Kristian Karlsson: Ping Pong Player Profile, Equipment and World Ranking

Kristian Karlsson is well on his way to becoming a table tennis legend. It’s easy to see why he is ranked 18th in the world.
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Last updatedLast updated: January 11, 2023
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If you’re a fan of the fast-paced game of table tennis, then you undoubtedly know who Kristian Karlsson is! But aside from being the winner of the 2021 World Championships in men’s doubles, what do you really know about him? This post looks at this incredible player and his game style and shares his advice for aspiring players.

Biography

Kristian Karlsson: Ping Pong Player Profile, Equipment and World Ranking

Karlsson has been stacking up achievements at a variety of tournaments and championships. The most significant achievements of his career to date are highlighted below.

“Who is Kristian Karlsson” is a question many people started asking when he started rising through the ranks in 2011. To answer that question, we must take a few steps back. This growing legend was born on 6 August 1991 in Trollhattan, Sweden. He developed a keen interest in table tennis and started playing at the age of 8. His love and passion for the sport grew and saw him enduring 10 training sessions per week by the time he was 16. Interestingly, Karlsson is a left-handed player, making his achievements even more impressive, considering that there aren’t many left-handed players on the ATP and WTA World Tours.


2011 saw him sign with Halmstad BTK, where he rose through the ranks—quickly moving from outside the 400 ranked to 233rd position. By the end of 2012, he managed to increase his ranking to the 129th position. 2012 was an excellent year for this budding table tennis player as the year saw him achieve his first senior success. Achieving silver at the 2012 Table Tennis European Championships in men’s double was just the beginning of great things for the Swede.

World Table Tennis Championships

Tournament Men’s Doubles Men’s Team
2021 World Table Tennis Championship 1st place—Gold
2018 World Table Tennis Championships 3RD place—Bronze

European Table Tennis Championships

Tournament Men’s Singles Men’s Doubles Men’s Team
European Championships 2022 3rd place—Bronze

 

1st place—Gold
2019 ITTF European Championships 3rd place—Bronze
Liebherr 2018 ITTF European Championships 3rd place—Bronze 2nd place—Silver
2016 ITTF European Table Tennis Championships 3rd place—Bronze
2015 European Table Tennis Championships 3rd place—Bronze
2014 European Team Table Tennis Championships 3rd place—Bronze
2012 European Table Tennis Championships 2nd place—Silver

Game Style

Kristian Karlsson is well known for his offensive/attacking style of play. As the most prominent style of play, it encourages the player to initiate the first attack before their opponent can do so. Playing with this game style requires the player to have enough skill and tactics to convert the ball from control confrontation to topspin confrontation in each aspect of the game. Some of the advantages of this game style include the following:

  • Excellent serve and return game
  • Very quick—gives opponent little time to react
  • Allows for a smooth transition from forehand to backhand
  • Creates a good short game
  • Good forehand topspin against long under-spin balls

Part of improving his game involves using the right backhand rubbers. When you want to shortlist the options that will help improve your own game, our article, 6 best backhand rubbers, is well worth looking into.

Kristian Karlsson: Ping Pong Player Profile, Equipment and World Ranking

Teachers and Influences

While Karlsson has had numerous coaches over the years, he attributes much of his early success and foundational training to Ulf Carlsson and Fredrik Hakansson in Halmstad BTK Trusted Source Halmstad BTK – Table Tennis Media Halmstad, SwedenFounded in 1937CLUB NEWS Halmstad BTK is one of the Swedish clubs that has won several Swedish Pingisligan titles in its history, winning 4 of those since club’s foundation in 1937. tabletennis.media . He also emphasizes that implementing what you learn and continuously striving to improve yourself is key to achieving your goals.

Advice for Aspiring Players

In an interview with Expert Table Tennis Trusted Source Kristian Karlsson Interview: 424th to 133rd in 21 Months  In the interview, I ask Kristian about everything he’s learnt during his development and pick his brain for some top tips for recreating his rapid table tennis improvement. www.experttabletennis.com , Karlsson offered this advice to young, aspiring players:

My first piece of advice would be to play table tennis because you want to for yourself, not for anybody else. If you’re doing it for somebody else (parent, coach, etc), you’ll not be able to practice as well as you’d like or feel the happiness you deserve to feel. Secondly, my strongest piece of practice advice is that the tough training sessions are the ones that matter the most at the end of the day. The practices when you feel like everything works, it’s not very hard to fight in those sessions. Fight with yourself when things don’t feel so good, that’s key! Thirdly, believe in yourself. You are much better than you think, and you are capable of doing things you don’t even know of. Stay humble but never lose track of what you can do.”

Favorite Equipment

Kristian Karlsson: Ping Pong Player Profile, Equipment and World Ranking

As an attacking blade, this model of paddle offers a considerably soft and controlled feeling, especially at high speeds.

Karlsson has been using Butterfly equipment since 2015, and he attributes them to help him achieve his sporting goals. For the most part, he enjoys the Butterfly Tenergy 05, which is highly regarded in table tennis circles as being one of the best table tennis options to play with. Another one of the more common blades he enjoys playing with is the Korbel SK7. With the bulk of the weight concentrated in the handle, it means you can be assured of a well-balanced paddle. For an additional look at some other impressive paddle options, our article, 6 Best Ping Pong Paddle Cases, will prove to be an impressive read.

Additionally, the Butterfly Dignics 09C rubber is an equal favorite with Karlsson. With more elasticity, a uniquely composed top sheet, and strengthened abrasion, you can expect a higher level of bounce. As a player who wants a unique feeling of a friction rubber, it’s easy to see why it’s a firm favorite among players like Karlsson. With its impressive features, it’s easy to see why the Butterfly brand often makes it to the list of the best table tennis rubbers. 

Final Thoughts

With his impressive career far from over, it’s clear to see that Kristian Karlsson is well on his way to becoming a table tennis legend. With his determination and expert skill, it’s easy to see why he is ranked 18th in the world as of September 2022. Whether he is playing doubles or singles, this determined athlete is sure to continue raking up the wins and achievements!

References

1.
Halmstad BTK – Table Tennis Media
Halmstad, SwedenFounded in 1937CLUB NEWS Halmstad BTK is one of the Swedish clubs that has won several Swedish Pingisligan titles in its history, winning 4 of those since club’s foundation in 1937.
2.
Kristian Karlsson Interview: 424th to 133rd in 21 Months
 In the interview, I ask Kristian about everything he’s learnt during his development and pick his brain for some top tips for recreating his rapid table tennis improvement.
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