When choosing a ping pong paddle, consider factors such as rubber, blade, handle, and weight. A tacky rubber surface provides spin control, while a stiff blade offers more power. Choose a handle that feels comfortable, with flared handles offering more grip and control, and straight handles providing more stability and power. Weight affects speed and maneuverability, with lighter paddles being more maneuverable but sacrificing power. Affordable options for beginner to intermediate players looking for spin control and power include the STIGA Pro Carbon, Killerspin JET200, and Butterfly 401 paddles.