I have been studying table tennis conversion tops for much of the past ten years. They are really such an ingenious and yet simple innovation. Stick a ping pong table on top of a pool table and… voila! Now you can play table tennis in the same exact space that you thought you could only play pool in. No extra room needed!
So, over the years I have learned a lot, and this article summarizes many of the uncommon points that everyone should be aware of regarding conversion tops.
Here are my major takeaways:
- A table tennis conversion top is a heavy thing and will probably take two men to lift and move it. One reviewer on Walmart’s site made the point that “Everyone states it’s extremely heavy… it’s made of wood so what were you thinking?” They run around 130 pounds.
- Along these same lines, the table tennis conversion top is very big and awkward. That is why it makes sense to have it delivered to your house. It will not fit in anything but a full-size pick-up truck. It might not even fit in a mini-van, as many reviewers remarked. Some people had to tie their table tennis conversion tops to the roofs of their cars with bungee cords.
- VERY IMPORTANT: If you do order a table tennis conversion top, make sure you check and see if it comes with net and posts included. Many of the cheaper ones don’t include these items. It’s no fun to open the conversion top up on Christmas morning and realize that the kids can’t play with it until you can get an appropriately fitting table tennis net. Now all you have is two or four big pieces of painted wood!
- If you do have to purchase a net and posts separately, make sure you get the right size. These things are not one-size-fits-all. This might take a little investigation on your part.
- Finally, don’t forget about paddles. A reviewer mentioned that she was happy with the $25 Butterfly paddles that she had ordered at the same time as she ordered her table tennis conversion top for the family. But you don’t need me to remind you about that, do you?
- Nowadays, only two brands dominate the market: Martin Kilpatrick and Joola. Because of this and the “wisdom of the crowds” principle, I typically advise people to “go with the herd” and choose one of these two brands. Unless you have an extra intelligence about ping pong tables, that is what I would advise. In other words, don’t try and reinvent the wheel here. We’re just looking, basically, for two slabs of wood that will lay across a pool table to provide a steady bounce to the ping pong ball.
- Lastly, never forget this is all about fun. What I have always loved about table tennis is that it is such a fun game. I wish more people who had pool tables were able to realize that they could just get a conversion top and turn it (also) into a ping pong table! Kids especially love ping pong.
So those are just a few tips for buying a table tennis conversion top that might not be so common sense. I hope this research on my part helps you to make a more informed decision when and if you do purchase a table tennis conversion top for your pool table.