Ping pong balls hardly seem like the kind of thing you’d want to spend your time shopping. You might imagine that even the worst balls still will play well or last long enough. However, it’s important to understand that balls are just as important as your paddles, clothing, and even the table you use. No matter how small and insignificant they seem, they impact greatly on game play.
For example, the Adidas Jabulani ball was used for the 2010 FIFA world cup and most of the players struggled with placing shots because it was very light and easily carried by the wind. Before this incident, most players didn’t pay attention to the kind of ball used because they felt all that mattered was skill and teamwork.
So, take your time with this review and make an educated choice on the kind of ball that fits your game play, the environmental condition of your game room, and the other important conditions discussed in this guide.
The Best Ping Pong Balls
1. KEVENZ 50-Pack 3-Star Table Tennis Ball
The KEVENZ 50 is designed to provide high quality play and extra durable. This is so because of the additional 2.75g weight above regulation, that allows it to retains its shape and bounce over a longer period of time. The manufacturers guarantee an impact range of at least 1,000 times without any cracks.
The ball is highly responsive and can be used by both professional and casual players for multi ball practice, table tennis robots and similar training methods. It also lasts longer than other balls in its price range.
2. JOOLA 40mm 3-Star Table Tennis Training Balls
The Joola three-star balls are perfect for recreational play. They are made from high quality celluloid material which makes them durable for long term use. Compared to other balls within its price range, it’s also slower, but this makes it more consistent, easy to spin, and adds to its durability.
Each purchase comes with 12 balls in 40-millimeter sizes. They also come in two color options, orange and white. The orange is preferred because it is more visible and especially good for beginners and training. The only limitation to this product is that it is more suitable for recreational play because it is not ITTF approved for official competition.
3. Nittaku 3-Star Premium 40+ Table Tennis Balls
The Nittaku balls are simply one of the very best made. Considering that they are manufactured in Japan, it shouldn’t be surprising that they pack a punch in terms of their quality and cost effectiveness. They have a very good bounce and the spin is impressive. The best part is how submissive the ball is to your control as a player.
Users have confessed in various reviews that it’s impossible to ignore the difference between its quality compared to other balls. Even though it is expensive, there’s a high probability that you’ll appreciate the difference just like many players do.
4. STIGA 3-Star Table Tennis Balls
Stiga is a renowned brand in the world of table tennis and their products speak for themselves. Stiga provides you with impressive performance bordered by good control, excellent bounce, and impressive durability. The fact that they are approved by the USATT makes them more attractive. They are also approved by ITTF as their size of 40mm and relative weight are both part of international standards.
This excellent quality featured by the brand makes them prefect for tournament play as well as casual training. There are no major downsides to these balls, except that they’re usually better suited to serious players versus novices in terms of ability to easily control ball action. Also, it is more expensive than other products within its category and owing to the name and especially the quality.
5. Butterfly G40+ 3 Star Table Tennis Balls
This German-made ball is approved by both USTTA and ITTF for top level tournament play. That seems like a pretty good way to introduce one of the best balls on the market today. The 40mm sized ball is perfectly round and has the same level of thickness on all sides creating a consistent bounce and impressive spin. The Butterfly G40+ is made of high-quality polystyrene material (plastic) even though it resembles the typical traditional celluloid models.
Unlike other products that are more visible in the orange color, the Butterfly G40+ manages a white color that remains visible even under fluorescent light. The cons are that it is pricey, and it shouldn’t be used for regular leisure play.
6. Xushaofa 40+ Seamless Poly Table Tennis Balls
The first distinct feature of this brand of balls is that they are a bit larger in size than most others. The Xushaofa also has an impressively high level of spin and bounce. Therefore, you need to take this feature into consideration during play. It is made of hard poly plastic which is durable, and compared to other celluloid ball types, it takes longer to break.
Apart from the quality of the material used, the construction itself is aimed at a more consistent and accurate bounce without alternating trajectories during play. This seamless construction coupled with the strength of the material used makes it a solid choice for practice games and even official tournaments. It is also ITTF and USATT approved for competitions. The downsides to this product are that it’s not most suitable for a beginner level of play and it’s also expensive.
Buyers Guide For Table Tennis Balls
Until recently, ping pong balls didn’t seem like items worth research of careful consideration before purchase. Life forces you to learn new things every day. And, you’re probably just discovering just how important it is to take your time with the purchase of your ping pong ball, given how significant a role they play in table tennis. In this section, we’ll explain the most important features to look out for in ping pong balls during purchase and why they are so important.
There are two major materials that ping pong balls can be made from as shown in the reviews above. They can either be made from celluloid or Polystyrene. Celluloid balls are simply the cheaper option. But you have to understand that this means they are made from cheaper materials. Therefore, they are lighter and less durable. They are mostly useful for regular trainings or amateur tournaments for novices.
The polystyrene on the other hand is recommended by the ITTF for the constructions of ping pong balls. These types are more environmentally friendly, durable and are of higher quality compared to the celluloid types. They have an excellent bounce and good spin which you could rarely find in the celluloid types. Polystyrene ping pong balls are used mostly in official events across the world.
Conclusively, as a beginner with imperfect control over the ball or any important competitions coming your way, it’s best to stick with the celluloid types till you’re a pro. However, as a pro, you should never buy cheaper stuff than polystyrene so that it doesn’t mess with your technique.
Visibility of the Ball
In most cases, manufacturers help increase the visibility of the ball during motion by making orange colored ones. This really helps a lot, especially for beginners or partially visually impaired people. However, there are also other brands that are made in white that still provide good visibility. You can get a hold of this information by reading our reviews above of the products to confirm.
No doubt, you’ve seen lots of ratings on the title of balls when displayed on Amazon or any other website. Those are not performance ratings because, frankly, no manufacturer would rank their own product 3 stars. The stars are used to represent player levels. 3-star rated balls have the highest quality and are approved by ITTF for official competition play. The 2-star comes close in terms of the material quality, but they are more suited to training session and training robot use. The lowest rated 1-star balls are meant for novices or beginners.
This rating system obviously helps narrow down your search and prevents you from making unnecessary purchases at a stage of your ping pong career.
How Are The Balls Made?
This question usually pops up after smashing a ball into two halves during play. You see the insides and wonder how they are manufactured. Well, look no further.
First, the celluloid or plastic discs are manufactured from scratch. Then using a perfectly crafted mold, they are stretched into equal halves. These halves are then trimmed to ensure smooth edges on the balls. Afterwards, using light industrial glue, the two sides are glued together into a perfectly round ball. This concludes the production stage.
Quality control is the next step, as they must filter out the ones that didn’t come out perfectly round from the others. This process is in different stages. Firstly, the balls are rolled across a measuring table to monitor the movement of the ball. This will help reveal if the ball is even on all sides or not. Then the balls are placed on a lighted platform that helps see through the entire object. Doing so, the quality control personnel will be able to observe the thickness of the ball all through and ensure that the uneven ones are filtered out.
The last stage is the insertion and checking of pressure in the ball. Pressure is very important as it helps the ball to retain energy. Energy retainment is important for factors such as spins and rebound shots during play. The less pressure a ball has, the less energy it will be able to retain, and vice versa.
The last stage is logo printing and packaging.
How To Maintain Your Balls
Maintenance is a very important part of owning ping pong balls especially if you have the polystyrene types which are more expensive. It doesn’t make sense to constantly be in the market for new balls just because you don’t know how to maintain the ones you’ve already purchased. To keep your balls lasting longer, here are a few things you could do.
The first thing to note here is that water alone just won’t do. There are lots of videos on the internet that have proven how ineffective the use of water is. Some guy even went as far as to use a dishwasher. At some point during this experiment, the spray arm got stuck and just ended up being a disaster. One other thing to note is that the use of soap or detergent will damage the ball.
Your best bet is baking soda. Dab your clean cotton tissue in some baking soda and clean the ball in a circular motion. Apart from getting your ball clean, the baking soda helps restore the grip of the ball. Lastly, while rinsing, do not use too much water so that the pressure from the ball won’t escape.
Hey! , I am Roland Campbell , a recreational table tennis player for over 5 years and counting. I do a lot of research on table tennis (Ping Pong) and publish my findings here at Pingthatpong.