If you ask me which sport seems fun to me most, I will put table tennis in the top three. Now that you have also grown interested in this sport let me congratulate you on this first!
Table tennis has always been a minimal, fun, exciting, and stress-relieving game. It is still pleasuring to prepare yourself for being the next table tennis pro or enjoy your leisure with an enjoyable game. But you can’t play this game without having some necessary equipment. As a beginner, you must be confused or exhausted about which equipment would be right for you or what types of equipment you need to play. Now you don’t need to worry at all as I will be discussing the criteria of equipment you need to play this fantastic game.
Stay tuned for further information!
Basic Types of Table Tennis Equipment List
Table tennis is always one of my top favorites as a sports enthusiast. This game is so easy that it is a piece of cake for anyone to learn and enjoy table tennis. But, you must have a few essential accessories near your hand. If you are a beginner and want to play this game only to have a good time with your friend or relax after a busy day, I recommend you to go for these primary four pieces of equipment.
- Racquet or the paddle
- Table tennis balls
- The table
- Net and posts
You can’t play ping pong without these essentials.
Racquet or Paddle
The racquet is among the equipment you must-have for table tennis. The term of this accessory varies depending on the country you are in. If you are in Britain, you may have known it as a bat. On the other hand, ‘paddle’ is familiar with this equipment. The racquet is the most popular term for this worldwide, and ITTF also follows the phrase ‘racquet.’
Racquets have two parts; the blade and the handle. The shape of a racquet is nearly similar to a tennis racquet, but table tennis racquets are relatively smaller. Usually, wood is the material for making the handle, as IITF suggests that at least 85% of the handle should be made of wood, especially the wood should be Cypress or Korina. You will find the blades of different materials such as glass fiber, cork, carbon fiber, Kevlar, and aluminum fiber. Wooden racquets are the most popular and common for table tennis. According to ITTF, regulation for a standard racquet suggests that the paddle’s length must be 6.5 inches (17 cm), and the width should be 6 inches (15 cm).
Table tennis paddle manufacturers typically laminate and cover the blade with either sandwich rubber or ordinary pimpled rubber on either side or both sides. If you buy a paddle having rubber on one side, you can’t hit the ball with the other side. Players depend on their grip if they need the rubber on either or both sides.
You will find covering the blade among the two types of rubbers; sandwich rubber is more popular. Sandwich rubber is cellular rubber, and another layer of pimpled rubber is glued on top of the first layer. The layer of the pimpled rubber is on top for hitting the ball. These pimples can face outwards or inwards. If you want utmost spin and speed, you can go for the blades, which have spots facing inwards to the sponge and are generally known as pimple-in sandwich rubber, reverse rubber, or smooth rubber. Another type of rubber, pimple facing outwards, is known as pimple-out sandwich rubbers, and they are also suitable for speed and better control against spin.
Ordinary pimple rubbers are a non-cellular single layer of rubber, which is less popular among players. These rubbers offer a basic game as it has lacked spin and speed. However, they can be useful for control.
The color of these rubbers can be black or red. Both sides of the blade can’t be of the same color. If one side is black, then the other side must be red.
Table tennis racquets are available in both pre-made and customized. High-end players typically customize their racquets according to their requirements, but I suggest buying pre-made ones for beginners.
Table Tennis balls
Here comes another functional piece of equipment that is essential for playing table tennis; the table tennis ball. The tiny balls you will use for table tennis also have some International Table Tennis Federation regulations to follow.
A standard table tennis ball should weigh only 2.7 grams. These lighter balls can be 38 to 54 millimeters in diameter, but the recommended size from ITTF is 40 millimeters. Table tennis balls are typically made of celluloid. You will find table tennis balls, either white or orange. Players prefer the color according to the color of the table and surrounding type. Before starting any professional match, the authority always checks the ball’s accuracy by dropping it from 12 inches on a flat surface. It is perfect for gameplay if the ball bounces up to 9.4-10.2 inches.
Table tennis balls come with 0 to 3-star premium labels on the packaging, depending upon their quality. 0 to 1-star balls are basic balls of low quality and arrive at a low price. People mostly prefer these balls for practicing. 2 star balls offer comparatively more quality than 0-1 star balls; still, they have minimal usage in the game. Three-star balls are standard for matches. However, no ball can beat the performance of 3-star premium balls since they have the highest quality. Many people consider buying 0 or 1-star balls for training, but I recommend the three-star balls for beginners to offer the utmost performance.
If you are not going to play table tennis at a club, you must have table tennis to play. A table tennis enthusiast will surely want to have his table and space for enjoying his favorite sport. It would be best to buy the table unless you want to play at the club. While purchasing the table, you will find two types of tables for table tennis: indoor tables and outdoor tables. Let’s discuss these two types of tables so you can decide wisely which one you should go for.
You might have understood that these tables are for indoor matches by name. According to the regulation of ITTF, the table must be 9 feet long and 5 feet wide. The height of the table should be 30 inches from the ground. Tables can be made of different materials if the material can bounce the ball up to 9 inches. Well, indoor tables are made with relatively better material than outdoor tables. You can find indoor tables in a price range of $200-$400.
Outdoor tables are for playing outside. The material of outside tables is mainly galvanized steel. Outside tables manufacture these materials to make the table more durable and last through strong winds, rain, and other harsh weather conditions. The table’s material is the main difference between an indoor and outdoor table, so the price also varies. Except for the material, regulations regarding dimensions are the same as indoor tables. You can find outdoor tables in a price range of $300-$500.
The tables usually come in either green, blue, or black. You can buy according to your preferring color. When purchasing the table, consider the space where you will keep that. It will be better if you put the table in an area where 2 to 3 yards of space remains from each end-side of the table. Thus, you can comfortably swing or move to hit the ball.
Net & posts
Another and last compulsory equipment for table tennis is the net and posts. A standard net has 6 feet long and 6 feet in width. Also, the white top of the net should not exceed 15 centimeters. You can purchase any net that follows the same regulations. Also, nets for table tennis should have screw-on clamps to attach them to the posts. When you buy the net, make sure the net shouldn’t be too loose or too tight after connecting it to each side of the table. The perfect sizing net will firmly attach to the table and have the proper tightening system. Table tennis nets come in an affordable price range, so I suggest you buy the best quality nets to compliment your game.
Table tennis not only requires the necessary equipment mentioned above. Regardless of these essentials, you will need some more pieces of accessories according to your playing level. To prepare for being a table tennis professional, you must require the following additions.
Table tennis clothing: Like every other professional game, players also prefer wearing specific sporting apparel during the match. If you want to participate in any game, it would be good to present yourself with the appropriate attire.
As much as it concerns the men’s match, men usually wear comfortable shorts and basic sporting shirts. Table tennis players wear mostly shirts with collars and straightforward designs. Most sporting shirts come in light colors and are also really lightweight, so players can comfortably move around. The shirt’s material should be moisture-wicking to absorb sweat and prevent the cloth from getting wet and heavy. If we talk about the shorts, try to keep your shorts above your knee so you can easily bend when you need them.
If you are a female, you will find many apparel varieties as clothing brands prioritize women’s sporting clothes to make them more feminine. Most women wear shorts and shirts similar to men; however, some are seen wearing skirts, and that’s perfectly good to go. Women’s apparel for table tennis also has much variety.
Table tennis shoes: Shoes play a vital role in any sport, including table tennis. So, it’s always a wise decision to choose a pair of good quality shoes. While your beginner period, I wouldn’t suggest you buy any high-quality table tennis shoes at a high price. Instead, you can go for an average-quality table tennis shoe that will provide comfort and reasonably cost you. Try to go for shoes with a soft rubber sole to offer a firm grip over the surface. Some people prefer sneakers, but it might negatively affect your game if you choose plastic sole sneakers.
Table tennis robots: Table tennis robots are programmed to serve balls from the other side of the table for a player to return. Technology makes things so easy nowadays. Earlier, people couldn’t even imagine practicing or training table tennis without an opponent partner. But, now players can practice as long as they want with these table tennis robots’ help. It is undeniably essential for your practice if you’re a table tennis pro. Besides, you can surely get a table tennis robot for your fun purpose matches. Imagine you are feeling to play a game, but you don’t have any partner instant. The table tennis robot would be the best companion for you at that time.
Paddle cases: If you want to prolong your paddles, you must get a paddle case to protect them, whether you are a beginner or an experienced player. Paddle cases are beneficial for increasing the longevity of the paddles. You will find two types of paddle cases at the stores; rectangular cases and oblong-shaped cases. Among these, oblong-shaped cases are more popular to players because they are specially produced for protecting paddles. These cases are of almost the paddle’s shape and have a layer of foam inside the case. On the other hand, you can keep other small pieces of equipment with paddles in rectangular cases. Paddle cases are expensive and offer you a very beneficial service, so I highly recommend buying one for you with other essential equipment.
DVDs: Table tennis is so easy that anyone of any age can learn the rules and techniques of this game effortlessly. If you are a beginner and want to learn this game, you don’t need to hire any professional coach or enroll yourself in any classes. Instead, DVDs and internet information can be your helping guide in this regard. Various DVDs are available that include the strategies, and techniques of table tennis with proper guidelines. Besides, many professional table tennis players show their skills and strategies through DVDs, youtube videos, or the internet. These masterclasses are enough for starting and increasing your skills. Moreover, you will find these DVDs at a very affordable price. So, I suggest buying a few numbers of quality DVDs regarding table tennis which will surely benefit you in the long run.
Do you need to buy expensive equipment?
Well, it depends on your playing skills and your motive regarding table tennis. There’s no need to go for some expensive equipment if you are a beginner and want to enjoy table tennis in your leisure with friends or family. You can indeed proceed to the game with some inexpensive yet average equipment. Again, you also don’t need to spend money except on essential accessories.
Suppose you want to pursue your career in table tennis, but you are at the beginner level. In that case, I will recommend purchasing quality accessories that would help you develop your game gradually. You must go with premium accessories if you are already on a standard game deck. Although premium supplements cost much, they will benefit you by increasing your levels and making you more prominent in techniques.
Tips for table tennis equipment
Knowing the equipment list is not enough. It would help if you needed some tricks to increase the equipment’s longevity and overall perfection and buy these accessories. So, here are some tips for you to take care of your equipment.
Before starting the game, please warm the rubbers of the paddles. Put the rubbers in your tracksuit and rub them for a while. When you increase the temperature of the rubbers, they can give you more prominent shots. So, remember to warm those paddles before your every match.
Don’t keep the tacky rubbers after a training session or match. Always try to keep the rubbers clean before you store them in case. Storing dirty rubbers decreases the paddles’ longevity and performance to a meager extent.
When choosing the glue or boosters for your paddles, you must consider buying the best quality glue. Glue is often overlooked, but this affects much of the performance of the paddles.
As for apparel, avoid cotton clothes.
Another necessary thing to consider is the sole of the shoes. I already mentioned that shoes matter highly in any sport. You must also purchase a pair of quality shoes with a soft sole that can firmly grip the surface and comfort your feet.
By now, you must have known everything you need to know before purchasing your table tennis equipment. So, get all the necessary equipment, and find an opponent to have fun with this beautiful sport.