A lot of the people who love playing ping pong express interest in having a table at home. If you’re in that group, you want a quality model – but don’t need to go as far as looking at professional table tennis tables. Folding styles are an excellent option to consider when space is an issue. They can be stored out of the way when not in use. Some can be used partially folded for practice volleying when no other players are around. If you have access to a table tennis club, try playing on some of their tables to make comparisons about the ones you like the most. There is no substitute for trying out a table during play.
Many specialty ping pong retailers are excellent sources of information, much more helpful than a big-box retailer. Their salespeople often advise first-time table buyers to go for good quality but on the lower end of the price spectrum. It’s a way to gain experience while still deciding if the sport will hold your interest in the long run. When you play casually at home with friends and family, tables can be subjected to rougher use. A middle-of-the-road table isn’t an expensive piece of equipment that you maintain with great care. You’re also buying it to learn and have fun rather than worrying.
If you’re a first-time buyer, a net might not sound like a significant consideration, but you still should pay attention to it. Playing with a net that is sturdy and works well is decidedly preferable to the opposite. Also, good nets aren’t expensive, so there’s no reason to avoid buying a better model. Nearly everyone experienced at the game prefers screw-on nets. Models that have spring-tension attachments are less reliable, and it can be not very pleasant playing with a net that does not fit the table tightly. The screw-on styles customarily have a cord running through the top of the net that can be tightened from both sides.
As you’re learning more about how to play and improving your ping pong skills over time, make sure your net is set at regulation height. If you always play with a net at the proper height, you won’t need to adjust later. A surprising number of beginning players overlook this small but essential detail. Then they have had a tough time getting used to a net at regulation height when encountering one. The net is a factor in all racket sports, and regulation height is a must. For anyone who becomes seriously interested in table tennis, there is much to learn about a game that is cerebral and physical.