Contenders Gear Up at Booths for 2018 WVC

By Larry Hodges | June 18, 2018, 12:46 p.m. (ET)



When you walk into the World Veterans Championships, the first thing you see is the line of booths on the left. They go on and On and ON!!! Soon they are joined by more booths on the right. There are 14 booths totaling 118 yards or 108 meters. That's longer than a football or soccer field. Home plate to the Green Monster at Fenway park is only 310 feet, so the booths would go 44 feet beyond that. Yeah, you can do a lot of table tennis shopping at the World Veterans.

We're like kids in a candy store on cloud nine with a cherry on top!!!

First up is the JOOLA booth, the largest booth (with just about everything table tennis-wise) as they are the main table tennis sponsor. They have a table for players, a changing room (three stalls), their new paddle and table wipes, and a "Buy one sponge, get the second one at half price" special. They will also be featuring coaching seminars by Jorg Rosskopf and Chen Weixing, with the schedule to be announced - stop by the booth for info. I plan to attend!

Next is the World Veterans Championships Merchandise booth, with all sorts of tournament apparel with the WVC logos. The best seller I'm told was the extremely comfortable and soft Dri-Fit shirts - ask for them! The polo shirts are also very popular.

The Paddle Palace booth is next. Besides the usual huge variety of regular gear, they are featuring a new generation of Paddle Palace Robots, which can be operated by either a control pad or by a smart phone, with an app you can download. They also have new high-end long pips from Stiga. 1991 World Men's Champion Jörgen Person, former Japan Open champion Masato Shiono, five-time U.S. Men's Singles Champion Sean O'Neill, and U.S. Ping-Pong Diplomacy star Judy Hoarfrost will be at the booth - stop by to chat!

Global Gadgets comes next: "Global Gadgets US, based in Las Vegas is one of the fastest growing innovation and technology distribution companies in America. Our network reaches customers all over the country."

Next came Gewo Table Tennis, a German brand manned by Ben Nisbet, former USATT Executive Director and a long-time coach from New York. Their big thing to hype was the new Hype KR rubber, which they had developed in conjunction with 1988 Olympic Men's Singles Gold Medalist Yoo Nam Kyu of Korea.

Next up is Dingo Table Tennis, home of Ding Yi Table Tennis, with Ding Yi, the long-time Austrian star, manning the booth with others. I didn't get to talk to them, but besides their regular table tennis equipment they featured MyPingPongBuddy.com, advertised as the "world's best ball pickup net."

Then came Dawei Table Tennis, which specialized in long pips - "Best from China" - with over ten types, plus blades designed for blocking and chopping with long pips.

Gambler Table Tennis was next. They are a joint USA-China company, with the U.S. side owning half the factory in China. They have Gambler rackets, sponge, etc., (with a nice dragon logo design) and you got to walk under the Gambler arch to enter!

Then came Dr. Neubauer, home of long pips and their unique frictionless antispin, with he newest version the Tarantula rubber. (See interview with their founder, Dr. Harold Neubauer.) They had some great names and pictures on their rubbers - a bear, gorilla, rhino, buffalo, bison, snake, and of course the tarantula!

If you are looking two years ahead, look no farther - next up was the 2020 World Veterans Championships booth - they will be in Bordeaux, France, June 8-14, 2020.

Last in the row came the Butterfly Table Tennis booth. Besides the usual table tennis equipment - including Tenergy, "The most popular high-end rubber in the world" - they were highlighting their new Butterfly Amicus Prime Table Tennis Robot. It can be operated either by a supplied Android tablet or from a smartphone with an app that can be downloaded. "These new robots continue the Amicus signature 3-wheel head design, which can produce any type of spin . . . The 3-wheel head design is an advantage over 2-wheel designs as it is unnecessary to rotate the head to achieve sidespin, thus reducing wear and tear on the head." (Disclosure - I'm sponsored by Butterfly.)

Now we do a quick switch to the right side. Are the 2018 World Veterans Championships not enough for you? Then consider the Huntsmen World Senior Games, Oct. 8-20 in St. George, Utah, the next booth in line. They have age groups every five years from 50 to 90+.

Next was a German booth, Scharff - Erlebnisreisen, with literature in German on trips to Hoover Dam, Death Valley, the Grand Canyon, and a cruise on Lake Mead. They also were advertising the 2019 European Veterans Championships in Budapest next June 29 - July 6.

Last in line was the Cirque Du Soleil booth. They feature seven incredible shows, including a number here in Las Vegas. I went to the Beatles Love show last year, and it was INCREDIBLE!!!

When you finishing working your way through all these booths, you will have a sugar high, a crooked smile, and dreams of beating the best - with the finest equipment and apparel available - will dance in your head.