Table Tennis Equipment
Before You Buy
Before you run out and buy table tennis equipment, there are a few things to consider before making the final purchase. Unless you are an expert and plan to play professional table tennis, then you don't have to sink a fortune into a lot of equipment you don't need.
Deciding where the table will be used is an important factor that will help on which type of ping pong table suits your home best. Will the table be a permanent fixture in the family room, or will you want to be able to fold it up and put it away when not being used?
Be sure to consider the dimensions of the room and pool table. Some regulation tables may not fit in areas of the home you want to set them up. When choosing a folding table tennis table, be sure to get one that has brakes. These keep the table from moving around when in use, or in storage.
One important thing to consider is who will be using the table. If this is for the family, consider the ages of any children that may be playing ping pong. If you feel that the table may be in for some abuse, there's no reason to sink a small fortune into it.
Of course, if this is going to be part of the Man Cave, a nicer table may be preferred.
If you already own a pool table, a conversion top may be the way to go. If you are, or have, a handyman in the home you could build a conversion top to fit the dimensions of your pool table. Separate accessories can be purchased for the conversion top (netting, paint, etc.)
Conversion tops can be purchased to fit specific size pool tables, or you can buy an adjustable conversion top. These are made to fit over the pool table and most are guaranteed not to harm your pool table in any way.
Popular Table Brands
Choosing a Paddle
For beginners, a medium weight ping pong racket is a good choice. It will give you speed, yet you can still put spin on the ball, and it's a comfortable weight for most adults.
If you already know how to play ping pong, and have a little skill, you will want to pick a racket more suitable for you. If you like to put a spin on your serve, a light paddle with a thin rubber sponge (1 to 1.5mm) will give you more control over the ball. Thinner, lighter blades are better choices for players who like to put a lot of spin in their game.
For players who like to stick close to the table so they can attack the ball, a 2mm thickness may be better. The rubber thickness is a key factor to ball speed and spin.For those who love to play with more speed, stick to a heavier paddle with a sponge that is >2mm in thickness.
Ping Pong Balls
Ping pong balls are usually graded on a star rating system from 0-3.
- Zero or one star balls are the lowest quality of balls, and are usually made for practice play.
- A grade of two stars means that the balls are of higher quality, yet not good enough for serious, or competition play.
- Three star balls are of the best quality and are considered the competition standard balls. Three star balls are also known for having better roundness and balance.