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If you have newly discovered your love for table tennis but don’t know where to start from, don’t worry! This article is your guide to help you determine what do you need to get started.
For any sport, having the right tools is very important to make the experience more fun. When you first get table tennis equipment, you will be overwhelmed with the number of options available. So before buying, it's better to determine which characteristics and features you should look for to make the process easy.
If you have just started playing, you need not go for costly and high standard equipment. Basic supplies will do just fine and give you an equally pleasant experience. As your practice and expertize improve, then it will be an excellent idea to upgrade to better equipment.
The equipment required for table tennis are standard. As a beginner, all you need is a table with a net, table tennis rackets, and lots of balls, of course. However, as the quality of your play improves, you can add more types of equipment for better practices.
The question that comes here is, what is the importance of starter equipment, and what characteristics you need to search for while purchasing them? So that is what I will discuss below.
As someone new at the game, the first thing you should do is decide the table you want. That can be determined by taking into account the amount of space you have. Indoor tables differ from outdoor tables, so you should be clear about where you are going to place the table.
If there is enough space available inside your home, go for an indoor table because these tables are easy to look after and are inexpensive. Conversion tops are also a suitable option if space is an issue.
However, if you have a big backyard or garden, you can get an outdoor table that could be permanently installed. This way you can make your outdoor picnics with friends and family more fun.
But keep in mind that these outdoor tables are typically more expensive than indoor ones because of their weatherproof nature.
Even if you are a beginner and need a table for practice, I would recommend you get one with standard dimensions approved by ITTF so that if you ever change the table, you won’t have any issues in adjusting to the new one.
The table should be 152.5cm in width, 274cm in length, and 76cm in height.
With the variety of styles and sizes available, choosing the right net can be tricky. Always try to look for nets with suspension cords so that the top of the net can have higher tension than the rest of the net. This will help the ball bounce forward instead of just rolling on the other side in case it hits the net.
According to ITTF law 2.02, it should be 6 feet (1.83m) long and 6 inches (15.25cm) high. The net should be fixed in such a way that its bottom is close to the playing surface but should not touch it. It should be tightly attached to the supporting posts.
A table tennis racket (also known as a paddle) is an integral part of the game. Rackets with original features provide original experiences to the players.
They make the racket for table tennis up of two parts; a wooden blade in the middle and table tennis rubber on each side of the blade.
While buying a racket, they present you with two choices; you can either get a readymade racket or get a customized one. A readymade or a pre-assembled one is ideal if you are a beginner or only play occasionally.
If you are planning to get a customized one, you will have to get all the parts separately and assemble them yourself, which will require a lot of time and energy. So unless you play professionally or have been playing this game for a long time, a readymade one is a good option.
However, no matter which racket you get, take special care of it because the rubber gets worn out if exposed to sunlight.
According to the official rules, the racket may be of any size, shape, or weight, but the blade should be made with 85% natural wood and must be flat and rigid.
Most of the rackets you will find in the market are almost similar in size i.e. nearly 15 cm (6 inches) across and 25 cm (10 inches) long with the handle included.
You can have a table, a pair of rackets, but without a ball, the game cannot begin. Typically, the table tennis ball is made of celluloid or plastic.
As per the ITTF rules, the ball should weigh 2.7 g and have a diameter of 40 mm. It can be orange, white, or matt in color.
You don’t want to spend minutes searching for the ball if it goes missing while playing, so it is recommended to keep at least three balls with you to avoid the game from being interrupted.
The balls are available in five distinct star qualities.
These fun balls are available in different colors and sizes and are appropriate for children only and not for competitive games. They can be soft or hard and usually come in packs.
Also known as training balls, these balls are ideal for young children or beginners who want to practice before starting professionally.
These balls are generally softer, which is why they can break easily when they hit a hard surface.
They usually use these balls in school games and youth clubs. Just like practice balls, these balls are also softer and are susceptible to breaking when they come in contact with a hard surface.
As a beginner, two-star balls are your best choice. These balls do not have the highest quality and are mostly used by the people who are trying to improve their game by practicing.
For a professional competitive game, a three-star ball is recommended.
These balls are of the best quality and are allowed by ITTF as they have the standard dimensions. These balls are long-lasting and do not break easily. After practicing with two-star balls, get these balls so that you can train professionally.
Whether it’s the ball, the racket or the table, or the net, every equipment is vital in this game, so choose wisely after carefully looking at all the features.
However, whatever equipment you buy, as long as you take care of it, it will last a long time. Store the net in a dry place, clean the tables properly, and protect the blades with edge tape. Follow these steps and enjoy your game!
Less professional and low priced rackets are more suitable when you are just starting with table tennis. As a beginner, it would be preferable to go for a bat that enables good feeling and more control than speed and power. This will facilitate the learning process and make you enjoy the game the more.
Some good beginners' rackets are;
Before 1983, many ping-pong players used rubbers of the same colour on the both sides of the paddles. That is both the inverted rubber on one side of the paddle and the pimple rubber on the other side, had the same colour.
This was the case of table tennis player Cai Zhenhia, the origin of this revolution, who was fun of frequently swapping between the two sides while playing. The sides being of the same colors; it was difficult for his opponents to predict his shots, and thus felt cheated and frustrated.
Since 1983, the ITTF decided on different coloration of the pads, where the black for the inverted rubber and the red for the long pimple rubber.
Cleaning your paddles every now and then is an important step for the effectiveness of your play. However, they should not be cleaned in the wrong way as this can damage your paddles in an irreplaceable manner.
We should note that the major goal here is to keep your paddles as sticky as they were when new. This can be done by often dusting them, depending on how frequently they are being used.
If you rarely use your paddles, then dusting or cleaning them every 3 to 4 months will be fine.
On the contrary, if you use your paddles every day, you might want to clean them every 1to 2 months.
In both cases, clean or dust your paddles when you realise they are not as sticky as they used to be.
If you require more information, please check these references
Starter Equipment For Table Tennis , article, "books.google.co.uk", retrieved on, Sun 19-July-2020
The effect of equipment scaling on the skill acquisition of beginning tennis players8 , article, "www.tandfonline.com", retrieved on, Sun 19-July-2020
Ping pong health!: A table tennis intervention for improved health at the workplace , article, "www.diva-portal.org", retrieved on, Sun 19-July-2020
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