There are a number of things you need to consider before you buy a ping pong table. One of the most important is to decide whether you are buying a table to play with and have fun at home or practice for a tournament. If you are buying a table to practice for a tournament, you will need to find a table that is as similar to the professional table as possible. If a family member wants to try professional table tennis he will need to practice on a table that will give an experience similar to the one he will experience when playing professionally.
Thickness: The table’s thickness determines the bounce of the ball. The thickness and smoothness of the table are designed to give the perfect bounce for the player. A professional table has a thickness of 25mm. This thickness gives the required spins and bounce that will be encountered during tournaments. Because these tables are expensive, the market has many materials that are more affordable. The materials may vary from plywood, concrete or aluminum metal.
Professional tables are either blue or green in color; these are considered to be the best for projecting the right colors for TV transmission. Any color would do although if you are playing outdoors the table top should not be made of reflective materials or colors. When playing you need to follow the movement of the ball, a reflective surface may cause glare which could affect the game. Some pin pong tables are coated with an anti-glare finish to make it easier to play outdoors in the glaring sun. Tables with that finish would of course be more expensive than ordinary tables. You can place the table under a shade to avoid the glaring problem.
The Table’s portability: If you want a table that you can move around, for example, take it outdoors then bring it indoors at night, you need to get a light weight table. Some tables are made of aluminum which is lightweight and inexpensive. There are tables that can be folded and mounted on top of pool tables.
Weatherproofing: A table that is placed outdoors also needs to be weatherproof. When exposed to rain a table can warp. Even the slightest warping that is not visible to the naked eye, will affect the ball bounce and spin. A good table is laminated and assembled properly to avoid warping. The metal finish should be made of material that doesn’t rust easily. Wood that is not well laminated will rot and start warping and changing its shape. A type of wood known as Masonite is a type of hardwood, commonly used to make ping pong tables. Masonite is known to warp when exposed to damp and wet conditions. An outdoor table made of Masonite needs a synthetic laminate top to prevent warping and rotting.