Ping pong paddles – or table tennis bats when you get to this level! – can be surprisingly expensive. They can easily cost over $270 and the rubber pads will need to be changed regularly.
So just how much is the most expensive ping pong paddle?
Keep reading to become a luxury sports equipment connoisseur!
Ping Pong Versus Table Tennis
Is it ping pong or is it table tennis? Are they the same? Are they different? You need to know the answer to these questions before you can read about the minutiae of the sport!
Technically, table tennis and ping pong are the same game. The ‘proper’ title for the sport is table tennis as ‘ping pong’ is a trademark for a game version of table tennis. So, at least when you talk about equipment at the luxe end of a price range, you are more likely to use table tennis.
Most Expensive Table Tennis Bat
There is little competition here.
By far the most expensive table tennis bat is the Butterfly Zhang Jike Super ZLC. It is available from Megaspin in the US for $439.99. This is just for the wooden paddle – rubber pads not included!
The Zhang Jike Super is at the top of the range for a reason – it is the supreme offensive bat. The wooden fibers in this paddle are woven over 1.8 times, compared to other Zhang Jike ZL paddles.
This gives a much bigger ‘sweet spot’ on the paddle, meaning a greater surface area that the paddle will strike the ball perfectly.
Just A Gimmick?
With a price tag like that, it is hardly surprising that some people think this bat is a gimmick. But it seems that the Zhang Jike Super ZLC is actually worth that heft cost.
It may be that this paddle is not three times better than other good table tennis bats – the Timo Boll Spirit, for example, is an excellent piece of equipment and retails for a third of the price of the Zhang Jike.
Keep in mind that a sport like table tennis is reliant on the quality of the bat – can you put a price on sporting success? Reviews for the bat seem to agree, with many satisfied customers extolling the virtues of this wonderful bat.
For Ping Pong Newbies
If you are new to the wonderful world of table tennis, purchasing a high-quality bat like the Zhang Jike Super ZLC may not be at the top of your priority list. However, we think that this bat is going to help anyone improve their game.
The larger ‘sweet spot’ thanks to the dense wood fibers is going to greatly improve your accuracy and quickly improve your game. This increased accuracy will forgive any dodgy footwork or anticipation mistakes.
For High-Level Ping Pong Players
For those who have honed their table tennis skills, your game is definitely going to improve. The ease of play with this Zhang bat creates a more aggressive playing style. Any attack maneuvers are going to be truly devastating and your game is going to be revolutionized.
This bat is of such high quality that any complaints are few and far between. In fact, the only downside to this bat that we found is that you need to learn to compensate for the improved speed times due to your better gameplay.
We also found that short balls – or double-bounce serves – were also a little challenging to master. This is probably due to the density of the paddle materials. With a little practice, we found it easy to get to grips with the new properties of this bat – we know you will too!
Feel Of Play
We found that just a couple of shots with this bad boy was enough to get to understand how it works – mostly! This bat brings with it an astounding feeling of confidence with every stroke, probably because using this bat makes you untouchable at the tennis table board.
We love that the bat is available with three different handle types. This makes it easy to find your perfect grip, no matter your hand position preferences. The correct grip is important for the correct application of pressure and any micro-adjustments as you strike the ball.
If you are a more seasoned table tennis player, you are likely to be aware of your style of play. Use this guide to work out which handle of the Zhang Jike Super ZLC you need.
Straight handle: Go for the straight handle version if you are a defensive player who ‘chops’ the ball. The straight handle will give you more power and torque force as you move away from the table.
Those who favor a more attacking backhand strike should also opt for the straight handle version as you will be able to go from backhand to forehand quickly with no difficulties.
Remember that backhanded players do not need a lot of power, but the straight handle will allow you to generate enough speed and topspin for good table tennis play.
Flared handle: A flared handle will give you more grip and confidence for any strong forehand shots. This strong grip is of particular importance to those who identify as a forehand dominant table tennis player.
Anatomic handle: If you prefer to hit the ball on the bounce, you will benefit from an anatomic handle. This is because the handle will feel unique to everyone’s hand but will always fit into the palm – it is where on the palm it sits comfortably that differs amongst players.
You will be able to hit – and hit hard! – with the anatomic handle, but bear in mind that this will not suit every player. Someone who enjoys a good spinning shot will not benefit from this handle design.
Is It Worth The Price?
With this hefty price tag, it is not surprising that people question its value for money. So did we, before we had a go!
In short, it is absolutely worth it. For a new player, it will give a boost of confidence that is bound to keep you engaged with the game for a while to come. For more seasoned players, using this bat will elevate your game to another level.
This blade is definitely the best on the market as it combines dense fibers with different handle styles. This means that there is a large ‘sweet spot’ area and a handle to suit your playing style. You are going to be unbeatable with this bat.
It is also the first bat that we have tried that combines great power shots away from the table, and high spin closer to the table. This will allow you to combine multiple play styles in your game, something that your competitors will be unable to do.
If you still think that the price is a little unreasonable, think about what other people pay for hobby equipment. A pair of horse riding boots, for example,
are going to set you back a good few hundred dollars – and that’s before you budget for anything else!
We also found that the Butterfly Zhang Jike Super ZLC is a little slower which makes room for longer ‘thinking’ pauses between strikes. Want to get creative in your play? This is the bat for you.
Most Expensive Bat Rubber Pads
If you are spending all this money on the fantastic Butterfly Zhang Jike Super ZLC, it would be a shame to pair it with poor-quality batt rubbers.
We think that the Butterfly Tenergy pads are the best available and will compliment your bat beautifully. You will find that these rubber pads will smoothly transport the power of your swing from the bat, through the rubber, and into the ball for a perfectly smooth stroke every time.
The Butterfly Zhang Jike Super ZLC is the most expensive ping pong – or table tennis – paddle available on the market.
This bat is certainly worth its hefty price tag. The densely woven wood increases the perfect striking ‘sweet spot’ which guarantees a controlled but powerful contact with the ball every time.
We found that this bat improved our play greatly and cannot recommend it enough for both newbies and seasoned players. A novice ping pong player will find that this bat is very forgiving, correctly many mistakes in your footwork or in the way you return the ball.
For players with more experience, be sure to enjoy the increased ‘thinking time’ that this paddle will create for you. This is now the perfect time to get creative and revolutionize your playing techniques.
Remember to pair this bat with the correct rubbers. A poor-quality rubber will have a noticeable impact on the performance of this paddle.
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