There’s a good reason why many homes and offices have ping pong tables installed. Table tennis is an excellent way to pass the time and allows players to channel their competitive spirit. It also serves as a good way to burn more calories at home.
Buying a ping pong table is anything but a simple affair. Not many people are aware that there are many kinds of ping pong tables, and each of these may or may not be worth the price. If you’re planning on buying a ping pong table for your home or office, here are some factors to consider that can help you narrow your choices.
Table thickness isn’t just a matter of aesthetics. The simplest way to discern the quality of a ping pong table is to look at its thickness. Generally, thinner tables are of worse quality, while thicker tables are of better quality, but are also much more expensive.
The reason why table thickness is such an important factor is that it is what determines how well the ball bounces on the table. Avoid buying tables that are only 12mm thick as these tables are flimsy. Tables that are 16 to 19mm thick are good enough for training purposes, while 22m to 25mm are of the best quality money can buy, perfect for amateur and pro table tennis players.
There are a good number of reputable ping pong table manufacturers and you won’t go wrong with buying from them. Brands such as Butterfly, Andro, Joola, Stiga, Cornilleau, Sponeta, and Donic are some of the most reliable and consistent and will almost always be worth your money. You can learn more about ping pong tables here.
The cheapest ping pong tables cost around $150. These tables should be avoided as they are always of poor quality. Not only do these tables yield a poor bounce, but they are also flimsy and will likely break after a few months.
If you choose to spend a few extra dollars, you can get a decent ping pong table for $300 to $400. These tables yield a decent bounce and they will easily last a few years provided that they are properly maintained. If you want to get the best quality that money can buy, competition-grade tables will cost between $500 to $1,400.
These yield a significantly better bounce than that of 16mm to 19mm tables, and these tables are guaranteed to last several years. However, do note that the difference between a $500 and a $1,400 table is subtle, and can only be noticed by professional ping pong players. If you’re an amateur who simply wants the highest quality, buying the low-end of top-dollar tables might yield far better value for your money.
The intended use for your ping pong table will also determine the type of table you need. Different environments have different types of players who all have different. The most common uses are as follows:
A table meant for home exercise doesn’t have to be expensive. If players are only playing for fun, they wouldn’t notice much of a difference between a 16mm table and a 25mm table. (Avoid buying tables that have only 12mm to 15mm of thickness as these are a waste of money). If you’re planning to use a table for family fun, the cheaper (but not cheapest) option will serve your needs well without costing you too much.
The only reason you’d want to buy a top-level ping pong table is if you plan to practice for upcoming competitions. In this case, you’re going to want to buy the best table that you can afford.
The reason for this is that you need to match the conditions present during the competition as closely as you can. This entails that the quality of your practice ping pong table needs to be as close in quality as possible to that of the table you’re likely to compete on. This is so the bounce and speed of the ball will be consistent during your practice and during the competition.
You may also want to consider investing in an indoor bike to help you improve your cardio. If you’re purchasing a competition-grade table, it’s also important to consider its safety features, especially since a sports injury can affect your physical and mental health, and can easily ruin your chances at your competition.
School or Office Use
Tables used in schools and offices tend to take a heavy beating, whether it’s from kids playing rough, or officemates venting their anger out on the table. This means that only the most durable tables are going to be worth buying.
However, considering that the people who are going to be playing on the table won’t necessarily notice the quality of the table, you don’t have to buy a brand new table. In fact, second-hand 22mm to 25mm tables are affordable.
Outdoor vs Indoor Tables
Most times, you’re going to want to have your ping pong table set up indoors. However, not all spaces can comfortably accommodate a table, which is why there are some situations when you might be better off setting up an outdoor ping pong table.
A common misconception is that ping pong tables can be used indoors and outdoors. The truth is that choosing a ping pong table entails around the same degree of thought as choosing different tennis shoes for different types of court.
While you can indeed bring indoor tables outside, prolonged exposure to direct sunlight will warp your table surface. Outdoor tables are built differently from indoor tables in that they are sturdy, and that they are weather-resistant. They are also made from different materials from indoor tables.
Outdoor tables are often made from concrete and galvanised steel. The most durable and most weather-resistant outdoor ping pong tables are those made from concrete. The best models will even have the same playing characteristics of a wooden table, and will easily last 50 years or more.
Outdoor tables are significantly more expensive than their indoor counterparts and they cost between $500 to $6,000. The more expensive tables usually have more features and much better materials. If you don’t have space indoors for your table, make sure you’re buying the right type of table.
Buying a ping pong table requires more thought than most people think. As with any purchase, ping pong table purchases should be treated as long-term investments if you want to get the most value out of your purchase. There are many factors to consider when buying a ping pong table, but these are by far the most important. May the information here help you narrow your search.