The 10 Best Ping Pong Tables
10. Harvil I
- includes slip cover and carrying bag
- wheels lock for a permanent setup
- not great for competition-level play
|Rating||3.7 / 5.0|
9. Hathaway Victory
- easy 6-step assembly
- integrated leg levers
- can be difficult to move
|Rating||4.2 / 5.0|
8. Viper Arlington Indoor
- large legs provide good balance
- available with assembly
- may bubble with excess humidity
|Brand||Viper by GLD Products|
|Rating||4.0 / 5.0|
7. Stiga InstaPlay
- 3-inch ball bearing wheels
- strong corner protectors
- indoor use only
|Rating||4.4 / 5.0|
6. Kettler Grand Slam
- patented safety-fold design
- comes with racket and ball kit
- can be difficult to assemble
|Rating||3.8 / 5.0|
5. Butterfly Personal Rollaway
- 3-year warranty included
- oversized 5-inch ball bearings
- poor instruction manual
|Rating||5.0 / 5.0|
4. Joola Rally TL 300
- stabilized by anti-tilting device
- magnetic abacus scoreboard
- good value for price
|Rating||4.2 / 5.0|
3. Killerspin Revolution
- arched base for superior stability
- glare and mark-resistant top coating
- backed by thirty-day warranty
|Rating||4.6 / 5.0|
2. Stiga Advantage
- designed in the usa
- silk screen striping
- extremely sturdy legs
|Rating||4.9 / 5.0|
1. Joola Inside
- wood composite surface
- each half can be used independently
- very competitive price
|Rating||4.5 / 5.0|
Getting Into Ping Pong Basics
Think of ping pong is as if it was a miniaturized game of tennis. Now you know how the game's original designation, table tennis, came about. With the exception of a missing margin, a ping pong table's surface is set up exactly like a tennis court's.
The goal in ping pong is to strike the ball with a paddle, causing it to bounce one time along your side of the net, before crossing over, and then bouncing once more within your opponent's side. This, again, is slightly different from the sport of tennis, where one of the goals is to avoid having the ball bounce at all before it passes over into your opponent's side of the court.
In both ping pong and tennis, opposing players continue to volley until somebody either knocks the ball out of bounds, or fails to return a shot over the net.
In terms of dynamics, a ping pong ball achieves most of its speed - and direction - as a result of the reinforced rubber (and sponge) that comprises a paddle's webbing. But each ping pong shot can be additionally affected by a table's surface, which can vary in quality and composition the same way grass courts can differ from clay courts (or any other substance) in the game of tennis.
Ping Pong Table Considerations
If you're interested in buying an indoor table, you'll want to make sure that you have enough room for the unit to fit. If you're interested in buying an outdoor one, you'll want to make sure that that table is not only weather-resistant, but also collapsible, so you can store it during the cold-weather months. If you're interested in buying a table for both indoor and outdoor use, you'll want to make sure that that table folds up (so you can fit it through sleek entryways), and that it has wheels (so you can roll it out the door).
If you plan on placing the table across an uneven surface, you'll also want to make sure that it has leg adjusters. And if you're looking to really one your professional ping pong skills, you'll want to confirm that the table's been built to regulation size (i.e., a 9x5 foot surface, standing 2.5 feet off the ground).
As a precaution, be sure to read a lot of customer reviews. Expert reviews are helpful, but it's the customers who have invested a lot of time with each of these products. Customers are more inclined to be honest. And they're also more inclined to tell you which manufacturers to avoid.
A Brief History of the Ping Pong Table
The concept of table tennis began as an aristocratic parlor game, usually played after dinner parties in Victorian England. Back in those days, and throughout much of the late 1800s, a row of books was sometimes substituted for the net, and a separate pair of books was considered adequate for rackets.
In the early 1900s, a British manufacturer trademarked the term ping pong, and from that point forward, the game took on a much more standardized approach.
There were rules, along with regulation tables and rackets, all overseen by the International Table Tennis Federation that was established in Europe in 1926. The first international tournament happened within that same year, in Berlin. In turn, the game became a major hit in America during the 1920s, and it became an even bigger hit in China during the 1930s. To this day, China holds the most Olympic tournament wins over all other countries.
Table tennis was introduced as an Olympic sport in 1988. By 2008, the Olympics opened the doors to more players by offering five different event categories for the sport.
Of course, the most famous ping pong player doesn't exist in real life, but he deserves a mention nonetheless. Here's looking at you, Forrest Gump.