I have been studying ping pong conversion tops for almost ten years now, so I am pretty confident that I can offer a few words of wisdom to the bewildered person who’s trying to make heads or tails out of how to convert their pool table into a ping pong table.
What is a ping pong conversion top?
The first thing everyone must know, is that the conversion process is really quite simple. It consists merely of buying just the top table portion of a ping pong table. In other words, since you already have a pool table, you do not need the legs-portion of the ping pong add-on section.
This is what we mean when we refer to a ping pong conversion top: it is the table portion and it fastens (or merely lays by its own weight) on top of your pre-existing pool table. Usually a ping pong conversion top comes in two large pieces, or two square halves.
These halves may fasten together somehow at their intersection to create a full-length ping pong playing surface.
And then, of course, a net with posts is added along the meeting point of the two halves of the ping pong conversion top. It’s really that simple.
Like I said at the beginning, I have been studying this space for near ten years, and what’s interesting is that over time only two models of ping pong conversion tops have risen to the “top” so to speak.
The most popular seller is the German-crafted Martin Kilpatrick conversion top. Germany is renowned for its high quality craftsmanship and I think that has something to do with why is the best seller.
Kids and adults of all ages have spent untold hours flailing their ping pong bats back and forth, batting that little white ball like there’s no tomorrow. And it’s all because of good ol’ Martin Kilpatrick.
What is one to do when they have a pool table and no extra room for a ping pong table? Maybe the kids are not old enough to appreciate the fine old art of billiards. Maybe the kids just don’t like playing pool! Maybe Little Johnny has mastered the game and it’s no fun for anyone else anymore, as he mentally works out all the mathematical angles necessary to strike the cue ball into the corner pocket and take everybody’s money… again!
Well that’s when it’s time to call up old Martin Kilpatrick and change up the family dynamics by getting a Kilpatrick ping pong conversion top. In no time, Little Johnny will be in the corner crying as Little Susie proves she, not he, is the ping pong master.
All it takes is about $300 and you can convert your pool table into a ping pong table.
Now here’s the one other big selling ping pong conversion top. It’s by a company called Joola. I always like to point out that Joola is a very legitimate company that actually sponsors the US National ping pong team. When you say the Joola name on a product, you know there is a little extra integrity there.
Joola conversion tops work just the same as the Kilpatrick ones. In no time flat, you just lay the top on your pool table, get the net set nice and tight, break out your bats (paddles) and balls, and start working that magical spin that you think is your purview alone.
I like to literally imagine I am a professional ping ponger when I play. Ping pong is like that, it really lends itself to making its players feel larger than life.
Anyway, the Joola runs about in the same price range as the previous model. I think it is in the low $300s. I believe it also tends to be a darker color, which I personally think looks “more serious.”
But the basic point is that with either of these ping pong conversion tops, you really cannot go wrong. There may be some higher end options, but I don’t think that is necessary for the majority of what most families want from turning their pool table into a ping pong table. Most just want a steady top that will be 95% loyal to the bounce, and will make for hundreds of hours of future fun!