How to Hold the Air Hockey Mallet: 6 Expert Tips

Your air hockey fun isn't complete until you learn how to hold the paddle or mallet properly. Air hockey isn't just about holding the mallet with your hand. There's a special way to hold it to make your game be more competitive and successful!

How to Hold the Air Hockey Mallet: You do not want to grab the paddle by the handle. This limits your swing options. What you should do is place your fingers between the back of the handle and the outside edge of the mallet.

To get the right grip on your air hockey mallet you should continue to read our article. It has the information and tips you need

Tip #1: the right grip helps you resist the temptation to lift your mallet and trap the puck. Lifting your paddle and stopping the puck is a foul.

Proper Air Hockey Mallet Holding Position

The handle gives the impression that holding it is the best way to handle the paddle and move the puck. This is not the case. The professional air hockey players have developed a better way to hold and maneuver the paddle.

What they do is place their index middle and ring fingers between the paddle’s handle and the back of the paddle. They rest their fingers in what is called the alley and place the knuckle of their middle finger against the paddle’s handle.


This grip provides you with better wrist action and keeps your arm flexible enabling it to make great shots without exerting too much energy

Tip #2: It isn’t just your grip that is important. Your stance plays a large role in your success as well. You want to stand with your dominate foot forward and flex your knees. This gives you freedom of movement for better shots.

Ideal Mallet Tension

Another key factor in holding the mallet correctly is how much tension or pressure you place on it. If it helps, think of Goldilocks. The amount of pressure you place on the mallet has to be just right.

Too much pressure will add friction between the table and the mallet. This friction will slow down the mallet’s movement and may cost you a goal or a great shot. If the pressure is too light then your shots may not be as accurate as you would like.

Getting the pressure just right will allow you to develop your game and make those perfect shots you need to win.

Tip #3: learn how to do drifting. This is where you allow the puck to move in one direction then you shoot it in another direction. If your opponent is a bit slow, you may be able to score a goal

Air Hockey Grip

Air hockey paddles come with a handle. The handle allows you to get a good comfortable grip on the paddle and move it where you need it to go. This may be the best way to go when you are starting to learn how to play air hockey.


But as you develop skills, you should experiment and see what grip is best for you. The pros like holding the paddle behind the handle as it allows them to get more wrist action and make better shots.

The main key to air hockey is developing the right grip that helps you to do both offense and defense easily and effectively.

Tip #4: learn to develop legal trick shots that will confuse your opponent. A confused opponent can;t defend properly and you should score

Answering your questions

#1. How do I keep possession of the puck?

Gaining possession of the puck only takes a slight backward movement when the puck hits your mallet. You want to control the [puck, not hit it blindly.

#2. What is a good defense to use?

The triangle defense seems to be the most popular. This is where yo place your paddle about 6 inches in front of your goal and center it. Then draw imaginary lines from both corners of the goal. You move your paddle along those lines including going across your goal’s mouth

Some Final Comments

Finding the right grip to use is important. Your grip can mean the difference between winning and losing. Of course, it will take a lot of practice to get used to the professional style grip. You want to feel comfortable and natural as you maneuver the paddle around.

Make sure you spend a long time practicing how to hold the paddle that is best for you and still gets your wrist into the game.

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