Updated 6th Sept 2015
Table tennis tables are ideal for people looking to sharpen their reflex skills, play recreational or competitive games, or to just relax with friends while rallying. They can provide hours of fun for the whole family and a good solid table tennis table should last you for years to come.
Table tennis tables are easily assembled, moved and stored, as most of them have wheels and fold in two so they don’t take up too much space. There are, of course, various sizes and makes of tables, and you should shop around to find one that best suits your needs.
Most table tennis tables are built out of aluminum composite materials and have warp-proof laminated tops. Some tops are made of steel and covered with plastic and aluminum.
OUtdoor or Indoor?
A line of table tennis tables are also built for outdoor and indoor use and they weigh between approximately 100 and 350 pounds and are held up with heavy duty steel legs. The table’s playing surface is usually between ½ and 1 inch thick, and is predominately green or navy blue in color. There are one and two piece table tennis tables available and some of them need assembling. Most table tennis tables come with nets and posts included but not paddles or balls. Butterfly, Joola, Prince, Stiga and Kettler are all well known makers of table tennis tables.
There are also table tennis table conversion tops available which attach to the top of a pool table to allow you to play table tennis. These are usually ½ to one inch thick and cost approximately $300. Table tennis tables themselves range in price from approximately $200 to just over $2,000. You can also shop around for a good used table tennis table at a lower price.
Buying a ping pong table for your home could be as simple as going to the store, purchasing one, and taking it home. That seems like the easiest way, but the truth is, not all ping pong tables are created equal. To find the right ping pong table for your home, there are a few things you should consider. This simple buying guide will help you ask and answer all the important questions.
Table tennis tables fall into beginner, intermediate, and advanced categories, which may seem simple enough. But just because you or your child is a beginning player doesn’t necessarily mean that a beginner level table is the best choice. Take into account how much play your ping pong table will receive and its overall durability.
These ping pong tables are perfect for light recreational use in the basement or garage. They are primarily built for fun, not for performance. Many beginner ping pong tables have a playback feature, which allows one side of the table to be flipped up to act as a backboard for returning shots. This is great for an introduction to table tennis, but if you or your child has any desire to advance beyond a leisurely game, the performance of an intermediate table will better serve your needs.
Intermediate tables focus on durability. If you have several children that will likely spend a good deal of time playing, an intermediate table is well worth the investment. Many of these tables fold up and stand on wheels for easy storage. If you anticipate moving your table occasionally to make room for gatherings in your basement or game room, an intermediate level table will withstand this kind of wear and tear.
These are competition tables that meet tournament standards set by the International Table Tennis Federation. If you or your child plans to compete competitively, an advanced ping pong table is the only way to prepare properly. These ping pong tables will have a thicker table top (at least 3/4″), which results in a consistent bounce over the entire surface.
Table tennis is generally an indoor sport, but when the weather is pleasant, who wants to stay inside? A thin aluminum coating on outdoor ping pong tables makes them resistant to warping and moisture. If you choose an outdoor table, be sure to purchase a quality cover as well to protect your investment.
Convertible top tables are tables with a playback feature. A player can lift one side of the ping pong table up to act as a backboard for practice sessions. Most beginner ping pong tables have this feature, as do some intermediate tables.
Many intermediate and advanced tables have a rollaway feature. You can easily fold up the two halves of these ping pong tables with the help of a chassis on wheels. Once the table is folded, simply wheel it into its new position or into storage. Look for thick frames, multiple connections between the frame and the table, and between the frame and the wheels. The highest quality rollaway tables will have the heftiest frames with the most connection points to maintain a stabile playing surface when the ping pong table is unfolded.
There are stationary tables for every level of play. These are generally more stabile than the rollaway versions. However, a stationary ping pong table can occupy a significant chunk of your living or garage space. Before you choose a stationary table, make sure you are committed to dedicating the necessary area to your ping pong table.
A Last Look
The standard ping pong table is nine feet long by five feet wide, but that doesn’t mean they’re all the same. Table thickness runs between 1/2″ and 1″ thick. For a faithfully consistent bounce, nothing less than 3/4″ will do. Frame stability is vital for performance. Look for girth in the chassis and plenty of contact between the frame and the table.
Finally, take a look around at your living space and at who will be playing at your ping pong table. These factors will best determine the optimal ping pong table for your home.