Table tennis is one of the most enjoyable basement games ever created. Except now it is way more than some simple game high school kids play to pass the time. No, ping pong is huge. It even rose to such levels of popularity that the Soviet Union actually banned it between 1930 and 1950. This might seem like a ridiculous byproduct of a totalitarian regime, but the given reason was that the sport was believed to be harmful to the players’ eyes.
Thankfully that’s all over and done with now. Table tennis has taken on a world of its own, boasting an international community (including Russia) of unbelievably talented ping pong players. As an Olympic sport, athletes demand the best table tennis supplies possible. Here’s what they need at elite level table tennis stores.
- Balls: Professional play dictates specific guidelines for bounce height and ball quality. The table tennis balls used in tournaments must meet the three-star criteria in order to be permitted, while recreation balls with one or two stars are alright for practice or recreational play. Ping pong stores carry all three types of ball, however, so whether you are a beginner or one of the world’s elite, you’ll be able to find what you’re looking for.
- The Table: There are so many different factors involved in making a table that can affect play. Other than having a perfectly flat surface, characteristics like thickness, height, width, material, and even color all make a difference. Color is especially interesting because the human eye tracks different colored balls over different colored surfaces with varying degrees of ease.
- Shoes: Every athlete needs shoes, and table tennis requires a massive amount of agility. Getting the right shoes can help with footwork more than most people realize.
- Robots: Yes, robots. Machines that fling out balls for you to volley back are used as a training tool by aspiring professional competitors. If you find yourself considering a robot for this purpose, you’re probably pretty good.
There’s even more equipment utilized by table tennis professionals. Paddles, storage and travel bags, and racket care tools are just a start. Just like any sport, table tennis is more involved when you get to the professional level than casual players can even imagine. So keep practicing and maybe someday you will become a professional yourself.