Why Shakehand?

Table Tennis Discussion

Last updated 11 years ago

Harikrishnan U

Harikrishnan U Asked 11 years ago

Hi Jeff and Alois,

In general if you compare penhold and shakehand, then shakehand has more disadvantage but the majority of the world is shakehand players. Why?

Jeff Plumb

Jeff Plumb Answered 11 years ago

Hi Harikrishnan,

I have to disagree with you on this one. If you compare penhold and shakehand I think they come out about even. The majority of players in Australia definitely use the shakehand grip and the reason is that when a player is starting they copy the players around them.

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Thoughts on this question

Ji-Soo Woo

Ji-Soo Woo Posted 11 years ago

I think the fact that many of the players in asian countries that traditionally used penholder are now using shakehand (Ma Long, Oh Sang Eun, Jun Mizutani being some prominent examples) is an indication that shakehand is not a weaker grip inherently.  In fact, overall, because of the backhand, I'd say shakehand has a slight advantage if anything.  You need really good footwork to make up for the weak backhand of a penholder.  Of course, penhold players using the new RPB technique no longer have this issue.

Sometimes, when playing penholders, I get jealous of their superior ability to produce spin on serve and their advantage in the short game (including those annoying penhold pushes).  However, whenever I crack a beautiful backhand winner, I figure I'm not doing too badly with my choice of grip!  ;)

Sandesh Shrestha

Sandesh Shrestha Posted 11 years ago

What I think is that, both the grips are evenly matched. But if you go deep, then you will find that the shakehands grip is easier to learn than the penhold grip. The penhold grip is not used by many since it harder to master. Penhold has many techniques including generating more spin and all that a shakehands grip can do.

bhaavan goel

bhaavan goel Posted 11 years ago

well i also think that shakehand is easier to master.the only advantage i found in pen hold is the angle that penhold provides during the backhand topspin and also i think it favors sidespin during that stroke.

Ji-Soo Woo

Ji-Soo Woo Posted 11 years ago

I'm not convinced penholder is inherently harder to learn.  Obviously, if you grow up watching most racquet sports (like tennis), shakehand would seem more "natural".  However, if you grew up watching a lot of people play penholder, that would come more "naturally" to you too. 

Sandesh Shrestha

Sandesh Shrestha Posted 11 years ago

But there aren't many players who play the penhold. Most of them are the shakehanders. Wherever you go you'll find that the majority of the players use the shakehands grip. But there are exceptions in countries like Japan, Korea, China , and many other South Asian countries.

Curtis Lewis

Curtis Lewis Posted 11 years ago

It really depends on how you have been exposed to and have practiced/learned.  I actually play with both hands and find that shakehand is slightly easier for me, solely because most of the people I play with are penhold and I use their backhand disadvantage against them.  Both are equally easy to learn and use, but penhold really is the spin king in the shorter game >.>

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