You’ve finally decided to play ping pong but don’t know what you need to start a game at home? Well, choosing to play the sport is a wise decision as the primary equipment it requires is pretty standard. With a few items, you get to start playing a fast-paced and exhilarating sport with your friends, family, or loved ones. Let’s cut through the chase! Here’s a rundown of the essential things you need to start showcasing your ping pong skills.
One of the first things you’ll need is your paddle of your own. Also called a racket or bat, it is mainly made up of a wooden blade that comes in different sizes, shapes, and weights but must always be flat and firm.
Then, it can be either ordinary pimpled rubber or sandwich rubber. The rubber is glued to both sides of the blade and is utilized to hit the ball. The former is made of a sole layer of non-cellular rubber, featuring pimples that are equally scattered on its surface.
Meanwhile, the latter uses cellular rubber, and then another layer of pimple rubber is laid and affixed onto the top. Two types are available, depending on where the pimples are facing. Those paddles with outward-facing pimples are called pips-out (pimples-out). If the pimples are glued towards the blade, it is called smooth rubber, pimples-in sandwich rubber, or reverse rubber. While there are naked blades that make it spin resistant, they are illegal to use in competitions.
Today, smooth rubber is commonly used as it gives the best spin and speed. Pips out rubber are used by players who want decent speed but greater control against spin. On the other hand, ordinary pimple rubbers are rarely chosen as though it also boasts greater control since it lacks the speed and spin.
Though small, the ball is crucial equipment to play a good game of ping pong. It is made of celluloid and often comes in either white or orange, which you can choose from depending on your liking.
The balls typically weigh 2.7 grams and range from 38 mm to 54 mm in diameter. While you can opt on your preferred size, 40mm diameter is now used in competitions. If you’re planning to compete, remember to use the official size for your own ease.
Ping pong balls are rated using a 3-star rating system. 3-star balls are of the best quality and meet the competition standards in terms of roundness and balance. However, they come at a heftier price. 2-star balls have good quality but are not deemed enough for competitions that usually feature intense action. Meanwhile, 0-star and 1-star balls are utilized for training since they are cheaper and the quality suits the gameplay.
If you’re a beginner, don’t pick 3-star balls yet, and they can be too costly. Instead, purchase 0-star to 1-star from renowned ping pong balls manufacturers as you learn the ropes and reserve the 3-star ones once you reach the expert level. That way, you won’t have any regrets if you step or lose one!
The next thing is on the list of essential ping pong equipment is the table. Based on the International Table Tennis Federation’s competition and league standards, the official table should be 9 ft long, 5 ft wide, and placed 30 inches above the ground. The playing surface can come in blue, green, or blue and is made of hardboard. It must be evenly smooth to ensure the lowest friction possible.
If you want to get one at home, make sure to consider getting the full-sized or official version so you can practice accordingly. Moreover, evaluate whether you have enough space at home and that it provides an extra area around the table where you can move and do your swings. If there’s isn’t enough space and you still want to play for fun, there are compact or smaller versions that may suit your space.
Net and Post
The last necessary ping pong equipment you’ll need is the net and post. While they are often not given attention, a table tennis game cannot start without these items. The net must be 15.25 cm high, and six feet long, and six inches wide.
It should also have a 15-mm wide upper tape and an assembly or post that allows you to attach it to the middle of the ping pong table. While most posts are now adjustable, wherein you can lower or raise the net height, it is best to stick with the official height if you’re planning to play competitively in the future. Remember, it’s easy to acquire bad habits – you always want to start right.
Those are the four items you need to play ping-pong at home. Competitive clothes and shoes will come once you become more advanced. In the meantime, you can wear whatever is most comfortable for you and allows you to move freely. Then, ensure that your shorts are above your knee so you can bend with ease. Lastly, Sneakers will also do as long as you get a good grip on the floor of your home.
After getting all the equipment together, set everything up in your garage or game room, find some to play against, and start having fun!