What has happened to the quality of ping-pong balls these days? Talk about use once and throw away!
These 40mm table tennis balls just don't last - remember the days where you had the same Nittaku or TSP 38mm ball in your bag for 3 years? Now you have to carry out a six-pack to make sure you aren't in danger of running out!
I Want to Know - Who's Responsible?!?!Is it a grand conspiracy by the manufacturers to make us table tennis players buy more balls? Or are they just sending all their worst balls to where I play in Perth? I don't know, but I'm getting increasingly fed up with paying over $3 for a ball that cracks within a month. I need a table tennis ball repair kit!!
Having got that off my chest, here are my evaluations of the old balls of the past, and the current balls on offer.
(PS - I've read that many of the balls these days are made by the same manufacturer - that may be true but this is still how I feel about the different brands of balls)
38mm Table Tennis/Ping-Pong Ball ReviewsTSP White 3 Star: My personal favorites - the old TSP white balls stayed easy to see even as they got old, and lasted quite a while before cracking. An even bounce and true flight were other characteristics. (Sigh! - oh, the good old days!)
TSP Orange 3 Star: I never liked these that much - they just didn't seem to match up to the white version.
Nittaku White 3 Star: My second favorite ball - they lasted the longest of any ball I knew, but they did seem a little heavier and less spinny than the TSPs. Probably just in my mind though.
Nittaku Orange 3 Star: I don't really remember using these much - so they must have been OK I guess.
Butterfly 3 Star: Never a favorite of mine - it just didn't seem to feel as nice as the TSP or Nittaku.
Peace 3 Star: I think these were used for the 1988 Olympics. We got some over here to try, and I think it is fairly safe to say they were utter rubbish. A bad batch maybe - but we didn't bother ordering any more to find out!
Doublefish 3 Star: I quite liked these myself - they played a lot like the Nittaku. Some other local players didn't seem to appreciate them though.
Double Happiness 3 Star: I don't think any of the locals liked these ones much - too cheap and erratic quality.
Stiga 3 Star: Never saw many of these - they seemed OK to me though - a bit like the TSP but didn't last as long.
40mm Table Tennis/Ping-Pong Ball Reviews and RecommendationsNittaku 3 Star White/Orange: These seem to be the best of a bad bunch. They last longer than everything else, but then they should for the price they are charging! The feel and bounce is OK as well - but they still don't last as long as the old 38mm balls IMHO.
Double Happiness 3 Star Orange: I like the way these play, and they last almost as long as the Nittaku and are a bit cheaper.
Double Happiness 3 Star White: Play like the DHS Orange but last about half as long! Needless to say these are the balls we are using in pennants and competitions!
Stiga 3 Star White/Orange: Both versions play OK, but neither last all that long. At over $3 AUS a ball - not good value for me.
Stiga Club: I have a couple of people I play who are always trying to use these balls in matches with me - I like to give them a hard time about it but the Club balls actually seem to bounce and feel alright. Good value at the price.
Butterfly 3 Star Orange: I picked up a gross of these cheap for my robot, and occasionally grab a couple to use in match practice. I quite like these actually - they play well and last pretty long too.
Butterfly Training Ball: These are good balls. They play just as well as the 3 star balls (IMO) and are much cheaper - if I was running a club I'd be using these.
Butterfly Youth Training Ball: Rubbish - we received a gross of these balls, and honestly at least 20% of the balls must have been virtually unusable due to deformities. Possibly a bad batch but I doubt we'll be ordering these again to check!
TSP 3 Star: I haven't seen any 40mm versions of the TSP balls - whether they have stopped production or we just don't get them locally I don't know.