Technology and the advances it brings are transforming virtually everything in our lives, including how we play our favorite sports. Ping Pong is an excellent example as carbon composite table tennis paddles continue to win players' attention. Their think carbon sheets between the layers of plywood in a racket blade give power players a chance to increase the speed they put on their shots. It changes the feel of playing shots with speed and brings a new secret weapon for some players. If you enjoy playing the game, try one and see what you think – as time goes on, more players are purchasing them.

You might be wise to choose an in-person shopping trip rather than doing it online if you're thinking about buying a carbon composite racket. Table tennis specialty retailers have the selection and know-how to show you the differences. Big box store shopping without conscientious customer service might leave you buying the wrong thing just as much as shopping online. Prices for composite rackets are generally higher than all-wood, but if you're serious about the game and improving your play, they can be worth every penny. But trying many options against each other and getting advice is essential.

It's wise to buy the racket rubbers separately and glue them on yourself. The ones you choose and how you apply them (smooth, pimples out, pimples in) need to correspond with your style of play and what will complement it. It's another reason to think twice about picking up a racket at a big box store where you know nothing about the age of their inventory. Table tennis rubbers have a lifespan of about a year for the best performance. If you buy them someplace where they have a strong interest in the sport and brisk merchandise turnover, you'll have the best chance of getting fresher rubbers.

If you're moving to the advanced beginner level and beginning to take more aspects of the game seriously, start checking the net height on your table and home and others where you play. Regulation height is six inches or 15.25 centimeters. Stories of players becoming accustomed to playing on non-regulation height nets are legion, and you don't want to become one. Sooner or later, you'll be playing on a table with the correct height net, and you don't want to be stuck re-learning your best shots. The pros also recommend avoiding clip-on nets and going for ones that screen onto the tabletop.