Grip Types in Table Tennis

An Introduction to Grips

Asian woman playing table tennis

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In high-level table tennis, there are two main grip types, the shake hands grip, and the penholder grip. Each of these two types has several variations, which we will look at in detail.

Besides the common ping-pong grip types, there are also several less commonly used grips, such as the Seemiller grip, V-grip, and pistol grip. Although these grips are not as common, especially at high levels, it is not always easy to say whether this is because the grips are inferior or just because they are relatively newer variations that have not got enough users to provide many top level players yet. After all, most shake hands or penholder players do not go on to elite play either, but this is not seen as a disadvantage of these grips.

I would recommend beginners start with a shaking hand or penholder grip, if for no other reason than it will be easier to get advice and coaching for these styles. The number of competent coaches of Seemiller, V-grip or pistol grip type players would be very few at present.

Shakehand Grips

Although there are many minor variations of the shake hand grip, the main two versions of this grip are known as the Shakehand Shallow Grip and the Shakehand Deep Grip.

Penhold Grips

There are also many variations of the penholder grip, with the main versions being the Traditional Chinese Grip, the Reverse Penhold Backhand (RPB) Chinese Grip, and the Japanese/Korean Grip.

Minor Grips