5 Best Ping Pong Paddles for Intermediate Players – Get the Best Results!

Our analysis of the top-scoring ping pong paddles with great construction and performance ratings, best suited for intermediate players.
By
reviewed
Reviewed by
Last updatedLast updated: July 01, 2021
PingPongAcademy is reader-supported. We may earn a commission through products purchased using links on this page. Learn more about our process here
PingPongAcademy is reader-supported. We may earn a commission through products purchased using links on this page. Learn more about our process here

Ping-Pong is a great hobby, but it is important to have the right paddle. You may think that all ping pong paddles are the same, but this is not the case. Not all paddles offer the same results and the wrong choice could compromise your game.

In our quest to find the best ping pong paddle for intermediate players, we have assessed the blade construction, which can not only impact spin, but also control. We also looked at the handle and grip, which can affect comfort and playing style. Finally, we considered the performance ratings.

Top 5 Ping Pong Paddles for Intermediate Players Review 2021

1.

STIGA SupremeEditor’s Choice

Features
  • Speed: 90
  • Spin: 92
  • Control: 89
  • Construction: 6-ply extra light blade, 2mm sponge, future inverted rubber, Italian composite handle
  • Weight: 4.6 oz.

Other features: features STIGA ACS for control and speed; ITTF approved rubber

When you’re looking for the best ping pong paddles for intermediate players, the STIGA Supreme is well worth your attention. This is an excellent racket for players that focus on defence and control and this is why it’s our editor’s choice. This is a light racket, it only weighs 140g because it’s constructed with six light layers of wood and it uses Crystal Tech and Tube technology. If you enjoy playing closer to the table this racket is an ideal fit for your quicker playing style.

The rubber used on the surface of the STIGA Supreme may not be the best quality. But, it can still generate some useful amounts of spin when you serve which will be more than adequate for intermediate players. This Future Rubber surface has been designed for superior control so you won’t get a good reaction to incoming spin. This will allow the player to return more balls to the surface of the table during the course of a game.

The STIGA Supreme may not be the fastest ping pong paddle on our list but it’s a great beginner paddle and it will suit intermediate players too. If you’re not sure about the hobby and you don’t want to invest too much money this is an ideal paddle to get started. STIGA have used some technologies on the Supreme that you only find on higher end paddles in their range. So, the build quality is excellent and you will get consistent results when playing.

What we liked:

The affordability

What could be better:

The quality of the rubber

2.

Killerspin JET 600Upgrade Pick

Features
  • Speed: 80
  • Spin: 90
  • Control: 85
  • Construction: Nitrx-4Z rubber, 5-ply wood blade, 6.0mm lightweight thickness
  • Weight: 8.8 oz.

Other features: ITTF approved rubber, сomes with a 30-day warranty

The Killerspin JET 600 is a little on the expensive side for a total beginner, but it’s an excellent paddle for an intermediate to advanced player. We chose this paddle as our upgrade pick because it’s faster that many of its peers and yet you still have a surprising level of control. Once you get used to the speed of this paddle it’s likely that your playing will improve significantly and you will probably start to win more matches.

This paddle uses the same rubber compound that you find on some of the high end Killerspin paddles. This is a Nitrx-42 rubber compound approved by the ITTF and it can really be a game changer when it comes to generating spin. If you ever wanted to improve your forehand loops you will be interested in this paddle. Executing a forehand loop is easier, you can have more control and your opponent will find your serves harder to return.

The Killerspin JET 600 does lack speed because only five layers of lower grade wood are used in the construction. The paddle blade is quite flexible so much of the ball energy is absorbed which makes the ball slower. But, speed is only part of the game and the enhanced control and spin characteristics may be worth the tradeoff. If you enjoy playing with a defensive style you’re likely to enjoy this paddle.

What we liked:

Offers great control

What could be better:

Could offer more spin

3.

JOOLA Omega StrataBest Control

Features
  • Speed: 90
  • Spin: 93
  • Control: 91
  • Construction: 5-ply real wood combination of Koto, Ayous and Kiri; Pips-in Riff 34 rubber, 2.0mm sponge
  • Weight: 5.7 oz.

Other features: for offensive players

JOOLA is a well known manufacturer of ping pong paddles. They have been in business for over 60 years and they sponsor some of the largest tournaments. So, when you see a JOOLA paddle like the Omega Strata, it’s worth your consideration. This is a paddle that meets all the expectations of an intermediate player that wants to take the next step up. The Omega Strata has five plies, but they are real high-quality wood, which makes this paddle easy to control and durable.

The JOOLA Omega Strata is coated with a thick 2” sponge and Torrent 33 table tennis rubber. The paddle is light and well balanced for both offensive and defensive minded players. The paddle coating will help players to generate more spin on the ball without sacrificing control. The handle is flared which gives players a comfortable grip to return shots and it’s possible to get good top spin. This is a great paddle for any recreational player that wants to move up to tournament play.

What we liked:

Affordable and well made

What could be better:

Could offer more spin

4.

Idoraz Ping Pong PaddleBest Speed

Features
  • Speed: 99
  • Spin: 93
  • Control: 90
  • Construction: 5-ply blade, 00mm rubber, flared handle,
  • Weight: 6 oz.

Other features: ITTF approved rubber, 30 days guarantee

The Idoraz Ping Pong Paddle is a very popular option found on Amazon and other sources online. Idoraz isn’t the best-known brand, but they have surprised many ping pong enthusiasts by supplying a good quality package at an affordable price. This paddle has a blade with five layers of decent quality wood for durability. The blade is stiff enough to allow a good player to generate a reasonable amount of spin and speed. The paddle is coated on both sides with a 2mm thick layer of ITTF approved rubber. This means that you can even use this paddle for basic tournament play.

The flared handle feels comfortable and you won’t feel like it will slip easily out of your hand during play. This paddle is probably a little fast for an absolute beginner, but if you’ve outgrown your starter paddle it’s a great upgrade for intermediate play. Idoraz have included a good quality carrying case with this paddle to keep it safe when travelling. If you have a limited budget and you want to get more out of table tennis as a hobby this is a good investment. And, if you’re not satisfied, Idoraz has a 30-day guarantee to send it back if you’re not delighted with your purchase.

What we liked:

Supplied with a really nice case

What could be better:

It is a little heavy

RELATED: 8 Best Ping Pong Paddles under $100: Perfect Grip and Speed
5.

Gambler 2X Carbon FlexBest Value

Features
  • Speed: 89
  • Spin: 94
  • Control: 88
  • Construction: 5 ply Limba and Ayous + 2 layers of soft carbon blade, Gambler soft rubber
  • Weight: 6.2 oz.

Other features: ITTF/USATT approved rubber, includes a single Gambler Competitor paddle cover

The Gambler 2x Carbon Flex is a ping pong paddle made with high quality five ply Kukui and Limba wood with an extra two layers of soft carbon for good measure. The wood provides the rigidity and durability and the carbon layers enhance the power for quick serves and returns. This paddle has professionally glued rubbers that you can replace when the surfaces become worn and these are available online. The rubber surfaces are ITTF and USATT approved which means that you can use this paddle in national and international tournaments.

The weight of the paddle is 176g which definitely places it at the lighter end of the scale. The paddle is assembled by hand in the USA with a red and black side and the edge tape. The sponge thickness is 2mm and the mild rubber tackiness makes this a great paddle for attack minded players. The real secret weapon of this paddle are the two carbon layers which make it feel fast and stable with no loss of power. This is a very affordable paddle with a lot of features and this is why it is our best value pick. Replacement rubbers are only $12 each which makes this a paddle a good long-term investment for beginners that want to move up to intermediate play.

What we liked:

Superb construction

What could be better:

The handle is a little short

Things to Consider

With so many ping pong paddles on the market, it can be tricky to choose the right one for you. So, here we’ve compiled a list of things to consider to help you make your purchase decision.

What makes a ping pong paddle great for an intermediate player?

5 Best Ping Pong Paddles for Intermediate Players - Get the Best Results!

Before you can choose a paddle, you need to understand the type of player that you are and how you want your game to develop in the near future. As a beginner, you need a paddle that is consistent and controllable as you learn the fundamentals and develop your stroke technique. The speed and spin are priorities as you move up to intermediate play where you can try out new techniques and moves to win games. At this stage, it’s crucial to build up your speed and learn how to put some spin on the ball to win serves and deliver devastating returns. Advanced players will want to invest more into a paddle that can handle their playing style. This is usually a heavier paddle that can deliver more speed and spin if you’re attack minded. A defensive player at this level may stick with a lighter and more comfortable paddle that allows them to block shots easily and chop at the ball.

How to choose the best ping pong paddle for intermediate players

As you can see from our list there are many ping pong padded such as the STIGA Supreme which are well suited to intermediate play. So, it’s hard to choose the ideal paddle to meet your needs. But, the process can be easier if you consider these three main characteristics and how they will affect your playing style:

1. Control

The paddle design will determine the amount of control that you can exercise over the ball. Typically there is a tradeoff between the speed, spin and control that you can have when playing. If you have more control you can expect less spin and speed. A new player needs a paddle with more control and the speed and spin can come later.

2. Speed

The paddle design can allow you to hit the ball slow or fast depending on the thickness and type of rubber used to cover the blade. Generally speaking, thinner layers of rubber slow the ball down and thicker creates more speed.

3. Spin

Spin is similar to speed, the rubber covering thickness will affect the amount of spin that you can place on the ball. If the rubber is thicker you can generate more spin. To put this into some perspective a beginner should get a paddle with a rubber thickness of 1.5mm at most. An intermediate player can go with a rubber thickness of 2mm and advanced players can stick with that or more.

Performance ratings

As you can see, the speed, spin and control specifications are important and you may find a score on a paddle that you’re interested in purchasing. But, there is no standard scoring system and the figures supplied by one manufacturer may not be relevant to another. So, comparing paddles made by different manufacturers is pretty much impossible based on the scores provided by those companies.

It’s a better idea to compare the specification of the paddles rather than the scores. Look at the composition of the blade, the rubber thickness, the weight and the shape of the handle.
Take some time to read some reviews to see how the paddles work for other players at a similar level to your own. The number of plies of material used and the composition will all affect how the paddle performs. From our list, the Killerjet 600 for newer players that need more control and the Gambler 2x Carbon Flex is a good option for beginner and intermediate players that favor an attack playing style.

Size and weight

A lighter paddle is easier to control, but if you want speed, you’re going to want a heavier paddle. Many intermediate players have a paddle which sits somewhere in the middle. The shape is also important, you need a handle that’s comfortable to hold in your hand without a risk of slipping.

Construction materials

Most paddles are made from layers of wood with a covering of rubber foam and rubber. The best competitive paddles are made with 85% wood which makes them a little heavier than an entry level paddle. This makes the paddle easier to control which is an important factor when playing at any level. The rubber covering is also important and the grip or “tackiness” of the surface will determine how you spìn the ball. The surface may be textured with waffling, pimples or dimples to make the ball stick to rubber briefly to enhance the control characteristics. This is especially useful for defensive players that need the extra traction to match their playing style. The thickness of the rubber sponge is an important factor because it will affect the speed of your return. Choosing a thicker rubber sponge will add weight to the paddle, but you will be able to hit the ball faster. A thinner sponge will make the ball slower; this is ideal if you want more control. The easiest way to remember this is that thick sponge is for attack and thin sponge is for defense.

Type of rubber

5 Best Ping Pong Paddles for Intermediate Players - Get the Best Results!

The type of rubber used is also important, some materials such as the Torrent 33 rubber used on the JOOLA Omega Strata are approved for tournament play which may be an important factor for intermediate players. As your play style improves you may want a surface with more “tackiness” to place more spin on the ball.

Grip and blade style

The paddle blade is usually made with 5-9 layers of wood or other materials, including: carbon and titanium carbon. The number of plies or layers used will make the blade stiffer and if carbon materials are used, they can add stiffness without making the paddle heavier. If the blade is rigid more energy is transferred to the ball from faster speeds and the opposite is true. There are three main types of handles, they are: straight, anatomic and flared. A straight handle is the same width from the top to the bottom. An anatomic handle is wider at the middle of the handle to better fit your hand shape. The flared handle is thicker at the bottom which prevents it from slipping from your hand when playing. The flared handle is a good option, but as you progress you may favor one of the others.

Accessories

If you’re planning on travelling with your paddle for competitions you may want to invest in a case. This will protect your investment and an aluminum case with internal padding will be a durable choice.

FAQ

Yes, the design of a paddle makes a difference to the control and power you have over the ball.

The red side offers greater speed, while the black side puts greater spin on the ball.

Use a little warm water and soft kitchen sponge. Dampen the sponge and wipe the surface of the rubber gently. Avoid harsh scrubbing and if there is any buildup of dirt, simply allow the moisture to loosen it before you wipe it away.

Our Verdict

As you can see, there are some fantastic ping pong paddles on the market. From the well balanced JOOLA Omega Strata with its thick sponge and light feel to the Killerspin JET 600 with its flexible paddle blade and five layers of wood. However, the stand out pick as the best ping pong paddle for intermediate players has to be our editor’s choice, the STIGA Supreme.

This impressive paddle has a focus on control and defense. It remains fairly lightweight, yet it has six layers of wood with Crystal Tech and Tube technology. Although this isn’t the fastest paddle, it is an excellent choice for beginners and intermediate players, while remaining budget friendly.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *