Ma Long Paddle: What Blade and Rubbers Does He Use?

There’s no denying that Ma Long is an exceptional player. To most, he is the best player to ever hold a paddle. While his style of play is evident, his equipment is less so, Ma Long has changed his blade and rubbers a lot over the years, so it can be tough to keep track.

Join me in this post as we explore Ma Long’s paddle and equipment and as we take a trip down memory lane covering Ma Long’s table tennis rackets of old.

Brief Background on Ma Long

ma long
XIAOYU TANG (Flickr) under CC BY-SA 2.0 – unedited

Nicknamed “The Dictator” and “The Dragon,” Ma Long is the most accomplished table tennis player ever. Competing on behalf of China, he holds numerous records, such as being the youngest World Champion at the age of just 17. He is also currently the only double Grand Slam Winner (Gold in the singles of the Olympics, World Championships, and World Cup).

Furthermore, he has held the number 1 ranking position for longer than any other male player in history. Ma Long’s table tennis dominance at the top spot lasted for a staggering 64 months.

What Racket Does Ma Long Use?

Ma Long’s racket may be different from what you expect. Where a significant portion of Chinese players use a tacky Chinese rubber on their forehand and non-tacky grippy explosive rubber on their backhand, Ma Long prefers a different style. Ma Long’s ping pong equipment in 2022 instead features tacky rubbers on both sides. Very unorthodox as it is hard to consistently generate the pace required to use tacky rubbers on the backhand side. But as we know, Ma Long is the greatest player of all time, so if there was any player to make this equipment work, it’s him.

Blade: DHS W968 Hurricane Long 5 National

Although Ma Long loves to switch blades, it seems he has finally settled on the W968, not to be mistaken for the DHS Hurricane long 5. The W968 is the national version of that commercial blade. It has been finely tuned to meet Ma Long’s specific needs, as DHS blades often are for professional players. With such meticulous care and design, the W968 is astronomically expensive — we are talking $800 here, so I can’t recommend it at all.

However, the Hurricane Long 5 is a great alternative if you’re interested in using the same equipment as Ma Long. It’s a fast 7-ply blade that weighs around 90 g.

ma long paddle


Forehand Rubber: DHS Hurricane III National (Blue Sponge)

Keeping things consistent with his forehand rubber, Ma long once again uses a national version. This time it’s Hurricane III National (blue sponge). One to note with Hurricane is that comes in different hardnesses with different sponges. This is true with the Hurricane III National rubber, so don’t get confused between the two.

Hurricane III National with blue sponge is a little more popular, but it is very expensive as it’s designed for the pros. The version with orange sponge, however, is cheaper and more widely available. That being said, Hurricane III National with blue sponge is far below the hefty price tag of the W986 Hurricane Long 5 National blade.

ma long paddle


Backhand Rubber: DHS Hurricane 3 Neo

As mentioned earlier, this is where Ma Long breaks the mold. So what rubber does Ma Long use on his backhand? It’s Hurricane 3 Neo. I did some digging to try and discern whether he uses the regular commercial version or the provincial version (there is no national version available), and surprisingly, it seems as though he uses the plain old commercial version. This should be music to your ears if you are interested as it’s dirt cheap! Hurricane 3 Neo is well known for being one of the most popular inexpensive rubbers that provides incredible value for money.

ma long paddle


Ma Long’s Paddle History

Ma Long has certainly experimented with a range of equipment in the past, but it’s very difficult to say for sure which rubbers and blades he used and when. Fortunately, a user by the name of rxng compiled a list of Ma Long’s equipment from 2005-2015 using photos.


The earliest pictures we have of Ma Long’s racket show him to be using the Nittaku Violin. An exquisite all-wood blade that uses a special production method similar to that of stringed instruments. It’s very popular and highly flexible — great for looping.


Ma Long next made the switch to the Acoustic, another blade from Nittaku’s stringed instrument series. The Acoustic is faster and stiffer than his previous blade.

As for the rubbers, it appears that he is using the regular version of Hurricane III on his forehand (review here) and a rubber called Nittaku Narucross on his backhand. Although I can’t tell based on the photos, I imagine he is using the hard version rather than the soft version on Narucross.


While Ma Long’s rubbers remain unchanged in 2008, he does switch blades from the Nittaku Acoustic to the Nittaku Rutis. It just seems he can’t find his groove with Nittaku blades!


Ma Long finally branches out from Nittaku and welcomes Butterfly with open arms! He starts out with the widely popular Timo Boll Spirit for his blade and switches his backhand rubber to Tenergy 64.


He once again switches blades. In 2011 Ma Long’s blade is the Timo Boll ALC which is fairly similar to the Timo Boll Spirit but newer and faster. Ma also changes his backhand rubber again. This time he adopts Tenergy 05, one of the most popular rubbers of all time.


Time for another blade switch-up! This time round, he changes the brand to DHS. His first DHS blade is DHS 506. Looks like he also reverted back to the faster Tenergy 64 for his backhand rubber.

As for his forehand rubber, this is the first time we see evidence of a sponge color change from orange to blue. This may well indicate when Ma Long first started using Hurricane 3 National with blue sponge.


This appears to be around the time when DHS started making custom blades for Ma Long and the rest of the Chinese national team. He began with the W997 and after a short while started using the W968.

Ma Long also reverted back to using Tenergy 05 during this time.

Honorable Mentions

Although I couldn’t find concrete evidence, it is fairly well known that Ma Long used Skyline rubbers at some point early on in his career. One source indicates he used Skyline 2 Neo TG2, but I expect he used some others as well.  If you’re interested in trying out the newer Skyline TG3 NEO, you can purchase that rubber here.

Read More: All Time Top 5 Penhold Players

Should You Use Ma Long’s Paddle?

I expect many of you ended up here because you wanted to learn which paddle Ma Long uses and buy it yourself. I don’t blame you for thinking this way. Ma Long’s equipment meets his high standards, so you have assurances that the quality is pretty much as good as you are going to get.

However, it’s at this point I have to say that Ma Long’s racket is probably not a good fit for you. There are three main reasons for this.

Firstly, Ma Long is far more talented than you ever will be. Sorry, but it’s true. He’s the best ever. As such, he possesses the ability to use advanced equipment very effectively, whereas you, more than likely, do not possess this ability. Looking at each of his rubbers and blade, it’s clear his setup is not fitting for beginners. High-level intermediate players could use it at a push, but ideally, it’s for advanced individuals.

The second point is that each player has their own unique style, and your equipment should complement this style. It’s not a one size fits all kind of deal. There are likely rubbers and blades out there that are more fitting for you. In fact, Ma Long’s rubbers are likely a horrible combination for most players. While a tacky Chinese rubber on the forehand side is a good choice for many people, it is a poor choice for backhand as it is very taxing on the body due to its linear pace.

The final point is the cost. As two out of the three pieces of equipment that Ma Long uses are national rather than commercial products, their prices are very high compared to the rest of the market. His blade, for instance, the DHS W968 Hurricane Long 5 National, is one of the most expensive blades you can buy. My advice is to shop around and find something more affordable. We have a blade guide and rubber guide that can help you with this.


Ma Long’s paddle is unconventional. Unlike most Chinese players, he uses tacky rubbers on both sides rather than just one tacky rubber on his forehand. His blade is the DHS W968 Hurricane Long 5 National, and he uses Hurricane III National on his forehand and Hurricane 3 Neo on his backhand.

While each of these pieces of equipment is very high quality, I would not recommend copying Ma Long’s ping pong paddle as it is very hard to use. Instead, choose the right paddle for you as it will be more complementary and help you to improve faster.

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Alex Horscroft

Freelance writer. Table tennis enthusiast. Lover of all things online. When I’m not working on my loop game I’m probably binge-watching some fantasy show.

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