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Should I Switch From Penhold to Shakehand? | Table Tennis | PingSkills

February 5, 2020

Hi, I’m Alois Rosario from PingSkills. Gerald
has asked us a question about whether he should switch from penhold to shakehand. So Gerald feels very comfortable playing penhold
and he says that when he did try shakehand it wasn’t as good so his penhold forehand,
his topspins, his smashes were all better with the penhold grip but the reason that
he’s thinking about it is because his coach plays with the shakehand grip. Well Gerald I think you should just stay with
the penhold grip. There are advantages of the penhold grip. One is that you can utilise
your wrist a little bit better with the serve by using more wrist. It’s also good for your
forehand attack because again you’re utilising your wrist more fully for the topspin and
for the smash. The limitation has always been the backhand but you say that you can do a
reverse penhold backhand as well so you are really answering your own question by just
telling me that you are more comfortable with the penhold grip. If that’s what you are more
comfortable with then that’s what you should stay with. Why would you change to the shakehand?
The only reason would be if you tried the shakehand grip, it felt comfortable, and you
were able to play a little bit better. So for me, stick with the penhold grip Gerald. Alright Alois, you want Gerald to stick with
the penhold grip. What about new players who have never played before? Would you recommend
the shakehand or the penhold? How would you decide about that? So firstly I would see, some players, a lot
of players come to you and they’re already using one of the grips. Stay with it because
it’s probably a more natural thing for them. But if they come to you, they’ve never played
before I tend to favour the shakehand grip just because I use it and it’s probably easier
for me to teach but also if you now look at the top players in the World most of them
play with the shakehand grip. Xu Xin penholder bu most of the others shakehand grip. Very good.


  • Reply PCM PCM September 16, 2016 at 5:43 am

    Great your teaching style

  • Reply DammitBobby420 September 16, 2016 at 5:43 am

    I Love Xu Xin! Hes my favorite player. Also that Hong Kong penholder.

  • Reply Will Whattam September 16, 2016 at 6:11 am

    What should I do if I'm playin someone better than me?

  • Reply AcidGaming :- By Aryav Gupta September 16, 2016 at 6:12 am

    hi jeff

  • Reply Federico D'Atri September 16, 2016 at 6:37 am

    Hi, i am a c-penhold player with rbp who started playing only 4 months ago, but played pretty often during this time. My question is if it's possible to reach a good level of play only by watching top penhold players matches vods and video like wang hao instructional, since in my country there are no penhold coaches? Also i felt like multiballs training it's the best to improve every type of shot, should this be the core of my practice?

  • Reply EdFrancis Javellana September 16, 2016 at 7:35 am

    I used to play with Pen Hold but when i found out that i got disadvantage cause i can't do RPB I go back to using the shakehand and now i can attack both forehand and backhand.

  • Reply Jonathan Landeros September 16, 2016 at 8:53 am

    Thank you Alois and Jeff for all the great videos you guys put out! You guys are the reason that Ive been able to progress in my table tennis. I used to watch continuously a few years ago when I was playing regularly, but I stopped playing and watching for a while. Ive been playing more recently and I intend on playing in some small tourneys as soon as possible. Thanks again and Ill let you know what kind of success I have competitively. : )

  • Reply saikrishna konasani September 16, 2016 at 9:42 am

    I like ma long presently and of course Xu Xin too

  • Reply Amogh Voleti September 16, 2016 at 10:00 am

    I am not able to do the tomahawk serve .Any help?

  • Reply v m bareja September 16, 2016 at 10:33 am

    PingSkills you are the best……..I am Dvij…..I want to know how to keep the ball on the table……Sorry…..I m 10 years old……

  • Reply Ilya Deynega September 16, 2016 at 10:56 am

    Hi Alois, which blade and rubber are you using in this video?

  • Reply Edwenno o gwath September 16, 2016 at 11:18 am

    Ughh I really love penhold but there are so few coaches here in the Philippines that teach penhold ;-;

  • Reply Martin Sanchez September 16, 2016 at 11:46 am

    How to serve with more spin,techniques

  • Reply Krishi II September 16, 2016 at 12:12 pm

    How to do the backhand pendulum serve

  • Reply CloneHat September 16, 2016 at 12:27 pm

    Encouraging words in a time of shakehanders!

  • Reply Spencer1503 September 16, 2016 at 12:27 pm

    How do you do ma longs serve

  • Reply I Draw 4FUN September 16, 2016 at 2:12 pm

    I on the other hand, switched from Shakehand to penhold, just because I wanted to be more variable in terms of grips.
    But I find it a bit more comfortable, Im an illustrator, so Im holding a pen at least 5 hours a day, so penhold is really more natural to me.
    Also the funny thing is, when I switch back to shakehand, racket feels lighter.

  • Reply 1k inscritos sem video? September 16, 2016 at 4:21 pm

    I'm number 1000

  • Reply Jim Mitchener September 16, 2016 at 7:00 pm

    I started RBP and switched to shakehand a year ago due to pain in my fingers from pressing too hard on the back of the paddle when playing penhold. I still feel my backhand flick as shakehand can't come close to the RBP for over-the-table flicks. I tried varying my finger position in pen-hold but I just couldn't find a position that wasn't painful after a couple hours of play several days in a row.

  • Reply Iago Soares September 16, 2016 at 10:15 pm


  • Reply TtfnoGaming September 16, 2016 at 10:34 pm

    What about vice versa

  • Reply Toxic Hazmat September 17, 2016 at 5:02 am

    Are you guys ever gonna do anymore Penhold technique videos?

  • Reply Solomon Leung September 17, 2016 at 12:37 pm

    Cool, nice!

  • Reply Rafael Lava September 17, 2016 at 1:47 pm

    it's me again 🙂 can you please make a video on how to make a long tomahawk heavy side spin serve and how to receive it… please ?

  • Reply y gs September 17, 2016 at 3:32 pm

    Shake hand grip is only better when you are able to do powerful loops on both sides. Otherwise pen hold grip has some advantages in small category balls control.

  • Reply Troll. September 18, 2016 at 1:47 am

    Hi guys,

    I recently was given two old but good bats, they have this switch that is rotated underneath the grip. Though I don't understand what it does.. Could you please explain it?

  • Reply Hans Schmidt September 18, 2016 at 2:42 pm

    as a c-pen player, the only thing I can intuitively do better with shakehand are the long parallel serve and the snake retrieve from under the table. And maybe backhand lobs.

  • Reply Krishi II September 18, 2016 at 7:12 pm

    How to do the reverse pendulum backspin serve ??

  • Reply Tejas Anand September 19, 2016 at 10:36 am

    Alois are you a cuber too?

  • Reply Tejas Anand September 19, 2016 at 10:36 am

    what is your pb?

  • Reply RAM AWADHESH SINGH September 20, 2016 at 8:03 am

    hello i am playing tt for about 8 months and i am thinking to buy Stiga Carbo 7.6 is it good 😑

  • Reply abhirath gandhi September 20, 2016 at 4:53 pm

    How should I practice if I don't have a table

  • Reply Theodore Perez October 15, 2016 at 8:11 am

    I like your customs made blade… its awesome

  • Reply SnowDew October 16, 2016 at 6:57 am

    already made the change
    it was hard but i think it was worth it

  • Reply Dylan Taylor October 18, 2016 at 1:23 pm

    Hi guys, I'm just wondering whether there was ever a trend in favour of pen-hold grip in table tennis history? And if so, when was that?

  • Reply عقيل تحسين October 29, 2016 at 9:07 pm

    what kind of your racket please???

  • Reply Shartaj Akbar November 6, 2016 at 1:42 am

    Hi can you guys make a video about chops. I can do a chop, but is it better to do a chop with pen hold or shake hand grip!

  • Reply Daniel Velez December 3, 2016 at 9:40 pm

    Ive really become addicted to table tennis, i learnt at a friends house and he always used the penhold grip and i got used to it, but ive had problems with my topspins so i wanted to know if you guys had a video on penhold topspins or you could tell me maybe what im doing wrong

  • Reply The Jayser December 7, 2016 at 12:50 pm

    Because almost everyone uses shakehand these days, people sometimes frown at me and think I'm weird. One new guy at our club last week asked me "why are you TRYING to play penhold?" I answered him by beating him 4 – 0. If it works for you and feels comfortable, stick with it and at club level opponents really don't like the extra amounts of spin I can generate from swinging my wrist. I totally agree with you in this video that total novices should start with shakehand because few coaches outside of the far east know how to teach you penhold.

  • Reply Discoloured Buttflaps April 4, 2017 at 2:44 pm

    i actually switched from shakehand to penhold because i found it sometimes limits my reaction time having to make decisions whether to use forehand or backhand to counter some awkward balls using shakehand. penhold is just much simpler and much more fun even (i attached short pip rubber on the back of my racket lol).

  • Reply CArlos PT May 6, 2017 at 5:04 pm

    Hey, guys, you seem pretty comfortable to me playing a penhold style with a shakehand racket. Is that possible or you're just doing it for the video? I mean, if I'm a shakehand who wants to swith to penhold, can I start doing it with the racket I already use for shakehand? Thanks.

  • Reply Kaushal Maharjan June 16, 2017 at 3:14 pm

    how to hit shot from penhold?

  • Reply Gurjot Dhaliwal June 20, 2017 at 10:27 am

    Do you guys know Nam Ho?

  • Reply Christian Adrian Aniceta July 4, 2017 at 4:26 pm

    I have a problem with penhold..
    I tried to focus too much on my rpb…
    I tend to use rpb flicks, block and loop ..
    The result is I rely more on my backhand now so when I use my forehand its awkward…
    (I tend to miss some forehand swings)
    There are times I use rpb even on the forehand side (I find good results)
    My problem is transition from fh to bh and also the footwork maybe..

    The main reason I tend to rely on bh more is because I love to copy some of Zhang Jike's game plan (just the placements and his tendency to use his bh more).
    is it weird even as for a penholder?

  • Reply Mykes July 16, 2017 at 4:48 pm

    I serve with penhold (so i can serve fast and bit lower)
    but after that i change it to shakehand (it's easier for me to hit the ball lower)
    bad english 😐

  • Reply Stephen Phoenix-Roberts August 17, 2017 at 8:54 pm

    I use both against defence player pen and shake against attacking players

  • Reply Beta Soft August 30, 2017 at 9:52 pm

    I started playing recently and started playing with shakehand my forehand was great but my backhand was bad, then i tried to penhold for fun, found it weird, but i kinda got used to it since i could backhand, although my forehand is still great i think i could do more powerful attacks with shakehand, so should i stay penhold or go back to shakehand ?

  • Reply Pratik Pathak September 7, 2017 at 4:43 pm

    I feel very easy while playing with pinhold grip

  • Reply Aldy Imanuel December 15, 2017 at 8:01 am

    is it legal to change your grip to penhold to shakehand in a match? (serve with penhold) (hits with shakehand)

  • Reply М.М KARAKAYA December 22, 2017 at 8:45 pm

    Zu Zin ne amk Şu Şin değil mi o hocam

  • Reply Ricksonkimura January 27, 2018 at 6:23 am

    Ok, then is it legal to change bats during a match between points?

  • Reply Jochem de Jong January 29, 2018 at 8:11 am

    Thanks for the tip; I’ve been using shakehand all te time and one of my coaches showed me the penhold and I wasn’t comfortable with it, this video showed me that sticking to the shakehand is the best idea, thanks!!

  • Reply Jochem de Jong January 29, 2018 at 8:13 am

    By the way, what made ma long go all the way down to place 7 in the top now in January 2018

  • Reply Hermawan Lukman February 11, 2018 at 5:26 pm

    I was a penholder until high school.
    Now I prefer shakehand because I am getting older, it is difficult to reach every corner with forehand.
    But I never forget how to punch and slice the ball which are basics of the penhold style

  • Reply Ethan Low February 23, 2018 at 1:31 pm

    I was always told by others that penhold players tend to have a disadvantage compared to the shakehold players in the backhand, is it true?

  • Reply Rushikesh Navarkar May 4, 2018 at 5:04 am

    Hi sir I just wanna know how to play chops with penhold grip especially the backhand chops

  • Reply Ankush M May 31, 2018 at 4:38 am

    How do we do around the net shots. Can u please teach me sir.

  • Reply Shalu Rana July 30, 2018 at 9:32 am

    Hi pingskills I am a shakehand but should I change to penhold cause I get a blind spot body ???? Please help

  • Reply Shalu Rana July 30, 2018 at 2:42 pm

    Ping skills can u recommend a penhold style racket (only blade)

  • Reply Shalu Rana July 30, 2018 at 3:02 pm

    Hi ping skills can u please make a video about easy foot work (with no equipment) and about ball work

  • Reply Niru’s Channel October 15, 2018 at 10:14 am

    Pen hold is a little hard to use because of not having backhand but it is more comfortable and is easy to use

  • Reply yuh ss December 2, 2018 at 6:12 pm

    Does the penhold require more wrist movement than shakehand? I use shakehand and I find that my forehands are inconsistent due to too much wrist motion, would switching to penhold actually make my wrist more of an asset rather than a liability?

  • Reply Unashamed January 2, 2019 at 5:21 am

    I do use pinhold

  • Reply Anjan Pudasaini January 29, 2019 at 12:50 pm

    I win each and every game using penhole grip i never used shakehand grip… Haha i never stay on count… Once my turn comes then i play with many players until i go… 🙂 😁

  • Reply Azri Azhar27 February 6, 2019 at 10:54 pm

    I use both penhold and shakehand because of mainly confusing my opponents by changing my game style

  • Reply Jewshua derps February 12, 2019 at 4:07 am

    what is I am comfy w/ shake but try to learn pen. My forehand is good for penhold but backhand is good for Shakehand.

  • Reply Saad Algarni April 2, 2019 at 9:01 pm

    Very good answers ..Thank you

  • Reply Raj Shah July 30, 2019 at 5:03 pm

    Thank you!!

  • Reply Harshad Joshi August 14, 2019 at 4:24 pm

    Shakehand grip comes to many of us naturally.

  • Reply Harshad Joshi September 2, 2019 at 3:39 pm

    What's the difference in Japanese penhold blades and normal shakehand/penhold blades wrt playability?

  • Reply north potato [GrapeTDM1] November 10, 2019 at 12:10 pm

    Should i change from shakehand to penhold?

  • Reply daddyBOBBY November 14, 2019 at 10:10 am

    I have used shakehand for 3 years and i tried penhold, i realize i was so much better at penhold than shakehand🤔

    Should i change?

  • Reply bacon December 21, 2019 at 5:11 pm

    I have tried both grips and I am having a hard time picking one… For shakehand my forehand is atrociously inaccurate and feels awkward, but my backhand is strong. For penhold I feel like I have less power but more control and spin. I like the feeling of penhold but after even just a few minutes of using it my hand begins to feel uncomfortable because of the paddle rubbing on my forefinger wrapped around the side. What advice would you have for me in this situation? I play ping pong casually but I want to continue improving, looking to play 2-3 times a week.

  • Reply NickieB December 25, 2019 at 4:02 pm

    All my friends are switching to shakehand because they think it's better, but I keep on telling them to stick to what feels better! I personally love playing penhold and I have a killer backhand that no one ever expects!! It's so much fun

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