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When choosing a beginner racket for table tennis, there are several key elements to look for.
1. Surface - Choose a racket that has inverted rubber. It should have sponge that is about 1.5 mm with a pips-in topsheet that is slightly grippy.
2. Speed - The speed should be medium-low to allow for best ball control and stroke development.
3. Weight - The weight should be fairly light, especially for juniors.
4. Approved - For tournament use, the rubber must say “ITTF Approved”.
5. Type - For table tennis players under the 800 level, I would recommend using a pre-assembled racket. These rackets generally have the best control. For tournament-level players, a professional racket is preferred – but remember to purchase one with good control.
As a beginner, I made the mistake of choosing a very fast blade with extremely tacky rubber. This really hindered my progress. As I mentioned above, I would recommend starting slow and working up. I now use a Nittaku Ludeak Blade combined with Nittaku FastArc G-1 rubber.