What Is A Ping Pong Table Made Out Of
Last modified: October 15, 2023
An exciting game like ping pong, known also as table tennis, is all about speed, spin, and skill – the three S’s, one might say. But there’s one critical component we often overlook: the ping pong table. What’s it made out of? How does the construction affect the game? Let’s dive right in and find out.
Common Materials of a Ping Pong Table Surface
Often, we don’t give a thoughts to the materials used in constructing a table tennis table, but these elements can significantly influence the pace and the spin of the ball. The common materials used to craft this gaming platform include:
The majority of table tennis tables are made out of wood, specifically plywood. Plywood is a resilient material that provides a smooth and uniform bounce across the entire surface area. High-quality tables mostly use thick plywood, as good bounce requires at least 0.7 inches or 18mm thickness for a pleasing playing experience.
Aluminium is another popular choice, as it is more weather-resistant than wood, making it an ideal selection for outdoor ping pong tables. These tables usually comprise an aluminium-plastic blend on the surface and are better suited to resisting moisture and temperature changes.
For permanence and durability, concrete ping pong tables reign supreme. Found primarily in public parks or outdoor spaces, concrete tables can withstand different weather conditions, although, they may not provide the same standard of play as their wooden or aluminium counterparts.
The Structure of a Ping Pong Table
While the surface of a ping pong table does play a significant role in the gameplay, we cannot ignore the importance of the table’s supporting structure. Let’s explore three critical components underpinning the table:
The legs of a ping pong table must be sturdy and strong, to support the heavy tabletop without wobbling or shaking. Most tables have legs made of steel or solid wood. Some higher-end models might feature adjustable legs for setting the table height according to the player’s comfort.
The table frame sits between the tabletop and the legs. It’s crucial to have a solid frame to prevent sagging or bowing over time. A thick steel frame not only provides better support but also adds to the longevity of the table.
Not to be confused with a kitchen apron, this ping pong table component runs around the edge of the table to fortify the connection between the table surface and the frame. It also helps in maintaining a consistent bounce all over the table’s surface.
Understanding the Ping Pong Table Paint
The paint applied to the table’s surface not only adds aesthetic charm but also critically impacts the gameplay. Let’s discuss the three inherent factors connected with the paint:
The thickness of the paint influences the bounce of the ball. ITTF – International Table Tennis Federation prescribes a thickness of 14-16mm for competitive play. Thicker paint gives more consistent and predictable bounce.
Tables are generally painted with a high-quality polyurethane paint. It ensures the tabletop is smooth thereby consistent and predictable ball bounce.
Traditionally, green was the favored color for ping pong tables, but nowadays, blue is the preferred hue not just for the aesthetic appeal, but also because it contrasts better with the orange balls used in professional tournaments.
In essence, a ping pong table is not just a simple piece of furniture made from random materials. It’s a meticulously crafted sport equipment, designed with precision, keeping in mind several essential factors – material, structure, and paint. Now that you know what goes into the making of your favorite game’s platform, respect the table, and let’s serve some spin!