So, you’ve decided that ping-pong is the game for you, right? That’s a wise decision. Now, there are things you need to know to be successful in the game.
Here is a list of the essential things you need to consider when playing the table tennis game.
Although you can always borrow bats from other players but, it’s best to have your own table tennis paddle.
The paddle or racket is made up of a wooden blade which can be of any shape, size, or weight, but it must be rigid and flat.
A sandwich rubber or ordinary pimpled rubber with colors of red and black is glued to the sides of the blade that will be used to hit the ball.
Smooth rubber is commonly used nowadays and it gives the most spin and speed when hitting the ball. However, certain players still prefer pimples-out sandwich rubber due to its good speed and control for spin.
Ordinary pimpled rubber does not have speed and spin but some players prefer it due to its greater control.
Ping-pong balls are sold in many sport stores or you can purchase from table tennis dealers. They are made of celluloid with a diameter of 40mm and 38mm, although the 38mm diameter ball is not in use anymore.
Table tennis balls are rated according to a 3-star system by its manufacturers. The 0 and 1-star balls are of a very low quality, cheap and acceptable for training purposes.
2-star balls are also not considered good enough for serious competitions and they are rarely seen or used.
3-star balls are the best quality balls used in competitions. They are balanced with good roundness but a bit more expensive compared to others, and they don’t last longer either.
The 3-star premium balls made by manufacturers such as Stiga and Nittaku, are the highest quality balls. Whether it is another marketing strategy, but what I know is that, I can differentiate between a 3-star and a 3-star premium ball.
Don’t bother about purchasing the 3-star or the 3-star premium balls because they are too expensive, instead, you can go for a 0 or 1-star ball from a reputable manufacturer such as Stiga or Butterfly, and these will do perfectly well.
Table Tennis Table
If you want to purchase your own ping-pong table for use at home, there are factors you must consider. But at the moment, choose a full-sized table rather than a mini or compact table.
Also, you must leave enough space of let’s say 2 or 3 meters on each side of the table to move around, spin, and swing, to avoid developing bad habits such as using cramped strokes or playing too close to the table.
You can purchase good quality nets without breaking the bank. I would recommend using a net that has screw-on clamps to attach each side to the table-top, although spring clamps can also be used but they should be firmly gripped to the table-top.
Ensure that the net can be tightened on each side, usually by a cord running through the top of the net and the tightening system will hold the cord firmly without slipping to avoid the net loosening.
Another thing to watch out for is the net height which should be 15-25cm high. Avoid playing on a table with a lower or higher net if you are planning to be a professional table tennis player.
Finally, once everything has been put in place, you need an opponent. Your opponent may be a family member, friend, or co-worker. You can also find fellow ping-pong lovers in clubs to give you coaching and access to competitions.
Remember, to play a game of table tennis, it takes at least two people. So, always give your opponent a sincere “thank you” and a firm handshake for each match played, because without an opponent, you won’t enjoy the game, would you?