Read these 7 Table Tennis Equipment Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Table Tennis tips and hundreds of other topics.
Early in your playing career, experiment with lots of table tennis rackets and sponge Borrow ping pong rackets from other players to try out. You need to learn what's available, and find out what feels right for you. But once you find a combination that you like, stick with it until you have a very good reason for switching. This doesn't mean you shouldn't try out new types of equipment – testing is OK, just don't get stuck in a cycle of constantly switching your equipment, and never getting really comfortable with anything.
• "Universal" Ping Pong Net and post Sets- Most nets are designed to clamp directly onto a table top of any brand. Some sets, which have extra wide clamp openings will also fit tables with thick framing in the center area. "Universal net/posts may not fit some tables designed for use with a dedicated net/post set. "Universal" net sets must usually be removed before moving or storing the table. They are often sold separately from the table, allowing you to customize your choice of table & net qualities and features.
• "Special" or "dedicated" Ping Pong Net and Post Sets- These net and post sets are designed to fit specific roll-away style tables by attaching to the table frame or other special fittings. They can often be left on the table even in storage or roll-away position, but usually have less adjustability than tournament nets.
• Tournament Approved Table Tennis Net Sets- Approved net & post sets include adjustable net height, and all must include a cord through the top of the net with adjustable tension, and 6 inch extension beyond the side of the table. This is a 72inch table tennis net.
• Home/Recreational Table Tennis Net Sets- These usually lack some of the features and adjustability of tournament nets and use thinner, lighter bracket materials not suited to repeated removal and installation on table.
• The playing surface shall be divided into two "courts" of equal size by a vertical net running parallel to the end lines.
• The table tennis net assembly shall consist of the net, its suspension, and the supporting posts, including the clamps attaching them to the table.
• The net shall be suspended by a cord attached at each end to an upright post 15.25 cm. (6 in.) high, the outside limits of the post being 15.25 cm. outside the side lines.
• The net, with its suspension, along its whole length, shall be 15.25 cm. (6 in.) above the playing surface. The bottom of the net, along its whole length, shall be as close as possible to the playing surface and the ends of the net shall be as close as possible to the supporting posts.
Slippery floors. Have two pairs of table tennis shoes. Most table tennis shoes are designed with a normal floor in mind, and that's where they should be used. Some of the Chinese table tennis shoes are almost too grippy on these same floors, making it hard to move with them (look for shoes with "suction cup" soles). However, these are perfect for those slippery floors. Bring both types of shoes, and you won't be the one ice skating during your match.
Second solution: put a slightly wet paper towel on the floor, and step on it between rallies. This will make your shoes extra grippy, but only for a minute or so. It's a hassle, and since the friction between your shoes and the floor isn't a constant, it can be tricky to move. That's why I recommend using two pairs of shoes. (Few top players have to deal with this problem because they rarely play on slippery floors. Many of you have probably seen the special red floors used for the championships events at the U.S. Open, U.S. Nationals, U.S. Open Teams, and many 4-star tournaments. Top internationals from Europe and Asia, of course, play only in top conditions.)
Humidity. Use two towels, one for you, one for the ball and racket only. The towel you use for yourself will get damp rapidly, and will be useless in drying off your racket or the ball. Have extra towels to replace these when/if they get damp.
Related tip: if your racket is dirty (and thereby loses some of its grippiness), wash it off quickly during a match by simply blowing on the surface to slightly dampen it, then wiping it with a towel.
Food & Drinks. Bring fruit, light sandwiches, and other food items that are high in carbohydrates, but not too high in sugar. Eat small amounts throughout the tournament rather than periodic large meals, although you should have a relatively large, high-carbohydrate breakfast. Drinks such as Gatorade.