Weight vs. Balance

One of the main concerns of table tennis players when they buy a new blade is the weight, some like heavier blades and some prefer lighter blades. However, the balance of a blade can be just as, or even more important, than just the weight itself. The balance is determined by the center of gravity position (CG), which can be located more towards the head (higher) or more towards the handle (lower). A blade with a low CG will feel lighter in the hand than a blade of the same weight with a high CG. This is something I always discuss with the customer. Certain compositions are naturally heavier, moving the CG higher. That means that not a lot of weight is reserved for the handle if a determined weight is desired. This is where the choice of woods for the handle plays a big part, as the decision to hollow out the handle or not:

  • Solid handle with light wood -> Medium balance, medium weight

  • Solid handle with heavy wood -> Low balance, higher weight

  • Hollow handle with light wood -> Higher balance, lower weight

  • Hollow handle with heavy wood -> Low balance, medium weight

But what are the advantages and disadvantages?

Generally speaking, a lower balance allows a quicker acceleration of the wrist. So, players who use a lot of wrist movement in their shots will prefer to keep the balance towards the handle. Usually these players have quick and compact shots near the table. Conversely, players who prefer to play a little further away from the table and with bigger movements might prefer a higher balance, as this allows for more power generation due to the bigger momentum.