A table, net, ball, and racket are four of the basic pieces of table tennis equipment needed to play the game. In addition, players will need a playing suit, racket holders, head and wristbands, table tennis glue and a net measurer. Let’s have a look on how to choose the right table tennis equipments;
Choosing a table
The table is the first piece of equipment to set up the game. An even table surface is critical for adequate timing during the game.
Tables are typically green, with a white line from edge to edge of at least ¾ inches. They should be at least 9 feet long by 5 feet wide. A safe bet is to choose a table that is approved by ITTF or USTTA.
The game table should fit easily in a room at least 12 feet in dimension or larger. Allow at least 12 feet of ceiling height over the table.
Good bounce is essential on the table. The bounce should be even on the table surface as well as the middle and edges. From a drop height of about 12 inches, the tennis ball should bounce between 8 ¾ to 9 ¾ inches.
For doubles games, the table may also have a ¼ line along the middle of the surface.
Buy a sturdy net
The net is the next essential component when purchasing table tennis equipment. It should be sturdy enough to help maintain good-paying enjoyment.
The table tennis net spans across the center of the table and is usually about 6 inches high. It normally extends up to 6 inches on either side of the table. The net prevents players from striking the ball around the net.
The height of the net is critical to determining the direction of the ball. If the net is too high, the ball will go too high during a regulation net. A low net allows the ball will lodge within, or you’re likely to keep striking the ball at a lower distance.
When the net is not set firmly in place, it may drop in the center or repeatedly topple over during play.
Stay on the ball
A sturdy ball will maintain even bounce on the table. It should be at least 40mm in size and usually comes in celluloid or plastic fabric.
Table tennis balls are available mainly in white or orange colors. Before you purchase, manipulate the ball to assess its shape and general feel.
A good ball will be evenly balanced and firm. If the ball is too soft or is leaning out of shape, it may come apart easily or bounce unevenly.
Look for a ball of at least three-star rating. They tend to maintain good bounce, are more durable and prove cost-effective over time.
Choosing a racket
A strong racket is another essential piece of table tennis equipment. Select a racket that you can comfortably afford without compromising quality.
The racket comprises two main parts; the blade and the covering. The blade must be flat and sturdy. The covering helps protect the hitting surface of the blade.
Choose a racket that complements your style of play, while providing good grip, comfort, and control.
The racket may have up to 7 layers of polished wood, cork, aluminum, glass or carbon fibers. While wood is popular, some players opt for carbon type blades for more bounce on varying paddle surfaces.
ITTF approved rackets normally consists of up to 85 percent wood materials including Koto, Limba, Cypress or Samba fibers.
The racket size should be at least 16 cm long and 15 cm wide. Each racket surface will produce a level of speed or spin and may even counteract spin in some instances.
The paddle rubber
The type of rubber paddle you choose for your racket can significantly affect your style of play strategy and playing technique.
While there are a number of styles available, choosing the correct rubber is essential.
- Inverted rubber helps provide broader contact with the ball and enhances overall spin.
- Short Pips-out rubber has a narrow contact surface with the ball. It gets the ball away with minimal influence of your opponent’s spin.
- Long pimples rubbers can come with or without a sponge. The sponge-less type has a variety of pimples. When striking the ball, they provide lots of spins. They are lightweight and handle quite easily.
- Anti-spin rubbers are a type of inverted paddle rubbers with low friction. They are highly resistant to the opposing spin.
Rubber density ranges between 1.3 to 1.9 mm in thickness. Varying levels of thickness make up the layer between the wood and the top-sheet and provide resilience as you strike the ball. Sponge density on your rubber paddle helps control speed.
Choosing the correct type of table tennis equipment will help improve your general strategy, speed, spin and playing technique. Whether you’re an enthusiast or professional player, the right equipment will make all the difference in performance, comfort and playing pleasure.