The 8 Best Outdoor Ping Pong Tables
8. Harvil Outsider
7. Butterfly Rollaway
6. Stiga Vapor
5. Kettler Axos 1
4. Joola Nova
3. Killerspin BlackStorm
2. Kettler Champ 5.0
1. Cornilleau Crossover
A Brief History Of Ping Pong
Ping Pong is actually a trademarked name for the sport of table tennis. The name was first invented in the late 1890s by the English firm J. Jacques and Son. In the early 1900s, they sold Parker Brothers the rights to use the name of Ping Pong in the United States. So, to learn the history of Ping Pong, we must actually look at the history of table tennis.
It is commonly believed that table tennis first came into existence some time in the 1860s and 1870s, when bored English military officers serving in India were looking for something to do in their spare time. They developed a version of table tennis, which, over time, became the version that we know today. An alternating theory says that table tennis was first developed in the 1880s, when bored English tennis players were looking for a way to continue playing their favorite game throughout the frigid winter months. The result was table tennis. Whichever theory is true, of one thing there are no doubt: bored Englishmen were involved.
After its development, table tennis quickly gained popularity, prompting J. Jacques and Son to start manufacturing premium Ping Pong tables, balls and paddles. At first, they and all other manufacturers made the balls out of rubber. The heavy rubber balls didn't allow for very long rallies, so J. Jacques and Son started making celluloid balls. This new style of hollow plastic ball was much lighter and easier to control, allowing for longer volleys. As players hit these celluloid balls back and forth, they made the telltale ping-pong sound with which we are all so familiar. After this, J. Jacques and Son renamed the game from Gossima, their previously registered name for it, to Ping Pong, which they promptly registered and trademarked.
Since J. Jacques and Son and Parker Brothers had a trademark on the name Ping Pong, other companies selling tables, paddles, and balls started to refer to the game as table tennis. In 1926, the International Table Tennis Federation was formed. It quickly set about establishing a set of international table tennis rules and held the first official Table Tennis World Championship in London. This took what up until then had just been a fun parlor game, and turned it into an official sport with serious players all around the world.
What To Consider When Choosing An Outdoor Ping Pong Table
One of the first decisions to make before purchasing an outdoor Ping Pong table is regarding the placement. Will the table permanently occupy a space, or do you need a table that you can pack away when not in use? If you don't have a dedicated space to set up your Ping Pong table, choose a folding model that features wheels. This allows one person to easily move it and cuts down on the amount of storage space it requires. Higher quality models will usually have wheels that you can lock into place during game play. Those who want to practice alone should also choose a folding model. Folding up one half of the table gives you a surface to practice hitting against that will send the ball directly back at you. This is a great way to improve your volleying skills. Stationary tables tend to be sturdier and more visually attractive, but they require a very large space commitment.
You should also consider who is going to play on the table. If it is a table for young children and teens, or an office table, it is better to choose a more affordable model. More than likely, it will suffer a large amount of abuse. No Ping Pong table can stand up to endless abuse, but it is much less stressful to replace an affordable, budget-friendly model than a high-end table. On the other hand, if this table is intended for more serious players or perhaps just you and a few select friends, you may be happier with a premium table. High-end tables will produce a more consistent bounce on the ball, making them better for serious practice. One of the ways to gauge quality is to look at the thickness of the table and the material from which it is made. A one-inch thick table will produce a better and more even bounce than a 0.75-inch table. Tables made from a denser material, like plywood or solid wood, will be better than those from less dense materials, such as particleboard.
The legs will also make a big difference in a table's playability and durability. Models that have thick aluminum, zinc, or steel alloy legs will stand up to regular use and movement much better than those with thinner frames. Keep an eye out for a model that comes with leg levelers, too. These can be vital to creating a level playing field when setting up your table on an outdoor surface.
Physical And Mental Health Benefits Of Ping Pong
Ping Pong is more than just a fun way to pass the time. It is actually surprisingly healthy for the human body, as well. Ping Pong provides both physical and mental benefits. This fast-paced game requires quick reflexes, concentration, and lots of hand-eye coordination. Tracking the ball as it leaves the opposing player's paddle and comes towards you requires a high degree of mental alertness. If your opponent puts a spin on the ball, you must use your problem solving skills to anticipate its trajectory after the bounce and adjust your paddle accordingly. Repeating these actions again and again throughout games of Ping Pong helps to develop and improve mental acuity. Studies have even shown that it can improve cognitive awareness in those suffering from Alzheimer's disease.
Going to the gym and running on the treadmill can be rather boring, and most of us will rarely spend a full hour doing it. Ping Pong is on the opposite end of the spectrum. It is extremely fun, almost to the point of being addictive. Luckily, this is one addiction that is beneficial to your health. The average adult burns roughly 300 calories in just one hour of Ping Pong. It also promotes fast-twitch muscle development.