Is table tennis a cheap sport? Table tennis is a sport that has grown in popularity around the world. Its fast-paced, exciting, and unpredictable action has captivated countless spectators worldwide. Because of its strategic nature, many people believe that playing table tennis requires much dedication and practice to succeed.
It is also one of the few sports that can provide an enjoyable experience for young and old players. Despite its small size, table tennis offers tremendous physical and mental exercise that can benefit anyone who decides to participate. So nowadays, more and more people begin to play ping pong.
Many people may wonder if table tennis is a cheap sport. Generally speaking, ping pong is cheap compared to other sports like skiing, snooker, etc. But if you want to improve your skills seriously, you do have to spend some money on basic equipment and coaching.
So in this blog, we will provide you with a list of the cost you need to play table tennis. There will be data in detail that you can make reference.
How much does table tennis equipment cost?
Anyone can enjoy Ping Pong regardless of age, physical ability, or skill level. The cost really depends on your attitude towards this sport.
For casual play
The equipment cost can be incredibly affordable for people looking just to take up a recreational game of ping pong. You don’t need to buy a good table tennis table as there are free ones in the parks or districts of your city. Especially during summer, loads of people play table tennis outside, and it’s pretty enjoyable.
The only thing you might need is to buy a decent racket. Notice that it is just a “decent” racket, which means that it doesn’t need to be very professional or great. There are some already prepared rackets sold even in supermarkets like Carrefour that are pretty cheap. The price might only be 10 dollars or even a little more, but it would definitely be over 20.
In many cases, they sell the gear as a set, like 2 ordinary rackets and several ping pong balls. That means the basic set-ups may start at around $20 or $25 and allow players to enjoy the game.
You may ask me, what if I want to play it indoors? Yeah, it makes sense for loads of table tennis enthusiasts. They are not willing to play outside because there are many factors that may influence the experience. One of the most important things is that the wind can blow the ball and make the ball doesn’t go as we expect.
And when it is raining or snowy, or some super cold days, we can’t play outside, obviously. According to a survey made by us, currently in China, over 60% of ping pong enthusiasts are over 50. And 48% of them may play over 3 times a week. This means they do have to find a stable and indoor place to enjoy this sport.
So how about the cost if we rent a table tennis table? Typically speaking, the rate for one-hour of playing is around 15 to 25 dollars. Of course, it depends on the country and the local price. Like in my city, Tianjin, which is a relatively big city in China, the price is like 10 dollars.
And in Spain or some European countries, it might be a little bit more expensive. The price might be 15 to 20 dollars. Imagine that you and your friends are going to play, and then you split the bill so that it is not a huge price for each of you. What’s more, some clubs offer a VIP member card, which means paying monthly or annually would be much cheaper.
For serious play
Investing some money will be necessary for those serious about taking their ping pong skills to the next level. From lessons with a pro coach to the best quality bats, spending money can benefit your gameplay exponentially. Your performance will increase from having access to dedicated instruction and top-notch equipment; perfect swings, deft footwork, and clever tactics will soon become second nature.
The basic table tennis equipment includes: table tennis net, table tennis table, table tennis rubber, table tennis blade, and table tennis balls. How much do these types of equipment cost? Let’s have a look:
- Rubbers: around 50 – 80 dollars for two rubbers(as you need for both backhand and forehand)
- Blade: from 40 to 100 dollars(depends on the quality)
- Ping Pong table: usually over 500 dollars
- Ping pong balls: 6 dollars for five 3-star ping pong balls
- Table tennis net: around 40 dollars
- Table tennis robot: from 100 to 250 dollars
Normally speaking, if you are going to train in a club, you only need to prepare a racket with rubbers because the club will provide balls, tables, nets, and even robots.
How much does a good table tennis paddle cost for a beginner?
It’s a question that every beginner table tennis player will eventually have to answer: how much does a good paddle cost? The truth is that it really depends on the individual and their budget.
A basic table tennis paddle can start at around $30, while you may need to spend more if you want something of higher quality. Some higher-end paddles may cost up to $75 or more for features such as ergonomic handles and materials like carbon fiber composite in the blades.
Quality generally increases with the price. I personally recommend that beginners start with all wood blades. After mastering the basic skills like forehand drive, topspin, loop, and push, they can consider changing into blades with carbon fiber as they are more violent and fast.
There are some classical blades that I recommend to both beginners and intermediate players:
- Stiga Clipper CR
- Butterfly Maze Advance
- Donic Appelgren Allpay Blade
- Donic Persson Power Allround Blade
- Yasaka Sweden Extra Blade
How much does a good table tennis rubber cost?
Quality rubbers can range from as low as $30 to upwards of $150, depending on whether they are targeted toward the recreational or competitive player. Generally speaking, the more expensive rubbers will give you a more significant edge—in terms of speed and spin— due to the quality of their construction and materials used.
Generally, a lower-level player will already have the skills necessary to select an appropriate rubber according to their playing style. On the other hand, higher-level players should invest more money and look for rubbers with good spin capabilities as well as an excellent grip for maximum control and accuracy of shots.
I put a list of some classical ping pong rubbers here for you to reference.
- Yasaka Mark V
- XIOM Vega Europe
- Butterfly Rozena
- Butterfly Tenergy 05/64/80
- Andro Rasanter R42
- Donic Bluefire
- DHS Hurricane 3
Why Are Table Tennis Rubbers So Expensive?
Table tennis rubbers certainly don’t come cheap – no matter how hard you try, there’s simply no denying that. Why are they so expensive? The primary reason is that the demand for ping pong rubbers is high. Table tennis rubbers are designed to provide a balance between speed, spin, and control when playing.
These rubbers need to be made of top-grade materials that can withstand strong impacts and maintain their superior performance throughout an intense match.
The design process for such specialized gear is also time-consuming and requires expert craftsmanship. As such, it’s certainly understandable why the common rubbers are quite cheap, but after being manufactured as ping pong rubbers, they are quite costly.
What is the most expensive table tennis rubber?
Until now, according to the survey, the most expensive table tennis rubber available is the national version of the DHS Hurricane 3 NEO rubber, which costs $140 a sheet. The high price is worth it for players since these rubbers offer superior power and control.
Actually, this rubber is used by Chinese national team players like Ma long or Zhang Jike. But what I am going to tell you is that the rubber you buy from the market is absolutely what Ma long uses in his racket. The rubber or racket they are using is like the recipe of the coca-cola company, which is the top secret, and nobody will know it.
Besides DHS Hurricane 3 National version, Butterfly Tenergy Series is also costly. It costs about 80 dollars a sheet, which we reviewed in our before blog: Is Butterfly Tenergy 05 worth buying? The most All-Around review.
Generally speaking, despite their high price, the Tenergy series and DHS Hurricane still are the most popular rubbers in Europe and China. I have noticed that 90% of European players have used the Tenergy series, and almost 95% of Chinese players have used DHS Hurricane in their careers.
What Is the Most Expensive Table Tennis Blade?
The Nittaku Resound is the most expensive table tennis blade on the market at an ultra-premium price of over 2000 dollars. Its grip is made from imported European wenge wood, which is used on guitar fingerboards.
This blade is considered to be the Porsche in the table tennis world, and it even features a picture of a violin patterned into it. I think people who buy it are out of consideration of collection instead of using it for playing games lol. Anyway, I wouldn’t use it for any training or matches.
Crafted with passion and attention to detail, this table tennis blade speaks volumes about its quality and clarifies why it costs so much.
Some other blades, such as Butterfly Zhang Jike Super ZLC, Butterfly Harimoto Innerforce Super ZLC, and DHS 968, are also super expensive. The prices range from 100 dollars to 300 dollars. We have all done reviews of the blades above that you can make reference.(Just need to click the link)
However, there are also some blades that we can only buy from the second-hand market because they are no longer in production. Such kinds of blades are more like a collection, as I have mentioned before. In my case, I always want to buy a brand new Butterfly Joo Sae Hyuk, but the price in the second-hand market, such as Facebook group, is over 400 dollars.
Why Are Table Tennis Tables So Expensive?
Table tennis blades are a crucial element of the sport and, as such, can be pretty costly. The general idea behind this expense is that a better blade means better performance. Blades come in various hardnesses and compositions, all offering something unique to the player.
Blades are crafted from special wood varieties or even layers of quality wood laced together. Certain brands add carbon fibers for extra speed and strength. Most table tennis equipment manufacturers like Butterfly or Donic have their R&D centers to improve the quality and details of the blades. So that’s why such an ordinary piece of “wood” can be sold for over 100 dollars!
How much does table tennis training cost?
Apart from buying table tennis equipment, if you really want to improve your skills to a professional level, it is indispensable to have systematic training. So how much does it cost?
Train with a club
No matter in US or Europe, there are various kinds of table tennis clubs. Normally people pay for an annual fee, and then they can train with several professional coaches and their teammates. Some of the coaches are really great and come from previous national teams. According to the survey, the average annual training in a professional ping pong club fee is about 300 to 400 dollars.
At the first hearing of it, you may think: wow, it’s so expensive! But I want to say, let’s divide it into 12 months, that you probably need to pay 30 to 40 dollars every month. It has the same price as a gym. So it’s acceptable, no?
Train with a one-to-one coach
The private lessons are quite helpful in improving your ping pong skills, especially if you train with a high-level coach who can point out your weakness and make a specific plan for you to improve. However, the charge for a private lesson is not cheap.
A standard one-to-one table tennis lesson in the US may cost over 50 dollars per hour and sometimes may even be 80 or 90 dollars. In Europe, some cheaper one-to-one lessons may cost 20 or 30 euros. It’s quite expensive compared with training with teammates.
After calculation, we can get the conclusion. The average cost for table tennis learning might be around 400 dollars per year. You may need 100 dollars to buy new rubbers or blades and 300 dollars for training sessions with professional people. Four hundred dollars in exchange for excellent ping-pong skills. Is the investment worth it?
Like many sports, playing table tennis requires some investment if you want to improve your skill level beyond just casual play. You’ll need a good quality table tennis racket and table and access to quality training partners and facilities.
While the upfront cost of this equipment can be significant, it will pay for itself many times over in enjoyment and satisfaction. The investment is well worth it if you’re serious about taking your game to the next level.
Is table tennis a cheap sport? Now, do you have the answer?