When thinking about sports in general, one thing is usually common; they can cost a lot of money. When summing up the needed sports equipment, association costs, and other costs such as tournament trips, the price can and usually is thousands of dollars per year. This post, however, focuses only to table tennis and how expensive it really is.
In this article, I will share my personal and general knowledge about the pricing of table tennis when thinking about all the equipment and cost to play so you can give a rather good estimate of what the future will hold if you are interested in table tennis. So, let’s learn more about is table tennis expensive?
Table Tennis Equipment Costs
First, let’s talk about table tennis equipment costs. As it is in everything, quality items cost more than entry-level gear, so that you can expect price differences with $100s or even $1000s of dollars between good and entry-level items. So let’s start with the most expensive one, which is the table.
There are various table tennis tables out there, and if you are starting, the chances are that you don’t need a table tennis table of your own. Even so, a usual ping pong table cost is between $500-$4000. The same range is in both indoor and outdoor tables.
The surface of a ping pong table is usually made from wood, particleboard, plastic, and fiberboard. In most cases, quality tables are made from decent wood or fiberboard. Also, the thickness of the table will have a great quality and price effect. The thicker the table, the better quality, and the higher the price.
Another degerminator of the table’s price is whether it is a foldable table or not, how good is the structure and design of the table among other things.
In our post ”Why Are Table Tennis Tables So Expensive”, we went through all the reasons what affect the price, and we got to the conclusion that a middle price point of a table tennis table is around $1500. However, you probably won’t need to purchase one if you are just starting at a local table tennis gym. Now, let’s move to rackets.
A table tennis racket, bat, paddle, or whatever you want to call it is the most important piece of equipment of a table tennis player. However, there are huge quality differences between them, and you can find an entry-level paddle with $20 or less, whereas a decent paddle costs at least $80 and can rise to $300 and even more.
The price difference is determined by many things such as the material quality, construction method, rubber and foam quality, special attributes, and more! If you are a beginner, you can get a paddle for $30-$50 and be quite happy for it, and if you are a seasoned player, I would invest at least $70-$80.
Read also: Are Expensive Table Tennis Paddles Worth It?
Table tennis balls are far the cheapest in table tennis equipment, even when you need many of them and they get broken sometimes. Luckily the scenario isn’t like in golf, where a ball can cost triple or 5 times the cost of a ping pong ball, and you probably lose many of them in the court, whereas ping pong balls really don’t get lost.
There are differences between ping pong balls, and they are graded from 1 to 3 stars, 3-star balls being the best and most expensive ones. All balls are aimed to make as 3-star balls, but sometimes a ball will get too light or too heavy, the hardness isn’t what it should be, etc., and then it is sold as a 1 or 2-star ball.
A 24-pack of 3-star 40+ white ping pong balls costs around $20, so it’s less than $1 a ball. This is not expensive, especially when the balls don’t get lost etc. They will sometimes break tho. If I were to start my ping pong career, I would get a 24 pack instead of 6 pack because you will always need more balls, and now you wouldn’t go through the trouble of going to a shop and buying them. Let’s add $20 to the total sum from the balls.
There is other equipment so that you need to get if you don’t have any already. Some of them are optional, but one of them is a must. Let’s start with the must.
Indoor shoes or preferably table tennis shoes are needed when you go to the inside court of a table tennis hall. This is because you will need a reliable grip and comfort if you want to reach all the strikes on time, maximize your performance, and feel good while doing so.
A great pair of table tennis shoes is around $80, but you can find less than $50 or more than $150. The choice is ultimately yours but let’s add a sum from the middle to the end sum, which is $80.
Additionally, you might want proper table tennis clothing such as sports shorts, a couple of sporty t-shirts, a wrist and headband. Personally, I have a good pair of shorts and a couple of t-shirts, but I manage without the bands. However, I don’t sweat so much, so those might be something to consider if you do. From the additional equipment, let’s add $50 to the total sum.
- Highest Equipment Costs With the $1500 Table: $2020
- Best Equipment Costs: $520
- Decent Equipment Costs: $230
- Beginner Equipment Costs: $126 or even less
As we can see, the table really increases the equipment price. All in all, a full decent gear for a table tennis player costs around $230 which really isn’t that high when compared to other sports.
Also, if you really don’t have money to spend but want to start table tennis, a $20 racket, 6-pack of balls with $5 will get you started no matter what if you can find a free table somewhere. This brings us to the next half of the price of table tennis which is the playing costs themselves.
Cost to Play Table Tennis
If you don’t have a table tennis table of your own, nor want or have the means to invest such sums, then we need to find you a table somewhere. Luckily, there are options! If you are fortunate, you can find free outdoor or even indoor table tennis tables from parks, schools, community centers, etc. However, if you can’t, then there are table tennis clubs that will get you covered.
For example, when compared to tennis, the costs of renting a table or purchasing a membership from a club aren’t so expensive. In fact, you should be able to find a day pass with $10, and the session prices will only go down from there if you purchase a seasonal pass, etc. Let’s take a few examples.
There are many table tennis clubs and memberships out there, but one of the most popular ones is Table Tennis America so let’s take its prices as an example below. Take a look.
- One-day pass: $10
- Three-day pass: $25
- Single one month plan: $65
- Monthly plan for junior: $35
- Monthly plan for adult: $45
- Monthly plan for the family: $85
- Annual plan for junior: $335
- Annual plan for adult: $445
- Annual plan for a family: $885
Table Tennis America offers 9 different plans for table tennis players to choose from. As we can see, if you would register as a monthly member, it would cost only $45, and let’s say you train 3 times a week. That’s $3,75 a session. Not bad, I’d say.
The price goes only down from there if you purchase an annual plan for adults, which is $445. That would make $2,85 per session. Compare that to other sports and table tennis will be in the low end for sure. Of course, there are other clubs, so you need to examine their individual prices, but it’s safe to say that all clubs will have the same price range, more or less at least.
Why are table tennis tables so expensive
Generally, table tennis tables are so expensive because of 7 reasons. These reasons are material, design, manufacturing, logistics, marketing, brand, and of course, the profit margin. These reasons aren’t from the cheap end in table tennis tables; this is why they tend to cost so much.
I highly recommend that you check out my in-depth article about the costs of table tennis tables so you can get a good answer to this question.
My Favorite Table Tennis Equipment
Thanks for reading this article. I hope it brought you great value that you can implement into your own life! Here you can find my preferred table tennis equipment that I believe you could benefit too!
- Racket: My favorite racket choice is the beautiful Killerspin Jet800 because it fits my offensive and speed-focused playstyle. The two carbon layers, 2.1mm sponge, and 190g weight makes this racket powerful.
- Ping Pong Balls: New technology and design have made the JOOLA Flash Seamless 3-Star Balls stand out from the other balls. These balls are seamless, meaning they are more durable than any ball with a seam! Even when these balls come at a higher price, they will pay themselves quickly. As a bonus, the design makes me excited!
- Table Tennis shoes: The famous Butterfly Lezoline Rifones is my choice as it is for many others because they are designed specifically for table tennis standards. I like the excellent support, comfortable cushioning, and lightweight sole with great traction, which gets you exploding fast to whatever direction you need to.
- Fan Equipment: If you’re a fan more than a player, you don’t want to miss Fan Equipment by Fanatics. You can find items from various sports that bear your favorite team’s logo, such as jerseys, gift ideas, or other surprising things.
Money and cost of something is a relative thing; however, when we compare table tennis to many other sports, we can clearly see that it isn’t expensive, at least if you don’t make it. If you want, you can get started with $50 a month and slowly get better things, or you can go all-in at once and get all the latest tables, paddles, and memberships. The choice is yours, but it’s great to say that table tennis is available for all, regardless of monetary obstacles!