Design and technological advances improve sports equipment of many types, and table tennis paddles are no exception. Carbon composite materials are currently getting all the attention as players feel it improves their ability to put speed and a spin on the ball. If you haven't tried one yet, most people think composite blades feel stiffer than traditional plywood. Therefore, it takes some adjustment as you begin to play with one. As you'd expect with something newer and more advanced, composite paddles for table tennis carry a higher price tag than conventional wood models. It isn't slowing up their sales.

If you've never shopped at a specialty table tennis retailer, consider one when you go racket shopping. Not only will they stock a broader selection than a big-box sports store, but they also are qualified to give you more advice. Many salespeople are likely players themselves, sometimes people who have considerable skill and knowledge about table tennis. They'll be pleased to answer your questions and give you opinions as you consider a paddle to buy. If you're mulling over whether to buy a composite, don't be shy about asking other players. It's a certainty that they will have definite options on the topic.

When you've bought and owned a higher quality table tennis paddle, make sure to purchase an excellent set of rubbers. They're also going to play a role in your shots with speed and a spin on the ball. The grip is one more factor to consider, and the one you select will depend on your style of play. Ask opinions from more experienced players before you buy. They listen to your ideas and let you know if you'll be making the best decision – and talk to more than a couple of people before you decide. You can also bring up all of these things if you're shopping at a specialty table tennis retailer where people are knowledgeable.

As you're getting ready to play with your new paddle, make sure you glue a high-quality set of rubbers to your table tennis blade. Most pros advise beginning players to choose smooth rubbers because they have the least impact on your game as you're building your skills. Later on, if you prefer, you can use pimpled rubbers if they suit your playing style. But in the beginning, stick to smooth for the best results. Rubbers only last about a year, and it's another reason why you want to avoid buying an off-the-shelf paddle from a big-box store. If it has been sitting in inventory for quite some time, it's not good for you.