How Long Do Ping Pong Balls Last For?

Ping pong balls are known for splitting and getting dented, but how long do they usually last for? In this article, I’ll go through everything you need to know, how to fix a broken table tennis ball and how to make them last for as long as possible before you need to replace them.

Ping Pong Ball Durability

Most ping pong ball last at least 10 hours of playing before they are split or dented. Ping pong balls do not have a set durability because the performance remains consistent and they do not need to be replaced unless they are broken. Most players typically notice that this happens after more than 10 hours of playing.

Why Do Ping Pong Balls Break?

Ping pong balls usually break due to high-impact collisions with the table or paddle which causes them to either split or become dented. They do not usually break due during normal play if the rubber of the paddle is used to hit the ball, unless they are already quite old or structurally compromised. However, if the ball is hit with the blade accidentally, which is made from either wood or carbon fibre, this can cause them to break quite easily. The same goes for if they hit the table at an awkward angle with a lot of force.

How to Fix a Dented Ping Pong Ball

If the ball is split then it’s time to throw it away and use a new one. However, if the ball is dented then then there are a couple of ways to fix it.

  1. Press carefully on the sides of the dent to try and pop it back out.
  2. Alternatively, put the ball in a bowl of boiling water for a few minutes and then carefully remove so you don’t burn yourself.

Even when you fix the ball it is still likely to be a bit weak around the dented area so will usually not last as long as a brand new ball before it splits or dents again.

Also, make sure that the surface of the ball is consistent again and doesn’t feel different around the dent. Any deformity in the shape will cause it to bounce inconsistently when playing and make for a poor game.

Does Performance Decrease Over Time?

The performance of a ping pong ball does not decrease over time and the balls do not need replacing if they are not broken. Unless you notice any splits or dents, you do not need to use a new ball even if you’ve been playing with it for a long time as the bounce should still be consistent.

Identifying a Worn Out Ball

Unless you hear the ball split or feel a dent in it, then you won’t always notice that the ball needs replacing straight away. The main indication is inconsistency in the bounce. If you spot this then inspect the ball and you’ll probably notice a small split (usually around the seam) which means it’s time to throw it away.

Which Ping Pong Balls Last the Longest?

Ping pong balls are given a star rating by the manufacturer. The higher the star rating, the better the quality is and the longer the ball will last. Three-star balls are the most durable, followed by two and then one star balls. Three star balls are thicker and harder than lower rated balls which are softer and more likely to become dented and split.

The star rating of the ball also impacts the quality of the bounce and the speed of the ball. If you are unfamiliar with these ratings then check out my article comparing one vs two vs three star balls to work out which is the best option for you.

Storing them Properly

In addition to purchasing three-star ping pong balls, the only other thing you can do make them last longer is to ensure you look after them properly. This involves storing them in a safe place when not in-use so that they are not likely to get damaged when you are not playing with them. Also, make sure they are not exposed to direct sunlight or excessive heat and moisture as this can degrade the plastic more quickly.

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Game and Entertain

Hey, I'm Heather, the owner and creator of I made this website to help you learn more about setting up a home entertainment and games room. My favourite games are ping pong, darts and pool, but I also have experience in other games which I aim to share using this website.

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