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How To Choose your Table Tennis Equipment

Updated on January 22, 2017
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Making the right choice on what type of table tennis equipment to buy can be a little confusing, so if you need genuine tips on how to choose your ping pong equipment, then you are at the right place.

If you are looking to buy a good racket or maybe you want to shop for a brand new table, you will find this article very useful. Let me start by taking you through the process of choosing the right table tennis table that will suit you well.


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Choose a suitable table tennis table

Most beginners and intermediaries find it difficult to choose the right ping pong table that suits their level of play because there are different types, qualities and varsities to choose from.

There are different sizes of ping pong tables but the official size is 9 feet or 2.74 m long, 5 feet or 1.525 m wide and 30 inches or 76 cm high. The net must be 6 inches or 15.25 cm high. The standard or full sized table tennis table is what is used for official tournaments. For home use you only need to choose from a varieties of recreational table tennis tables.

The recreational table tables are the best choice for beginners, it is cheap, very good for home use and help beginners to practice and develop their skills. It is also very compactable, easy to store and can be used indoors and outdoors. Recreation tables comes in small size and standard size which are full sized tables, mini and compact table tennis tables.

Olympic table tennis tables are of very standard quality but are very expensive. They are mostly use in official tournaments, especially those organized by the International Table Tennis Federation.


Full sized ping pong table
Full sized ping pong table | Source

Tips for choosing your table tennis tables

Price

Some tables are very expensive but there are cheap once with good quality. If you are buying a table tennis table just for home use, then you may not need to go overboard with the price. A good quality home recreational table will cost between $400 and $900.

Usage

The quality of table you buy depends mostly on how often you will be using it. If you intend to use it more often you should buy a strong and durable table. Let’s say you plan to use your ping pong table maybe 3 times a week, you will have to decide on buying a more durable table.


A rollaway butterfly table tennis table
A rollaway butterfly table tennis table

Space and Storage

Do you have enough space to mount and store the table you intend to buy? You need space to mount and play table tennis and also space to store it when not in use. Most indoor ping pong tables have rollaway wheels and can be folded and rolled inside the house or garage.

If you are living in a house where there is no space to store the table, it would be better to buy a mini table tennis table or install an outdoor table tennis table.

The compact and mini tables are suitable for kids for home use, they are cheaper and are very easy to store.


Table tennis table diagram
Table tennis table diagram | Source
Olympic table tennis table
Olympic table tennis table | Source

Table tennis net

Most table tennis tables comes with their own nets but as time goes on you might want to change them if they get destroyed or damaged. There are two common types on table tennis nets that I will explain to you below.

The screw-on table tennis net is very popular because it is easily adjustable because it screw to the table tennis table. If you decide to buy a screw-on table tennis net, I will advise that you buy a very good quality so that it will not wear out quickly.

The clip-on table tennis net is clipped directly to the ping pong table. It is very easy to attach, very durable and also adjustable. The clip-on net comes with rubber padding which is used to protect the table from scratch.

Both the screw-on and clip-on net are both very good. My only advice is that you buy from a very good brand. Most net are not strong so they can wear out or damage quickly. A good quality net can last for a very long time.

I hope by now you would have gained some insight on how to choose a table tennis table that suits your purpose and level of play. Now let me move on to explaining to you the right way to choose your table tennis racket.

Shakehand grip
Shakehand grip
Penhold grip
Penhold grip

The right way to choose your table tennis racket

There are so many kind of rackets available today and this makes it confusing for most beginners and intermediate players to make up their mind on the right racket to buy.

It is important to choose the right racket that really suits your style and level of play. Do not buy just any rackets if you are a beginner because they may not be designed for your skill level.

There are racket that are suited for beginning level players and rackets specially designed for advance level players.


Racket grip and handle

Before you go ahead and buy your table tennis racket, you will need to know the type of racket handle and racket grip that is good for you.

There are three types of racket handle and they are the straight, anatomic and flared handle but I will recommend the straight or anatomic handle.

The two common grip type in table tennis are the shankehands and penhold grip but I will highly recommend the shakehand grip because it’s easy to learn and also very good for beginners.

Premade or custom made racket

The racket can be assembly directly from the manufacturer or by the player, but most retailers do it for a small fee. When the rackets components are assemble directly from the manufacturer before sales, it is called premade racket, but when the components are bought separately and assembled by the player or retailer, it is call custom made racket.

I will recommend you buy a premade racket for a start and as you develop your skills and improve your game, then you can learn to assembly your own racket. However if you are an intermediate player, you may choose to assemble your racket yourself or have the retailer do it for you.

A premade offensive table tennis racket with a straight grip handle
A premade offensive table tennis racket with a straight grip handle

Offensive or defensive

There are three categories of ping pong racket, some are offensive or defensive while some are categorized as all-round racket. The offensive racket is for fast attacking play mostly preferred by advanced and professional table tennis players. It can create lot of spin on the ball and can be used to execute powerful speed drive.

The defensive racket it mostly used for defensive style of play and it is not too common among pros. All-round rackets has medium speed and less spin, with good ball control. This category of racket is what I will recommend for any beginning player.


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Choosing the right Table Tennis Balls

The ping pong ball is a very important equipment in table tennis but before you buy your table tennis ball, there are few things you need to consider.

Most beginners do not know what kind of ball they will need to buy at their level. Table tennis balls can be bought in any sport shop for very affordable prices but what most people do not know is that table tennis balls are graded according to their quality.

The international table tennis federation (ITTF) has a specific kind of ball that is allowed for international competition.

So what kind of ball should you buy as a beginner?

You will soon find out...

The ping pong ball is made of high bouncing celluloid material and the official colors are white or orange. The dimension of the ping pong ball is 2.7 gram and 40mm by diameter

There are training ball, 1 star ball, 2 star balls and 3 star balls. The training ball is the lowest quality followed by the 1 and 2 start balls. The 3 star balls are of the best quality and are the official ball used in ITTF official table tennis tournaments.

The training balls are very soft and cheap, they are mostly used for recreational purposes but they are not durable and can break very easily. Although the 1 and 2 star balls are of lesser quality than the 3 star balls, it is highly recommended for practice and for home use.

The 3 star balls are quite expensive and are mostly used for tournament purposes.

If you are a beginner or an intermediate player my advice is for you to use the 2 star balls to practice and improve your skills because it is cheaper and more durable than the training balls.

Table tennis balls are parked and sold in bulk of 12 balls, 36 balls and even more.


I am sure by now you would have received enough information from this article about how to choose your table tennis equipment but if you might still need addition information please drop your comments and I will be glad to help.

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