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• No two table tennis tables are alike even though their dimensions should be 9 feet long by 5 feet wide with a six inch net. Factors to be aware of are: a consistent bounce, uniform paint job, straight white lines, table thickness, and ease in storage and set-up. Before you buy you should ask yourself what will be the primary use of the table and price range.
• Tournament Tables ($600-$1500)
If you are planning on running a sanctioned event under the auspices of USA Table Tennis or the International Table Tennis Federation then you'll need approved equipment. Don't forget to pay particular attention to the quality of the net and post set. In general the thicker the table top the more consistent the bounce.
• Club Tables ($400-$700)
Institutions and clubs should focus on durability as the main factor as these tables will take a beating over time. Storage is also critical so make sure you purchase a table that can fold up and be wheeled out of the gym with ease.
• Home Tables ($200-$500)
There is no better activity than table tennis in the basement or garage during family gatherings! Some tables in this range will have playback features to allow setting one side of the table up to act as a backboard to practice simple contact drills.
• Outdoor Tables
more and more home owners are opting for tables they can play on during the summer months. Although table tennis is an indoor sport it can be played outdoors assuming the wind and breeze are at a minimum. Remember to purchase a cover if you decide on an outdoor model for added production.
• Mini/Combo Tables
if you don't have enough room for a full-size table you might consider going smaller for some pint-size fun! These tables can often double up for an additional work place when the net is removed.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|