Should I get a ping pong table?

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familythriftmd
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Should I get a ping pong table?

Post by familythriftmd »

We have a nice partially-finished basement with room for table tennis.
A decent family-grade table sells for about 350-400 on Amazon (Stiga).
Has anyone bought one of these and found them to be a white elephant, or has it been great for you?
I do live in Wisconsin, so finding warmer things to do for the 9-month winters is appealing to me.

Thanks for your advice!

Edits:
I love ping pong
I have four children, including 2 in grade school
Last edited by familythriftmd on Sun Oct 18, 2020 7:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Rdytoretire
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Re: Should I get a ping pong table?

Post by Rdytoretire »

Consider that Covid 19 will probably limit the number of possible "competitors" for a while. If that is not an issue go for it. Much less hassle than a pool table.
9liner
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Re: Should I get a ping pong table?

Post by 9liner »

Will you use it? That’s a question only you can answer.
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windaar
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Re: Should I get a ping pong table?

Post by windaar »

My parents’ ping pong table just had piles of stuff on it my entire childhood. A pool table is a better idea since you can use it on your own or with others.
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squirm
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Re: Should I get a ping pong table?

Post by squirm »

Probably like 99% of other people, you'll buy it, use it for a few months then it sits and becomes a table for stuff until you give it away. Think of something else.
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HomerJ
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Re: Should I get a ping pong table?

Post by HomerJ »

We've had a ping-pong table in our basement for two decades.

Our kids played with friends occasionally, and we often played doubles with our family (Boys rule and girls drool!) :)

Kids are gone now, but my wife and I still play each other, best of 3, at least once a week (usually with a beer nearby and Alexa playing some music).

But yes, there have also been 3 month stretches where the table was just piled with junk (especially when daughter was home from school and living in the basement).

It's all personal choice. Have you ever played before?

They are cheap enough that you can get it, try it, and sell it later if you don't like it without being too expensive.
Last edited by HomerJ on Sun Oct 18, 2020 12:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Inframan4712
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Re: Should I get a ping pong table?

Post by Inframan4712 »

The one in our basement gets used anytime we have extra teenagers, young adults, relatives in our house. It’s a nice activity at large gatherings.

Day to day it does not get used. But it folds up and rolls so no big deal.
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Re: Should I get a ping pong table?

Post by EdNorton »

Go for it. Good for hand/eye coordination and if played enthusiastically, it's a good aerobic activity. Worst case, it's a $300 table accumulating junk.

Also, the correct name is table tennis, not pingpong, according to some friends who play competively. :sharebeer
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finite_difference
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Re: Should I get a ping pong table?

Post by finite_difference »

Only if you have someone in your family to play against. I have an outdoor Stiga and it’s awesome.

Otherwise, I’d wait until after the pandemic.

A pool table would be awesome to have but costs more money and requires a lot of space. Maybe there are some quality inexpensive ones now though.

A badminton net is an inexpensive option that can also be setup outside.

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tainted-meat
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Re: Should I get a ping pong table?

Post by tainted-meat »

I loved the ping pong table when I was a kid, then later the pool table as I got older.

I don't have room for either now but if I did I'd absolutely have either or both!
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JoeRetire
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Re: Should I get a ping pong table?

Post by JoeRetire »

familythriftmd wrote: Sun Oct 18, 2020 11:47 am Has anyone bought one of these and found them to be a white elephant, or has it been great for you?
Mine was great.
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LFT_PFT
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Re: Should I get a ping pong table?

Post by LFT_PFT »

Yes!

If you have the space for it, get one. (Don't want to be cramped hitting walls, furniture, etc...the better the playing area the more fun. Playing doubles in particular is extra fun but requires even more space.)

I had a table growing up and played all the time with friends and siblings. Played in college dormitory too.

Now, we have one and our kids play and we play with them. Great social, 'sporting' activity that is break from devices and fun to play especially in the winter. Our teenage son plays with friends when they come over. He is getting much better and our games are fun and competitive.

That reminds me, he beat me last time....time to go play again and get back on a winning streak!
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Re: Should I get a ping pong table?

Post by tibbitts »

If you live by yourself, I'm not seeing the point. If you have a family it's probably a good idea - worked out when I was younger. But this is Bogleheads: you can't make a post like this without saying what your assets are. It's no different than the posts about $200,000 cars or $5000 watches: the wisdom of the purchase depends partly on your finances. Net worth negative? That would mean no ping-pong for you. Eight figures in your retirement accounts and a six-figure pension? Seriously, you're asking about a $400 ping-pong table?
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Re: Should I get a ping pong table?

Post by prairieman »

We had a folding model that we would get out once in a while for about a decade. Then it sat for ten years before we gave it away to someone who wanted it. I remember some good times with it and so, overall, don’t regret having purchased it.
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tiger81
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Re: Should I get a ping pong table?

Post by tiger81 »

I have had the same ping pong table for 25 years and played thousands of games on it. Go for it
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Re: Should I get a ping pong table?

Post by chipperd »

You can hedge your investment by checking out Craigs list or other sites for inexpensive, used options to see how it goes in your house.
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Re: Should I get a ping pong table?

Post by ram »

Another Wisconsinite here. We have one and use it during the winter. Good for piling up stuff in the summer. It was used much more when kids were younger.
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Re: Should I get a ping pong table?

Post by White Coat Investor »

Bubble hockey takes up a lot less space and is way more fun. :) We have that and foosball in our game room. Didn't really have room for pool or table tennis.
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wander
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Re: Should I get a ping pong table?

Post by wander »

It's up to you, but I think I will have more fun with a pool table. However, with table tennis, if you like, can practice with a machine and it is still fun. You can be more than ready next time playing with an opponent.
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Dougiefresh
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Re: Should I get a ping pong table?

Post by Dougiefresh »

We have a ping pong table which is stored in our garage. It folds up and rolls out easily when we want to play in our backyard. We purchased it about 15 years ago. It's been a great acquisition. We love to play with our kids, and they play with their friends as well. I think it's underrated as a physical activity. You can work up a sweat playing, and the heart rate picks up. Playing loosens up my neck and tunes my eye hand coordination.
Nothing like a competitive game of ping pong.
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Re: Should I get a ping pong table?

Post by Steelersfan »

We had both, one at a time, first the pool table then a ping pong table. The pool table got more use, but when it was time to get rid of it we had to give it away, and had to help disassemble it and carry it into the purchaser's home. They are very heavy.

The ping pong table got use by me and our kids and their friends. Since it would fold up it did not take up the entire game room when it wasn't being used. Not so the pool table, which was one reason it got replaced.

I've played at a medium high amateur level all my life so that helped it's popularity, especially with me.
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Re: Should I get a ping pong table?

Post by supalong52 »

The sellers of our house had a nice pool table. They tried to sell it for two months. Started at $2000 and kept dropping the price until it hit zero. Still took a while because you have to hire specialized movers to handle the slate. Just glad they got rid of it before we moved in.
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Re: Should I get a ping pong table?

Post by windaar »

finite_difference wrote: Sun Oct 18, 2020 12:27 pmA pool table would be awesome to have but costs more money and requires a lot of space.
Ping Pong game takes up same or more space than pool game. OP has mentioned $400 ping pong table. Many pool tables on Amazon for less than 1K. And some combo pool/ping pong setups for much less.
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Re: Should I get a ping pong table?

Post by hfj »

wander wrote: Sun Oct 18, 2020 5:16 pm It's up to you, but I think I will have more fun with a pool table. However, with table tennis, if you like, can practice with a machine and it is still fun. You can be more than ready next time playing with an opponent.
Ping Pong Ball machine
We have a Newgy Robo-Pong, which I like a lot. It allows me to get into a rhythm and hit continuously for a few minutes at a time, and can be a pretty good workout.
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familythriftmd
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Re: Should I get a ping pong table?

Post by familythriftmd »

9liner wrote: Sun Oct 18, 2020 12:03 pm Will you use it? That’s a question only you can answer.
Wow! I did not expect such robust responses. If only I could get such traction in the other subforums when I start threads, haha.

So yes, I do like playing ping pong (or table tennis FWIW). I played it all the time in our med school lounge (maybe should have been studying more? :wink: ). I also played it a lot with my wife and then with our kids at the apartment clubhouse, especially in the winter.

We have four kids, including two who would play it all the time (grade school), and one who is three who will probably try to "play" but will stretch our patience a little. Therefore, for those who mention that it would get used less in a pandemic, I would argue that pandemic + winter in the midwest equals LOTS of use. If it weren't for the pandemic, then we would probably be going to Mall of America and Wisconsin Dells and stuff like that. But with COVID I don't want to reschedule 2 weeks' worth of patients if I were to get sick.
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Re: Should I get a ping pong table?

Post by familythriftmd »

White Coat Investor wrote: Sun Oct 18, 2020 4:07 pm Bubble hockey takes up a lot less space and is way more fun. :) We have that and foosball in our game room. Didn't really have room for pool or table tennis.
A quick google search makes me think that this would make it harder [edit: for me ] to live like a resident as you suggest. 2k? Holy moly!
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Re: Should I get a ping pong table?

Post by bertilak »

familythriftmd wrote: Sun Oct 18, 2020 11:47 am We have a nice partially-finished basement with room for table tennis.
A decent family-grade table sells for about 350-400 on Amazon (Stiga).
Has anyone bought one of these and found them to be a white elephant, or has it been great for you?
I do live in Wisconsin, so finding warmer things to do for the 9-month winters is appealing to me.

Thanks for your advice!
Do you have kids?

There were five kids in our family, mostly teenagers and all with friends. The neighborhood had lots of kids and our basement was a popular hangout. The ping pong table got lots of use as did an old refurbished pinball machine. The table made a nice big and roomy place for working on various projects, often model-making -- plastic and balsa (e.g. remote control airplanes). It was also a good place to set up our chemistry sets and do experiments. Newspapers keep the table clean of paint, glue, fuel and chemicals.

And, it also got a lot of use for playing ping pong.
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fishnhunt
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Re: Should I get a ping pong table?

Post by fishnhunt »

Why not look for a used one for sale? That way if you decide to sell it in the future you will break even, or at least minimize your loss.
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Re: Should I get a ping pong table?

Post by reln »

familythriftmd wrote: Sun Oct 18, 2020 11:47 am We have a nice partially-finished basement with room for table tennis.
A decent family-grade table sells for about 350-400 on Amazon (Stiga).
Has anyone bought one of these and found them to be a white elephant, or has it been great for you?
I do live in Wisconsin, so finding warmer things to do for the 9-month winters is appealing to me.

Thanks for your advice!
I love ping pong. So yes.
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familythriftmd
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Re: Should I get a ping pong table?

Post by familythriftmd »

bertilak wrote: Sun Oct 18, 2020 6:40 pm
familythriftmd wrote: Sun Oct 18, 2020 11:47 am ...
Do you have kids?

There were five kids in our family, mostly teenagers and all with friends. The neighborhood had lots of kids and our basement was a popular hangout. The ping pong table got lots of use as did an old refurbished pinball machine. The table made a nice big and roomy place for working on various projects, often model-making -- plastic and balsa (e.g. remote control airplanes). It was also a good place to set up our chemistry sets and do experiments. Newspapers keep the table clean of paint, glue, fuel and chemicals.

And, it also got a lot of use for playing ping pong.
Yes, I think you may have posted around the time I wrote about the kids above. I have four children, so I anticipate a lot of use even without friends being over. Thanks!
Last edited by familythriftmd on Sun Oct 18, 2020 7:15 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Should I get a ping pong table?

Post by beernutz »

You want mine? Come pick it up.
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Re: Should I get a ping pong table?

Post by shavenyak »

Good question, but "it's complicated." Got a table for our basement when kids were old enough to play at a decent level. It was used in spurts. Wife hated it all along. Then about 8 years went by where it wasn't used as kids moved on and out. Wife steamed ("I told you so"). I was finally vindicated in recent years. Kids, now all in their 20s, love to come home and play. Wife, to her credit, admits getting a table wasn't a bad decision in the long run.
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Re: Should I get a ping pong table?

Post by White Coat Investor »

familythriftmd wrote: Sun Oct 18, 2020 6:23 pm
White Coat Investor wrote: Sun Oct 18, 2020 4:07 pm Bubble hockey takes up a lot less space and is way more fun. :) We have that and foosball in our game room. Didn't really have room for pool or table tennis.
A quick google search makes me think that this would make it harder [edit: for me ] to live like a resident as you suggest. 2k? Holy moly!
*I did not buy this until I was 14 years out of residency.
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TSR
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Re: Should I get a ping pong table?

Post by TSR »

Had one growing up. For my dad and I, it was an important bonding thing. A lot of great conversations had over that table. I think it's hard to manufacture that sort of moment, however, because you never know if your kids will get into it. But it is a fun sport and something that rewards practice. I say go for it, but again, it was very meaningful for me. Get a quality table that folds and rolls, and fold it up every time you use it or else it will start to gather other items.
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Re: Should I get a ping pong table?

Post by absolute zero »

Make good memories with the kids when they’re in grade school. Then give them a tool for playing drinking games when they’re in high school. It’s a win-win. :beer
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Re: Should I get a ping pong table?

Post by absolute zero »

absolute zero wrote: Sun Oct 18, 2020 7:40 pm Make good memories with the kids when they’re in grade school. Then give them a tool for playing drinking games when they’re in high school. It’s a win-win. :beer
In all seriousness though, we had a ping pong table when I was a kid. It eventually went unused for years, but I remember playing frequent games with my dad when I was young. It was a blast.
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familythriftmd
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Re: Should I get a ping pong table?

Post by familythriftmd »

My wife and I both enjoy playing, so ostensibly it will get used even when the kids are going through less-interested phases.
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Re: Should I get a ping pong table?

Post by tooluser »

After they froze the pension at work, decreasing total compensation of the longer-term (i.e. older) employees by 15-25%, they brought in ping pong tables to make up for it. The younger employees love those ping pong tables, and have given up 15-25% of their future earnings to get them! So go for it.

Perhaps I am the wrong person to comment. :x

We had a ping pong table at home when I was a kid in the 1970s-1980s. There was a minor ping pong craze after the 1972 Olympics. You could tilt up one half to play by yourself. It got some good use but as others have stated, eventually became just another table. Edit to add: Probably largely because of the introduction of video games.

Air hockey tables of friends all broke down rather quickly. Pool tables had the longest run (and some people really got good at it), but almost everyone had a short stick to use when shooting around the pillar in their basement. Darts are fun but kids can go too wild with them, I know we did. Mini-shuffleboard was/is probably the cheapest and most interesting to me and my friends of the time (and still today), however the deck can warp over time largely beyond your control, and that will ruin it.
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Re: Should I get a ping pong table?

Post by familythriftmd »

White Coat Investor wrote: Sun Oct 18, 2020 7:32 pm
familythriftmd wrote: Sun Oct 18, 2020 6:23 pm
White Coat Investor wrote: Sun Oct 18, 2020 4:07 pm Bubble hockey takes up a lot less space and is way more fun. :) We have that and foosball in our game room. Didn't really have room for pool or table tennis.
A quick google search makes me think that this would make it harder [edit: for me ] to live like a resident as you suggest. 2k? Holy moly!
*I did not buy this until I was 14 years out of residency.
Good to know. By the way, in case it wasn't clear, I wasn't saying that I thought there was anything wrong with you getting one, just that I'm not there yet. Same goes for some of the commenters above with respect to pool tables. More pricey and also more difficult to remove.
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RJC
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Re: Should I get a ping pong table?

Post by RJC »

I plan on getting a ping pong table when the kids are old enough. I have many fond memories of playing w/ my family as a kid.
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Re: Should I get a ping pong table?

Post by F150HD »

squirm wrote: Sun Oct 18, 2020 12:09 pm Probably like 99% of other people, you'll buy it, use it for a few months then it sits and becomes a table for stuff until you give it away. Think of something else.
^^ this. Then prob cannot even give it away.

Keep an eye on Craigslist or the like, can prob get one for free.
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ResearchMed
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Re: Should I get a ping pong table?

Post by ResearchMed »

familythriftmd wrote: Sun Oct 18, 2020 7:54 pm My wife and I both enjoy playing, so ostensibly it will get used even when the kids are going through less-interested phases.
Given what you wrote in your first post above, and now you've added this...

It seems that this would be an easy "Yes", especially if one of the rather lower priced tables isn't any financial hardship.

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Re: Should I get a ping pong table?

Post by JeffAL »

Yes, played ours all the time growing up. I used to play my dad all the time.
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Re: Should I get a ping pong table?

Post by Quaestner »

familythriftmd wrote: Sun Oct 18, 2020 11:47 am I love ping pong
I have four children, including 2 in grade school
Come on - get it now! (And just think of all the junk you can stash on top of that bad boy when not in use!)
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Re: Should I get a ping pong table?

Post by jabberwockOG »

Be aware that playing ping pong past beginner lever requires that the table to has significant space around it especially at each end. Check out a few utube ping pong singles and doubles matches to get an idea of the space required. If you lack adequate space for ping pong get a pool table instead.

Before covid19 struck, I played doubles ping pong several hours a week. Doubles ping pong (with alternate hitting) is great fun and excellent exercise when played at intermediate or above level.
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Re: Should I get a ping pong table?

Post by jucor »

FB Marketplace shows more than 20 for sale within 25 miles of my home from $30 and up -- with ones that look good from about $150.

This sort of thing is absolutely something I'd buy used. Lots of folks buy them and rarely use them.

We had one when I was a kid -- we used it a lot -- I'd get one that is well made with a sturdy base and allows it to be set up with one side vertically to allow solo practice play. If we had room in our basement I'd get one (our smallish basement is full of my woodworking gear, two cycling ergometers, and storage, so....
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familythriftmd
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Re: Should I get a ping pong table?

Post by familythriftmd »

I see that several have mentioned Craigslist and FB. I don't know if it's me being in a rural area or what, but I've had no success on that front.

As to space, we have a pretty good allotment from a square footage perspective. Actually my only concern is the vertical height - I don't want to bust a lightbulb, haha.
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Re: Should I get a ping pong table?

Post by daheld »

We got a Stiga table as a Christmas gift a few years ago from my in-laws after we bought a home with a finished basement and had room for it. We haven't gotten a TON of use out of it, but I have enjoyed it nonetheless. COVID has obviously cut the people who come and hang out in our basement to zero, but otherwise we got some use out of it.

I'm not a ping pong expert, but I'm a decent player and really like to play. Stiga seems to make a really great quality table. As others have said, you can get great deals on FB Marketplace or CL if you're able to haul a table home. Ours was brand new but I certainly wasn't opposed to buying a used one.
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Re: Should I get a ping pong table?

Post by atikovi »

They make great workshop tables. Mine has a table top parts washer and grinder on it as well as a pile of tools and parts I haven't put away yet.
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Re: Should I get a ping pong table?

Post by bertilak »

familythriftmd wrote: Mon Oct 19, 2020 7:08 am As to space, we have a pretty good allotment from a square footage perspective. Actually my only concern is the vertical height - I don't want to bust a lightbulb, haha.
Our basement ceiling was pretty low and our horizontal dimensions were adequate but certainly not good enough for championship play. (Neither were we!)

None of the mattered to us. We had fun and knew nothing else.
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