In general, the Hathaway Victory Professional Grade Table Tennis Table may just be one of the best table tennis options for recreational as well as more competitive players. It offers many great features, but its best might be its price. This is a great piece of equipment for home use as well. From a premium playing surface to its sturdy frame, great materials and design come together in the Victory. There is little fault to be found here, except for its substantial weight.
- Top to bottom, stem to stern, the Hathaway Victory delivers some great features. The top is made from 1-inch thick MDF. Many other tables are ¾-inch thick, and some even less than that. Thicker MDF means more stability and less warping. The playing surface involves a lot more than just thick MDF, however. Twenty layers of a non-marking coating sit atop the MDF. Why is this such an important feature? Without the right type of coating or without a sufficient thickness, ball bounce becomes inconsistent. The Victory’s playing surface is described as “fast.”
- The heaviness of this table requires a substantial support structure, and the Victory delivers here as well. Its 2-inch thick powder coated steel legs work with a steel frame to keep the table steady and stable. Leg levelers enable making adjustments to accommodate uneven floor surfaces. At the base are a set of good quality 5-inch locking wheels. Those big wheels can be great for traversing various floor types when moving and storing the Victory. However, its weight issue can make even getting the unassembled pieces into place difficult. Nonetheless, the actual assembly of the table is quite straightforward, just a matter of attaching the legs to the table with several bolts.
- Using, moving and storing this item pose few problems for most owners. It is relatively easy to fold up one side of the Victory to enable single-player bounce back mode. For various reasons, Hathaway went with a 2-piece storage set up. This may be an advantage for several reasons, and considering the inclusion of a quality locking guard system for safety (especially in terms of young children) the design has its merits. Those locking mechanisms are vital to safety while the table is in bounce back position as well. The table folds easily. It gives you the option of storing the pieces in separate spaces, a good think if your closet space is limited. It also means you are only pushing and pulling half the bulk of this table at a time. Some love this feature and some do not. It is what it is, and really should not be a deal breaker when comparing different models.
- When you have an item with obvious good engineering and decent quality materials, complaints often come in the guise of design preferences, and here, one big issue is the two-piece set-up. As mentioned previously, this is a heavy table (around 265 lbs.) and its sheer mass helps keep it in place (just be sure to lock those wheels before playing). What makes the two-piece system attractive to some causes issues for others, especially those who bring some true competitiveness to each match. A good bump or jostle might result in misaligned halves. There are no mechanisms for attaching or locking together the two sides when in full play mode.
- Despite what appears to be a substantial and well-designed frame, some have issues with the table’s sturdiness, and others find the wheels not up to the job of moving such a heavy item. Additionally, as with any mass produced item, flaws happen, including less than flat playing surfaces and damaged accessories. Beyond that, the missing parts bugaboo occurs with the Victory, where the pieces of the table arrive without the hardware necessary for assembling it.
- With all the good things about this table, you would think that at least the included set of balls and paddles would be of good quality. However, they may be best suited for use by kids, so be prepared to go out and get your own accessories.
Despite problems with missing pieces and concerns about the heaviness of the Victory table tennis table, the overall opinion of this item is that it is a very good table for the money, and actually provides better stability and features than some other, better-known, brands. In terms of its two-piece storage configuration, some love it for the options it provides in terms of storage space, while others dislike it because of the potential for table misalignment. Unless you play particularly physical table tennis, the two-piece issue really should not become an issue.