Heavy vs Light? Ping Pong Paddle Weight and Why it Matters

If you’re looking to buy a ping pong paddle, then you’ll need to consider how much it weighs and whether you will be better to suited to a heavy one or a lighter one. In this article I’ll explain how the weight of a paddle influences the speed and control of your playing so you know exactly where to go from here.

The Quick Answer

Heavier ping pong paddles offer more power and speed than lighter paddles which will offer better control. Heavier paddles are usually favoured by offensive players who like to stand farther from the table, whilst lighter paddles are good for counter-attacking players who stand closer to the table.

Ping Pong Paddle Weight

Most ping pong paddles weight between 5.3 oz and 7.0 oz (150 g and 200 g). The blade of the paddle makes up for most of the weight, with the majority weighing somewhere between 2.1oz and 3.35oz (60 gand 95 g). Light blades are usually under 80 g, and heavy blades over 90 g, with the 80-90 g range being considered pretty middle of the range.

There are two main types of material that can be used to make a blade: wood and carbon fibre. Wood blades are heavier than carbon fibre, and the most commonly used by beginner and intermediate players.

You also need to understand the structure of the blade. It usually consists of either 5 or 7 layers, and the blade will be referred to as a 5-ply or 7-ply blade. Some blades will have all the layers consisting of wood, and others will have some carbon fibre as well. A common blend is 5-layers of wood with 2-layers of carbon fibre.

It probably goes without saying, but a 5-ply blade is going to be lighter than a 7-ply blade as long as it’s made from the same material.

Heavy vs Light Blades

Now let’s talk about the difference between heavy and light blades if we were to keep every other variable the same e.g. material type and stiffness.

Heavy blades offer more speed but less control than lighter blades. The extra weight of the heavy blade allows you to create more powerful shots when using the same level of effort compared to a lighter blades. Light blades are easier to control and more reactive.

  • Light blades are often favoured by defensive players who play close to the table
  • Heavier blades are often preferred by offensive players who play further back from the table

The extra weight of the heavy blade makes you slightly slower to react, which is why players who stand close to the table often prefer a lighter blade as it’s a bit more reactive. Players who stand further back typically favour offensive and powerful styles of play, so the extra weight of the blade will be useful to them.

Heavy BladeLight Blade
Slower reactionsQuicker reactions
More power and speedLess power and speed
Good for when stood further from the tableGood for playing close to the table
Good for offensive stylesGood for counter attacking and defensive styles
Heavy vs light ping pong blades

Check out my article on blade weight and why it matters to learn more about the topic.

Weight is Only One Piece of the Puzzle

The problem with just considering the weight of the blade is that you forget about all the other factors which affect how the paddle feels and responds to the ball. The discussion above really only applies if all other variables are kept the same.

Take the JOOLA blade range for example. Here’s a table to show you some of their different blades and their weight, speed and control ratings.

Air Fibre609360
Classic All808896
Black Rose9210068

If you look at the table you’ll notice that their lightest blade (Air Fibre) has the highest speed and lowest control rating. Whereas, the much heavier Classic All blade has a lower speed rating and higher control rating.

Well that surely just disregards everything we’ve just spoken about blade weight then? Well no, not exactly. It just highlights the fact that other factors influence the speed and control of the paddle just as much, if not more in some cases than the blade weight.

You should also consider the following:

  • Hardness and stiffness
  • Other components (rubber and sponge)
  • Overall weight and percentage composition

Hardness and Stiffness

So in the JOOLA blade comparison above, you’ll notice that the Air Fibre blade is very fast but has low control. This is because the blade consists of carbon fibre. Carbon fibre is lighter than wood, but is harder and stiffer so feels “faster” to play with.

The lightness of carbon fibre makes it easy to react to shots, and the stiffness means the shots are still powerful. If you were to have a heavier (thicker) piece of carbon fibre, it would be a bit less reactive but more powerful. The issue with carbon fibre is that it doesn’t feel very responsive.

When using a stiffer blade, you won’t feel the vibrations as much when you strike the ball, this means that it can be hard to control for some players because they can’t really get a feel for the shots. That’s why whenever a player is learning a new technique it’s much better to use a wood blade which is more flexible and has more “feeling” so you can master it before adding power with a carbon fibre blade.

I’ve written a complete comparison between carbon and wood blades that includes all the pros and cons.

It’s worth noting that thicker (and heavier) blades, if they are made out of the same material will also tend to be stiffer and lose this level of feeling as a compromise to adding more power.

I’ve written a comparison of hard and soft rubber and blades, so check it out to understand more about why this is so important.

Other Components

I won’t go into much detail here because I’ve written another article on it, but the type of rubber and sponge (and the thickness and hardness of the materials) also influences the speed and control you’ll achieve. Check out my article on the different types of ping pong paddles to learn more about this.

Overall Weight and Percentage Composition

We’ve mainly talked about blades so far when comparing heavy and light ping pong paddles and how it affects the speed and control. However, the paddle is made up of 3 main components: the blade, rubber and sponge.

So if you were to get 2 paddles which both weighed 150 g, you could get one which had a wood blade which made up 70 g of that weight, and another which made up 95 g of that weight. These two paddles would play very differently because the composition.

Take the first paddle which has a 70g blade and more rubber and sponge. The light blade will be less powerful but offer more control than the heavier blade. However, the thicker (and heavier) rubber and sponge will create more power but offer less control. The overall effects are similar, but the paddle will still play differently because the characteristics of each material are different. For example, thicker rubber will offer more spin.

That’s why it’s really important to consider all the different factors when choosing what ping pong paddle to go for. Make sure you check out my guide to the different paddle types to get a clear idea of the bigger picture.

Game and Entertain

Hey, I'm Heather, the owner and creator of gameandentertain.com. I made this website to help you learn more about setting up a home entertainment and games room. My favourite games are ping pong, darts and pool, but I also have experience in other games which I aim to share using this website.

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