of the plywood, in addition to the constant stress the paddle will be under.
You’ll need to use two different rubbers, one for each side of the paddle. According to the rules, you’ll need the rubbers to be different colors; black and red. The red side is the side that imparts more speed, while the black rubber will produce more spin.
Pips are small protrusions that give the rubber texture. Some pips are short, others are long. The pips you choose should be based on your playing style. Next, consider how you want the rubber installed. Do you want the pips to face outward or inward?
Each rubber will have a smooth side and bumpy side. It’ll be up to you to choose which side you want to play with. Attach the side with the pips and you’ll play with the smooth side for improved spin, or attach the smooth side and you’ll play with the bumpy side. Some players will choose to have one side bumpy and the other side of the paddle smooth. There are many different combinations you can try.
If you’re playing with one or both sides with the pips out, then you’ll want to choose between short and long pips. Longer pips are used for better defense, in games where you’re countering back spin and top spin shots from an aggressive opponent. Short pips tend to play best of an offensive style, creating power and fast rebounds.
Making a paddle from scratch is possible, but most players prefer to choose a ready made blade and rubbers and go from there. Once you’ve chosen the rubbers and blade, you’ll need to pick out table tennis paddle glue. This type of glue is specifically designed for paddles. Do not use another type of glue since it will not hold properly.
To spread out the layer of glue, use a small sponge. Rubbers will be much more absorbent than you’d expect, so you may need to use two layers of glue. Make sure you allow the first layer of glue to dry before adding an additional layer. The glue should still be sticky to the touch. You’ll then apply the additional layer of glue and give it an hour to dry. If you don’t give the glue adequate amount of time then it’ll have a negative impact on how well the paddle holds together. You can add an additional layer of glue if needed.
While you wait for the glue to dry, remove any packaging dust off the blade, placing a thin layer of glue on it and allow it to dry. This should take thirty to sixty minutes, just as long as you don’t go overboard. Next, apply the glued rubber to the blade and ensure it attaches correctly. Next, use scissors to cut around the blade and make sure that the rubber perfectly matches the shape of the blade.
You’ll repeat this process for each side of the rubber. If you attempt to attach both at the same time it will be very difficult to cut them properly. Because of this, it’s much easier to do one side of the paddle at a time. Once both sides of the blade have been covered and the glue has had time to set, place the paddle on a flat surface and place a heavy object on top to help further compress it.
As you can see, making your own paddle isn’t as difficult as you may have initially thought. Once you become familiar with this process you’ll find yourself excited to try different blade and rubber designs and combinations, all of which can affect your hitting power and your overall performance.
Now that you know how to make a ping pong paddle, you can start creating your own paddles designed specifically for your playing needs. If you’re not sure which rubber and blade combo to go with, then I recommend going with a standard rubber and blade design so the paddle will not be too difficult to control. This will make your next playing experience a positive one and will show you how different it feels to hit with a paddle you’ve made yourself. So, be sure to start slow and simple, put together a custom paddle that’s designed to work with your current skill level, instead of your playing goals.