Why Is Table Tennis So Expensive? (Explained)

Pass the Ball to Someone Else!

Why is table tennis so expensive? There’s no hiding the fact that table tennis is an expensive sport, but why?

Table tennis is a materialistic sport, and a lot of the items have to be replaced not too long after buying them. A lot of players love this though, and are nerds when it comes to rubbers and blades. Some players even play it mostly to try out new combinations, builds and love spending money on the sport.

But why is table tennis so expensive? Does it have to be expensive?

Why Is Table Tennis So Expensive?

The reason to table tennis being expensive is simple; there’s a lot of equipment you have to buy and regularly switch out. Rubbers need to be exchanged multiple times a year, new balls have to be bought regularly due to breaking and a table lasts forever but is a very expensive one time cost.

How Much Does It Cost to Play Table Tennis?

Let’s take averages here and how much it would cost to play table tennis for a year, 2 sessions per week.

  • Blade – 60$
  • Rubbers x4 (need to buy new ones after ~6 months) – 100$
  • Table – 800$
  • Net – 40$
  • Balls x120 – 60$

The above estimates are just that though – estimates. If you play in a club for example, an annual membership can be way above 1000$/year, but then you don’t have to get your own balls, nets or tables. Plus you get coaching and other players to play with. It’s highly recommended to join a club, it’ll be much more fun, and maybe you even want to compete?

Does It Have to Be Expensive?

Of course not, you could buy a pre-built racket for 50$, a table for 100$ and a couple balls. This sets you up, but this also requires you to have someone to play with. If you want to play competitively – money is going to be spent though.

You can’t really expect to have a good experience competing with a pre-built racket and only experience from home.

You choose yourself how much you want to sink into it, but it can of course be played with just around 200$.

Why Are Table Tennis Rubbers So Expensive?

Table tennis rubbers are very expensive compared to the playtime you get out of them, there’s no denying that. There is no real explanation to why table tennis rubbers are so expensive, I guess the companies can charge as much as the people are willing to pay for it.

If people are willing to pay 25$ per sheet, then they’ll charge that. The rubbers are kind of expensive to manufacture, but it really only boils down to table tennis being an expensive commercialized sport overall.

What Is the Most Expensive Rubber?

The blue sponge rubbers that come in at over 100$ per sheet are the most expensive rubbers on the market right now. These use a special technique to be made, which explains the very high price tag. Models at this price tag includes some DHS Hurricane 3’s, XIOM Omega VII, Stiga DNA Platinum and Butterfly Dignics/Tenergy.

How Often Do You Need New Rubbers?

New rubbers need to be switched about two times per year if you play two times per week. That means they generally have to be swapped after about 50 times of play.

Read more about how long rubbers last here!

One of the reasons table tennis as a sport is so expensive is due to equipment having to be swapped out. Rubbers are the most expensive items having to be swapped out regularly, thus making the sport more expensive.

Why Are Table Tennis Blades So Expensive?

Table tennis blades are made of really high quality wood, which isn’t cheap anymore. In order to manufacture a blade, you need just the right type of wood, and just the right piece of that wood.

Some blades has a price tag of over 300$, although these are a bit overkill, it still gives you an idea of how high it can go.

Table tennis blades aren’t really as expensive as you might think at first glance though, because they can pretty much last a lifetime. *Read more about how long blades last here!

How Much Better Is an Expensive Blade to a Cheap One?

As long as the blade is “reasonably” priced, which is around 50-100$, it really isn’t much different to a 300$ one. Most professional players use blades around the 100$ range, the ones above that just cost more in all honesty.

What Is the Most Expensive Table Tennis Blade?

What is the most expensive table tennis blade
Nittaku Resoud

The most expensive table tennis blade costs $2,712 and is the Nittaku Resoud. As you can see, it even features a picture of a violin, because it is considered the Stradivarius of blades.

The grip is made of wenge wood imported from Europe which is typically used for fingerboards on guitars. This truly is the most well-crafted table tennis blade ever made.

Why Are Table Tennis Tables So Expensive?

Table tennis tables are expensive because of the amount of materials needed. The more sturdy tables will easily set you back at least 500$, but they also last a lifetime and aren’t easily moved while playing. They weigh over 220lbs (100kg), that pretty much sums up the pricing.

You of course don’t have to go broke buying a table, there are models under 100$, but those aren’t recommended if you plan on playing anything other than beer pong.

How Much Better Is an Expensive Table to a Cheap One?

The difference between an expensive table and a cheap one is insane. More expensive tables weigh over 220lbs (100kg), while cheap models might not even weigh half of that.

The difference will be felt when playing, the bounce of the ball changes depending on what type of table you play on. On a more expensive model, the bounce will be easier to calculate, thus giving you a better ping pong experience.

If you play on a serious hobby basis, don’t go for the cheap models, the expensive models will last you a lifetime anyway. Plus, you might even be able to pick one up for cheap from a local club!

Conclusion

Table tennis is an expensive sport, but that’s also what can be fun about it! Testing out new rubbers, building new combinations and nothing beats breaking in your new rubbers. Many people that have table tennis as a hobby love the material side of it, and so will you once you dive into it. By then, 30$ for a new sheet will be nothing!

*The header picture in this article is taken from here!