If you’re looking to get serious about playing ping pong, then the most important thing to have in your toolkit is a high-quality paddle. A ping pong player without a good paddle is like King Arthur without Excalibur.
However, there are lots of different paddles out there, and it can be difficult finding the right one, especially if you’re a first-time buyer. That’s why we’ve gone ahead and made this review of one of our personal favorite paddles for beginners, the Titan. In this article, we’ll show you what makes this paddle so special and why we love to use it. Also, this paddle can be easily found on Amazon!
STIGA Titan Specifications
Before we take a close look at this absolutely wonder ping pong racket, we’ll give you an overview of all of its specs so you can get a bit of a grasp at what you’re dealing with.
- Performance Ratings: 80 speed, 77 spin, 82 control
- Blade: 5-ply extra-light blade
- Rubber: Inverted, ITTF approved rubber
- Sponge: 2mm sponge
- Handle: Concave Italian composite handle
Specs Deep Dive
With that brief look at the Titan out of the way, let’s get on with the STIGA Titan review!
The first thing that will catch your attention will no doubt be the performance ratings of this ping pong racket. You may think to yourself that these three ratings are not the most impressive numbers you’ve seen on a ping pong paddle.
However, you should change your line of thinking if you’re a first-time buyer or amateur player. This paddle prioritizes control over things like speed and spin making it an excellent pick for players who are looking for their first paddle.
With such great control, you’ll have no problems learning the basics and being able to make accurate shots right to wherever on the ping pong table you need the ball to go. With this paddle, you’ll be able to master all of the basics and get yourself ready for a tough competition.
Speaking of competitions, you’ll be able to take this ping pong paddle to tournaments and other competitions because it is ITTF (International Table Tennis Federation) approved. Just from the performance ratings alone, it’s easy to see that this is an excellent entry-level paddle and you can get a lot of mileage out of it until you’re ready to try out a paddle with more speed or spin.
Next up among the list of specs is the blade of the ping pong paddle. The Titan’s blade is the STIGA WRB and is made from an ultra-lightweight, 5-ply balsawood. While this blade is on the thinner side when it comes to ping pong paddles, this really helps amateur players.
This is because the light material allows you to move the paddle quicker allowing for fast reaction times and extra speed without sacrificing speed or control. Additionally, this blade comes with an extra feature made by STIGA for its paddles.
It is known as Crystal Technology and it helps generate extra speed without hindering or unbalancing the paddle. Essentially, this technology makes the blade’s surface harder for increased speed.
Sponge and Rubber
The sponge of this ping pong paddle is another important talking point. It is a standard 2mm thick with pimples on the inside. This allows you to generate more spin due to the flat surface, creating more surface area for the ball to hit.
It is ITTF approved and ready for use in tournaments and other competitions. The inverted tournament rubber of this ping pong paddle is ITTF approved and we found it has a good amount of tackiness. It allows the racket to grip the ball well when it strikes without being too much, keeping your shots accurate and on-target.
The handle of the STIGA Titan table tennis racket is a concave Italian composite grip. Understandably, all of those fancy words might seem like just that, fancy words. However, with this handle, you’re really getting a lot of value. Not only is it lightweight, like the rest of the paddle, but it sits very comfortably in your hand.
The concave handle helps you keep a firm, steady grip on your paddle with no fear of losing it during an overzealous swing. We found it extremely nice to hold. It felt natural and easy to use, even during more heated matches.
Now that you’ve seen all of the features that the STIGA Titan has to offer, the next thing you’ll say is “This is great and all, but what does it actually feel like to use?” Well, have no fear, as we have that covered for you. We practiced and played with this ping pong racket to really break it in and get a feel for what it would be like for an amateur or even a more experienced player to use.
To start this off, we’d like to emphasize that we really enjoyed using this paddle. Even though it’s intended for beginners, it’s still an overall excellent choice especially if you’re looking for a pre-made paddle that has a lot of control to it.
All of the features together provide a very easy-to-use paddle that provides a surprising amount of speed without making it unwieldy. Like we said earlier, it’s perfect for players looking to get comfortable with the basics of the sport. The Titan is easy to use and felt really comfortable to hold in the traditional styles.
The lightweight blade allowed us to quickly react to some pretty powerful shots as well as deal out some powerful shots of our own. However, it wasn’t great at stopping the ball compared to thicker blades. Even then, we felt we had a lot of control over where the ball was going to end up.
With forehand and backhand shots, the Titan allows for very quick and accurate swings at the cost of not being able to generate extra power because of how light it is. Swinging this paddle was almost like swinging around a feather, it’s so light and maneuverable.
With this paddle, you’ll be able to dish out lightning-fast shots. We also found that this paddle’s performance ratings were accurate. It is a very speedy paddle with excellent control that lacks a little bit in the spin department. However, given that this paddle is intended for beginners, it isn’t likely you’ll be doing any fancy shots with lots of spin just yet.
For intermediate and advanced players it is a bit of a different story. While this is certainly an excellent paddle, especially for the price that you’re paying for it, the fact of the matter is that there are better choices out there for high-skill players.
In fact, it is more likely that you will put together your own custom ping pong paddle, as opposed to a pre-built one. Because of this, we can’t really recommend this paddle to intermediate-level ping pong players. It’s great if you’re looking for a paddle on a budget, or if you’re just starting out. But, if you’re a seasoned ping pong player, you’ll want to take a look at this list of the best ping pong paddles that we reviewed.
Things That Could Be Better
Now that we’ve given you a taste of what it’s like to actually use this paddle, let’s talk about the things that we wish it had. One thing we wish that this ping pong paddle came with is extra options for handles.
There are a lot of different types of handles that support a wide variety of playing styles and while the Titan’s concave handle is very comfortable and easy to use, it limits the ways you can hold onto it. It is unfortunate that there’s no way to choose a different type of handle as we felt beginners should be able to try out a variety of grips to see what feels the best to them.
Also, while we stated earlier that the amount of spin that this paddle generates isn’t that big of a deal, it would’ve been nice if there was just a little bit more, to balance out the paddle. A completely balanced paddle would’ve made the perfect fit for beginner players and provided a good choice for intermediate competitors as well.
Final Thoughts on the STIGA Titan
This is an amazing paddle to buy if you’re just starting out. Not only does it sport an extremely affordable price point compared to its competitors, but the STIGA Titan also has plenty of features that make it a speedy paddle allowing for fast reactions and quick shots. Additionally, it has good control and is excellent for placing accurate shots.
We highly recommend this paddle for amateur players that are looking to buy their first table tennis paddle. You will surely have an excellent experience using this!
Why Buy A Pre-Made Ping Pong Paddle?
Pre-made ping pong paddles are an excellent option when it comes to shopping for table tennis gear. There are two main reasons for this: the variety of paddles and their cost when compared to custom-made paddles. With all of the different brands present on the ping pong market, there are a large number of options.
Each brand is constantly trying to revolutionize how these paddles perform, so there’s generally a steady influx of new ones. No paddle is the same too. As we’ve seen with the paddle we reviewed for this article, some of them are made with specific purposes in mind.
You’ll find paddles made for offensive players, defensive players, and players who favor lots of control and accuracy. Another factor that can make pre-made paddles favorable compared to custom ones are their prices.
Generally speaking, pre-made paddles will be cheaper than custom ones as you won’t have to buy all of the individual parts yourself. Plus, if you’re looking for high-quality parts, you will likely pay more for them than you ever would for a pre-made paddle.
Something to strongly consider when picking out a ping pong paddle is the style of handle that it has. The right handle can really help you define your playing style. To help you along, we’ve included a brief overlook of the different handle types.
- Flared Handles: This is a handle type that you will see on plenty of paddles. It’s very popular with beginners and pros alike. This is because the handle is a bit fatter and squared at the bottom allowing for extra grip and control.
- Straight Handles: The straight handle, as the name implies, is completely straight all the way down. This is a handle type that is commonly used by European players for its added flexibility. Essentially, this handle type allows you to switch between forehand and backhand easily.
- Chinese Penhold: This is an advanced type of handle that requires a very specific grip style to be used effectively. This is a handle style that you will see used mainly by Chinese players but has also been adapted by other players from countries like Japan and Korea.
- Anatomic: This style of grip was designed to fit comfortably in the hands of the user. It features a thicker midsection as well as a thicker end (as you’d see on a flared handle). You’ll see this handle used mostly by American players and it allows the user to be more aggressive while close to the table. However, this does weaken power when farther away from the table.
- Conical: The conical grip is similar to the flared style because it is thicker at the bottom. However, where this grip type differs is that it is not squared. It is actually rounded but it still provides the same effect as the flared style. With this grip, you’ll have an easier time gripping the paddle. However, if you’re a player with large hands you may find some difficulty using it.
Along with handle styles, there’s also a few different ways to grip the handle. Moreover, the right grip for your playstyle and handle can help add extra accuracy and control to your shots whether you’re attacking or defending.
- Shake-hand Grip: This is an extremely popular grip that you will see commonly used by Western players. It is the most basic type of grip and obviously the easiest to use. For this style, you grip the handle as if you’re shaking someone’s hand, as the name implies. The shake-hand grip also has two variations: deep and shallow. A shallow grip allows for more wrist flexibility, allowing for extra control over the ball. The deep shake-hand, on the other hand, adds more power and precision to your attacks.
- Pen-hold Grip: This type of grip is used mostly by Chinese players, with the pen-hold style handle style. It allows for very strong forehand play but makes it tricky to effectively use backhand strikes. Additionally, there are two other variations of this style. The Chinese style of the pen-hold is very versatile but can be physically tiring. The Japanese/Korean style adds more power to forehand strikes, making long-distance shots easy to pull off. However, it’s even more difficult to use than the standard Chinese pen-hold. Reverse backhand makes up for the typical pen-hold’s lack of backhand power. However, this causes your shots to be lower to the table and can cause trouble when trying to clear the net.