For an international game, which has worldwide acceptance and following, the table tennis game has very rudimentary rules regarding the size, shape and construction of the table tennis paddles. In fact, there are no specifications about the materials that can or cannot be used for the manufacture of paddles. The game regulators are ok with the inclusion of any material into the table tennis paddles as long as 85% of the material used is wood. This had given the liberty to paddle manufacturers to experiment with various materials. The most popular and common extra materials included into the manufacturing of table tennis paddles include, fiberglass, Kevlar, coating, aluminum fiber, carbon fibers, etc. These materials are pasted onto the face of the paddles with the help of special glue. The paddle face or blade constitutes many layers of these materials but are always covered on top by a layer of rubber.
The number of layers and the materials used in these layers can vary according to the player’s preference. The type of wood used for the handle and also the blade is most commonly light woods like Balsa, cypress, etc. The rubber used as the face cover can also vary as per the preference of the user. Usually, the type of rubber is determined by the style of play of the user. Some rubbers impart a lot of spin on the ball, while others smother the spin and help in getting better control during rallies. The size and shape of the table tennis paddle is also left to the preference of the player. But, experts have studied the various sizes and have unofficially settled for the standard shape of an oval face and stub handle. The length of the handle is roughly four inches and the width can be customized to suit the palm of the player. The blade is roughly six and half inches long and six inches wide. Also, the two sides of the blade can be topped off with different types of rubber. The rules allow the players to have a spin enhancing rubber on one side and a spin killing rubber on the other side. The choice is left to the player. All that is required is to have two different colors for each face of the blade – black and red. This enables the opponent to see which side of the blade that the opponent is using for every shot of the rally.