You should consider several factors when purchasing a ping pong table. Many people buy their first table before they are familiar with the sport, so they may not have a good understanding of what they need and what to look for. Furthermore, you may want to consider who will be using the ping pong table, and where it will be located. Take a look at your budget, your personal wants and needs, and what is available in your area when you shop.
One of the first considerations when shopping for a ping pong table is whether you will be leaving your table set up all the time, or whether you will need to fold it up and put it away. You can find affordable and good quality tables in both styles. A fold up model with rollers and brakes will be the easiest to set up and break down should you need to choose one that will not be up and available at all times. You may even want to choose one of these in case your living situation changes at a later time.
While manufacturers want to sell you the best and most expensive ping pong table, the majority of people who play for fun will find a less expensive ping pong table completely adequate for their needs. What is critical? An even top with no warping is absolutely essential. While a 1 inch (25 mm) thickness is a competition standard, a less expensive and thinner tabletop may be quite adequate for home use and provide you with a good playing experience. If you play table tennis competitively, you should splurge for the competition thickness; however, the rest of us can save by choosing a nice, but less expensive table. Look for strong and sturdy legs, preferably with levelers. Many people end up setting up their tables in the garage or basement, and irregular floors are commonplace.
Your table should meet the international standard. If you drop a ping pong ball from a height of 30 cm, it should bounce to a height of 23 cm. An even bounce all over the table will insure that your ping pong table provides a good and standard playing experience. A smooth and even finish, padded net clips, and a table with a good overall feel will all make your introduction to ping pong a great one.
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