Learning how to hold a ping pong paddle requires knowing a few standard grips. If you find the right grip that works for you, you can potentially use that grip every time. Advanced players tend to use a few different ping pong paddle grips depending on strategy. You will learn three different ways to hold a ping pong paddle below.
- The Shakehands Grip. The Shakehands Grip earned its name because it looks like you are shaking hands with the ping pong paddle. Hold the paddle's handle with your palm facing you and wrap your fingers around it. Point your index finger along the base of the ping pong paddle. Do the same thing with your thumb along the base of the other side of the paddle. The side of your thumb should be touching the base of the paddle. Wrap the other fingers around the handle for support.
- The Penhold Grip. Wrap your thumb and index finger around the paddle handle where the handle meets the paddle itself. Touch the tips of these two fingers together. Keep the other fingers along the back side of the ping pong paddle—it should feel like you are holding a pen. The Penhold Grip gives you good flexibility in the wrists and allows you to add spin to your swing. Your hitting surface is the side of the ping pong paddle without the fingers. Only use this side for hitting the ball.
- The Seemiller Grip. Face your palm toward you and hold the ping pong paddle's handle with all your fingers. Just like the Shakehands Grip, you want to extend the index finger along the base of the paddle. Then, hook this finger around the paddle's edge. Wrap your thumb around the handle and let it meet up with your other fingers. Your thumb should point toward the table. This grip was invented by ping pong champion Danny Seemiller in the 1970s and it's very popular in the USA. If you want to know how to hold a ping pong paddle in a way that allows for a lot of blocking, this is your grip.
Now you know how to hold a ping pong paddle in three different ways. Some of these methods have a few variations. There are many videos online that will teach you more varied and advanced methods of holding ping pong paddles.