What is the difference between a light and a heavy blade?

Answer by: Stellan Bengtsson, Only player to have won singles, doubles and teams at both the Worlds and Europe Championships. 67 International singles, doubles and team titles. Coached Jorgen Persson, JO Waldner, Peter Karlsson and Erik Lindh, all World and Europe Champions.

          A lighter blade can give you more time to change from backhand to forehand. A top heavy blade will produce more topspin and can give more power.

 Answer by: Tahl Leibovitz, USATT National Coach and Paralympic Gold Medalist

In most cases you should always try and use the heaviest racket that you can.  When you have a heavier racket you can produce more spin and it is much easier to block.  However when you have a lighter racket you can move your hand faster. 

If you play close to the table, try and use a lighter racket. However, I would not recommend using any racket that is too light.

Answer by: Sara Fu, Texas Wesleyan University Team, 2011 NCTTA Women’s Singles Champion and Mixed Doubles Champion, Rated 2437.

With a light blade you will be able to move your paddle much quicker to get into position for shots. But you will get a much more solid shot with a heavier blade, you will just need more time to move your paddle because of the weight.

Answer by: Massimo Constantini, ICC Head Coach, ITTF High Performance Coach

 First of all a light blade is recommended for kids. They have small muscles, reduced body power, and over time a heavy blade would be deleterious for developing their own style of play. The player has to grow harmoniously.  

The blade is the extension of the hand. A heavy blade will give more power to the hand, forearm, arm, and shoulder. Obviously the player should develop the appropriate body power for the blade they use.

So the difference is simple and follows the law of physics. In case of equal acceleration the light blade will generate a certain power, and with a heavier blade the power will be greater.  

 Answer by: Samson Dubina, Rated 2461, 2009 US Men’s National Finalist

The weight difference is due to several factors:   the materials used, the head size, the number of plies, and the handle type.  If the blade has a hollow handle, it will be more top heavy.  If the blade has a solid handle, it will be more equally balanced from top to bottom.

 Generally, close-to-the-table players use light blades.  A light blade provides more racket speed and quickness for a good backhand/forehand transition.  Choppers and lobbers use heavy blades.  Because the distance player has more time to react to the ball, a heavy blade will provide more stability and consistency away from the table.

 Children under thirteen years old, beginners, and anyone with limited strength should use a light racket.  This will allow them to have good racket speed and develop proper strokes without battling fatigue. 

A light blade is 70-90 grams
A light blade is usually used for close-to-the-table attackers
A light blade is easier to swing at high speeds
A light blade is easier for beginners

 Answer by: Jasna Rather, Head Coach, Texas Wesleyan University Table Tennis Team

Heavier blades can create more power – it is similar to 100m sprinter – the mass of athlete will help sprinter to be faster and more powerful. Light blades are for safer styles of the game.

 Answer by: Scott Lurty, Rating 2328, SPIN New York Coach

Lighter blades are better for close to the table players who use quick wrist action. Someone who likes to drop off the table is going to prefer a heavier racket to get the extra power and speed behind their ball when they take a step or two back.