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Best Table Tennis Return Board (Amazing Tools)

Return boards are great for practicing for tournaments or to beat your friends, but they’re also great for those who just want to get better at table tennis. A return board is an uncommon training tool; many players have never even heard of it. You can still use them to support your training, however.

What is the most effective training tool?

Choosing between the Wally Rebounder and the Robo Pong is what I’m talking about. Which one is the superior training tool for someone who doesn’t have a reliable practice partner? Well, it depends.

Rebounder in table tennis
Rebounder in table tennis

A return board’s only advantages are that it provides more random spin (since you are giving it) and the return trajectory provides feedback on your own striking (apart from the expense and space considerations). Even if your robot shoots at random and you receive no feedback on your own striking other than whether the ball returned to the net, you can become acclimated to the “feel” of your robot.

You can use the table tennis robot to enhance your form, your reaction time, and your footwork. With a multi-head robot, you can practice your footwork more effectively.

In the appropriate hands, the robot may be a powerful teaching tool. At the moment, I use it every day at my table tennis club to help my young players improve their stroke, footwork, and muscle memory, as well as speed up their shots.

Return board vs Robot

Advantage of Robot

Personally, I’ve found that if you have a robot, you should record yourself with a camera to observe what mistakes you make. Otherwise, bad habits will stick around and become second nature to you.

iPong V300 - very cheap and basic robot
iPong V300 – very cheap and basic robot

If you want the most out of robots, you will have to buy additional balls, and this will cost you money in the process. You’ll probably wind up with a lot of balls scattered across the floor, which might be a hassle to clean up afterward. With a return board, you don’t need nearly as many balls, and you can get away with just a few if you need.

Robots have the advantage of being more adaptable. Robots of various kinds can teach you different kinds of spin and speed, so you may work on more aspects of your game. Also, they don’t rely on you to be consistent with your efforts. If you play the ball onto the table, it will feed you another. Regardless of how you play it. Table tennis players who miss a return shot must start over with a new ball, which is a hassle.

Advantage of Return Board

Maybe a return board would be useful as well. Live partners are unbeatable. But you need to have a very good partner in table tennis. If not, then use a return boad.

For those times when you don’t have an actual person to train with, it can be helpful to know how robots and humans compare. Generally, players prefer a robot to a return board, but this isn’t true in all cases.

Return board with 2 boards
Return board with 2 boards

Up to a certain point, it’s fine. The robot and some practice balls or a return board are certainly on your wish list, along with your own table. For rallying purposes, the return board will take more aim and a higher level of ability, but it’s better than an unending supply of balls because you get a return instead. Robots, on the other hand, make it easy to work on your multiball, thus there are both advantages and disadvantages.

Return board is cheaper.

You need to take into account the cost of the robot in your calculations. If you want a basic model, you’ll need at least a few hundred dollars, but if you want a premium model, you’ll need thousands of dollars.

Double Bounder with good support
Double Bounder with good support

The iPong Original Table Tennis Trainer Robot and the iPong V300 is the cheapest quality robot we could locate at this time. Basic characteristics make it an excellent choice for a novice who wants to get started with table tennis on a tight budget. For the most part, return boards are less than a few hundred dollars and even less expensive if you make one yourself.

The best table tennis robot

If you can afford to buy a professional table tennis robot, I recommend you the Butterfly Amicus, one of the best robots on the market right now.

The best return board

Wally’s rebounder is considered the best return board.

Wally Rebounder Ping Pong Return Board is good
Wally Rebounder Ping Pong Return Board is good

Feature and Specification Descriptions:

  • Coverage of 8 rubbers.
  • Board inclination can be changed with relative ease.
  • A strong framework
  • Locking wheels

Setting the angle to 70 to 80 degrees is recommended for beginners by the manufacturer. To get acquainted with the return board, this gives you a few minutes. Then, as you improve your technique and generate more topspin, you gradually close the board’s slant.

Wally Rebounder return board
Wally Rebounder return board

Cheap return board

Which is better, a robot or a return board, for a budget of under $400?

There appear to be a few low-cost robot solutions that perform admirably. Using one to practice looping and getting back into the groove looks like a lot of fun.

Both an IPong v300 robot and a Wally Rebounder return board are rather cheap. The low-cost robot has my vote. For practicing loops, the return board is a good choice.

Wally Rebounder Return Board Review by Liam Pitchford
Wally Rebounder Return Board Review by Liam Pitchford

The trouble with return boards is that they aren’t inexpensive, which is a little ridiculous. In terms of cost, they’re roughly as expensive as a cheap robot that can do most of the same and more, or about half the price of an excellent one.

Beginner practicing alone?

Do you want to practice alone at home? If yes, the return board is good for you!

Liam Pitchford recommend news players to play with return board
Liam Pitchford recommend news players play with the return board

As a result, rallies can go on for longer because they’re able to cover more ground. A hardwood board attaches to a sturdy metal frame, which in turn attaches to the rubbers. A return board built this way is far more durable than the one you may build if you were to do it yourself.

Watch this video:

Ping Pong return board review by the ranked number 14 table tennis player in the world as of May 2019, Liam Pitchford!

Wally Rebounder Return Board Review by Liam Pitchford - Dublin Table Tennis Club

Watch video above ☝.

What is the purpose of a Return Board?

A table tennis return board or ping pong rebound board is a stationary board that simulates the motions of a player. You hit the ball into it by placing it on the other side of the table. Your side of the table receives the ball after it has bounced off of the return board.

Learning the forehand topspin with return board
Learning the forehand topspin with return board

Depending on the design, certain return boards can be placed directly on the table, while others are elevated on a stand behind the table. Use a return board to practice looping and other attacking moves, such as backhand topspin and forehand topspin.

Is Return Board good for beginners?

Players without access to a training partner will benefit greatly from the use of a table tennis rebound board. Many players find themselves unable to play due to a lack of players in their area, a lack of talent, or a hectic work schedule. To help with this, you’ll need return boards. Your training partner has never been this close to you. Moreover, they don’t seem to get worn out.

Forehand drive with return board
Forehand drive with return board

It’s actually preferable to practice backspin on bare returns boards! You can chop endlessly since the smooth surface allows for a topspin return (pure reversal). Practicing topspin with a ball that jumps straight up makes it more difficult.

It’s also possible to get a quality at-home robot for around $100-300.

Advanced Table Tennis Play with Wally Rebounder.mov

Watch video above ☝.

Only when you play with perfect technique and the ball returns in good condition can a return board be considered to be a success. Forehand drive, forehand loop, and backhand all work well with this technique, as do other variations. You must, however, modify the return board in such a way that your flawless shot is returned in the correct manner.

Don’t tinker with your approach; instead, tweak the board. Without spending a fortune, it’s impossible to achieve this goal.

Are return boards worth it?

Certainly! For convenience’s sake, you can simply buy one. If you’re determined to build one, then you can buy several cheap rubbers.

Rubbers like Friendship Focus II can be purchased at a low cost to keep things affordable. Get at least eight or ten of these if you can. Avoid any gaps by adhering them to the board one after the other.

Backhand push with return board
Backhand push with return board

To prevent it from standing or tilting, a device must be attached to it. There are a variety of approaches you can use here, so feel free to get inventive. Monitor stands and tripods, both of which perform well, have been used by certain users.

Some good table tennis drills for return board

There are some basic drills for the return board:

  • Forehand topspin to return board: The ball is returned with topspin
  • Backhand topspin to return board: the ball is returned like from a blocker

Here is an example of how to use this return board:

Watch video above ☝.

To improve your driving and looping, you almost always employ a table tennis rebounder. If you’re a good tennis player, you probably put a lot of topspin on your shots. And if your opponents are new to the game, they will find this overwhelming. Because of this, looping is the most common usage of them.

Getting Started with Wally Rebounder Ping Pong Return Board

Watch video above ☝.

Other shots such as pushing can be practiced by rotating the board so that the angle is more open, as is perfectly natural when playing tennis.

Return Boards have a few limitations

However, return boards are a useful piece of equipment, but they also have their downsides.

The first problem is that you can’t learn the footwork. Instead of moving like a normal player, the return board is fixed. This implies that return boards do not change their angle or placement mid-way through the game. It’s your responsibility to play consistently and maintain the angle you specify before the rally begins. Since the ball will go over the net or the end of the table if you vary your topspin, you can’t do much with it. In the same way, too much sidespin means that hooks and fades should be avoided.

Returnboard: Forehand, backhand, mixed, and set up ping pong shot drills using the Wally Rebounder table tennis return board. Great for solo ping pong practice.

[리턴보드, Return board] 드라이브

Watch video above ☝.

Table tennis rebound bards have another problem: repetition. Unless you have a strong desire to keep going, using a return board might rapidly become monotonous. A poor habit like not resetting the ready position could result as a consequence of this in the future. There is also the reality that you are probably only practicing one aspect of your game, and that is looping. You should only utilize return boards as an addition to your training, not as a substitute for it.

The robot is a better way. Because robots can feed you with many types of balls (backspin, fast and long ball, topspin, short ball, etc).


It’s always a good idea to have a table tennis return board in your training toolbox. In modern table tennis, it is essential to be able to loop effectively. Even if we recommend them, robots still seem to provide more.

Return board is a cheap tool in table tennis. It helps you learn the basic techniques.

Because of this, if you can afford it, consider purchasing a robotic assistant. In order to purchase a return board, you must first play with a training partner for an adequate amount of time. Return boards are good for developing consistency and technique, but they don’t exactly replicate match situations.

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Table tennis coach in France since 2012, founder of pingsunday.com (the best online coaching program for table tennis players). Born in Vietnam in 1983, Ph.D. in Université Pierre Marie Curie. Read more about him.

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