Protect your Outdoor Ping Pong Table with the Right Accessories: Table Covers, Paddles, and More
Outdoor ping pong tables might be built to withstand the elements, but it’s still important to protect your table and accessories. Read on for some of the features to consider when purchasing covers and other accessories for your outdoor ping pong table.
Why are outdoor covers necessary?
It’s true that your outdoor ping pong table is made to endure rain, snow, and humidity. High-quality outdoor tables are typically made with a rust-proof chassis and weatherproof top. However, a tennis table cover is still a wise investment. Dirt and debris can collect on your tabletop through wind, rain, and falling leaves. Animals running across or flying overhead can also soil your tabletop. If your table is on a deck or patio, having the tabletop exposed can invite people to lean on it, or to rest their plates and cups or other belongings there.
At the very least, accumulating dirt will affect the quality of your gameplay. At worst, it will result in severe or permanent damage to your ping pong table. Quality outdoor covers will protect your table and deter people from using it as a regular table.
What should I look for in a ping pong table cover?
Size: A regulation table is 9ft by 5ft. It’s a good idea to buy a cover that will fit your table’s exact dimensions to ensure a good fit. You should also consider how you plan on storing your table when it’s not in use. If you plan on storing your outdoor table upright, consider the bottom of the cover. To make sure that the cover doesn’t tangle in the wheels, make sure that the measurements match and that your cover is slightly wider at the bottom than at the top.
If you plan on storing your table flat, make sure that you purchase either a cover designed specifically for that purpose, or one that can be converted to either the flat or upright setting. Think about the typical weather in your area and whether ties or fitted elastic will work best to keep the cover secure. Also keep in mind that your cover should leave room for the net if you plan on leaving it attached between games.
Material: There are lots of outdoor fabrics that are considered to be waterproof and weather resistant, and most fabrics can be made higher or lower quality according to how they’re woven together. You’ll definitely find that kind of range when shopping for a ping pong table cover.
Polyester is the most popular choice for outdoor fabrics because it resists moisture, mold and mildew, and UV rays. It’s also lightweight and durable. High-quality polyester covers will help keep your table dry and protect the table top from the sun. Be careful about cheaper fabrics—they may only be moderately effective at keeping moisture away from your tabletop, and if they’re especially thin, they won’t absorb as much impact from falling objects. Cheaper fabrics also may not hold up to washing—and, since your cover is exposed to the elements, you will likely need to wash it occasionally.
Features: Most table covers include buckles and ties to secure the cover to the table itself. Buckles are preferable to ties because they’re easier to fasten underneath the table. Covers with handles are useful for easy removal, folding, and hanging when not in use. Flat covers should have space to accommodate a net and either adjustable buckles or elastic to ensure a snug fit. Check reviews and product images, if you can, to see how buckles, ties, and zippers are attached to the fabric to check for durability.
Color: Black is a standard color for most outdoor covers, but it’s not always the best choice. If your outdoor ping pong table is frequently exposed to sunlight, consider getting a lighter color. Dark colors attract sunlight, exposing your table to more UV radiation and higher temperatures under the cover, which can lead to warping and fading.
Are there table tennis accessories designed for the outdoors?
Yes! Playing a game of ping pong outside has unique variables to consider. A breeze on a nice day can change the ball’s direction or affect its trajectory. Dropping a paddle onto pavement might damage it. Chasing runaway balls becomes its own (very frustrating) form of exercise. Choosing the right outdoor accessories can greatly improve how much you enjoy the game.
Balls: An outdoor ping-pong ball is slightly heavier than a standard, indoor ball. This improves its durability and helps to ensure an accurate shot even in windy weather.
Paddles: Outdoor paddles should also be weather-resistant. More durable than a standard paddle, these are made to be especially shock-absorbent to protect them when dropped on hard surfaces. Don’t forget to purchase a cover—some can fit multiple paddles at once—and store these somewhere dry.
Nets: Your table will have come with a weather-resistant net. However, should you want a spare or need to replace an outdoor net, make sure that the posts are made of weatherproof plastic or rustproof metal. The net itself should be made from a durable mesh. Protect the net and posts with a tennis table cover, or remove it and store in a dry place.
Cleaner: Table tennis cleaners are made to dissolve dirt and grime without damaging your table’s surface. Even if you regularly protect your table with a cover, you will still need to clean the tabletop every few months to maintain it. Using a specially formulated cleaner will restore the top without damaging the surface with harsh cleaning agents.
Table Tennis Barrier: If you’re going to play table tennis outside, you’re going to have to chase runaway balls. However, if your table is set up on a deck or balcony, or near a storm drain or driveway, you’re likely to lose balls before you can catch them. Consider purchasing a table tennis barrier. They’re typically made from PVC and a nylon fabric. You can buy a single barrier, but most brands also sell them in multipacks for tournaments.
Ball Catch Net: Many indoor and outdoor ping pong tables come with playback ability, meaning one side of the table folds up to allow a single player to practice. However, a ball catch net allows for single-player practice on the full length of the table and helps keep the ping pong balls contained. These aren’t necessarily made to withstand the weather (so leaving them attached to the table long-term isn’t advised), but a ball catch net will fold down compactly and can be stored right along with your table tennis balls and paddles.
You’ve just made an investment in your outdoor game space with a quality table. It can be so easy to look at a storage cover, paddle, ping pong ball, or net and think that a basic set of accessories is all that you need. However, when you are playing table tennis outside, the environment really does have a direct impact on the life of your table and the quality of your playing experience. Making sure that you have accessories designed to accommodate the elements and protect your ping pong table is important.
Whether you’re setting up your outdoor game space from scratch, or simply looking to buy quality equipment and accessories for your game tables, contact Greater Southern Home Recreation today at (678) 240-0007.