In 2016, Technavio, one of the premier global market research companies, predicted in a report that the table tennis equipment would dominate the racket segment with approximately 59% of the market share by the years 2020.
The report, which was titled Global Table Tennis Equipment Market 2016-2020’ provided an in-depth analysis of the market, paying special attention to the revenue as well as the emerging trends in the market.
The report found that the table tennis market would grow exponentially thanks to the total sales generated from the sales of various types of table tennis equipment to table tennis clubs, sports clubs, organizers, as well as individual customers.
Although table tennis is most popular in the Asia-Pacific region with millions of players, it is slowly taking form and root in the US, whose numbers have grown to the millions. Even in other parts of the world such as the UK, more and more people are signing up for recreational table tennis.
Table tennis associations such as ITTF have done an excellent job of trying to make the sport more mainstream. The increased number of ping pong and table tennis clubs all over the globe is yet another reason why there has been a boost in the sale of table tennis equipment.
As it stands, the table tennis consumer and retail market are categorized into 3 primary segments that include:
The Racket market
Technavio predicted that the racket market was expected to reach USD 380.8 million by 2020, which would be a CAGR of more than 2%. The table tennis market enjoys the largest share of the table tennis equipment market and for good reason. For one, you almost cannot play a proper game of table tennis without a quality racket.
Like most other sports, the standard range of rackets available varies vastly. This is great news for table tennis players everywhere as it gives them variety. The lowest quality of premade bats is designed to suit novice players while the custom and high-end ranges are suited perfectly for experienced or professional players.
In other words, this wide variety has contributed considerably to the racket’s dominance of the market. The racket also comes in 2 essential parts, the rubber and the blade, which are both replaceable components.
Another reason why rackets have a bigger market share over other pieces of table tennis equipment is that manufacturers are always striving for innovation. For instance, in 2014, STIGA released a-one-of-a-kind racket named Pro Carbon designed specifically for advanced and professional table tennis players.
The Pro Carbon utilizes top of the line technology to improve the racket’s spin and speed. Even though the racket was designed for pro players, STIGA still went ahead to make provisions for intermediate and beginner players with less superior rackets.
The tennis ball market
After the racket market, the table tennis market is the second-largest enjoying a market share of almost 20%. Since tennis balls often have to be replaced quickly, the table tennis ball market is the fastest-growing category of the equipment market. On average, players have to replace their balls after every two to three sets.
This is not only necessary for players to play well, but it is also a serious regulation by the ITTF that has led to considerable growth. The increased need for plastic balls has also led to growth in the table tennis ball sector.
The ITTF changed the ball regulations, requiring all players to replace their once-popular celluloid balls with plastic alternatives. Celluloid balls haven’t been completely banned as they are still used commonly in non-ITTF tournaments and competitions. Plus, plastic balls are not as durable as celluloid balls and have to be replaced more regularly.
The table tennis market
The table tennis table market is the slowest growing, enjoying a market share of approximately 17% in 2015. This is because table tennis tables are designed with durability in mind and don’t need to be replaced as often as the rackets or balls.
According to George Collas at Ping PongEtc, ‘’a table tennis table, even a poorly made one, can last for as long as 10 years- longer if it is well maintained. As a result, over the next coming years, the ping pong table market share won’t change much in terms of the CAGR percentage. However, as more and more people continue to embrace table tennis recreationally, the number of tables at home will likely continue to increase, which might impact the table tennis table market more favorably’’.
As it stands, a lot of people prefer to share or rent table tennis tables rather than make a huge investment, which has gone a long way in hindering growth in the sector. In the future though, things are expected to change as the demand for recreational table tennis equipment continues to grow.
How important is table tennis equipment?
Table tennis equipment is vital if not critical for a table tennis player’s success. Sure, you could always try and rough it with makeshift equipment but that will only get you so far. Quality table tennis equipment not only ensures that a player grows, but it also increases one’s potential chances of victory.
The future of ping pong has never looked brighter. Innovative new products are released daily allowing hundreds if not thousands of new players to learn table tennis. Accessibility to table tennis equipment such as tables and rackets has also increased considerably over the past couple of years, enabling lovers of table tennis to have super fun yet competitive games in the comfort of their homes.
The rise of the ping pong bar in all parts of the globe is a clear indication that table tennis is quickly gaining traction. The idea that you can have a good time and still put in a work out is a win for most people, which explains why such table tennis and ping pong bars and social clubs are thriving in such a short space of time.